Tea Elegance on a Budget, Part One

Tea parties are so wonderful with delicate sweet bites performing an overture on your taste buds.  While your palate embraces the presence of precious tea liquor slipping through your lips.  The ambiance of conversation with friends and the delight of hearing all those praises for a job well done.  Oh my, doesn’t that sound expensive and very time consuming?  It doesn’t have to be!  What if I told you, you could create an elegant tea party for 20 guests with no cooking for $70, or $3.50 per person?

An elegant tea party doesn't have to bust your budget! (Photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)
An elegant tea party doesn’t have to bust your budget! (Photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)

Shopping list:

2-4 fresh tomatoes
16 oz fresh strawberries
6 oz fresh raspberries
2 lemons
1 bunch green leaf lettuce
4 English cucumbers
1 bunch dill
1 bunch chives
1 pkg flat bread or 1 loaf white bread
1 family pkg dinner rolls
2 loaf pound cakes sliced
2 pkgs mini muffins
2 pkgs mini scones
2 lbs California chicken salad
1 tub cool whip
1 jar chocolate topping
1 jar caramel topping (ice cream section)
4 pkgs cream cheese

From your pantry:

Powdered sugar
Vanilla extract
Salt
Pepper
Your favorite teas

Here are some easy prepping steps to take the day before the party:

  • Savory cream cheese mixture:  place 2½ -8oz pkgs. of cream cheese in a mixing bowl with 1½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, 1 tsp chopped chives, and the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Blend thoroughly with a hand or stand mixer. Place in a zip top bag and put into the fridge.
  • Sweet cream cheese mixture: 1½ -8oz pkgs. of cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar and 1½ tsp vanilla extract. Blend together until combined. Place in a zip top bag and put in the fridge.

Cut rounds out of your sliced pound cake using a 1-inch diameter round cutter. Try to get as many rounds as you can. Store for later. Cut the top off of your mini muffins and set aside. Cut each muffin bottom into 3 equal rounds and store for later.

Depending on the size of your dinner rolls you may either cut them in half and slice almost all the way through the rounded side, leaving the cut half as the base, or simply cut the roll in half almost all the way through. Store for later.

For the cucumber sandwiches we are using flat bread and creating a roll, but if you choose to have a more traditional sandwich, simply cut the crust off of all of your white bread, making them into nice, even squares, and store for later.

Now that you are prepped for the party, you’re ready to assemble what is sure to bring you high praise from all your guests. Sit down relax and have a cup of tea. Look for the follow up blog post for Tea Elegance on a Budget Part Two.

See more of Janet Sanchez’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

One thought on “Tea Elegance on a Budget, Part One

  1. Pingback: The Best of the English Tea Store Tea Blog in 2013 | Tea Blog

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