MA14_EDIE1With flowers in bloom and pleasant days ahead, dress the table for spring with pretty, colorful blooms from the garden in small vintage milk glass containers. Milk glass containers are plentiful, reasonable, and fun to discover and collect. They can be found at flea markets, antiques shops, and consignment shops across the state. These graceful, femininely shaped containers with small nosegays of colorful blooms make perfect party favors to remember the fun. Add place settings of delicate floral antique plates and Depression glass goblets to complete the vintage-style tablescape theme. Serve an easy menu of Chicken Cordon Bleu with rice and fresh vegetables, and end the meal with a special dessert of ice cream and cherries served in a precious and delicious lacy Almond Basket. Enjoy, and welcome spring!

MENU

Mixed Salad Greens with Sweet and Sour Dressing
Chicken Cordon Bleu with Rice
Lemon Butter Green Beans
Roasted Carrots
RollsAlmond Lace Baskets with Ice Cream and Cherries

MIXED SALAD GREENS WITH SWEET AND SOUR DRESSING

1 (16-ounce) package spring mix salad greens
1 cup dried cranberries
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 cup croutons
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Place greens on plate. Add dried cranberries, oranges, almonds, croutons, and cheese. Drizzle with Sweet and Sour Dressing.

Yield: 8 servings

SWEET AND SOUR DRESSING

1 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup sugar
½ cup white wine vinegar
3 teaspoons soy sauce
Salt, black pepper, and white pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a lid, and shake to blend. Drizzle over salad.

Yield: 2½ cups

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU WITH RICE

2 (6-ounce) packages chicken and wild rice mix
1 stick butter, divided
4 cups boiling water
½ cup shredded carrots
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 (¹/8 -inch) slices cooked ham, halved
4 slices Swiss cheese, halved
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, combine rice mix, 2 tablespoons butter, boiling water, and carrots. Pour mixture into a greased 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Arrange chicken breasts on rice mixture. Top each chicken breast with a cut of butter and half of a ham slice. Cover casserole with foil, and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and place half of a cheese slice on top of ham on each breast. Combine breadcrumbs with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle each breast with breadcrumb mixture. Return to oven, and bake uncovered for 6-8 minutes or until browned.

Yield: 8 servings

LEMON GREEN BEANS

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
½ stick butter
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, bring 1 inch salted water to a boil. Places beans in steamer inset, and steam for 4 minutes. Place beans in ice water, then transfer beans to a 9×13-inch greased baking dish, and bake for 5 minutes. Melt butter; stir in lemon zest and juice and almonds. Drizzle butter mixture over beans.

Yield: 8 servings

 

ROASTED CARROTS

2 bunches carrots
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons minced parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and slice carrots, leaving short stems intact. In a bowl, toss carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place one layer of carrots in a greased rimmed dish and roast in oven for 20 minutes, or until browned and tender. Sprinkle carrots with minced parsley, season to taste, and serve. Yield: 8 servings

ALMOND LACE BASKETS WITH ICE CREAM AND CHERRIES


3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons corn syrup
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon cherry brandy or cherry juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped almonds, toasted
Vanilla ice cream
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

MA14DessertBasket

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat butter, sugar, and corn syrup until melted. Simmer for 3 minutes; remove from heat. Gradually
add flour and stir until combined. Stir in allspice, almond extract, brandy or juice, and almonds. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease four (9-inch) pie plates with butter. Drop mixture to make one 4-inch diameter circle in each pie plate, (leaving space to spread). Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and mold each round over a small greased custard cup to form a basket. If rounds become hardened on pie plate, return to oven to soften. When 4 baskets are shaped and hardened, remove from custard cups. Allow to set for 1 hour. To serve, place a scoop of ice cream into each basket and top each with 2 tablespoons cherry pie filling. Yield: 4 baskets

 

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