You Are As Welcome As The Flowers Of Spring

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 I had a little chalkboard door inspiration from

 Beatrix Potter Week with The Novel Bakers. . .

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and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life.

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“You are as welcome

as the flowers of spring!”


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Spring has been slower arriving this year

so blooms on the door are welcome . . .

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 Along with the grape hyacinths

in a bunny planter. . .

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We’re slowly beginning

to green up. . .

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Daffodils are in bloom. . .

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And the birds are

beginning to nest. . .

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I cut some purple leaf plum blossoms 

to fill some watering cans before they

became scattered like pink confetti. . .

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 And bunnies are multiplying!

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I hope you are welcoming

spring where you are!

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Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

Metamorphosis Monday,

The ScoopInspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us Wednesdays, Inspiration Gallery,

Home Sweet HomeBe Inspired Friday,

Feathered Nest FridaySeasonal Sundays

Easter Blues: Hydrangeas, Bunnies & Mikasa Jet Set Blue

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I’m celebrating Easter with Blues. . .

Hydrangeas, Bunnies, and

Mikasa Jet Set Blue Dinnerware!

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  Mikasa Jet Set Blue is versatile for casual or formal dining,

 accented with striated lines that add a subtle textural detail,

and rimmed with a band in three shades of blue.

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When I first saw this dinnerware with its clean lines,

 I envisioned setting sail with a nautical table

with lanterns, buoys, and accents of red.

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But I moored my plans for a nautical table,

waiting for warmer waters

when boating season is under way :)

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While this dinnerware is not what you would expect to find

on your Easter table, I had some hydrangea

inspiration from a pair of bunnies. . .

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. . . that hopped to the table, begging to be paired with a

hydrangea tablecloth, egg cups and bunny napkin rings.

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 Appropriate for an Easter Blues table

with Easter on its way!

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   A Ryland wine glass offers an unexpected and unique

square shape, crafted from European lead-free crystal. . .

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. . .and offering a little porch railing reflection :)

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 And bunnies are coupled with a duo of napkins, a solid

blue, paired with a print that matches the tablecloth.

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 Eggs cups are filled with egg shells as vases to hold a

bloom of hydrangea at each place setting~ an easy &

 fun detail for a spring or Easter table, taking care to crack

your eggs and saving your shells.

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 And a basket is filled with hydrangeas,

hyacinth bulbs, ivy, moss and eggs

for an Easter basket centerpiece for the table.

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You can find all the Mikasa Jet Set Blue options here:

 www.mikasa.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGMKJS201

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Easter Blues Details:

*Dinnerware/ Jet Set Blue by Mikasa

 *Flatware/ Mikasa Duo

*Stemware/ Mikasa Ryland

Tablecloth, Napkins /  Cynthia Rowley, HomeGoods

Egg Cups / HomeGoods

Bunny Napkin Rings/ Pottery Barn

Hydrangea Bunnies/ Hobby Lobby

 Chargers, Navy Napkins/ Pier 1

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Mikasa Jet Set Blue Easter Table

 Happy Easter Wishes!

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday

 Home Sweet HomeBe Inspired Friday

 Feathered Nest FridaySeasonal Sundays

Peter Rabbit Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Peter Rabbit Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Beatrix Potter and Bunny Week

and ending on a sweet note. . .

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 I found a Peter Rabbit Cupcake Kit which called

 for a batch of Peter Rabbit Cupcakes,

complete with Jemima Puddle-Duck, Tom Kitten

and Benjamin Bunny!

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So I found a recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes~

a recipe that everybunny would enjoy :)

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I made a few changes to the original recipe after reading the reviews. These cupcakes are a delicious way to use zucchini, which adds moisture rather than a distinct flavor!

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Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes,

adapted from Taste of Home

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz. container plain yogurt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 cups grated zucchini

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In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with yogurt, beating well after each addition. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.

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Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

You can find a printable recipe here.

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Frost cupcakes with favorite

Chocolate or Cream Cheese frosting.

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You can find a 5 star-rated Chocolate Frosting here,

or a 5 star-rated Cream Cheese Frosting here.

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I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Beatrix Potter Week. . .

Visit Jain and Michael Lee

for more Bunny/Beatrix Potter fun:

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm 

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You can follow The Novel Bakers on Pinterest,

and find all the Beatrix Potter recipes

and bunny inspiration for the week!

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Thank you for your visit, also sharing at:

Marvelous Mondays,  Metamorphosis Monday,

The ScoopInspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysFoodie FridayHome Sweet Home,

 Be Inspired FridaySeasonal Sundays

Spring Tea Sandwiches with Flower & Herb Cheese

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It’s been a delicious week with

The Novel Bakers

and Beatrix Potter and Bunny Week!

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The recipes and fun have multiplied like rabbits :)

You can hop along with

The Novel Bakers on Pinterest,

and find all the Beatrix Potter recipes

and bunny inspiration for the week!

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I’m serving Spring Tea Sandwiches

with Flower & Herb Cheese,

 fun for a garden party, shower, or tea. . .

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. . .Inspired by some tabletop gardening

and Cooking with Flowers.

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Beatrix Potter, Pansies Watercolor with Pencil, undated,
Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life

 

Flower & Herb Cheese

Making Flower & Herb Cheese (or Butter) is easy and beautiful with edible flowers, and adds a ‘wow’ factor for a shower, garden club lunch or treat at the breakfast table!

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For one 8 ounce package of room temperature soft cheese, add 1/4 to 1 cup flowers, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and any other herbs or desired seasoning.

I used Neufchâtel, violas, chives and parsley.

As with any edible flower, use only ones that are pesticide and chemical free.

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Pick your edible flowers in the morning when they are fresh, avoiding older bruised blooms. Rinse gently to “debug” them and pat dry. Remove each pansy or viola from its sepals (green base).

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 Blend to incorporate, adding your shredded/ chopped petals to your room temperature cheese, along with your herbs and seasonings.

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 Cover and refrigerate.

Use soft cheese within a week.

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For 8 ounces of soft cheese use these

amounts of flowers as a guideline:

Pansy/Viola Cheese~  1/4 cup violas

Nasturtium Cheese~ 1 cup nasturtiums

Rose Cheese~  1/2 cup rose petals, add 1 teaspoon rose water (optional)

Lavender Cheese~ Up to 2 tablespoons lavender buds

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I used Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Sliced Bread and seedless cucumber and radishes sliced thin with a mandoline. Place sliced cucumbers on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.

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 Spread your herbed flower cheese on your bread, layer cucumbers and/or radishes and use cookie cutter for shapes. If you don’t want to fool with cookie cutters, serve your sandwiches open-faced, and cut in squares or triangles for serving.

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 Garnish with violas and

parsley or other herbs.

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 If assembling tea sandwiches ahead, cover your sandwiches with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap to keep your bread fresh & from drying out. Garnish with flowers before serving.

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You can find a printable recipe, here.

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I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Beatrix Potter Week. . .

Visit Jain and Michael Lee

for more Bunny/Beatrix Potter fun:

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm 

Spring Tea Sandwiches with Flower & Herb Cheese

Thank you for your visit, also sharing at:

Marvelous Mondays,  Metamorphosis Monday,

The ScoopInspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysFoodie FridayHome Sweet Home,

 Be Inspired FridaySeasonal Sundays

 

Veggie Medley Deviled Eggs

Veggie Medley Deviled Eggs

I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Beatrix Potter (and Easter) Week!

Since bunnies mean veggies and Easter means eggs,

I hunted up a recipe for Veggie Deviled Eggs!

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The real-life Benjamin Bunny was a tame rabbit of Beatrix Potter’s whom she sketched constantly, and whose exploits continually amused her:

“He is an abject coward, but believes in bluster, could stare our old dog out of countenance, chase a cat that has turned tail.”

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Although Benjamin had died by 1904 when this story was published, Peter Rabbit’s cousin, Benjamin, is a similar self-possessed personality, who makes himself quite at home in Mr. McGregor’s garden.

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I found this deviled egg version, perfect for veggie-noshing bunnies or people :) and ideal for a garden party or spring gathering, in the April issue of Food Network Magazine, in their 50 Deviled Eggs section.

This is a delicious variation of deviled eggs with the veggies adding a little crunch and color!

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Veggie Medley Deviled Eggs

Boil 1 dozen eggs, peel and cut eggs in half. Mash eggs yolks with 1/4 cup each cream cheese and mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. (I used a heaping spoonful of Dijon.)

Stir in 2 tablespoons each finely chopped red bell pepper, celery, carrot, scallion (I used chives instead) and parsley. Food Network’s version calls for chopped broccoli also which I didn’t add.

Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into the egg whites; top with cucumber and/ or sliced radish.

Cupcake liners are a festive & tidy way to serve deviled eggs, eliminating the need for extra napkins! I used double liners, one turned inside out, for extra stability and color. If you’re assembling your eggs ahead of time, wait and place them in cupcake liners at the last minute so the moisture from the egg and/or refrigerator doesn’t cause the paper wrapper to wilt.

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For perfect hard boiled eggs:

Place eggs in a pan large enough to hold them in single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling. Remove from burner and cover pan.

   Let eggs stand in hot water about 12 minutes for large eggs (9 minutes for medium eggs; 15 minutes for extra large). Cool completely in bowl of ice water.

To peel a hard-boiled egg:

Gently tap egg on countertop until shell is finely crackled all over. Roll egg between hands or countetop to loosen shell. Starting peeling at large end, holding egg under cold running water to help ease off the shell. Hard-boiled eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling. Cooling causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell.

For easily peeled eggs, buy and refrigerate your eggs a week to 10 days in advance of cooking. This allows the eggs time to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell.

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You can find a printable recipe here.

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I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Beatrix Potter Week. . .

Visit Jain and Michael Lee

for more Bunny/Beatrix Potter fun:

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm 

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Visit us all week for more Beatrix Potter and Easter Inspiration! You can follow The Novel Bakers on Pinterest, for Beatrix Potter recipes and bunny inspiration here.

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Thank you for your visit, also sharing at:

Marvelous Mondays,  Metamorphosis Monday,

The ScoopInspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysFoodie FridayHome Sweet Home,

 Be Inspired FridaySeasonal Sundays

In the Potting Shed: Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life

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I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Beatrix Potter (and Bunny!) Week.

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Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the Classic Children’s Tales

by Marta McDowell

 Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life is the first book to explore the origins of Beatrix Potter’s love of gardening and plants and show how this passion came to be reflected in her work. The book begins with a gardener’s biography, highlighting the key moments and places throughout her life that helped define her, including her home Hill Top Farm in England’s Lake District. Next, the reader follows Beatrix Potter through a year in her garden, with a season-by-season overview of what is blooming that truly brings her gardens alive. The book culminates in a traveler’s guide, with information on how and where to visit Potter’s gardens today.

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Richly illustrated and filled with quotations from her books, letters, and journals, it is essential reading for all who know and cherish Beatrix Potter’s classic tales.

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I’ve been immersed in the charmed world

of Beatrix Potter, filled with flowers and gardens

and of course, Peter Rabbit!

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I’m ready to break in a new pair of

gardening gloves & dig in the dirt!

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So I took a day off from baking

to play in the Potting Shed. . .

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It seemed fitting since my Potting Shed is as full

as Mr. McGregor’s fictional one with lots of places

for a bunny to hide . . .

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” . . .a broom for sweeping, a spade for heavy digging, a trowel for transplanting. He has different sizes of flower pots: small ‘thimbles’ for starting seeds and ‘long toms’ for growing deep rooted seedlings.”

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I filled a bunny planter for some spring blooms and to enjoy indoors until we’re past our freeze/frost date later this month, and can plant outdoors.

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Purple Hyacinths and Muscari are blooming,

planted alongside violas, a bird nest,

and a few colored eggs.

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 “Beatrix Potter was a late bloomer, gardening-wise. By the time she saw the first growing season progress through her garden at Hill Top she would be forty years old. In spite of a somewhat late start, the seeds of Potter’s gardening interests were planted early on.”

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Part one in Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life is her life as a gardener with chapters titled Germination, Offshoots, Flowering, Roots, Ripening, and Setting Seed.

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Part two is a year in Beatrix Potter’s Gardens, divided by seasons, and part three is visiting Beatrix Potter’s Gardens.

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Beatrix Potter’s Gardener’s Yearbook 

Illustrated with naturalist sketches and paintings from Beatrix Potter’s work, this beautiful journal contains charts, record-keeping pages, seasonal planting information, and gardening tips from Caroline Kennedy, an experienced garden designer.

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I did a little tabletop gardening,

landscaping the counter & arranging flowers

with Portmeirion Botanic Garden. . .

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 Planting flowers with dishes,

aka dish gardening :)

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 Enjoying the Lily Flowered Azalea. . .

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Lilacs. . .

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 Narcissus. . .

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And Hyacinths. . .

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Along with blooming flatware . . .

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“Every garden tells a story,

if you know how to read it.”

~Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life

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I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Beatrix Potter Week. . .

Visit Jain and Michael Lee

for more Bunny/Beatrix Potter fun:

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm 

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Visit with us all week for more Beatrix Potter, Bunny & Gardening Inspiration.

You can also hop along :) on Pinterest 

and find all the recipes & bunny inspiration.

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Thank you for your visit, also sharing at:

Metamorphosis Monday,

The ScoopInspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday

Home Sweet HomeBe Inspired Friday,

Feathered Nest FridaySeasonal Sundays

 

Cucumber and Strawberry Salad

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I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Beatrix Potter (and Bunny) Week!

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 Cucumber and Strawberry Salad

hopped from the pages of

The Beatrix Potter Country Cooking Book

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The Beatrix Potter Country Cooking Book

 by Sara Paston-Williams:

Inspired by the works of Beatrix Potter and her own love of traditional cookery, it is divided into 11 sections, each containing a wide variety of recipes: starters, fish, meat, poultry and game, eggs and cheese, salads and vegetables, puddings, cakes and bread, drinks and sweets and preserves. The author talked to professional cooks working in the region where Beatrix Potter lived and many residents who have memories of her.

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I was skeptical at first about pairing cucumbers with strawberries, but was pleasantly surprised at the wonderful combination for a light and fresh salad for the spring or summer!

I made a little change substituting white balsamic vinegar for the dry white wine in the recipe, and arranged the strawberries and cucumber slices in rows and borders to be neatly razed and devastated by hungry and industrious bunnies. . .

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Cucumber and Strawberry Salad

1 large cucumber (I used English/seedless, if using American use two)

Strawberries, 8 – 12 ounces

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Sprinkle of sugar (a couple of teaspoons)

3 – 4 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar

Sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs, mint, tarragon or basil (I used mint)

Violas for garnish

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Peel cucumber if desired before thinly slicing. Slice strawberries, arrange in alternate circles in rows in shallow serving dish.

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Season with salt, pepper, sugar. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the berries and cucumber and sprinkle with chopped herbs. Chill well. Garnish with violas, pansies, nasturtiums  or other edible flowers (pesticide and chemical free) before serving if desired.

You can find a printable recipe here.

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I’m joining The Novel Bakers

for Beatrix Potter Week. . .

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Visit Jain and Michael Lee

for more Bunny/Beatrix Potter fun:

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm 

Visit with us all week for more Beatrix Potter and Easter inspiration!

You can follow along on Pinterest and find all the  recipes and bunny inspiration, here.

Cucumber & Strawberry Salad

Thank you for your visit, also sharing at:

Marvelous Mondays,  Metamorphosis Monday,

The ScoopInspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysFoodie FridayHome Sweet Home,

 Be Inspired FridaySeasonal Sundays