High Tea with Sara and Ayesha (aka the Extravaganza)
If anyone knows me, Sara, or Ayesha, you know that we’re each obsessed with food. If you put any two of us together, the effect is compounded. If you put ALL THREE of us together – there is an exponential explosion of food.
That’s what happened when Ayesha came down to a Raleigh for a friend’s wedding. We had been planning what to make for weeks beforehand and finally settled on a high tea so we could make a lot of different little things. We spent all day cooking up a storm.
Also, our cameras got to visit each other. All pictures in this post are taken by me, Ayesha, or Sara, on one of our cameras. Whoever was the closest to a camera and had the least flour on their hands took the picture.
The menu was as follows:
Chipotle Grilled Shrimp and Mango Kabobs
Roasted Vegetable and Fontina Paninis with Chipotle Mayo
Mini quiches – bacon and cheese, spinach and cheese
Fruit and nut salad with homemade candied walnuts and raspberry-balsamic vinaigrette.
Scones with lemon curd and cream
Mini tarts with vanilla custard and strawberries
Jam thumbprint cookies, assorted flavors
Awwwww yeah baby. And the insanity behind making all this food….let’s get started.
Firstly, the salad. I saw the recipe for making homemade candied walnuts on the Tiny Kitchen and we wanted to try them. The process seemed simple enough – melt sugar until it turns brown, add butter, mix in walnuts. Easy, right? Simple raspberry vinaigrette – easy peasy!
Deception. Lies and slander.
Thus also began the trek of Sara running back and forth from her house (across the street) because we kept forgetting ingredients. We almost wrote an epic poem. Thankfully, it all turned out well after multiple tries!
Well. Let’s let the pictures tell the story. Click the first on the left for the lightbox gallery. Make sure to read the captions.
Pictures are in Lightbox – click the first on the left to start the slideshow.
Then, there were the phenomenal chipotle grilled shrimp and mango kabobs. Sara wanted to try a tropical fruit with the shrimp, and mango seemed perfect. I’ve also now gotten Sara and Ayesha hooked on the wonders of chipotle-in-adobo. We mirrored the chipotle in the kabobs with chipotle mayo in the roasted veggie sandwiches. We roasted eggplant, zuchinni, red bell pepper, and red onions (the latter with balsamic vinegar) and then made them into paninis with fontina cheese.
We made two types of quiche – one with a really delicious halal bacon that Ayesha brought from Maryland, and the other with spinach and cheese. Ayesha put little tart dough circles into my mini muffin pan, filled with the different flavors and egg (dough still raw), and baked.
These were relatively low stress after the spinach-caramel and exploding vinaigrette fiascos.
I had made Ina Garten’s Jam Thumbprint cookie dough the night before. It’s a cross between a sugar cookie and a shortbread – more like the latter….i.e. it’s phenomenal. Sara and I filled the cookies with strawberry jam, dulce de leche, and chocolate chips (because Musa wanted chocolate ones). The strawberry were the best. The dulce were good, but the dulce got a little too brown while they were in the oven.
The little vanilla custard tarts were just cute. Ayesha cut out the pie crust for the tarts and baked them in the mini muffin pan. We let them cool and filled them with the cream and topped with a slice of strawberry.
Ayesha made her phenomenal scones again (how does she do it? she just throws stuff in a bowl and scones emerge from the oven. BOOM. BOOM. FIYAPOWAAAA) (You have to be super cool to know where that comes from). I made lemon curd and Ayesha made clotted cream.
Ayesha also made really yummy chocolate truffles. We though they would be too soft, but after a trip to the fridge, they were fine.
Awesome, right? Yeah. That’s what I thought.
Of course, we only remembered to make the “tea” part of the high tea when we sat down to eat. We ate with Uncle Wahaj and Auntie Sarwat (Ayesha’s parents) and my parents. My dad summed it up nicely – “See, this is why we had daughters. If we had sons and we asked for some tea, they’d say….okay let’s go to Starbucks.”