Light Brioche Buns

Fluffy.

Buttery.

Dense.

Slightly sweet.

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Tangerine Sorbet

In the middle of dreary winter, Clementine tangerines are a sign of hope, like pretty, orange light bulbs illuminating the shortest days of the year. In a festive wooden crate!

Winter in Minnesota this year was especially brutal; the snow came early and often, and lingered until the bitter, sub-zero end.

Look, it’s not that I wasn’t comforted by stewed apples (and apple crisp and apple pie and apple crostata) all winter long… but by the time I (finally) made Mom’s birthday dinner in February, the bright, sunshiny taste of citrus combined with the icy texture of my favorite summer treat was like, um, Christmas in July.

The sorbet was very tart, sour even, and incredibly refreshing. Next time I’ll likely add another 1/4 cup of sugar, but it was delicious as is. The tiny amount of alcohol in the orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier) kept it creamy and smooth.

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Blue Umbrella Bake Sale!

Blue Umbrella Productions is hosting an ongoing bake sale to help raise money for our summer musical, Those Were the Days: A Tribute to Television Themes. I’ll be taking and fulfilling orders Girl-Scout style, plus filling any special requests (like scones for Mother’s Day!) until rehearsals begin in June.

I’ve got a menu of both sweet and savory treats to choose from posted below. Email info@blueumbrellaproductions.com to place an order for pick up or delivery. (Twin Cities only. $10 minimum on orders outside of the Banks Building.)

Menu

Popcorn with Truffle Salt
Fresh, fluffy popcorn is tossed with aromatic, savory truffle salt for a luxurious movie-night upgrade.

3 cups: $1.75
6 cups: $3

Lemon Meltaways
These bite-size, buttery lemon shortbread cookies will melt in your mouth.

Half dozen for $2.75
Dozen for $5

Coconut Macaroons
Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, light as a cloud, with coconutty goodness all the way through.

Half dozen for $4.25
Dozen for $8

Snickerdoodles with Cinnamon Chips
Classic snickerdoodles (sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar) get an extra boost of flavor with creamy cinnamon chips.

Half dozen for $5.50
Dozen for $10

Homemade “Oreos”
They’re bigger, they’re better, and they’re baked fresh with no mystery ingredients.

Half dozen for $8
Dozen for $15

Oatmeal Cream Pies
A grown-up version of the classic treat – the cookies are rich and spiced, and the creamy filling is not overly sweet.

Half dozen for $8
Dozen for $15

Mini Strawberry Hand Pies
Light, flaky butter crust filled with sweet strawberry jam.

Half dozen for $8
Dozen for $15

Sweet and Spicy Candied Nuts
Crunchy almonds and pecans baked in a party-perfect blend of cinnamon, sugar, and a pinch of cayenne.

4 oz. for $4
8 oz. for $7.50
12 oz. for $11
1 lb. for $14.50

Stuffed Mushrooms

When I make dinner for my mom, the first menu option we discuss is mushrooms. How can we use mushrooms? Mushroom risotto, mushroom quiche, mushroom lasagna, cream of mushroom soup… the options are overwhelming, and sadly, the opportunities fleeting.

I don’t often have occasion to entertain with mushrooms, because entertaining usually means feeding Handsome Greg, and Handsome Greg is afraid of mushrooms. He doesn’t just dislike them, he fears them.

Christmas lasagna, green bean casserole on Thanksgiving, date night, Friday night supper – no mushrooms allowed. Because they’re TERRIFYING.

Ooogity Boogity!

So when it was time to plan the menu for Mom’s birthday dinner, she made a special mushroom request: Stuffed Mushrooms from the Pillsbury Cookbook she received as a wedding gift from her parents in the 60s.

They are delightfully old school – tasty, tender, crunchy, gooey.

Recipe below the fold

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