Asparagus rolls Remove the crusts from white bread. Flatten by rolling with a rolling pin. Cover with spreadable cheddar cheese. Top each piece of bread with a steamed asparagus spear. Roll up and serve. Will keep well refrigerated for up to 3 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Baby tomato basil quiche Bake store-bought frozen mini pastry shells following package directions. Let cool. Partially fill with a mixture of egg that’s been slightly thinned with a bit of milk. Add a cherry tomato and tiny basil leaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake just until egg mixture is set. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Crab bites Stir finely chopped crab (imitation is fine) with just enough mayonnaise to moisten. Add lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste. Scoop into baked mini pastry shells. Top with pea shoots or cilantro leaves.
Modern biscuits Create a modern version of biscuits with ham by simply spreading plain or savoury biscuits with light cream cheese or crème fraiche. Then, swirl slices of prosciutto into a flower-shape overtop.
You can choose a selection of these tea sandwiches for a baby shower. These five modern classics will match perfectly with an Alice in Wonderland-themed party.
Strawberry and chèvre quesadillas Spread a thin layer of creamy goat cheese over plain tortillas. Spread thinly sliced strawberries over one tortilla. To bring out the flavour of the strawberries, dust with a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Top with shredded mint if you like. Top with another goat cheese covered tortilla. Cut into wedges. Serve immediately.
Curried chicken salad bites Prepare chicken salad as you would but stir curry powder into mayonnaise mixture to taste. Stuff chicken salad mixture into mini pitas or serve over torn pieces of naan bread. Top with cilantro leaves.
Raisin bread tea sandwiches Sandwich slices of white cheddar and thinly sliced apple between raisin bread. Cut off the crusts and cut into tiny square sandwiches. If making ahead, toss apples with a little bit of lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
Mini croque monsieurs Prepare these French-style sandwiches by spreading bread with a little Dijon, then sandwich with Swiss cheese and ham or prosciutto. Dip the sandwiches in a whisked egg and milk mixture like you would for French toast. Pan-fry over medium-low heat until golden and cheese is melted. These can be made ahead and reheated in the oven. Cut into small triangles for a warm tea sandwich option.
Open-faced egg salad sandwiches Serve egg salad over Paris toasts or toasted baguette slices. Top with slices of avocado and top with pea shoots or sprouts. Match these pea shoot-topped sandwiches with our Peas in a Pod shower-themed party.
Pretty-in-pink fruit salad Add a pretty pale-pink colour, as well as delicate and exotic flavour, to your next fruit salad. Stir chunks of your favourite fresh fruits, such as watermelon, strawberries and kiwi, with canned lychee and some of the juice from the can. Serve in tiny bowls or ramekins with little spoons.
Italian antipasto platter This Italian-inspired crowd-pleaser is a snap to put together. Simply arrange a variety of items from your supermarket’s deli-cart such as marinated olives, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers and zucchini and feta-stuffed hot peppers. Drizzle with a little bit of balsamic vinegar. Add slices of prosciutto. Add slices of buffalo mozzarella or bocconcini balls. Sprinkle cheese with lemon zest, salt and pepper. Serve with large torn pieces of crusty bread.
Thai chicken kebabs Stir seasoned rice-wine vinegar with hot-chili garlic sauce. Thread thin slices of chicken breast on skewers. Set on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated 400F (200C) oven until cooked through. Squeeze lime juice overtop. Serve with spicy vinegar dipping sauce.
Treats and dessert
Chocolate-dipped biscotti Bake small-sized biscotti or snap store-bought biscotti in half. Dip one-side of cookies in melted chocolate (dipping the broken edge if using store-bought). Set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm. Serve alongside coffee and tea for dipping.
Pecan button cookies Roll store-bought or homemade cookie dough into small ½ in. (1 cm) balls. Set on a baking sheet. Press a pecan half into each. Bake as usual keeping in mind they may take less time because of their small size.
Berry cloud cake Dress up a store-bought or homemade angel food cake by slicing in half crosswise, forming two rings. Spread cut sides with sweetened whipped cream. Sandwich cake rings with fresh raspberries and blueberries. Spread outside of cake with more whipped cream. Sprinkle top with more berries. Cherries and currants also make a beautiful garnish. Serve immediately.
Pomegranate punch Mix equal parts lemonade and ginger ale. Add pomegranate juice to taste. This punch is beautiful garnished with pomegranate seeds.
Homemade iced tea Make a large pot or two of your favourite tea — orange pekoe, green tea or ginger work best. Steep tea for 4 min. then remove the bags. Sweeten to taste. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Refrigerate until cool. Serve with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange juice. Garnish with strawberries and mint.