Monday, May 10, 2010

The Tea Party Report - Part I: The Food

Yes, yes, it's been over a week and I am JUST NOW blogging about the tea party. You just don't realize how much wrapping up there is to do after the tea party's over, I'll tell you that. But it's still been fun stuff and yes, indeedy, the wrapping-up part is still going on, and now I'm back in town after a nice weekend away in Chattanooga with Jeremy's fam. And NOW, I've got pictures! =) And I must blog. I've already realized just how long one blog post could be, so it will be broken up into several sections. This is Part One and it will deal with...


Photo by Jud Davis

It was delightful. And delectable. And any other "d" words that mean the same thing - oh, like delicious. Yes, delicious. How did I forget that one??

We'll start with the Savory Cucumber sandwiches, for a tea party is not a tea party without them. We've tried various recipes for cucumber sandwiches, (all being quite delicious, delectable, and delightful to my palate) but I do think that this recipe was one of the most positive experiences, comment-wise, that we've  ever, um...experienced.

Photo by Jud Davis

You can see the cucumber sandwiches in the bottom right corner of the picture. (This was taken in the staging area before the plates were taken to their homes on our pretty three-tiered plate stands.) Also on those sandwich plates are the next item...

The Spicy Cheddar Pimento sandwiches, which we also got many nice compliments about. A little cayenne pepper makes all the difference. And they were very cute, what with the filling dolloped on triangles of party rye bread.

The Scones, with a capital "S." Sadly, there may not be a picture of them! Oh, no! =( Sad. This year we served White Chocolate Cherry Scones with Chocolate Cream and Cherry Butter for the spreads. Sigh! The tartness of the dried cherries perfectly contrasted with the creamy sweetness of the white chocolate chips. Big, BIG hit.

Chocolate Raspberry Tassies. Rich, brownie-esque cups filled with chocolately, raspberry goodness. And decorated with a fancy topping of chocolate buttercream. What??! I know. I know.

Photo by Jud Davis

Playing off the chocolate flavors were the Mini Spongecakes with Jasmine Tea Buttercream. This was a combination of two different recipes. I had found the Jasmine Tea Buttercream recipe in a recent Tea Time magazine (note: if you love tea or tea time, the arrival of this magazine in your mailbox every other month is so, SO happy) but it topped a vanilla cupcake. Now...please don't get me wrong, that sounds quite marvelous. But it made, like, 10 cupcakes. Oh, my. And the crazy thing is, the icing made sooo much more than for that amount of cupcakes. I know they really piled it on, but anyway...

Photo by Jud Davis

The mini spongecakes were adapted from a Pioneer Woman recipe. Her actual recipe I took it from was for a Strawberry Shortcake Cake, which I have made and it was completely wonderful. I had also been making just the spongecake part into cupcakes for Valentine's Day and what have you and just loved the taste and texture. So...the little cakes found their way onto the menu for our tea party - and they were mighty perfect with the jasmine tea buttercream, which was dyed pink, by the way. =)

One of the items that I loved with the fiery passion of a thousand suns were the Rosemary Parmesan Hearts. Oh. The crunchiness, the light rosemary flavor...I will be making these myself someday soon. That's a promise. See, it's so deliciously distracting that you forget that someone is trying to photograph you...

Photo by Jud Davis

Our lemon turnovers were very popular, too. A tad time intensive to prepare, as turnovers usually are - but quite, quite fabulous-tasting, as turnovers usually are.

Photo by Jud Davis

And I already told you all about the chosen teas in the last post. All of this goodness was punctuated with offerings of fresh fruit...yummy strawberries and grapes. I am not going to lie. It was FABULOUS. We had many, many compliments on the food. And guests, as always, got to take home their souvenir programs which held the secrets of the tea party other words, the recipes. =)

If you are interested in snagging a program, let me know. I can probably make it happen. ;)

I will leave you with two recipes. Let me know if you desire more!

Savory Cucumber Sandwiches
Makes about 32 bite-sized sandwiches

1 large cucumber, cleaned and deseeded, but not peeled
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 small (or 2 large) green onions, chopped, including most of the green part
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
white sandwich bread

Shred the cucumber and allow to drain until most of the liquid is gone. Mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth and spreadable. Stir in the chopped onions and add the celery salt and garlic powder. Add drained cucumber and stir. Spread between slices of white sandwich bread and trim crusts off. Cut each sandwich into quarters.


Rosemary Parmesan Hearts
Makes approximately 11 dozen small hearts

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter
3/4 c. Parmesan cheese, finely grated (not powdered)
2 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the flour and baking powder together and cut in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the Parmesan, rosemary, and egg yolks. Continue working the dough until it forms a ball. This can all be done in the food processor.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness and cut out with a small heart cookie cutter. Reroll remaining dough and continue cutting out hearts until the dough has all been used. Place the hearts onto baking stones, if possible, or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake approximately 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks and store in airtight container.

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