Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nora's Tea Party Birthday

I wanted to do something for Nora's 3rd birthday, but since I'm 8 months pregnant, I needed to do something pretty low key and easy. We decided to just invite grandparents and Godparents to keep it small (if we do a family affair, it's upwards of 30 people, and the idea of having a bunch of toddler running around and trying to keep them entertained seemed to daunting to me!). Nora's loved playing with a tea set that was mine as a child and being the "hostess with the most-est," so I thought a tea party would be right up her alley. Plus it gave me a reason to use my grandma's China for the first time. (Not something I would have wanted to do with a bunch of toddler running around! Yikes!) So here's how it went and what I did...

We'll start with the easy stuff... Tea! I made three "teas" for everyone to enjoy. I had a cold black tea with mom's garden raspberries, hot Tazo Zen tea with mint, and lemonade in a tea pot for the kids. I think both Nora and her "God-sister" Abby tried the teas, but Nate had a little lemonade in a toy tea cup, then decided that his finger food went better in the cup.

Silly brothers!

 Of course I needed to make sure that there was something my kids, and Abby (Nora's "God-sister"), would eat, so I used the flower shaped Pampered Chef baking tube (similar to these) to make homemade white sandwich bread in. I made half a batch of bread and had to extend the baking time in the tube. After I sliced the flower-shaped bread, I used a small circle cookie cutter (similar to the smallest from this set) to put a hole in the center of half of them. I spread peanut butter, then my mom's homemade apple jelly on the ones that I didn't put the hole in, then put the ones I had cut the hole in on top for the pretty flower effect. These were a hit with Grandpa Jack too since his favorite thing to eat is a peanut butter sandwich.

I made one batch of French baguette that I used for two different sandwiches. When I split the rolled out dough into two, I put cracked pepper and Parmesan on one before rolling it up, and dried spicy basil from my garden and cheddar on the other.

With the cracked pepper and Parmesan French baguette, I made cucumber ranch finger sandwiches. For these, I used a package of cream cheese mixed with a dollop of sour cream (just enough to make it a little more spreadable) and ranch seasoning to taste to spread on. I had Adam assemble these, so he spread the cream cheese mixture then put a slice of a garden cucumber on top.

With the basil and cheddar French baguette, I think I made the hit of the party: BLT finger sandwiches. (Maybe you can tell from the picture, Adam and Nora's Godfather, Dave, got to them before I could snap a picture, and they were the only ones we didn't have any left.) While Adam was cooking up the bacon, I spread mayo on each slice, cut up a piece of garden Romaine lettuce for each, and a slice of garden Roma tomato for each. When the bacon was done cooking I used a scissors to cut up each piece of bacon into thirds (which was roughly the length I needed to fit across the baguette). I put the lettuce down first, then the bacon, then the tomato, because I thought that order looked the nicest, but you can really put it in whatever order you want (though the mayo should probably go right after the bread ;) )

My lovely mother made her famous turkey roll ups, and Nora's Godmother, Theresa, made these super cute tea bag cookies.

Of course a Birthday Tea Party wouldn't be complete without mini cupcakes. I like to bake better than cook. But, oddly enough, I almost always end up using a box mix for cupcakes instead of making them from scratch. I think this was a chocolate chip chocolate cake mix, but I don't recall for sure. I know the frosting was called Strawberry Mist though. The only down side was I couldn't quite fit 3 candles on the little thing... but Nora enjoyed being able to eat 3 of them instead of just one. I'm pretty sure that made up for it, if she had any hard feelings about the two missing candles. ;)

My birthday girl!