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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monday Night Book Club

 A few neighborhood ladies and I started a monthly book club. This is just a reason for us to read some great books and get together once a month for some gabbing, drinking and nibbling!  It is my turn to host the meeting, therefore; I am in charge of making a few tasty treats and a signature cocktail.  I decided on a Blueberry & Lemon Teacake and  Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint to munch on.  Also, since our book (Sarah's Key) takes place in Paris, I thought I would keep with the French theme and make a French Martini.


* Since our book, Sarah's Key, took place in Paris, France - I decided to honor the destination with a great French Martini!
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/4 oz Chambord® raspberry liqueur
  • 1/4 oz fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 twist lemon peel
 Place ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker - shake and pour into martini glass. Serve with lemon twist as garnish.


* I saw this recipe on Taste of Home, but I adapted it a bit.  I added some vanilla and disregarded a sugary glaze and opted for a light dusting of powdered sugar instead. 

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1-2/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • powdered sugar for dusting cake when finished
Toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Combine remaining flour with baking powder and salt; add alternately with milk to creamed mixture. Fold in lemon peel and berries.

Pour into a greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes.

Cool 10 minutes in pan.  Remove and place on wire rack.  Dust with powdered sugar and cool completely before serving.


* I am always looking for different ways to make simple and light fruit salad.  I came up with this version for my book club meeting.  Light and refreshing with just a touch of sweetness from the Limoncello Simple Syrup.
  • 2 cups strawberries - cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups cantelope - cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 TB. finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Limoncello Liquer
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  1. Place strawberries and cantelope in a medium sized bowl
  2. Add the chopped mint and toss to coat fruit - set aside
  3. In the meantime - place the Limoncello, water and sugar in a small non-stick saucepan.  Over medium high heat cook the ingredients - let simmer while stirring continuously for about 3-5 minutes.  The liquid should reduce by half and get a bit thicker. 
  4. Cool simple sugar - when cook pour over fruit salad and mix well.
  5. Place in fridge for at least one hour - serve with a mint garnish on top.

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