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.
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.
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.
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.
Sure to please everybunny with the addition of carrot, zucchini, apple and coconut
A light and fresh salad for the spring or summer that hops from the pages of The Beatrix Potter Country Cooking Book.
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.
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.
(Beatrix Potter at a garden gate about 1871)
A delicious variation of deviled eggs with the veggies adding a little crunch and color!
(Beatrix Potter’s real-life Benjamin Bunny)
Tea Sandwiches with Flower & Herb Cheese, fun for a garden party, shower, or tea. . .
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.
Beatrix Potter, Pansies Watercolor with Pencil, undated,
Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life
These cupcakes are a delicious way to use zucchini, which make them moist and semi-healthy ;)
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.
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. ;)
You can also use a quart size bowl lined with plastic wrap in you don’t have a decorative pan.
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.
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!
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!
Party Chicken Salad Spread
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
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.