Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easter Afternoon Tea

Left to right: my sister Caitlin, mom Tammy, and me (probably the first time most of you have seen me)

I realized that it's been months since I last posted about Afternoon Tea, probably because it's been months since we've really done one on a major scale. I figured there was no better time than Easter to enjoy a lovely tea so this morning we went all out with the preparations.

So, my darlings, Happy Easter, and prepare yourself to enjoy the goodies I have for you today!

On the Menu

Spiral-Sliced Ham
Cream Scones
Mini Salmon Quiche
Brie and Baguette Wheel
Sauteed Mini Squash



Step 1
Spiral Sliced Ham

It's simple. Put your spiral-sliced ham into a crockpot to reheat, or whatever way you prepare your ham. We didn't even use the glaze and it was delicious without. We mostly did a ham because it's tradition for Easter and my Dad would miss it if we didn't have it. It was lovely. Just put it in early enough so it's warm when you serve your Afternoon Tea.



Step 2
Time for Cream Scones and Clotted Cream

Visit HERE for my Clotted Cream recipe!

Last time I posted, I made Lemon Scones which were absolutely divine. But, while I was out visiting a friend a few months ago, my mother made a recipe for Cream Scones we'd never tried before. They were delicious, so Mom told me, so she wanted to make them today since I hadn't tried them. Of course, they were as yummy as she promised!


Tip 1: This is a very crumbly scone recipe, but in my family we don't really like crumbly scones. So, if your dough isn't sticking as well as you'd like, just add another tablespoon or so of whipping cream to the dough. At least until the dough sticks together really well. You'll thank me later! 

Tip 2: Don't let yourself roll the scones out too thin. Keep them at about 3/4" thickness. You won't believe how much they rise!


Cream Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup whipping cream

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • In a large bowl, mix first four ingredients.
  • With a fork, blend in butter and eggs.
  • Mix in whipping cream.
  • Lightly flour a kitchen board.
  • Knead the mixture for one minute.
  • Roll out to 3/4" thick.
  • Cut out scones with a deep cookie cutter.
  • Place on a buttered baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 15-18 minutes.


Step 3
The Mini Salmon Quiche

This was our first time ever making quiche for one of our teas. And I honestly wasn't sure about making something as daring as Salmon Quiche, as much as I love salmon. But we dove ahead with the recipe, and let me tell you, they were delectable!


Tip 1: You obviously need a tart pan. Ours is Pampered Chef and has served our needs for almost a decade so if you want to go that route, have at it. Just make sure whatever pan you get also has the tart-shaper so you can push the balls of dough out into the proper shape.

Tip 2: Please, please try the recipe with Smoked Salmon! I'm an Oregon girl and when I think salmon, in practically any recipe, I think Smoked Salmon. Lucky for us we had some left from Christmas so we used that instead of plain, old canned Salmon. YUM!

Tip 3: Use a tiny measuring cup like the one above to help you get the filling into the tarts. A spoon simply is not going to cut it. 

 
Basic Tart Dough (makes roughly 24)
 1/2 cup butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour

  • Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add flour, mix with your hands until a soft dough forms.
  • Mix this dough as hard as necessary to get it to form a ball.
  • Can chill for 1 hour, but it works fine without.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Shape dough into 1" balls and place in cups of ungreased tart pan.
  • Dip mini-tart shaper in flour then press into dough to form a tart shell.
  • On to the filling.


Mini Salmon Quiche
  2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
3 ounces of salmon
2 Tbsp minced onion
1 tsp chives
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Worcestershire suace
1 tsp prepared horseradish
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese (a nice Colby Jack works too)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Spoon (or pour) carefully into the above tarts.
  • Bake 15-18 minutes.


Step 4
Making the Brie & Baguette Wheel

 You will not believe the tastiness of this simple appetizer! The original recipe is from Pampered Chef, but we've altered it a little bit. If you want the original, simply mix 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 Tbsp of dijon mustard for the filling.



Tip 1: If you can find it, use Prairie Thyme Raspberry Jalapeno Ambrosia for the filling. I get it at Bernideen's, my favorite local store, but if you have a tea shop near you then there's a good chance you can find it. Of course you can always substitute almost anything. Just make sure it has a bit of a kick to it combined with the sweet.

Tip 2: Use Marin County's Triple Creme Brie Cheese. It's the best in the world and has won many awards testifying to its greatness. My local Costco actually has it right now so keep a weather eye open. HERE is their website. I'm sure any other Brie would work, but there's none better than this brand.


Brie & Baguette Wheel
A wheel of Brie Cheese (or 1/2 a wheel if it's a huge one)
1/4 cup chopped or sliced almonds
1 baguette loaf
1 jar of your favorite spicy and sweet jelly/jam

  •  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Cut the Brie Cheese in half long-wise, as you can see from my first photo.
  • Place 1st half of Brie cut-side up in the center of a circular baking sheet or stone.
  • Slather on some jelly and top with chopped/sliced almonds.
  • Place the 2nd half of Brie cut-side up on top of the 1st half.
  • Slather on more jelly and top with the rest of the almonds.
  • Slice your baguette and place those slices around the edge of the Brie, as pictured.
  • Spray the baguette slices with a cooking spray.
  • Pop into the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the baguette slices are golden brown and the Brie has begun melting out.


 Step 5
Sauteed Mini Squash

This was actually the biggest surprise of the tea. Mom found these little beauties at Costco and decided they would be fun to go with our tea. The recipe was on the back of the bag.

Sauteed Baby Squash with Basil and Feta
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups of squash
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp finely chopped basil (or not)

  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan, swirling to coat.
  • Add squash and saute 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in salt and pepper.
  • Transfer squash mixture to a serving dish.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and basil.


And there you have it! We served a Decaf Apricot and Earl Grey tea. My Dad drank coffee (bad boy!) and we also had a lovely Martinelli Apple-Peach Cider since we don't drink alcohol. It was a fun to spend Easter. We went to church Saturday night so it made for a very relaxing Easter morning, no rushing to cram ourselves into a church overstuffed with bodies. 

And, just for fun, meet our Peeping Squirrel who loves to run along the front edge of the house and peer in the windows! I think he wanted to join us this morning!


6 comments:

  1. You have lovely eyes... it's so fun to see the face behind the name. Everything looks delicious! Sounds like a delightful way to spend your Easter Sunday afternoon. We didn't try to cram into a packed church this morning either, it was nice. My dad led us in a little family service, and we just had a nice, restful day. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lizzie, thanks for the compliment. I'm always pleasantly surprised when people compliment my appearance. :)

      I don't like going to Easter service, have never liked it. Saturday night was still pretty full, but not to the point of craziness like Easter Sunday. It's the one day that I wish I could get away with not going to church, and it's the one day all Christians are somehow expected to be there, along with the scads of sinners who only come that one day a year. It bothers me. Good for you and your family, celebrating at home with a little service. There's something to be said for family services.

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  2. I'm glad you had a nice Easter tea with your family. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And it was lovely and relaxing. Much more so than if we'd tried to go to church on Sunday instead of Saturday night. :)

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  3. Apple-Peach Cider sounds divine! And I think your post with your clotted cream recipe is the first one I ever commented on :-) Your mom's cream scones sound unique and tasty!

    And it's so nice to put a face with your name! Cute shirt -- looks like something I would buy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My favorite scones are still the cinnamon ones I've yet to post. Although I also love the almond cinnamon scones that a local tea house serves. Yum, yum!

      The shirt is one of my favorites and I wish I could find more like it. It's just so darn cute!

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