We all know some local charities that can use a little extra help during the holiday season and a Chari-Tea Open House is a great way to gather support and have a relaxing fellowship with friends during a season of busy schedules. Schedule from 11-3 for a perfect way to enjoy several friends, provide a rejuvenating break from a busy day and lots of support to whatever charity you select. Ask friends to bring needed items to donate – canned goods, toys, books, etc. – whatever the charity can use.
Create an atmosphere with Christmas music and lit candles surrounded by holly or pine cones plus bowls of fruit and clove pomanders for all the senses. In order to spend the afternoon with friends, choose food that can be prepared ahead such as pinwheel tea sandwiches and a selection of tea breads & spreads that can be placed on decorative platters plus of course several pots of tea! Don’t forget to add nuts and dried fruit scattered around for your guests to enjoy too.
PINWHEELS: Spread on flour tortillas, roll up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. To serve: slice into 6-1” pieces from center of roll up and discard ends. Garnish if desired.
HERB HAM PINWHEELS: Combine 4 ounces of cream cheese with 2Tbs prepared brown mustard and 1tsp HERBAL ESSENCE. Refrigerate overnight. Spread onto flour tortillas top with thin sliced ham, add a dill pickle strip or sweet gherkins and roll up, wrap and refrigerate overnight. To serve cut into ½ inch slices.
BOURSIN PINWHEELS: Combine 8oz cream cheese with 1Tbs GARLIC HERB. Spread on tortillas, top with thinly sliced beef. Roll up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut wraps into 1” sections.
CRAB PINWHEELS: Combine 8oz cream cheese with 1/3c mayonnaise, 2/3c chopped red pepper. 1/4c chopped green onion, 2/3c shredded cheddar cheese and 8oz lump crab meat. Spread on tortillas. Roll up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut wraps into 1” sections
PEPPER JELLY PINWHEELS: Combine 1/4c GARLIC PEPPER JELLY with 8oz cream cheese. Spread on tortillas and top with thin shaved turkey, roll up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut wraps into 1” sections.
SPINACH PINWHEELS: Mix 1-8oz cream cheese and 1Tbs HERB SPRINKLE gourmet blend. Spread tortillas with herbed cream cheese, top with spinach and roll up. Wrap and refrigerate overnight. Slice each roll into 1” pieces and sprinkle with paprika before serving.
PROVENCAL PINWHEELS: Combine 1-8oz cream cheese and 1Tbs HERBES DE PROVENCE until smooth. Stir in 1-7oz drained diced pimento, 1/2c chopped green pepper and 2Tbs chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Spread on tortillas, roll up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut wraps into 1” sections.
CRANBERRY PINWHEELS: Combine 8oz cream cheese with 1c feta cheese, 1c dried cranberries and 1/4c chopped green onions. Spread on tortillas. Roll up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut wraps into 1” sections
RAISIN-APPLE PINWHEELS: Combine 8oz cream cheese with 2tsp honey, 1c grated apple and 1/2c raisins. Spread on tortillas and sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut wraps into 1” sections
EASY BREAD: Combine 1 cake mix with 1 1/2c yogurt, 1tsp vanilla extract and 2 eggs and beat together for 2-3 minutes. Pour into 2 regular size bread pans that have been greased. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. For easier slicing, wrap bread in plastic wrap and store overnight before slicing. To serve, slice and use spread/butter between slices, cut into squares, triangles or fingers.
LEMON POPPYSEED: Use yellow cake mix, lemon zest and 1tsp lemon juice instead of extract and add 1/4c poppy seeds.
GINGERBREAD: Use yellow cake mix and add 1/2c molasses and 1c yogurt instead of all yogurt plus 1 1/2tsp ginger and 1/2tsp nutmeg.
EASY LEMON CURD: Combine zest of 3 lemons and 1/2c fresh lemon juice in a 4-cup microwave safe bowl. Whisk in 3 eggs, 1c sugar and 1/2c melted butter until well blended. Heat in microwave for 1 minute then whisk again and repeat 3 times so that it has cooked a total of 4 minutes. The curd will thicken and puff as it cooks. Cover and chill in fridge where it will keep for a week
HUMMINGBIRD: Use spice cake mix, 2 ripe bananas plus 1/2c well-drained crushed pineapple instead of yogurt and add 1/4c chopped pecans.
PEANUT BUTTER-HONEY SPREAD: Mix 1 cup natural peanut butter with ½ cup honey until smooth and well blended.
CRANBERRY ORANGE: Use yellow cake mix and add zest from one orange, 1/2c toasted slivered almonds and 1/2c dried cranberries.
CRANBERRY BUTTER: Combine 1/2c butter, 1/4c dried cranberries and 1Tbs honey.
CHOCOLATE: Use chocolate cake mix and add 1/2c mini chocolate chips.
ORANGE BUTTER: Combine 1/2c butter and 2Tbs orange marmalade
FRUIT & NUT: Use yellow cake mix and add 1/2c chopped pecans, 1c diced dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dates), 1/2c coconut and 2Tbs grated orange peel.
CRANBERRY ORANGE PECAN SPREAD: Combine 1-8oz cream cheese, 1/4c dried cranberries, 1Tbs orange zest and 2Tbs chopped pecans.
You can also wrap a selection of the breads and place in a gift bag with a box of tea to deliver to the charity along with the items collected!
“Do not forget to entertain strangers,
for by so doing some people have entertained angels
without knowing it.”
I Corinthians 10:31