Saturday, November 7, 2009

Recipes from Patricia Mendez, Author of Easy Entertaining for Beginners

Since November is a busy time of year for everyone--especially we writers who are partcipating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)--I figured it would be an excellent time to try something new by offering recipes on dates when I am not hosting authors. This will also help me with National Blog Posting Month, which we are participating in again.

Our first two recipes come from Patricia Mendez, author of Easy Entertaining for Beginners: You Can Throw a Fabulous Party, from Holiday Fiesta to a Romantic Evening for Two that won the 2009 Mom's Choice Award.

I own this book--which we reviewed here--and have used it on more than one occasion. What I like best about this cookbook is that it has things I actually would make instead of a bunch of gourmet recipes that I would never use in a million years.

Recipes by: Patricia Mendez copyright 2009

Sweet n’ Crunchy Apple Salad
Serves 12

4 cups apples, red & green, chopped, unpeeled
2 tablespoons bottled or fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup candied pecans, purchased, chopped
1/2 cup washed, seedless green grapes, halved
1 1/3 cup low-fat whipped topping, thawed
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
Ground nutmeg

1. In bowl, toss chopped apples with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Stir in celery, nuts and grapes.

2. For dressing, fold mayonnaise into the whipped topping. Spread dressing over top of apple mixture. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Cover tightly and chill for up to 3 hours.

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Icing
Makes 6-8

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

Maple Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon real Maple syrup
1 tablespoon milk, plus up to 2 teaspoons more

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add butter, cut with pastry cutter or two butter knives in a criss-cross motion to form pea-size crumbs.

In a separate bowl, mix pumpkin and milk together. Add to flour mixture and stir until moistened. Knead on floured board about 5 times. Do not over mix or the scones will not be tender. Form dough into 6 inch round, about 1 ½ inches thick and cut into 6 equal-sized wedges. Bake on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray for 18-20 minutes.

Cool and prepare icing by mixing ingredients in small bowl. Drizzle on cooled scones and serve.

Patricia Mendez has catered and coordinated special events since the early 1990’s. She has taught cooking classes and is a public speaker. A natural teacher, she has mentored many aspiring hosts and hostesses. She writes articles for magazines and internet sites and lives in Southern California. She is also the “Easy Entertaining” Spokesperson for Lifetime Products. When she’s not writing or teaching, she is a home chef who loves to throw fun parties.

You can visit Patricia online at

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