Well this is just one of those months….

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Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world, and Mother’s Day 2018 occurs on Sunday, May 13, in the United States. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. Jarvis argued that people should appreciate and honor their mothers through handwritten letters expressing their love and gratitude, instead of buying gifts and pre-made cards.  Amen to that.

More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. These holiday chats with Mom often cause phone traffic to spike by as much as 37 percent.


So lets move on to snacks before we get to some teas…. 

Cucumber Cheese Canapes

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  1. 8 slices thin white sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm Very Thin White
  2. 1 (5.2-ounce) container garlic and herb soft cheese, such as Boursin, at room temperature
  3. 24 very thin slices English cucumber


  1. Using a 1½-inch round cutter, cut 24 rounds from bread slices.
  2. Place cheese in a piping bag fitted with a medium open-star tip (Wilton #32). Pipe a rosette of cheese onto each bread round. Top each with a slice of cucumber, pressing down to spread cheese outward.
  3. Pipe a decorative rosette on top of cucumber slices.
  4. Serve immediately.


Parmesan-Chive Gougères

These cheesey Parmesan-Chive Gougères are made with pâte à choux, or choux pastry, the same dough that is used in making éclairs.  Can you say YUM!!!

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Yield: 31 gougères • Preparation: 30 minutes • Bake: 20 minutes



  1. ½ cup water
  2. ½ cup whole milk
  3. ½ cup butter
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 4 large eggs
  7. 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  8. 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  9. ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  10. Garnish: additional finely grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine water, milk, butter, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms, approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Turn dough out into a large bowl. Let cool for 1 minute.
  5. Add eggs to dough, one at a time, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until thoroughly incorporated. Add cheese, chives, and pepper, beating just until incorporated.
  6. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Wilton #1M). Pipe 1¼-inch rosettes 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Garnish with additional cheese, if desired.
  7. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes.
  8. Serve warm.

Tarragon–Poppy Seed Chicken Salad

Yield: 8 servings • Preparation: 15 minutes • Refrigerate: 4 hours


  1. ½ cup mayonnaise
  2. 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  3. 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  6. 2 cups chopped roasted chicken
  7. ½ cup chopped green grapes
  8. ⅓ cup chopped toasted slivered almonds
  9. 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
  10. ¼ cup watercress
  11. 1 recipe Toasted Wheat Flower Cups (recipe follows)
  12. Garnish: finely chopped almonds


  1. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, rice vinegar, poppy seeds, salt, and pepper, whisking well. Set aside.
  2. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse chicken until finely chopped. Add chicken, grapes, almonds and tarragon to mayonnaise mixture, stirring to combine. Refrigerate in a covered container until cold, at least 4 hours. (Chicken salad may be made a day in advance and refrigerated until needed.)
  3. Arrange watercress in bottom of Toasted Wheat Flower Cups. Place scoops of chicken salad on top of watercress.
  4. Garnish with chopped almonds, if desired.

Toasted Wheat Flower Cups

Yield: 8 cups • Preparation: 15 minutes • Bake: 17 minutes


  1. 8 slices wheat bread, such as Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse 100% Whole Wheat
  2. 2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Using a rolling pin, roll bread slices until thin to make flexible. Using a 4-inch flower-shaped cutter, cut 8 shapes from bread. Press bread shapes into 8 wells of a 12-well whoopee pie pan, and brush surfaces with melted butter.
  3. Bake until crisp, approximately 17 minutes. Remove from pan, and let bread cups cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Store in an airtight container until needed. (For optimum freshness, we recommend making bread cups the same day you plan to use them.)

Apricot-Almond Tarts

Yield: 8 (4-inch) tarts • Preparation: 30 minutes • Refrigerate: 30 minutes • Bake: 13 to 14 minutes • Cool: 1 hour

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  1. 1 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (2 sheets)
  2. ⅔ cup plus ½ cup toasted slivered almonds, divided
  3. ⅓ cup sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
  5. 6 tablespoons salted butter
  6. 1 large egg
  7. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  9. 1 (30-ounce) can unpeeled apricot halves in heavy syrup, drained
  10. ½ cup apricot jam


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Unroll pie dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a 4½-inch round cutter, cut 8 circles from pie dough. Press dough circles into 8 (4-inch) tart pans (1-inch deep) with removable bottoms. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine ²⁄3 cup toasted almonds and sugars. Process until almonds are ground and mixture resembles coarse sand. Add butter, egg, vanilla extract, and flour, and process until ingredients are incorporated and mixture is smooth.
  4. Divide almond mixture among prepared tart pans, spreading to smooth. Evenly top with remaining ½ cup toasted almonds.
  5. Bake tarts until mixture is set and slightly puffed, 13 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks, approximately 1 hour. (Tarts will fall as they cool).
  6. Blot apricots dry on paper towels. Using a small, sharp knife, cut apricots vertically into ½-inch slices. Set aside.
  7. When tarts are completely cool, remove from pans. Arrange apricot slices decoratively in a swirled floral design on top of each tart.
  8. In a small saucepan, melt apricot jam over low heat, stirring until smooth. Using a pastry brush, coat apricots with jam. Serve immediately, or keep at room temperature until ready to serve.


• For best taste and texture, tarts should be made the same day they will be eaten. If they are refrigerated or made a day ahead, they will become gummy and soggy.


No-Bake Lemon-Blueberry-Basil Tartlets

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Yield: 24 tartlets • Preparation: 25 minutes


  • 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup prepared lemon curd
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh basil
  • 24 mini shortbread tartlet shells, such as Clearbrook Farms
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • ¼ cup Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: fresh basil leaves


  1. In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, lemon curd, and minced basil, stirring until smooth. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a medium open-star tip (Wilton #32). Pipe into tartlet shells in a swirl. Top each tartlet evenly with blueberries. Brush blueberries with Simple Syrup.
  2. Garnish each tartlet with a basil leaf, if desired.


Make-Ahead Tip: Tartlets can be made earlier in the day and refrigerated in a covered container until serving time. Garnish with simple syrup and fresh basil leaves just before serving.

Simple Syrup

Yield: ½ cup • Preparation: 5 minutes • Cook: 3 minutes


  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar


  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water, whisking well. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool completely.
  2. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until needed.


Lemon Buttercream Cakes

Yield: 12 cakes • Preparation: 45 minutes • Bake: 20 minutes

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  1. 1 (18.25-ounce) lemon cake mix, such as Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme
  2. 3 large eggs
  3. 1 cup water
  4. ¼ cup vegetable oil
  5. ⅓ cup sour cream
  6. 1 recipe Lemon Buttercream (recipe follows)
  7. Garnish: fresh primroses


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line a 17-x-11-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, water, oil, and sour cream. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until moistened, approximately 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Pour batter into prepared pan, and level with a spatula. Rap pan on the countertop sharply several times to reduce air bubbles.
  4. Bake until cake is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan.
  5. When cake has cooled, cut 24 rounds from cake, using a 2¼-inch round cutter.
  6. Place Lemon Buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Wilton #1M). Pipe a circle of buttercream onto 12 cake rounds. Top each with another round of cake, pressing lightly to adhere. Pipe a decorative rosette of buttercream onto top of each cake round.
  7. Garnish each cake with a fresh primrose.


  1. Cake may be baked in advance, cut into rounds, and frozen in an airtight container, with layers separated by waxed paper, for up to a week. Let come to room temperature before frosting. Store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Something other than hot tea for the summer..

Lavender Tea!

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1 cup raw honey

12 cups water

6 lemons, peeled and juiced

lavender essential oil (add drops to your personal taste)

Lavender sprigs for garnish


you can always add a little lavender food coloring for extra zing


Next to a twist of lemon, coconut water is another favorite when it comes to quenching your thirst.

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 Lavender Coconut Lemonade


• 1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice from about 9 lemons
• 1 3/4 cups sugar  (Ugh… if this is too much sugar, try raw honey)
• 8 cups coconut water
• 4 cups water
• 1/2 recipe Lavender Simple Syrup 

Lavender Simple Syrup Recipe:

• 2 cups sugar 
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 3 tablespoons dried lavender
• drops of violet food coloring (optional)

Place lemon juice, sugar, coconut water, and water into a pitcher and shake or stir vigorously until all the sugar is dissolved. 

Pour 1/2 of the lavender syrup into the pitcher and stir. You can add more or less lavender syrup to your personal taste. Start with 1/2 of the lavender syrup recipe and add more or less to taste.

And if you are possibly looking to turn this drink into a DRINK, coconut rum would be an interesting choice!

And for some grown up drinks…

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While spending his last summer vacation in the south of France, mixologist Romée de Goriainoff was inspired by the fields of lavender all around to create this drink



  • Ice
  • 1 2/3 ounces Cognac   
  • 2/3 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 ounce Lavender-Honey Syrup
  • 1 fresh lavender sprig, for garnish

  • In an ice-filled rocks glass, combine all of the ingredients except the garnish. Stir well and garnish with the lavender sprig.

Lavender-Honey Syrup

  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender
  • 1/2 ounce Angostura bitters    
  • 4 ounces very hot water
  • 4 ounces honey

How to Make It

Put lavender on top of an inverted cocktail shaker. Add Angostura bitters to a small, clean spray bottle. Spray the bitters over the lavender 6 times, simultaneously flaming the misted bitters with a lit match. Add the lavender to hot water and let steep for 15 minutes; strain into a small bowl and stir in honey. The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

OMG… yes, who would do this????   One of the recipes I add to see if people ever actually read this :-)

Just make Lavender-Honey Syrup like a normal person and add it to this next drink

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Lavender Martini

  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce Lavender Syrup   
  • 1 fresh lavender sprig

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, lemon juice and Lavender Syrup and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the lavender sprig.  SO much easier and less likely to burn the kitchen down.


                                                                     © Michelle Young 2012