June 2nd, 2005
The Tea Party Club
Remember, Dieters Attend Tea Parties, Too!
Written by Terry L. Wynne
The tea is ready, but what foods, do you serve? You can serve, crackers, cheese, cake, pie, cookies, a buffet – anything
you want. But what about dieters and guests who are particular about what they eat? Do you have food for them?
Not everyone will eat high calorie foods, but your guests on diets and “healthy food only” eaters will appreciate your
remembering to include low calorie foods for them on your menu. Besides carrot and celery sticks, you have many other
choices. Consider a vegetable tray full of red and green peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and sliced yellow or green
Even if you serve delicious home-baked desserts, you can still serve fresh fruit as an alternative. You can even have an
entire array of berries or sliced fruit from which guests can choose their favorites. You’ll find that many people who are not
on diets pick selections from your vegetable and fruit trays.
Your greatest dilemma will be guessing what quantity of low calorie food to offer since non-dieters will eat some of the high
and low calorie foods. The safest approach is to buy more food than you expect people to eat and either give the excess to
the guests or serve it to your family.
Low calorie foods make a healthy offset to the high calorie foods, provide more antioxidants, and people “should” want to
eat more of them, but when you observe which foods guests put on their plates, the high calorie, home-baked, “just good
eating” choices inevitably fill the majority of the space on most guests’ plates.
The Perfect English Afternoon Tea Party
What are your first thoughts when you think of an Afternoon Tea Party? You would picture scenes of lovely ladies in a
Victorian setting. They would be elegantly dressed with their white lace gloves and beautiful hats to match. The table would
be set with beautiful floral china and fresh flowers. An afternoon tea party is an honored tradition of refinement and
elegance and most often it is an an elegant affair that all guests will look forward to attending. It is English custom that Tea
time be scheduled from mid to late afternoon.
Usually, tea party food is a between-meal snack that includes bite size sandwiches, scones, cookies and a good pot of
tea. Both men and women can enjoy afternoon tea in England and it’s often used as a function for entertaining. Your tea
party can be a very formal affair or as casual as a pot of tea and cookies.
An afternoon tea party can is suitable for many occasions. It is ideal for bridal or baby showers, a retirement party or even a
birthday celebration. This is a time that you can sit and relax with family and catch up with old friends.
With any occasion you are creating memories that will last a life time.
Then add a few more exotic foods such as mini quiche hors d'ouvres, cherry tarts, or chocolate truffles. We are going to
share a few of our favorite tea party recipes and menus here, but you can also consult some of your cookbooks for more
recipes. Just remember to keep your tea party menu light and refreshing. After the initial planning is done, you need to
decide what you want to serve the special guests you have invited to your tea party. What would be the most appropriate
foods to serve? Your foods items should include something savory, something sweet, and everything should be delicious.
Your menu should reflect the season or the theme of your tea party and the time of day it will be held. Here you were
thinking about what to serve and now you also have to consider the time of day!
If you are serving an afternoon tea, usually between 3 and 5 p.m., you would want to provide your guests with an elegant
snack instead of a meal. The menu for afternoon tea may include several different finger sandwiches, scones, assorted
tiny pastries, and possibly a layer cake.
You can easily prepare your own finger sandwiches and arrange them beautifully on special china plates to set around the
room. Small tea cookies, scones and tiny pastries can be easily purchased from most local bakeries and grocery stores
and also placed on decorative china plates. Or, visit your local book store for a recipe book that features tea party food and
appetizers. For the finishing touch, you should have a special table set aside with a layer cake where your guests can
The best element about preparation of tea party food is the fact that the majority of what you will be serving will be finger
foods. Everything is small, easy to handle and easy to eat. You have taken the focus off of formal table settings and added
simple elegance. This will give your guests an opportunity to relax, talk and eat without having to handle a formal table
Captivating and delicious, this is your resource for gracious tea
party recipes. Picture a warm pot of tea surrounded by moist
cream scones and lemon curd. Your tea table food will be the
focal point of an enchanting afternoon of fun and fellowship.
Include a few tea party recipes that you know everyone will like
such as chicken salad sandwiches, homemade cookies, petit
fours, and scones.
Quick and Easy Scone Recipe
Here is the quickest way to bake up a batch of delicious breakfast scones. Using a little help from a biscuit mix,
you can have a piping hot plate of scones ready in no time at all. This recipe yields 8 medium scones.
Snackin’ Breakfast Scones
2 cups Bisquick and some to dust
1/4 cup sugar
10 thin slices ham, finely chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup milk or half-and-half or cream
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Preheat an oven to 425ºF.
In a large bowl combine Bisquick, sugar, chopped ham, chives, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. In a small
bowl, combine the egg and milk. Reserve about a teaspoon of the liquid in a small dish or coffee cup then add
the remaining liquid to the bowl of dry ingredients. Give it a gentle stir with a fork until a soft dough forms.
Sprinkle some baking mix onto your worktable and turn the dough out onto it. Give it a quick knead, about 10
turns. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and use your hands to shape it into a round that is flat on top and
about 8 inches across. Brush the reserved egg and milk mixture over the top of the dough and top with the
remaining cheese. Cut into 8 wedges with a pizza cutter. Separate the wedges to prepare for baking.
While the scones are baking, combine the softened butter and mustard in a medium-size mixing bowl and use for
...where tea enthusiasts share their favorite teaware, tea party
themes, recipes, and more.
|Recipe Rescue Tips
Keep cool under the pressure of a holiday tea-time gathering. Use these kitchen tips when things don't quite go the
way you planned.
When a cake comes out of the oven too dry or falling apart, turn it into a fabulous dessert by crumbling the cake
into a clear bowl and layer with fruit and whipped cream. Guests will think you worked for hours creating a
If cooking dough looks too dry, simply add a tablespoon or two of mild.
If you leave cookies on the cookie sheet too long after they come out of the oven, they may stick to the cookie
sheet. Solution? Return them to the oven for 1 minute.
When melting chocolate, it can seize or become clumpy. Solution? Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil or
shortening to smooth it out.
| Three Steps to a Fast and Fancy Tea Party Dessert
If you need a dessert for surprise guests or just want to keep
it simple for a tea party, this idea is impressive, yet easy.
1. Purchase a ready-made cheescake, a package of fancy
cookies such as Milanos ( any cylinder or oblong shaped
Pepperidge Farm varieties), and a container of
ready-to-spread frosting or rasberry jam, and a satin ribbon.
2. Put the cheesecake on a serving plate or pedestal cake
stand. Stand the cookies on end and one by one, glue them
in a ring or a collar around the outside of the cheesecake
using frosting or jam.
3. Tie the ribbon in a pretty bow around the cookies and dust
the top of the cheesecake with sifted powdered sugar.