Often, our fast-paced schedules don’t allow time to relax and enjoy time with friends. An afternoon party is a perfect opportunity to return to a quieter, less hectic time, sip a cup of tea and nibble on homemade treats. Here are some recipes from The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary in Richmond, Ky. Most recipes make individual servings of snacks, desserts and sandwiches.
BLUE CHEESE TEA CRACKERS
Blue cheese spread: 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1 package (4 ounces) blue cheese Crackers: 3 /4 cup all-purpose flour 3 /4 cup toasted pecans, finely ground 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces 1 /3 cup blue cheese, crumbled Pecan halves for garnish Red and yellow peppers for garnish
Mix two cheeses together, either in a food processor or with hand mixer. Store in plastic container in refrigerator until ready to use.
To make crackers, combine flour and pecans in food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add blue cheese, and process until dough is completely combined. Transfer dough to work surface, and shape into a 2-inch wide log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 24 hours. (Dough may be kept in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks and in the freezer up to 4 weeks.)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Slice chilled log into 1 /4 inch-thick slices. Place slices on a baking sheet, then bake. Rotate baking sheet about halfway through cooking. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until crackers are golden brown and firm in the center. Transfer to cooling rack, then to an airtight container when totally cooled. May be kept at room temperature.
To assemble, put about a teaspoon of spread on each cracker. Garnish with a thin strip of red and yellow pepper placed, crisscrossing. Place a toasted pecan half in the center of the peppers. Serve immediately.
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese 1 package Good Seasons Zesty Italian seasoning mix Dried dill Cucumbers, sliced in rounds Cherry tomatoes, sliced Fresh dill
Mix cream cheese with Good Seasons mix and dried dill to taste. Place a dollop of cream cheese mixture on a cucumber slice, and top with a slice of tomato and dill sprig.