We hosted a thank-you luncheon for our historic-house docents earlier this week, a simple affair with wraps, potato chips, pickles, and salad, followed by my almond cake with fresh berries. But the director of the house made it elegant with her china and linen, which looked beautiful in the historic house setting. How fun to eat in a 300+ year-old house! Imagine all the dinners that had gone before. Very few with potato chips, I imagine.
At the luncheon, one of the docents, who is a frequent and generous baker, brought to me a copy of a recipe for her delicious Apricot Bars that I'd requested--and she had hand-printed it on a lovely recipe card. How often does that happen? I expected an email in Arial or Times New Roman, just as I send out my own recipes to friends--it was another lovely touch.
Orange Poppy Seed Dressing for Salad
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
3 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Whisk the honey, vinegar, mustard, salt, poppy seeds, and orange juice in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until the dressing is thickened slightly. The dressing may be refrigerated for several days if desired.
Serve with strawberries, mandarin oranges, and pecans over spring greens. Or with candied cranberries:
2 cups cranberries
1 tablespoon (cup? measurement missing) sugar
Preheat oven to 350F Spread cranberries in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle them with sugar. Cover the pan slightly with foil and bake for one hour stirring occasionally. They will shrivel and appear soft. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until well chilled or up to two days.
Norwegian Apricot Bars
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350.
Rinse apricots. Place in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Cool--cut into small pieces.
In mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, and 1 cup flour. Blend until crumbly. Press into bottom of greased 9" square pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
While crust is baking make topping. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and gradually add brown sugar. combine 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to egg mixture with vanilla. Fold in nuts and apricots.Remove crust from oven and spread topping over. Bake 30 minutes more. Cool. Cut into squares, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Enjoy!