Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mini Tea Party


Mini tarts, mini sandwiches, a mini guest list…you would think that would mean mini work, right? WRONG!

It started off so innocently. When I saw that Foodbuzz, partnered with Electrolux and Kelly Confidential, wanted Featured Publishers to host tea parties to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, I was thrilled. I definitely wanted to be a part of this! Such a fantastic way to raise money for this important research, with Foodbuzz donating $50 to the fund for every recipe created. Additionally, Foodbuzz will be doing a Top 9 Takeover on Friday, March 25, in honor of the cause, and every Top 9 post will be tea party related.



So I planned my menu, got out my china, and starting tinkering around with some recipe ideas. Since my tea was for two, I didn’t need lots of food or huge portions. Mini would be the theme. Thankfully, the food came out wonderfully, and even more importantly, I learned that these recipes still taste pretty good at room temperature.


Turns out, taking photographs of food on china is a whole different ball game than our usual picture-taking. All the settings we normally use weren’t working. The white china was yellow in the photos. The focus was off; the lighting was horrible; the food looked awful. This tea party had taken a turn. I was teetering on the edge of sanity. At that point, I was glad I hadn’t invited other guests since this was quickly becoming a Mad Tea Party. Andy had to talk me down several times when I was ready to throw in the towel. But after several hours (I am not exaggerating here) we finally got some decent photos. And then finally got to eat!


Apple Gorgonzola Tarts

Makes 2 mini tarts

1 sheet refrigerated pie crust
1 apple, peeled and very thinly sliced (I used Pink Lady; you won’t use the whole apple)
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 chopped pistachio nuts
4 teaspoons honey

Roll the pie dough out slightly to about a 12 inch circle. Lay the pie dough into the tart pans. Press buttered foil into the shells and fill with beans. Blind bake the shells for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Carefully remove the foil, prick the bottom of the shells lightly with a fork, and bake for about 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and reserve.

In a bowl, mix together the gorgonzola, cream, egg and pepper. Pour the mixture into the tart shells. Layer the top of the filling with apple slices, covering the entire tart. Drizzle a teaspoon of honey on each tart on top of the apples, then sprinkle with pistachios. Drizzle another teaspoon of honey over the pistachios.

Bake at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes, until the middle is set and the edges are starting to brown.

Notes:
These can be served warm or at room temperature.

Next time I might try a layer of apples on the bottom of each tart as well. If using another layer of apples, you may have extra filling.





Red Pepper Tarts

Makes 2 mini tarts

1 sheet refrigerated pie crust
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped shallot
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup dry jack cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

For the crust, use the same directions as shown above in the Apple Gorgonzola Tart recipe.

Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the bell pepper, shallots, garlic and olive oil. Start on medium heat to soften the mixture, then turn all the way down to low. Cook for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, stirring only occasionally. When the bell pepper is caramelized slightly, remove from heat and reserve.

In a bowl, mix together the dry jack cheese, cream, egg, salt and pepper. Stir in the cooled bell pepper mixture. Pour filling into tart shells. (You may have a little extra filing.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes until the middle is set and the edges are starting to brown.

Notes:
These can be served warm or at room temperature.

I got the dry jack cheese at Cowgirl Creamery, and if you have access, I highly recommend getting it. If you can’t find dry jack, you could substitute with another hard cheese such as parmesan or romano. If using a salty cheese, omit the salt from the recipe.


These mini tarts are adorable and quite tasty. The caramelized red peppers combined with dry jack cheese offers a rich and savory bite, while the apple and gorgonzola tart is pungent, but with a slightly sweet taste. Both are good for different reasons.


After all was said and done, with the camera out of sight and our tummies full and happy, I was so glad to have participated in this event. For food bloggers to just be able to do what they normally do to help raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is phenomenal.

If you would like to help the cause, visit the Kelly Confidential website and pick a tea party outfit. Electrolux is donating $1 for every outfit selected.

43 comments:

  1. These tarts are making my mouth water! They look so delish!!

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  2. Awesome tea party! Those little tarts are so cute. I would especially like the red pepper one. Yum!

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  3. How I would have loved to be at your tea for two. Great recipes and to make it all so perfect; I spotted your daffodils. Spring is busting out all over.
    Rita

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  4. Your tarts look fantastic! I recently bought a set of mini tart pans and needed the inspiration. How great is it to raise money by doing what we love?

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  5. Great story! I think all the hard work paid off - beautiful photos. I won't enter those competitions, my photos are awful, lol! But, that's okay. When I have time, someday, I'll work on it. Recipes sound terrific also. That's a tea party I would like to be invited to!!!

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  6. I love tea parties, and yours looks delightful. I started having tea parties with my granddaughter, when she was two, and she's graduating from High school this year. Tea parties are dear to my heart, and your mini tarts are perfect for tea parties.

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  7. I would love to join your tea party, your table arrangements looks lovely.

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  8. Ciao! Apple and Gorgonzola, a combination made in heaven, so delicious! LOL

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  9. delicious food for the tea party looks wonderful

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  10. Wow! These look so delicious! I wouldn't be able to decide which tart I would like to enjoy first... great job!

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  11. That apple gorgonzola tarts looks so freakin good! Great tea party recipe!

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  12. Wow! That tart looks amazing! Love your photos too!

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  13. BOTH of those tarts look delicious! I saved your post under my "favorites" on Foodbuzz. :)

    Keep the deliciousness coming!

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  14. We're going to crash your next tea party!
    The Neighbors

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  15. Both your tarts are just lovely. Perfect for two, I love the Tea for Two theme for the cause.

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  16. Ooh, that red pepper tart is really calling me. Would never have guessed you had any trouble - everything looks fabulous.
    LL

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  17. Oh my, wow, can I have some of that apple gorgonzola tart? It sounds amazing!

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  18. those look and sound AWESOME!

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  19. I love Gorgonzola, cannot wait to try!

    Check out my Cajun blog! http://cajunlicious.blogspot.com/

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  20. What a great cause! You really crack me up - I do the same thing - agonize over the picts and GOD for bid I am not snapping in my usual place with my usual plates - forget it! Our husbands should really get together to compare notes! LOL!

    It all looks perfect to me!

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  21. Looks like you did a phenomenal job!! Love the red pepper one! I need a place to snap all my photos that isn't under my yellow lighting... now that the days are longer, I'm doing more snapping outside!

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  22. Looks lovely Karen. Wish I could have come then, I'd have been the Dormouse. : )

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  23. lovely presentation...I would love to munch this now...:)
    Tasty Appetite

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  24. Karen, beautiful table setting. The red pepper tarts look very interesting. I got to try making them. Love all the photos too.

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  25. Such a tremendous cause, I also contributed my post for the cause.
    Love your little tarts, and teas sandwiches. A perfect setting for a fabulous tea party!

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  26. Your tea party looks beautiful. Love your setting! Both your tarts and sandwich looks delicious! Your photographs are beautiful too!

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  27. I've got to try those tarts! They sound marvelous! Thanks for such a nice contribution to a worthy cause.

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  28. Enjoying your recipes. Wonderful, inviting pics too.

    The Souper

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  29. I love the idea of a virtual tea party! I would go to town on that apple-gorgonzola tart--that is my favorite fruit/cheese pairing of all time. I've never seen it translated in that way. Very original!

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  30. Congrats on the Top 9 today!

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  31. Congrats on top 9!!! Your tea party is amazing..

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  32. I love sweet/savory tarts and yours look especially tasty!

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  33. Looks so delicious, the minute I saw fall in love with both the pies. I am going to make Red pepper Tart Tonight. thanks for sharing.

    -Mythreyi
    Yum! Yum! Yum!

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  34. Looks like a wonderful tea party feast to me! Those tarts both sound mighty tasty!

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  35. I love tarts...they look amazing!
    Hey, thanks for the add on Food Buzz! I love meeting other food bloggers!

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  36. Congrats on Top 9! Tarts look delicious...I want to try the red pepper :)

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  37. oh i looove tea parties.:) these tarts look especially delicious! mmm mmmmm.

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  38. You made so many delicious treats for the tea party and so well done for such a worth cause. Everthing looks beautiful - I'm particularly in favor of the Apple Gorgonzola Tarts! ;)

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  39. What beautiful little tarts! I'd love either of them with my tea, thanks! :)

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  40. As I was making the Apple Gorganzola Tarts, my husband paced in and out of the kitchen saying over and over again that he was starving. After tasting them he said, "Oh, good, very good, this is really good. I would definatly have this again" I concur. And they are easy to make. A winner!
    Patty

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  41. A beautiful tea party. I wish I could be there :-). Everything looks so yummy.
    I love your blog, am going to look for a "Follow" button :-)

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