Fresh Lemon Tea Cake with Lemon Thyme Buttercream


A delightful balance of sweet and tangy, this springtime tea cake is perfect for any occasion.~Amy

Fresh Lemon Tea Cake with Lemon Thyme Buttercream

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coarse salt

3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, approximately 1 large lemon

Zest of 1 lemon

Line two 8 inch bread pans with parchment or spray with cooking spray

Heat oven to 350

With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time and beat on high until creamy.

Mix together dry ingredients. Set aside.
Stir together buttermilk and lemon juice.

Starting with the flour, alternate dry mixture and liquid ingredients. Add lemon zest and mix until smooth.

Pour evenly into pans, smoking the top to finish.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Cool for at least 10 minutes in pan. Remove and cool completely.

Frost with Lemon Thyme Cream Cheese Buttercream.

Lemon Thyme Cream Cheese Buttercream

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
Zest of 1 Meyer lemons
1/2 tsp finely snipped thyme leaves

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth, add 2 cups sugar, and milk, and beat again until well mixed. Add in vanilla and mix. Add remaining sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in lemon zest and thyme and repeat.

Makes 2 cakes

Recipes by Amy Richardson

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Roasted Asparagus, Rosemary and Black Forest Ham Quiche


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Asparagus and ham are traditional at our Easter dinner. Love the combo! Easy and elegant for your Sunday brunch!~Amy

Roasted Asparagus, Rosemary and Black Forest Ham Quiche

1 recipe Pastry shell for single crust pie

6 Eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup Half-and-half, or milk
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2tbs snipped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 pound Black Forest Ham, shaved
2 cups Jarlsburg cheese

Bake crust at 425 in an 8 inch pie or tart pan until set and dry. (8-12 minutes)
Set aside.

Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk in sour cream and light cream, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. Stir in cheese and ham.

Pour egg mixture into the hot, baked pastry crust. Arrange asparagus over the top. Bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let quiche rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Fresh Lilac, Blackberry, and Butter Palette!


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Paint your pallette with delicious, butter, blackberry jam, and delicate lilac blossoms. The perfect little station for your Easter celebration! ~Amy

Fresh Lilac, Blackberry, and Butter Palette!

Butter, at room temperature
Blackberry Freezer jam
Lilac blossoms
Fresh baked rolls

Slate or marble tile

Stir butter until smooth. Place on tile and spread slightly to flatten. Place a couple of tablespoons on top. And gently swirl. Sprinkle with lilac blossoms, and serve with hot rolls or bread.

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Cherry Vanilla Cream Popcorn


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I looked out the window and what did I see, popcorn popping!!
Cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
So what better way to celebrate spring, than pretty pink popcorn! Perfect for parties, elegant Easter baskets, or just plain eating! Happy Spring!~Amy

Cherry Vanilla Cream Popcorn

12 cups popped corn, sorted and kernels removed
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 milk
3 tbsp maraschino cherry juice
2 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Tahitian vanilla, Nielsen Massey, or good quality vanilla
1 drop red food coloring, optional

Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.

Place popcorn in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan, whisk together sugar, cream, milk, juice, corn syrup and salt.

Over medium high heat, bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, cook until soft ball stage. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla and food coloring. Pour over popcorn, and stir evenly to coat. Pour out onto prepared and let cool.

Makes 12 cups

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Individual Carrot Cake Cheesecakes


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These little individual desserts, are sure to please guests of all ages at your springtime celebration! A classic carrot cake, topped with a creamy cheesecake layer, and darling springtime decorations! Happy Easter! ~Amy

Individual Carrot Cake Cheesecakes

Cake:

1/2 cup+ 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Place ramekins on baking sheet.

With an electric mixer, beat together eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla, until well blended.

Add flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. Add carrots, pineapple, and coconut. Pour small amount in into ramekins.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops spring bake and are golden brown.
Cool completely.

Cheesecake layer:

16oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tbsp water
1 tsp unflavored gelatin

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla, beat on high. Add vanilla and cream, beat until light and fluffy.

In s small sauce pan, place water. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let it soften 2-3 minutes. Heat gelatin until it dissolves . With mixer on low, slowly add gelatin. When added beat on high to mix thoroughly. Spoon into prepared cakes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Optional garnish, shredded colored coconut, miniature Lindt bunnies, small jelly beans.

Makes 6 -8 servings

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Pastry Wrapped Roasted Asparagus with Fresh Lemon and Shaved Parmesan


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Asparagus is one of my favorite springtime vegetables! I love thin stalks, oven roasted to a tender perfection. Dressed with olive oil and just a hint of lemon, this is a perfect compliment to any main dish!~ Amy

Pastry Wrapped Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Shaved Parmesan

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1-2 pounds asparagus, rinsed and trimmed
1/2- 3/4 cup shaved parmesan
Zest from 1 lemon
Olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh cracked
Pepper

Egg wash, 1 egg beaten +1 tbsp water

Heat oven to 400 degrees
Place puff pastry into baking dish, rolling dough slightly to fit pan if necessary.
Brush pastry with egg wash. Place pan on baking sheet and bake 7-9 minutes.
While pastry is baking toss asparagus with olive oil and lemon zest.
Place a layer of asparagus in the bottom of pastry, sprinkle with a small amount of cheese, and sprinkle with a little bit of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Repeat until over full. Bake another 7-9 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and asparagus is just tender. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Mini Strawberry Shortcake Baked Alaska


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Fresh strawberries and buttery cake, topped with French vanilla ice cream, and covered with sweet meringue! A sure show stopper for your Easter Sunday celebration! ~Amy

Strawberry Shortcake Baked Alaska

Cake:
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup milk

Filling:
Strawberries, sliced
Confectioners sugar
French Vanilla Ice Cream

Meringue:
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cake:

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Add sour cream. When well blended, alternate the milk and flour mixture, beating well after each addition. Pour evenly, about 3/4 of an inch, into the bottom of ramekins. Place ramekins on baking sheet. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until cake springs back at touch, and is lightly browned. Remove to rack and cool completely.

Meringue:

With an electric mixer, beat egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tarter to soft peaks. While beating on high, add sugar to egg white mixture one tablespoon at a time. Being until stiff peaks and mixture is glossy white.

To assemble:

Place a layer of sliced strawberries on top of cakes. Dust lightly with confectioners sugar. Place a large scoop of ice cream on top, going well above the rim of the ramekin. Cover plastic wrap and freeze until very firm.

Remove from freezer, working quickly, pipe or spoon meringue over ice cream. If desired, return to freezer for up to 2 days. Use a small kitchen torch to achieve desired browning or place in oven, broiler on high for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Let cakes stand for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Amy Richardson