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We’re in the height of our summer and with three girls at home, not only do we have to be creative when it comes to keeping cool (literally and figuratively), we also have to find fun things to break up the monotony of the day and make some lasting memories the girls can take with them for years to come. During the winter, we traditionally sit around after dinner watching TV and enjoying a cup of hot tea. Now that our temperature is well past 100 most days, we have become an iced tea drinking crowd. We are that family… the one where no matter what is going on in our lives, we reach for a cup of tea. Tea makes everything better… or at least, it makes us a little calmer in the midst of the chaos.
One of the things we all love to do is go out for tea. I’m talking typical English Tea, where you sip on either hot or iced tea and enjoy a scone and some finger sandwiches. With this heat, I thought it would be the perfect time to create a traditional English Tea that we could enjoy for dinner. It’s really too hot to cook so something much lighter is welcome.
Since we recently came back from a trip to Las Vegas, I ran over to Walmart to load up on food. Nothing like coming home from vacation to a bare fridge. While I was thinking about some tea-inspired foods to make, I found these Bigelow tea blends. They are half iced tea & half lemonade. I bought the traditional lemonade flavor and the pomegranate lemonade. These are awesome for hot summer nights and you don’t have to mix your own like we sometimes do.
To add to the tea I thought I’d make some of my favorite blueberry and lemon scones… and also make a selection of tea sandwiches.
We are all about the fancy in our house. I’ve told you how my daughter wants to be a chef, right? Well, that means that we can’t do anything the boring way. She is very picky when it comes to how we prepare food and if it doesn’t pass her taste test, she gets really annoyed. So, we decided to make our tea sandwiches like the ones you find when you go out for English Tea.
Curry egg salad, cucumber cream cheese, and herbed tuna are our favorites and are so easy to make at home.
CURRY EGG SALAD
Ingredients: hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, curry powder, salt to taste, fresh white bread
There isn’t much to this. I boiled 8 eggs, but you can make more or less depending on the crowd you are feeding. We like to have plenty of leftovers for lunches the next day. Chop up your eggs really fine (always better when the egg salad is a rich, creamy consistency). Add your mayo or Miracle Whip (I always use Miracle Whip because I hate the taste of mayo and it’s much sweeter), curry powder, and salt. There aren’t really specific measurements for this since it’s really a matter of personal preference. Taste as you go and when it’s good… stop.
CUCUMBER & CREAM CHEESE
Ingredients: fresh cucumber, onion & chive cream cheese, fresh white bread
Peel your cucumber so there isn’t any rind left. Slice thin rounds. I usually use 4 rounds on each sandwich, but you can use more depending on how much you love cucumbers. Spread the cream cheese on the bread and top with the cucumbers. I like to use a ready-made herbed cream cheese, but you can use plain or make your own.
Ingredients: solid white albacore tuna, herb blend, or individual herbs, (I used dried oregano, basil and marjoram – you can also use tarragon), mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, fresh white bread
Mix your tuna with mayo as usual and add your herbs to taste. Spread on bread.
We always cut the crusts off our sandwiches and cut them into squares or triangles. They don’t taste any different, they just look really adorable.
A great, fresh iced tea is the perfect beverage for a meal like this. Bigelow Tea is 100% American made and is the country’s largest family-owned tea company. This year they are celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the start of the company, a New York City townhouse where Ruth Campbell Bigelow created the iconic “Constant Comment”® tea. Today, there are more than 130 varieties of flavored, green, organic, herbal, decaffeinated and iced tea.
There are also almost 4 million bags of tea that have been sent to troops overseas with Bigelow’s Tea for Troops program. That’s pretty awesome!
The Tea & Lemonade we tried was OMG incredible. You steep one extra large tea bag in 8 oz. of boiling water for about 10 minutes (yes… 10 minutes). It’s like a very concentrated version of tea. Then you add an additional 3 cups of cold water and you are ready to go. It’s got an amazing flavor and we guzzled a pitcher down in minutes. This is seriously good stuff. From now on there will have to be a pitcher of Bigelow Tea in our refrigerator.
What are your favorite tea-sipping memories?