Friday, June 18, 2010

Do you want to be the Queen of Hearts or the Mad Hatter?

You can host your own Mad Tea Party whenever you like - after all - "It's Always Tea Time"!  For our party, we made up some graphics, using the public domain images of Sir John Tenniel's illustrations.  We've uploaded them for you to print out and use for your Mad Tea Party!  There are Invitations, Place Cards, Menu Cards, and crowns (everyone loves to be Queen!).  Just print them out on card stock and then add your own lettering.  We've also included the Drink Me signs and the labels for the tea we gave our guests and the envelopes for the invitations. 

To set your table, you needn't do as we did and find Alice china - though you can find just about anything on eBay... You can just use your prettiest tea pots, mismatched cups and saucers, and a cute table-cloth in yellow or pink...  A centerpiece could be some stacked up pieces of broken china glued together in an impossibly precarious tower... or a top-hat left over from New Year's Eve with some flowers in it!  Use your imagination!

Here is our menu for you to use as a jumping off point for your own - have fun - you'll amaze yourself with what you'll come up with. 

Drink Me Cordial - here we used a light raspberry soda - refreshing and a little different - just something pretty to put in the bottles.
A Madly Varied Selection of Teas - we used a variety of our favorite teas, including the blend that we gave as a gift.
Scones with JabberwoKey Lime Curd, Jam and Cream  - If you can, do find some authentic clotted cream or Devonshire cream (it's not always easy to find but the difference between either of these and the whipped cream many places serve under the name of "Devonshire Cream" is astounding!  In my book - you'd be better off to do without. 

We had some nice all-fruit boysenberry jam, but any nice jam will do.  The JabberwoKey Lime Curd was home-made key lime curd.  Curd is very easy to make, and the key lime taste made it a little special. 
Lobster Quadrille Crab Puff 

White Rabbit Carrot Sandwiches - This is a lovely recipe we had first at the Empress Hotel in Vancouver, BC. - It makes a lovely, different-tasting sandwich.  We did open-faced sandwiches and cut our bread with a rabbit cookie cutter.  To add a real special touch, Becky made carrot bread. 

Mock Turtle Salad (Tastes Like Chicken) - Becky made her special chicken salad and we served it in two halves of an avocado, dressed with olives for head, feet and tail.

Hookah-Smoked Salmon Rolls - Smoked salmon sandwiches

Mad Hatter's Be-Deviled Egg Nibbles I tried a new Deviled Egg recipe.

Cheshire Cheese Hedgehogs - I thought these were inspired!  Becky made small cheese balls and then placed slivered almonds on them to make the hedgehog croquet balls!  She served them on a slice of Cheshire cheese.
Chocolate Dormousse

Eat Me Lavender Shortbread - My recipe that was featured here for the Christmas holidays - I rolled and cut them with a teapot cookie cutter and decorated with a gel pen.

Queen of Heart Tarts - Raspberry tarts - strawberry would be great, too.

Meringue Mushrooms - I found recipes and instructions online, though for mine, I deviated from the instructions a bit.  I used the sharp tip of a steak knife to carefully dig a hole in the bottom of each cap and inserted the stem.  I matched up holes and stem sizes so they would stay in place with no "glue".

White Rabbit Chocolate - a small white chocolate Easter bunny doctored up with a pocket-watch label over his Easter basket!  Since it's not always easy to find Easter bunnies, you could also get some of the foil-covered chocolate coins and put a label on those of a pocket-watch.


Key Lime Curd

3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh key lime juice
1 tsp. grated key lime zest

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar about 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the juice.
In a medium saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth.  Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 min. until it is thick and reaches 170°F. Don't let the mixture boil.
Remove from heat; stir in the lemon zest and transfer to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the curd to keep a skin from forming and chill - it will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

Uncle Jim's Carrot Bread

Bake at 350 degrees
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon + I always just add more to my liking
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups shredded carrots, firmly packed
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, I used pecans, walnuts are good too

Sift together into med. bowl, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In large bowl combine oil and sugar. Beat until blended, add in one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture one third at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in shredded carrots and chopped nuts. Grease and flour two cans ( I use bread pans instead of cans). Bake 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. It usually takes me longer in my oven.  Cool in cans for 10 minutes on racks.

Carrot-Ginger Tea Sandwiches

2 grated carrots
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sweet ginger paste (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices multi-grain bread*
4 teaspoons unsalted butter
Alfalfa sprouts

* Choose the best-quality bread  possible. Never serve end slices. Freezing the bread before cutting and then spreading makes for easier handling.

In a medium bowl, combine carrots, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and ginger paste; 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.

Carefully cut the crusts from each sandwich with a long, sharp knife. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally and then cut in half again. If desired, decorative shapes can be made with cookie cutters.

Yields 2 whole sandwiches, 4 halves or 8 fourths.

Making Sandwiches Ahead of Time:

If you need to make tea sandwiches in advance and need to keep them from drying out, cover them loosely with a sheet of wax paper and then place a damp kitchen towel over the wax paper (never place a damp towel directly on top of the bread because the sandwiches will become soggy.  Refrigerate. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator. Uncover sandwiches just before serving.
Crab Puffs

1 (6 oz.) can crabmeat, drained and flaked
1/2 c. (2 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 chopped green onions
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs

Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring well, set aside.

Combine water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add flour and stir vigorously until mixture leaves side of pan and forms a smooth ball. Remove saucepan from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition, heat until batter is smooth. Add crab mixture. Stir well.  Drop batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve puffs warm. 
Makes 4 1/2 dozen
To freeze before baking: Cover baking sheets with foil before dropping batter. Place unbaked puffs on baking sheets in freezer until hard. Remove from sheets and store in airtight container in freezer. To serve, remove from freezer and bake unthawed, at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.
To freeze after baking: Place puffs in airtight container in freezer. Let thaw completely and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

We had such fun with this party - hope you will too.


  1. Wow! Fantastic! I'm bookmarking this page for future tea party reference. :D Thanks!

  2. You guys are too good! Sharing all these goodies; it's so nice of you - thanks!


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