Friday, May 14, 2010


Hey Everyone!

I'm taking you behind the scenes as I talk about hosting a great spring garden party. Check out some of my favorite tips, as well as delicious recipes using Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry and Ocean Spray.
1. Take the party outside. Set up chairs and tables on the lawn or terrace, or if the weather's still chilly, bring a few springy blooms into the house and bring the garden to you.

2. Set the mood with soft, laid back music. Norah Jones, Donovan Frankenreiter, Michael Franks- Keep it easy and breezy.

3. Serve simple stunning dishes featuring seasonal items and a few secret ingredients that give you maximum effect for minimum effort and budget. See the photos below for two of my favorites, both made with Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry.

4. Raise the glass and enjoy the season with family and friends.

Baked Brie in Puff Pastry

Thaw: 40 minutesPrep: 10 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes
Makes: 6 pieces
1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
1 (8 oz) Brie cheese round
1 egg

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Fold cheese in center. Fold pastry up over cheese to cover. Trim excess pastry and press to seal. Reserve scraps for decoration.

Beat egg with 1 tbsp. of water. Brush seam of pastry with egg mixture. Place seam-side down onto baking sheet. Decorate with scraps, if desired. Brush with egg mixture.
Bake 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Prosciutto Asparagus Spirals

Thaw: 40 minutes
Prep: 40 minutes
Bake: 15 minutes
Makes: 30 pieces

1 package (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
6 tablespoons Garlic and Herb spreadable cheese, softened
8 slices Prosciutto or thinly sliced deli ham
30 medium Asparagus spears, trimmed

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Unfold the pastry sheets onto a lightly floured surface. Spread 3 tablespoons cheese on each pastry sheet. Top each with 4 slices Prosciutto.

Tightly wrap 1 pastry strip around each Asparagus spear, Prosciutto side-in. Place the pastries seam-side down onto 2 baking sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes or until pastries are golden brown.

Harvest Stir-Fry

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil1 red bell pepper, cut in bite-size strips
1 cup pea pods, trimmed, cut in half
1 cup mandarin orange segments (fresh or canned, drained)
1 cup Ocean Spray 100% Juice or Light Fruit & Veggie Tropical Citrus
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons corn starch
Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 3 minutes or until browned. Push to side of skillet. Add bell pepper and pea pods; cook 1 minute or until starting to soften. Stir in orange segments.

In medium bowl, mix juice, vinegar, marmalade, soy sauce and cornstarch. Stir into skillet. Cook until mixture boils; cook until thick and chicken is no longer pink. If desired, serve over hot cooked rice.

4 (1 cup) servings



1 3/4 cups Ocean Spray® 100% Juice or Light Fruit & Veggie Cranberry Strawberry Banana or Tropical Citrus
1 3-ounce package cook and serve vanilla pudding mix (not instant)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 small (7-ounce) angel food cake, cut in small cubes (approximately 6 cups)
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries and/or red raspberries


In 1 1/2-quart saucepan, mix juice and pudding mix. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and place piece of waxed paper directly on surface of pudding. Cool completely.

Whip cream with powdered sugar until soft peaks form.

In large glass bowl, layer half the cake cubes.* Top with half the berries. Spread half the pudding mixture over the berries; carefully spread half the whipped cream over pudding. Repeat layers. Garnish with additional berries if desired. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 hours.

Makes 8 servings

*To make individual servings, layer dessert in individual parfait glasses in order listed above.

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