Jane Austen Birthday Party Menu, Plus How to Dip Cookies in Chocolate, and a Sugar Cookie Recipe

So as you know if you have been following my page, I just celebrated my 29th birthday with a Jane Austen Garden Tea Party.

Some of you might be wondering why I am so extensively going through all the party planning and it was because I had been planning to have this two years ago, but life got in the way so I decided to wait and now I’ve finally been able to have it.

Party time!

So far we have gone over invitations, decorations, prizes, activities to have, how to make your own piñata, etc. Before we go over the games I thought I would share the menu.

So starting with sandwiches, remember how we’ve been having those The Magician’s Nephew Bible study/book club/tea party? Well, those have also been a dry run for me as it gives me a chance to try out recipes and see which ones I really love. I decided to start off with one I really loved: Curried Egg Salad Triple Stacks Sandwiches

I also really love cucumber sandwiches and wanted to use the recipe from Spend With Pennies but to save time I used Chive and Onion Cream Cheese Spread.

I know not everyone will be into them so I needed some regular sandwiches. I decided on Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches:

And I rounded it out with Tea Time Magazine’s Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches:

Out of all of them, the Ham and Cheese did the best. They were all gone before the party’s end.

My mom made a salad for a side and then we went to the strawberry farm down the street and bought a ton of strawberries. Yep, I wanted it to be like Donwell Abbey.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any scones. I had wanted to make some, but I ran out of time. I had also planned to buy some, but when I went to the store they were all out.

But I had lots of desserts! I had made them a few weeks earlier and put them in the freezer until the day before the party. The first cookie I made was Crispy, Chewy, Matcha Green Tea Cookies.

People didn’t really like these as much as the other cookies, but I love them. They were eaten, just not as much as all the others.

The next cookie I made was Basic Shortbread:

But I used a cookie cutter to make them into teapot shape; along with cutting the other half of the cookies into a teabag shape. And I dipped them in chocolate

Chocolate Dipped Cookies:

  1. Have your cookies baked and cooled.
  2. Using a double broiler, melt a chocolate bar or chocolate chips.
  3. If you do not have a double broiler, get two pots about the same size or have one be slightly smaller than the other. Heat water in one until it boils. Turn down the flame and take the other pot and hold it over the one with boiled water. Place the chocolate in the top pot and stir until melted.
  4. When chocolate is melted, dip cookies and lay on wax paper. Put cookies in freezer or fridge to get chocolate to harden.

The last cookie I made was Better Home and Gardens Sugar Cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 Cup of Shortening
  • 3/4 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 Teaspoons of Milk
  • 2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour (Sifted)
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

Directions:

  1. Throughly cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Add egg; beat until mixture light and fluffy.
  3. Stir in milk.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Blend dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  6. Divide dough in half.
  7. Chill for one hour.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 of an inch thickness.
  9. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  10. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees F for 6-8 minutes.
  11. Cool slightly, then remove from pan.

I had wanted to make Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake but I ran out of time and I ended up just buying an Almond Poppyseed cake from Raleys. It was good, but not as amazing as the Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake.

My friend also made Carrot Cake (my favorite) and carrot cake cupcakes. I didn’t take a picture of the cake (so good) but in the picture below, where the cupcakes are is where the cake was placed. All the cupcakes were gone by the end of the party. The recipe is a secret or else I would have shared that too.

I’ve been having so much fun sharing all these things with you, and even though the party has ended I will be continuing to share all my other party plans!

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Croquet

For more Jane Austen party ideas, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Paper Fan Making

For more desserts, go to Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

For more cookie recipes, go to The Picture of Earl Grey Tea Cookies

For more recipes, go to Savory Beef Hand Pies

Jane Austen Birthday Party: Croquet

So as you know if you have been following my page, I just celebrated my 29th birthday with a Jane Austen Garden Tea Party.

Party time!

Some of you might be wondering why I am so extensively going through all the party planning and it was because I had been planning to have this two years ago, in my last year of being a Jane Austen heroine (Anne Elliot) but life got in the way so I decided to wait and now I’ve finally been able to have it.

So far we have gone over invitations, decorations, prizes, and how to make your own piñata, etc. Now I ended up having four games, but I know not everyone is interested in being a part of games-and I had four little girls who needed something to occupy themselves with. So I started thinking what else could I offer my party guests?

So the first thing I had planned was paper fan making. I thought the young girls would have a lot of fun making those, plus if the adults got overheated they could make one too.

But that would only occupy them for a short while. So I started thinking of something else to have…

Hmm…?

So one thing I really, really wanted to have at my party was croquet. I love croquet, but I wanted it not only because I like the game but because I wanted to be like Austenland.

Ah, if only I had JJ Feild: Mr. Tilney or Mr. Nobley. I’d settle for any of them.

I’m all about him!

So I started looking and I couldn’t find any croquet sets that weren’t costing an arm and a leg. I searched everywhere, every site I could think of and just gave up. I thought I would just have to find something else to do.

Sigh

But then in April, about two weeks before my party was planned, I went antiquing with some friends. I found some teacups, mugs, and other things in this amazing multilevel store. As I went to go outside to the shed, I spotted something sad, forlorn, dirty, and ignored.

I’m not sure how old it is, but it is certainly vintage. I got the set (minus the arches) for $30

This set needed a lot of work, someone had not been kind and left them out in the elements: they were dirty, full of cobwebs, the paint was peeling, etc. And of course after I purchased this set every site then had full new croquet sets for sale.

Oh well…

So I set to work taking care of it. I had to clean everything, then sanitize it, paint it, and in the end varnish it. I had a lot of help, which was good, as this was tiring.

From The Iron Giant

And I think it came out pretty great.

The official rules of croquet were published in the mid 1800s, but people had been playing long before that.

For those who don’t know, the game of croquet is a race of hitting balls on the lawn. Similar to golf, one must hit their ball but through an arch or hoop to score points, then tap the pole at the end to win.

  1. The role of play is on the wickets and the peg, you must play in the order of the colors.
  2. The first player gets one strike and whacks their ball in an effort to get it through the hoop.
  3. Each player gets one shot and they are played in turn (unless extra shots get earned).
  4. Running a hoop‘ (passing through the correct hoop) gains one extra shot. Hitting one of the other three balls (a roquet) gets you two extra shots as well.
  5. You can hit another ball (make a roquet) and earn two extra shots. In this case the first of those (the croquet stroke) must get played by placing it in contact with the roquet ball. To do that, you move your ball and place it anywhere in contact with the ball that got hit. The roqueted ball must move or shake with the next strike.
  6. Balls can get struck off the lawn. How I’ve always played is like golf, you hit where it lands. But official UK rules say that if a ball is knocked out of bounds, you may move it one meter inside the lawn.
  7. Players must hit each ball clean and without moving any other balls, hoops, or pegs. The best croquet strategy is to strike the balls with the face of the mallet to make a clean shot. (Or as seen in the Austenland video, hold you ball with your foot, and smack it into another to move them out of the way.)
  8. The ball gets removed from play once it hits the peg at the end of the course.
  9. You score one point for getting the ball through each hoop. You get an extra point for hitting the peg. First person or team to do so, wins!

We played with it, the young girls did as well, and we all had a great time.

I’ve been having so much fun sharing all these things with you, and even though the party has ended I will be continuing to share all my other party plans!

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Paper Fan Making

For more Jane Austen party ideas, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Decorations

For more Jane Austen games, go to Marrying Mr. Darcy: The Pride and Prejudice Card Game

Jane Austen Birthday Party: Decorations

Party time!

So I have been planning my Jane Austen 29th birthday party for a few years, and when the lockdowns happened last year I began to grow worried that I wouldn’t be able to have it. But we moved down a tier, so I decided to continue and we had such a wonderful time.

So in my previous posts I went over the invitations, the prizes, and now I thought I would discuss the decorations.

You know how I like to party plan!

So the first thing I decided was to reuse the table runners and Jane Austen framed quotes from my bridal shower. Yes, even though the marriage didn’t work out the decorations from the party did.

So besides the floral table runners and framed quotes: I also used three of my teapots as vases and filled them with fake flowers. Each one sat in a wicker tray and of course had books and doilies. The white teapot with the diamonds on it and the Chinese teapot both used to be my grandma’s while the doilies were made by my abuelita. Even though they couldn’t be with me, it was nice having them there in spirit.

On the food table, I used another teapot to hold flowers and placed my Mr. Darcy in a stick from Modesto Jane Con. I had wanted to do that with all my teapots, have different Austen heroes, but I just ran out of time.

I also put flowers on the dessert table, and around the cake although I forgot to take a picture of it. The cake sat where the little cupcakes are featured in this picture.

So far all the decorations were ones that I already owned, which saved me a lot of money. I only had to pay for the tablecloths ($1 each at the Dollar Tree). I also hung up Chinese lanterns in the trees and was able to get a pack of 5 for $9 on Amazon.

For plates I could have just gone to the Dollar tree, but for $18 I found this pretty floral set of 144 Pieces (Serves 24) of Pink Floral Paper Plates, Napkins, Cups and Plastic Cutlery. Since I hadn’t spent that much on decorations, I decided to splurge on it.

In the back of the above photo, you can see how we also put these flowered hoops up in the tree and decorated my parent’s backyard bench with lace and flowers. The tables were borrowed from our church or ones my mom owned. The chairs were a mix of borrowed ones from church and ones we owned.

As I mentioned in a previous post, from the beginning I wanted to have a teacup for everyone and have those be part of their favors. All the cups I purchased were about $2-$4, most being $2.50. I found a few in local thrift, resale, and vintage shops-but I really lucked out when I went to Reno and their Goodwill had sooo many. I laid them out on a table and let everyone pick out the one they wanted to use.

I’ve been having so much fun sharing all these things with you, and even though the party has ended I will be continuing to share all my other party plans!

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday: Prize One

For more Jane Austen party ideas, go to Jane Austen Birthday: Teapot Piñata

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to Northanger Abbey Audiobook Narrated by Anna Massey

Jane Austen Birthday Party: Teapot Piñata

Party time!

So I have been planning my Jane Austen 29th birthday party for a few years, and I did not let the Coronavirus get in the way. We had the party and it was a lot of fun. Even though the party has passed, I am still going to share all the things we did and how I put it together.

So I love piñatas! I mean who doesn’t like hitting paper mache with a bat and getting a reward?

Besides me loving piñatas, I had four little girls planning on coming and wanted to make sure I had some things for them as well. When I was doing my party planning I spotted a homemade teapot piñata on Almost Unschoolers. I thought to myself, I could totally do that-I have made piñatas before, I mean it was a donkey not a teapot, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult.

And I thought with today being Cinco de Mayo, I thought what better day than today to blend my culture with Jane Austen. So here we go:

Supplies:

  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 1/2 tbsp of Salt
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic Bag
  • Balloon
  • Gesso or paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue
  • Crepe Paper
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Cup or Bowl for Balloon to rest in
  • Candy or Teabags
  • Fake Flower (optional)
  • Hot Glue Gun

Directions:

  1. Lie a plastic bag on the table.
  2. Blow a balloon up and set on a cup or bowl in order to apply the paper mache.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, water, and salt-whisking to remove any lumps.
  4. Cut newspaper into strips, about 2 inches wide and 4 inches long.
  5. Dip paper into flour mixture and cover balloon. I recommend doing two layers, letting it dry, and repeating another two layers.
  6. After all is dry, carefully pop the balloon and throw it away.
  7. Paint paper mache with white paint or gesso.
  8. After the paint or gesso has dried, begin covering the piñata in crepe paper strips (I found it easiest to paint the glue on and work bottom to top). Be sure to cut each strip so it has a fringe look.
  9. Fill piñata with candy or teabags (or both).
  10. Using cardstock, create handle, lid, and spout. When making the spout, take the cardstock and create a funnel, cutting the paper down until it is the right size.
  11. Hot glue the pieces on and the fake flower to the lid.

Teapotpiñata

Here we are after I gessoed it:

Then when I added the crepe paper and cardstock:

Candy and tea bags inside:

And of course the finished product:

At the party!

Now piñatas aren’t hard or expensive to make they just take time. I only spent $7 on this as I already had the water, flour, newspaper, and fake flower. The cardstock was $1, the assorted candy $4, and the Stash teabags $2.

I’ve been having so much fun sharing all these things with you, I can’t wait to continue with all the other party plans!

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday: Prize Three

For more Jane Austen parties, go to Jane Austen Birthday: Prize Two

For more tea postsgo to Brisket and Slaw Roulades

in the past 30 days

Jane Austen Birthday Party: Prize Three

Party time!

So I have been planning my Jane Austen 29th birthday party for a few years, and I did not let the Coronavirus get in the way. It was yesterday and so much fun!

So I had planned to do three games at the party. They actually changed from what I originally planned, but I’ll talk more about that later. When you have games then you need prizes! In a previous post I shared one of the prizes being a copy of Persuasion, a tea infuser which I added an anchor charm to, a tin of Harney and Sons tea, and a thimble with the HMS Cutty Sark on it.

The second prize was a copy of Pride and Prejudice, Litographs Pride and Prejudice Tattoos, and a embroidered tea towel.

For the third prize I decided to focus on my favorite novel, Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey is such an amazing novel and has been ignored for far too long. Hopefully the person who wins this will read it and fall in love with Henry Tilney.

For this prize I have a copy of Northanger Abbey, a gothically ghoulish “Squad Ghouls” tote bag from Forever 21 (fits with the type of books Catherine liked to read), a embroidered tea towel, and a tin of Harney and Sons. I love embroidery, don’t you? It is such a beautiful art that doesn’t get as much love as it deserves.

Like I have said before, I just don’t understand why people always seem to hate it, or have their character hate it to show they are “modern” or “intelligent”. Why do we value other artwork but not embroidery? Embroidery is just as artistic as painting, drawing, sewing, etc. I hope people start valuing it and seeing it for the talent it is. Here is everything all together:

This whole bag came out to $7.25: Northanger Abbey book $0.49, Forever 21 “Squad Ghouls” Tote Bage $3, Flour Sack Dishtowel $2.50, and Black & Blue Thread $1.26

I’ve been having so much fun sharing all these things with you, and even though the party has ended I will be continuing to share all my other party plans!

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday: Prize One

For more Jane Austen parties, go to Jane Austen Birthday: Invitations

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to Northanger Abbey Audiobook Narrated by Anna Massey