Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas Tea Party

This year I decided to give a Christmas Tea Party for the ladies in my family and my Father of course! He was the guest of honor!  What a blast we had!  I started early.  I wanted it to be the best tea party ever...So....I made everything that I could myself.  Even the smoked salmon!  (With help from Byron!)  I promised everyone I would post all the recipes (at the end of this post) and some pictures.  Hope you enjoy.  Maybe you'll be inspired to have one yourself next year, or maybe this spring?

Here is the salmon covered in fresh dill (which there is plenty in the garden), juniper berries, sugar and sea salt.
I found these little baking cups.  They're adorable and really neat.  They stand up on their own and bake just like that...I like.
These are the holiday ones.  I also bought butterflies and cloud ones Spring?
Bambi is Byron's!  It's from one of his trips to Disney World as a child.  The little velvet deer is an old ornament of my Mother-In-Law's.  Prehaps from the 50's?  I didn't buy any decorations.  I love using what I have on hand in a different way to decorate and surprise people.
These are my shoes....Grand enough for the party I believe.

The coffee table set with Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake, Strawberry Shortcakes, Peanut Butter Balls, Salmon Bites, and Roast Beef and Cucumber sandwiches.
Tiny Strawberry Shortcakes
 These Asparagus Sandwiches were the favorite and every single one was devoured.
The kitchen table with veggies, praline brie, date balls and sandwiches.  The floral arrangement was made from what I could find in the garden that was still presentable.  Flowers, pods and unique greenery!
Date scones with cream and lemon curd...the best!
Tiny stuffed potatoes with a patriotic tribute.
Veggies all from the garden! 

Salmon Bites
Pumpernickel Bread
Smoked Salmon
Cream Cheese
Small Amount of Milk
Chopped Fresh Dill
Cut pumpernickel bread into small circles using a small cookie cutter (silver dollar size).  Mix cream cheese with a small amount of milk to make it a little softer.  Put cream cheese into cake decorating bag with a large tip (I use a really large tip.  The kind used for icing cupcakes).  Squeeze a flower of cream cheese onto each pumpernickel round.  Top with a few flakes of smoked salmon and sprinkle with fresh chopped dill.
I make my own smoked salmon.  I'll put that recipe in another post.  I like my own best!
Asparagus Sandwiches

White Bread
Fresh Asparagus Spears
Lemon Juice
Cut tough ends off of asparagus.  Steam Asparagus.  Asparagus should still be on the crunchy side.  Cut crust off of bread and spread mayonnaise on one side.  Lay one steamed asparagus spear on slice of white bread mayo side up (of course).  Sprinkle salt, pepper and a little lemon juice on top.  Roll the spear up in the bread.  Yummier than you think.  These were everyones favorites.  You can also tie a ribbon of chives around the roll in a bow to make it fancy.
Strawberry Shortcake
6 oz of butter (room temp.)
1/4 cup plus two tblsp of sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of self rising flour
Straw Berry Jam
Strawberries hulled and cut into quarters
Whipped cream
(make your own with whipping cream, powdered sugar (add to taste) and a dash of cream of tartar.  Whip until soft peaks form.  Do not over whip!)
For the cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat together butter and sugar in a large owl until pale and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Sift the flour into the mixture and fold in until thoroughly combined.
You can bake in an 8 inch pan (grease and base line with parchment) or into self standing paper baking cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and cake springs back lightly when touched.  Let cool completely.
Spread jam on top of cake.  For cup cakes use a melon baller to scoop out a small space in the center of each cake and fill with a dollop of jam.  Top cake with strawberries.  Put whipped cream in a cake decorators bag with large tip and cover top with whipped cream.  Add extra strawberries on top.  Do the same for each cup cake.  Put a couple of strawberry quarters on top of jam.  Give a nice squeeze of whipped cream on top.  Then put a quarter of a strawberry on top.  Sprigs of mint from the garden give it a nice garnish.  You can bake two cakes and make the cake a double layer if you wish with strawberries, jam and whipped cream between the layers as well as on top.
Peanut Butter Balls
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter room temp.
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups confections sugar
Candy chocolate for dipping
Mix everything together thoroughly except the chocolate.  Put mixture in fridge and let cool.  Melt chocolate.  Roll mixture into balls and dip in chocolate.  Place on wax paper of foil and allow chocolate to harden.  Super yum.  You can also decorate with sugar crystals or splash with a contrasting color chocolate.
Date Balls
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup of sugar
1 pack or 8 oz. of chopped sugared dates
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup crisped rice cereal
1 tsp. vanilla
Powdered Sugar for coating
In saucepan melt butter and sugar over low heat.  Add dates and cook 3 minutes and remove from heat.  Add vanilla and stir.  Add nuts and rice cereal.  Let cool a moment.  Hint:  butter hands to keep hot mixture from sticking to hands.  Roll into balls then roll in powdered sugar.  So yum.
Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter room temp
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease 16 cup tube pan.  Dust with flour.
Sift flour,  baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.  Beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until fluffy.  Gradually add sugar and beat 5 minutes.  Add eggs 1 at a time beating just until combined.  Beat in lemon juice and peel.  Using spatula mix in dry ingredients.  Mix in sour cream.  Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean.  About 1 hour 30 minutes.  Let cool completely then turn out onto platter.  You can make a glaze with powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla.

Praline Brie
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick of butter
2 tblsp of whipping cream
1 cup chopped pecans
1 small or medium round of brie
1 pack of freezer puff pastry (should have 2 sheets)
extra butter
1 egg
On a greased piece of foil on a baking pan (foil makes it easier to remove cooked brie later), score top of brie with knife.  Put several pats of butter on top.  Place brie on first sheet of puff pastry.  Place second sheet on top.  Cut away extra on top so that 2nd sheet just covers top.  Put aside scraps.  Bring up first sheet of pastry and bunch around edges to create a pleasing effect and completely cover brie.  Brush top with egg (not necessary but makes it shiny)  Bake in oven at 400 degrees until puff pastry is golden and done (about 20 to 25 minutes). 
About 10 minutes after brie is cooking, combine sugar, butter and pecans in pan.  Cook on low until sugar is completely dissolved.  Cook for a couple of minutes longer.  Add whipping cream cook a minute longer.  Slide cooked brie off of foil on to platter.  Pour praline sauce over brie.
This is best very fresh so serve immediately.
Date Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1tblsp baking powder
2 tblsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbs butter
1/2 cup of sugared chopped dates
1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
egg for brushing top
large sugar crystals
Preheat oven 400 degrees.  I bake my scones on a silpat mat (love that thing worth purchasing).  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking power and salt,  Cut the cold butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or your finger tips (I use fingers).  The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.  Add sugared dates.  Add whipping cream to the mixture.  Stir until just combined.  Do not over combine.  Add more cream to make it loose if needed.
Spoon mixture onto floured surface.  Knead dough gently (count to 10 DO NOT OVER KNEAD WILL MAKE TOUGH)  Pat into rectangular shape about 2 inches thick.  Cut in half long ways then into triangles.  Brush top with egg, sprinkle with sugar crystals.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.
Cream for Scones
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
3 oz cream cheese
dash of cream of tartar
Beat cream cheese til smooth.  Set a side.  Use a chilled bowl.  Add heavy whipping cream and beat for 3 to 4 minutes (or more) until it starts to thicken a little.  Then add cream cheese slowly as you beat and add powder sugar and cream of tartar gradually.  Keep whipping until it thickens into soft peaks.  Do not over beat.
Lemon Curd
3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 tblsp lemon zest
4 tblsp butter cut into small pieces
In pan on top of a  heat diffuser  (you can use a bowl placed in a pan with a couple of inches of water instead.)  Whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice until blended.  Cook (on medium) stirring constantly to prevent curdling until the mixture becomes thick like sour cream or hollandaise sauce.  Will take about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour through a fine sieve to remove any lumps.  Stir in butter until melted and thoroughly mixed.  Stir in lemon zest.  Zest is optional.  Cover so skin doesn't form.  Let cool and refrigerate.  Will keep up to two weeks.  Makes 1 1/2 cups.
This isn't every recipe and I may have typed in a mistake in my hurry.  So let me know if you would like another recipe or have any questions regarding these recipes.


wvugrads said...

Looks like great fun! Rayne was telling me about the fascinators the other day. :-)


JeanSkirtGirl said...

Awesome party sister kristi loved it so much fun!!! I been waitting for u to post great pictures love carmencita

narf7 said...

What a wonderful idea! Baking is so soul-satisfying and to bake for the people that you love is rewarding all round. You certainly went all out and it looks amazing. I might do this this Christmas and start a family tradition :)

Moni-Q said...

It was the bash of the year! I had a great time. It was beautiful and equally tasty!