Hosting a Tea for the 3rd year in a row was a little tricky. We had guests who had attended the Tea the previous two years. We also had first time guests.  I wanted the food to be special. However, there were favorites from the past that we just had to include: the Chicken Salad, the Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam, and the Melt-Away Mints.

(You can see our plates from years past here, here, here, here, and here.)

Below is our Tea Party Menu for 2015.

Tea menu

I am sorry to say that I don’t have many “in progress” pictures. Quite frankly, with my poison ivy, I was a little behind schedule in my prep work. There wasn’t a lot of time for photography. Luckily, my husband took great pictures at the Tea!

savory plates

The Chicken Salad was very easy–ha! Someone else made it! Since we have had it every year, I have tried to present it differently each year–in a puff pastry, on an apple slice and now on a croissant. I’m open to suggestions for next year!

savory plate

That lovely little triangle Ribbon Sandwich was a HUGE hit! I was surprised. The Grits Crostini had people begging for more!

Of course, the Scones plate is the overall favorite.

scones

It wouldn’t be a Tea without sensational desserts!

dessert plates

You may have seen my Teapot Cookies when I posted them on Facebook. I dream of being able to decorate fancy cookies. This was my first public attempt. Is that brave or stupid?! They turned out pretty cute, I think.

One of our members made all the Melt-Away Mints. I LOVE those things!!!

The Tiramisu was donated by the Olive Garden-THANK YOU! I cut a regular sized portion into fourths for the perfect sized sample.

Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting were made a little fancier with the addition of a candied carrot curl. I had seen a how-to for the carrot curls on Pinterest. Not quite as easy as you might think!

The Salted Chocolate Tart with Kettle Chip Crust (of all things!)  was originally supposed to be a salted caramel and chocolate tart. When testing the caramel, I burned it. I don’t mean that it got a little scorched. I mean it was BLACK-all of it! I thought I was going to have to throw away my pan! Oh, the house stank! I figured I didn’t want to have the stress of trying to make it successfully for 100 little caramel tarts. The chocolate was a great alternative. I used flaked salt as a garnish. That was pretty exciting, well, to me. I felt all fancy and chef-y.

The Blackberry Lime Bars were a twist on Lemon Bars we have had in the past. I almost went with Lemon Bars again because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!! I decided to branch out a little. The extra expense of the blackberry and lime wedge on top made for a little more tea party glamor!

dessert plate

I was able to make most of the goodies in advance and freeze them-even the teapot cookie! Of course, nothing else would fit in my freezer for weeks.

teapots

Of course we had tea!

English Breakfast Tea

I would have never made it without my kitchen helpers.

tea ladies

Danielle and Kaye did a great job with the making and distributing of the tea. (I don’t know about that crazy person in the background!)

me and my girls

Oh, wait, she’s mine! My girls were a huge help in the kitchen. They are used to the way I boss them around already, so we worked well together. ; )

me and Cathy

My friend, Cathy, was my right-hand-gal! She is used to telling people what to do on her farm. She is a get-it-done type of gal, and I love working with her!

me and mom

Of course, Mom was there to do whatever needed to be done! ( I can tell this picture was taken at the end of the day. I have that “is it over yet” look on my face!)

Have you ever hosted a tea party? What did you serve? I mean besides when you were 6 years old and served air!

The second course at our lovely tea party was scones. If you follow this blog regularly, you might remember me testing out the scones recipe. (click here)

They turned out great!

scones with clotted cream and jam

scones plate 1

I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for Blueberry-Buttermilk Scones. I just left out the blueberries. This was the only recipe I tested. It was so yummy, I figured, why bother with another one? It was simple enough, too.

First, mix all your dry ingredients together.

Then you are going to cut in your butter. (Cold ingredients will be best.) The butter needs to be cut into small pieces. That is how you get even distribution of butter.

butter, small pieces

cutting butter

I have read that if you don’t have a pastry cutter you can use two knives to cut in the butter. Personally, I have never liked that method. You can pick up a cutter fairly inexpensively.

Next, whisk together your wet ingredients and drizzle over the dry-stirring as you go.

add wet ingredients

After you dough comes together, turn it out on a floured surface. Gently knead a couple of times to incorporate all the flour. Pat it into a 1 inch disk.

pastry disk

Cut into 8-12 wedges, depending on the size you would like. I went with 12 on my trial run. After tasting how yummy they were I decided to make them a little larger for the tea party.

cut in eighths

Transfer the wedges to your parchment-lined baking sheet. (The batch pictured was waiting its turn on the pan.That’s why it is on a cutting board.)

bake on parchment paper

Here you will brush each scone with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.

brush with egg wash

sprinkle with sugarI can’t believe I was able to sprinkle sugar while I took the picture!

spilled sugarOkay, maybe not!

Bake ’em up at 375˚ for about 22 minutes. My parchment paper looks kinda nasty because I reused it. I was making 13 batches of scones! Parchment paper costs money! I used each piece two or three times. I scraped the crusty parts off before reusing it each time. Cool the scones on wire racks.

on parchment paper

scones cooling on wire rack

When they are completely cool, you can freeze them. Of course they are best straight from the oven!

I made lots of scones!

lots of scones

pile of scones

scones pile

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour, (not self-rising)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) blueberries
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg lightly beaten for egg wash
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture has the texture of coarse meal. Stir in blueberries.
  3. Whisk together buttermilk, 1 egg, and the vanilla. Drizzle over flour mixture, and stir lightly with a fork until dough comes together but a small amount of flour remains in bowl.
  4. Turn out dough onto a work surface, and gently knead dough once or twice just to incorporate flour. Pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round. Cut into 12 wedges. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 22 minutes. Transfer scones to wire racks to cool.

Cook’s Note

Scones are best served immediately but can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw, and reheat in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.

The scones were served with “Mock Clotted Cream”. I found the recipe here.

Mock Clotted Cream Recipe


Ingredients:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered (confectioners’) sugar, sifted


Preparation:

Using a whisk attachment on your mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks form.

Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the sour cream and powdered sugar just until combined.

Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Make approximately 2 cups or enough to serve 6 to 8.

Don’t know about clotted cream? What’s Cooking America also had this little tidbit of information:

Question:

Could you tell me what the difference is between clotted cream and creme fraiche?  It doesn’t sound like there is much difference, other than country of origin. Thanks – Jim Buffy (12/29/03)

Answers:

clotted cream – Traditionally served with tea and scones in England; it is a 55% minimum milk fat product made by heating unpasteurized milk to about 82 degrees C., holding them at this temperature for about an hour and then skimming off the yellow wrinkled cream crust that forms (until the cream separates and floats to the surface). It is also known as Devonshire cream. It will last up to four days if refrigerated in a tightly sealed container.

Devonshire cream (DEHV-uhn-sheer) – Originally from Devonshire County, England, it is a thick, buttery cream often used as a topping for desserts. It is still a specialty of Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset, as this is where the right breed of cattle is raised with a high enough cream content to produce clotted cream. It is also known as Devon cream and clotted cream. Clotted cream has a consistency similar to soft butter. Before the days of pasteurization, the milk from the cows was left to stand for several hours so that the cream would rise to the top. Then this cream was skimmed and put into big pans. The pans were then floated in trays of constantly boiling water in a process known as scalding. The cream would then become much thicker and develop a golden crust, which is similar to butter. Today however, the cream is extracted by a separator, which extracts the cream as it is pumped from the dairy to the holding tank. The separator is a type of centrifuge, which extracts the surplus cream at the correct quantity so that the milk will still have enough cream to be classified as milk.

creme fraiche (krem FRESH) – It is a matured, thickened cream that has a slightly tangy, nutty flavor and velvety rich texture. The thickness can range from that of commercial sour cream to almost as solid as room temperature margarine. In France, the cream is unpasteurized and therefore contains the bacteria necessary to thicken it naturally. In America, where all commercial cream is pasteurized, the fermenting agents necessary can be obtained by adding buttermilk or sour cream. To make creme fraiche, combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days. It is an ideal addition for sauces or soups because it can be boiled without curdling. It is also delicious spooned over fresh fruit or other desserts such as warm cobblers or puddings.

Now you see why I went with the Mock Clotted Cream! It is not real sweet, so it is perfect with a dollop of jam!

Since I had made the scones in advance and stuck them in the freezer, they needed to be warmed a little before serving. (After thawing, of course.) I was a little nervous about how they would turn out reheated.

Scones

Not a problem! They were excellent! You do, however, lose some of the texture of the sugar sprinkled on top. I think I’m the only one who knew the difference. Well, NOW they know.

scones plate 2

We had strawberry jam with our scones. Mmmmmm!

When the Tea Party was over, we had some of the clotted cream left. My family enjoyed it with French Toast and fresh strawberries.

French toast with strawberries and cream

French Toast with strawberries and cream 1

The scones were easy and tasty. There are so many flavors out there to try–Orange Cranberry, Nutella, Pumpkin, Maple. Oh, yeah! I’ll be trying some of those!

Have you made scones? Do you buy scones? Do you have a favorite flavor?

Is all of this new to you? Are you going to give it a try?

I’m not sure if I have told y’all or not, but I’m in charge of a tea.

Okay, I’m not in charge of the whole thing, just the food. If you follow me on Pinterest you may have seen my Tea Party board.

The group I sing with, Top of the Rock Chorus, is having a fundraiser tea.

This morning I tested out two recipes–scones and clotted cream.

Oooo-la-la!

I wanted to eat the whole batch!

Today I only have pictures for you. I’ll have a GRAND post after the tea is over and done with.

Tea Time with Pork Chop Tuesday

Scones with clotted cream | Pork Chop Tuesday

tea on vintage linens | Pork Chop Tuesday

Scones | Pork Chop Tuesday