If you’re hosting a baby shower soon and you don’t want to break the bank (and who does?) on food and drink, an afternoon tea party is the way to go. The cost of refreshments stays low, so you can splurge on things like party favors and presents for the mom-to-be.
Don’t bother buying paper goods; just break out the good dishes and get ready to have a great time. A small assortment of bite-sized snacks will satisfy guests and leave their hands free to play games and sip tea.
Remember that fine china you’ve stored away and always meant to use? Now is the time to unearth it and enjoy it. If you don’t have a set, or don’t have enough of something (like teacups and saucers), just ask friends and family. You’d be surprised at how many people will have items they’re willing to lend to the cause if you ask early enough. The china doesn’t have to match, though it’s best if it doesn’t clash. Saving on necessities like dishes means you can splurge on other items, such as all those fun baby shower supplies and party favours.
One of the perks of hosting an afternoon tea party? Alcohol isn’t expected, so you’ll save a bundle on booze. You can get as fancy as you like with tea; consider serving loose leaf made in teapots and strained upon pouring. You can also stick with simple tea bags to make tea by the cup, which provides your guests with more options. Or, you can find a middle ground. It’s up to you and what you think will be best for your guests. Just be sure to make it simple for guests to make and flavor their tea. Good additives include lemon wedges, honey, sugar and milk.
A pitcher of ice water and the appropriate glasses are a nice treat for anyone who prefers a cool beverage. Add some extra flair by infusing the water with fruit. Citrus fruits work beautifully and add a lovely flavor.
Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins
These delicious muffins from the Barefoot Contessa are easily adapted to mini-muffins. They should be served warm, though they could be made ahead and reheated in a warm oven. For variety, feel free to swap in a different filling.
Peanut Butter & Brownie Cupcakes
I always love to serve one truly indulgent treat, and Paula Deen is a great source for decadent desserts. Again, these are easily adaptable to bite-sized treats; just shorten the baking time a bit and check them frequently. They’re also easy and neat for guests to eat because there’s no frosting.
Popovers are a nice complement to the sweet treats on the table. They’re simple and inexpensive, and they’re a hit every time I make them. I sometimes serve them instead of dinner rolls when I’m just cooking for the family. These popovers are from the Food Network’s Melissa d’Arabian, and they’re easy to make. Many chefs will tell you that a special pan is needed, but D’Arabian makes them in a cupcake pan and they are perfection!
Author: Danielle Simon
Dani is an avid reader and blogger from Seattle, which she swears has the best coffee in the world.