Wednesday, April 13, 2016


April's tablescape includes touches of Spring with soft yellow daisies nestled among a box of bottles waiting to be replaced with fresh flowers!   As usual it is surrounded by our coastal decor which includes oyster shell votive holders, shell covered balls and starfish plus a couple blue spheres from the garden!

Our Spring décor also features this arrangement in a watering can complete with a colorful garden fairy.  It was a gift from a dear friend and the inspiration for this month's tablescape with it's giant flowers!

Here are the links to the top three April recipes plus some additional new recipes:

GUACAMOLE EGG SALAD: Hard boil 6 eggs, shell and cool.  Finely chop eggs and combine with 1 avocado, 1tsp red onion, 1Tbs fresh cilantro, 1Tbs diced tomato, 2tsp fresh lime juice, salt and pepper (optional: 1Tbs minced jalapeno).  Garnish with chili powder.
RELISH EGG SALAD: Hard boil 6 eggs, shell and cool.  Finely chop eggs and combine with 1/4c mayonnaise, 1tsp mustard, 1/4c chopped celery, 1Tbs minced onion, 2Tbs sweet pickle relish, 1Tbs fresh dill, salt and pepper.
CHEDDAR-BACON EGG SALAD: Hard boil 6 eggs, shell and cool.  Finely chop eggs and combine with 1/3c mayonnaise, 1Tbs mustard, 1Tsp fresh parsley, salt and pepper.  Add 4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon plus 1/4c grated cheddar cheese.
CURRIED EGG SALAD: Hard boil 6 eggs, shell and cool.  Finely chop eggs and combine with 1c diced Granny smith apple, 1/4c chopped red onion, 1/4c chopped celery, 1/3c mayonnaise, 1Tbs lime juice, 1tsp curry powder, 1tsp mustard, salt and pepper.
CREAMY EGG SALAD: Hard boil 6 eggs, shell and cool.  Finely chop eggs and combine with 1 diced baby dill pickle, 2Tbs minced celery, 1tsp grated onion, 4oz softened cream cheese, 1/4c mayonnaise, 1tsp sugar, 1/2tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper.
TUNA EGG SALAD: Hard boil 6 eggs, shell and cool.  Finely chop eggs and combine with 1 can water-packed tuna, drained, 1 diced celery stalk, 2 chopped sweet pickles, 1/2c Greek yogurt, salt and pepper.  Layer with sprouts on whole wheat bread.

Herbed Party Snacks

Herbed Potato Skins: Bake potatoes, cool, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the potato, leaving a lining of potato in the shell. Cut each half into 6 strips and place skin side down on a baking sheet. Brush with Ranch salad dressing and sprinkle with 1Tbs GARDEN HERB and cheddar cheese.  Broil for 5 minutes or until browned.  Serve warm.

Curried Chicken Wings: Combine 1/2c peanut butter, 1/3c honey, 1/4c soy sauce, 3Tbs oil. 1 minced garlic clove and 1tsp CURRY COMBO until blended.  Add 2 1/2lb chicken wings to mixture, stir to coat and cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Transfer wings to ungreased baking dish and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 35-45 mins or until chicken juices run clear.

Zucchini Chips: Combine 1/4c bread crumbs, 1/4c Parmesan cheese and 1tsp GARLIC HERB.  Dip zucchini slices into milk and then dredge in bread crumb mixture.  Place coated slices on a sprayed ovenproof wire rack placed on a baking sheet.  Bake at 425 degrees for 30 mins or until browned and crisp.  Serve immediately with marinara sauce or ranch dressing.

Pepperoni-Cheese Puffs: Combine 1 1/4c water and 1/3c butter and bring to a boil.  Add 1 1/2c flour stirring vigorously until mixture forms a ball, then remove from heat and cool 10 mins.  Add 4 eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in 3/4c chopped pepperoni, 1/4c Parmesan cheese and 2Tbs ITALIAN PESTO.  Drop by teaspoon onto greased baking sheets and bake at 450 degrees for 15 mins or until golden brown.  Serve warm.


Herbed Cheese Straws: Cream 1/2c butter until light and fluffy, then add 16oz shredded cheddar cheese and mix until blended.  Add 1 1/2c flour, 1tsp salt, 1/4tsp HERBAL ESSENCE and mix to form dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up the dough, then place it in a cookie press with a ridged tip. Pipe the dough in 2-inch strips onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned and then remove to racks to cool.

Herbed Spiced Nuts: Heat 1/2c butter in skillet, add 2c walnuts, stir and cook 20 mins.  Remove and drain on paper towel.  Shake 2c confectioner’s sugar, 1Tbs fresh rosemary, 1Tbs fresh thyme, 1Tbs cinnamon, 1Tbs cloves and 1Tbs nutmeg in a paper bag.  Add nuts and toss until coated, and then spread on paper towel to cool.  Store in airtight container.

Party Pesto Squares: Combine 1 1/2c cracker crumbs and 3Tbs butter then press into a 9”x13” pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15 mins.  Combine 2-8oz cream cheese and pesto until well blended.  Combine 1/3c sour cream and 3 eggs and pour over crust.  Bake 20-25 mins. or until set.  Carefully spread another 1/4c sour cream over hot filling.  Cool, and then refrigerate at least 3 hrs.  To serve, cut into squares and sprinkle with chopped green onion and chopped tomato.

Savory Pumpkin Seeds: Combine 1/4c water, 2Tbs TEX-MEX, 2tsp Worcestershire and 1tsp salt in a medium saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 2c hulled pumpkin seeds and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Drain the pumpkin seeds, place on a large baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the seeds are crisp and very lightly browned. Store in an airtight container. Makes 2 cups.


SAVORY PEPPER TEA SHORTBREAD: Cream together 1 stick butter and 2Tbs sugar.  Add 1c flour, 1 tsp ground WHITE tea leaves, 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper & dash of salt and blend until dough pulls together.  Flatten dough into 2 disks and roll out between two sheets of wax paper to ¼” then refrigerate 20 mins.  Cut into shapes and place on cookie sheet and bake at 275 degrees for 45 mins. or until dry in appearance.  Cool and store in an airtight container.

GREEN TEA CHICKEN SALAD: Sauté 4 boneless chicken breasts in 2Tbs sesame oil  until cooked, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool.  Steep 1 heaping Tbs GREEN tea leaves for about 20 minute in 1/2c rice vinegar, then strain and discard leaves and add 1Tbs sesame oil, 1/4tsp soy sauce, 1/4tsp sugar, and 3/4c olive oil to make dressing.  Tear chicken into small pieces and combine with 1/2c toasted slivered almonds, 1 can sliced water chestnuts, and torn lettuce. Add the dressing and serve.

TEA WILD RICE: Sauté 1/2c chopped tomato, 1/2c chopped mixed red, yellow and green bell peppers and 1/2c chopped onion in 1Tbs butter until tender.  Add 2c wild rice, 1tsp OOLONG tea leaves, 1tsp thyme, 1 bay leaf and 4c chicken stock.  Bake in covered casserole dish at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove bay leaf, fluff rice and serve.

TEA RUB: Combine 2Tbs ground LAPSANG SOUCHONG tea leaves, 4Tbs brown sugar, 4Tbs paprika, 2Tbs chili powder and 2tsp sea salt.  Rub or sprinkle over chicken before baking or rub on thick cut pork chops several hours before grilling.


TEA JELLO: Follow the directions on a package of lemon Jello, using fresh brewed WHITE tea instead of water and adding the zest of 2 lemons when slightly thickened.  Pour into mold or individual serving cups.  Refrigerate until set and decorate with whipped cream.
TEA WHIPPED CREAM: Heat 1c heavy cream until hot, add 2tsp WHITE tea leaves, cover and steep 30 mins.  Strain and chill overnight.  Whip cream adding 2Tbs sugar and beat until soft peaks form.

GREEN TEA SWEETS: Combine 3/4c confectioner’s sugar and 1 1/2Tbs MATCHA (powdered green tea), then beat into 10Tbs of softened butter until smooth.  Add 1 3/4c flour and mix well, then add 3 egg yolks just until fully incorporated.  Refrigerate until firm.  Roll out ½” thick and cut into leaf shapes.  Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 mins or until slightly golden around the edges.

FRUITED COUSCOUS: Place 1c brewed OOLONG tea, 1/2c water. 1/2c fresh orange juice, 1/2c raisins, 1 thinly sliced banana, 1/4c maple syrup, 1/2tsp cinnamon and 1c couscous in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest in the pan for about ten minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve hot, or transfer to an airtight container and chill several hours or overnight.

TEA POACHED PEARS: Peel 6 Bartlett pears and reserve skins.  Steep 1Tbs BLACK tea leaves in 5c boiling water for 5 mins., strain into saucepan, add 1/2c honey, 1/2c sherry and 2Tbs lemon juice and bring to a boil.  Add pears and cover with slightly smaller lid to help keep pears in poaching liquid and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until pears are easily pierced.  Remove from heat and cool, and then remove pears and reserve 1c liquid.  Melt 4Tbs butter, stir in reserved pear skins and cook until fragrant.  Stir in 1Tbs sugar and cook until amber.  Slowly add reserved liquid and simmer 8-10 mins. or until syrupy, then strain.  Cut pears in half and remove core.  Spoon sauce on plates and place 2 pear halves on each before serving.

"So whether you eat or drink, 
or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
I Corinthians 10:31

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