Happy 150th Birthday Beatrix Potter!

Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was born 150 years ago today on July 28, 1866. Known as one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors with her beautifully illustrated Tales, more than two million Beatrix Potter books are sold every year with generations still following the adventures of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Tom Kitten and Benjamin Bunny.

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The story of Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor’s garden first appeared in a picture letter Beatrix Potter wrote to the young son of her former governess in 1893. Encouraged by her success in having some greetings card designs published, Beatrix remembered the letter seven years later and expanded into a little picture book, with black and white illustrations.

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After being rejected by several publishers,  Beatrix had it printed herself to give to family and friends. Frederick Warne agreed to publish the tale if she agreed to supply color photos and the book appeared in 1903 and was an instant success.

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In celebration of 150 years of Beatrix Potter, I pulled together some recipes from Peter Rabbit and friends from Beatrix Potter Week party week with The Novel Bakers. (Click on the links in red for the complete recipe or post.) For more bunny fun and inspiration, you can visit my fellow Novel Bakers through their links at the bottom of the original post, or hop over via The Novel Bakers Beatrix Potter board on Pinterest.

Peter Rabbit's Carrot Zucchini Muffins

Peter Rabbit’s Carrot Zucchini Muffins

Sure to please everybunny with the addition of carrot, zucchini, apple and coconut

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Cucumber and Strawberry Salad

A light and fresh salad for the spring or summer that hops from the pages of The Beatrix Potter Country Cooking Book.

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Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life

 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.

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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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(Beatrix Potter at a garden gate about 1871)

Veggie Medley Deviled Eggs

Veggie Medley Deviled Eggs

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

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(Beatrix Potter’s real-life Benjamin Bunny)

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Tea Sandwiches with Flower & Herb Cheese

Tea Sandwiches with Flower & Herb Cheese, fun for a garden party, shower, or tea. . .

Flower & Herb Cheese

Flower & Herb Cheese (or Butter) is easy and beautiful with edible flowers and adds a ‘wow’ factor for a shower, garden club lunch or tea.

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

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Peter Rabbit Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Peter Rabbit Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a delicious way to use zucchini, which make them moist and semi-healthy ;)

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I found a bunny cake pan a couple of weeks ago for the bargain price of $4.00. I had told myself sternly: ‘no more decorative pans!’  but I couldn’t resist the price.

Bunny Cake Pan

Instead of a cake, I used the pan as a mold for a chicken salad spread that I used to make and serve every holiday for an open house. It’s also a great recipe for a baby or bridal shower. I normally serve it with just crackers but I added some veggies with Peter Rabbit in mind. ;)

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You can also use a quart size bowl lined with plastic wrap in you don’t have a decorative pan.

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Since the bunny is holding a basket, I made a little cucumber weave for the to decorate the basket. Cut your hot house or English cucumber in quarters then carefully use a mandoline to make your slices.

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You can use your favorite chicken salad recipe for this mold. I pulse the chicken in the food processor so the texture is a spreadable consistency. Line your pan with plastic wrap then fill your pan and chill a minimum of 4 hours or overnight for the flavors to meld and salad holds it shape. This would be fun way to serve your egg salad for crowd for Easter using a bunny pan mold!

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Here’s the recipe I’ve had and used for 25+ years and it’s great for serving at a baby or bridal shower. It has a nice spreadable consistency due to the cream cheese. For best flavor refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, invert mold on platter, remove plastic wrap and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds. Don’t be tempted to omit the sesame seeds, they give it a great texture and flavor!

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Party Chicken Salad Spread

Ingredients

1 (8 oz.) package Neufchâtel or light cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Healthy dash or two of Tabasco or hot sauce

2 – 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped and pulsed lightly in food processor (I use a rotisserie chicken for quick and easy assembly)

2 hard-boiled eggs, diced

1 stalk of celery, finely diced

2 green onion, diced

Sesame seeds

Combine first five ingredients in mixer until blended and smooth. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Line a 1-quart bowl with plastic wrap. Spoon mixture into bowl, pressing firmly with back of spoon. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Unmold and sprinkle top with sesame seeds. Serve with crackers and veggies. You can find a printable recipe. here.

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Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter!

Sharing at:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday,  Home Sweet Home,  Feathered Nest Friday

 Foodie Friday and Everything Else Link Party

  54 comments for “Happy 150th Birthday Beatrix Potter!

  1. July 28, 2016 at 6:38 am

    You are an amazing blogger!! You have such talent, it inspires me each time I read one of you fantastic posts……….thank you over and over!!!!!

  2. Judy Harris
    July 28, 2016 at 7:06 am

    What a creative use of a cake pan! You are so clever!

  3. Michelle
    July 28, 2016 at 7:13 am

    I agree with Judy, that is a great way to use a cake mold! You are very creative and inspiring. Thanks!😎🌴

  4. July 28, 2016 at 7:42 am

    What a feast for the eyes! I would like it to be a feast for my mouth, but guess I’ll have to try your recipes to make that happen! You have put on a lovely party for Beatrice Potter and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Your attention to detail makes for a delightful result.

    I’m curious about the Novel Bakers. I’ve already checked out and followed the pinterest boards. Are you a group? Do you have a group blog? I’m taken with the idea and would like to know more.

    Glad I came to your Mad Tea Party and am now having the opportunity to see more of your blog.

    • July 28, 2016 at 9:19 am

      Hi Lynda, The Novel Bakers are a group of four individual bloggers who ‘cook our books’ ;) and link our posts together. Thanks for your visit and comments!

  5. Irene Kimball
    July 28, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Thank you so much for posting Beatrix Potter’s birthday along with her many interests and talents. She is one of my all-time heroines. Her work was wonderful and magical but her gift to England of over 4000 acres of farms and lands including her beloved Hilltop was a remarkable and great thing to do.

    • July 28, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Hi Irene, Beatrix Potter was an amazing businesswoman, botanist, environmentalist, farmer and trailblazer in an era that wasn’t encouraging to women. I would love to visit Hilltop one day!

  6. Ellen Stillabower
    July 28, 2016 at 8:40 am

    So many ideas and recipes!! I have an abundance of cucumbers, zucchini, etc. love, these ideas..thanks for sharing!! ❤️🐰❤️🐰❤️🐰

  7. Wanda jordan
    July 28, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Where did you find the picks of Peter Rabbit.? I just love Peter rabbit and always have even after 60+ years.

    • July 28, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Hi Wanda, I found them on Amazon a couple of years ago and saw them at HomeGoods this past Easter. Do a Google search for “Meri Meri Peter Rabbit Cupcake Kit”. :)

  8. Belle Bleu Interiors
    July 28, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I so adored you post this morning. I love reading your blog! My first born’s nursery was done in Beatrice Potter. I love her work. All of your recipes looked so delicious! I can’t wait to try them.

  9. July 28, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Another fantastic compilation post with the bonus recipe added – thank you! Your presentations are so awesome. You should have a book published, really, you have so much material and all great photos and styling!

  10. Debbie Wilson
    July 28, 2016 at 9:19 am

    You have made Beatrice Potter proud! Love her books and love your blog! Thanks for a beautiful job! Love the recipes! Have a Beatrice Bunny day!!

  11. July 28, 2016 at 9:26 am

    You make Beatrix Potter proud, Mary, with all your edible creations, and beauty that you shared in honor of her 150 year birthday! I am always in awe of your magical ways with food and decor. I’m so glad that you bought that $4.00 bunny pan and made that lovely bunny platter. Wish I could celebrate the day at your house! Love and hugs to you, Mary!

  12. July 28, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Happy Birthday Beatrix, what joy she brought to the world with her wonderful art and stories! Your chicken salad platter brought an instant smile to my face Mary, I do believe she would approve! How brilliant to use your cake pan for a spread, and the cucumber basket weave is so brilliant! Now I finally have a way to use the 2 silly decorative pans I have, they make funny looking cakes, but I bet they would do great things for a party spread! Love the sesame seeds as part of your yummy chicken salad. The strawberry salad on the pewter bunny tray is breathtaking :)
    Jenna

  13. Karen
    July 28, 2016 at 9:42 am

    I think this is one of my favorite post ever! I LOVE how creative you are and how you make everything you do look absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  14. July 28, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Zonk! I never knew all that about Beatrix. Great displays of all these yummy treats, Mary. you are SO clever & creative…I don’t know how you find the time to do all this.

    While fond of the imaginary Peter Rabbit, I’d like to KILL his cousin who is pulling up & eating all my spring bulbs!!!!
    It has destroyed my tulips, ate every single one of my grape hyacinths that were a gift from a dear friend. He even dug up my Easter lily. Next spring will be very bare due to this monster pest! Like Mr. McGregor, I’m going to chase him with a shovel & stew him if I ever catch him!!

  15. Katherine G
    July 28, 2016 at 10:26 am

    What a beautiful post! The recipes look delicious. I will put out my Beatrix Potter figurines on the dinner table in her honor tonight!

  16. July 28, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Such fun here. Not hard to imagine Peter and friends nibbling at that gorgeous tray of veggies. Very cute post—historical and nummy, thanks, Sandi

  17. Sandi Allen
    July 28, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Love, Love, Love this! I have always loved Beatrix Potter! You did an amazing job on the table settings and displays. Thanks for sharing your recipes. I cannot wait to try some of them. What a clever use for the bunny mold. You are so talented and very creative! Thank You for sharing this with us!!!!

  18. Sherlie Magaret
    July 28, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Your post is adorable and so informative, I love the chicken salad molded like a rabbit and displaying it with veggies but in different shapes as well as crackers.

  19. Fran Gospodarek
    July 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    You are amazingly talented! Such style with such eye-pleasing images. I just want to dig in to every one of those recipes. Your blog is delightful and I look forward to every post!

  20. Cindy
    July 28, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    I just love your blog!! Always inspiring, beautiful pictures, and yummy recipes.

  21. Mary Michelle
    July 28, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Mary, wonderful as always!!!

  22. Kathleen Mahlke
    July 28, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Mary,thank you for the beautiful post on Beatrix Potter.I have loved her stories and illustrations since childhood and have passed her stories onto my son and grandchildren.I look forward to reading your blog.It’s the best!

  23. Kaye Wright
    July 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you for a delightful tribute to Beatrix Potter and her beloved characters. Your post certainly brought back fond memories of the thematic unit I taught second graders each spring many years ago after I’d watched a PBS special about the talented English author; if recall is correct, it was a Masterpiece Theater based on her biography. One of the favorite lessons was students writing letters of advice to Peter Rabbit, and as you can imagine they offered up quite a bit. Today I found myself wishing I’d had your beautiful post to inspire me to do even more all those years ago! (Like you, there’s no way I would have resisted that cake pan. The chicken salad platter is perfect!)

  24. Joanne/With Endless Grace
    July 28, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks for delighting us with this post. I have been a fan of Beatrix for over 30 years, collecting her books for our daughter, and now for our grandchildren. I’ve just discovered the movie Miss Potter that I watched several times this past week before returning it to the library. Have you seen it? You must watch it and watch the special features. The settings, acting and costumes are so impressive. I too, love your creative touch in presenting food to serve others. The garden salad was enchanting. There is a lot to love about this post! Thanks for inspiring us!

  25. Ellen
    July 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    What a very inspirational post. There are so many great ideas for celebrating. I love all things Beatrix Potter and enjoyed your post. I have a post up in honor of Beatrix, too. Have a good weekend!

  26. July 28, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Such a beautifully creative and inspiring post, Mary. Always a pleasure to visit here.

  27. July 28, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Mary, I am in awe of your exceptional talent! That bunny platter is the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long, long time! I, too, think you should publish a book. You’ve inspired me to pull out a Beatrix Potter book to celebrate her birthday!

  28. July 28, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Love Beatrix Potter! Such a creative and charming tribute. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!

  29. July 28, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Mary, what a beautiful post and I have always loved Beatrix Potter! The recipe round-up sounds delicious! Happy weekend, Pam @ Everyday Living

  30. July 28, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    If only our world were more like Beatrix Potter’s … what a happy place this would be! So, lets make it so!
    I do love Beatrix … just ordered more Potter figurines (OH MY). Love the bunny chicken salad. I went to a baby shower a couple of weeks ago and they had chicken salad … how cute it would have been shaped like this! Great ideas, as usual. Thanks, Mary!

  31. Ellen
    July 28, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    I don’t comment often, but just want to let you know how much this post meant to me today. I thought I was the only one to celebrate Beatrix Potter on her birthday! I have done so since childhood when my Mother made special cupcakes for our “Tea Party”. She is even more special to me now as I have my own Benjamin Bunny- my 2 1/2 yr. old Grandson! Needless to say that he has every Benjamin Bunny thing I can find and am always on the lookout for more. Your celebration is lovely and the photos are wonderful- especially Beatrix with the real Benjamin Bunny! Thank-you for this beautiful tribute to my favorite LADY! P.S. I love your blog!

  32. Marilyn
    July 28, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. I thoroughly enjoyed it as I do all of your posts.
    Marilyn

  33. July 28, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    I always wonder if someday you will write a recipe book, they are all so good! This is a beautifukl, fun post. Have a great weekend, Mary!

  34. July 28, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Oh wow! What an impressive post and spread of recipes this is; I loved Beatrix Potter books as a little girl and I read them to my niece now, so this post really tugs at my nostalgic heart strings. Awesome job, everything looks just delicious :-)

  35. Vee
    July 28, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Loved reading more about Beatrix Potter and also seeing these tea foods being so beautifully and creatively presented.

  36. July 28, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Boy howdy! That was an awesome post. Beautimous! And the food looks so wonderful almost too good to eat. Only almost. Thanks for the recipes and the lovely photos.

  37. July 29, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Your celebration would make any little bunny happy! The Bextrix Potter celebration in Brewster today was special as 400 fans gathered to honor Beatrix Potter.

  38. July 29, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    The chicken salad molded in the cake pan is amazing! I am going to be on the hunt for unique pans now! My first granddaughter’s nursery is decorated in Peter Rabbit decor, I think when she outgrows it I will be absconding with some of her decorative items!

  39. Melodie Strickland
    July 29, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    What beautiful illustrations Beatrix Potter drew. Speaking of rabbits–our back yard has several of them this year–more than usual. This is the first year we haven’t had a vegetable garden. With all the rabbits, there probably wouldn’t be any vegetables if we had a garden.

  40. Cyndi Raines
    July 29, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Over the top Mary! A beautiful post and will pin for sure, can’t wait to try the chicken salad and yippee for me I do have a copper bunny mold I found at an antique store and still in excellent condition. I used it this past Easter for a favorite Jello salad with crushed pineapple and cream cheese and it was a hit. Can’t wait to use it for this! I love the extra touch of the basket weaved cucumber slices and the vegetable arrangements gave it all a 10+. The cucumber and strawberry salad looks really tasty too! Thanks – love the blog, the recipes and YOU! You make our day!!

  41. Sherry
    July 29, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I cannot stop smiling! Thank you. You made my day. Beatrice would be proud too!

  42. July 30, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Your posts always make me SMILE Mary!! What a beautiful tribute!! I must try those deviled eggs!! Hugs to Chloe and Gracie!!

  43. July 30, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    GREAT post!! I love each picture and feature. I’m especially impressed with the rabbit mold with chicken salad. I used to mold my chicken salad in a copper chicken mold I had. I got rid of it but should have kept it. I love the spread recipe using sesame seeds on top and how you nested it among the crudites and crackers was so attractive.
    I’m glad to know it’s the150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter. Thank you for honoring her with such a beautiful blog tribute. She was so talented. Visiting her home in the Lake Country was a highlight of our trip to England some years ago.
    Stay cool and have a great weekend.

  44. August 2, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    This post makes me soooo happy! I love Beatrix Potter and have a lot of her books. figurines and music boxes. This is just delightful. Your photos are beautiful and I enjoy reading everything about Beatrix. Gorgeous food and beautiful tribute to a favorite author.

  45. August 2, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Mary, I’m glad you ignored that little voice and brought home this charming bunny mold. You know you would have been thinking about it for days if you had left it! The recipe sounds so yummy! And if you have not been to Hill Top you must go as I think you would love it! We stumbled upon it once long ago while driving through the Lake District. Looking back at all your beautiful photos makes me think it is time for another Novel Bakers Week! Linda

  46. August 3, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I have always loved Beatrix Potter. What a great job you did with that chicken salad. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home.

  47. Jain
    August 17, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Going to catch up while I have the net still! Adore ALL of this, what’s not to love and great to revisit~

Thanks for your comments~ they make my day :)

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