Celebrating A Faceless Frenzy Tea Party - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 298162

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating a Faceless Frenzy Tea Party 
Feb. 25, 2013 6:05 am 
Updated: Mar. 3, 2013 2:57 pm

Recently, Baking Nana suggested we all participate in a Faceless Frenzy.  The date was set for this past weekend. If you haven't been on The Buzz lately, you may not know what a Faceless Frenzy is. Actually, it's quite an addictive activity! It's putting photos to those recipes that have no photo. We were to make as many as we could in a 48 hour period and then review and post the photos.

I knew I needed to set some parameters for this activity: I would only make food that we would eat, I would scale down recipes considerably using the "change servings" option, and if I was going to make very many different items, I was going to have to invite people over to help me eat it. As I started looking at recipes, the first few I came across used cream cheese, so I decided to have a tea party. 

Now, anybody who knows me knows I love tea parties. I love drinking Earl Grey tea...eating tiny little sandwiches...slowing life down long enough to laugh and talk with good company...and using my pretty china, crystal, and cloth linens. I see no sense whatsoever in hiding the wedding china and crystal in the china cabinet and saving it for kids who don't really want it. I want to wear mine out!

I invited a good friend, my sister, and her good friend. They accepted the invitation with the understanding that I would be making 15 recipes I had never made before. They knew of my obsession with Allrecipes and understood I would be making these recipes with the intention of taking photos of them. They also came to help with the last minute tasks.

The morning of the event, I awoke at 5:00 a.m. eager to get started. I got most of the food made, but I didn't want to put the sandwiches together until closer to lunchtime. Also, a couple of things needed to cook in the oven, so they had to wait, too. My good friend arrived an hour early to help me assemble the sandwiches. She was also my lighting assistant for the photography sessions :) My sister and her friend arrived at the time I had set for lunch, but it took all of us working at least another 30 minutes to complete things. 

I took photos of every recipe, but forgot to take any of the pretty table once it was all set or of my guests! I was on a mission and once that was done, I guess I just blew out a big breath and sat down to relax and eat.

 The soup I chose to make was Butter Bean Soup. Now normally, I wouldn't serve a soup this hardy for a tea party. But I had an ulterior motive. I knew my husband would want dinner that night and I wouldn't. So this would be a filling, meaty soup for him.

These are Pepperoni Cheese Balls. I made them smaller than the recipe recommended and served them with Ritz Crackers. 

 I made five different types of little sandwiches. These are Ham and Egg Salad Sandwich Spread. I have never cared for ham salad, but these were really good.

These Tropical Sandwiches were quite good. They had a cream cheese and pineapple base, but the banana and coconut added considerable depth of flavor.

What's a tea party without cucumber sandwiches? These Summer Time Cucumber Sandwiches were perfect! Ranch Dressing flavored the cream cheese, and the cucumbers were enhanced with dill weed.

These Fruit N' Nut Sandwiches were also cream cheese and pineapple based. They were then topped with almonds. By the way, just as a side note, this filling on a piece of toasted homemade bread makes a fabulous breakfast!

 Aren't these pretty? These Creamy Strawberry Sandwiches were supposed to be topped with another piece of bread, but I thought they were too pretty to be covered up.

This is your typical cream cheese and pineapple cheese ball. I was really surprised at how different all the cream cheese/pineapple items tasted. This was like the basic recipe. Then one sandwich had almonds on it, and the other had bananas and coconut on it. And, yes, the taste was surprisingly different enough to not be boring.

These Sausage Cheese Balls were so different! I was expecting just the regular holiday sausage ball, but the onions, celery, and garlic powder really amped up the flavor. 

Everyone's favorite food at the tea party was Crabmeat Toasts. The reviews mentioned that they were way too salty, so I reduced the seasoned salt by half and used garlic powder instead of garlic salt. Definitely a keeper and a repeat.

I served Earl Grey Tea...lots of Earl Grey tea, but I also served Kelly's Super Simple Shower Punch. It was only two ingredients, raspberry sorbet and Sprite. Easy and good.

Monica's Baptist Sangria is another beverage I served. I made 15 new recipes, and I suppose if all turned out but this one, that's not too bad, is it? This was terrible! There was entirely too much tea powder for the amount of Sprite called for. 

I've seen similar recipes to Candy Bar Salad and have always wondered about them. This is Cool Whip, vanilla pudding, apples, bananas, and.............a Snickers Bar! Sounds more like a dessert to me, so that's what I made it. Just a tiny little dessert.

My final faceless frenzy was a two-fer. Both the pie and the crust were without a photo. Grandma's Very Easy Pie Crust was really easy to make, even if it was a little skimpy. Sugarless Pumpkin Pie was what I made to fill this crust. It wasn't quite as sweet as the regular pie, but I'm sure a diabetic or a weight watcher would welcome this treat.

My tea party was a huge success with everyone suggesting I should do it again next month. My feet, legs, and back begged to differ though. Maybe they'll reconsider with 30 days to rest up.

Feb. 25, 2013 6:25 am
Great blog! My back hurts, hands are dry from washing all the dishes and my kitchen was a wreck for a bit. Yep, I'm ready, for the next frenzy. It was so much fun!
Feb. 25, 2013 6:27 am
Paula-wow! You had time to make all these beautiful recipes and write a blog! Your photos are wonderful. I especially like all the different plates. My favorite dish is the tropical sandwiches. I love the pastel pink plate! I most certainly will be on the look out for more plates with texture and style!
Feb. 25, 2013 6:36 am
Well done, Paula! You and your "lighting director" put together some very nice phopos!
Feb. 25, 2013 6:37 am
S/B photos
Feb. 25, 2013 6:40 am
So fun! I was so disorganized with my recipes. I can tell you were super organized and made a great memory for everyone involved!
Feb. 25, 2013 6:45 am
Lela beat me to it. Wow all those recipes and you still found time to blog and a great one at that.
Feb. 25, 2013 6:46 am
Great idea, Paula! Even scaling down, that was a lot of food, and a tone of work! Soup's on tonight, at our house.
Feb. 25, 2013 7:02 am
What a great number of really pretty dishes you made, Paula! I love this idea! How much fun your guests must have had!
Feb. 25, 2013 7:19 am
Great job Paula, and to all the others who participated in this event. Special thanks to Baking Nana & bd.weld in helping to organize it. When you guys and gals decide to do this again, please advise ahead of time as I have about 50 more new faceless recipes saved up since posting the last batch although some of these may now have faces because of your efforts (I’ll sort those out). *** Paula, I’ve looked here and elsewhere for an appetizer called Crab Nachos made at a popular local Mexican restaurant. I’m going to try to adapt your Crabmeat Toasts by subbing nachos for the English muffins, and then topped with cheddar cheese and a fresh slice of jalapeno pepper which is broiled until the cheese melts. Thanks.
Feb. 25, 2013 7:20 am
Beautiful job Paula! I would have commented earlier, but, looking at those beautiful pictures drove me into the kitchen to make breakfast!
Feb. 25, 2013 7:33 am
Well done Paula! Your photos are great plus 15 otherwise faceless recipes now have "faces." And, kudos for turning it into a party too. What fun!
Feb. 25, 2013 7:40 am
What a fantastic job you did! Great pictures too. It's too bad about the Baptist Sangria, but I think your review was right. A whole cup of instant tea in two liters of liquid is a bit much. I would have expected 1/3 of a cup to be a bit on the strong side. Isn't instant tea diluted 2 teaspoons per 8 ounce serving? Anyway, really a great job!
Feb. 25, 2013 8:25 am
The idea to throw a party was a lovely idea! Maybe next time, I'll invite some people to come and help us sample the goodies!
Feb. 25, 2013 8:29 am
Awesome idea! I haven't done a tea party with my daughter in a long while. Think I'll have to do one soon.
Feb. 25, 2013 9:40 am
Beautiful food and beautiful blog! You were so smart to choose a theme and work with it. Kudos to your helpers too.
Deb C 
Feb. 25, 2013 10:14 am
What a wonderful tea! I love that you use your good china and crystal too! Next time, can I come?
Feb. 25, 2013 12:24 pm
Wow Paula,amazing pictures.You have done a terrific job in what you did. Tea parties were what my 2 girls and i did at least once a week when they were little,not quite like yours,but they were nice.Congrats.on all your hard work.Have a great day.
Feb. 25, 2013 1:02 pm
Great summary of a great weekend! It was so much fun. I can't believe how many recipes YOU and some of the others knocked out! WOW, JUST WOW! I wish I could have done more! Looking forward to the next one, that's for sure!
Feb. 25, 2013 5:56 pm
As the sister-guest, I can testify that everything (except the sangria) was wonderful! I don't like butter beans, but that soup was delicious. Everything tastes better when served at a table set with linens, fine china and crystal! Don't have all that? Don't let that stop you. Use whatever you have, slow down, and enjoy the food and friends.
Feb. 25, 2013 7:06 pm
You are amazing in the kitchen!
Feb. 26, 2013 10:12 am
Thanks, Everybody, for reading and commenting. Yep, LUCKY NOODLES, everything hurt when I went to bed that night too. I'm thankful, tho, that it was all better the next morning. I'm thinking the come back time will take longer and longer the older I get :(
Feb. 26, 2013 10:13 am
LELA - I've had plenty of years to collect and receive pretty plates as gifts. Now I'm discovering I need plates to stage my food for photography, so the Good Will store has become my new best friend.
Feb. 26, 2013 10:16 am
SCOTDOG - I'm not sure I was that organized. I just didn't want to make a ton of main dishes or desserts. So the idea of scaling down and having the tea party seemed like a way to make small tastings the order of the day.
Feb. 26, 2013 10:28 am
CONKYJOE - Your crab nachos sound really good. Let me know how they turn out.
Feb. 26, 2013 10:47 am
DOC - I made a huge mistake not reading all the reviews with the Baptist Sangria. I noticed all those 5 stars beside the reviews but didn't read them. Lesson learned. Two reviewers must have actually followed the recipe because many others subbed sweetened raspberry tea. One of my favorite reviews was "Maybe I did something wrong. Thank God I had enough other beverages because I couldn't in good conscience give it to my guests." I totally agree!
Feb. 26, 2013 10:53 am
To Everybody - It was so much fun joining in the project of putting as many faces as we could to recipes. When I told my sister what I was doing, she said she never makes a recipe that doesn't have a picture. So what we did was much needed, especially for those people like my sister! Why not start now making just one faceless recipe a month? It's fun to find something that your family enjoys and showing it off with a great photo.
Feb. 27, 2013 6:33 am
Nice job, Paula. You really out did yourself. It was a fun weekend here too but next time I am going to have to make sure all my 'eaters' are in town. We are still waiting for the final numbers from AllRecipes - all I know is that we did a TON of recipes and it was a lot of fun. Mind you, I was really dragging come Monday. So what did I do? Spent the day saving more faceless recipes!
Feb. 27, 2013 7:37 am
It all looks so wonderful and you did so much! It's inspired me to do something similar for my next quilt group, but I think I will only do 4 or 5 items max!
Feb. 27, 2013 7:47 am
BAKING NANA - I never realized how much I would be hurting by the time I went to bed. I don't usually spend all day on my feet in the kitchen! But it was well worth it. Such fun! I'm looking forward to knowing the final tally of recipes that received a face!
Feb. 27, 2013 7:49 am
REDCWOLF - Yes, a great idea for a quilting group. (Man, I sure would like to learn to quilt.) And I agree that you should make fewer recipes. I don't usually make this many for a tea party. A few items can still be enjoyed and not as much work on your part.
Feb. 27, 2013 8:07 am
Paula, holy cow I love your idea! Like your sister I am always afraid to make something that doesn't have a photo. A couple of weeks ago I finally built up my courage and made a kabocha squash risotto on another site (sooooooo good!) and sent in my photos. How fun! I am going to take your challenge of making something without a photo at least a couple of times a month from now on. I will also join in with your frenzy if I can. Thanks for the fun inspiration! Also, I love that you use your fine dinnerware. Both my Mother and my Dad' second wife passed of cancer and my Dad has been holding cupboards full of wonderful things he's been afraid to use. I finally started pulling this stuff out and insisting we use it. He is so happy we did! After all, what are people waiting for? I don't see the queen coming over any time soon. Lol. Thanks for the GREAT post!
Feb. 27, 2013 8:37 am
AZ93 - So glad you're taking the faceless challenge. It really is great fun and for some reason gives me a sense of accomplishment too. I'm thrilled you and your dad are using the dishes in his cupboards. Not only are they fun to use, but they bring back wonderful memories as well. My mother always comments about her china when we use it that her mother bought it for her at a five and dime store one time when the preacher was coming to visit. I love that story because it is THE most beautiful china. No one now would ever think it was from some place like that!
Feb. 27, 2013 8:06 pm
Paula, I did it. You inspired me and I found a no-photo recipe and busted that baby out. Lol. It's for crab stuffed rockfish, and the fancy china plate (as well as the kudos in the review) are for you. I won't be hired as a famous photographer any time soon, but hey, at least I did it! I have a big smile on my face because you pushed me out of my box today. Thank you so much! http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chesapeake-Bay-Stuffed-Rockfish/Detail.aspx
Feb. 28, 2013 4:50 am
What a nice idea to make it more fun as a team effort! Sounds like it was fun and productive! Great pix!!
Feb. 28, 2013 7:54 pm
SO much work, but how fun!! Thank you for sharing your Faceless Tea Party with us!
Mar. 1, 2013 8:10 am
Good job Paula!
Mar. 1, 2013 3:23 pm
AZ93 - Good job! And see what fun it was? Glad you enjoyed making, photographing, and eating the dish.
Mar. 1, 2013 3:24 pm
MICKDEE, GAMMARAY, and MAUIGIRL - Yes, a great team effort by so many. It WAS so much fun. Thanks!
Mar. 2, 2013 9:18 am
What an inspired idea!!! The food looks fabulous, the pictures came out great and I love a good tea party :D *insert a round of applause*
Mar. 2, 2013 5:41 pm
How fun, Paula. Enjoyed your blog and pictures, as always. Love to know what your the final total was!
Mar. 3, 2013 2:57 pm
NUTMEG ~N~ PEPPER - I made a total of 25 faceless recipes this month, a new record for me.
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About Me
I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays bring out the traditions: chocolate chip cheese ball; crockpot chicken and dressing; and broccoli salad, sweet potatoes and butterscotch pie handed down from past generations. Another thing that must be tradition in my family: we all make new recipes when we have company! My mother, sister, daughter, and I all do this. My daddy never understood why we would risk making something we had never made before. Actually, none of us has ever served company a new recipe that didn't taste good.
My cooking triumphs
Cake decorating: wedding cakes, bridal and baby shower cakes, birthday cakes: Little Pirate, Cinderella, Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake. My friends call me Betty Crocker. When my daughter got married, she had a bridal shower where the guests were asked to write something on an apron. My best friend told her if she needed a recipe or help in the kitchen to ask her mother. If she needed a good place to eat out, ask her.
My cooking tragedies
A 4 tier huge wedding cake that fell apart at 2:00am. Thankfully, I still had time to salvage the cake.
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