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tea and  toast how to host a tea party
Patricia Virella | 1 2 3
continued from page 1
sandwiches: a side
Food is the second most important part of your fete, but you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen. You don't even have to make a salad. The best finger foods to accompany tea and coffee are small sandwiches. Try simple flavors like cream cheese and prosciutto, or bacon, lettuce and tomato. Any sandwich can be made into a tea sandwich by slicing the crusts off the edges and then cutting each into quarters. Having at least four different flavors during your tea party will give your guests something to choose from -- try one meat, one fish, one veggie and one unusual flavor to cover all your bases. For example, an assortment consisting of BLT, tuna salad, mozzarella and tomato, and ham and apple offers something to please everyone. You want the spread to have variety.

Determining how many sandwiches to serve is ultimately up to you. I live with the motto that more is better, but to get an approximation of how much to serve, figure at least one to two tea sandwiches per person. I usually make one sandwich of each kind per guest, but you don't have to. Sticking to the approximation will give you enough food to last an hour; if your tea party is longer than an hour, simply double your original count. Don't extend your tea parties past two hours. Any longer and you should trade your tea party in for a light lunch.

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honey-mint tea 
serves 4
4 cups water
1/2 cup mint and spearmint leaves, roughly chopped
1 lemon, cut into half
1 tablespoon fresh ginger cut into cubes
1/2 cup honey
garnish: lemon wedge

In a saucepan, combine water, mint and spearmint leaves, and ginger; bring to a boil. Turn off. Add lemon and honey to mixture and let steep for 10 - 15 minutes. Pour mixture through strainer and place back into pot (make sure pot is free of any ingredients left behind). Bring to a simmer. Serve immediately.

spiced tea serves 4
4 cups water
4 black tea teabags (you can use Tetley, Lipton or your supermarket brand)
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon white peppercorns (you can use black if you dont have white)
1 cup milk
8 whole cloves
1 1 inch knob of ginger cut in half with peel still on.
pinch of nutmeg (optional)
garnish: cinnamon stick

In a saucepan, combine water, tea bags, cloves, cinammon stick, peppercorn and ginger; bring to a simmer over low flame. Add milk and continue to simmer for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, pour mixture through strainer and serve immediately.

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