Turkey Tarragon Tea Sandwiches

Turkey Tarragon Tea Sandwiches are the last stop for my Thanksgiving turkey leftovers this year. Now that the in-laws have finally left the building and I have a chance to breathe, a tea break is just the thing I need to clear my mind, refocus, and start setting up for Christmas.

I’ve made these sandwiches for many celebrations and afternoon teas before and they are always a hit. Tarragon gives the sandwiches a subtle licorice-like flavor while the smoked almonds add a savory crunch. Imagine your favorite chicken salad, with the gourmet factor turned up.

When it comes to using chicken or turkey meat in tea sandwiches, I have a tried and true trick…use that food processor! I used to shred the chicken by hand, which resulted in sandwiches with a hearty, chunky texture. Giving the meat a few pulses in the food processor makes the meat lighter and more uniform, making it easier to get clean cuts on your tea sandwiches.

I am so glad Thanksgiving is over! If you were as busy as I was over the weekend cooking, shopping, and entertaining, I know you’re in need of a well-deserved break too. A quiet house, some finger sandwiches, and a pot of hot tea…now is the time to treat yourself, just before round two of holiday chaos begins!

Turkey Tarragon Tea Sandwiches

Makes 12 tea sandwiches. 


1 1/2 cups roasted turkey, finely chopped

1/2 cup smoked almonds, roughly chopped

6 Tbsp olive oil mayo

1 large shallot, finely chopped

4 large sprigs of tarragon, roughly chopped

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

8 slices of sandwich bread, frozen


mixing bowl

work surface

serrated knife


1.)  Mix turkey, almonds, mayo, shallot, tarragon, and pepper in a mixing bowl.

2.)  Roughly divide the filling into 4 portions, then place 4 slices of bread on a work surface. Pack one portion of the filling evenly atop each of 4 slices of bread, filling in the edges. Top the filling with another slice of bread, then use the serrated knife to remove the crusts. Cut the large sandwich into three equal finger sized sandwiches and enjoy!

Tea Sandwich Bread

When I started blogging, I made it a point to cover some tea recipes that weren’t the most traditional. Many assumed that since I had a tea food blog, finger sandwich recipes would be in plenty. For the most part, I chose to hold off on tea sandwiches for a while, just until I could give you the perfect tea sandwich bread recipe to get things rolling.

This Tea Sandwich Loaf recipe is adapted from Nancy Silverton and Teri Gelber’s incredible cookbook, Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book. The bread made from this recipe yields the soft, tender, tight-crumbed bread that we’ve come to associate with a scrumptious tea sandwich. After all, a tea sandwich can only be as delicious as the bread is.

There are many wonderful things about making tea sandwich bread at home. First (and most obviously), nothing beats a golden loaf of bread baking in your oven. In the fall and wintertime, the ambient heat from the oven is especially cozy, while the scent of fresh bread instantly makes any place smell like home.

Another less obvious benefit to making tea sandwich bread yourself is that it’s much more versatile than than your standard grocery market loaf. Since it isn’t pre-sliced and has squared edges, you are free to experiment with all kinds of shapes and sizes–a serrated knife or cookie cutter and you are on your way to making some gorgeous tea time delicacies. Thick, thin, rolled, or cubed–the possibilities are endless!

Personally, I love to cut off the crust on this loaf and then slice it thin, lengthwise. By cutting the loaf this way, you’ll be able to make the most of your fillings, where each nibble will have a better (and more equal) filling-to-bread ratio. This is especially great since afternoon tea is such a carb-heavy meal.

In my family, I’m a crustless kind of gal, while my mom loves the crisp, golden edges on a fresh loaf. The crust on this bread is like the crust on a rustic French bread. You can’t go wrong with a dab of European butter or jam. Above all, the trick here is to not slice (or eat) the bread until it has cooled completely…take my word for it, you might want to make two loaves just in case!

Looking for an elegant tea to enjoy with a slice of this delicious bread? My suggestion is a decadent vanilla bean Darjeeling blend called I’ll Take You There…a tea blended by the co-author of Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book, my friend Teri Gelber!

Tea Sandwich Bread

Makes 1 large loaf.


1 1/3 cups lukewarm water

2 1/4 tsp SAF instant yeast

3 3/4 cups + 1 Tbsp bread flour

1 Tbsp powdered nonfat milk

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1 Tbsp melted butter or non-stick spray, for coating bowl and pan


large stand mixer with dough hook attachment

large bowl

plastic wrap

work surface

pullman loaf pan (13″ or 12 cup capacity)

serrated bread knife (if slicing)

cooking thermometer (optional)

bread slicer (optional)


1.)  Make the Dough. Place the yeast, bread flour, powdered milk, and sugar in the mixing bowl of a large stand mixer. Turn the mixer on low-speed, then add the water. Increase the speed to medium, then mix for 2 minutes. After two minutes, turn off the mixer and then add the salt. Turn the mixer on low again to incorporate the salt, then increase the mixer to medium speed once again. Add the softened butter, 1 Tbsp at a time, then continue to mix the dough for about 10 minutes. When you add the butter, the dough will make a slapping sound against the side of the mixing bowl like when you make a brioche dough.

2.)  First Rise. After 10 minutes you should get a soft and supple ball of dough. Place the dough in a bowl lightly greased with melted butter or nonstick spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then place in a warm, draft free place to rise until doubled in volume.

3.)  Shape the Loaf. After doubling in volume, place the dough on a work surface, then give the dough a few light kneadings. Lightly pull/press the dough to make an evenly thick 8″ x 11″ rectangle (like a piece of paper). Fold the left and right sides over lengthwise to meet in the middle (the sides should overlap). Square off the edges, then pinch the seam closed. Tuck, pinch, and seal off the ends under the long loaf.

4.)  Second Rise. Place the cylinder-like loaf seam side down, into a pullman pan greased with melted butter or nonstick spray. Let the dough rest in the pan for about 5 minutes (covered with plastic wrap), then use your fingers to press the dough into the pan as evenly as possible–this will help to assure squared off edges on the loaf when it bakes. Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap, then place in a warm, draft free place until it rises to 1/2″ under the top edge of the pan.

5.)  Bake, Cool, and Slice! About a half hour before the loaf has finished rising, place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 portion of your oven, then heat the oven to 475 degrees F. When the dough has risen (1/2″ under the rim), slide the greased top of the pullman loaf pan on. Bake the loaf for about 45 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown or registers an internal temperature of 190 degrees F on a cooking thermometer. Wait until the bread completely cools before slicing with a serrated knife.

Adapted from Tea Sandwich Loaf recipe in Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book by Nancy Silverton and Teri Gelber.

American Flag Tartlets

When it comes to culinary representations of the U.S. flag, you’ll come across many sweet recipes before you come across any savory ones.  Whether sweet or savory, naturally blue-colored food is actually pretty hard to find.  For desserts, blueberries are the go-to for blue color, but what if you are going for a saltier taste?

Just when I was going to pass up on the savory flag tart idea, I remembered the yummy bag of indigo-blue corn tortilla chips that I had enjoyed with hummus a few weeks ago.  Aside from the rustic and unusual color of blue corn tortilla chips, they also taste amazing, and have a pleasant grittiness about them.  For a flag tart recipe that’s supposed to celebrate America, it’s an added bonus that blue corn is cultivated in the Southwestern U.S. where it’s a staple of Native American cuisine.

The red and white ingredients of this tart were much easier for me to select.  For the red stripes, tomato paste is perfect because not only because of it’s vibrant color and flavor, but also because it’s super easy to use.  Finally, some creamy, soft Neuchâtel cheese creates a white base for these tarts.  Mixed with parmesan and a few neutral-colored flavorings, it’s again easy to use and also easy to find.

Don’t let the savory variation throw you off…decorate these tartlets in the same way that would decorate sugar cookies.  A few sweeps of thick, flavored cream cheese and some piped tomato paste and you’re almost done.  The last tip to create a pretty tartlet is to use some small scraps of foil to help guide where the crumbled blue corn chips fall.

Whether you are American or not, I hope that you have a wonderful July 4th this year!  You can’t go wrong enjoying these tartlets with some Yanabah Navajo Tea or Summertime Sun Tea. And if you are wondering how you might create a tartlet to honor the flag of a different country, leave me a comment!  I’m always up for celebrating another country’s flag in a decorating challenge!

American Flag Tartlets

Makes 12 tartlets. 


1- 8 oz package Neuchâtel cream cheese @ room temperature

3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp olive oil

1- 6 oz can or tube of tomato paste

1/2 cup blue corn tortilla chips

1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed (I used Pepperidge Farms brand)

bench flour


work surface

paring knife or pizza cutter

2 large baking sheets

sheet of parchment

zip top bag

rolling pin or heavy pan

pastry bag fitted with #4 pastry tip

mixing bowl

small pieces of foil, folded into 2- 2″ x 1″ small rectangles


1.)  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Scatter some flour on a work surface and lay the puff pastry sheet on it.  Cut the sheet into 12 equal rectangular pieces, then place them on a baking sheet fitted with parchment.  Before baking, let the cut puff pastry chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes to re-harden.

2.)  Run some cold water over the bottom of one of the baking sheets, then shake off excess water.  Place this baking sheet directly on top of the now-chilled puff pastry sheets.  Apply some pressure on the top pan to compact it against the pastry pieces below.  Bake the puff pastry for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown.  Remove the pans from the oven, then let the pastry cool completely.

3.)  Place the chips in a large zip top bag, seal, and smash them into small crumbles using a rolling pin.

4.)  Mix the cream cheese, parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, olive oil, and lemon juice together.

5.)  Place tomato paste in the pastry bag.

6.)  Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on the pastry rectangles, cleaning the sides of the tart if necessary.  Score a small rectangle in the corner of the pastry where the flag’s blue/star part will be.

7.)  Pipe 7 red lines lengthwise (3 short, 4 long) on the tart then fill the small rectangular corner of the flag tart with the crumbled blue corn chips using some small pieces of foil as a guide. Gently press the crumbles into the cheese to adhere them to the surface.  Remove the foil pieces and you’re done!

Buffalo Chicken Tea Sandwiches

What will you be watching this weekend?  The Super Bowl or the Puppy Bowl?

For my husband and I, there will most certainly be a battle over the remote this Sunday.  The Puppy Bowl will be in full swing, and the starting lineup of furry pooches over on Animal Planet have me ready for some swift channel changing!

Every weekend since football season has started I’ve been guaranteed a few solid hours of blogging time.  It’s the time my football-crazed husband is glued to the television and blogging becomes an attractive alternative to being completely ignored (except during commercial breaks).

Being from Northern California, my husband is a die-hard 49ers’ fan.  And even though the 49ers’ have fallen off the map as of 2 weeks ago, I’m sure this weekend will be no exception:  I’ll be ignored for at least a few hours, left to brainstorm about upcoming blog topics without interruption.

Perhaps I’ll get some human interaction with this food offering though:  Buffalo Chicken Tea Sandwiches, the result of my preoccupation with tea foods and my husband’s obsession with football.

These Buffalo Chicken Tea Sandwiches are a kicked up version of chicken salad tea sandwiches, with all those spicy flavors that football fans love most.  These few-bite party sandwiches combine bleu cheese, diced celery, and grated carrot to create a tasty and easy-to-eat appetizer.

Twisted Tea makes a perfect pairing with these flavorful sandwiches.  I didn’t think I would find a beer type of drink infused with tea, so this was a fun find for me.  The drink is only lightly alcoholic, much like a wine cooler, with a strong black tea base.  And just like you would enjoy beer, Twisted Tea is best served in a frosty glass with a juicy slice of orange.

For serving, I’ve set my little football sandwiches atop some fresh-cut wheat grass.  This is the same nutrient-rich wheat grass that you can juice with.  I’ve seen wheat grass used for all kinds of creative projects including egg arrangements for Easter and name card beds during spring wedding season, so I thought it might be unique to use some cut grass to present these bites.
And since we’re on the subject of the Puppy Bowl and all the work Animal Planet does to support dog adoptions, I’d like to introduce you to my son and best friend, Fred!

My husband and I purchased Fred from a no-kill animal shelter about 4 years ago…one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.  Fred is an American parti-cocker (as opposed to a “party” cocker), hence the freckled face and nose.

Fred was forced to become a 49ers’ fan after I found this jersey on sale a few months back, but with the extra complements and attention, I think he was glad to oblige.  At heart, Fred and I are much more Puppy Bowl fans than Super Bowl fans, but we sit around acting like we care about football just for the possibility of getting some good food.

Whether you are watching the Super Bowl or the Puppy Bowl this weekend, I hope you try these festive Buffalo Chicken Tea Sandwiches.  Despite their dainty presentation, they pack a flavorful and zesty bite and might even manage to win over the burliest of football fans!

Buffalo Chicken Tea Sandwiches

Makes about 12 tea sandwiches.


2 chicken breasts, roasted

1/4 cup light mayo

3 Tbsp buffalo dipping sauce (I used Frank’s)

1 large celery stick, diced into small cubes

2 Tbsp grated carrot

3 green onions, green parts only, sliced

fresh ground black pepper

light squeeze of lemon juice

2 Tbsp crumbled bleu cheese or grated parmesan cheese

1 loaf rye or whole wheat bread

extra mayo for piping

wheat grass (optional, on platter for serving)


food processor

football cookie cutter (mine was 2″ across and 3.5″ long)


#3 piping tip and piping bag (or just a small plastic sandwich bag)


1.)  Remove skin and bones from chicken breasts.  Tear chicken into large chunks, and place in food processor.  Process chicken until it is processed into small bits, then place into large bowl.

2.)  Add mayo, buffalo sauce, celery, carrot, green onions, lemon juice, and black pepper to the ground chicken and mix in.  Add bleu or parmesan cheese and lightly mix in.

3.)  Cut out 24 footballs from rye bread using football cookie cutter.  For each slice of bread you should get 2 football bread pieces.

4.)  Using the same cookie cutter, place one piece of football-shaped bread into the cutter.  Spoon about 2 Tbsp of chicken filling atop the bread inside the cutter, then press down with back of a spoon, making sure to evenly pack the filling down.  Place another bread piece on top of the filling, then use your thumbs to press down lightly on the sandwich while pulling the cutter up and away from the sandwich with the rest of your fingers.  Repeat this process for all 12 sandwiches.

5.)  Place about a 1/4 cup of mayo into a bag fitted with a #3 pastry tip.  Pipe one vertical line and three lines across in the center of each sandwich to resemble football stripes.  Place finished sandwiches atop cut wheat grass for a festive presentation and enjoy watching the game!

Better luck next year fellas!!