Perullo Press

Let us have tea…

     I love hosting and if there’s nothing to host I make up an event just so I can clean, cook, and serve…I know, that might be a little weird.This tea party was such an event, it had been a while since we all had a reason to get together and celebrate so I put together a tea party, a 1950s tea party.
I must admit, I procrastinated when it came to finding a dress from the appropriate era. I found one, but when it came in two days before the party the dress did not fit well at all so I resolved to another absolutely adorable dress from shopruche.com. As for the guests, 1950s dress was suggested but certainly not imposed.
I might have procrastinated with my outfit but by no means did I do so with the rest of the planning. I knew the look I wanted and set out to get it. I wanted flowers, beautiful, spring inspired, bright, colorful flowers that looked like they were picked from the field. I ended up going with a feathery greenery that had tiny white blooms. I do not recall the name of the greenery but any feathery greenery with some baby’s breath flower will give you this look. I chose pink mums with a yellow center, pale pink lisianthus, vibrant pink rununculus, eggplant anemone galilee, red spray roses, purple bell flower aka Campanula, white montecasino, and white sweet pea. To make the arrangements even more girly I added some sheer pink ribbon. My years of working at a flower shop certainly paid off as  this flower selection was a tough one to work with, but the flowers turned out beautiful.

Caprese Salad

I found a lace tablecloth which turned out to be too short for my table, but thanks to the ideas of other creative minds I draped the lace over another tablecloth to get the vintage look I wanted. The food was a joy to plan as well; I wanted a lot of healthy finger food, it was a girls event after all.  The recipes to all the dishes mentioned can be found at the end of this blog post. Instead of the regular caprese salad I saw a neat idea on Pintrest where the basil leaf  was wrapped around the tomato and mozzarella creating a sort of boat. Not only does it look very appealing but this is a great way to keep the drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette flavor as it runs down into the ‘boat’. Fresh cucumber slices with a dollop of delicious feta cheese and Greek yogurt was another great idea I got from Pintrest. The baked carrots with thyme were probably one of the favorites of the day. This recipe is unbelievably easy and absolutely delicious, my husband even loved it and he’s not a carrot fan.

Cucumber + Goodness
Baked Carrots

Avocado Deviled Eggs
Chocolate Fondue
Crab Cakes + Zesty Pepper Lime Dip

 

Avocado deviled eggs was another Pintrest recipe and I added mint leaves for decoration and to give the eggs a unique taste. My dear friend Marquita gave me this adorable fondue set for my birthday and even though she wasn’t there to enjoy it with us it was a great addition to the menu. I used dark chocolate for the fondue and the options for dipping were pretzels, pineapple and strawberries. My sister Kristina, a wonderful cook, was kind enough to make her outstanding crab cake recipe with a spicy pepper lime sauce.This dish was delicious and the crab cakes did not last long. My sister in law, who comes from a family of wonderful bakers…and candlestick makers, brought her well renowned banana bread which we cut into small squares to serve. Other delicacies we enjoyed with our tea and champagne included artichoke spinach dip, 2 sandwiches from Alon’s bakery here in Atlanta, amaretto cookies from Alon’s bakery, and my favorite red velvet cupcakes from Piece of Cake. The spinach dip was from Sam’s Club and was hands down the best spinach artichoke dip I’ve ever had, and I feel most of the guests agreed. It wasn’t too creamy as they tend to often be, it had a lot of   spinach and a ton of quartered pieces or artichoke.  From Alon’s bakery I chose the vegetable and roast beef sandwhiches. These are great for parties because they make the sandwich on a long piece of bread and then cut it into 20 pieces.

     All the ladies looked outstanding as everyone came in their best tea outfits, some with white gloves and red lips, others with hats, and still other with tulle beneath their skirts. To make the tea party more interesting I asked Yelena to do some research and educate all of us about the 1950s, she did a great job talking about style, customs, and history.





Every tea party needs tea, and I didn’t want to stick to the regular everyday black tea, green tea, and mint tea so where else would I go search but etsy.com. I found a box with 15 round containers filled with different tea leaves, petals, or flowers. I also found some already mixed unique teas on etsy.  Google gave me an idea for a tea game called Tea Connoisseur. For this game I had 5 mystery teas and I was the only one who knew the ingredients of each. Everyone was partnered up and upon tasting each tea had to list all the flavors they thought they tasted. Each tea had multiple flavors and it was very entertaining to hear some of the guesses these ladies came up with. Group 1, Inna and Ilona won the game, they guessed the most correct ingredients and their reward was they they could make their own mix of tea from my tea box. I was pretty lenient with the rules, as long as they team had the main flavor name they got the point for the ingredient. The mystery teas went as follows:

Mystery Tea 1: Tango Mango
Ingredients: Black tea, Jasmine Flower, Rose Petals, Calendula Petals, and Mango

Mystery Tea 2: Chocolate Chunk
Ingredients: Black tea, Cocoa nibs, Rose Petals, and Calendula Petals
I thought some chocolate lover would surely be able to identify the cocoa nibs, but alas, it confused everyone and was indeed a tough flavor to card.

Mystery Tea 3: Organic Honey Rose Tea
Ingredients: Organic Honeybush, Organic Calendula Petals, Organic Rose Petals

Mystery Tea 4: Lavender Mint tea
Ingredients: African Green Tea, Lavender Flower, and Mint Leaves
This was one of the teas I made up….the least favored of them all, kind of disgusting as a matter of fact. It wasn’t the flavors but more like the amount of each flavor just didn’t work well. The tea was too strong.

Mystery Tea 5: Chamomile Tamarind Tea
Ingredients: Japanese Sencha Tea (white tea), Chamomile Flower, and Tamarind Petals
This tea was another one of my combinations and it was across the board everyone’s favorite. The tea was very light and soothing and the Tamarind petals gave it a slight pink hue.

Each Mystery Tea in its Own Pot

The tea party was a great success and a fun time for everyone as we reconnected with old friends and met new ones. Thank you to everyone who helped with the food and preparations. The photos were taken by Pearl Photography. Most recipe ideas came from Pintrest, great place to look before you host. Teas, doilies, place cards, and many other trinkets were found on etsy. Continue down for any of the recipes mentioned above.


Cucumber + Goodness
2 large cucumbers
6 oz. crumbled feta
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons finely diced sundried tomatoes
10 pitted kalamata olives roughly chopped
1 tablespoon roughly chopped dill
2 teaspoons lemon
pepper to taste

Directions: Mix feta and yogurt in a bowl, mash with a fork to combine evenly. Add sundried tomatoes, olives, dill, lemon, and pepper to the bowl. Stir well to combine.
Slice cucumber into quarter inch thick slices (peeling is optional). Lay out the cucmber slices on a serving dish and add a dolup of the creamed goodness to each slice…Enjoy.

Baked Carrots
10-12 large carrots
olive oil
thyme
salt & pepper

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400. Peel the carrots and cut them into managable sized pieces, about 4-5 pieces from each carrot. In a large bowl pour about a tablespoon of olive oil over the carrots and mix them to make sure each piece is thinly coated in olive oil, add a bit more oil if necessary. Add about 1.5 tablespoons of thyme, a tablespoon of ground black pepper, and salt to taste. Mix the theyme, salt, and pepper evenly over the carrots. Lay out on a baking pan and bake for 30 minutes. Best carrots you’ll ever have.

Jerry loves super lucky cat!

Avocado Deviled Eggs
6 hard boiled eggs
1 medium avocado
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 mint leaves
salt to taste

Directions: Cut boiled eggs in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out yolks. Mash yolks with a fork in a bowl. Stir in diced avocadoes, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste. Transfer the yolk mix into a plastic baggie, cut a small hole in one of the corners and fill the egg withes with the mixture. sprinkle cayenne pepper over the eggs. I added a mint leaf to each egg to give it a unique burst of flavor.

Crab Cakes


9 ounces lump crab meat, picked free of shells
1/2 cup (about 13) reduced fat Ritz crackers, crushed
1 whole egg plus 1 egg white, beaten
2 finely chopped scallions
2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
2 tbsp fresh cilantro (or parsley)
1/2 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray


 Zesty Chipotle Lime Sauce
1 tbsp roasted peppers (jarred)
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tsp minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
1 tsp fresh lime juice

Directions:
Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce:
In a small blender (or magic bullet) puree mayonnaise, lime juice, roasted pepper andchipotle pepper.
Crab Cakes:
In a large bowl, combine crushed crackers, eggs, scallions, pepper, mayo, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well, then fold in crab meat, careful not to over mix so the crab remains in large chunks. Gently shape into patties using a 1/2 cup measuring cup.
Chill in the refrigerator at least 1/2 hour before baking.
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Bake about 8-10 minutes on each side, until nicely browned.
Drizzle red pepper chipotle lime sauce over crab cakes and serve.

2 comments on “Let us have tea…

  1. Martha A.
    May 3, 2012

    That looks like a lot of fun….I love the 50's style dresses and hair! You did a great job!

  2. Vee-O
    May 3, 2012

    I love it! Wonderful recipes!

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This entry was posted on May 2, 2012 by in Food.
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