The most rewarding part of cooking and baking for me is sharing food with others. I love the looks of anticipation, raised eyebrows, savor of a first bite and smile as my friends and family try some new or repeat recipe out of the Melt kitchen. The past few weeks I had the opportunity to cater a Christmas Tea hosted by my mother for her church friends...in total about 60 ladies over two different weekends.
My perspective from the kitchen allowed me to visit with just about everyone, but simultaneously watch beautiful expressions of shared friendship, warm embraces and holiday joy on familiar dear faces. More than once, my eyes filled with tears and heart overflowed with the beauty of friends gathering and enjoying shared time together.
I am sharing the menu, a few photo's of the food and a quick Christmas cheese ball recipe. The cheese ball recipe is one my mom has made for years...I just added some diced pimentos, water chestnuts and changed the nut from almonds to walnuts.
Christmas Tea Party Menu
3 Layer Sandwiches (Egg Salad, Ham Pate and Vegetable Cream Cheese)
Cucumber Christmas Tree Sandwiches
Christmas Cheeseballs and Assorted Crackers
Carrots and Celery with Ranch
Gingerbread Scones with Spiced Cream
Pistachio Cranberry Scones with Orange Cream
Fruitcake Tea Bread
Pineapple Carrot Cake
Red Velvet Cake Pops
Orange Spice Tea
Tea-based Christmas Wassail
Source: adapted from my Mom
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Dry Powder (milk recipe)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces diced pimentos
8 ounces sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped finely
5 ounces walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
Mix dressing, mayonnaise, milk and cream cheese until well blended. Add cheddar cheese, pimentos and water chestnuts. Cover and freeze for 30 minutes. Shape into a ball and roll in the toasted walnuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I rolled these into individual cheese balls using the same method.
|Red Velvet Cake Pops|