Sunday, May 7, 2017

Week 72, 5-7-2017

Thoughts and Quotes: Even during defeat, I'm planning my next victories. 
                                                                 The Beast from the game show The Chase

My week wasn't exactly a failure, but I didn't accomplish as much as I planned. Sometimes I have to admit I'm not Wonder Woman and slow down. 

Theme Dining: Not a dinner for the book.  When we went to Hu Hot for lunch, we were trying to decide where to go next, and I mentioned that Friday was Cinco de Mayo. One thing lead to another, and I decided to do the lunch.

The table looks much like Celebration of Citrus.

The Menu
Library Soup
Chicken Enchiladas
Hearty Spanish Rice
Chile Relleno Casserole
Bean Salad
Pico de Gallo


Library Soup and Spanish Rice recipes are already on the drop down menus.


2 cups cooked chicken cubes
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives (optional)
8 corn tortillas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can red enchilada sauce
Cooking oil

Heat oven to 350.

Lightly grease the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish.

Have chicken, cheese, onions and olives ready in separate bowls.

Heat oil in small skillet on medium heat.  Using tongs, put a tortilla in oil a few seconds, flip for a few seconds and then blot with paper towels.  Immediately place in baking dish and fill with ingredients in bowls.  Roll and place seam side down in a row in baking dish.  Continue until there are six in a row the 13” length, then put two the opposite direction below the row.

Spread the soup (undiluted) over the tops of the rolled tortillas.  Spoon enchilada sauce over all.  You’ll need most of a 15 oz can, but if using a 28 oz can, save extra to use when warming any leftovers to prevent drying out.

Sprinkle any remaining cheese and olives over the top and bake for 30 minutes.

Note: Filling ingredients are approximate. 


2 4-oz cans diced green chiles, drained
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 cup Bisquick
1 tsp salt

Heat oven to 375.

Grease 8 x 8 glass baking dish.

Spread chiles over bottom of pan.

Sprinkle tomatoes over chiles, then cheese.

Beat remaining ingredients until smooth and pour over.

Bake 30-35 minutes. 

Cut in squares or scoop out with serving spoon.


1 can cut green beans, drained
1 can corn, drained (can substitute yellow wax beans)
2 cans kidney beans drain one can halfway, do not drain the other
1 green pepper, chopped
4 green onions with tops, chopped

3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup white vinegar

Mix vegetables together in large bowl.

Mix dressing ingredients together and pour over.

Chill at least six hours; best if overnight.


1 qt 4% milk
1/4 cup (half stick) butter
1/2 cup Cream of Wheat
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
Grapes and oranges (optional)

Heat oven to 350.

Scald milk with butter in large saucepan.

Slowly add Cream of Wheat; cook over low heat six minutes. 

Remove from heat and add sugar.  Cool to lukewarm.

Beat eggs until thick; then slowly add to saucepan, beating well.

Pour into 13 x 9 glass baking dish and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cut in squares and put on serving plate, garnish with grapes and oranges.

Things that Grow: Joey and Robert brought peonies from their yard when they came to lunch.

Teas: Here's the May tea for the book.


Savories: Open-Face Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches, Olive-Cheese Puffs

Scone: Chocolate Scones, Mock Clotted Cream, purchased Chocolate Nut
Spread (optional)

Sweets: Blueberry Mini-Cheesecakes, Lemon Wafers

Tea:  Earl Grey



2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken - about two half breasts
  (To save time, buy a cooked rotisserie chicken at the market)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped fruit
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together and chill.  Butter bread before adding chicken salad.  Garnish with parsley sprig.

Use any kind of fruit.  Try using pineapple (fresh or canned); apples; dried raisins, cranberries or cherries; or grapes.  Be sure to cut your fruit into small pieces.

For crunch add finely chopped nuts – I like pecans, walnuts or slivered almonds.  Add just before serving or they’ll get soggy.

Bump it up by adding two tablespoons of minced onion.

Spice it up by adding 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder, dried dill weed, or dried tarragon.  Use fresh herbs if you have them, but double the amount.  Always start with a small amount; you can always add more to taste.

Try using different combinations until you find your own perfect “signature” chicken salad.


2 cups (8 oz) shredded mild cheddar cheese (fine shred is best)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp paprika
A pinch each of dry mustard and cayenne
3/4 cup flour
25-35 small pimiento-stuffed olives

Bring the cheese to room temperature.  Add the butter and spices to the cheese and mix well.  I use a hand mixer.

Stir in flour until mixture is smooth and well blended.

Cover and let stand in a warm, dry place for 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Pinch off a small amount of the cheese mix and roll it into a ball.  Press down the center with your thumb and insert the olive.  Wrap the cheese around the olive and roll to make a small ball.  You want the cheese to thinly cover the olive.  Remember, they’ll puff up when baking.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes.  Check at 15 minutes to see if set.

You’ll end up with 25-35 puffs, depending on the olive size.



2-1/3 cups flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten

Heat oven to 425 degrees. 

Whisk together the dry ingredients, and then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter.

Add the buttermilk and egg yolk and mix with a spoon into soft dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth five or six times, very gently.

Pat the dough out into a large circle 1/2” – 3/4” thick.

Use cutters of your choice.  You can roll and cut the scraps.

Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Scones cut with a 2-1/2” round will take about 16-18 minutes.  Reduce time for smaller scones.


1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Mix together and whisk or use your hand mixer to blend and beat until it’s like thick whipped cream. 


Note:  You’ll find mascarpone in a container in finer cheese sections of your local market.  You can buy only what you need for the tea if you wish, as it’s rather pricy.  It’s worth the money.  You’ll like the result. 



2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
24 vanilla cookie halves (see note)
1 21-ounce can of blueberry pie filling, chilled in can

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line muffin tins with 24 paper baking cups and put a cookie half in the bottom of each with the fancy side up.

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and lemon juice until light and fluffy.  Divide between the muffin cups, spooning evenly over cookie halves.

Bake 10-15 minutes until set.  Check at 10 minutes.

When cool, spoon the pie filling sparingly over each cheesecake.  Chill.

To serve, remove paper baking cup and place the cheesecakes on serving dish.

Note:  I used to buy vanilla wafers for the crust, but now they’re too small.  I buy a bag of cheap vanilla sandwich cookies and take them apart, discarding the filling.  If you only find chocolate on one side and vanilla on the other side cookies, save the chocolate sides for chocolate cheesecakes or whirl them in the blender or crush with a rolling pin to use for making a chocolate cookie pie crust.  Freeze the leftover cookie halves until you need them.


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1-3/4 cups sifted flour (measure after sifting)
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the butter, sugar, egg, and lemon extract.  I use a hand mixer.

Mix the dry ingredients together and add.

Roll into balls, using 1/2 tsp cookie dough for each.

Place on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 4-6 minutes.  Check at 4 minutes.

After you have enough tea wafers, use the balance of the dough to make balls using one teaspoon of dough.  Place on ungreased baking sheet and using a salad fork dipped in flour; slightly flatten dough using all four tines.  Then use fork the other direction, making a criss-cross design.  These cookies will take longer to bake: 8-10 minutes. 

One recipe of cookie dough will make 40 tea wafers and 24 regular cookies.

Tips: I was getting out of my car at Walmart when a lady said, "Would you like this cart?". She had just loaded her groceries and I usually take a cart in when I go anyway, so I told her that I would. She said, "Just a minute. I have to undo the strap. My friend once had her purse stolen from her shopping cart, so now I just hook the child seat belt through the strap of my purse and connect. If anyone tries to grab my purse, they'll be brought up short."

She continued, "I also had a friend who slid off a slick road and into the ditch. The car turned over and she was hanging upside down. Her purse was out of reach, so she couldn't get to her cell phone. Now I just run my seat belt through the strap of my purse before I hook it up".

Good advice, but I don't think I'd want to be her friend. They seem to have a lot of trouble.

The Pepper Report: I told you I didn't want a kitty. This has to be the messiest kitty alive, but he's really sorry and feels so guilty, he can't even relax.

And then there's feral kitty Stormy - the cutest kitty alive. She likes to come into the indoor patio, but then she tries to come in the house every time I open the slider. Sometimes she succeeds.

Pepper loves her so long as she's in the indoor patio or outside, but he doesn't want her in HIS house. He chases her around, and if she approaches him, he hisses and slaps at her. And if she goes in the kitchen to eat his food, he gets really huffy.

This little girl wants to be adopted. Dr. says she'll be old enough to spay mid-May, so I'll take her in and also get her shots, have her checked for worms, give her a flea treatment, and hope someone is looking for a sweet little lady.

Theme Dining: The first theme lunch for May is finished.

The Invitation (made from a wallpaper sample)

The Table

The Menu

The Food

The Recipes


1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2  cup white grape juice
1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned and halved

Put sugar and all liquids in a blender and pulse to start and then blend.

Add strawberries and pulse to chop up berries; then put on whip (high) which will whip the cream and give the soup some body.

Pour into a glass bowl and refrigerate.

Chill at least eight hours.

If you want more strawberry flavor, pour in a little strawberry Kool-aid powder.  Don’t use too much, or your soup will look like Pepto Bismol.  It’s already a deep pink.

I made this once with apple juice and once with fruit punch (all juice) and I think you can substitute most any juice which is very sweet.  If you don’t have juice, just add a little more sugar.  This is a soup you can tailor to your taste.  I think I got this recipe from a Schnucks newsletter, but the recipe above has my changes to suit my taste.

You can make this more of an appetizer by adding ¼ cup sour cream.  Make it a dessert soup by serving it with cookies.  And if you want a treat in a hurry, just put it in a mug or glass and add a scoop of vanilla or strawberry ice cream.  Or do like brother Sonny and put it in the freezer until it just starts to ice.
Taste of Home

8 (2 lbs) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup crushed cornflakes
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the green can)
1 envelope Ranch salad dressing mix

Heat oven to 350°.

Grease a 9” X 13” baking dish.

Mix cornflakes, cheese, and salad dressing mix.

Dip chicken pieces in melted butter and then in mix.

Put in baking dish and bake for 45 minutes.


1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, veins removed, and minced
1/2 cup diced strawberries (or more, if desired)
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
1 Tbs finely chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 or 2 limes (depending on juiciness)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix and chill.

Makes one cup.


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup minced onion
1 cup raw rice
2 cups hot beef or chicken broth
Salt and pepper
Toasted sliced almonds for garnish, optional

Heat butter in a heavy saucepan.

Add onion and sauté until transparent.

Add rice and toast briefly, stirring constantly.

Add hot broth all at once.

Cover and simmer over lowest heat 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally after first ten minutes.

Garnish with almonds.

Note: You may add anything else you like: sautéed celery, mushrooms, herbs, etc.

Taste of Home 
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
Extra berries to decorate
Extra sugar to sprinkle tops

Heat oven to 375°.

Combine dry ingredients.

In another bowl, beat egg, milk, and oil until smooth.

Stir in dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in berries.

Fill paper muffin cups 3/4 full.

Slice extra berries in half (vertically), place on muffin batter, cut side down. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 22-25 minutes.

Note: Muffins are good with dinner – not very sweet.


1 baked 9” pie crust
2 cups halved strawberries (or as many as it takes to fit pie tin)
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs cornstarch
1 cup water
1/4 cup dry strawberry Jello mix

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear.

Remove from heat and immediately stir in Jello.

Set aside to cool.

Arrange half the strawberries in the pie crust. Spread with half the glaze.

Add the balance of the strawberries and the balance of the glaze.

Glaze will thicken with refrigeration.

Serve with whipped cream.

Party Favors - Strawberry Bon-Bons

I don't feel they're worth the effort, but here's the recipe.

3 3-oz boxes strawberry Jello
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups finely chopped coconut
Red sugar crystals
Green frosting or slivered almonds and green coloring for stems

Mix Jello, milk, and coconut and refrigerate overnight.

Scoop up a teaspoon of Jello mixture and shape like a strawberry. Roll in red sugar crystals.

Make the stem with green frosting - or dye almonds with green coloring for stems. For best looks, make the leaf part with green frosting and a flower tip, then stick in a green-dyed almond.

So Whoo-Hoo! Only one more Theme Meal and May will be finished. Will be working on Lazy Daisy Lunch in hopes of finishing in time to get an early start on June.





(Oh, dear. Which one shall I chose?)






  1. Patsy, I absolutely love that table, and the food looks delicious and the presentations are lovely! Of course, being a cat lover, I was happy to see them as well. I am getting hungry. Thank you so much for sharing, the food...yum! :)

    1. I know you love kitties. I always love when you have kitty videos. I hope I can find a home for this sweet little Stormy. She wants to be a house kitty, but Pepper said that he absolutely won't even entertain the idea.

  2. What a joy to visit and see the May tea.