On June 11, 2010 my parent's celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. My brother's and I, along with our spouses and children, planned a party to recognize their special day. We invited about 120 friends and family and almost all of them were able to attend!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
My friend Kristy showed me how to make these pretty strawberries. They resemble flower petals and are piped with sweetened cream cheese. They really brighten up a dessert table and taste delish!
Strawberries with Cream Cheese Filling
32 fresh whole strawberries
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
grated chocolate for garnish
Cut a thin slice from the stem end of each strawberry so that they stand upright, then cut each berry carefully into four wedges, cutting almost to, but not through, the bottoms. Fan the wedges just slightly, but be careful not to break them. Set berries aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, confectioners sugar and almond extract until light and fluffy. Pipe filling into strawberries using a decorating bag with decorative tip. Grate chocolate over top to garnish.
Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
We love snacking on party mix at our house, so when my mom sent a batch of this sweet mix home with my daughter, we knew we wanted the recipe since we ate the entire bowl that evening!
My mom got the recipe from my aunt, so we're not sure where it originated, but it sure is yummy.
Sweet Party Mix
4 cups bite-size square corn cereal
4 cups bite-size square rice cereal
2 cups pretzel knots
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 T butter
3 T light-colored corn syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup dried cranberries, blueberries or cherries
In a large roasting pan combine corn cereal, rice cereal, pretzels and almonds; set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils. Continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, without stirring, for 5 minutes more.
Remove saucepan from heat; stir in baking soda. Pour over cereal mixture; stir gently to coat.
Bake in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes; stir cereal mixture and bake 5 minutes more.
Remove from oven; stir in dried fruit. Spread on a large piece of buttered foil to cool.
Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.
Friday, June 4, 2010
About a month ago I was out of town for work. It was late evening and I was wondering what to have for dinner. Sure I could have had Olive Garden, TGI Fridays or some other chain restaurant dinner, but instead I decided to explore The Fresh Market grocery store I noticed while driving around. The Fresh Market was new to me, we don't have one where I live, but WOW do I love that store! I roamed all around the isles admiring the beautiful bakery items, bulk snack mixes, bulk candies and fresh salads.
Since I was trying to be relatively healthy, I decided on a turkey sandwich made with a delicious whole grain bread, green bean chips, a small container of honey lemon pasta salad and a bran muffin for dessert. I took my bag of goodies back to my hotel, changed into my pj's and had a picnic in my room while I watched the Real Housewives of somewhere on television. The pasta salad was so light and fresh tasting, I knew I had to try to recreate it when I got home. I searched The Fresh Market website, but of course no recipe, but my version came out pretty darn close. Hope you like it too.
Honey Lemon Pasta Salad
2 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 T Honey
1 tsp. chopped thyme
1/ 2 C extra-virgin olive oil
fresh ground salt and pepper
In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice with the lemon zest, honey and thyme.
Whisk in the olive oil and season with fresh ground salt and pepper.
Bowtie Pasta (I used 3/4 of a 1 lb. box)
1/3 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced roasted red pepper
1 can mandarin orange sections - drained
diced red onion
toasted sunflower seeds
Cook bowtie pasta, drain and set aside.
Add diced green pepper, diced roasted red pepper, mandarin oranges and chopped red onion.
Toss with honey lemon dressing and sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds. Enjoy!