Get inspired to welcome spring into your home with seasonal touches for your decor and entertaining. From Mother’s Day breakfast to table settings, fresh vegetables and floral springtime cupcakes, look no further for all of your spring inspriations.
Breakfast in Bed for Mother’s Day
Egg bake with whole grain toast and an individual bottle of champagne make an elegant start to your mom’s special day.
Recipe for Egg Bake
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 (4.5 ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups diced fully cooked ham
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Combine Cheddar and mozzarella cheese in a small bowl; place 3 cups cheese mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir mushrooms, onions, and red pepper until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes; drain. Spread vegetables over cheese mixture. Top mushroom mixture with ham; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese mixture.
Beat eggs in a bowl; mix in milk, flour, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour egg mixture into baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Bouquet of Spring Flowers for the Bedroom Door
Old Bermuda roses and other spring blooms make a gorgeous bouquet set in a sweet pink cone and hung over the doorknob.
Hot Cross Bun Loaf for Easter Morning
Forget the traditional hot cross buns and bake a loaf of the sweet and savoury bread instead.
Recipe for Hot Cross Bun Loaf
2oz butter, cut into small pieces
1 sachet of yeast
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cinnamon
2oz light muscovado sugar
3½ oz raisins
2oz glacé cherries, chopped
1oz mixed candied peel
4fl oz milk
For the dough cross
1tbsp plain flour
Place the flour and butter in a large mixing bowl. Combine until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the yeast, then add all the remaining ingredients except the milk.
Pour the milk into a jug and add 4fl ozboiling water. Test the temperature of the milk and water mixture — it should be no more than hand hot. Stir into the dough and mix well until the dough gathers into a soft ball.
Turn the mixture out on to a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball and place on a baking tray. Leave in a warm place, for about 1-1½ hours until it doubles in size and feels very light and airy.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. When ready to bake, brush the top of the risen dough with the milk. To make the cross, mix the flour and water to make a soft but pipeable paste. Pour the mixture into a disposable piping bag, snip the end and pipe a cross over the dough.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown. Turn loaf over and tap its base — if it sounds hollow it is cooked. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Nature’s Harvest on the Kitchen Counter
With spring comes a bounty of farm-fresh seasonal produce. Fill an old basket with goodies from your garden or the Saturdy garden market.
Wadson’s Farm is located at 10 Lukes Pond Road in Southampton. They have their own farm store where you can purchase fruits, vegetables, cheeses and meats straight from the farm itself. Contact 238-1862 for more information.
JJ Produce have a farm stand at the bottom of Melville Cresent on South Road in Devonshire, which is open every Saturday from 7:00am until 4:30pm. Contact 236-8616 for more information.
Amaral Farms have a farm stand opposite Garthowen Estate Road on Middle Road in Devonshire, which is open every Saturday from 7:00m until 1:00pm. Contact 535-1080 for more information.
Set the Easter Table
A charming place setting with citrus coloured china and napkins folded like bunny ears will make a memorable Easter tablescape.
Whatever you are celebrating this spring, these delicious cupcakes topped with edible pansies make for an irresistable treat.
Recipe for Sweet Cupcakes
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
9 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
Fresh edible flowers (carnations, marigolds, chrysanthemums, citrus blossom, dandelions, English daisies, hibiscus, jasmine, nasturtiums, pansies, roses, sunflowers, violets).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour and salt.
Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium, and add vanilla. Add eggs in 4 batches, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in 4 batches, and beat until completely incorporated.
Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Tap tins on countertop once to distribute batter evenly. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; transfer cupcakes to racks, and let cool. Cupcakes will keep, covered, at room temperature, up to 2 days.
Frost cupcakes with a generous layer of buttercream, and top each with a few edible flowers. Serve immediately.