Monday, March 14, 2011

Dreaming of Spring

After a particularly hard end of the week last week I had a bit of trouble getting going on this already here Monday.  A flood at our house that was terribly messy and time consuming and scary, and the horrible news of the unexpected death of a 25 year old cousin, and a situation in my husband's family that is hurting him and seems to be a regular topic of conversation, has drained me of energy.  My body, heart, and mind just couldn't jump into the week with my normal enthusiasm.  I am so thankful though, for a God who sees our pain and knows our weaknesses and loves us no matter what.  What grace He bestows on us!  After a few small whispers of prayer to my heavenly Father I could feel some of the weight lifting off of me and I was able to move into my routine of starting laundry, and breakfast, and waking children and beginning our school day. 

In a few moments of quiet alone time, which is rare in our busy household, I happened to pick up a book I had not looked at in a long time,  Celebrate Spring!  How appropriate that I came across that book today when I need a little mood lifter!  And to think...spring is only 6 days away!!  I love spring!  I love celebrating the resurrection of my Savior, and the sweet smell of the grass, and the new flowers, and planning a birthday celebration for my littlest boy, and the longer daylight and warmer weather.  I love having the windows up and I love spring cleaning.  Spring awakens the senses!

Here are a few tidbits from Celebrate Spring I liked and thought you might too!
  • Berries, grapes and melon make a beautiful fruit cup when served in wine glasses.
  • Run a lemon wedge around the rims of glasses and dip in superfine sugar; garnish cool drinks with a sprig of mint.
  • When you plant your garden, plant flowers especially for making potpourri.  Lavender, roses, violet, sweet peas and carnations, along with spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, will make the ingredients for a variety of potpourris.
  • Plant a fruit, peach, pear or plum.  It will give you blossoms in springtime, shade in summer, luscious fruits in fall, and fragrant branches for firewood in winter.
  • Here's a tip for any buffet table...stack your plates at the beginning, but save the silverware, napkins and beverages for the end of the line.  So much easier to handle!
  • For a delightful addition to a spring garden salad, add some fresh green snow peas.
  • For an extra special spring welcome, place a potted lily by your front door on Easter Day.
  • When was the last time you colored Easter eggs?  This year, why not host an egg-coloring party?  Have prizes on hand for the most colorful, best decorated and funniest eggs. 
  • To make iced dessert coffees, start with a freshly-brewed pot of coffee.  Sweeten to taste, then cover and refrigerate (after it has cooled a bit first).  Pour into a blender with chocolate syrup and scoops of vanilla ice cream.  Top with whipped cream and a dash of cocoa.  YUM!
  • How to pick a melon?  A melon should feel nice and heavy and dense...heavier than it appears...and should have no scar at the stem indicating it was picked prematurely. 
  • For an easy yet elegant centerpiece, display dried pink and blue hydrangeas in a vintage china teapot for your afternoon tea party.
  • For a delicious addition to homemade soups, try adding fresh dill sprigs instead of celery leaves.  
And some yummy, spring recipes to get you in the mood...

Country Quiche
A clever quiche that forms its own crust while baking.

3 eggs
1/2 c. biscuit mix
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt, dash of pepper
1 c. Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 c. smoked ham, cooked and cubed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch pie pan.  Place all ingredients except cheese and ham in blender, and blend well.  Pour mixture in pan.  Sprinkle cheese and ham on top.  Press gently below surface with back of spoon.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Lemon-Butter Muffins
Luscious served with peach jam.

1/2c. fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
2 T. lemon rind, freshly grated
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 c. all-purpose flour, unsifted
1/2 c. plus 2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease 2 muffin tins well.  Stir lemon juice, eggs and lemon rind into melted butter.  In another bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt; make a well in the center.  Stir in egg mixture and blend until well moistened.  Pour into muffin tins, filling each cup about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Makes 18-24 muffins.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Nut filling:
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. pecans, chopped

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare nut filling by mixing all ingredients together; set aside.  In another bowl, cream the butter.  Add sugar gradually and cream until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Sift dry ingredients together and add to first mixture, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.  Mix in vanilla.  Pour half of the mixture into greased 9x5 loaf pan or 9-inch bundt pan.  Cover with half of the nut filling and repeat.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes (loaf pan) or 70 minutes (bundt pan).

1 comment:

  1. these recipes sound so good! i'll have to trythe lemon-butter muffins!



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