A New Year’s Tea Party

NY invitationI hosted a New Year’s tea party for a few friends.  It was small and intimate, the way a tea party should be!

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Cute things--tea serving utensils

Cute tea things: Tea time serving utensils, drip catchers, and small serving platter

More cute tea things: Tea bag caddy with lemon slices for tea

More cute tea things: Tea bag caddy with lemon slices for tea

All the dishes on the new year’s tea menu were chosen with attention to reflect with our intentions for the new year.

CaptureEggplant was featured on the menu because my friends and I bonded last Christmas over our love for eggplant!  I love eggplant but don’t have many good recipes for it.  This is my tried and true eggplant recipe, Couscous crusted aubergine stuffed with herbed goat cheese, which I adapted from The Cafe Paradiso Cookbook by Denis Cotter.  The Cafe Paradiso is an award-winning Irish restaurant located in Cork, Ireland.  I had the pleasure of dining there in 2006, an experience I still relish to this day.

Couscous crusted aubergine

Eggplant, the vegetable that forges friendships

It’s time to “cap” off 2012 and look to 2013 … add some green stuff for wealth!

Stuffed mushroom cap with mesclun herb salad

Spinach, artichoke, and Parmesan stuffed mushroom cap with a mesclun herb salad and black truffle vinaigrette

Every great meal (and new year) begins with Antipasto (at least in Italy it does!)!  And a “toast” to a cool and refreshing new year!

Cucumber sandwiches and Genoa salami sandwiches

A.’s cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and N.’s Antipasto sandwiches with Genoa salami and manzanita olive cream cheese

There will be no fishy business in 2013!

Tuna salad croissant sandwiches and fresh fruit course: grape bunches

N.’s tuna salad croissant sandwiches with Genova tuna, celery, and oregano.  S. brought the beautiful grapes for the fresh fruit course

Spanish custom: Eat 12 grapes at midnight (one for every chime as the clock strikes midnight) for good luck all year long!

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Sandwiches!

Sandwiches: Antipasto, tuna salad croissant, and cucumber/cream cheese

Aren’t these scones beautiful?  Who needs to make scones from scratch when you can save yourself some work and make them from Sticky Fingers English Scone Mix?  Just add water!  These scones are better than a lot of homemade scones I’ve had.

Plain scones

Plain scones

Plain scone with vegan lemon curd and mock Devonshire cream

Plain scone with vegan lemon curd and Lady B.’s mock Devonshire cream

Henni’s vegan lemon curd
(Note: this recipe is a work-in-progress and is subject to change without notice)
Yield: 1/2 cup

1/2 c. water (or 1/4 c. water, 1/4 c. non-dairy milk)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (add 1 more tsp. if not lemony enough)
2 Tbsp. sugar (or your favorite sweetener)
1 tsp. lemon zest
1Tbsp. cornstarch
1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)
1 tsp. dried buttermilk powder (optional for non-vegan)

Whisk ingredients until cornstarch and sugar are dissolved.  Cook in the microwave or in a pot on the stove until thick and bubbly.  Remove from heat and serve warm or chill before serving.

Mini chocolate souffle

Mini chocolate souffle

Finally, a dessert to make the coming year a sweet one!  Souffles are not my forte but this recipe makes it seem like I know what I’m doing. 🙂  This chocolate souffle is from Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven.  Although the souffles deflated before they reached the table, the ladies still declared them “Delicious!”  I am grateful to have very kind friends! 😉

Time to relax

Time to relax …

Happy new year!

“Teapot is on, the cups are waiting,
Favorite chairs anticipating,
No matter what I have to do,
My friends, there’s always time for you.”

— Unknown

Disclaimer: I am a member of Amazon Associates.  This post contains links to Amazon.com and if you click on the link and purchase something, I get a few coins tossed my way.

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