Wednesday, July 1, 2015



Do you have a new neighbor or did a friend recently move to a new home?  Here’s a great list of traditional gifts and meanings for a housewarming basket:
Bread - May those in your home never go hungry  
Candles - May you always have light through the darkest times
Honey - May you always enjoy the sweetness of life 
Olive Oil - May you be blessed with health and well-being 
Herbs - May your home always have life 
Rice - May the love in your home multiply 
Salt - May there always be flavor and spice in your life 
Wine - May you always have joy and never go thirsty 
Wood - May your home have stability, harmony, and peace
A combination of these items could make a really good meal, so include a few recipes with a wood cutting board for the bread and candles for the mood!
Tomato & Basil Bruschetta 
6 ripe plum tomatoes
2 minced garlic cloves
1Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1tsp balsamic vinegar
6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1tsp salt
1/2tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 French baguette
1/4c olive oil
            Finely chop tomatoes, mix in garlic, 1Tbs olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Stir in sliced basil and add salt and pepper to taste.  Slice the baguette diagonally in half-inch thick slices and brush one side of each with olive oil.  Place oil side down on baking sheet and toast at 450° for 5-6 mins. or until lightly browned.  Spoon tomato-basil mixture on top of oiled side and serve.
Herbed Mushroom Risotto 
6c chicken broth
3Tbs olive oil
1lb portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1lb white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 diced shallots
1 1/2c Arborio rice
1/2c dry white wine
3Tbs finely chopped chives
4-6Tbs butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Warm the broth over low heat.  Sauté mushrooms in 2Tbs olive oil until soft, then remove with liquid and set aside.  Sauté shallots in 1Tbs olive oil, then add rice, stirring to coat with oil and cook until a pale golden color. Add wine and stir until completely absorbed.  Add 1/2c broth to the rice and stir until absorbed.  Continue adding broth 1/2c at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente – approximately 15 mins.  Remove from heat and stir in mushrooms with liquid, butter, chives and cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Compliments grilled meats and roasted chicken.
Honey & Lemon Cup Cakes: Combine 1 yellow cake mix, 1 1/2c vanilla yogurt, 1/4c honey and the juice and zest of one lemon, and then whisk until just mixed. Fill lined muffin tins 2/4 full and bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 mins.  Cool and then pipe or spread on icing.
Honey-Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat 1-8oz cream cheese, 1/4c butter and 1/3c honey until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add in 3-4c powdered sugar to desired consistency.
 Each one should use whatever gift
he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms

I Peter 4:10

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