Week 40 (12/27/2006)
When we say, “We wish you a Happy New Year!” the sentiment is always genuine and heartfelt. But with repetition, phrases can seem shallow. ‘Good Morning.’ ‘How are you?’ ‘I’m fine.’ ‘Have a good day.’ Our everyday phrases are often spoken out of habit and/or good manners. If we get an unexpected response, ‘What’s good about it?’ or ‘Not so good,’ we don’t always know how to respond.
America’s Best Flowers does not wish you a Happy New Year because we are supposed to, but rather because we genuinely care. We wish you the Best New Year! A year of personal joy and growth. A year of peace and tranquility. A year of beauty and love.
If there is anyway we can help make these wishes come true, please let us know. By providing beauty for your eyes, or a listening ear for your soul, everyone at America’s Best Flowers wants to be here for you.
“If old acquaintances be forgot, give them a call and remember.”
Another Christmas has passed, bringing us to the quietest time of the year at the greenhouse. So quiet, in fact, that sometimes we feel one of the best kept secrets around is that America’s Best Flowers is open year-round.
We will be here every day, except Sundays, preparing for next spring. And while we all like spending time with each other, we miss our wonderful neighbors and friends, who also happen to be our customers. So please stop in. You are always welcome to walk through and breathe our super-oxygenated air. Beginning in late January, we will start planting our ‘babies,’ which will grow into the plants that will beautify your gardens next year. Make it a point to come out and watch them grow.
Keep us in mind, too, if you need plants, pottery or garden accessories for your home, office or gifts. Our associates will help you choose the perfect items to fill your needs.
This will be our last newsletter for the season. It’s been fun sharing ideas & recipes, answering questions and passing on jokes. It’s time for a break, to regroup and make plans for the upcoming season. See you in March.
“Physiology: The study of carbonated drinks.”
Entertaining for New Years? Here are a few ideas to make your party memorable.
Hot Brandied Chocolate
2 T unsweetened cocoa 4 servings
2 T sugar
2 T water
2 T semisweet chocolate pieces
2 c milk
6 oz. Cognac or rum
Combine cocoa, sugar, and water in saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved; add chocolate pieces and stir until melted. Stir in milk and simmer, stirring occasionally until hot. Pour into cups and add 1 ½ oz. of cognac or rum to each. May be topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
Any size wheel of Brie works beautifully. You can prepare a small wheel or a huge one for a large crowd. Easy to make and looks gorgeous!
Brie en Croute
½ c pine nuts
2 T melted butter
½ lb. phyllo dough
1-2 lb. wheel of brie (you may go larger)
½ c melted butter
Preheat oven to 400’. Saute pine nuts in the 2 T butter until nicely browned. Drain on paper towels. Brush a layer of the phyllo with some of the remaining butter. Place the wheel of Brie in the center. Place the pine nuts on top of the cheese and gently press in. Enclose the entire wheel in the dough. Brush 2 more layers of phyllo with butter. Place the wheel in the center, seam side down, and enclose. Repeat this process until all the dough has been used. Place on a baking tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Brush the top with butter and bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the cheese used) or until golden brown. Transfer to a serving platter and let cool at least 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
24 fresh medium mushrooms
2 T butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
½ lb. spicy pork sausage (I use turkey sausage)
1 small clove garlic, minced
½ c finely crushed buttery crackers
3 T grated parmesan cheese
1 T chopped fresh parsley
½ t salt
¼ t dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c chicken stock
Preheat oven to 325’. Wash mushrooms and remove stems and discard. Melt the butter in a skillet. Briefly sauté the mushroom caps. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. Add the onion, sausage, and garlic to the skillet. Cook until tender but not brown. Add the remaining ingredients. Spoon the stuffing into the mushroom caps, rounding the tops.
Place the stuffed mushrooms in a shallow baking pan with about ¼ inch of water covering the bottom. Bake 15 minutes or until heated through.
And I have an easy and “nummy” thing to add to your appetizer table. My friend Sharon, turned me on to it. Trader Joe’s sells jars of Rosenborg Creamy Blue Cheese in olive oil. It’s filled with little cubes of the most delectable and creamiest blue cheese you ever tasted. Simply put some in a lovely shallow dish with cocktail picks, and serve with premium quality crackers.
“The One Who Drives
When He’s been Drinking
Depends on You
To Do His Thinking”