Monday, June 10, 2013

Favorite Things

What could possibly bring dry shampoo, local honey, bubble bath, tea, macaroons, tart pans, and special seasoning all to the table at once? A Favorite Things party! Last week I hosted a girl's-night-in, and each friend brought an item (under £6) that represented one of their favorite things. We played White Elephant with our loot, and each took home someone else's favorite thing. This is an incredibly fun and unique way to get to know something new about your friends and try their special secrets for yourself.

My contribution to the festivities revealed my secret love of miniature kitchenware. I don't have many mini kitchen items, but I always want to buy them when I see them. When we first moved to Scotland, I had my eye on mini tart pans for the entire first year, but as a poor phD student's wife, I never felt justified in buying them. But one day they were on clearance, so I could no longer resist, and now I adore them! So in getting ready for my girl's-night-in, I decided to buy a set of adorable heart-shaped mini tart pans as my gift offering.

I really enjoy making tarts - both sweet and savory. Jordan bought me my first tart pan for my birthday one year, and I've been hooked on it ever since. I love how the edges come out perfectly crinkled without any artistic input. I am not one who produces beautiful bake-goods, so I like the fail proof result of the removable bottom.

Sunday afternoon before my party, I turned on some music and started playing with lemons... I made a lemon tart with coconut crust and a few mini Earl Grey infused chocolate tarts.

Lemon Tart with Coconut Crust

Earl Gray Infused Mini Chocolate Tarts

The lemon tart was remarkable. I love this recipe. The fresh citrus flavor hits the spot for me. The Earl Grey tarts did not have as much of an Earl Grey undertone as I was hoping/expecting. If I was to try them again, I would steep more tea bags in the cream to try to draw out that flavor. Even still... if you're looking for a chocolaty punch, try these. The mini versions are great, because they are very rich. 

This game idea would also function well as an ice-breaker for a new group of women just getting to know each other (bible study, mom's group, book club etc.)
In keeping with the theme of this blog (books and food), I've just thought... what if I had a Favorite Things party just for books? Each person brings a copy of their favorite book to share, and everyone walks away with a highly recommended new book to read. I think I love it...

In case anyone is interested, here are the recipes I used for the party plus a few other favorites.

Meyer Lemon Tart with Coconut Crust

Earl Grey Infused Chocolate Tart (note: This crust sounds amazing, but I did not make it this time, as I used the same crust I had already made for the lemon tart.)

Alsace Onion Tart (this is a staple dinner in our house)

Balsamic Onion Tart with Goat Cheese and Thyme


  1. I wish we lived a wee bit closer :)

    1. Oh, Gini, I wish that too.... :) How are you settling into the mountains? I picture in such a peaceful place right now... hope that's true! Ha...

  2. What a fabulous idea! The tarts look delicious! I have to know...what did your friends bring to the party?

    1. My friends brought the items listed at the beginning... the dry shampoo, local honey, tea, etc. It was SUCH a fun party. And the cool thing is you could do it again and again and just bring different things... I mean everyone has more than one idea of what to bring.... :)

  3. oh I am SO GLAD you posted the recipes! Did you follow them to a "t" because I will as well! I can't wait to try them! Now I'm curious since I wasn't there-- who brought what and who came home with what?! so wish I could have gone!

  4. Julie brought fresh macaroons and spiced nuts from the International Market that was on that weekend. Bria brought Rooibos tea. Jessie brought a special Tony's spice blend that she grew up on in Louisiana that she puts on EVERYTHING. Robyn brought local honey. Crystal brought dry shampoo. Jess brought bubble bath and chocolates. :)

    I'm curious, WHAT would you have brought??