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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: In Honor of the Bride-to-Be

It is an exciting time in my man's side of the family. I will soon gain my very first sister! And not long after that I will gain a second sister!! I love my bro-in-laws but, deep down I am a little more excited to have their wives as sisters than I was when marriage resulted in my two sweet bros. No offense bros. Just speaking the truth.

In preparation for these upcoming nuptials I, along with my fantastic cousin-in-law, had a small family shower. I am always looking for an excuse to have tea sandwiches and cake. Throw in a little fruit tea and mimosas...that is what you call a happenin' party!

On this fine Tasty Tuesday, I would like to share our tasty treat recipes in case you have an exciting event to celebrate. Or if you just want to celebrate the day your are living! Always a perfect reason.

Our Menu:
       Mimosas and Bread & Company Imitation Fruit Tea
   Savory Treats:
       Chicken Salad on mini croissants
       Cucumber sandwiches
       Baked Brie topped with honey and walnuts, served with fruit and crackers

   The Sweetest Part:
       Chocolate Cake with Marshmallow Fluff Butter-cream Icing

My friends, if I have to start by telling you how to make a mimosa we have problems. You have got to have some mimosas in your life. Now, the fruit tea. Here is the recipe I adapted, thank you for getting me started Kara.

Bread & Company Fruit Tea Look-a-like:
2-4 family size iced tea, tea bags (brand of choice)
2-3 Moroccan Mint tea, tea bags
2 12oz frozen pineapple juice
3/4-1 12 oz frozen lemonade
1/2 12oz frozen orange juice
2-3 cups of sugar
Fresh mint as desired

Place tea bags in about 1.5 quarts of boiling water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let steep for a good while and chill. Once cooled pour into a one gallon plastic jug for easy mixing. Add thawed juice concentrates and add water to fill jug. Shake to mix. Chill and serve with sprigs of fresh mint.

I have shared my chicken salad recipe here before. I picked up the cutest mini croissants from The Fresh Market to serve them on. Another cute thought would be to place dollops of the salad on large crackers to avoid needing the use of plates.

My cousin, the lovely Chloe, prepared the cutest cucumber sandwiches! This photo is not one that I took but here is the link to the preparation directions from (found on Pinterest, of course) on the cutest blog. My mother-in-law's tried and true recipe we used was Boursin garlic and herb cheese (at room temperature) spread over white bread and covered with thinly pealed and sliced cucumbers and topped off with a few sprouts. Add a little salt and pepper as you desire.

Baked brie cheese is one of the most delightful and easy treats I can think of. The brie is warm, gooey, creamy, slightly sharp and then sweetened with a bit of honey. Your first step would be to gently scrap the white fluff off of the outside of the cheese round. Next, place in an oven-safe dish, top with a few walnuts or pecans and drizzle with honey. Based on the size of your brie round bake at 250 degrees for 10-20 minutes. Remove from your oven-safe dish and place on a serving tray with fruit and crackers. I always choose apple, pears and grapes. Go with a higher-end cracker as well. Leave the Ritz or Saltines at home for this one.

Time for the pièce de résistance! The cake! In the last two years I have fortunately, or unfortunately, found one of the best chocolate cake recipes. I am giving away my secret. It is on the back of the Hershey's cocoa container. I thought I would share it with you just in case you already have different brand cocoa. The icing is also delicious. However, this time I choose something a little different as the bride-to-be had already had this cake with chocolate icing before. This time I found this recipe for marshmallow fluff icing. It is so easy! And make it perfect for your occasion by adding food coloring if you would like. The cake was a huge hit! I may have to make it again one day.

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake:
2 cup sugar
13/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
11/2 tsp. baking powder
11/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-in. round baking pans.
2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on med. speed 2 min. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into pans
3. Back 30-35 min. or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 min; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Then frost.

Lil' Luna's Marshmallow Fluff Icing (I doubled the recipe to cover the whole cake):
1 cup butter (room temp)
1 7oz. jar Marshmallow Fluff
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy
2. Mix in the fluff and vanilla by hand
3. Slather on that yummy cake or fill pipping bags for easy cupcake icing

Chloe taught me a trick she learned from pinterest...When I finished icing the cake I took a small spoon and lightly pressed the back of it on the iced cake to make the fluffy peaks. So easy and so lovely.

Happy partying! Do you have a go to shower/party dish? Let us know!! We would love to hear.

Chloe, Kylie (bride-to-be) and yours truly


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