My whole heart is so full, it is just about to burst. I am getting married in almost a month, and some of my favorite people got together this weekend to help me celebrate with my bridal shower. We had the BEST time. I will preface this by saying one of my favorite things to do is going to high tea. Hoity-toity it may be, but I relish in the excuse to get all dolled up, sip tea with our pinkies (awkwardly) raised, and nibble on dainty sweet and savory bites with people who just make me smile. I am not one of those people who had ever imagined what my wedding dress would look like or the type of wedding cake I would have, but I knew that I wanted a tea party to make an appearance somewhere in the wedding planning process.
I was all set to gather around with my close friends and family for tea and bridal shower games, until I stumbled upon Maddie from Madalynne Studios on Instagram. Maddie, a seamstress extraordinaire (among many other awesome things), makes beautiful sporty, modern lingerie and hosts day-long sewing and bra-making workshops which attract people from all over the country. I reached out, asking her about hosting a little sewing workshop in her beautiful studio space for my bridal shower. I was thrilled when she said yes. The plan was that we would all bring homemade tea-party bites, sip tea, and learn to sew something. She had the idea of doing a little "Panty Party" in which we would all sew cute panties while we mingled around.
The most fantastic thing was that none of us had any real sewing machine experience, and ALL of us made a pair of fancy underpants by the end of the shower. They were bright red, high-waisted in the best possible way, and incredibly comfortable. Maddie warned us that we would all be wearing them by the end of the event, and right she was! Maddie was the perfect hostess and instructor. She was patient with the more perfectionist types and easy-going with those who got a little distracted with the delicious treats we all made. She also was a master troubleshooter when I got myself into a sewing hole...which happened quite a few times. As an added DIY, I brought materials for simple hand-sewn heart-shaped tea bags that looked beautiful floating in their tea cups.
I must give a huge shout-out to all of my friends and family who brought the most beautiful and delicious tea party treats. We hardly had enough table space for all of the goodies! My Mom and little sister made super-cute avocado and egg sandwiches on pumpernickel, miso-yogurt and radish toasts, and cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches. My bridesmaids and friends made savory frittatas, brie-stuffed puff pasty nibbles, chocolate and red wine strawberry cakes, mini lemon cupcakes, and cookies galore. My future sister-in-law brought the juiciest strawberries from Carlos Bakery, and my future mother-in-law brought tasty Filipino empanadas fresh from the bakery. The photos below do these treats more justice than any words, so take a look for yourself. Maddie snapped the gorgeous event photos in between wearing her sewing teacher hat.
Food and tea aside, It was so special for me to have many of the important, supportive, and loving women in my life all together for the afternoon. Many of them come from different periods in my life, so to have that shared sewing experience was just the cherry on top. I cannot wait to have them all together again in just 32 days when I walk down the aisle (!).
As many times as I was told I should not have to do anything for my shower, I could not resist. I love making things look beautiful, and that most certainly means I wanted to make some beautiful food. Nothing fancy, but something certainly bright, fresh, and oh-so-spring. I made four types of tea nibbles leading up to the event as practice and loved them all!
- Egg and Avocado Salad with Radish on Whole Grain
- Roasted Beet and Tahini with Lemon and Dill on Pumpkernickel
- Cucumber with Edamame Goat Cheese on Whole Wheat
- Curried Chickpea Radicchio Cups
I could not even name a favorite for you- they work so well together. I ultimately decided to take just two of them to the shower given the amount of food others were bringing, and I am glad I did because there was not a smidgen of space left on the tables... or in anyone's bellies!
Without further ado, here they are!
Egg and Avocado Salad with Radish on Whole Grain
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and finely diced
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and finely diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 radishes, very finely julienned
8 slices whole grain bread, preferably sandwich bread
Mash 1 avocado with lemon juice and generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Stir in chopped eggs. Add remaining diced avocado and mix gently so as to not break up the diced avocado too much. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread on 4 slices of bread. Sprinkle with julienned radishes. Slice pieces into squares or into slender thirds. Enjoy!
Beet and Tahini with Lemon and Dill on Pumpernickel
3 medium to large beets, greens removed and roots scrubbed clean (no need to peel yet)
1/2-3/4 cup tahini
1 lemon, zested
1 handful dill, finely chopped (or another microgreen of choice, for garnish)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
sea salt and pepper, for sprinkling
7 thin slices German Pumpernickel bread, toasted or other thin, sturdy bread
Prepare beets. Place clean beets in a steamer basket in a pot with water just to bottom of basket. Steam beets for 40-50 minutes, or until butter knife inserted to beet slips through easily. Be sure to add more water about half way through to prevent pot from scorching. Alternatively, beets can be wrapped in foil and roasted in oven at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Remove beets from heat and allow to cool before slipping skins from beet. Using a mandoline or very carefully with a knife, thinly slice beets into paper-thin sheets. Set sheets aside.
Spread about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini on one side of each of toasted bread slices. Be careful not to go over the edge or the become a little messy. Layer beet slices in thin layer atop tahini. Sprinkle with lemon zest, chopped dill (or microgreen), toasted sunflower seeds, and sea salt and pepper. Slice bread into thirds and then leave in rectangles or slice into squares. Makes 21 rectangular slices or 42 squares.
Cucumber with Edamame Goat Cheese on Whole Wheat
1 large English (seedless) cucumber
1 recipe Edamame Goat Cheese Spread
1/2 loaf of soft whole wheat bread
handful of chives, finely chopped
sea salt, to taste
Slice cucumber width-wise into thirds. Thinly slice cucumbers thirds lengthwise into paper-tin strips. Divide edamame spread amongst bread slices. Layer cucumber slices diagonally atop spread. Some cucumber will hang over the edges. This website has a great visual tutorial. Carefully cut crusts from bread, and then cut slices into 4 small squares. Sprinkle with chives and a sprinkling of sea salt. Enjoy!
Curried Chickpea Radicchio Cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas)
2 green onions, white and light green parts, minced
1/3 cup of dried apricots, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt, 2% recommended
1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 small head radicchio, leaves removed carefully and torn in half (alternatively, use lettuce leaves or endive)
Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add chickpeas to skillet and toss to coat. Remove chickpeas and residual oil to bowl. Add green onions, apricots, celery, and lemon zest and juice. Stir to combine. When mixture has cooled slightly, add yogurt, almonds, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. mix thoroughly. Divide mixture amongst radicchio cups, placing a few tablespoons in each cup, sprinkle with any extra cilantro and almonds, and serve. Makes about 12-16 radicchio cups, depending on the size.
**A huge THANK YOU to Maddie for also taking beautiful photographs at the event and to BHLDN for supplying some of the bridal shower-perfect decor and paper products. Maddie also blogged about the event here on her blog and posted more photos, so check it out!