Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dinner at the Ballet

In the midst of a busy day preparing for the girls' spring recital, I treasure sitting down with family and friends for dinner before the show. This year we enjoyed iced raspberry mousse, chicken a la king in puff pastry shells, wild rice, spinach salad and a white chocolate fruit tart.

Joe's parents, my grandmother and our sweet friend and former babysitter, Kaleena, joined us for the evening. It meant so much to all of us to share this exciting evening with loved ones! 


Iced Raspberry Mousse
Emma helped me make this refreshing recipe days before the recital, a pretty pink frozen treat from the Usborne Fairy Cooking cookbook the girls got for Christmas. Find this great gift for little girls for only $6.99 here.
6 ounce tub raspberries
4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup whipping cream
4-5 meringues
Fresh raspberries and mint leaves
4 (1/2-cup) ramekin dishes
Mash raspberries with a fork until squashed, then add sugar. Add yogurt and stir until everything is mixed well. Whip cream in a separate bowl until thick and points form when you lift the whisk or beaters. Add yogurt mixture to cream, and gently fold until the mixture is pink. Bake meringue cookies,  Break meringues into small pieces, and gently fold them into the mixture. Spoon into ramekins, and freeze for at least 2 hours or until frozen solid. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves before serving. Serves 4. (Note: I purchased meringues for this recipe from the Publix bakery.)

Chicken a la King
I got this recipe years ago from my sweet and stylish friend, Kelly Ferguson. I admire Kelly's flair for entertaining, so always feel extra confidence when I serve one of her recipes.
3 cups chicken broth
Small jar diced pimento
2 cups diced onion
Diced green pepper
1 cup diced celery
1 can mushrooms (or fresh)
1 stick butter
5-6 tablespoons flour
Small carton half-and-half
1/4 cup cooking sherry
Cooked chicken breasts (1 per person, plus 1 or 2)
Saute vegetables in 1 stick butter over medium-low heat to reach desired tenderness. Gradually add 5-6 tablespoons flour, stirring constantly to incorporate. Turn up heat. As mixture thickens, add chicken stock and half-and-half. Then stir in chicken, pimento and sherry. Spoon chicken mixture into puff pastry shells, and serve with wild rice. Serves 8.

White Chocolate Fruit Tart

This recipe from Allrecipes looked so pretty on the table and provided a refreshing end to our meal.

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 (10 ounce) package vanilla or white chips, melted and cooled
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, undrained
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
2 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
Assorted berries

3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour; mix well. Press into an ungreased 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom or 12-inch pizza pan with sides. Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat melted chips and cream. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Spread over crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup juice; set juice aside. Arrange fruit over filling.

For glaze, in a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool; brush over fruit. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tomorrow, photos from the recital!

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