Hi, I'm Torrey. Welcome to Left Field, where creativity runs amok and imagination is ALWAYS more important than knowledge. Shoes are not allowed but ties are optional. This is a repository of snippets from my life out here in Left Field. One never knows what shiny bits of creativity will be found here... cards, scrapbook layouts, photography, poetry, recipes, ponderings, rantings and musings. It could be anything! Life in Left Field is always changing, always real, always ...interesting.

August 13, 2015

High Tea, Texas Style--Part 5...The Savory Food

Wow, will this series of posts EVER end? 

If y'all have missed any previous chapters, or if you'd like to revisit them...just click on the links below. So far I've covered:
Today is the day. Today I blog about FOOD!

I know many of you have been patiently waiting for this part. So, without further tarrying...may I present: THE SAVORY FOOD! (The sweet stuff will be covered in tomorrow's post). And yes, I really did make little signs for all the food. I love Photoshop.
The March of the Finger Sandwiches 
We made a total of 6 different types of savory noshes--4 true finger sandwiches, 1 rolled sandwich, and 1, um...sort of a hand-held salad.

I'll start with the salad:
Ladybug Caprese Bites
I found these on Pinterest and thought they were totally adorable! To the right is the original pic of the Pinterest version, I think mine came out pretty darn close. I had baby grape (Roma) tomatoes to work with, so my ladybugs were enlongated. That's OK...they still look like ladybugs. The original recipe said to insert bits of chopped black olives into little holes in the tomatoes for the spots. Easy peasy, right? Well, NO... it was a LOT harder than I thought it would be (Ok, OK...IMPOSSIBLE). I thought there must be an easier way...Thank goodness for black sesame seeds! They worked FINE. The first ladybug I made had 7 spots...but it took so blasted long to insert those tiny sesame seeds into the holes... that I decided 3-spot ladybugs would do just as well. 

  • Fresh Mozzarella (I used the big, baseball-size balls, but smaller balls would have been better)
  • Cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes/baby Romas)
  • Black olives
  • Fresh Basil leaves
  • ~1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar reduction (see below for instructions)
  • Black sesame seeds for the spots
  • In small saucepan, on medium heat, bring 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar just to boil, reduce heat and simmer until it thickens and reduces its volume by about half. Turn the vent hood on while cooking as the fumes are potent. Chill in fridge before use.
  • Cut tomatoes in half. Then cut V shape out of bottom edge of tomato (to simulate wings). Poke holes in the tomatoes with a toothpick and push a black sesame seed into each hole (use tweezers, your life will be easier). Set face-down on paper towel to drain.
  •  Cut black olives into quarters...1/4 of one olive = 1 ladybug head.
  • Cut mozzarella into 1/4-1/2 inch-thick slices. Mine ended up being about 1 cm thick. If using large mozzarella balls, cut the slice in half.
  •  On plate, arrange mozzarella slices on serving plate. Spread a small dollop of Balsamic reduction over cheese. Place single basil leaf on top of cheese, then add prepared tomato half. Place 1/4 of a black olive at uncut end of tomato for head.
  • Yield: how ever many you end up making (hee hee hee).
Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich
Cucumber Sandwich
Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich
  • 1 whole, boneless chicken breast (or 2 halves)--I used the breast off a roasted chicken
  • 1 cup Green and/or Red seedless grapes (cut in quarters)
  • 3 stalks of celery (diced)
  • 1/2-1 cup sliced almonds OR chopped pecans (which I actually prefer)
  • ~1/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • ~1/3 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (or sour cream)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Curry powder (I used a LOT--like a tablespoon or two)
  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • mini croissants
  •  If using raw chicken...boil until cooked through. Cut cooked chicken into small (1/2-inch cubes)
  • In separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, salt, pepper, and curry powder. The amounts of mayo and yogurt kind of depend on how "wet" you want your salad...so these amounts are approximate. As for the spices...it's TOTALLY to taste. Start with small amounts...add more if you need.
  • Cut grapes into quarters (or smaller if they're big grapes) 
  • Spread nuts on cookie sheet and toast in 350 degree (175 C) oven. Watch them like a hawk as they burn easily (ask me how I know). When you start smelling them...they're probably done.
  • In large mixing bowl, combine chicken, celery, and grapes. Stir in curry yogurt mix to coat. Add nuts last and gently stir to coat.
  • Cut croissants in half (may toast lightly under broiler if desired). 
  • Place spinach leaf on bottom half of croissant, add dollop of chicken salad on top. Place top of croissant over chicken salad blop...and VOILA! You're done.
Cucumber Sandwich
  • 1 cucumber, skin and seeds removed, diced
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese (or Neufchatel--fewer calories), softened
  • 5-8 fresh chives, diced
  • 1/4 cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing (or Mayonnaise)
  • Thin-sliced white bread (Pepperidge Farm makes a nice one)
  • salt to taste 
  • In mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and Miracle whip until well blended. 
  • Add cucumber and chives. If you want more cucumber, add more...
  • Salt to taste.
  • Spread on white bread to make a sandwich--cut crusts off! This is a MUST for high tea
  • Cut sandwiches in half diagonally to make triangles, or into whatever shape you want using a cookie cutter.
Salmon Roll-Ups 
  • 1 salmon filet (4 oz - 6 oz in weight)
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese (or Neufchatel), softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Herbs (I used a Penzeys Spice blend called "Mural of Flavor"...it probably has dill, oregano, basil, shallots, lemon peel, orange peel, garlic, onion, thyme)
  • 1 Tbs. Fresh Dill - chopped
  • Smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • Fresh spinach leaves 
  • Whole-grain tortillas or wraps
  • Bake salmon (skin side down if it has skin) until just done (internal temp 120 degrees F)... in 350 degree (175 C) oven. It will only take a few minutes. Remove skin. 
  • In bowl, thoroughly mix cream cheese, herbs/spices, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper until smooth.
  • Add cooked salmon and mix with fork until salmon is completely broken down. Spread will still be slightly lumpy.
  • With rubber spatula, spread thin layer of cream cheese/salmon mix onto tortilla...make sure you get to the edges.
  • place a couple of spinach leaves along bottom edge of prepared tortilla and roll it up, TIGHTLY, into a log...
  • Cut each log into ~ 1-inch pieces. I cut the ends off first (they're not as uniform, so I don't put them on the plate...but they're still yummy.) Arrange on plate. Chill if not serving immediately. These will store, NICELY, in the fridge for several days if in air-tight container.
Pimiento Cheese Sandwich
Cream Cheese, Black Olive, and Pecan Sandwich
Pimiento Cheese Sandwich
  • Ok...I TOTALLY cheated on this one and bought prepared Pimiento Cheese spread from my local market. If you would like to make it yourself...may I suggest Paula Deen's recipe which can be found in the link below:
  • Hearty whole-grain bread (We used a very hearty, thin-sliced vegan sunflower bread from our local health food store)
  • Spread Pimiento cheese on bread
  • Cut into triangles
  • Serve open face
  • May garnish with sliced green olives if desired
Cream Cheese, Black Olive, and Pecan Sandwich
Note: I grew up with these. My mom would serve these favorites at Christmas Eve with a bowl of soup. These sandwiches will always seem fancy to me.
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese (or Neufchatel), softened
  • 1/3 cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing (or mayonnaise if you MUST)
  • 1 small can chopped black olives (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Thin-sliced white bread (Pepperidge Farms makes a nice one)
  • extra Miracle whip to spread on bread
  • In bowl, mix softened cream cheese and Miracle Whip until well blended
  • Stir in chopped olives and nuts and stir until incorporated 
  • Spread a slice of bread with a little (or a lot) of Miracle whip
  • Spread on Cheese/Olive mixture (a little or a lot...I prefer a LOT)
  • Cut off crusts (but only if serving at High Tea)
  • Cut into desired shape...triangles are easy...or rectangles.        
Thanks for playing in the Left Field Kitchen with me! Tune in tomorrow for Food, part 2: The Sweet Stuff...oh yeah!





    1. You should try candied pecans inyour chicken salad...yum. Your tea party food looks sooooo good. Carmen G.

    2. No pictures of the guests enjoying your masterpieces??? Everything looks.... I can't even think of a word that would truly encompass all that describes it but I'll settle for.... ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY DIVINE!!!! Wow, go big or go home must be your motto, huh? lol What a LOT of work!! It really paid off though. Amazing...

      1. Thank you, Jeannine! Pictures of the guests are coming in the last post of this series!


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