Category Archives: Afternoon tea

Crustless spinach and mushroom quiche

(For a printable version, click here)

IMG_8303 (Small)

Mini quiche served for afternoon tea

Crustless Spinach & Mushroom Quiche
(From the kitchen of Priscilla Yip (adapted from
Serves 12*
This recipe is intended for standard size muffin tins.
*For mini quiches use a tart pan holding 24 tarts and double the recipe.

6 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
¼ medium tomato, chopped
½ cup fresh mushroom, chopped
½ cup red onion, chopped
1 large package frozen spinach (thawed and well drained)
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare baking tins by spraying generously with cooking spray.  Chop mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions and set aside.  Crumble feta cheese and fill bottom of each well. Top with spinach, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes. Beat eggs, half and half and garlic together and slowly pour over each.

Bake 20-25 minutes till eggs are set. While still warm, gently run sharp knife around edges to remove quiches from pan.

Note:  Can make ahead and be reheated in the micro.

Cucumber, hummus, and lemon tea sandwiches

For a printable version, click here
Hummus recipe (printable version here)

hummus (Small)
Cucumber, hummus, and lemon tea sandwiches
(From the kitchen of Linda Won, recipe from CHOW)

1/2 medium English cucumber (about 8 ounces)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 1/2 medium lemons
8 slices nutty oat bread
1 cup hummus
Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice the cucumber into paper-thin rounds, about 1/16 inch thick. Place the slices in a colander or sieve set over a bowl, sprinkle them with the measured salt, and toss to combine. Set aside to drain for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, using the mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the lemons into paper-thin rounds about 1/16 inch thick, removing any seeds as you go; set them aside.
  3. Using a rolling pin, flatten each slice of bread to half its original thickness. Spread 2 tablespoons of the hummus evenly on 1 side of each slice of bread and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  4. When the cucumbers are ready, lightly blot them with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Shingle the cucumber slices over the hummus on 4 slices of bread (about 12 slices per sandwich). Top the cucumbers with a layer of lemon slices (about 4 slices per sandwich).
  5. Close the sandwiches with the remaining slices of bread. Trim the crusts, and make 2 diagonal cuts on each sandwich to form 4 triangles.

Working with fondant

No fail sugar cookies recipe: click here for a printable version
Fondant instructions: click here for a printable version
Cupcake fondant roses: see below

(from Kitchen Collectables)

This recipe is GREAT when using complex cookie cutters.  The dough holds its shape and won’t spread during baking.  Make sure you let your oven preheat for at least 1/2 hour before baking these or any other cookies.

6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (e.g., almond)
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture.  Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.

Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below)

Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes.  Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges.  This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3” cookies.

HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess — Rather than wait for your cookie dough to chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper.  Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator.  Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all.  By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut.  Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process!  An added bonus is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies.

Fondant Instructions
(From the kitchen of Judy Wong)

 Fondant is available at Michael’s, JoAnn’s, and cake decorating stores like Do It With Icing, which is located at 7240 Clairemont Mesa Blvd / 858-268-1234 (one block west of 99 Market).

From package, break out a chunk of fondant.  Re-seal package so that the fondant does not dry out.  Knead fondant until workable and roll out onto a silicone sheet, parchment or wax paper.  Use a pair of skewers to keep fondant uniform in size. (It’s optional if you want to lightly dust work surface with powdered sugar or cornstarch.)  Lift and move the fondant as you roll.  This will prevent it from sticking to the surface.

Cookies with fondant:

1. Bake your favorite sugar cookie recipe or use the No Fail Sugar Cookie recipe provided above.

2. Cut fondant with same shape cookie cutters as used in your sugar cookies.

3. Brush cookies with shortening.

4. Place cut fondant on top of cookie.  Press to cover to edge of cookie (okay to have some edge of cookie showing).

5. Decorate cookies by adding texture, luster dust, edible pearls, fondant flowers* and piped icing.

Notes about fondant:

— *Fondant flowers can be cut out and shaped ahead of time.  Use piped icing to adhere to decorated cookies.

— Fondant cookies can keep for two weeks.  Best to keep in cellophane bag – not in Tupperware containers.  Do not put fondant cookies or fondant cupcakes in refrigerator.

— Fondant dries quickly.  Always keep covered to prevent drying when in use.  Leftover fondant should be tightly sealed in plastic wrap and kept in airtight container. Fondant has a shelf life of one year, as long as it is covered up.  Its enemy is air.  Do not refrigerate fondant.

Cupcake fondant roses
(From Bakerella)

For roses, cut rolled fondant into strips.  Roll strips and shape into roses.  Place on top of cupcakes.

Stuffed mushroom caps

Clean mushrooms of dirt.  Break off stems from mushroom caps (white mushrooms or baby bellas).  Using a spoon, stuff mushrooms with Stonemill Kitchens Spinach & artichoke parmesan dip  Place mushrooms about 1″ apart on a baking sheet.  Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven until tops are browned.  Serve immediately.

Both the mushrooms and Stonemill Kitchens dip can be found at Costco in the refrigerated sections.

Classic shortbread (by Lucy Ross Natkiel)

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar (unsifted)
1 cup flour (unsifted)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Using the back of a large spoon or electric mixer, cream the butter until it is light. Cream in the powdered sugar, then the vanilla.  Now work in the flour.  Knead the dough on an unfloured board until nice and smooth.  Spray the shortbread pan very lightly with a non-stick vegetable oil spray.  Put the ball of dough in the middle of the pan, and working out from the center, firmly press the dough into the pan.  Prick the entire surface with a fork, and bake the shortbread right in the pan at 325 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until it is lightly browned.  Be sure that the middle is thoroughly cooked and doesn’t look slightly opaque or the shortbread might stick in the pan.

Let the shortbread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before you loosen the edges with a knife and flip the pan over onto a wood cutting board.  If the
shortbread does not come right out, hold the pan upside down over the cutting board and firmly tap one edge of the pan against the board.  This should loosen
the shortbread and it should drop out.  Cut the shortbread into serving pieces while it is still warm.

For other shortbread recipes by Lucy Ross Natkiel, visit:

Petit fours

For printable version, click here
(From the kitchen of Judy Wong)

Lady Judy's purple petit fours

1 box Pillsbury cake mix (white or yellow)
Filling of your choice (Bavarian, lemon cream)
1 lb. tub of truffle icing
Buttercream icing (optional)

 Make cake as directed on cake mix.  Pour batter into jelly roll pan.  Bake as instructed.

After baking, flip cake to cool; cut in half.  Fill the top of one of the halves with filling.  Then top with second half of the cake.  Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze (several hours or overnight).  When ready to dip cake, trim off ends.  Use serrated knife to cut into 1″ x 1″.

Melt truffle icing in microwave.  Truffle icing burns easily – know your microwave!  Estimated time of microwaving a full tub of truffle icing is usually 30 seconds, but start with 15-20 seconds if you’re not sure about your microwave.  After microwaving, if not completely melted, stir and microwave (even less time) again.

Before dipping each cake square, trim if necessary so that sides are straight.  Skewer bottom of cake, dip, and let excess icing drip.  Then lift cake with fork; remove skewer, twisting as you’re pulling it out.  May need to clean fork and skewer periodically.  Can add color to white truffle icing (use gel paste and not the liquid food colorings).  Melt the truffle icing first and then add the gel paste.  If cake gets soft after dipping for awhile, stick the cake back in the freezer for a few minutes.  Don’t want cake to crumble.  When petit four is set, take paring knife and trim off excess icing from bottom of “feet” of petit four.

Optional:  To decorate, use buttercream icing; keep it simple. Can use small paper cupcake holders to hold the petit four.  Can keep out at room temperature for a couple of days.  Need to refrigerate if longer, keeping in mind that chocolates will condensate in the refrigerator.

Note: If using a colored filling (ie, raspberry, strawberry), it will show through the white truffle icing.  Truffle icing, cake fillings and buttercream icings are available at Do It With Icing.