Photography by Mac Jamieson
Styling by Amy Burke
As the winter wind whips outside, a cozy day spent playing cards with friends is a welcome and warm idea. Enjoy a chilly afternoon indoors sipping tea and engaging in the friendly competition of card games, from bridge to hearts to canasta. Since many games allow for only four players, set up two or three tables with cards, pens, and paper so several games can be played at once. And after each game, encourage guests to switch tables for spirited group interaction.
After the games are finished, offer an afternoon tea full of colorful, bite-size treats that are not only delicious but eye-catching, as well. All the foods for the tea are simple to prepare and can be made ahead so the hostess can also enjoy a card game or two.
Crisp cucumbers and sprouts combine for simple yet satisfying tea sandwiches, while plump shrimp tossed in a luscious dressing and placed atop crisp pancetta are a mouthwatering two-bite savory. Petite balls of soft goat cheese rolled in a selection of herbs and spices make an easy and stunning spread for flatbread crackers, and the addition of sun-dried tomatoes flavors club-shaped cheddar crisps.
To round out the menu, sweet selections such as White Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cups and Macadamia Shortbread Cards are tasty and fun. Prepared lime curd spooned into ready-to-eat pastry shells is a quick option for a sweet-tart dessert. Fluffy, flavorful Raspberry Cakes with Green-Tea Buttercream offer a showstopping finish.
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