Monday, May 26, 2014

Frozen Strawberry-White Chocolate Mousse Squares

We are having a new dessert and some tea on the patio.  You can choose which mug you'd like.  


I must warn you about this mug.  While it's so pretty, it's rather difficult to drink from by the way it's rounded at the top.

Oh my goodness, this dessert happens to be my new favorite!  Even my son, who is staying here with me, said, "That dessert was so creamy and good".  It's a great dessert to have on hand in the freezer and to pull out when you have unexpected company or for a perfect ending to a meal.  Please try it soon!  It's cool, utterly creamy and a perfect for summer.


Frozen Strawberry-White Chocolate Mousse Squares adapted from Kraftrecipes.com


20  Chocolate Creme Cookies, finely crushed (about 1 cup)

1/4 cup  butter, melted

1-1/2 pkg.  (4 oz. each)  White Chocolate (6 oz.), divided

2 tubs  (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese Spread

1 can  (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 cup  mashed fresh strawberries

1 cup  thawed frozen Whipped Topping

MIX cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of plastic wrap-lined 9-inch square pan. (I didn't do this.)
MICROWAVE 5 oz. chocolate in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until melted, stirring after 1 min. Beat cream cheese spread in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in milk. Blend in melted chocolate and strawberries. Whisk in thawed frozen whipped topping; pour over crust.
FREEZE 6 hours or until firm. Remove dessert from freezer 15 min. before serving. Shave remaining 1 oz. chocolate into curls; place on dessert. Use plastic wrap to remove dessert from pan before cutting to serve. (See NOTE)

*NOTE (I found it easier to not line the dish with plastic and to leave the dessert out on the counter for about 10 minutes to make cutting easier.)

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May Note Cards

For Vee's May Note Card Party party, I've chosen some favorite food photos. 

How about coming for dinner and enjoying some Chicken and Orzo?

 Or maybe you'd rather have some Chicken and Mushrooms ?

 For dessert we can sit on the patio and have a Raspberry Crumble Bar.....

....or a slice of Tres Leches Cake.  I'll serve some tea or coffee with our dessert.  Please stay awhile!


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Thank you for your visit!  xo


Monday, May 19, 2014

Heath Bar Cookies

 I'm having my tea out on my glider on the patio today.  Would you care to join me for some cookies and a cup of tea?  


 I'm using my Brentwood English ironstone teacup, by Adams.  This pattern was made from 1969-1988.  This pattern also comes in a brown shamrock and is called Sharon. 


 
I tried my first Heath Bar when I was about seven years old, and from that moment on, it was always a favorite of mine!  When I saw this recipe for a small batch of Heath Bar cookies in the newspaper,   from Kitchen Scoops, I knew it would be a winner.  One step was left out in the original recipe and I've corrected it. 


1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
4 finely chopped Heath bars (I used only two regular size bars, which when chopped was 1/2 cup)
½ cup chopped pecans

In medium bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2 minutes on medium-high. Add the egg and vanilla and mix to incorporate. Now add the flour mixture only until just combined.  Turn off the mixer and stir in (by hand) the candy bars and pecans. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the dough is nice and firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop cookie dough in scoops about 2 inches apart onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cookie rack to cool completely. Store covered.

Makes 20 cookies.


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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chicken and Orzo


source 

Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen has challenged us to use something from our wedding china, or some china passed on to us by a relative, for her Let's Dish! party.  The picture above is of my wedding china.  The sad thing about this is that I (gasp!) sold the entire set.  I know, I know, I can't believe that I did such a dumb thing, either.  After a few years in our marriage, I loved the color blue and even wallpapered our dining room in a beautiful blue pattern.  I found another pattern and fell in love, sold the Lenox Brookdale pattern and bought a set of Brentwood, by Adams,  Ironstone dishes.  Several years ago, I mentioned to my late beloved hubby that selling my wedding china was one of the stupidest things I'd ever done.  He, being the sweetheart, told me to go and buy a set.  I never did, but still wish I had those dishes.  Have you ever done anything you've regretted??  I hope I'm not the only one.

 Here's a picture of my Brentwood by Adams pattern that I bought with the money from my wedding china. I hope this counts, Kathleen!  This ironstone pattern is made in England, and I do love it.  The crystal goblets are from our wedding gifts (yea, I kept them!) and the pattern is Elyse, by Franciscan.

 For my centerpiece, I've used a picture of my late beloved hubby's and my hands on our wedding day.  The more updated picture was taken on our Alaskan cruise, several years ago.  The dried bouquet is my wedding bouquet.  My sister, who was 8 years old and my flower girl, caught it and gave  it back to me. 

 Here's a close-up of the dinner plate.  The silverplated flatware is from our wedding (I did keep!) and it is Reflection, by Rogers Bros.

 The cup and saucer is such a pretty shape and of course I fell in love with the shamrock design!

This Chicken and Orzo Pasta dish is from Kraft.com and is absolutely so easy and tasty.  I would highly recommend this wonderful recipe. 


4 small  boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb.)


1/2 cup  Italian Dressing, divided


1 pkg.  (10 oz.) frozen artichoke hearts


1 cup  cherry tomatoes, halved


1 cup  orzo pasta, uncooked


1 1/2 cups  water (I think chicken broth would be better)


2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (my idea)

COOK chicken in 2 Tbsp. dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 4 min. on each side or until each is browned on both sides. Remove from skillet; set aside.
 
ADD remaining dressing and all remaining ingredients except basil to skillet; mix well. Bring to boil on medium heat.
 
TOP with chicken; cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 9 min. or until chicken is done (165ΒΊF), stirring after 5 min.
 
REMOVE from heat; let stand 5 min. Top with basil. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tea Honoring Mom

 I"m honoring my Mom with a virtual  Mother's Day tea and serving her favorite Date and Nut Bread, only as muffins.  The knock-out roses are from my garden.  The pretty napkin is a hankie from my"something old" from my wedding day, and the napkin ring is an angel bracelet that my Mom made for me. 

 I'm sharing some pictures of my Mom and I, one from my wedding day and the other of us dancing and having fun at my youngest son's and DIL's wedding.  My Mom still loves to dance!

 I found this pretty lady's bust at HomeGoods and decorated her with some of the necklaces that my sweet Mom has made for me.  My Mom loves to make jewelry.

 I'm having my tea from the china that my Dad and I picked out for Mom, on their 25th Wedding Anniversary.  The pattern is Berkshire, by Royal Doulton.  My Mom gave  it to me several years ago and I love it.  It's such a timeless pattern, don't you think?


I'm serving Date and Nut Bread,  turned into muffins.  I started making this recipe when I was in high school and my Mom always loved it.  She's made it so many times since then, that she probably knows it by heart.  The recipe can be found here.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  I love you!!
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Friday, May 2, 2014

Tres Leches Cake

To Celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I am having a slice of Tres Leches Cake and a cup of Mixed Berry Zinger tea, and serving everything with my Fiesta Ware dishes.  I love mixing and matching the fun colors. 


I covered a canning jar with some lace that I already had and just added a ribbon trim.  The confetti flowers are from the grocery store and pick up the colors in my fun dishes. 

This Tres Leches Cake was found on the Betty Crocker website and it's perfect for the ending of  a Cinco de Mayo  meal.  It's an easy cake and oh, so moist.  One bite will send you to saying mucho bueno!!

1 box super moist yellow cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 cup whole milk or evaporated milk
1 cup whipping cream
1  tub of whipped fluffy white frosting (I used Cool Whip Vanilla Frosting)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees  (325 for dark or nonstick pan). Grease and flour or spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan.
  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
  3. Bake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Let stand 5 minutes. Poke top of hot cake every 1/2 inch with long-tined fork, wiping fork occasionally to reduce sticking.
  4.  In large bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, whole milk and whipping cream. Carefully pour evenly over top of cake. Cover; refrigerate about 1 hour or until mixture is absorbed into cake. Frost with frosting. Store covered in refrigerator.
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Fresh Cut Friday


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