February 26, 2011

A Gluten-Free Tea Party

 I have a three-year-old girl who loves pink, Fancy Nancy, princesses, tea parties, and cupcakes. If we were girls who ate gluten, we would probably have a standing, weekly date at one of the local tearooms. We are still waiting for any of those tearooms to start serving gluten-free food so we decided to throw our own tea party.  In an effort to make things as easy as possible, I pretty much only used gluten-free mixes for this party, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.  At first, I was trying to have a gluten-free, dairy-free party, but I soon gave up that notion.  I am more interested in limiting soy in her diet than in limiting dairy in mine.  It took us all morning to prepare for our tea party.  It was almost as much fun to make it as it was to eat it!

  

  

The Scones:

I love scones!  I miss scones!  I used to especially adore the Cranberry Orange scones at Central Market.  While we were there a few weeks ago, I picked up a box of Gluten Free Pantry’s muffin and scone mix, and I am SO glad that I did!  For the most part, I made the scones according to the directions.  I used real butter, but I used almond milk and lemon juice for the buttermilk.  Rather than add any nuts or fruit, I added 2 teaspoons of grated orange rind.  The scones were soft and heavenly!  I couldn’t even tell that they were gluten-free!! 

Mock Devonshire Cream

I wrote this recipe in my cookbook for the first tea party I hosted.  I was not gluten-free at the time, but I am happy to say that this recipe is. 

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (check for gluten-free brands)
  • 1 TBS powdered sugar

Beat ingredients together in a small bowl.  Refrigerate until needed. 

The Fairy Cakes:

I keep seeing these cute cupcakes in all the gluten-free cookbooks I have been reading.  Why is it that I could not find ONE recipe to tell me how to make these when I really needed it?  If you look carefully, it is pretty obvious that I just wing a lot of the things I make.  I couldn’t be happier with these!   I made these a larger size because I only have one mini muffin tin, and I didn’t want to be making these for weeks.  Technically, these would be a bit big for fairy cakes, but don’t tell that to my fairy loving girl!   

The Cake: Pamela’s Classic Vanilla Cake Mix

I made these according to the recipe that uses 3 eggs, but I only filled the tins 1/2 full.  I baked them for 22 minutes, and they came out perfect.  They did rise a bit more than I expected so I may fill them a bit less for the next party.

I had a very hard time finding a recipe or instructions for this icing.  I know I have read the directions recently, but I just couldn’t remember where.  I pretty much made up the directions, and they look pretty good. 

Fairy Cake Icing:

This will ice 12 regular cakes or 24 mini cakes.

  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. water
  1. Using a mixer, beat icing until it is well mixed. 
  2. Spoon some icing onto cooled cupcake.  
  3. Spread the icing around a bit.  I also shook each cake until the icing coated it nicely.
  4. Top with sprinkles or edible, crystallized flowers. 

Be careful not to move the cakes too much.  Even though they set, the icing started to shift a bit when I couldn’t decide how to arrange them. 

The Sandwiches:

Once again, I took the easy route!  I made a loaf of Bob’s Homemade Wonderful Bread yesterday.  I always make mine with almond milk, and that is our favorite gluten-free bread!  I cut off as much of the crust as I could, and I lightly toasted the bread.  If you want to be fancy by using the silver wedding platter that never gets used, don’t worry about polishing it.  Just stick a doily on it, and it will look very fancy to a little girl.

The fillings:  I feel like you can never go wrong with egg salad (unless you are allergic).  I make mine with hard boiled eggs, mustard, and a little gluten-free mayo.   I also had a few ingredients that I wanted to use, but I wasn’t sure how to use them.  I ended up just blending them all together, and the results were really good. 

A Different Kind of Chicken Salad

  •   1/2 chicken breast, cooked (this one was seasoned with gluten-free seasoning)
  • 3 baby Bella mushrooms
  • 8-10 baby spinach leaves
  • 2-4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 TBS pecans (optional)

Mix all in a blender or food processor.

A Happy Mistake:

Part of the inspiration for this party was the book Fancy Nancy Tea Parties  I especially love how she instructs hostesses to check for allergies before serving their guests!  I highly recommend this book!  You will have to play around with the recipes if you have allergies, but it is a fun, instruction guide.   When I had the idea for a dairy-free party, I did some research about how to make dairy-free whipped cream.  We were going to make Strawberries Supreme from the book.   I found a great recipe that just uses cold coconut milk and powdered sugar.   I followed the directions perfectly, but it didn’t seem to be setting.  Even though it looked whipped, it was still too watery.  I had to think of a quick solution to the problem.  I let the “cream” continue to beat while I sliced up strawberries to make a mock-Brennan’s (a New Orleans restaurant) strawberries and double cream.  (We ate brunch there on my husband’s last birthday, and the food was incredible.)   By the time I was ready to spoon the watery, coconut cream over the strawberries, it kind of set.  I just went with it.  I added blueberries to help mask the coconut taste, and my little girl ate the whole bowl.  This cream has a decent coconut flavor, but it gets smoother as you eat more.  The final picture was taken after it had been in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Final words:  Looking back over this post, I find it funny that I said this was easy or using a mix was a shortcut.  Using a mix IS a shortcut these days.  This tea was a lot of work, but it would have been much harder if I had made everything from scratch.  I also learned that a 3-year-old is impressed by the smallest thing, and that made the whole thing worth it.   Don’t forget that fancy dress is required!  I am thankful that little girl’s princess dress is washable!  :)

1 Comment »

  1. Greetings from Scotland! I enjoyed reading your articles.

    Comment by gluten free recipe books — June 29, 2011 @ 4:00 am

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