Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tea Party Sandwiches For My Baby Shower

For my baby shower, we served tea party/afternoon tea for the food.  The shower was held at 2pm, so it was intended to be more of a light snack rather than a full on heavy meal.

We served the following tea party sandwiches:  Lox Sandwiches, Tuna Sandwiches, Chicken Sandwiches, and Egg Sandwiches.
I briefly considered making cucumber sandwiches, since that is common fare during afternoon tea, but I couldn't think of one person that actually like cucumber sandwiches and none of the guests were vegetarian anyways, so I axed the idea.  1 less sandwich to worry about.

We also served chocolate chip scones and orange vanilla scones with "clotted cream" and strawberry jam, fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, and red grapes), and bite-sized desserts (pound cake and apple strudel braids)

The grand finale was a huge, delicious, beautiful cake that my sister ordered from Kee Wah Bakery.

Majority of the food served was homemade.  All the sandwiches, the scones, the clotted cream, and even the alcoholic sangria were all homemade.  The fruits were from the farmers market, and the bite-sized desserts were from Costco (Costco is a great place for cheap baked goods!)

I knew from the day that we drafted the menu  that I wanted to be in charge of making all the sandwiches!  I let my sister take care of scones, since she has had experience making scones and she is a better baker than me.  =)  I provided my sister with a British scone recipe, since I prefer British scones over American scones.

A view of the sandwiches.
If you can't see it clearly, I made food signs made out of toothpicks and pink post-its.
The signs read (from left to right): Lox, Tuna, Egg, and Chicken
I stole some of the guinea's green leaf lettuce to use as a sandwich partition.  sshhh!

The view of the buffet table from the other side!
You can see the fresh fruit, and bite-sized desserts in the front, scones and sandwiches in the back

I made all the sandwich fillings the night before and assembled the sandwiches right before the baby shower.  Luckily, our cousin Alice was around to help me assemble the sandwiches.  I don't think I would have finished if it wasn't for her help!  We made extra platters of sandwiches that we kept in the kitchen, so when the original platters were empty, we can simply take away the empty platter put out the back-up platters.
For the bite-sized desserts, I sliced them up right before the party, using my super-cool komachi knife.  Things don't stick to their carbon steel blades, creating a nice clean cut while maintaining the integrity of the item you are slicing!  I placed the desserts in my cake stand and placed the glass dome lid on top because I thought it made it look prettier... however, I think this lid prevented people from helping themselves to the desserts.
(so that means, the key to prevent overeating, is to place a heavy glass dome on top of food!)

During the shower, a lot of people mentioned that they really liked the sandwiches.  I was so flattered!  I think the chicken sandwiches was the most popular since I heard people talking about it during shower and it was the first type to be completely consumed.

My friend even asked me to send her the sandwich recipes!  I was flattered x2!
After emailing her the sandwich instructions, I thought my cooking blog would be the perfect place to share the information!!

For the sandwich fillings, it's really up to you what proportion of the ingredients you want to use.  For example, its up to you how much mayo you want in your sandwich or how much celery you want.  My suggestion is to just add them in little by little, mix, taste, and see how you like it.

Lox sandwiches:   
Ingredients: white bread, smoked salmon (lox), cream cheese. 
Lox is sold pre-sliced (I bought it at Costco).  Spread some cream cheese on 2 slices of bread and place a lox slice in between the 2 slices of bread. Cut the crusts off, and slice the sandwich in half, across the diagonal.

Tuna sandwiches:  
Ingredients: white bread, minced celery, mayo, canned light tuna (drained), salt and pepper. 
Mix all the ingredients together and spread in between 2 slices of  bread.  Cut the crusts off, and slice the sandwich in half, across the diagonal.

Egg sandwiches:
Ingredients: white bread, mustard, paprika, chopped hard boiled eggs, mayo, and pepper. 
Mix all ingredients together and spread in between 2 slices of bread.  Cut the crusts off, and slice the sandwich in half, across the diagonal.

Chicken sandwiches:  
Ingredients: white bread, cooked & shredded chicken breast, minced celery, raisins, dried cranberries, mayo, salt and pepper. 
Mix all ingredients together and spread on bread.
If you were wondering how I cooked the chicken breasts, I poached them!  You can also use roasted chicken breasts but poaching was easier.
Put chicken breast in a pot and slightly cover it with water.  Add in 2 bay leaves and some dried herbs.  When the water boils, turn down the heat so the water is simmering, cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Then turn off the stove but leave the pot covered and leave the pot on the hot stove for 20 more minutes, so the residual heat continues to cook the chicken breast.
Poaching with this method should keep the chicken breast moist than if you simply boiled the chicken until it was completely cooked.
Take the chicken breast out of the water, and let it cool on a plate.
When its cool enough to handle, shred the chicken breast into tiny pieces with your fingers. (It took me about 2 hours to shred 3 chicken breasts!!)

Remember all those crusts that were cut off?
I saved them and made bread pudding out of them.  Recipe coming soon!
Nothing goes to waste in this house!


yao said...

i like cucumber sandwiches!!!

Jennifer Lin Yang said...

eww! cucumber sandwiches are so bland!! XD

if you attended, I would have made cucumber sandwiches, just for you!