Sweet 16

I’ve been wanting to write about this fun birthday party idea for a sweet 16 for a few months now. Mo turned 16 (yes, I can hardly believe it!) back in November. We wanted to do something special for her party but it seemed like every idea fell flat. I was getting discouraged when inspiration struck – what about a 16 course afternoon tea? Finally an idea that Mo liked! Her friends always enjoy the meals they have here and the treats we make are always a huge hit. Once the word got out, they were counting down the days until Mo’s party.

We decided in order to fit in 16 courses, the portions would need to be small. I found some fancy little plates and bowls at goodwill to add to the ones I already owned. We used a large piece of silk fabric for the tablecloth and I ironed some cloth napkins that I usually use around the holidays. We used fancy wine glasses for lemonade and water. Mo’s friend Ivy brought her flowers and the table was set. Car and Em graciously volunteered to be the waiter and waitress.

sweet 16 table

The first course consisted of a few bites of different cheese – fresh mozzarella, Vermont cheddar, and Havarti, nestled in with a small sprig of grapes.

cheese plate

The second course was a Dakota bread roll with a drizzle of honey and little pats of butter that we cut out using a tiny flower shaped cookie cutter.

dakota roll

Course three was a small bowl of creamed cauliflower with a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan and sprig of parsley. To cream the cauliflower, I put the cooked cauliflower in a blender with a little butter and tiny bit of milk. Salt and pepper to taste. This was a big hit, even with non-vege eaters. A few commented that they couldn’t believe they liked this since they don’t like cauliflower. 🙂

creamed cauliflower

Course four was a single spinach ravioli with a garlic herb olive oil sauce, dressed up with freshly grated Parmesan and a sprig of basil.


Course five was a grilled, marinated chicken tender atop salad greens with a dollop of ketchup and duck sauce for dipping.

chicken tender

Course 6 was a combination of roasted potatoes and roasted sweet potatoes with a dollop of ketchup and barbecue sauce for dipping.

roasted potatoes

Course seven was baked mac and cheese, garnished with a fresh rosemary sprig. I found those cute little ramekins at World Market – hard for me to resist just about everything at that store! 🙂

baked mac and cheese

Course 8 (the last savory course) was roasted zucchini slices topped with fresh grated Parmesan and a side of chopped black olives.

zuchinni slices

The next 8 courses were “sweet” courses. Course nine was a slice of warm brownie with vanilla ice cream.


Course ten was a mini cheesecake with fresh raspberries. I cut down my classic cheesecake recipe to make cupcake size versions of cheesecake.


Course eleven was these adorable little vanilla milkshakes that we poured into old fashioned juice glasses. Topped with whipped cream and a short paper straw (we cut down regular ones), this was my favorite presentation!


Course twelve was a warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookie and glass of milk.

oatmeal cookie

Course thirteen was two scoops of sorbet – Raspberry and Mango, with a fresh mint leaf.


Course fourteen was hot apple crisp topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

apple crisp

Course fifteen was a glass of hot spiced cider.

spiced cider

And last, but not least, course sixteen was a plate of fresh pineapple, blackberries, and grapes.

fruit plate

I must admit that it was a bit more work than I expected going into the party, but most parties work out that way I think and to me, it was fun work! 🙂 It was memorable and the girls had so much fun, an afternoon of fun and laughter enjoyed over a nice meal.


  1. I was telling Gerald about this wonderful idea and I saw his eyes light up! His seventieth birthday is this November and I could here his mind mulling over a seventy course dinner. I nipped that in the bud! Seriously, this was fabulous and she will never forget the party or your hard work that made it happen.

    1. Oh my goodness! You’ve got me laughing with that one – 70 courses, now that would be something!! 🙂

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