Memorial Day Menu Ideas


Memorial Day is almost here, which means it's time to get out the grill and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Here are a few menu ideas to help you celebrate this coming weekend. 















Tortilla Pinwheels

This is a recipe shared with me by my niece Sandy.

1 package cream cheese, softened
1 cup Picante sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons minced black olives
4 oz. ground ham
5-6 flour tortillas

In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, Picante sauce, cheddar cheese, black olives, and ground ham. Mix well. Heat tortillas in microwave for 30-40 seconds to make pliable. Spread ham mixture to edges of tortillas. Roll and refrigerate for at least two hours. When ready to serve, slice in 1" pieces and secure with toothpick. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Lavender Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Here's a delightful recipe to serve with tea.

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons food-grade lavender

Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup salted, roasted pistachios, finely chopped

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add flour and lavender and mix just until combined. Press dough into 2 - 9-inch round cake pans lined with waxed paper. Flatten with hand to make a smooth surface. Using a sharp knife, score the dough into 16 wedges for each pan. Prick each wedge with a fork a few times. Refrigerate pan with dough until firm, about 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden on the edge. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut through the score lines. Allow to cool completely in the pan. 

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by whisking powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a shallow bowl until smooth. Holding cookies by the edge, dip the tops into the glaze to coat. Place on a rack and when you have 4-5 done, sprinkle each with chopped pistachios. Repeat with remaining cookies. Allow to stand until the glaze is set. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve. May store at room temperature for 7-10 days.They also freeze well. 
Makes 32 cookies.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Strawberry Lemon Fizz

Here's a delightful recipe to make for your family.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 fresh mint sprigs
1 quart fresh strawberries, halved
2 lemons, sliced
3 limes, sliced
Ginger ale or sparkling cranberry apple juice

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, and mint. Bring a rolling boil. Cook for 2 minutes until dissolved. Allow to cool. Discard the mint.

When ready to serve, fill glasses with strawberries, lemon and lime. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon syrup. Add cold ginger ale or sparkling cranberry juice to each. Serves 4-6.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Cookbook Preview ~ Platters and Boards

Platters and Boards, by Shelly Westerhausen

An inspiring resource for throwing unforgettable get-togethers: Platters and Boardsis the guide to entertaining with effortless style. Author Shelly Westerhausen shares the secrets to creating casually chic spreads anyone can make and everyone will enjoy (and envy). Organized by time of day, 40 contemporary arrangements are presented with gorgeous photography, easy-to-prepare recipes, suggested meat and drink pairings, and notes on preparation and presentation.

With recipes and presentation ideas for breakfast, brunch, appetizer, antipasto, charcuterie, and cheese boards to share with friends and family. Makes an inspiring bridal shower, housewarming, or hostess gift. Celebrated cookbook author and food blogger Shelly Westerhausen is the author of Vegetarian Heartland and the founder of the blog Vegetarian Ventures. Fans of Cook Beautiful, The Art of the Cheese Plate, InStyle Parties, Magnolia Table, and Cravings will love Platters and Boards.

A visual cornucopia of a cookbook with 40 contemporary arrangements presented with gorgeous photography, easy recipes, and helpful tips including:

Tips on portioning
Guides to picking surfaces and vessels
Recommendations for pairing complementary textures and flavors
A handy chart featuring board suggestions for a variety of occasions from holiday parties to baby showers


Buy the cookbook HERE.

Lemon Curd

Here is a delicious topping to serve on your next batch of scones, or used in tarts or even a lemon meringue pie!

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon zest

In a medium saucepan, mix together the eggs and sugar until combined. Stir in the lemon juice, melted butter and lemon zest. Cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes until thickened and reaches 160 degrees. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 1 2/3 cups.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Slow-Cooked Barbecued Pork Chops

Here's an easy recipe to make in your slow-cooker. Serve with Steamed Potatoes with Parsley or Corn and Macaroni Casserole. Delicious!

6-8 loin pork chops
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place pork chops in slow-cooker sprayed with cooking spray. In glass measuring cup, combine remaining ingredients, stirring well. Pour over pork chops. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, depending on your choice of tenderness. Serves 6-8.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Mother's Day Brunch Ideas

Here are a few ideas for a Mother's Day brunch.






Weekend Brunch Casserole (love this recipe)






English Scones and Clotted Cream


Last month we hosted an English Tea Party for our youngest daughter's bridal shower that included traditional British foods. Here is the recipe for our scones and cream. Delicious! English scones are not like the big sugary scones in America (that I have here on my blog). They are more like a biscuit and so very delicious with clotted cream and strawberry jam!

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter, cold
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons dried black currants, optional
1 egg yolk, beaten + 1 tablespoon milk (for glaze)
Strawberry jam
Clotted Cream, at room temperature (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into little pieces  and add them to the flour mixture, rubbing the butter together with your fingers to break up the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. (I found this part of the recipe very relaxing and fun!) Add the milk and dried black currants and mix in, using just enough milk to make your dough come together. The dough may be sticky. 

Spoon the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 2-3 times to coat with flour. Press the dough into a round that is about 1-inch thick. Using a floured biscuit cutter, cut the dough into 2-inch circles. Press the cutter straight down and up, without twisting, to ensure a nice rise in your scones. Place the rounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush each with the beaten egg and milk mixture for a glaze. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place them in a lined bread basket and cover with a tea towel to keep warm until ready to serve. *You may also freeze the rounds of dough after they are cut for use later. Just thaw and bake as directed. Makes 10-12 scones.



Clotted Cream
2 cups heavy cream (It's best if you can find cream that is "pasturized" and not "ultra pasturized". However, we were unable to find such cream and used Organic Valley Heavy Cream that has 6 grams fat and it did quite well.)

Pour the cream into a 12x12 casserole dish and bake in a preheated 175 degree oven for 12 hours. Carefully remove the dish from the oven and allow to cool. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours. Drain the milk from the dish and then spoon what is left--the clotted cream, which has a thick skin on top and a creamy underside--into a dish. If desired, you may gently stir the clotted cream to create a smoother texture. Store the cream in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Serve on scones at room temperature. 

*Use the leftover milk for baking or in your coffee. 
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Thousand Island Dressing

I'll always remember making Thousand Island dressing as a girl at my 4-H cooking meetings. Here's a similar recipe for you to enjoy.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup sweet relish
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
dash hot pepper sauce
pinch salt and pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped

In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, lemon juice, onion, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in egg. Serve over your favorite lettuce salad. Serves 10
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.