Friday, December 4, 2009

Tea Party (Shower Idea): Signage and Recipes

Every year it's a tradition in my family for all the ladies to get together the weekend after Thanksgiving for a tea party at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco.


Lovely as it is, it's pretty expensive at about $45 per person with tip, and we always leave hungry, since the bite size little sandwiches just don't fill you up, and the service is pretty slow to refill your tea pots.

So this year we decided to have it at my parent's home! And I wanted to share with you all, since this could also make for a nice (if very tame) idea for a bridal shower.

My mom purchased pretty black and white damask paper napkins, and we knew she would be using her green table cloth on the dining table, so my sister and I decided to make little labels for all the tea pots, so it would be easy to pick your favorite flavor. All I had on hand that would go with this black, white and green color scheme was some samples of white card stock, so I printed out a damask design (from Google Images) with the tea names, as well as a boarder in black, so we could have layers. We also made several blank cards, since several people were bringing additional tea flavors that we weren't sure about.

(the rest of the photos in this post were taken by me)

Next I cut everything out, and glued the damask layer on top of the black layer (I did a boarder of black just to save printer ink, since the center would be covered)

My sister then made a punching guide, for four small holes on either side the black background. This picture shows her punching, but I really did most of it!

Then ribbon was cut, and thread through the holes, but we left the ends untied, so they could accommodate a variety of different tea pots.

And here they are in action at the Tea Party, next to the coordinating napkins! My mom inherited quite a collection of tea pots.

And now for some yummy food pictures and recipes:

Taco Ring (Made by my mom. Doesn't really go with a 'tea' theme, but it's super good, easy and filling!) The Pampered Chef recipe is here. My mom's version had chicken, onions, bell pepper, shredded Mexican blend cheese and she seasoned it with Safeway's peach pineapple salsa. Sometimes she adds more vegetables such as shredded zucchini.

Carrot-Ginger Tea Sandwiches (center of above picture, bright orange filled sandwiches)

Recipe (from one of my family members, not sure where she got it from, or if it's an original):

2 grated carrots
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sweet ginger paste (optional, see below)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices multi-grain bread*
4 teaspoons unsalted butter
Alfalfa sprouts

* Choose the best-quality bread as possible. Never serve end slices. Freezing the bread before cutting and then spreading makes for easier handling.

In a medium bowl, combine carrots, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and ginger paste; add salt and pepper.

Spread one side of each piece of bread lightly with butter. Top the buttered side of 2 slices of bread with carrot/ginger mixture (about 1/4-inch thick). Top with alfalfa sprouts and top with the remaining bread slices, buttered side down.

Carefully cut the crusts from each sandwich with a long, sharp knife. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally and then cut in half again. If desired, decorative shapes can be made with cookie cutters.

Yields 2 whole sandwiches or 4 halves or 8 fourths.

Sweet Ginger Paste: Chop 2” of fresh ginger and smash in a mortar and pestle. Add 1 tsp of water to make a paste.

Making Tea Sandwiches Ahead of Time: If you need to make tea sandwiches in advance and need to keep them from drying out, cover them loosely with a sheet of wax paper and then place a damp kitchen towel over the wax paper (never place a damp towel directly on top of the bread because the sandwiches will become soggy.

Refrigerate. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator. Uncover sandwiches just before serving.

Apple Rum Tartlets (in above picture, directly above the orange colored squash), recipe here.

Other yummy recipes:

Mini Sweet Potato Pies, here

Pumpkin Dip, here

Cranberry-Caramelized Onion Cheese Spread, here

Asiago Stuffed Potato Bites, here

Smoked Salmon Cucumber Cups, here

Mini Cranberry Cheese Cakes, here (switch in cooked real cranberries instead of peaches for a more festive taste)

Can you tell I love me some appetizers? I'm always on the lookout for new recipes, and usually that's my contribution to our family get togethers.

Have you planned, or helped plan any parties lately, that would also make a good bridal shower?


  1. Those little signs are adorable...I absolutely love the way you strung the ribbon!
    Taco rings are one of my favorite, super easy foods...we've been making them for years at my house. My mom's friend actually teaches it as one of the recipes in Foods at high school.

  2. Yum, everything looks so good. And good call on transferring the party from the Palace . . . it is gorgeous, but I agree - not filling! At "home" is more fun, anyway!

  3. Gorgeous and delicious looking spread! It's so nice to create an intimate atmosphere at home and save tons of $$$ too!