Tag Archives: sassy

Serve It Up Sassy: Celebrate It!

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT, FOOD STYLING, PHOTOGRAPHY, and ARTICLE BY LIZ BUSHONG

What are black, white, and red all over? Are you guessing?  Nope… it’s not a newspaper, it’s not a sun-burned penguin, and it isn’t Santa, it’s a dessert buffet!  Time to Celebrate-It! what-ever the “it” occasion may be. Whether you are hosting a graduation party, bridal shower, or anniversary reception, celebrate the occasion with a black, white and red dessert buffet table.

Any time is an occasion to host a sassy soiree with simple elegance and delicious sweets as with this dessert buffet.  A dessert table is a festive and fun table that is spread with luscious little bites of small desserts usually in the same color family as the overall color scheme of the event. There are candy buffets, pie and cookie buffets, chocolate buffets and many other wonderful creative buffets that can be featured as a dessert table.

Tred-3his dessert table features all décor and food in black and white with accents of red. Behind our dessert table is a festive wall of hand-made tissue and paper flowers that bloom like a summer garden.  Each flower bursts open with red, black, or white centerpieces and is arranged on the wall touching other flowers for impact and drama at the dessert table.

The large tissue flowers are made from tissue paper that is accordion pleated, paper clipped, and edges cut to resemble flower petals. Each petal is spread open into a blooming flower and glued to a cake board round for support and attached to the wall with Command Strips.  For more information on the tissue and card stock flowers go to lizbushong.com.

The table top is draped with a solid black damask linen table cloth.  For the centerpiece and height, two different cake stands in black and white are used interchangeably to create a graduated large to small tiered stand that holds decorative mini chocolate cupcakes with tiny candied red roses. Black and white polka dot to stripes in cardstock, wrapping paper, and cupcake liners supports the overall black and white color scheme. Mixing pattern on pattern in the same color family will add interest and intrigue to your table.

red-6Desserts for this table are variations of the black and white color scheme. Black and white butter cookies, Pecan Honey Bites dusted in confectioner’s sugar, small round red and black macaroons with white butter cream frosting, and a pure chocolate Whippet, a “cloud-like marshmallow cookie coated in pure dark chocolate.” This cookie was purchased and accented with white butter cream stripes. You don’t have to be a baker or decorator to make everything for your table. Purchased little treats from your local bakery or specialty shop can be transformed by placing in decorative cupcake liners, paper cups and other decorative containers for a pretty presentation. Paper lanterns, flowers, pennants, and other party décor can be ordered online or purchased at a party shop. Just keep your theme and color scheme in mind and run with it.

whippet cookies-www.lizbushong.com (2)A dessert in small bites and variety keeps your buffet easy and elegant. Three to four mini desserts per person is the recommended serving size if the guests are not eating a slice of cake, as in a wedding. You don’t want to overwhelm your guests with too many choices so offer 2-3 desserts per person with 5-6 dessert varieties.  Serving large cake pieces on the dessert buffet can prove to be messy and unattractive. To solve this challenge, precut the slices into a 1 X 2 inch slice and serve it up sassy on a special individual small plate or other decorative container. Decorative cakes are beautiful on a cake stand, but not really practical for a dessert buffet. Although, it is your party and if you want them to eat cake and see your masterpiece, let them eat cake. Weddings will have a separate cake table with someone cutting and serving the cake.

Presentation for any party is important. People eat with their eyes first so your desserts will need to be garnished with special details and displayed at various heights on the table. Take the time to think through how the guests will approach the table and how to serve each item. Provide small plates and utensils if your desserts require the assistance. Decorative paper napkins are appropriate and necessary. Small labels at each dessert will notify guest what the dessert is and if it has nuts or other allergens. These labels can be decorative with flourish and sometimes as simple as chalkboard stickers.

Beverages can be served, but on a separate beverage table. Colorful punches, small water bottles with decorative labels, and fruit juices make delicious drinks for simple receptions. Creating a beautiful table for your special events will bring great joy to you and your family and friends.

Celebrate some good times!  Find a reason to celebrate, be a clever hostess, and turn an ordinary day into a special occasion; just remember to “Celebrate It” with a lovely dessert buffet.

 

red-4Mini Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Roses|www.lizbushong.com

1-18.25 ounce package dark chocolate fudge cake mix
1-3ounce package chocolate instant pudding and pie mix-dry
1 1/3 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
½ cup mini chocolate morsels
1-teaspoon vanilla

Garnish:
2 cups dark chocolate butter cream frosting*purchased
¼ cup dark cocoa for dusting-optional
Pre-made tiny rose Icing Decorations-tested Wilton

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Prepare cupcake pan with liners. Combine all cake batter ingredients. Beat batter for 2 minutes to blend.
Fill plastic zip lock bag with batter, clip end of bag to ¼ “.  Pipe batter into mini cupcake liners.
Bake cakes 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven.
Frost cooled cupcakes with dark chocolate butter cream frosting. Pipe frosting using small round tip or opening. Dust with dark cocoa powder in a small sieve if desired. Garnish with tiny rose icing decoration to center of each cupcake.  Serve the mini cakes in a decorative regular sized cupcake liner for presentation.  Do not remove mini cupcake liner from baked cakes.

Yield: 50 mini cupcakes /24 regular cupcakes

 

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.
Additional information: Black, White and Red riddle: http://wikipedia.com; Command Strips: http://www.command.com/3M; Whippet Marshmallow Cookies-Dare company http://www.darefoods.com/ca_en/brand/Whippet/17

Serve It Up Sassy: A Garden Fresh Picnic

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT, FOOD STYLING, PHOTOGRAPHY, and ARTICLE BY LIZ BUSHONG


Grab your sun hat and head for the country, this seasons garden-fresh bounty turns into fine fare for a healthy impromptu picnic. Summer picnics are just ripe for picking with all of your favorite garden-fresh vegetables and fruits. Easy to make recipes utilizing homegrown ingredients is the perfect way to reap the benefits of your summer-time gardening efforts.

If your backyard isn’t brimming with rows of fresh produce, a nearby farmers market will offer everything you need for this summer-time picnic. Fresh peaches, blueberries, melons, sweet corn-on-the-cob, juicy ripe tomatoes, herbs, lettuces, squash, zucchini, peppers, onions and cucumbers—with ingredients like these at their best, picnics can’t help but be delicious.

Whether you dine by a lake on a blanket or roll out a wheel barrel under your favorite tree, these picnic recipes will please every palate.  An appetizer made with fresh herbs, basil, parsley, and arugula leaves makes a peppery pesto crostini. A vegetable spread is chock full of home-grown diced vegetables made with cucumbers, radishes, green onions, red, yellow and green bell peppers, garlic, parsley, and tomatoes. Every bite is crunchy and delicious in a roast beef pocket sandwich.

Cut carrots, celery, and cucumber sticks with cherry tomatoes are served up sassy in small containers with flavored olive oils for dipping. Individual desserts are half-pint peach and blueberry cobblers baked ahead for ease and travel. Better bake extra cobblers, with only a ½ cup serving with each jar they won’t last long! Last but not least, a summer picnic would not be the same without our southern sweet tea served in ice cold mason jars.

Packing a safe picnic lunch is important so here are a few safety tips when planning your meal:

“For a worry-free picnic, place perishable foods, such as hot dogs, burgers, poultry, deviled eggs, macaroni, potato salads, anything mayonnaise-cream cheese based food, in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs. They need to be kept cold. Avoid leaving foods in the sun and do not cross contaminate cooking utensils when grilling raw meats.” Check out this website for more important picnic safety tips.

For an impromptu picnic setting, a quilt or blanket provides the perfect soft spot for a hard ground. To keep your quilt from being soiled, place a plastic tablecloth on the ground then add the quilt, or cover a picnic table with your tablecloth and quilt. Large pillows for lounging is always fun and of course a well-packed picnic basket. The basket should include your eating utensils, glasses and plates- paper or melamine, napkins, needed serving containers and utensils, trash bags, baggies, paper towels, wet naps, breads and non-refrigerated items.

Add a mason jar full of white hydrangea, zinnias, Queen Ann’s lace, and other wonderful summer flowers for a simple centerpiece. A bowl of apples and fresh fruit can also be a great centerpiece.

Dining or picnicking alfresco is one of summer’s delights. Call your friends and family and get the picnic going. A garden fresh picnic is a perfect way to celebrate nature’s bounty and a summer afternoon.

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

Half Pint Peach and Blueberry Cobbler 
half pint peach and blueberry cobbler

6 half pint canning jars
3 peaches, peeled, pitted and diced
½ cup blueberries-fresh
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup self rising flour
½ cup melted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup milk

Peel, pit and dice peaches. In bottom of each canning jar, place a teaspoon of dark brown sugar. Add diced peaches and blueberries on top of brown sugar. Mix together flour, butter, sugar and milk, pour over fruit in jar. Leave ½ inch space at the top, so batter will not run over. Place filled canning jars on a double layered baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serve with mini vanilla ice cream scoops. Dessert can be frozen after baked and cooled.
Yield:  6 half-pint mini cobblers

Deli Beef Pockets with Garden Vegetable Spread
Deli Beef pockets with garden vegetable spread6-2” slices French bread
¼ pound thinly sliced roast beef
1 cup arugula or other small leaf lettuce
Garden Vegetable Spread – recipe follows

Cut French Bread into 6- 2” wide slices. Hollow  one side of bread to create a pocket for the filling. Spread Garden Vegetable mixture inside the pocket and up the sides of the crusty bread shell. Fill the pocket with 1-1/2 slices of roast beef. Garnish with the arugula leaves if desired. Wrap sandwich with plastic wrap and keep cold for picnic.
Yield:  6 sandwiches

Garden Vegetable Spread
Garden vegetable spread

1-4 ounce package cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons Hellmans mayonnaise
2 tablespoons creamy horseradish
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/8 cup diced carrots, green onions, radish, cucumber, and yellow squash
red, orange and green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, arugula leaves
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt and white pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place cream cheese, mayo, and horseradish in a large mixing bowl.
Add diced vegetables and seasonings. Mix to combine. Serve spread with Roast Beef Pockets or crostini.
Yield:  1-1/2 cups

Garden Pesto Crostini
Garden Pesto Crostini

½ cup baby arugula leaves
¼ cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons + ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, softened
3 – 4 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper- optional
20- ¼ “sliced crusty bread loaf for crostini
8-10 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced

Brush crostini slices with olive oil and grill or toast in oven until golden brown. In food processor, pulse walnuts one or two times, add arugula leaves, basil, parsley, 2 tablespoons cheese and garlic, pulse until smooth. Scrape down sides and add softened butter and olive oil.  Pulse mixture until smooth and creamy.  Add salt and pepper if desired to taste. Spread small amount of pesto on crostini, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, top with sliced tomato.
Yield:  20 crostini or 1 cup of pesto

 

Serve It Up Sassy: Color Splash!

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT, FOOD STYLING, PHOTOGRAPHY, and ARTICLE BY LIZ BUSHONG

color splash  1Splashes of color set the stage for a simple dessert garden party. Polk-a-dots and clay pots bring to life the bright colors of this spring composition. The color-rich palate includes hot pink, purple, yellow, terra cotta, lime and tangerine.
This sunny celebration takes the party outdoors where the flowers are beginning to bloom and the smell of fresh rain still lingers in the air. A natural rock wall lends the perfect background for the flower-filled and garden themed table- setting. The centerpiece of this garden landscape features clean hand trowels, garden gloves, early blooming grape hyacinths and terra cotta pots. A child’s pair of polka-dot rain boots stake out a planted position on the table.
color splash mousse closeupDesserts for this garden party are Lemon Cupcakes and decadent Chocolate Mousse Brownie Cakes. The Lemon Cupcakes are color-splashed with hot pink, orange or yellow butter-cream flowers. Serve these cute little flowers in a decorative small flower vase that coordinates with your overall color scheme. Chocolate Mousse Brownie Cakes are made with chocolate mousse, brownies and covered with chocolate ganache. The secret baking tool is a silicone baking mold. For recipe go to www.lizbushong.com
Shop now for cute rain boots and gather new colorful gardening tools to host an impromptu garden dessert party. Color-splash your friends with bright colors of spring from the garden to the table. 

118Flower Pot Cupcakes  

1-16 oz. pkg. lemon cake mix
1-3oz pkg. lemon instant pudding/pie mix-dry
1-1/3 cups water
½ -cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups White buttercream frosting-purchased or homemade

Buttercream Frosting
½ cup butter, no substitutes
½ cup shortening
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon clear vanilla
2-3 tablespoons whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except frosting. Beat on medium speed. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop cake batter into cupcake liners 1/2 full.
Bake 22-28 minutes. Cool cupcakes.
Frosting: Beat softened butter and shortening together in mixing bowl. Add salt, vanilla and confectioner’s sugar along with cream. Mix until light and fluffy. Frost cupcakes with white buttercream frosting. Divide white frosting into four bowls, tint with desired colors, hot pink, orange, yellow and green. Fill 3 disposable pastry bags with tip 104- orange, yellow, hot pink frosting and green frosting-leaf tip 352. Pipe green leaves on top of each cupcake and tip 104 pipe flowers in desired colors. Flower instructions on www.wilton.com

Liz Circle 2013 small (2)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. She makes elegance easy for her audience and encourages them to add their own Sassy touch to make it unique. In 2009, 2010, 13, 14 she was 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, and 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. Liz makes her home in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Liz Bushong, Serve it up Sassy! ™
To purchase cookbooks, find recipes, cooking, and decorating demonstrations, go to www.lizbushong.comor blog, www.lizbushong.com
Like and Share Liz on Facebook, tweet @lizbushong and pin on pinterest.com/lizbushong.

Set the Scene for Spring!

Written Liz Bushong

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Setting the scene for spring, whether you are decorating tables for the prom or hosting a casual get-together, this bold and bright sassyscape is about making a statement: making it sassy and making it yours!

Presenting a lovely table bursting with color, using every day dinnerware and cheery flowers will create a beautiful table and a lasting impression for dinner guests.

The spring 2014 color forecast has several new colors ready to burst out in brilliance. According to the Pantone Fashion Color Report, one of those colors is Freesia.  It is a bright, citrus yellow that can be paired with black and white for a stunning and eye-catching color combination.  You will see this combination in clothing and in home décor.

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Nothing makes more of a statement than the color scheme of black and white. There are three different ways to use black, white, and citrus yellow for setting a festive and fun table. First, the large black and white table with the white branches and hanging orbs would be a lovely dessert table or dinner table for six. However, if you are using this color scheme for a table of six, I would recommend that you create a smaller centerpiece and limit the mix of patterned plates. You want to see your guests while seated at the table so the grand centerpiece would be best served on a buffet or large side table. You could still use the centerpiece ideas at a smaller scale, or if you do want the large centerpiece, make sure it is higher than the seated guests or above their heads. The goal is to be able to see the person seated across from you or adjacent to you. After all, you are looking great and you want to be seen as well as heard while enjoying your dining experience.

This grand and stunning black, white, and citrus centerpiece draws your eyes and attention to the table.  A large brandy shaped glass bowl is filled with black licorice to hold the white tree branches in position. Glass round orbs fitted with yellow Gerber daisies seem to float in the air as they hang effortlessly on the white branches. The refreshing accent color, citrus yellow called Freesia, adds energy and a burst of brilliance to this overall black and white color scheme. lizmar4

To keep the black and white balanced, a checked hounds-tooth patterned placemat and solid fringed black napkins with the classic white dinner plate set the tone for two of the place settings. To mix it up a bit, two of the six place settings are the same while the four in the center are uniquely different, all in the same color scheme but different patterns. As long as you keep the color scheme in the same tones and family, you can add layers of pattern.  Your eyes will tell you when there is too much “mixing and matching” of color, pattern, and texture. Standing at attention and waiting to get noticed beside the large airy arrangement stands two large hurricane pedestal glass bell jars that are filled with fresh lemons then topped with blooming yellow and white roses as the complimentary floral arrangements.  The center of the table is dressed with a black and white striped table runner that is draping horizontally over a yellow polka dot paper runner.

Clever containers with fresh bright flowers will always “sass-up” a centerpiece. Adding to the mix are black and white zebra and damask-patterned salad plates.

Serving up a little bit of sunshine at each place setting are Lemon Blossom cookies that are neatly tucked into each standing bishop napkin fold.  These cookies are shaped like tiny flowers that are power-punched with a citrus lemon flavor and destined to become a spring favorite.

There are two additional looks to create different sassyscapes using the black, white, and citrus color scheme. Make a table sassy and fun by selecting a bold yellow and white polka dot table cloth as the backdrop for additional white and black dinnerware.  A square glass container is home for fresh green onions and bright yellow Gerber daisies for a whimsical and intriguing floral centerpiece.  Using fluffy white napkins loosely gathered or flared in a drinking glass adds to the frilly fun.  For more of a contemporary look, use black and white dinnerware with no pattern, just bold and strong solid pieces.  A clever napkin ring using two large wooden buttons and coordinating elastic cording holds the napkin neatly in place.  Another way to show your eye for detail is to serve food that coordinates with the overall color scheme. For example, serving a three-layer Lemon Crème cake or the Lemon Blossom cookies present well because they are the accent color of your table décor. Choosing a monochromatic or complementary food color scheme will always be your best option for serving it up sassy.

Now to make it yours, show your true colors!  If you don’t like yellow, select your favorite color and use the same techniques to create your own beautiful table presentation and memorable occasion.

 

lizmar7

Lemon Crème Cakes-
Makes ~15 three layer mini cakes

1 package lemon cake mix
1 package lemon instant pudding and pie mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Filling:

1-3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons lemon curd + 1 cup
2 tablespoons butter, tested Land a Lakes
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Whipped topping:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
Mint leaves and fresh raspberries

 Instructions:

1        Line 15 ½ x 10 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill cupcake pan with liners for extra cake batter. Spray parchment paper on both sides. Set aside.

2        Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, beat together all cake ingredients for two minutes. Pour batter into baking sheet leveling batter by shaking pan side to side.  With remaining batter fill cupcake liners. Bake cake and cupcakes for 20 minutes or until cake center is done.  Allow cakes to cool.  Freeze cakes for 20 minutes or longer.

3        Meanwhile, prepare filling.  Beat softened cream cheese, butter and 3 tbsp. lemon curd together until smooth.  Fill pastry bag fitted with tip 1 M or shell tip with mixture.  Set aside.

4        Using a clean and very cold mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream on high with wire attachment.

5        Beat until soft peaks form; add ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar. Beat on high to form stiff peaks.

6        Place whipped cream in pastry bag fitted with star tip or 1 M, refrigerate until assembly.

 Assembly and Presentation:

Remove cakes from freezer and baking sheet.  Spread top of cakes with thin layer of lemon curd.

Using a square cookie cutter or sharp knife cut out cakes.  Place one cake on serving platter curd side up, add another cake layer on top of first cake, curd side down or sandwiched together.  Pipe cheese filling on top of sandwiched cakes.  Add third and final cake layer, curd side up.  Last, pipe whipped cream dollop on top of cake.  Garnish with mint leaf and fresh berry.  Make it yours by serving it with other berries between cake layers on your favorite serving dish or platter.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Lemon Blossom Cookies

¾ cup butter, softened- tested Land a Lakes
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1-3oz box lemon gelatin dessert-dry
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup vanilla butter cream frosting

 Directions:

1. Cream butter, sugar, extract, gelatin powder and egg in large mixing bowl of electric mixer on medium speed.  On low speed, gradually add flour. Beat until mixture leaves the sides of the bowl. Shape dough into 1 ¼ inch balls. Cover and refrigerate one hour or overnight.

2. Heat oven to 375 F. Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart. With sharp knife, make 5-6 cuts in top of each ball about three-fourths of the way through to make 6 petals.  Shape wedges with fingers and place each wedge together to form a flower. Make sure center of flower is closed.  Refrigerate 20 minutes to set shape.

3. Bake 9-11 minutes or until set and edges begin to brown. Do not overbake.
Cool 3-5 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Fill pastry bag or zip lock baggie with frosting, clip 1/8 inch corner and pipe centers.

Cookies can be frozen before frosting.
Makes:  24 cookies

Serve it up Sassy! TM   Liz Bushong developed recipe.  www.lizbushong.com

 www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/default.aspx?season=spring&year=2014

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. 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 ™ .

In 2009,10,&13, Liz 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 and West Virginia, WSLS-Daytime Blueridge in Roanoke, Virginia. 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 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 master gardener. Liz is the author of Just Desserts and Sweets & Savories cookbook. 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.  

To purchase cookbooks, see recipes, cooking, and decorating ideas go to www.lizbushong.com

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT, FOOD STYLING, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND ARTICLE BY LIZ BUSHONG

 

 

 

Sassy Scrumptious Salads with Liz Bushong

Serve up Stunning Simple Salad’s with One Vinaigrette for a Healthy New 2014!

lizb
Turn over a new leaf in 2014 with this trio of sassy but easy-to-put-together healthy salads. Three different salads presented three different ways using one tangy vinaigrette. These no-cook colorful salads offer a variety of fresh greens rich with disease-fighting antioxidants. With their pleasing variety of flavors, colors, and textures, these salads are the foundation of healthy eating.

Lettuce begin the new year with the Tomato Melon Feta Salad. For this colorful salad, medium thick slices of ripe watermelon and firm red and yellow tomatoes are layered and sandwiched together like silver dollar pancakes or columns of crackers. Small cubes of feta cheese, salt and pepper complete the stacked wonder. Balsamic vinaigrette is drizzled lightly over the salad for a flavorful mix between the sweet and acidic taste of these fruits. Your palate will perk up with this unexpected pairing of fruits. According to Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, a tomato is a fruit. “The fruit is rich in lycopene, which may have beneficial health effects.”

The Cucumber Wrap Salad has a beautiful presentation. We eat with our eyes and this salad really alerts the senses. This salad looks complicated but it is easy to prepare. A seedless English cucumber is mandolin-sliced horizontally, and curled around to form a self-serving bowl. A handful of crisp baby spring mix is layered inside the cucumber, and other garden fresh vegetables are then added and positioned to create this one-of-a-kind salad. The tangy balsamic vinaigrette is served on the side and may be drizzled on the salad to the guest’s personal taste. Edamame, walnuts or pecans, blue cheese crumbles, steamed snow peas and sliced gala apples complete this simply-stated salad. You will be cool as a cucumber creating this salad for your next ladies luncheon or brunch.

The final salad in this dynamic trio is the Salad of Mesclun Greens and Baby Beets. It consists of a combination of mixed greens, shaved vegetables, and cubed beets all served with bagel croutons. A splash of the balsamic vinaigrette brings out the artful essence of this salad. You will enjoy this delightfully light and crunchy combination. To make this the main course, just add protein such as grilled chicken strips, flank steak, salmon, tuna or shrimp.

Presentation for a salad or any meal is important. To keep yourself motivated to eat healthy, be sure to set your table in style by using glass bowls full of the organic fresh vegetables and fruits that you have put in the salad as your table centerpiece. Packaged herbs like dill, mint, chives, and oregano make a beautiful statement as one or two elements of the centerpiece. Cut watermelon slices and graduated bowls of fruit and berries can serve as the light dessert after your salad course. Be creative and have fun!  

Salads are satisfying, health promoting, disease fighting, and include the best fresh ingredients from farm stand or grocery store finds. Serve up one of these tantalizing healthy salads for your family or just for yourself.

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Food for thought: Just happened to turnip some nutritional information about a few ingredients in salads, such as edamame, apples and leafy greens.

“The United States Department of Agriculture states that edamame beans are “a soybean that can be eaten fresh and are best known as a snack with a nutritional punch”. Edamame and all preparations of soybeans are rich in carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, and micronutrients, particularly foliates, manganese, and vitamin K”.

The nutritional benefits of an apple are remarkable. “Apples can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Apples, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.” www.whfoods.org . “Spring Greens Help You Detoxify Naturally, according to Medea Galligan, MS, Nutrition, AADP CHHC, RYT, with healthy lifestyle concepts blog.

“The health benefits of eating leafy greens can’t be overemphasized. Salad greens are loaded with vitamins A and C, as well as several of the B vitamins. Just one cup of these greens provides 70 percent of the daily recommended intake for vitamin A and 20 percent of the DRI for vitamin C. Salad greens are also a rich source of iron and calcium and numerous trace minerals including magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale also are good sources of vitamins K and E.” –

healthylifestyleconcepts.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/blog/2013/03/ SpringGreensHelpYouDetoxifyNaturally

 

Liz Bushong- Serve it up Sassy Recipes

For more recipes and ideas go to lizbushong.com

 

Salad of Mesclun Greens, Baby Beets and Bagel Croutons

lizjan5

5 ounces mesclun or spring mix greens, washed and dried
2 medium sized beets, steamed, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
16 individual sliced chives
2 carrots, peeled and shaved with vegetable peeler or mandolin
1 English cucumber or cucumber of choice, washed and sliced to ¼ inch
2 plain bagels, or bagel of choice, cut in small pieces
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
4-6 ounces thinly sliced smoked Gouda, rolled tightly
Balsamic Vinaigrette or dressing of choice

Wash greens and spin dry. Plate the greens in the center of plate. Shave peeled carrots, and then roll strips tightly to form a curl, position carrots as desired on greens. Slice cucumbers, dice the beets, and roll the cheese, position as desired on greens.

Cut bagels into small bite-sized pieces using kitchen shears. In small zip lock bag, place soy sauce and olive oil mixture, toss croutons in this mixture to coat. Bake on baking sheet at 500 degrees for 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully not to burn croutons. Remove from oven and place on top of salad.

Serve Balsamic Vinaigrette in a separate dish or drizzle salad with dressing.

Garnish salad with X crossed 4 chive stems on each salad.

 Yield: 4 small salads

Tomato Melon Salad

liz jan

2 medium firm ripe yellow tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch
4 ½” thick sliced of watermelon, sliced melon in rounds
2 medium firm ripe red tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch
1-(4 ounce) package crumbled –or block blue cheese, or feta cheese
Balsamic Vinaigrette or light dressing of choice
15 steamed pea pods for garnish

Stack yellow tomato, watermelon slice and red tomato one on top of each other. Add crumbled blue or feta cheese and drizzle with vinaigrette. Garnish plate with pea pods.

Yield:  4 small salads

Cucumber Wrap Salad

lizjan2

1 English cucumber, sliced horizontally into thin strips
 2 ½ cups Organic small leaf greens
10 tablespoons Edamame (soybeans) & snap peas steamed and cooled
15 thin slices of Gala apple with skin
10 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
5 tablespoons chopped pecans or nut of choice
Balsamic dressing-recipe follows or purchase

  • Slice cucumber into very thin strips.  Curl into a medium sized circle. Cucumber will stick to itself if you overlap ends. Fill cup with greens, layer apple and pea pods stand on ends in back of salad.
  • Add blue cheese and nuts to the left side of salad. Add soybeans to right side. Serve dressing in separate bowl.  Make it Yours by adding whatever salad toppings you enjoy.  Balsamic Vinaigrette page 36.

Serve it up Sassy on individual white salad plates.  You cannot pick this up to eat, must be plated.

 Yield: 5 mini salads

 (This vinaigrette is for all three salads- 3 salads 1 vinaigrette)

Balsamic Vinaigrette                                                                                                           

½ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ teaspoon celery salt and pepper
1-cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Whisk together first 5 ingredients until blended. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Blend well. 
  • Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • Serve on any green salad as well as Cucumber Wrap.  Can also be used as a veggie dip.

 Yield: 2 cups

 

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT, FOOD STYLING, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND ARTICLE SUBMITTED BY LIZ BUSHONG

 Helping 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. 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 2013, she was selected from thousands nationwide to be part of an elite team of 75 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.

To purchase her cookbook, find recipes, cooking, and decorating demonstrations/ideas go to www.lizbushong.com, www.facebook.com/lizbushong, and twitter @lizbushong.