Tag Archives: bunny

Welcome Spring!

As the ground awakens from the wintertime slumber, tulip and daffodil stems push through the soil about to burst open with colorful fresh blooms.  Bright yellow forsythia bushes and cherry blossom branches begin to pop open profusely with small breathtaking delicate flowers. The scent of sweet hyacinths and greening new grass alert our senses that spring has arrived.  In the early morning hours, we listen to chirping robins singing their joyful songs as they gather twigs to build their nests. Bunnies can be seen here and there as they hop across the fresh new lawn.
What says “Spring” better than flowers?  Whether you are hosting a luncheon or Sunday family dinner, a lovely springtime arrangement of your favorite floral can take center stage on your dining room table.  For an easy, breezy centerpiece, embrace your spontaneous spirit and head to the floral department of your local grocery store or favorite greenhouse.  Most merchants will showcase potted tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, primrose, moss, ivy and many types of ferns that you can place in a basket for a stunning and simple centerpiece.
Spring Table-top Arrangement-www.lizbushong.comTo create a springtime centerpiece for your table, gather some of the season’s best blooming potted bulbs, primrose, and ferns. Place three to five potted blooms at different levels inside a plastic lined basket at various heights. There is no need to remove the plants from the pot. Cover and tuck moss over the potted flowers and between spaces inside the basket. A good mix of flowers would include two to three colors with different textures and heights. Leafy green ivy and low-packed ground cover with reindeer moss will add to the fullness of the arrangement. For a bit of whimsy, add a small bird sitting on a faucet with a dripping water crystal. An empty bird nest would also be a great touch to this spring arrangement.
After the flowers are spent, you can plant the bulbs in your garden for next spring. A note about tulips, you can plant Gladiolas and Dahlias this spring for flowering this summer. In September, plant tulip and daffodils for next spring. Spring bulbs should be planted in the fall or early winter because they require a long period of cool temperatures in order for them to flower.  In the fall, it is important to get the bulbs in the ground before the ground freezes. They need time to develop strong roots. You could also plant bulbs in individual containers as the merchants do forcing the bulbs to grow.
JJ posing with arrangement- www.lizbushong.comMy sweet bunny JJ was excited about spring too! He is an adorable New Zealand white bunny with red eyes. JJ allowed me to take a few photos of him checking out the floral arrangement while I was putting it together. He looked out the window, chewed a few willow branches, smelled the flowers by standing on his hind feet, and finally lay down beside the finished arrangement.
With spring’s earliest blooms, you can celebrate everyday dining with ambiance that is fresh and vibrant. Royal blue, bright yellow, and shades of green create a beautiful springtime palette. Evoke this palette with white and cobalt blue square plates and accessories. Yellow tightly rolled napkins look like flowers blooming as they stand in water glasses. For a take home favor, a small cobalt blue vase with a single rose sits pretty at each place setting. To continue the color scheme of cobalt, yellow and white, the Lemon Almond mini tart greets each individual guest at their place setting for an after dinner dessert. The crust is made with ground almonds and filled with a tangy lemon curd-type filling then baked to perfection. When serving this dessert, add a dollop of fresh whipped cream and lemon zest.
Invite springtime into your home with this creative and fanciful setting that boasts this season’s vibrant scents and colors. You don’t have to be a green thumb to enjoy the beauty of the season. Bring the outdoors in with a beautiful potted arrangement. Like a breath of fresh air, after the morning dew, breathe in the cool breeze of this new season with a living arrangement that will linger in memories.

Lemon Almont Tart-white ruffled plate -wwwlizbushong.comLemon Almond Tart|www.lizbushong.com

1 unbaked almond crust recipe-chilled 1 hour
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons   all purpose flour
1/3 cup lemon juice from concentrate
3 large eggs
½ cup butter, melted, no substitutes
1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional
Garnish:  lemon zest, mint or parsley leaf, assorted berries

Almond Tart Crust Recipe
¼ cup slivered almonds
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, softened, no substitutes
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice from concentrate
In food processor, process almonds until ground. Add flour, sugar and butter, process until crumbly. Add egg and juice, process until dough forms a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, chill one hour.
Prepare Almond Crust, press pastry into lightly greased 4-4” tart pans with removable bottoms. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and lemon juice. Beat to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beat after each addition.  Add melted butter and mix to blend. Pour into Almond Crust shells. Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack.
To Serve: Remove sides and bottom of tart pan,  top cooled tart with fresh whipped cream, fruit, or mint leaves.
Yield:  4-4” tarts

Liz Circle 2013 smallHelping you Make a Statement, Make it Sassy and Make it Yours!®
Liz Bushong is an expert in the three-dimensional art of entertaining. She transforms simple dining occasions into beautiful and memorable moments by adding a touch of her own “sassy” style. For the past several years Liz been entrusted to decorate the White House for several Holidays. She is a featured monthly guest chef/designer on Daytime Tricities, Daytime Blue Ridge and other television shows. Liz is the author of the Just Desserts and Sweets & Savories cookbook as well as a contributing writer for VIP SEEN and Bella Magazine. For more information about Liz go to www.lizbushong.com/www.serveitupsassy.com.

Serve it Up Sassy– Springtime Treats

185Just as emerging spring tulips unfurl and stretch toward the morning sun, so does our furry friend, Peter Rabbit. Forget those winter blues and hop into spring with a sunny yellow, orange and white springtime tablescape. The golden yellow and white serve-ware with the playful bunnies is the inspirational color scheme for this bright and cheery table.

Dress your spring table with fun and colorful projects you can make in minutes. Floppy bunny-shaped ears are made from a white ruffled napkin that is folded neatly and banded with golden yellow and polka dot scrapbooking paper. A cut out shaped paper bunny is attached to the napkin ring and monogramed with the name of each guest, then placed at each place setting. Golden round placements provide the foundation for the classic white dinner plate and playful bunny salad plates.

Pulling double duty, the tulip centerpiece can be used on your dining table or as a door décor for your front porch. A large grapevine wreath hides the stems of petite orange, yellow and white faux tulips. As a table centerpiece three round canisters are wrapped with alternating striped scrape booking papers to carry the golden yellow color scheme and placed in the center of the tulips. When ready for a change, you can use the tulip wreath for your main entry door décor. See more how-to instructions @serveitupsassy.com/blog.

Tulips and sweet treats make spring entertaining a breeze. In keeping with the bunny and spring theme, a cream puff decorated like a “cotton tail” is placed in a white ruffled mini bowl. These bunny tails are easy to make or you can purchase cream puffs and adorn them with frosting, whipped cream and coconut. Another fun treat that is easy to make are mini Mounds ® bunnies. The delicate flavor of dark chocolate and coconut Mound® bars is the base for these cute treats. Two colors of buttercream frosting, cream and pink provide the facial details and glue to attach the mini marshmallow ears and tail. Kids of all ages will love these adorable mini sweet chocolate bunny treats.

Spring is bursting forth with new blossoms and blooms, so hop to it and create a pretty centerpiece, door décor and sweet treats to celebrate this new season. This warm and sunny setting will brighten everyone’s day.


073Cotton Tail Lemon Curd Cream Puffs

1 -cup water or whole milk
½ cup butter, no substitutes
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup +1 tablespoon all purpose flour
4 large eggs +1 egg yolk

1- cup heavy whipping cream
1 -teaspoon coconut or lemon extract
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons water
½ packet of unflavored gelatin

¼ cup prepared lemon curd
2 cups sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place in medium saucepan, water or milk, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a rolling boil.
Stir in flour, beat with wooden spoon over low heat until mixture leaves sides of pan.
Dough will look like dry mashed potatoes.
Remove from heat, transfer dough to mixing bowl with paddle, beat in eggs, one at a time. Add egg yolk, dough should be a thick liquid, if it is too stiff add one tablespoon of water at a time until dough will run slowly down the wooden spoon.
Place pastry dough in a large star tip pastry bag. Pipe pastry into small 2 -inch circles, 3 -inches apart on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cream puffs should remain in turned off oven with door ajar until completely baked and puffed. If puffs don’t puff, no worries, they will be cut in half and filled. Let cool.
* Milk will make the cream puffs rich and buttery.

Filling Instructions:
Mix 2 tablespoons water with gelatin, place in microwave for 1 minute to dissolve. Allow gelatin to cool but not set up. Whip heavy cream in cold mixing bowl fitted with wire whisk until soft peaks form, add flavoring and softened gelatin, beat until stiff peaks form. Place whipping cream in pastry bag fitted with large star tip. Cut cream puff in half, fill bottom puff with 1teaspoon lemon curd then two swirls of whipped cream, add top puff, pip the top of cream puff to form a covering. Sprinkle whipped cream with shredded coconut.
Yield: 10 cream puffs

bunnyMini Mounds® Bunny Treats

10 mini mounds bar candies
½ cup vanilla frosting-divided
Pink food coloring
20 mini marshmallows

Unwrap mounds bars and place on serving platter.
For bunny ears and nose, mix ¼ cup vanilla frosting with small amount of pink food coloring, stir to desired pink color. Cut 10 mini marshmallows in half and form into a bunny ear. Roll 10 marshmallows into a ball for the tail. Place pink and vanilla frosting into two separate piping bags fitted with small tip 5. Use white frosting to pipe dot for ears and tail. Position marshmallow ears and tail. Using pink frosting, dot for nose and line inside marshmallow ear for the inner lining of the ear.
Yield: 10 mini bunnies

095Tulip Wreath

1 -12 inch grapevine wreath
15- bunches each small yellow, white and orange silk tulips
wire cutters
green pipe cleaner for hanger

Separate each flower bunch off the stem of silk flowers. Insert ends of tulips alternating color and placing in the same direction onto the grapevine wreath beginning on the outside edge of the wreath, working toward the center inside. Continue this process until wreath is completely full and covered. No need to glue the stems to wreath. The tulips will stick and stay in position. Depending on your stems you may need additional picks to make it full and pretty. Attach pipe cleaner to back of wreath for hanging or place the wreath in the center of your dining table.

Liz Circle 2013 small (2)Make a Statement, Make is Sassy and Make it Yours.

Liz Bushong is an expert in the three-dimensional art of entertaining. She transforms simple dining occasions into beautiful and memorable moments by adding a touch of her own “sassy” style. She makes elegance easy for her audience and encourages them to add their own Sassy touch to make it unique. Liz is famous for creating her own version of a beautifully presented tablescape – which she calls a Sassyscape ™ -and she also creates magic beyond the dining experience. In 2009, 2010, and 13, she was selected from thousands nationwide to be part of an elite team of 100 professionals entrusted with decorating the White House for the Holiday. In 2011, she was part of seven-person team selected to decorate the Tennessee Governor’s Mansion for the holiday. Liz has been featured as the monthly guest chef on Daytime Tri-Cities, television show on WJHL, the CBS Affiliate for the Tri- Cities Area of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Daytime Blue Ridge in Roanoke, Virginia and Daytime Tampa, Tampa Florida. She is also the creator and host of her own one-hour seasonal television show called “Serve it up Sassy!” for the same market, which aired in 2011. She is also a contributing writer for the regional magazine VIP Seen and Lovely Bella magazine in Roanoke, Virginia. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Consumer and Family Sciences from Purdue University and an Associate in Applied Science degree in Fashion Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She is also certified in Decorative Finishes and has been trained as a volunteer Master Gardener.Liz is the author of the Just Desserts and Sweets & Savories cookbook. Liz turns dessert into the fifth basic food group and features recipes for her signature specialty, delicious “mini-desserts and appetizers.” Liz makes her home in Johnson City, Tennessee. She continues to perfect her sassy approach to turning simple dining occasions into beautiful and memorable moments.

Liz Bushong, Serve it up Sassy! ™ To purchase cookbooks, find recipes, cooking, and decorating demonstrations, go to www.lizbushong.com.

JJ, the white bunny and media magnet, belongs to Liz Bushong as a personal pet.