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Garden Party Recipes


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3-6 drops red food coloring

2 ¼ cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

 ¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup whole buttermilk

Buttercream icing (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 3 (8-inch) or 2 ( 9-inch) pans with Baker’s Secret. Line bottom with wax or parchment paper. Spray again lightly. Sift cake flour and measure. Put aside for next step. In a medium bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat with a mixer at high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and food color, and beat to combine. In a separate small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour in three additions. Divide batter among pans, smoothing tops. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Let the pans cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert on a rack, carefully remove parchment or wax paper from the bottoms. Cool completely.

Butter cream icing:

4 sticks of unsalted butter, softened

8 cups powdered sugar (may need to add a little more)

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

4-6 tablespoons milk or cream

Whip the butter until creamy and pale. Add the powdered sugar. Mixture will be dry so add the vanilla and cream gradually until frosting reaches a good piping and frosting consistency. Frost and/or decorate immediately after making.


2 cups sharp cheddar

2 cups Colby jack

4 T Duke’s mayonnaise

1/2 t garlic salt

1/2 t onion powder

4 oz. pimientos

1/4 t salt

1/8 t pepper

Grate cheese then add ingredients in a food processor. Mix until blended evenly. Spread a thin, even layer over a slice of bread and top with a second piece of bread. Cut into small rectangles or triangles.


1 cup sour cream

1 t baking soda

4 cups AP flour

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup raw sugar

2 t baking powder

1/4 t cream of tartar

1 t salt

1 cup butter (cold)

1 egg

1 cup craisins

2 T orange zest

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and baking soda. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, mix flour, white and raw sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in the butter. Stir in the sour cream mixture and egg. Gently mix in the craisins and orange zest. Turn out dough unto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Split dough in half. On a silpat or lightly greased surface, pat half of the dough into a 3/4 inch thick round. Brush milk (for browning) over the top and then liberally sprinkle a little more sugar in the raw. Cut eight wedges into the round. Then place in oven for 12-15 minutes.


1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used ½ regular and ½ Meyer lemons)

1 cup granulated sugar

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

In a round (8-cup) microwave-safe bowl (the contents should fill no more than ¼ of the bowl), mix all the above ingredients well with a whisk. Microwave, uncovered, in 1 ½ minute increments. Whisk vigorously each time after removing the bowl from the microwave oven. Depending on your microwave, it will take anywhere from 4-10 minutes. Cook until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, and starts to mound a bit as you stir. Cool in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 30 minutes or so. It will continue to thicken. Place in a glass jar with a tight fitting top. A Mason jar works well. This makes about 2 cups, and keeps for weeks in the refrigerator. Serve with scones or fill miniature pastry shells for a party dessert.


1 cup granulated sugar

1 4-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 6 to 7 limes)

1.5 liters cold club soda or seltzer

Combine sugar, ginger, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, 2 to 4 minutes. Cool completely; strain. Stir together ginger syrup, lemon and lime juices, and vodka in a large pitcher. Just before serving, top with seltzer and pour over ice. Garnish candied ginger and slices of lemon or lime. (Add in a cup of vodka before the club soda to turn this mocktail into a cocktail)


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