Monday, April 9, 2018

Flowers for Teatime

"Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A gift of tea gives pleasure long after the final cup is steeped -- especially when the container is as lovely as the one pictured above, which was a birthday surprise from the Victoria team.

This shiny tin canister, with its pretty pink label, seemed perfect for holding a posy of fresh spring flowers. (For some other pretty selections, consider the Nina's Tea L'Original Marie-Antoinette Pink Tin, Harney & Sons Royal Palace Tea Tin, or Nina's Tea Fete de Versailles.)

To make this centerpiece, I slipped a plastic cup into the canister, added water, and arranged a brimful bouquet of fresh floral stems.

Ready to be placed on the table or shared with a friend, this sweet posy doubles the pleasure of a teatime gift!

"The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose." ~ George Gissing

Friday, April 6, 2018

Savor a Simple French Country Salad

"Take time enough for your meals, and eat them in company whenever you can." ~ Edward Everett

Not too long ago, I put together a salad using leftovers from our dinner the night before. This easy weekend lunch was so tasty, it seemed worthy of a streetside Parisian cafe. It's a recipe I want to remember for sharing with a friend, so I'm providing the full details here!

Simple French Country Salad

Prepare this refreshing mix to enjoy individually or to serve when entertaining.

Chicken breast(s) 
Lemon-garlic marinade* 
Sea salt 
Black pepper 
Thin asparagus spears, trimmed 
Olive oil 
Shredded Parmesan 
Spring mix lettuces 
Fresh strawberries 
Goat cheese crumbles* 
Honey-roasted pecans*

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Butterfly chicken. Brush with lemon-garlic marinade, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Saute over medium-high heat until cooked through, and set aside to let cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, on prepared baking sheet, toss asparagus with a little olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper and Parmesan. Bake in one layer until stalks are tender and edges are slightly charred, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to let cool slightly.

4. Slice chicken into strips, chop asparagus, and slice strawberries.

5. Divide lettuces among plates. Top with sliced chicken, chopped asparagus, sliced strawberries, goat cheese crumbles, and pecans. Drizzle with lemon-garlic dressing, and serve.

*I used Tessemae's Organic Lemon Garlic Dressing & Marinade and Fresh Gourmet Honey Roasted Pecan Pieces. For the salad pictured, we were out of goat cheese, so I used shredded Parmesan, which also provided a nice complement to the other flavors.

This delicious recipe demonstrates that sometimes the best culinary surprises come about from using what you have on hand. Chocolate croissants from a local bakery provided a perfect end to this healthful bistro meal!

"There is no need for hurry in life -- least of all when we are eating." ~ Edward Everett

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Easter Memories 2018

"For I remember it is Easter morn,
And life and love and peace are all new born."
~ Alice Freeman Palmer

This Easter found us in Searcy, Arkansas, to visit Carson for Spring Sing at Harding University. It was so special to spend the holiday together, and I cherished every moment with our party of six. Here are a few photos from our weekend.

" 'Twas Easter-Sunday. The full-blossomed trees
Filled all the air with fragrance and joy."
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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