Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blue's Blueberry Pie .

 My favorite fruit in a pie and pie making simplified!  The filling is cooked on the stove top and poured into a baked crust.

1 9" baked pie crust
1 quart large blueberries
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
whipped cream or whipped topping
Wash berries. Set aside 3 cups. Combine remaining berries with sugar and 3/4 cup water in saucepan, bring to a simmer. Blend cornstarch, salt, lemon juice and 1/4 cup water to a smooth paste. Add to mixture in a pan, cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir hot mixture into uncooked berries, stir gently, just enough to mix. Turn into baked pastry crust. Chill 3 hours. Serve with whipped topping.
A summertime pie that won't heat the kitchen!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Rhubarb Custard Pie ... For those luckey enough to have a Rhubarb Patch with that wonderful taste of Spring.

The recipe that I share today is from my husband's grandmother. She was rated as one of the best cooks in the county who loved to spoil my husband with meals she served.
2 cups rhubarb cut in 1/2" lengths
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 14 oz. can evaporated milk.
Combine beaten eggs with evaporated milk and vanilla. Toss rhubarb with flour and sugar to coat. Place rhubarb in unbaked pie crust and add milk-egg mixture. Bake in a 350 oven for 1 hour.
Pie Crust:
I offered my favorite crust with the lemon meringue pie recipe posted May 23 on the blog.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lazarus Chicken Salad .

Lazarus Chicken Salad
"Lazarus" was a large Department Store in Ohio famous for the Chicken Salad served in their restaurant.  The recipe continues to be one of the most sought recipes on my blog.
1 quart cubed cooked chicken breast
1 quart diced celery
1 pint pecans, roasted and salted
1 pint chicken salad dressing
Add 1 part cooked dressing to 3 parts mayonnaise.
Cooked dressing:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cups milk
1 cup heated vinegar
1/4 cup egg yolks
Mix dry ingredients together. Add to milk and cook in double boiler until flour is thoroughly mixed. Add heated vinegar and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Beat egg yolks and add a small amount of the cooked mixture to the yolks and mix well to prevent curdling of yolks. Cook an additional 10 minutes. Chill. Makes 1 quart of mix.
Unless you need 3 quarts of chicken salad, divide the recipe.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Farfalle Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives. Farfalle is the Italian word for butterfly.

Farfalle with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

1 pound farfalle dried pasta
3/4 cup heavy (double) cream
12 green or kalmata olives, finely chopped
1/2 cup drained, oil packed, sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta to cook until al-dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the pasta reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
Meanwhile combine the cream, olives and sun-dried tomatoes in a frying pan over very low heat. Heat just until the cream is lukewarm and slightly pink. Stir in the reserved hot cooking liquid. (If using kalmata olives, add to sauce just before pouring over pasta)
Transfer the pasta to a warmed serving bowl. Immediately pour the sauce over pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste and the Parmesan cheese. Serve at once. Serves 4

Sunday, May 27, 2007

French Toast .... Two twists to an old time favorite. I am known to our grandchildren for their favorite of "Crunchy French Toast".

Crunchy French Toast
Cereal i.e. Rice Chex, Corn Chex , or any unsweetened cereal that can be crushed without pulverizing. Place in a zip-lock bag and with the palm of hand crush into small pieces suitable for coating. Place in a bowl.
Dip bread into beaten egg and then dip in bowl of crushed cereal. Coat with crushed cereal. Fry in a small amount of oil. Serve with syrup.
Stuffed French Toast
1 loaf Italian bread, unsliced
3 oz. pkg. low fat cream cheese
Preserves of choice
Slice bread in thick slices about 2" thick. With sharp knife slice into center from top crust forming a pocket. Mix preserves into a small amount of cream cheese. I find it takes a small amount of each, about 1 teaspoon preserves to 3 tablespoons cream cheese. Mix well and spread in to pocket of bread. Dip into egg mixture and fry till golden. Serve with syrup.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mandarin Almond Salad... So fast, so easy and so refreshing

Mandarin Almond Salad
Salad dressing:
1/4 cup salad oil
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
1 Tablespoon snipped parsley
Place ingredients in a cruet or jar and shake to mix well. Refrigerate.
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4 teaspoons granulated sugar

In a large non stick skillet over low heat, evenly sprinkle the sugar. When the sugar has melted add the almonds. Stir to evenly coat almonds and to keep them almonds from clumping together. When the almonds have a nice golden color, remove from heat. Cool on a large dinner plate. Pull apart into small pieces with two forks. Use to garnish the salad.

Greens of choice
1 cup chopped celery
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pull Apart Coffee Cake (two methods).

Pull-Apart CoffeeCake
1 cup milk, scalded 
3 Tablespoons melted butter 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 packages yeast 
1/4 cup lukewarm water 
4 cups all purpose flour 
2 eggs, at room temp. 
 3/4 cup broken english walnuts or pecans 

1 cup brown sugar 
1 teaspoon cinnamon melted butter 
Prepare bundt pan or *angle food cake pan. *Do not use a pan with a removable bottom. 
Sprinkle with 3/4 cup broken walnuts or pecans. 

Heat milk in pan until tepid, add butter to melt, sugar, lukewarm water and yeast. Proof yeast. Add in mixing bowl to 2 cups flour and 2 eggs which are room temperature. Beat for four minutes. Mix in remaining 2 cups flour. Knead until satin and smooth. Place in a prepared bowl with a light film of butter, cover with a towel and place in a draft free area to raise. 

When doubled in size, knead again. Break off small pieces and dip into melted butter, then in brown sugar and cinnamon mixture and randomly place in prepared baking pan. When all of the dough has been completely dipped, let raise until double in size. Bake at 375 for 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes in pan and then place on serving plate. 

Shortcut: Use frozen bread dough. It is a less sweet dough but cuts down on preparation time. I prefer the first method as I try to avoid preservatives.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Asparagus Crepes An absolutely wonderful, fast, and easy way to treat family or friends with this dish.

Asparagus Crepes
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 slices boiled ham
4 large slices Swiss Cheese cut in half
1 pound baked asparagus spears*
To Bake Asparagus:
*Bake Asparagus at 400 degrees in oven. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. It is done when the point of a knife pierces the asparagus easy.
To make crepes:
Combine milk, beaten egg and cooking oil. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Heat an 8" skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with shortening. Pour batter 2 tablespoons at a time, into skillet. tilt to make a round 6" crepe. Brown 1 minute and turn and brown other side.
With each crepe, place a slice of ham, a slice of Swiss cheese, and asparagus and roll each crepe. Place in a baking dish. Spoon Mushroom Sauce over crepes. Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes.
Mushroom Sauce
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup water
2 teaspoons instant chicken bullion
1/3 cup coffee cream
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped chives
In a medium saucepan saute mushrooms in butter. Stir in flour, gradually add water. Add remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until sauce is thickened.
The crepes can be made ahead and stacked with a sheet of wax paper between each crepe. The sauce can be made ahead and reheated. If you do not appreciate asparagus as I do substitute another vegetable, perhaps a trip of zucchini or summer squash.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lemon Meringue Pie ... Living in California you might either have a lemon tree or have a good friend who does.

Saturday evening we had dinner with friends Pat and Joe. Joe has a unique method growing citrus as his fruit would win the blue ribbon at the County Fair hands down for being the juiciest or sweetest citrus. What a gift we received of lemons and grapefruit from his trees.
Pate Brisee
Yields two single crust or one double crust pie. Keeps in the freezer for one month.

Pulse in food processor: 
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon sugar 
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 

When it resembles course corn meal add:
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water. Add just enough until the dough holds together.

Refrigerate at least one hour or up to two days. Freezes up to one month. This crust is so flaky and the nicest part is if you are preparing for dinner guests it can be made ahead without affecting the quality. For a baked single pie crust, bake at 350 until golden.
Lemon Meringue Pie
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups cold water
Stir well until smooth. Then add:
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
Stirring constantly, bring to boil over medium heat: boil 1 minute. 
Remove from heat. Stir in:
Grated peel of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Spoon hot filling into pie crust.
In a small mixing bowl, beat at high speed:
3 egg whites
gradually adding
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue evenly over hot filling, sealing to crust. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire rack, refrigerate.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Old Fashioned Baked Beans .... The flavor you remember from Grandmother.

This recipe was served at a picnic luncheon by my friend Audrey. It is very simple to make but the flavor makes this recipe the one you will use over and over.
1 large jar of Great Northern Beans
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
3 cups brown sugar
6 slices bacon, diced, fried crisp, and blotted on a paper towel
1 large onion sliced into rings
Mix together the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and brown sugar, stir until well mixed. Add the beans, onion slices, and bacon, mix well. Place in baking dish. An old fashioned crock bean pot works best. Bake at 350 for 3 hours.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Crostini de Firenze

Crostini de Firenze
This recipe was served to us by a neighbor who invited us to a dinner party. I consider Renate to be one of the best cooks on our street. You might think the combination is extreme but wait until you try this recipe. It is absolutely delicious! 

1 Italian or French bread loaf 
1 large fresh garlic clove 
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
Pinch of black pepper 
1/4 pound ripe strawberries 
   (about 1/3 cup chopped) 
1 large ripe tomato 
   (3/4 to 1 cup chopped) 
5 or 6 fresh mint leaves 
   (about 2 teaspoons chopped) 

Directions: Slice the baguette in about twenty half inch slices, discarding the two end slices. Grill the bread over a gas grill or electric grill, or toast the bread in an oven or conventional toaster. Place finely minced garlic in a small bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk well to blend and set aside. Rinse the strawberries and remove the caps. Coarsely chop the strawberries (about 1/4 inch pieces) and place with juices in a small mixing bowl. Core and seed the tomato and finely dice it. Add the tomato and any juices to the strawberries as you chop. Rinse and dry the mint leaves and finely chop them add them to the bowl. Just before serving, whisk the oil mixture to recombine and add it to the strawberry mixture. Stir well. 

Place the toasted bread on a serving platter and spoon 2 heaping teaspoons of the topping over the bread slice. Allow the slices to stand for about 5 minutes so the juices can penetrate the bread and then serve immediately.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Seven Grain Bread

Seven Grain Bread
Several years ago I read an article in a Nursing Journal describing the deficiency of Niacin in Americans due to the lack of whole grains in diets. This is due to the grains that we do eat are so over processed. This article inspired me to search for ways to supplement the diets of my family. The recipe I offer today has been a favorite of several years. As a matter of fact, I wore out three bread machines over a period of several years making this bread. It is great toasted and creates such a wonderful aroma in the kitchen while it is baking or toasting. I had friends that would request a loaf from time to time and also when a special occasion arose or a pot luck and I would ask, "what would you like"? 

I might add a food store that sells bulk is the most economical place to buy the grains. Also I would line up several freezer bags, measure recipe amounts and freeze them in dividual packets. When I was ready to make the bread the grains were all measured and this saved time.

1 1/4 cup warm water 
2 tablespoons honey 
1 package yeast 
4 teaspoons canola oil 
2 3/4 cup flour 
4 teaspoons gluten flour 
1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats 
3/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds 
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds 
1/4 cup sesame seeds 
2 tablespoons poppy seeds 
2 teaspoons flax seeds 
3/4 teaspoon fennel or anise seeds 
Dissolve the honey in the warm water and sprinkle yeast over top and stir in. In a bowl add the flour, rolled oats and gluten flour. 

When the yeast is proofed add to flour mixture along with canola oil. Mix until well combined and dough pulls away from sides of bowl and is satiny. Add grain combination and knead to distribute. Place in greased bowl and set in warm place to double in bulk. 

Knead and place in prepared loaf pan and when double in bulk bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes until golden. Tap the loaf and when the loaf sounds hollow it is done. 
 BREAD MACHINE METHOD: Place the ingredients in the machine in the order listed. Hit the "ON" button and return in 2 hours for a wonderful loaf of healthy bread.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Today is "Flashback Friday" and this recipe is a family favorite often requested by our children. It is "Nut Shortcakes"

"Flashback Friday" is the suggestion of our daughter Barbara. She suggested that I offer a recipe once a week or so that was a favorite when they were young children. I might add that after the girls graduated from college, I had more telephone calls requesting the Nut Shortcake recipe and always at dinner time. With the beautiful juicy sweet strawberries grown in Carlsbad and so available now I thought you might like to try one of the two recipes that I offer today.


1/2 cup sour cream 
1/3 cup shortening 
1 egg 
1/2 cup broken walnuts 
1 teaspoon almond extract 
1 1/2 cups flour 
1/4 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 

Combine sour cream, shortening. egg and almond extract , beat smooth. Add nuts and stir just until mixed. Sift together dry ingredients and add to sour cream mixture. Stir just until moistened. Drop by 1/3 cup or less portions for smaller shortcakes onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees 12 to 15 minutes. 

 The June 2007 Midwest Living magazine had a cover feature of a shortcake that I thought might be a little bit healthier since some of you might be taking medication to lower cholesterol. I have never had a failure yet with a recipe from this magazine so I will offer you a second recipe from which to choose called Black Walnut Shortcakes.
1/4 cup sugar 
2 cups all purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup butter or margarine 
1 egg, lightly beaten 
2/3 cup milk 
1 teaspoon grated orange peel 
1/2 cup chopped black walnuts or English walnuts

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl combine egg, milk, and orange peel. Stir just until moistened. Stir in nuts. 

Drop by 1/4 or 1/3 cup measures on prepared baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on rack 10 minutes. 

Split horizontally with serrated knife. Place bottom half in individual bowls and place strawberries on half with sweetened whipped cream. Replace tops and spoon strawberries around shortcakes. Serve immediately.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Toasted Hazelnut Salad with Dried Cranberries and Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Toasted Hazelnut Salad with Dried Cranberries and Hazelnut Vinagrette
This salad is one that will have your guests asking for the recipe. I have used this recipe for ten years and it has never failed to draw the raves of dinner guests. The dressing goes together quickly and if over cooked it does become thicker in consistency but is still good. Just thin with a little olive oil and a dash of the sherry vinegar. I might add that I just use a bottle of Sherry Wine. I will add the directions for toasting the Hazelnuts (also called filberts) at the end of the recipe. Our daughter Mary taught me this technique which enhances not only the flavor of Hazelnuts but also English walnuts.
Toasted Hazelnut Salad with Dried Cranberries and Hazelnut Vinagrette
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots chopped fine, about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup dried cranberries (about 2 ounces)
4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar (I use Sherry Wine)
3 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup Hazelnuts (about 2 ounces) toasted and skinned
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon Hazelnut oil, if desired.
3 cups baby Bibb lettuce (about 3 medium heads)
2 cups Frisee (about 2 ounces)
2 cups baby spinach
Directions: In a small saucepan heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over moderate heat until the oil is hot but not smoking and cook shallots, stirring, until golden brown. Stir in cranberries, 3 tablespoons vinegar, water, and sugar and simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, until syrupy, about 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
In a small skillet heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook hazelnuts with salt and pepper to taste, stirring until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer nuts to a plate and cool.
In a small bowl whisk together mustard and remaining tablespoon vinegar (wine) with salt and pepper to taste. In a stream, whisk in Hazelnut oil and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil until emulsified.
In a large bowl toss greens with just enough dressing to coat and divide among 6 plates. Sprinkle salads with cranberry mixture and hazelnuts. Serve salad with soup as a main course or align as a first course. Serves six.
To Toast and Skin Hazelnuts Heat oven to 350. Place nuts in a baking pan and toast for about 15 minutes. The skins will blister or separate. Remove from oven and place the nuts in a towel, preferably one that is okay with an oil stain. I keep a towel exclusively for toasting nuts. Cover the nuts and the "steaming effect" with the covered towel will continue to lift some of the skins. Let rest about 10 to 15 minutes. Pick up the towel and twist the nuts closed inside the towel and rub the hazelnuts lightly. Don't worry about the skins that do not rub off as they won't affect the flavor.
Our oldest daughter Mary said toasting nuts to remove skins is commonly done in Europe and it is amazing how much it improves the flavor!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cream of Asparagus Soup (Creme D'Asperges)

Tuesday morning I went to my favorite small store which specializes in great fresh vegetables and fruit to buy the fresh vegetables for the week. I found two favorites of ours, egg plant and asparagus that were just calling my name. If you haven't ever grilled or baked your asparagus, you are in for a taste treat. Use a baking sheet with sides. Wash the asparagus and remove the tough ends. Blot or drain to remove excess water and lay on baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil. Use just enough to lightly glaze the asparagus, rolling or turning just to get a very light coating. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 for about 8 to 10 minutes or less. The time will vary depending on size of stalk. Pierce with the point of a knife to test. You will never boil the vegetable again for the difference in flavor. You will wish this Spring vegetable was available fresh all year long. I found this recipe on a favorite site of mine and modified it. I hope you too will try the recipe and enjoy a fleeting taste of Spring. It is a real taste treat.

Cream Of Asparagus Soup (Creme D'Asperges)

2 lb. green asparagus 
1 large onion, chopped 
3 tablespoons unsalted butter 
5 to 6 cups chicken broth 
1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy whipping cream 
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste 
Using the above directions, bake asparagus until very tender. Remove the tips from the asparagus and use for garnish. 

In a 4 qt. heavy pot saute the chopped onion in butter until soft. Add broth and simmer to heat. 

Place the asparagus stalks in a blender in batches with just enough of the hot broth to puree and transfer to a bowl until finished pureeing. Add pureed asparagus to the hot broth. Stir in heavy whipping cream or creme fraiche, then add more broth to the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. 

Add lemon juice and garnish each bowl with the tips. Soup keeps, covered and chilled, two days. If making ahead add lemon juice after reheating.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Baked French Toast

Baked French Toast
1 loaf Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread
1 8oz. pkg Cream Cheese
1 bag frozen Mixed Berries
10 large eggs
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup Maple syrup (can add a shot of Brandy)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 stick softened butter
Remove crusts from bread and cut into 1 inch pieces. Put first layer in prepared 9 x 13 baking dish. Dollop cream cheese on top of bread cubes and add frozen berries. Add rest of bread cubes.
In a large bowl beat 10 eggs with half and half and maple syrup, and the Brandy if you are using. Pour mixture over bread cubes and refrigerate overnight covered.
In the morning bake casserole covered for 30 minutes. While baking make up mixture of brown sugar, flour, and butter to resemble oatmeal crumbles.
When casserole has baked 30 minutes remove from oven. Sprinkle crumbles over all and bake uncovered additional 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let set for about 10 minutes.
Background information on recipe.
This recipe was shared through Connie, a former neighbor of our son and family. Connie just recently moved to San Carlos. She is known for trying new recipes and is a great cook. Connie emailed me after viewing my blog yesterday and wanted to share the recipe she served at her Mothers Day brunch. Although the original recipe had store brands for the bread and berries I am sure any brand would do especially for my friends not having access to this chain of food store. Thank you Connie for sharing.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Warm Camembert with Wild Mushroom Fricassee

Warm Camembert with Warm Mushroom Fricassee
This is a favorite appetizer of mine.  My only tip, be sure to use the walnut oil!  This recipe was found in Wine Spectator.
1/2 cup English walnuts
1 8oz. wheel of Camembert
1 tablespoon walnut oil
3/4 pound fresh wild mushrooms
salt and pepper
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
2 large sage leaves, minced
Sour dough toasts Warmed platter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet 7 minutes or until lightly browned.
Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees. Remove Camembert from the box and remove the wrapper. Put the cheese back in the bottom half of the box and set on a baking sheet or cake pan to warm. Bake about 10 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the walnut oil. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until lightly browned, 3 minutes or longer. Add the shallots and cook about 2 minutes, until softened. Stir in the parsley and sage, season with salt and pepper.
Invert the warmed Camembert onto a platter. Stir the walnuts into the mushrooms and spoon mixture over cheese. *** Serve with Sourdough toasts. My Recommendations: Since this recipe goes together very quickly with minimal effort, I would suggest mincing the parsley, sage, and shallot prior to preparing the recipe. Serve on a warmed platter (not hot). The walnut oil really enhances the flavors and I would highly recommend not substituting it with vegetable oil. Do not use dried mushrooms reconstituted as they always remain "tough". We also did not toast our baguette and found the thin slices of bread to be acceptable. This recipe was found in a Wine & Food magazine. Living near daughter Anne who planned a Saturday evening dinner while our youngest daughter Barbara was visiting for Mothers Day, I offered to bring this appetizer. We opened a chilled bottle of Chardonnay and all agreed this appetizer was over the top. (And the meal!)