Afternoon tea originated in England in the 1840’s as a light meal enjoyed by the upper class and was eaten between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 pm.  Over the years it evolved to its current form, which is the formal afternoon tea that is usually enjoyed at a hotel as a special treat.  Afternoon tea usually includes an assortment of “tea sandwiches” (egg salad, cucumber, bread and butter), scones, and a variety of pastries.

Afternoon tea is a great idea to get your girlfriends together.  Or maybe you’ve got a book club and you’re looking for a different way to host it–afternoon tea is perfect to get the group together.  It doesn’t have to be formal–simply provide a variety of teas from which your guest may select.  These include:

  • Earl Grey Tea
  • Assam Black Tea
  • Mint Tea
  • Darjeeling Black Tea
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Rose Congou Tea
  • Gunpowder Green Tea
  • Lavender Herbal Tea

And, instead of the traditional tea sandwiches and pastries, offer your guests something that increases the nutrition value, while minimizing the calories and fat.  It’s hard to believe so much flavor is packed into these Mini Tomato and Mozzarella Tarts.  Puff pastry serves as your base.  It is topped with a cooked onion mixture (the onion is cooked with garlic, olive oil, chicken broth, and thyme), parmesan, basil, tomato, mozzarella, salt, and pepper.  Bake the tarts in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Courtesy of Life in the Lofthouse
Dilly Cucumber Bites present so well and are simple to make.  Use large, sliced cucumbers, grape tomatoes, a block of cream cheese (I use reduced fat) brought to room temperature, Greek yogurt, fresh dill, and powdered ranch dressing.  Combine the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, dill, and powdered dressing.  Transfer the mix into a piping bag and pipe the mixture onto the cucumber rounds, then top with a grape tomato half.
Courtesy of Old Time Pottery
Cranberry Chicken Salad on Apple Slices has a perfect blend of flavors and textures.  This amazing chicken salad is made with chicken breasts, dried cranberries, roasted pecans, celery, light mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, curry powder, salt, and pepper. The salad is then spread atop thinly sliced apples (you choose your favorite variety!).
Courtesy of Yummy Addiction

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