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Monday, June 7, 2010


I made it!  I officially made it through my first ever cooking "gig" without even breaking a sweat (well I think I did a little bit the last 10 minutes), but other than that all went extremely well.  My husband kept asking me if I was nervous and I just kept saying " Well, no I am not nervous at all...but I feel like I should be".  All went smooth and the good turned out fabulous!  I got to spend my day doing things I love...making food and watching people enjoy it.  I want to than Vignette's for giving me this oppurtunity!  I am including all my tea party menus and recipes for all to enjoy.


-Tarragon & Thyme Chicken Salad
-Assortment of rolls with Honey-Chive Whipped Butter
-Grilled Asparagus Salad
-Minted Strawberry & Cantelope Salad with a Limoncello Syrup
-Lemon Verbena & Blueberry Teacake with Fresh Whipped Cream
-Mini Cherry Babycakes


Poached Chicken:
*Makes 4 cups shredded chicken

•6-8 Chicken Breasts (with or without bone)
•1 gallon water
•8 cups chicken broth
•15 baby carrots
•2 celery salks cut into 3 large pieces each
•1 sprig of flat leaf parsley (keep on stem)
•1 onion quartered
•1/2 tsp. thyme
•1/2 tsp. tarragon
•1/2 TB salt
•1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1.Place water and chicken broth in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil.
2.Add carrots, celery, onion, parsley, spices, salt & pepper. Stir well.
3.Add chicken breasts whole into the water mixture.
4.Simmer on high (do not boil) for about 20 minutes or so. You can stop cooking when you check a piece of chicken and it can be shredded with a fork.
5.With a slotted spoon take chicken breasts out of broth and one by one shred with two forks into large chunky pieces.

** The broth can be immediately used to make chicken soup or frozen for a later date.

Chicken Salad:

•4 cups shredded chicken or turkey
•3 TB. sliced almonds
•3 TB. dried cranberries
•1/2 cup mayo
•2 TB. heavy cream
•1 TB. chopped flat leaf parsley
•2 green onions chopped
•1 celery stalk chopped fine
•1/2 tsp. tarragon
•1/2 tsp. thyme
•salt & pepper to taste

1.Place chicken/turkey, almonds, cranberries, mayo, heavy cream, parsley, onions, celery, tarragon, thyme,   salt & pepper all in a large bowl. Mix well until creamy.
2.Cover and place in refridgerator for a few hours or overnight for the flavors to blend.
3.Serve by itself with lettuce or serve with buns or bread to make chicken salad sandwiches.


For the Asparagus:

• 1 pound asparagus – tough ends removed from end
• 3 TB. Olive oil
• 1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
• salt and pepper to taste

Place asparagus, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large zip lock bag. Close and toss asparagus around so that they are coated with ingredients. Let sit at room temp for ½ hour to 1 hour.

Heat outdoor grill or indoor grill. Remove asparagus from the bag and place on grill. Grill each side of the asparagus for 3-5 minutes. You want to make sure you get the beautiful grill marks on each side, but also make sure that you keep the asparagus crispy and not wilted.

Remove from grill and set on a platter – set aside.

For the Salad:

• 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
• ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
• 4 TB. Olive oil
• ½ tsp. dried basil
• ¼ tsp. dried oregano
• ¼ tsp. kosher salt
• fresh ground pepper
• ½ cup chopped grape tomatoes
• ¼ cup halved kalamata olives (pitted)
• ½ cup fresh shaved parmesan cheese
• thinly sliced lemon for garnish

Place the Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar in a medium bowl. Whisk well. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture whisking quickly the whole time. Add the basil, oregano, salt and pepper; whisk or stir well. Set aside.

Place the asparagus on a serving platter or bowl. Top the asparagus with the chopped tomatoes and kalamata olives. Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the salad. Top with the shaved parmesan and serve.

*If you choose to make this salad a day or a couple of hours before serving you can easily do so. Follow the recipe by plating the asparagus and then top with the tomatoes and kalamata olives. Cover and place in fridge. When ready to serve, take the salad out of the fridge, uncover it. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette, top with shaved parmesan and serve.


• 2 cups strawberries - cut into bite size pieces
• 2 cups cantelope - cut into bite size pieces
• 2 TB. finely chopped mint leaves
• 1/4 cup Limoncello Liqueur
• 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.


• 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
• 1 TB. Finely chopped lemon verbena
• 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, lemon verbena 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.

Serve with a large dollop of fresh whipped cream.


• 1 1/3 cups flour
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 2/3 cup milk
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 2/3 cup cherry marmalade or cherry preserves
• 60 maraschino cherries with stems, drained (or however many you need for the amount of cupcakes you make)
• 1 recipe powdered sugar icing
• mini muffin cups

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups with miniature paper cups, set aside
2. In a large mixing b owl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk, butter, egg and vanilla. Beat on low speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for one minute longer.
3. Spoon 1 tsp. of batter into muffing cups. Add 1/2 tsp. cherry marmalade and top with 1/2 tsp. additional batter.
4. Bake cupcakes about 12 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, cool completely on wire rack.
5. Pat cherries dry with clean paper towel. Drizzle each cupcake with about 1/2 tsp. icing. Dip half of the cherry in icing; place one cherry on top of each cupcake.

Powdered Sugar Icing:

• In a small bowl combine 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and 2 TB. milk. Stir in additional milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency.

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