What better way to celebrate National Hot Tea Month than with a Winter Tea Time even if you live in a warm climate like Florida! It will just take a little more effort to get the feel of the season in your home.
I like to use my blue and white china in January as a break from the warm colors of fall and Christmas, so touches of blue make me think of winter as well as white linens, lace, silver & crystal. Shop your home first, I’m sure you can find a wintry mix!
With a combination of blue and white in mind, for the dining or serving table, start with a light blue tablecloth then add a cluster of crocheted doilies down the center to represent snowflakes – you could even use paper ones or just simply cut paper ones yourself!
For a centerpiece or vignette, you can use white candles on silver trays or mirrors, crystal vases tied with white satin ribbon and a bouquet of white flowers, or for a more country feel maybe some white branches and the wrapped jars seen in this post on my daughter-in-laws blog – A Sweet Spot Home. You could certainly use some of the snowmen from Christmas too. Don’t forget to use plenty of silver and crystal for serving!
Now let’s find some recipes to complete the snowy theme – choose at least one from each category to add to your menu:
INDIVIDUAL BLUE CHEESE QUICHES
1/2 cup minced shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces creamy blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1c half and half
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
1pkg crescent dinner rolls
Sauté shallot and in oil. Whisk together blue cheese, eggs and half & half until combined. Stir in shallot, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and whisk until mixture is mostly smooth and well combined. Cut crescent rolls into squares and place in muffin cups. Divide egg mixture evenly among crusts. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-30 minutes, or until centers are set. Garnish with chives, if desired. Serve warm.
MINI SAVORY CHEESECAKES: Combine 1c cracker crumbs and 3Tbs butter and press into 24 lined cupcake pans. Beat 2-8oz cream cheese, 1-16oz goat cheese and 1c sour cream until smooth. Add 3 eggs until blended, then stir in 1Tbs Herbes de Provence and pour into cups. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 mins. or until set. Cool, cover and chill 8 hrs before serving.
HERBED PECAN CHEESE TEA SANDWICHES: Combine 8oz softened cream cheese, 1c crumbled Roquefort cheese, 1tsp chopped fresh rosemary and ½ cup chopped pecans. Spread on slices of firm white bread, then place thin slices of crisp apples between and cut into triangles. Arrange on a blue platter in a snowflake pattern.
BASIC SCONES: Combine 2 c flour, 1/3 c sugar, 1tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp baking soda and 1/4tsp salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in 8Tbs butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine an egg and 1/2c sour cream or yogurt until well blended, and then add to dry ingredients until they are moistened. Knead on floured surface until dough holds together. Pat out dough into a 1/2 inch thick circle and cut out rounds or scalloped rounds – add additional cuts to represent snowflakes! Place on greased baking sheet, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 mins or until golden brown.
WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES: Add 1/2c white chocolate chips before egg mixture.
SPICED RAISIN SCONES: Add 1/2tsp cinnamon, 1/8tsp allspice and 2tsp minced crystalized ginger to flour mixture and 1/2c golden raisins before egg mixture.
SNOWFLAKE BUTTER COOKIES: Cream 1c butter and 1c sugar, then add egg and mix well. Add 2½c flour and 1tsp baking soda, then 1tsp vanilla. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then roll out and cut into small stars, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 10 mins. When cooled, ice like snowflakes and stack two stars together for dimension.
ALMOND SNOWBALLS: Beat 1c butter and 1/3c confectioner's sugar until creamy. Add 1c ground almonds and 1tsp almond extract, then slowly beat in 2c flour. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. place on greased baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 mins or until lightly browned. Immediately remove from cookie sheet and roll in powdered sugar.
WHITE CHOCOLATE LEMON TRUFFLES: Place 14oz white chocolate chips in bowl. Bring 1c heavy cream and a pinch of salt to scalding point and add to chocolate and allow to sit 1-2 mins before stirring then gently whisk until smooth and add 1tsp lemon extract. Pour into small bowl, cover and refrigerate several hours. Use melon baller to make truffles and roll in powdered sugar. Zest a lemon and sprinkle over plated truffles.
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing
some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
I Corinthians 10:31