For the second year in a row I hosted a tea party for my garden club (I am their president). I was pleased to receive so many kind comments. I took advantage of freezer recipes and my large chest freezer to make this ambitious menu easier to pull-off. I also asked one guest to bring deviled eggs and another to bring fruit. One friend came an hour early to help me with last minute preparations. If you are hosting a party, consider asking someone to come a little early to help with last minute preparations.
I made carrot and cucumber flowers once before in an edible May Day basket I made for neighbors. This year I decided to combine a carrot flower and cucumber cup with dip ideas. I used this carrot flower idea but I used a miniature cookie cutter and a green toothpick (in a box of assorted colored toothpicks). Make sure that your carrot slices are thick enough or when you insert the toothpick it will crack. I cut the carrot flowers the night before and put them in my refrigerator in a container with water. The next day I assembled the flowers. I was inspired by this cucumber dip cup idea. Make your cucumber cup thick enough so your carrot flower will stand up. I made Ranch Dip with powdered mix and sour cream and spooned it into the cups before inserting the Carrot and Cucumber flowers. A few of my flowers did not want to stand up so I added the cucumber piece I took out when I made the cup and it stood up just fine.
These carrot and cucumber flowers in cucumber cups are sure to delight your guests. I always say, “healthy food can be fun”.
I outdid myself with my tea menu this year because I wanted a different blog post, I enjoy creating menus, and I was expecting more guests this year. I served decaf coffee and English Afternoon Tea with lemon, cream, and sugar.
- Mini Pesto Palmiers – I made these two weeks before the party and put them in my freezer, I defrosted the day of the party, sliced and put in my refrigerator on a parchment lined baking sheet until baking shortly before the party.
- Tortellini skewers with cherry tomato, fresh mozzarella, and olives
- Apricot and Oat Scones – Martha Stewart Baking Handbook
- Cranberry Scones – I replaced the currants with Craisins Martha Stewart Baking Handbook
- Strawberry and Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches – I used Pepperidge Farm Very Thin white bread to make these open-faced tea sandwiches. I cut the bread with a flower shaped cookie cutter, added a strawberry slice and garnished some with mint leaves.
- Walnut Cream Cheese Sandwiches – cream cheese, toasted chopped walnuts and a little lemon juice spread on Pepperidge Farm Oatmeal Bread with the crusts cut off and cut in narrow rectangles
- Radish and Chive Sandwiches on French Bread – I loosely followed this recipe but kept it very simple and left out the Asian flavors (I did not use the sesame seeds, ginger or sesame oil).
- Mixed Nuts
- Deviled Eggs
- Butterfly Crackers with Butterfly shaped cheese (Cheddar and Dill Havarti)
- Carrot Flowers with toothpick stem, Cucumber leaves and Cucumber cup with Ranch Dip
- Assorted Fruit with Dip (Cool Whip and yogurt)
- Flower shaped Mini Lemon Curd Tarts – I made my own pie crust but bought lemon curd
- Tulip shaped Frosted Sugar Cookies
- Mini Ice Cream Cakes
- Chocolate Scones – Martha Stewart Baking Handbook
- Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
- Assorted Chocolate Truffles – Lindt – Assorted, Godiva – Assorted, and Godiva Strawberry Cheesecake Dessert Truffles
- Food labels – besides being cute they made it easier for my last minute helpers to put out food from my refrigerator. Also since the labels were already on the buffet table, it helped me know what I was missing.
- Doilies – My Mom is a fan of paper doilies and I guess I inherited it from her – at least for a fancy tea party. I dyed some pink somewhat following this tutorial (I did not use gloves and I used a glass pie plate)
- A member of my garden club made two fantastic arrangements in antique tea pots.
If you use any of these ideas for your tea or other type of party, I would love to hear about it.