Monday, May 27, 2013

Shortbread Tea Cookies

Shortbread Tea Cookies

In a stand mixer combine:
1  pound  room-temperature Butter
1-1/4  Cup  White Sugar
5  Cups  White Flour
and beat on medium to medium-high for 10 minutes.  Press into a jelly roll pan, score, and bake at 300* for 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature, cut along scored lines and frost, if desired, with:

Petits Fours Frosting
1/2  Cup  plus  3  Tablespoons  Water
7  Cups  sifted Powdered Sugar
3  Tablespoons  Light Corn Syrup
1  teaspoon  Vanilla -or- Almond Extract
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until frosting reaches 110*.  Quickly pour warm frosting over cookies or cakes which have been placed on a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet.  Yield:  3 cups.  You may find that you will need to give the cookies or cakes a second coating of the frosting.  If you're careful, you can remove any crumbs from the baking sheet, scrape the frosting back into the saucepan and reheat the frosting to re-pour over the cookies.  I sprinkled my cookies with culinary lavender after the second coating of frosting.
"When thou hast eaten and art full,
then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God
for the good land which He hath given thee."
Deuteronomy 8:10

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mother, Daughter, & Dolly Tea

Mother, Daughter, & Dolly Tea

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of helping host a Mother, Daughter, & Dolly Tea with Lori F.  Our daughters are in the same class at school and were the gracious hostesses to their classmates and friends.   What fun it was to pull out all of the fancy china, serve dainty food, sip from Grandma's teacup, and spend the afternoon being a lady!

Katelyn and Allison welcomed each of their guests at the door and invited them to choose a vintage hat to wear for the afternoon.  After we had taken Mother-Daughter photographs, we served our Tea out on the porch: Chicken Salad Sandwiches on Croissants, Mixed Berries with Greek Yogurt, Lemon Tea Cookies, Almond Scones, Vanilla Bean Scones, and Buttermilk Pecan Scones, as well as assorted Teas and Pink Lemonade.

After Tea, the little girls played Bingo and Musical Chairs and then crafted a hair clip for themselves and for their dollies.  All too soon, the afternoon ended and it was time to return home.  Thank you, each one of you, who helped to make this afternoon a time of sweet fellowship and blessing!

"Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us:
and establish Thou the work of our hands..."
Psalm 90:17

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Mix together:
1/2  Cup  Mayonnaise
2  teaspoons  Dried Basil
1  Tablespoon  Lemon Juice
2  12-oz.  Canned Chicken  (or 3 Cups cooked Chicken)
1  Cup  halved seedless Red Grapes
1/2  Cup  thinly diced Red Onion

Red Leaf Lettuce

On a croissant, place one leaf lettuce and approximately 1/4-cup Chicken Salad.  Makes approximately 18 mini croissant sandwiches, or 8 regular-sized croissant sandwiches.  Yummy!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tomato Macaroni & Cheese

Tomato Macaroni & Cheese

Serves:  8 to 10

Salt & Pepper
1  pound  Elbow Macaroni
1  28-oz.  Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
6  Tablespoons  Butter
1/2  Cup  Flour
1/4  teaspoon  Cayenne Pepper
4  Cups  Whole Milk
1  Cup  Chicken Broth
4  Cups  Mild Cheddar
2  Cups  Sharp Cheddar

Preheat oven to 400*.  Cook Macaroni in 4 quarts boiling water until just al dente, about 6 minutes.  Drain pasta and return to pot.  Add Tomatoes and juices, stirring to coat.  Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the Tomato Juice is absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt Butter.  Stir in Flour and Cayenne Pepper and cook until golden, about 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in Milk and Chicken Broth until smooth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.  Off heat, whisk in Cheeses, 1 teaspoon Salt and 1 teaspoon Pepper, until Cheese are melted.  Pour over Macaroni, combining well.

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake until top begins to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.  Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.  Serves 8 to 10 as a main course; 15 to 18 as a side dish.

"A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth:
He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life:
the soul of the diligent shall be made fat."
Proverbs 13: 2a, 3a, 4b   

We really enjoy Macaroni & Cheese for an easy lunch.  I especially liked the way the tomato gently flavors this recipe and gives it a pretty rosy hue.   This is slightly adapted from Cook's Country, April/May 2012.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Creamy Italian Pasta Salad

Creamy Italian Pasta Salad

1  pound  Tri-Color Rotelle Macaroni
1/2  Cup  Diced Red Onion
1  Diced Red Bell Pepper
4  Small Jars  Marinated Artichoke Quarters, liquid reserved
2  15-oz  Black Olives
1/2  bottle  Salad Supreme Seasoning (found in the seasoning/spice aisle)
Reserved Artichoke Liquid, plus enough Italian Salad Dressing to equal 1-1/2 Cups
1  Cup  Mayonnaise
Dried Parsley as garnish

Cook Macaroni the minimum time, according to package directions; drain well and cool.  Stir in Red Onion, Bell Pepper, Artichoke Hearts, Black Olives and Salad Supreme.  In a small bowl, mix together the Artichoke Liquid/Italian Dressing and Mayonnaise; dress Pasta Salad with dressing as needed.  Sprinkle with Parsley and mix thoroughly.  Best if made a day or two before serving.  Serve 12-15.

"He shall feed His flock like a shepherd;
He shall gather the lambs with His arm,
and carry them in His bosom,
and shall gently lead those that are with young."
Isaiah 40:11

Many, many years ago, when I was newly-married, I participated in a recipe chain letter.  I received this recipe from Amy C. and we have enjoyed it.  I don't like mayonnaise-y pasta salads (nice and creamy, but too blah) and I don't like many Italian pasta salads (lots of flavor, but too oily).  This is a nice combination of the two--just the right amount of creamy and flavor.