A Tea Party Brunch

Mother’s Day, birthdays, spa days   with your besties

The Setting

  • You’ll also need:
    • Small plates
    • Teaspoons
    • Dessert forks (optional)
    • Cloth napkins
    • Tea – loose or bags
    • Tea strainer
    • Hot water
    • Brewed coffee
    • Milk
    • Sugar or honey
    • Thinly sliced lemons (not wedges) for the tea

Pretty Party Nibbles

Savory Sandwiches

Try these sandwich ideas, pictured above.

  • Brie + balsamic strawberries + fresh basil
  • Sliced hard boiled eggs + crumbled bacon + chives + horseradish mayonnaise
  • Shrimp salad + pimento-stuffed olives
  • Hummus + tomatoes + parsley
  • Cucumber + herbed cheese + lemon zest
  • Smoked salmon + cream cheese + capers + pickled red onions
  • Sliced apples + chicken salad + chopped pecans

Eggs Benedict

Yeast Based Eggs Benedict Foundation Platform (English Muffin), recipe follows
Poached Eggs, recipe follows
Hollandaise Sauce, recipe follows
8 slices Canadian bacon, julienned
Yeast Based Eggs Benedict Foundation Platform:
12 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/2 ounces nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
10 ounces water
1 tablespoon shortening
Nonstick spray
8 teaspoons rolled quick oats
Poached Eggs:
4 quarts water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 large eggs
Hollandaise Sauce:
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne, divided
3 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice strained, divided
8 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Watch how to make this recipe.
Yeast Based Eggs Benedict Foundation Platform:
Special Equipment: 8 (3 3/4-inch diameter by 2-inch tall) cans with tops and bottoms removed or 8 English muffin rings
Combine the flour, nonfat dry milk, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low for 10 seconds using the paddle attachment.
Put the water and shortening in microwavable container and heat to 120 to 130 degrees F, approximately 2 minutes. Stir until the shortening is thoroughly melted. Add the water mixture to the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until well combined, stopping to scrape down the bowl halfway through mixing, about 3 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, uncover and mix on medium speed, using the paddle attachment, for 3 minutes.
Position the 8 cans on a half sheet pan and generously spray the rings and pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of oats in the bottom of each ring. Scoop the dough, with a 2-ounce ice cream scoop or disher, into the rings, dividing the dough evenly between the rings. Sprinkle each top with 1/2 teaspoon of oats. Cover with parchment and let sit in a warm place for 60 minutes.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Leave the parchment in place and set a second sheet pan on top. Bake for 20 minutes then remove the top half sheet pan. Continue to bake until the muffins reach an internal temperature of 210 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, and are lightly browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the pan with the muffins still in the rings, to a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Slide a knife around the perimeter of the ring to loosen. Cool completely before splitting with a fork. To serve, toast under broiler for 3 to 4 minutes.
Poached Eggs:
Put 4 (6-ounce) custard cups in a 6-quart deep, straight-sided saute pan or rondeau. Add 4 quarts of water or enough to cover the cups by at least 1/4-inch. Add the vinegar and salt to the water and put the pan over high heat. Heat just until the water begins to boil and the cups clatter against the bottom of the pan, 20 to 25 minutes.
Adjust the heat to maintain a water temperature of 205 degrees F outside the cups. Break the eggs, 1 at a time, into another custard cup or ladle. Pour the eggs slowly into each of the cups, timing them about 10 seconds apart. Cook for 5 minutes each.
Serve immediately or remove eggs from cups and transfer to an ice bath to stop cooking. Refrigerate for up to 6 hours in the ice bath.
To reheat, bring water to a simmer, turn off the heat and add the eggs. Wait 1 to 2 minutes or until warmed through.
Hollandaise Sauce:
Whisk together the egg yolks, water, salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne in a 2 quart saucier for 1 minute.
Put the saucier over low heat and whisk vigorously, moving the pan on and off the heat every 10 to 15 seconds, bringing the mixture to 140 to 145 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 3 minutes. Add 1 piece of butter at a time, every 30 seconds, while continually whisking and moving the saucier on and off the heat. Maintain temperature around 120 to 130 degrees F throughout the remainder of the cooking process. Once half of the butter, or 8 pieces, have been added, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add the remaining 8 pieces of butter, 1 at a time, every 30 seconds, while continuing to move the saucier on and off the heat and maintaining 120 to 130 degrees F. After the last piece of butter has been added, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and the sugar and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes.
Taste and add more lemon juice, as desired. Move immediately to a short, wide-mouthed thermos to hold for up to 2 hours. Reheat over low heat for 45 seconds.
To build Eggs Benedict:
Put the julienned Canadian bacon in 10-inch saute pan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through and beginning to turn lightly brown around the edges, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, but leave the bacon in the pan to keep warm until serving.
For each serving, put 2 small dollops of hollandaise on a plate and set 1/2 an English muffin on top of each dollop. Put a small amount of Canadian bacon on top of each half and top with 1 warm poached egg and drizzle with hollandaise. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve immediately.

How To Make The Best Homemade Waffles

Waffles date back to the middle ages, with some European countries continuing the tradition of using elaborately decorated irons to create a food that was largely considered a dessert. In the U.S., waffles are a longtime breakfast favorite, most often made with buttermilk, flour, a pinch of baking powder to give them a fluffy lift.

Popular waffle types

  • Belgian waffles — Best known for their deep, syrup-catching divots, this Americanized version of a Brussels waffle can be made with a yeast-infused batter or a lighter variation that includes baking powder.
  • Classic waffles — Thinner than their Belgian-inspired cousins, these are typically made in waffle irons that are round, square or rectangle, and provide a crispy foundation for jams, jellies, syrups of every type and savory toppings such as fried chicken.
  • Whole grain waffles — Healthy versions feature oats, flaxseed, wheat germ and other good-for-you ingredients.
  • Gluten-free waffles  — Made from sorghum flour, teff and almond flours, these waffles offer an alternative option for those who are sensitive to gluten.
  • Potato waffles — Think of a German potato pancake cooked in a sizzling hot waffle iron. These savory waffles can be made with mashed potatoes orhash browns. Try them topped with Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Butter or Chef John’s Bacon Jam.
  • Hong Kong-Style — A popular dish sold by street vendors in Asia, these yolk-y “grid cakes” are frequently smeared in sweet jams and peanut butter and folded over, making for easy eating on the go.
  • Flavored waffles — Because the batter offers a primo blank slate, begging for cooks to get creative, there are variations featuring sweet potato,chocolate chips, bananas, pumpkin and gingerbread.
  • Mashups — Meet French Toast Waffles!


  • 1 recipe Basic Dry Pancake Mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 cup ice-cold club soda
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 6 strips bacon (cooked until crispy, crumbled)
  • butter or oil for the waffle iron
  • maple syrup (to serve)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
step-by-step directions
  • Preheat an electric waffle iron, on the low-heat setting if you have the option, or a heat a stovetop waffle iron over medium-low heat. Place the dry mix in a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a clean large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and buttermilk until homogeneous. Slowly drizzle in the butter while whisking. Carefully fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the soda water and maple syrup. Pour the mixture over the dry mix and fold until just combined (there should be plenty of lumps). Add crumbled bacon to batter.
  • If using a 7-inch round stovetop waffle iron, ladle 1/2 cup of batter into the iron and cook, flipping it occasionally, until the waffle is golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 8 minutes. If using a Belgian waffle iron, scoop 1/4 cup batter into each well, close the iron, and immediately flip it, then continue cooking, turning occasionally, until the waffles are golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 10 minutes. If using an electric waffle iron, preheat and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a plate, or keep warm on a rack on a baking sheet in a 200ºF oven, and cook the remaining batches.

Homemade Paleo-Style Breakfast Sausage



  • Prep10 mCook15 m

  • Ready In25 m

  1. In a small, bowl, combine the sage, salt, ground black pepper, marjoram, brown sugar, crushed red pepper and cloves. Mix well.
  2. Place the pork in a large bowl and add the mixed spices to it. Mix well with your hands and form into patties.
  3. Saute the patties in a large skillet over medium high heat for 5 minutes per side, or until internal pork temperature reaches 160 degrees F (73 degrees C).


Lavender Shortbread Cookies


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried lavender buds, crushed
  • Coarse sugar


  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/3 cup sugar, the salt and vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in flour (mixture will be crumbly). Stir in lavender. Using your hands, form the flour mixture into a ball and knead until smooth.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to about 3/8-inch thick. Cut cookies using a 2- to 3-inch cookie cutter. (We used a flower.) Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. If desired, sprinkle with coarse sugar. Reroll dough as needed.
  3. Bake in a 325 degrees oven for 8 minutes. Rotate cookie sheet front to back. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes more or until edges are firm and lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool completely.
  4. To store, layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Raspberry Tartlets


  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 5 egg yolks (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
  • 1 cup Lemon Curd or Orange Curd (see Recipe Center) or purchased lemon or lime curd
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • Powdered sugar


  1. Allow butter and egg yolks to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until light and pale, about 3 minutes. Add softened butter and orange peel. Beat on medium speed until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in flour mixture just until combined. Divide dough in half. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours or until firm enough to handle.
  3. Lightly grease twenty-four 1-3/4-inch muffin cups; set aside.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time until 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut dough into 12 rounds, rerolling as needed. Press a round into the bottom and up the sides of each prepared muffin cup. Repeat rolling and cutting with remaining half of dough.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned (dough will puff). Remove from oven. Immediately make an indentation so as to form a tart shell (use the rounded bottom of a measuring teaspoon). Cool slightly in pan. Carefully transfer tart shells to a wire rack and let cool.
  6. To serve, spoon a scant 1 tablespoon of Lemon Curd into each cooled tart shell. Arrange raspberries on top and dust tartlets with powdered sugar. Tartlets may be assembled up to 4 hours before serving, dusting with powdered sugar just before serving. Makes 24 tartlets.

Tea and Other Drinks

Popular varieties include black teas such as Earl Grey, English breakfast, and Darjeeling; scented Ooolong teas such as jasmine and green teas; and herbal teas such as peppermint and camomile.

Brew The Perfect Cup Of Tea


How long should the tea stay in the water?

Anywhere from one to five minutes, based on personal preference. For bracing black teas, two to three minutes is the recommended time for this process, called “steeping.” Too much steeping can produce a mouth-puckeringly bitter brew. But, hey, maybe that’s the way you like it!

Does it matter what I steep the tea in?

Your tea cup will work fine, though the steeping will be affected by the type of cup and the temperature of the room. If you’re getting serious about tea, consider investing in an unglazed earthenware teapot. These brew the tea faster and more consistently.

The Three Types of Tea
Tea is the processed leaves (along with twigs and buds) of the tea plant Camellia sinensis, a bush native to warm, rainy climates. Processing freshly harvested tea leaves begins the same for all types of tea. Fresh leaves are sorted out, cleaned, and allowed to wither. From there, a few nuances come into play.

BlackEnglish Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Assam

The most common kind of tea, black tea leaves are allowed to ferment before being dried. Westerners call it “black tea” because of the dark color of the leaves. The Chinese know it as “red tea” because of the reddish color of the liquid. Black tea tends to have depth of flavor and lack bitterness.

  • Most teas from India (Darjeeling, Assam) are black.
  • Earl Grey is black tea scented with bergamot.

GreenGunpowder, Tencha

From the same plant as black tea leaves, green tea leaves are steamed and dried directly after being picked to prevent fermentation, which develops a light, gently bitter flavor much like the fresh leaves themselves. Japan is a leading producer of green tea.

OolongFormosa Oolong

Partially fermented large-leaf tea, oolong tea is delicate in flavor, occasionally scented with rose petals, jasmine, or gardenia. Formosa, Taiwan, is an important producer of oolong tea.

Loose-Leaf Tea
Until the middle of the 20th century, there were no tiny cloth bags of individually parceled tea. For thousands of years, the leaves and buds were either placed in a tea pot or were held in a tea infuser (a tea ball, for example). For tea-making perfectionists, there is no comparison: it is loose-leaf tea or nothing.

TIP: In a pinch, a French press coffeemaker approximates the infused-tea experience.

To make loose-leaf tea, use one teaspoon of leaves for each cup of water plus “one for the teapot.” Of course, the outcome will be determined by how strong the tea leaves are and by how much hot water the tea is steeping in. You’ll probably want to experiment to find the right flavor for you.

Tea Party Favors

Take-homes are a thoughtful way to help your guests extend the pleasures of the day. These gift ideas range from no-brainer to crafty.

  • If you’re baking cookies for tea, bake a few more and package them up as sweet reminders.
  • Make and label a custom tea blend, and wrap it up along with a tea strainer. Try instant Chai Tea Mix, or Orange Spice Tea Mix, or Friendship Tea.
  • Use permanent fabric dye to stamp a plain cotton tea towel with a whimsical design. It’s a gift that keeps on giving every time they use it.

Wild River Bloody Mary Mix


  • 1 (46 fluid ounce) bottle tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons celery salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce



  1. In a large jar or bottle, combine the tomato juice, celery salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce. Secure the lid and shake, or stir to mix until well blended. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.