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Monday, January 7, 2008

The "Tea with the Queen" Party

We threw this party for Big Sis when she turned 2…she LOVED a good tea party! (and so sorry I can't find the pics--this is what happens when you move!)

The Invitations: I got great laser-printable invites from my local stationary shop that had fancy, yet whimsical, tea cups on them. I then printed up a “formal” invite cordially inviting 10 children to a tea party. (All the little girls showed up in fancy party dresses—it was adorable!)

The Food: I did BBQ food for the adults, but set up a fancy table using my good crystal and china serving dishes (figuring the kids couldn’t reach them anyway!), a nice tablecloth and special “tea party” food for the kids. I had fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, mini scones (recipe below), mini oatmeal cookies (homemade, so they were “healthy”), animal crackers, and tea sandwiches—hearty white bread with cream cheese and cucumbers (my kid was cucumber-crazy, but you could also do it with fruit-flavored cream cheese or cream cheese and jelly) and wheat bread with peanut butter and jelly (keeping in mind nut allergies!). I cut the tea sandwiches’ crusts off and then cut into small triangles. My attempt at a teapot-shaped cake was a huge flop, so a last minute grocery store cake fit the bill.
The Most Amazing Scone Recipe (courtesy of MIQuilter)

3 1/2 c bread flour
1 1/2 TBS baking powder
1 tsp. salt (or less)
3/8 c sugar
2 c heavy cream (or a little more)
1 1/4 c dried fruit (blueberries, cranberries or raisins)

1. Mix fruit with heavy cream to separate the fruit (start out with about a 1/4 shy of the 2 cups, then you can add the extra later if the dough is too dry). Combine dry ingredients.
2. Make a well in the dry and pour in the wet. Stir just to combine.
3. The dough should be sticky—add the remaining cream as necessary to achieve the right consistency.
4. Pat the dough into a round about 3/4 inch thick and cut into eighths, or for mini scones, drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Brush scone with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
6. Bake 10-15 minutes at 400-425 degrees (depending on if your oven runs hot or cold.) Enjoy warm or cold. Best the first day, but will last several days in an air-tight container.

The Decorations: I found a plastic tea set at Toys R Us that came in a giant tea pot ($15). The tea set we played with at the party, and the tea pot I filled with flowers and used as a centerpiece on the food table. I got a dozen helium balloons in lavender and white that I put around the room ($8). I also got 2 large spools of tulle ribbon in lavender and white from the wedding aisle of Michael’s Arts & Crafts ($5). I used this to tie big bows on all the chairs, around the lamps in the room and on the mailbox.

Games & Activities: Since the kids were all 2 and under, a structured game didn’t really make sense, but I did clear out all the regular toys and brought in our pretend kitchen and all our play tea sets and cookware. We also had 2 kid-sized tables and chairs that we brought out for them to sit and “eat” at before lunch.

The Favors: I found heavy-duty plastic tea cups at the party store and bought one for each child. Using a purple paint pen, I put each of their names on and decorated with flowers and vines. I filled them with crayons and mini play-doh containers. (I’m big on art supplies as favors!) The whole thing I slid into a cellophane party favor bag and tied with purple and white curly ribbon. (Under $20 for 10 favors.)

This party was great fun, and very sweet. You could certainly add to it for older girls--maybe a dress-up component as well with fancy hats, mom's old dresses and jewels, etc. Enjoy!


MIQuilter said...

I want a "Tea party with the Queen" theme for MY birthday party this year! Can I wear a crown??

MultiplesMommy said...

Sure! In my house (which should not surprise you) the birthday girl ALWAYS gets a crown, regardless of the party's theme! Come on over, and I'll make you scones and give you a choice of tiaras...

Aimeepalooza said...

So, I just found you through Bossy's road trip. I too am in Ann Arbor. Well, I work in Ann Arbor. And on my blog roll, If I were Queen of The World works with me. I just wanted to stop by and say hello to a fellow Ann Arbor girl!

MommyTime said...

Hi Aimeepalooza, So nice to "meet" someone else in here in SE MI!! I'll pop over and say hi on your blog too. It would be fun to meet Bossy in person, no? Hopefully there will be a stop somewhere around here.


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