Bridal Tea Party

Cranberry Tea
Jalapeño-Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches
Cranberry-Pecan Chicken Salad Puffs
Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches
Asparagus Tart
Brie and Sun-Dried Tomato Tartletts
Goat Cheese Truffles
Peach Jelly Roll
Blueberry Tart
Wedding Cookies

Bridal Tea Party

Cuisine, Food Styling and Table Design: Catering by Debbi Covington
Photography: Susan DeLoach Photography

Weddings are so much fun and offer a zillion reasons for pre-nuptial parties. Do you like to dress up in pearls and heels? If so, then this menu has been tailored just for you. A tea party is a great function for a bridesmaid’s event, a wedding shower or even a thank you to the people who have helped you plan and organize your wedding.

Very simple to prepare and execute, an afternoon tea can be as casual or as elegant as you desire. I love every opportunity that I have to pull out my collection of assorted china tea cups and my mother’s silver tea service. You may prefer ceramic mugs and earthenware dishes. The details are up to you.

These are some of the most requested items from my tea party menu along with a couple of my personal favorites. Every recipe is easy to make and can be prepared in advance.

Most importantly, have a good time with your friends. Enjoy every single pre-wedding event that you host or attend. This is such a special time in your life and the beginning of a new adventure with the man you love. Be happy!

Cranberry Tea

Cranberry Tea
Brewing a pot of tea can be a pleasure! It’s a comforting circle of ritual and tradition —- and the opportunity to hold and handle your great-grandmother’s precious china cup and saucer.
8 cups water

2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
4 tea bags
1¾ cups water
½ cup brown sugar
Bring water to a boil. Add cinnamon and cloves. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add tea bags; steep for 15 to 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, cinnamon, and cloves. Add juices and sugar. Heat until warmed through. Do not boil. Serve hot. Serves 10 to 12.

Jalapeño-Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches

Jalapeño-Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches
Jalapeño-Pimento Cheese tastes best if prepared a day in advance, allowing time for flavors to blend. Be sure to put lots of filling on the sandwiches.
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
¼ cup diced pickled jalapeño peppers, drained
1 cup mayonnaise, or enough to blend mixture smoothly
Sandwich bread (white or whole wheat)
Mix first four ingredients together in a large bowl. Adjust amount of mayonnaise to make mixture spread easily. Cut bread into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Spread cheese mixture evenly on bread. Garnish with sliced grape tomatoes and sliced pickled jalapeños. Serves 12 to 15.

Cranberry-Pecan Chicken Salad Puffs

Cranberry-Pecan Chicken Salad Puffs
I used Pepperidge Farm pastry cups for this recipe. Other serving ideas include filo tart shells, crostini or water crackers.
1 (9.5 ounce) package frozen pastry cups

3 cups diced cooked chicken
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
Bake pastry cups according to package directions; cool. In a large bowl combine chicken, celery, mayonnaise, garlic powder, cranberries and pecans until mixed. Fill pastry cups with chicken mixture. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves 12 to 15.

Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches

Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches
These yummy sandwiches are perfect for almost any party!
24 King’s Hawaiian Rolls or Pepperidge Farm Party Rolls

1 pound sliced ham
1 package sliced Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
½ cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced onion
½ teaspoon worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To assemble each sandwich: spread mayonnaise onto each side of the opened roll, add a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese. Fold ham and cheese into smaller pieces to fit. As you assemble the sandwiches, place them in a lightly greased glass baking dish. Sides of the sandwiches will touch each other. Place melted butter, poppyseeds, mustard, onion and worcestershire sauce in a small bowl; mix well to combine. Pour the butter mixture evenly over the sandwiches and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 24.

Asparagus Tart

Asparagus Tart
Use a tart pan with a removable bottom, any shape you choose!
1 refrigerated pie crust

1 bundle fresh asparagus spears
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 ounces fontina cheese, grated
Dash grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon pimento, drained
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll pie crust. Using a rolling pin, roll crust to fit tart pan. Gently place pie crust in pan, pressing crust into pan evenly. Remove excess dough from edges. Prick bottom and sides of crust many times with the tines of a fork. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake until crust is almost done. Remove crust and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut asparagus spears to fit the crust. Line asparagus tips in a row on bottom of crust. In a medium bowl combine egg, milk, mustard and cheese until mixed. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper, to taste. Pour cheese mixture over asparagus, to cover. Place any additional asparagus tips evenly on top of cheese mixture. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and egg is set. Garnish with pimento before serving. Serves 6.

Brie and Sun-Dried Tomato Tartletts

Brie and Sun-Dried Tomato Tartletts
The yummy filling for these tartletts can also be used as a baked dip served warm with cocktail crackers.
16 ounces brie
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and chopped
2 packages frozen filo tart shells (15 per package)
Fresh thyme, to garnish
Remove rind from brie and cut into small pieces. Place brie in a medium bowl. Add garlic, thyme and sun-dried tomatoes. Mix to combine. Fill each filo shell with cheese mixture. Place filled tartletts on a lightly-greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh thyme. Serve warm. Makes 30.

Goat Cheese Truffles

Goat Cheese Truffles
Not a fan of goat cheese? Use blue cheese instead.
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 (3 ounce) package real bacon bits
Combine cheeses, whipping cream and oregano. Mix well; chill for 1 hour. Using a small ice cream scoop, roll goat cheese into small balls. Place bacon bits in a flat dish. Roll goat cheese truffles in bacon bits until coated. Repeat. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 12 to 15.

Peach Jelly Roll

Peach Jelly Roll
Use your favorite fruit preserves or jam to fill this delicious cake roll.
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs, yolks and white separated
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar plus ½ cup sugar
Confectioner’s sugar
8 ounces peach preserves
Combine flour and baking powder; set aside. In a mixing bowl beat egg yolks with vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, beating on high speed until sugar is nearly dissolved. Thoroughly wash and dry beaters. In another bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add ½ cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold yolk mixture into beaten egg whites. Sprinkle flour mixture over egg mixture; fold in gently until just combined. Spread batter evenly into a greased and floured 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched near center. Immediately loosen edges of cake from pan and turn cake out onto a towel sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Roll up towel and cake, jelly roll style, starting from one of the cake’s short sides. Cool on a rack. Unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cake evenly with peach preserves to within 1 inch of the edges. Roll up cake. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

Blueberry Tart

Blueberry Tart
If blueberries aren’t in season, substitute 1½ cups of your favorite sliced apples.
1 refrigerated pie crust
2 cups fresh blueberries
¼ cup sugar, divided
Dash ground cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Whipped cream
Fresh mint
Unroll pie crust and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle pastry with 1 teaspoon sugar. Place blueberries in center of pie crust. Sprinkle with remaining sugar, reserving 1 teaspoon. Sprinkle lightly with ground cinnamon. Fold up sides of pastry about 1½ inches from the edge to encase berries. Brush edge of crust with beaten egg. Sprinkle remaining teaspoon sugar over the entire tart. Dot with pieces of butter. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack to prevent bottom of tart from becoming soggy. Cool completely before serving. Serve with whipped cream. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serves 6.

Wedding Cookies

Wedding Cookies
A southern classic!
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup finely chopped pecans
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioner’s sugar, for rolling
Combine flour, butter, pecans, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir until well blended. Mixture will be stiff. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool slightly. Roll cookies in confectioner’s sugar and cool completely on wire racks. Makes 24 cookies.

Catering by Debbi Covington

Link to purchase Celebrate Everything!:
Link to column “Everyday Gourmet”:

Debbi Covington is a chef, caterer, cookbook author and food columnist from Beaufort, SC. She has written two cookbooks, Gold Medal winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon . She also writes the food column “Everyday Gourmet” in Beaufort’s Lowcountry Weekly newspaper. Debbi has been featured as a “Master of Entertaining” in Southern Living magazine and her recipes have been published in multiple cookbooks including Southern Living’s Best Kept Secrets of the South’s Best Cooks and The Best of The Best of South Carolina. Her cuisine has been photographed for Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. She has been voted “Best Caterer” in Beaufort, SC since 2010. Debbi has a passion for cuisine and delights in creating seasonal and locally inspired menus.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Susan DeLoach Photography 843-470-1646.

Celebrate Everything!

Gold Medal Winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award
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The MUST HAVE cookbook for all new brides! Great wedding gift, bridal party gift or guest book! —- Chef Debbi Covington, author of Dining Under the Carolina Moon, has written a new cookbook! Infused with high spirits and full of delicious recipes, Celebrate Everything! is a delightful book that inspires cooking and entertaining throughout the year with lots of new reasons to eat, drink and be merry! Twenty-seven menus with 190 recipes are included in the cookbook. Some celebrate holidays – with heartfelt traditions to enjoy with friends and family. Some celebrate special moments that just give us an excuse to party! All of the menus include recipes for several courses along with suggestions for appropriate wines or other beverages. The dishes all work together as a complete event, yet there’s room for your imagination. Life is full of happy surprises! Good feelings and good times are meant to be shared with others. This collection will spark your enthusiasm and you’ll look forward to each and every celebration with excitement! Celebrate Everything! is a 216 page hard cover cookbook and features 580 full color photographs by Paul Nurnberg. Signed copies are available directly from the author at