A Spring Tea Menu

Noodle Salad

Happy Monday, friends!  I trust your weekend was fabulous!  I had a weekend of watching God at work! I can’t wait to tell you about it!  Thanks to those of you who prayed for me!  I’m so grateful!!

I promised I would share the recipes from the gathering here a week ago, so let’s start with one of the savory dishes!  When I was making my menu for my Spring Ladies’ Tea I knew I wanted some kind of salad that was refreshing, pretty and satisfying.  Then I saw Pioneer woman make an Asian Noodle salad on her show and knew I’d found what I needed!  The original recipe calls for spaghetti noodles, but I wanted to keep the menu to need a “fork only,” so I changed it to pasta shells and I was well satisfied.  This is so colorful, and it made a ton!  The leftovers were really good, too!  You could adjust the vegetables to your family’s liking, of course!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
Salad:
8 ounces thin spaghetti
One 8-ounce bag julienne/fine-cut carrots (about 1 1/2 cups)
One 6-ounce bag baby sweet peppers, seeded and sliced thinly into rings (about 1 cup)
One 4-ounce bag bean sprouts (about 1 cup)
3 English cucumbers, peeled and sliced
3 scallions, sliced
Up to 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 head or more napa cabbage, sliced
1/2 head or more purple cabbage, sliced
1/2 bunch kale, leaves torn off the stalks and shredded
2 cups peanuts, chopped
Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped

P.S. I added a bottled Peanut Sauce to the salad for a little heat and we loved it!

For the salad: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti to al dente according to the package directions. Drain, rinse and let cool.
Mix together the cooked spaghetti, carrots, peppers, bean sprouts, cucumbers, scallions, cilantro, napa cabbage, purple cabbage and kale. Add the peanuts and toss together.
For the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, sesame oil and garlic in a medium bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix together with tongs or your hands. If the salad seems a little dry, just mix up a little more of the wet ingredients of the dressing and throw it in. It’s a very organic process.
Transfer to a large platter and serve.

One of the desserts I served that seemed to be a favorite was Key Lime Tarts.  I wish I could say they were so complicated and I labored hours over them, but that is not true at all!  They were the easiest thing I made!  

Key lime tarts 2

I made up my pie crust recipe – 2 Cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 Cup Crisco, ice water and cut out small circles and baked them in a mini tart pan.  (If you need a video tutorial on pie making here’s one I did several years ago) https://youtu.be/d3Wn-4bLdWI

I froze the shells early in the week then on the day of the Tea, I pulled them out and piped into each shell some Key Lime filling I purchased at an Amish Store nearby.  It was sooo flavorful and delicious!  Then, I whipped up fresh cream with a little powdered sugar added, and piped it onto the top of each tart.  I finished by zesting a lime and sprinkling the zest on top!  Yummy!

key lime tarts

I failed to get a good picture of tea Tea punch I made, but it was refreshing and simple, so I need to share it with you!  The tea was in the punch bowl below!0416161318.jpg

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

3 family-size tea bags
2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 (33.8-oz.) bottle peach nectar
1/2 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (1-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled
1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled
Garnish: fresh peach wedges
Preparation
 Hands-on: 10 Minutes
Total: 9 Hours, 5 Minutes
1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add tea bags and mint leaves. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes.

2. Discard tea bags and mint. Pour into a 1-gal. container; add peach nectar, lemonade concentrate, and Simple Sugar Syrup. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
3. Pour chilled tea mixture into a punch bowl or pitcher. Stir in ginger ale and club soda just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

My menu also included Chicken Salad, Crackers, Cheese Straws, Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Honey Lemon Drop Cookies (here is my outcome of that recipe). 

Oh, I made sugar cookies shaped into tea cups…and promptly left them in the freezer!  Do you ever do that?!  

With love from my country kitchen,

 

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