A bachelorette tea party
“There is nothing I wouldn’t do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature.”-Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
Do you have a friend who seems to have always been a part of your life? That friendship that feels as special and as comfortable as your favorite piece of clothing?
What a joy it was to plan a bachelorette party for our dear friend, Heidi. Who else but a true friend would want exactly what I would want for a bachelorette party? No, not an extravagant trip to Las Vegas, nor an evening of bar hopping, nor (thankfully) some party with penis-shaped ice cubes and flimsy, gaudy lingerie.
We are ladies, after all, so we took the opportunity to celebrate, and ran with it. We planned a day of brunch, spa appointments, and afternoon tea.
There were only five of us for the tea, but we didn't let the size of the party limit the menu!
As we were all coming from elsewhere to meet in Kansas City, I reserved a hotel suite with a separate living room and bedroom, making sure it came with a small dining table. We also made sure the menu was made of foods that could survive traveling in a cooler, and reheating in a microwave if necessary.
On the food menu was chicken salad in puff pastry, sausage rolls, soft pretzel bites, cucumber and grape kabobs, strawberries with brie, chocolate cupcakes, and petit fours, We had a variety of teas, and mimosas, of course. A good mix of American food, with nods to the British roots of afternoon tea.
For the table, I hauled my great grandmother's real linen table cloth and napkins along (when else am I going to get to use them??), a variety of china teacups, saucers, and desert plates, tea pots with cozies, creamer, sugar bowl, and a flower vase. I'm sure it was more elegant than that hotel suite had seen in a long time.
In lieu of a banquette or sideboard, we used the room's wet bar/kitchenette area to set the food out. All together, this looks like just my kind of party. Plenty of delicious treats, and more importantly, time to relax with dear friends to celebrate a new chapter of life.
Triple Lemon Punch Bars
Our Dad really loves lemon desserts, but his complaint is that it's never lemon-y enough for him. He wants both the lemon flavor from the peel AND something very tart. I don't blame him!
He also complains every time we make up a recipe and don't write it down, or can't repeat it because it used up leftovers. These fly-by-night dishes he calls recipes from the galley of the Flying Dutchman since they appear out of nowhere, never to be seen again.
Well HA HA DAD! I WROTE THIS ONE DOWN! They're really quite tasty, and I've gotten compliments from other lemon lovers that these really hit the spot. Starting with a cake mix helps, and you absolutely must start the cream cheese layer with softened cream cheese. Plus, it's easy to get the top glaze too stiff so it might take a couple tries to perfect this recipe. I don't think you'll mind "disposing" of any mistakes. I never have!
Triple Lemon Punch Cake Squares
Cut these small – each bite packs quite a bit of fresh lemon flavor!
1 box lemon cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ½ packages cream cheese (12 ozs total)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ to 1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tsp. cornstarch
3-4 Tbs water
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Mix cake mix, 1 egg, vegetable oil, and the juice of 1 ½ lemons together until smooth. Spread evenly in the bottom of a 9x13” glass baking pan. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cream together the cream cheese, remaining egg, sugar, and juice of 1 ½ lemons. When the cake comes out of the oven, pour cream cheese mix over the hot cake. Bake for another 20 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is set in the middle. On the stovetop in a small saucepot, whisk together the powdered sugar, cornstarch, and juice and zest of the remaining lemon. Bring to a boil to thicken. If the mixture is too thick to pour, thin it out with a little water. Pour hot glaze over the hot cake. Let the whole cake cool completely on the countertop before cutting into 1 ½ inch squares.
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!