Monday, February 23, 2009

Impromptu Valentine Tea

Some of my family decided to make the 2 hour drive to come over on Valentines Day.  I didn't have much notice but I wanted to make something "valentiney," like tea party food, as the meal would be served mid afternoon.  The menu, clockwise from the top, was Pineapple and strawberries, chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce. smoked turkey and Gruyere mini melts, Star Cakes my daughters made with their Aunt, cream cheese brownies, Mom's homemade fudge, chicken salad puffs, and cucumber radish sandwiches.

For these puffs, I made Pate Choux (cream puff pastry) the night before and stashed it in the fridge right in it's piping bag.  The morning of, it was simple to just pipe them out and bake them.  The salad was rotisserie chicken breasts with toasted pecans, grapes, celery, parsley, and mayo mixed with a little sour cream and Dijon.

These melts were good.  It's just a thick bechamel (white sauce) with chopped deli smoked turkey and shredded Gruyere folded in, spread on sliced baguette and broiled.  A tiny dollop of cranberry sauce on top brightens the flavor and appearance.
Cocktail rye's with chive cream cheese, cuke slices, radish slices, yellow grape tomato slivers and fresh parsley.

The cream cheese brownies were from the Baker's chocolate box.  I like that recipe!

I had the shrimp in my freezer, so the rest was just a matter of cutting and plating.  Easy and quick, but it felt special to graze on all those miniatures!  Sadly, the cakes were not that delicious- from a mix- even the little girls are getting too spoiled for boxed mixes!  I remember as a kid I hated boxed or bakery cakes with their grainy crisco frosting.  Only my grandma's cakes with real butter frosting would do!  

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