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Delectable dishes for Garden Party
by Darlene Montague
Feb 03, 2013 | 955 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I had the Garden Club ladies over to my house last week for the first meeting of 2013. I just joined the club recently because 1) I heard through the grapevine that they were a lovely group of women to know, and 2) I desperately need some help developing my green thumb.

I do like to dig around in the dirt come spring, but then I usually just put in some plants and then hope they survive by their own devices. I definitely lose interest when the temperatures get above 90 degrees.

My mother and all her sisters had Grandma Schneider’s green thumb. They were constantly exchanging seeds, bulbs, or cuttings. People driving by Aunt Linda’s house on U.S. Highway 59 would stop and take pictures of her iris beds and bridal bushes.

So I’m hoping the Garden Club will help me tap into that deeply hidden ability of my forebears so I can get some color around my house.

Lon Smith from Devereux gave a nice demonstration on how to make topiaries. I can tell this isn’t going to be my thing as I do not possess the patience it takes to shape a living plant into a thing of beauty for the months or sometimes years it takes. No running dinosaur shapes will be seen in my yard. But I might try a simple circle or ball and see how that goes.

After the meeting, of course, there were snacks. My co-hostess made some tasty chicken salad sandwiches and chews. I made some Nutella mousse dessert shooters, red velvet brownies (I’ll give you that recipe next week) and refrigerator pickles (recipe coming as soon as I measure everything).

I hope everyone enjoyed their afternoon. And by the way, the grapevine was right. They are a lovely group of women, every one.

Nutella Mousse Dessert Shooters

(I put this in individual little glasses that you can pick up at Ross or BBB. They are a bit bigger than a shot glass. The small spoons needed for these little desserts can be found at BBB or a restaurant supplier.)

Ingredients

• 1 jar Nutella (smaller of the two sizes)

• 1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature

• 1 pint whipping cream, whipped

Instructions

• With an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth. Then add the Nutella and mix well.

• In a chilled bowl, whip the cream with a little powdered sugar and a few drops of vanilla.

• Add several tablespoons of the whipped cream to the Nutella mixture to loosen it up a bit. Then add the remainder of the whipped cream and whip until thoroughly combined. Spoon into serving dishes of your choice. Chill for several hours or overnight. Top with whole or chopped hazelnuts, if desired.

Cook’s notes: I meant to use a tub of mascarpone, but forgot I had bought some. Mascarpone is a sweet cream cheese. Use that if you want less of the tang of cream cheese. You can also use a jar of Biscoff (a cookie butter) instead of Nutella which is what I did for a function a couple of weeks ago. Crunched up windmill cookies would have been good in the bottom of the little glasses, too.

Chews

(From LaNell Ressmann

of Goliad)

Ingredients

• 4 eggs

• 1 box light brown sugar

• 2 cups biscuit mix (like Bisquick)

• 2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts

• 1 tsp. vanilla flavoring

Instructions

• Put eggs, sugar, biscuit mix and vanilla in a bowl. Mix well, stir in pecans or walnuts.

• Pour into a greased and floured 9x12-inch pan.

• Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool in pan.

• Cut in little squares and dip the tops in powdered sugar.

Cook’s notes: LaNell says you can put a cream cheese icing on these if you want, but I thought they were perfect this way. These were so good with a glass of cold milk that I was up in the middle of the night sneaking the leftovers.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Cook’s note: I love chicken salad. LaNell didn’t have measurements for me, just ingredients, so make according to your own likes. I ate way too many of these little things.

Ingredients

• Baked or boiled chicken pieces, deboned and ground or chopped fine, plus a little chicken broth

• Boiled eggs, chopped in little pieces

• Miracle Whip (regular or lite)

• Mustard

• Hot dog relish

• Craisins

• Nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Instructions

• Combine in the amounts you need and think taste good.

• Spread between your favorite bread. Cut off crusts, if desired.

• Cut sandwiches into four pieces. Put on a pretty plate and chill until ready to serve.

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