Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Flowers

A friend of mine is a new Pampered Chef Consultant. I wanted to help her out with her business so I decided to have a party. Nevermind that I really ENJOY cooking demonstrations and shopping for new kitchen gadgets :-) The party was yesterday and she made Quiche Lorraine Tartlets which were very tasty and easy.

Since I knew she would only be doing one recipe during the party I wanted to have a little something else on hand for nibbling. So, this was the perfect excuse to use a Pampered Chef knick knack that has been sitting in my cabinet unused for quite awhile (okay..a VERY long while..I think I bought it around 1993 or 94), the Valtrompia flower shaped bread tube. I think I can honestly say I've used it at least once during that time because I have a vague recollection of making an English muffin bread in it. But otherwise I've just tossed it a glance every so often and wondered what else I could make with it.

With all of the bread making I've done lately using the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes cookbook, I have been doing a little with my Shamrocks in my St. Patrick's day post. So I figured I would go even a little farther out of the comfort zone and see if the bread would work in the tube. I was skeptical given the wetness of the dough and the fact that the original recipe is pretty specific on what works. I went with the Deli Rye recipe found here, which I love. While the end result did not have the crunchy exterior it does with the suggested baking method, it made a great bread nonetheless and in a cute shape! I used the parchment paper to ensure no leakage, but I don't think it was much of a problem. I filled the tube half full with dough and let it rise an hour before baking at 400 for an hour. The tube is vertical during baking.

It made a nice sturdy little loaf.

I made these cute little Spring Flower finger sandwiches out of the loaf to bring to the party. The bread is sliced and spread with about a teaspoon of a whipped cream cheese/teriyaki sauce mixture, then layered with swiss cheese and ham I cut in the flower shape using the tube. Finally a little cucumber on top. These could be fancied up however you like.

Are we getting tired of my dragon fly plate yet? I think it's been featured in the last three posts lol. Probably time for some dish shopping!

So....speaking of spring flowers...I have some new ones!!!! My parents and I made a visit to Peninsula Nursery while they were here and I picked up a few annuals to brighten up the front yard. We had enough sunshine yesterday that I was able to put them in the ground. The rain is back today, so they are looking a little beat down but I know they will perk up. Good thing about this time of the year is I don't have to water the plants in myself.

Here are a few shots I snapped quickly since it was drizzling

Some cute little Johnny Jump ups

Jigsy showing off the new spots of color

This is looking rough at the moment due to the rain. I went with a redder primula to bring out the new door.

This hyacinth is on the verge of blooming. The white one is always first.

I can never resist buying a few Ranunculus. The number of petals always blows me away. I'll show them again when they are open.


Kathleen said...

Those sandwiches are adorable!
Think of the possibilities!

I bought the sandwich crimper and little wood tamper thing for small tarts.
Have not used them yet though...and where did I put them??

Your flowers looks so pretty!
Nothing even close here. The first will be forsythia, and nothing yet!

Sara said...

The flowers are just beautiful! That bread is so cool, I love the way you shaped it!

Cynthia said...

Suzy, your flower sandwiches are adorable. I'm sure your friend was thrilled and that the sandwiches were enjoyed by everyone at the Pampered Chef party.

It's wonderful to see the touches of spring at your house.

Jigs looks like an "in charge" little fellow. Is he protective of his property?

Marsha said...

Those little sandwiches are just the cutest. I'm going to bookmark this post for my summer tea parties.

Love your new spring flower purchaes, especially the pot with primula and mini daffs and I can't wait to see the ranunculus blooming. I can never find them around here.

Dishesdone said...

Suzy, those flower sandwiches are really nice! I love PC parties, always fun!

Nice that you see Spring on the horizon, the house looks great :) Beautiful flowers! and Jigs is a cutie.

Jayne said...

Suzy, cute sandwiches! Bet they were a hit. I have a few PC items, but I've never been to a party. Love your flowers... the highlight of Spring for me. Nice to have the rain to water them in.

Foley said...

Great post Suzy! Does PC still sell that bread tube? Hopefully they do, would be a great selling ploy!! The sandwiches looked so cute.
I have quite a few of the Simple Additions pieces for serving..

The flowers are so pretty, I love the ranunculus!

Foley said...

BTW - never tire of the dragonfly plate!!

SusanQ said...

You need to tell me next time you have a party, I think I could buy a few things from you :)

I love what you did with the tube and the resulting canapes are adorable! What a cute idea.

Yea for you too with the spring flowers, although your still way ahead of me and look at that green grass, Oh My! Love the red primula :-)

SusanQ said...

I meant you're not your :(

Suzy said...

Thanks everybody! It was nice to use one of my little gadgets instead of just looking at them :-)

Cynthia Jigs is protective in a quiet way. When we are out in the front he sits usually on the very edge of the driveway surveying the neighborhood. He will tolerate just about anything but if a cat comes in any of the yards directly around us (we are in a cul de sac) he gets a little more alert and he will dash for one if they get too close. Otherwise he just sits and looks :-) Now if a neighbor comes out of their house on either side of us..yes he barks at them to get back inside lol.

Barb I don't think its in the most current catalog. I could have sworn it was so my sandwiches didn't sell anything lol.

Debbie at Mountain Breaths said...

Suzy, I never tire of the dragonfly plate :-) Never, never..

I remember that bread tube, always wanted one, and I've seen them at garage sales. Your sandwiches are lovely, so next time I see one, I will rethink it.

You've add color to my morning with your spring blooms, and that Jigs is looking as cute as ever.

Mothers Day Flowers said...

I have never seen one of those tubes before. Looks like it worked well to bake the bread and a very pretty snack! My mother in law would like one of those!

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