Here’s another month [like December] where it is not hard to come up with ideas for a tea.  True, it doesn’t have to be a Valentines day tea – but what fun if it is!










It is just a very fun time to go girly and romantic.  You basically have your color scheme…  and it’s a great time to go all out with decoration lovely treats.




















































Decorating your table can be very glamorous .




















 or just whimsical...















There is never a lack of recipes around (I’ve assembled several at the end), but remember how easy it is to just grab those trusty cookie cutters to add easy hearts and flowers to your sandwiches.


















And sandwiches aren’t the only thing that can be cut up.  How about vegetables, like these nice red beets for a dressed up salad.

Heart shaped beets, grapefruit, pomegranate seeds, red onion and mixed berry dressing.

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And how about cheese?  This is truly an adorable salad… mozzarella, tomato and basil.














And it doesn’t always have to be difficult to come up with a cute and charming little desert … get a store-bought pound cake and some yummy icing…















 So on to some truly yummy ‘tea treats’



Ginger Scones

2 1/4 cups flour

1/3-cup sugar

1-tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into fine pieces and frozen*

1 cup candied ginger, finely chopped

1-cup heavy cream, plus extra for brushing the tops of the scones


In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder and mix on low. Add the lemon zest and butter, and pulse until the mixture is pale yellow and the consistency of fine meal.


Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the ginger. Make a well in the center and pour in the cream. Using one hand, draw in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.


Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead a few times to gather it into a ball. Pat the dough into a circle about 3/4 inches thick. Using a three-inch cookie cutter (or smaller if doing minis) cut out rounds. Gather the scraps, pat and press the pieces back together, and cut out the remaining dough. Place the scones 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining cream. Bake in a pre heated 400-degree oven for 12 to 16 minutes, until they are pale browned. Let cool on a rack


*NOTE:  If you take your butter and grate it with the large wholes of a cheese grater before freezing, you will get the butter more evenly distributed. This works really well with pies as well



Replace the ginger and the lemon zest with:

Cranberry orange scones- juice of one small orange, 2 teaspoons orange zest and one cup dried cranberries.

Rosemary garlic scones- four cloves garlic chopped fine and sauté until golden. Add with the flour with 3 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary.

Chocolate chip scones-add with the flour one and a half cups mini chocolate chips.


Devonshire Cream

2 cups unpasteurized, high fat content milk

Pour unpasteurized, high fat content milk into stainless steel bowl. Put in the refrigerator overnight. Take bowl and place gently place over a pan of lightly boiling water. Boil about one hour or until cream starts to bubble and rises around the edge. 
Remove from heat and place bowl into a bowl of ice water to cool quickly and then place in refrigerator. Skim cream off top, place in covered container and keep refrigerated. Use within a few days.


 Quick and Easy Strawberry Jam

Everybody seems to think that jam making is a long laborious practice involving a lot of equipment and canning.  Actually, you can have some very lovely jam in about 24 hours!


2 pints fresh strawberries

1 cup sugar

1 envelope Sure-Jell No cook jam pectin

1/2 cup warm water

Hull and crush strawberries, yielding to 2 cups of prepared fruit. Mix together, prepared fruit and sugar in a large bowl. Let set for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Slowly pour the pectin into the warm water, while stirring constantly. Then add to the fruit mixture. Stir for 5 minutes. Pour into three – one cup containers, leaving about 1/2 inch space from top. Place in refrigerator and cool for 24 hours before using.


Carrot Ginger Tea Sandwiches

3 grated carrots

6 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons ginger, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

6 slices multi-grain bread

6 teaspoons unsalted butter

Alfalfa sprouts


In a medium bowl, combine carrots, cream cheese and ginger; 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. Cut sandwiches in half diagonally and then cut in half again.


Cucumber Tea Sandwich

What is a tea without cucumber sandwiches?

1 seedless cucumber, peeled and very thinly sliced (about 32 slices)

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese

1/2 cup chopped watercress

16 slices white bread

Salt to taste


In a small bowl combine cream cheese and watercress. Spread on one side of each side of bread. Lay cucumbers onto the cream cheese on 8 slices of bread. Sprinkle with salt. Top the remaining slice of bread cream cheese side down. Carefully cut the crusts from each sandwich with a sharp knife. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally and then in half again.


Prosciutto, Goat Cheese and Fig Tea Sandwiches

8 ounces goat cheese at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons butter, softened

12 slices crusty French bread

8 fresh figs, trimmed and sliced lengthwise

1/2 pound paper-thinly sliced prosciutto

12 arugula leaves, tough stems discarded


Stir together the goat cheese and pepper with a fork. Spread butter on 6 pieces of bread. Layer the peppered goat cheese, figs, prosciutto, and arugula. Place the other six pieces of bread to make sandwiches.


Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 scallions, minced

1 tablespoon dill, minced

1 tablespoon capers, drained

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

Pepper to taste

2 teaspoons butter, room temperature

8 slices pumpernickel bread

4 pieces smoked salmon

12 cucumber slices, sliced thin


In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, scallions, dill, capers, horseradish, and pepper; set aside. Spread butter thinly over pumpernickel bread slices; spread mayonnaise mixture on each bread slice. Divide salmon and cucumber slices evenly over 4 slices of bread; top with remaining bread slices. Cut each sandwich in half diagonally.


Lemon Rosemary Pound Cake

1-cup butter

2 teaspoons rosemary, finely chopped

3 teaspoons lemon zest

4 eggs

1-cup sugar

1-teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup lemon juice

1-teaspoon baking powder

1/4-teaspoon salt

2 cups flour


Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter, zest, and rosemary and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time then add vanilla. On low speed add flour baking powder and salt until just blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely.


                                                                     © Michelle Young 2012