WND Extra, or Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Teapots

September 24, 2007

Picture the scene. I’m at our local craft store picking up some paper plates (gold) and plastic cutlery (pink) to go with the paper tablecloth (pink) and paper napkins (pink, and emblazoned with stars and the word ‘princess’).

Nice lady at the counter: Oh, having a party?

Me: Yes . . . . it’s a princess party.

Nice lady at the counter: Oh, my daughter loves princesses. How old is yours?

Me: 30. It’s my roommate and a friend of ours.

Nice lady at the counter: Oh. . . . . . well that’s nice too.

<repeat several times over the course of the week>

What can I say? We embraced the kitsch. It was pretty. It was pink. It was strictly Bring Your Own Tiara.

I contributed the savory portion of the festivities, everyone else brought the sweets (and if anyone wants to share the recipes . . . . )

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Tomato Confit & Basil
Turkey Sandwiches with Candied Orange Cranberry Chutney
Tomato Sandwiches with Herb Butter
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Cucumber Sandwiches

Raspberry Tart with a Shortbread Crust
Chocolate Shortbread with Raspberry Curd

Strawberry Devonshire Tartlets
Pink Frosted Cupcakes
Chocolate Cake with Pink Frosting Roses

Rose Sangria

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Tomato Confit & Basil

1 pound vine-ripened tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3/4 cup chopped scallion greens

In a medium saucepan bring vinegars to a boil with sugar, salt, mustard seeds, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, and stir in tomatoes, bell pepper, and scallions. Simmer mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally (stir more frequently toward end of cooking), about 1 1/4 hours, or until thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. Cool chutney completely. Chutney keeps, covered and chilled, 2 weeks.
To turn this into sandwiches, spread a thin layer of the chutney on a piece of lavash bread. Layer with roast beef and basil leaves. Roll up, and slice into pieces.

Notes: I didn’t have enough cider vinegar so I added extra red wine vinegar, and I was short on mustard seeds. It was still amazing. It took longer than 1 ¼ hours to cook down, and while it was cooking down I kept smelling it and thinking it smelled way to vinegary. But once it cooked down and cooled and I tasted it, it was amazing – jammy, with a hint of kick. Definitely worth the effort.

Turkey Sandwiches with Candied Orange Cranberry Chutney

1 large navel orange with skin
7 cups water, divided
1/2 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks, divided

Cut orange into 1/4-inch-thick rounds; cut rounds into 1/4-inch cubes. Place in heavy medium saucepan; add 3 cups water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and drain well. Boil again with 3 cups water; rinse and drain
Return orange cubes to same pan. Add 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil gently until all liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes.

1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Bring brown sugar, rum, vinegar, allspice, 1/4 cup water, and 1 cinnamon stick to boil in saucepan. Mix in cranberries. Cook until thick syrup forms, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in orange; cook 1 minute. Transfer chutney to small bowl; cool. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill.)
Put a dollop of the chutney on bread. Add 1-2 slices of turkey. Top with another slice of bread. Cut into finger food sized sandwiches.

Notes: Not worth the effort. It wasn’t bad per se, just not quite what I wanted it to be. To be fair, I couldn’t find fresh cranberries because it’s a little too early in the season so I had to use dried cranberries. Fresh would definitely have worked better because they would have created a jam like effect when they cooked. But, even so the amount of time it takes to candy the oranges isn’t really worth it for the final product.

Tomato Sandwiches with Herb Butter

In a food processor combine:
1 stick butter, softened
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil
½ tsp rosemary
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Zest of one lemon

Spread thinly on slices of bread. Top with slices of tomato, and fresh basil. Cut into decorative wedges.

Egg Salad Sandwiches

6 hard boiled eggs, shelled and diced
1 Tbsp plain yogurt (or sour cream)
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1-2 tsp mustard
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix together. Taste.

Notes: I don’t like my egg salad too mayonnaisey, so I usually end up adding more plain yogurt or sour cream, but it’s a matter of taste.

Cucumber Sandwiches

Notes: I’m not sure I’ve ever ended up with left over cucumber sandwiches. They’re a little time consuming, but worth it.

Thinly slice one cucumber (really really thinly. The slices should be translucent they’re so thin.

Layer the slices of cucumber on a cutting board and salt liberally. Allow to sit for 30-45 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly and pat very dry. I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of this is. I’ve heard various rumor about cucumber seeds causing gas and salting them stops this, so possibly that’s why. I do know that the sandwiches won’t taste right if you don’t salt them.

While you’re waiting for your cucumbers, slice the crusts off of your bread. Cucumber sandwiches do not have crusts (if I was a better person I would take the crusts and turn them into home made bread crumbs, but I’m not so I didn’t).

Thinly spread cream cheese on two pieces of bread (I usually leave my cream cheese out either over night or for several hours before I try this). Place one layer of cucumbers on one slice of bread. Sprinkle with paprika (it serves no purpose since at this quantity you can’t actually taste it, but I always do it anyway). Top with other slice of bread. Cut into triangles/rectangles/little squares/whatever shape takes your fancy.

Berry Rose Sangria

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup crème de cassis
1 1/2 cups assorted berries (I use frozen)
1 (750-ml) bottle chilled rosé wine
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Put berries into a heatproof pitcher. Bring sugar, water, and crème de cassis just to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour syrup into heatproof pitcher and let stand 5 minutes. Add wine and lemon juice and stir mixture well. Chill, covered, until ready to serve. Serve over ice.

Notes: I usually make the cassis/berry mixture the night before and let it marinate in the fridge. If you have left over berries it’s worth keeping them and serving them over ice cream later in the week.

Decimated Table

* pictures contributed by Birthday Princess Alison



  1. That’s just… awesome. I respectifully request the recipe for Chocolate Shortbread with Raspberry Curd.

    And sad about the chutney. That sounded quite good. Oh well.

  2. I think if you used fresh cranberries, and cut the orange really small it would work, but the whole boiling the orange three times is just too labor intensive to contemplate on a regular basis. – Petra

  3. From what I remember, salting the cukes pulls the excess water and any bitterness from them, keeping the bread from getting too soggy. I could have totally made this up, though.

    I think my favorite picture is “The Aftermath.”

  4. I’ll buy that.

  5. […] Recipe previously given: Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Teapots […]

  6. […] than ‘seriously the best cake I’ve ever made’. That said, if you ever need a dessert for a Pretty Pink Princess Party, this should absolutely be your go-to […]

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