In Like a Lion….

March comes in like a lion . . .


Or so they say. But even if it is still cold and blustery outside, the promise of a new season is just around the corner.  It does appear that in Prescott, March came in like a lamb… so… should we expect snow storms at the end of the month?  Doesn’t weather sometimes make us all a little nuts?  Who will admit to having a weather app on their phone and checking it daily?  Please don’t let me be the only one….


Anticipate Spring with a Lion & Lamb Tea.  A nice change with a soup and salad lunch.  Although of course we must always have scones!  For what is a tea without scones…

and a surprise at the end...


Golden Raisin Scones

Yield: 14 scones • Preparation: 20 minutes • Bake: 20 minutes



1.    2 cups all-purpose flour

2.    cup sugar

3.    2 teaspoons baking powder

4.    ½ teaspoon salt

5.    ½ teaspoon ground mace*

6.    4 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into pieces

7.    ½ cup golden raisins

8.    ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon cold heavy whipping cream

9.    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


1.    Preheat oven to 350°.

2.    Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

3.    In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and mace, whisking to blend.

4.    Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add raisins, stirring to combine. Set aside.

5.    In a liquid-measuring cup, combine ¾ cup cream and vanilla extract, stirring to blend. Add cream to flour mixture, stirring to combine. (If dough seems dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is uniformly moist.) Working gently, bring mixture together with hands until a dough forms.

6.    Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently

7.    4 to 5 times. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a ½-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch square cutter, cut 14 scones from dough. Place scones 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush scones with remaining 1 tablespoon cream.

8.    Bake until scone edges are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, approximately 20 minutes.

9.    Serve warm.


1.    *Mace is the dried outer coating of the nutmeg. If mace is not available, nutmeg may be substituted.



Watercress Cream Soup

Yield: 8 (½-cup) servings • Preparation: 10 minutes • Cook: 40 minutes



1.    3 tablespoons salted butter

2.    2 cups sliced leeks (white part only)

3.    1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium chicken broth

4.    2 (4-ounce) packages watercress, blanched

5.    teaspoon ground black pepper

6.    2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

7.    Garnish: crème fraîche and 8 sprigs watercress


1.    In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add leeks, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly caramelized, approximately 20 minutes. (Reduce heat if leeks start to burn.)

2.    Add chicken broth, watercress, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and add cream.

3.    Using an immersion blender, purée soup until creamy and smooth.

4.    Garnish individual servings with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprig of watercress, if desired.


1.    • To blanch watercress, immerse it in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from boiling water, and place in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Remove from ice water, drain well, and coarsely chop.


Asparagus and Baby Green Pea Spring Salad

Yield: 7 servings • Preparation: 15 minutes



1.    12 fresh asparagus spears

2.    ½ teaspoon olive oil

3.    teaspoon salt

4.    7 cups firmly packed spring mix lettuce

5.    ½ cup frozen baby English peas, thawed

6.    cup sliced radishes

7.    ¼ cup sliced spring green onions

8.    ¼ cup fresh mint leaves

9.    1 recipe Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)


1.    Preheat oven to 400°.

2.    Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

3.    Snap tough ends off asparagus, and discard ends.

4.    In a medium bowl, toss asparagus with olive oil and salt. Place asparagus on prepared baking sheet.

5.    Roast until just tender when pierced with a knife, approximately 7 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Place in a covered container, and refrigerate until needed.

6.    Combine spring mix, English peas, radishes, asparagus, green onions, and mint leaves, tossing to blend. Dress lightly with Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette.

7.    Serve with remaining vinaigrette on the side.


Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yield: ½ cup • Preparation: 10 minutes



1.    ¼ cup olive oil

2.    ¼ cup golden balsamic vinegar, such as B.R. Cohn

3.    ½ teaspoon minced shallot

4.    ½ teaspoon sugar

5.    ½ teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

6.    ¼ teaspoon salt

7.    teaspoon ground black pepper


1.    In a jar with a screw-top lid, combine olive oil, vinegar, shallot, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Shake vigorously until all ingredients are combined and well blended.

2.    Refrigerate until needed. Let come to room temperature, and shake again before serving.


And I think these look FABULOUS… I love the candied lemon on top….

Lemon Cheesecakes

Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes • Preparation: 30 minutes • Bake: 17 to 18 minutes • Refrigerate: 4 hours






1.    ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs

2.    cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

3.    3 tablespoons salted butter, melted

4.    1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

5.    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

6.    1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

7.    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

8.    2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

9.    ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

10.                  1 large egg

11.                  Garnish: Candied Lemon Slices (recipe follows)


1.    Preheat oven to 350°.

2.    Lightly spray a 12-well mini cheesecake pan with removable bottoms with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

3.    In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar, and melted butter, stirring to blend. Divide crumb mixture evenly among wells of prepared pan, pressing firmly to create a level base.

4.    Bake until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Let cool completely.

5.    In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, remaining cup sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, cream, and vanilla extract. Beat at high speed with a mixer until smooth. Add egg, beating at low speed just until incorporated. Divide mixture evenly among wells of prepared pan.

6.    Bake until cheesecakes are set and slightly puffed, approximately 11 minutes. Let cool completely in pan.

7.    Wrap pan well, and refrigerate until cold, approximately 4 hours.

8.    Remove cheesecakes from pan.

9.    Just before serving, garnish each with a candied lemon slice.


1.    • Cheesecakes can be made a week in advance, wrapped securely in plastic wrap, and frozen. Let thaw completely before garnishing.

You have probably tried Republic of Tea heres some nice Spring teas

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and because I love Spring cocktails…

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Mango Elderflower Margarita

 10 oz frozen mango

½ cup tequila

¼ fresh lime juice

3 TBL elderflower liquor (you can use triple sec but don’t)

¼ cup water

Puree the mango in a blender with the tequila, elderflower liquor and water until smooth.  Divide between 4 glasses… unless I’m there.  Then divide in half.


Blooming Fizz

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1 scoop lemon sorbet, softened

1 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur


Edible flowers, for garnish

Instructions Combine the lemon sorbet, softened, in a cocktail shaker with the elderflower liqueur. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a champagne flute and top with Champagne (I like Prosecco!)


Top with edible flowers, for garnish.

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As a matter of fact – I love both Prosecco AND Elderflower so…


4 ounces of Prosecco

1 ounce of Elderflower liqueur

oh. yummmmmmm

And if you really don’t know what to make of the weather… maybe you should just watch an old Saturday Night Live… and forget about it.

                                                                     © Michelle Young 2012