Tag Archives: tea party

A Springtime Tea Table: Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown, Tea Time Magazine

Tea Time Magazine is one of our favorite resources for tea inspiration. Along with their large and loyal following, we expect you’ll agree!

With Springtime in our thoughts, please allow us to direct your attention to Tea Time’s article for a bird themed tea table. It includes slideshows showcasing three different ways to decorate: Classically Elegant, Playfully Childlike and Casually Refined.

Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown

Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown.

If you don’t subscribe to Tea Time Magazine, we highly recommend it for interesting articles, delicious recipes, inspiration and lots of extras! You can subscribe, give a gift subscription (a great tea gift that keeps on giving) or receive the Tea Time Newsletter at TeaTimeMagazine.com.

Our Tip: If you can afford a subscription to Tea Time Magazine, it is well worth the money as a resource that you’ll continually reference and share. Otherwise, get the Newsletter and check out the website! They’re free and the website has many wonderful resources like these recipes for Salmon Mousse Tea Sandwiches and Apple-Pomegranate Gellies.

Apple-Pomegranate Gellies shown with Pear-Walnut Gellies

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea setsteapots & tea accessories.

From Tea Time Magazine: Teapots by Amy Cates

This week, we’re sharing a nice article on teapots from Tea Time Magazine.

Teapots by Amy Cates

Teapots by Amy Cates

If you don’t subscribe to Tea Time Magazine, we highly recommend it for interesting articles, delicious recipes, inspiration and lots of extras! You can subscribe, give a gift subscription (a great tea gift that keeps on giving) or receive the Tea Time Newsletter at TeaTimeMagazine.com.

Our Tip: If you can afford a subscription to Tea Time Magazine, it is well worth the money as a resource that you’ll continually reference and share. Otherwise, get the Newsletter and check out the website! They’re free and the website has many wonderful resources like slide shows for making Candied Lemon Zest Curls or Sugared Flowers, printable recipe cards and many downloadable recipes.

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea setsteapots & tea accessories.

Candied Lemon Zest Curls Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Sugared Flowers Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Two Classic English Tea Cakes

If you’re a regular reader, it comes as no surprise that we are big fans of the English tea tradition and especially tea with sweets. This week’s focus is on a few of our favorite classic English tea cake recipes: Victoria Sandwich Cake and Battenburg Cake. We hope you’ll give them a try and share your results with us!

Victoria Sandwich Cake

Victoria Sandwich Cake, or Victoria Sponge Cake, is said to have been named after Queen Victoria who favored this cake with her afternoon tea. The first known recipe was printed in an 1874 edition of Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery and Household Management.

The cake is made up of two layers of sponge cake with any seedless jam or marmalade and whipped cream in the middle. When cake is sandwiched with jam only, it is called a Jam Cake.

Battenburg Cake

Battenburg Cake has been reported as the wedding cake created for the 1884 marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter to Louis of Battenberg, a German prince. The four squares of its unique checkerboard design represent the four princes of Germany at that time.

The cake is actually quite charming. It consists of two square sections of pink sponge cake put together with two square sections of yellow sponge cake. The sections are “glued” together with apricot jam and wrapped in a layer of marzipan.

Below you’ll find links to classic English recipes and tips for these delicious cakes. We admit the recipes are extra work. However, once you’ve done it, the results are worth the effort!

Tips:

– A kitchen scale will be helpful, since ingredients are often weighed out instead of measured in English recipes.

– Castor sugar is superfine sugar. You can make it by whirling granulated white sugar in your food processor to a finer consistency.

– Golden castor sugar is less refined. You can make an acceptable equivalent by whirling Turbinado, Raw or Demerara sugar in  your food processor to a fine consistency. You can also substitute regular granulated white sugar as noted above.

– For Victoria Sandwich Cake, whipped cream or buttercream frosting may be used in the filling. We prefer whipped cream and seedless raspberry or apricot jam.

– A 190 C oven is about 375 degrees F, a 180 C oven is about 350 degrees F, a 170 C oven is about 325 degrees F.  A 160 C oven is between 325-300 degrees F. American sponge cake recipes bake at 350 degrees F. We recommend trying both recipes at 350 F the first time, but keep a close eye on it as actual oven temperatures vary.

– A Battenburg Cake Pan is helpful when making this cake. They appear to be available only from England.  See an Amazon UK listing for this product by clicking on the above highlighted link.

Victoria Sandwich Cake Recipe:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1997/classic-victoria-sandwich

Battenburg Cake Recipe:

 http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1120657/battenberg-cake

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of bone china teapots, tea accessories, tea cups, tea miniatures and english bone china tea sets.

Tea Bag Folding

Tea Bag Medallion, picture by Paperfacets

For our “crafty” friends, we came across a charming idea using tea bag papers. It’s called Tea Bag Folding: a combination of origami type folds with tea bag papers to create lovely medallions and rosettes. One happy caution: Tea Bag Folding is a whole world unto itself!

We can see many applications for these artistic creations such as decorations for thank you cards, invitations or book marks. How about using tea bag medallions as decorations for your tea table or maybe have a lesson in tea bag folding as an ice breaker for your tea party? You could even create a tea bag folding starter kit as a home made hostess gift!

Bookmark Ideas, picture by Paperfacets

We’ve included a few trusted links to some very well done articles on Tea Bag Folding with lots of examples, history, beginner lessons, patterns, paper purchasing tips and other resources. We hope you enjoy our discovery and will share some of your creations and ideas with us!

Tea Bag Folding and Pattern Instructions

Websites for the Craft of Tea Bag Folding

Tea Bag Folding Butterfly Card

Tea Bag Folding for Children and Beginners

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole…Yorkshire Pudding with Sausage

Toad in the Hole - http://www.emerils.com

An easy and delicious English recipe!

Makes 4 individual servings.

4 custard cups or large muffin tins
4 Tbsp oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 pinch of salt
4 thick sausages (preferably pork, but any thick savory sausage will do)

1. Precook the sausages, cut in quarters and set aside on paper towel.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the eggs and some of the milk. Mix to make a smooth paste.

3. Gradually whisk in the remainder of the milk and mix again to a smooth batter.  Allow batter to stand for 15-20 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

4. Heat oven to 450 F. Place 1 Tbsp of oil in each cup and put cups on a cookie sheet. When oven reaches correct temperature, put cups in until oil starts to smoke and then take out of oven. (Watch carefully as this will happen rather quickly!)

5. Reduce oven to 400 F.

6. Place 2-4 sausage pieces in each cup. Remix the batter and quickly fill cups halfway.

7. Return to oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, until batter is puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately because the puffs will deflate as they cool.

Tip: For a spicier version of Toad in the Hole, try this recipe from Emerils.com. There are many recipes, so if you don’t like these look around on your search engine of choice.

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Thrifty-Nifty Tea Party Favors

Porcelain Teapot Drip Catcher

Giving a gift is certainly one of life’s win-win moments. In giving, we prepare our gifts with care and anticipation. In receiving, we are both delighted and humbled by the expression of gratitude, love or care for us. When giving a gift two sentiments still hold true. It is better to give than receive and it really is the thought that counts.

Tea parties give us an excuse to be a giver in the preparation of a small favor for our guests. It certainly isn’t necessary or expected…just a tradition we enjoy. Perhaps you feel the same way. And since gifting can be expensive, especially for a large tea party, we thought to share our ever expanding list of thrifty, nifty tea party favors! These are great for wedding and baby showers as well. Feel free to share your own ideas.

DISCLAIMER: One of our favorite stores for inexpensive favors is AsianIdeas.com. You’ll see links below for some of the gifts we’ve discovered. However, we are not affiliated with this store and recommend shopping at your own risk. Links are for information only.

Rose Ball Candle

Gifts Under $5.oo

1. A purchased or handmade bookmark – We especially like the handmade ideas on Tipnut.com

2. A See’s Candy chocolate! If you live near a See’s store, you can purchase individual chocolates and boxes to fit just one piece. Last we checked, the cost was under $2.50 for a truffle with the box.

3. A homemade treat plus the recipe: a big cookie, some homemade candy or loaf of tea bread

4. A lovely candle

5. A paper or silk fan

6. A small potted plant: house plant, flowering annual or herb wrapped in gift foil with a ribbon or raffia tie

7. A packet of seeds

8. A packet of bubble bath

9. Tea Cup Doilies

10. Pretty Coasters

11. A nice pair of chopsticks

12. A key chain

13. Luggage Tags

14. Crystal Cut Flower Pot in Box – Beautiful!

Gifts Under $10.00

1. A Christmas Ornament

2. Name/Address book

3. Porcelain Teapot Drip Catcher

4. Paper Teapot Drip Catchers

5. Tea Strainer

6. Rock Sugar Crystals

7. Collectible Demitasse Tea Spoon

8. A mini teapot

9. Sugars by Sharon 2 oz. box

10. A paper back book: poems, tips or a fun story

A Great List of DIY Party Favors

The University of Phoenix Arts has a blog entry by Brianna Davis called Get Crafty With These 20 DIY Party Favors. It includes good ideas for weddings, kid’s parties and showers. Our favorite is #8 Cupcake in a Jar. We can definitely see some possibilities for tea parties.

We hope you enjoy these resources. May your creativity be inspired!


We invite you to visit Teapots ‘n More
and browse our current selection of tea accessories and sugars as well as new bone china teapots, tea sets and other delights.

Have a Charity Tea

With great empathy, we’ve watched the news from Japan this week along with all of you. Our hearts break for the stories of loss and alternately rejoice through tears for every life saved, every act of courage and bravery. In the face of such destruction, it is easy to feel small and insignificant. However, these are the times that require our action and affirmation of all that is good in each of us.

So, what can you do? Well, what are you good at? Are you a good organizer? Are you a good baker? Do you love to decorate? Do you know a lot of people? Do you love a good party? Perhaps a tea party?

Japanese Geisha Girl Tea Table

If you’re answer is yes, we suggest a Charity Tea. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just send out invites and plan a tea as you normally would with one small change. Ask your guests to bring a donation of any amount, large or small. You’ll be surprised at how your little bit can add up when you put it all together.

Below are some ideas to spark your imagination and philanthropy!

1. Who should we give to? If you are seeking to help the  Japanese people, American Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse are a few good suggestions. These organizations are already in the country with people and delivery systems in place. Other possibilities are a local children’s hospital, food bank, cancer society or disabled veteran’s group. Just look around or ask your guests for suggestions and pull one out of a tea cup during your tea party.

2. If your tea is small enough, total up your donation while your guests are present so everyone can share in the accomplishment. Otherwise, be sure to send out a donation total with your thank you notes.

3. To accompany your donation, write a short letter or card together with your guests and have everybody sign it.

Silk Fan in Box

4. Give your guests a remembrance of the day such as a Japanese fan, nice chopsticks, bamboo coasters or a pretty candle.

5. Make it fun. Share good food & good company for a good cause. You’ll be glad you did!

The Make Ahead Options

Thank you for the great feedback on our two new scone recipes! We’re also very excited about them along with our two kitchen tested Make Ahead Options.

Tip: We’ve discovered that both options work very well with baking powder biscuits.

Since we like to make our scones as close to tea party time as possible, the frozen option is our personal favorite. 

We’ve pretty much run our course, along with trying your patience, on scone postings, so next week join us for some teapot talk!

For those who are wondering about the options, they are listed below for your convenience. They are also inserted in our recipes: Triple Chocolate Scones & World’s Best Scones Made Even Better.

Make Ahead Option #1: After mixing your dry ingredients and add-ins (ie: dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, etc) seal this mix in an airtight container such as a plastic bag and store for up to 6 months in a cool, dry place. When ready to use, place mix in a large bowl and add the butter, milk and vanilla according to recipe directions. You’ll have tea & scones within a 1/2 hour if you multi-task on the tea. And this is also a great, inexpensive gift idea!

Tip: Exclude moist add-ins such as fresh fruit or lemon zest until you are ready to make your scones. At that time, add them between cutting in the butter and adding the milk & vanilla.

Make Ahead Option #2: After cutting your scones into desired shapes, place them on a cookie sheet and freeze. When completely frozen, wrap scones well in plastic wrap and foil or freezer bags. Well wrapped scones will keep at least one month. When ready to use, place frozen scones on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake according to recipe. Do not thaw first or add additional baking time for small scones, however, large scones may require a few extra minutes. You’ll have scones in approximately 20 minutes!

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our selection of english bone china teapots, tea accessories, tea cups, tea miniatures and bone china tea sets.

Pumpernickel Cheddar Triangles

This is an easy open face tea sandwich recipe that gives you a salty-sweet taste when garnished with thin slices of sweet gherkin pickle. We use square loaves of pumpernickel from our favorite bakery. If you don’t have square loaves available, use whatever you can find and cut your sandwiches in the shape that pleases you: squares, circles, diamonds or cookie cutter shapes. Our recipe is below the video which has some good visuals and tips for making tea sandwiches. We hope you enjoy this offering!

Pumpernickel & Cheddar Triangles
(makes 60 small triangle sandwiches)

1 long rectangular loaf of pumpernickel bread from bakery, thinly sliced (1/4″) into at least 15 sandwich slices
1 16 ounce container of Sharp Cheddar Cheese Spread such as Kaukauna or Wisconsin Cheeseman, softened
2-3 Small Sweet Gherkin pickles, thinly sliced for garnish
Softened butter or margarine

1. Discard end pieces of loaf. Thinly spread each slice with softened butter. Spread cheddar cheese in a fairly thin layer over butter.

2. Slice crusts off and cut each square twice diagonally to form 4 triangles. TIP: Use a pizza cutter for quick, easy cutting. 🙂

3. Refrigerate these sandwiches in an airtight container, separating each layer with a sheet of wax paper. Before serving, garnish each triangle with 1 or 2 slices of sweet pickle.

You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More for lovely english bone china teapots, tea accessories, tea cups, tea miniatures and bone china tea sets.

Grandma’s Canadian Lemon Bread

Rich & moist with a tart lemony top, this is a versatile, classic quick bread we think you’ll love! Be sure to check out the tips and serving suggestions at the bottom of this recipe.

Grandma’s Canadian Lemon Bread
Makes at least 2 small loaves.

½ cup shortening
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
Grated rind & juice of 1 lemon (3 Tbsps.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend shortening and eggs in a bowl. Reserve ¼ cup sugar, and sift remaining 1 cup of sugar with baking powder, salt and flour. Add to egg mixture along with milk and mix well.

2. Stir in grated lemon peel and fill small loaf pans, greased and floured, about half to two-thirds full. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Bread is done if top springs back when lightly depressed or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

3. Combine lemon juice with remaining ¼ cup of sugar and mix well. Spoon lemon glaze slowly over hot lemon bread so glaze will soak into cake – this is a clear glaze. Cool completely. Slice thin and serve with butter. Bread may be stored in freezer for several months before use.

(Double wrap in plastic wrap and then foil if storing in freezer.)

Tips and Serving Suggestions:

– Ovens vary in temperature, so be sure to start checking for doneness early. You can always bake longer, but over baked is ruined.

– If you like a really tart lemony flavor, don’t be afraid to double the lemon glaze. This dense bread can handle it!

– A visit to the freezer, double wrapped, makes this bread even moister. This is our favorite trick for moist cakes and breads. When you thaw, keep the loaves tightly wrapped.

– This bread is wonderful on its own served thinly sliced (1/4” slices). However, it is equally yummy thinly sliced and sandwiched with a little softened butter and/or preserves such as raspberry, apricot or a tart fruit curd ie: lemon or lime.

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.