The trend of "going green" has become increasingly popular in the past year. While we become more eco-friendly in our lives, why not bring green to the party, too? Maria McBride, author of "Party Basics for New Nesters," stopped by "GMA Now" to share some of her creative and delicious ways to incorporate organic, local and recycled goods into your next gathering and help leave a greener footprint on the Earth.
Please find some of McBride's Earth Day party recipes below.
Energy-efficient and delicious, tea on ice is a bracing thirst quencher. Fill glass vessels with water and use the sun's rays to brew a hearty batch of teas. Serve in vintage milk bottles
or mason jars with simple syrup for an old-fashioned charm.
3 quart-sized water bottles or mason jars for 3 kinds of tea
1 gallon plus 2 cups pure water 9 tea bags of assorted teas — lemon, black, fruit flavors are favorites
1 ½-quart bottle
2 cups superfine sugar
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3 mint stems, rinsed
1 cup raspberries
1 foot cheesecloth
1. Fill 3 quart bottles with water; add 3 tea bags to each bottle. Cover with lids or plastic wrap; let sit in full sun for an hour to steep. Remove tea bags. Chill tea in refrigerator.
2. To prepare simple syrup, bring 2 cups of water to a boil; mix in sugar and dissolve. Cool. Pour into ½-quart bottle.
3. Add sliced lemons to lemon tea, sprigs of mint to black tea, and berries to fruit tea. Cover with lids or cut a 6-inch swatch of cheesecloth to cover mouths of bottles; secure with wired twine.
4. Serve with simple syrup and tall glasses of ice.
Makes 3 quarts tea.
Celebrate spring and the bounty of the earth with a medley of seasonal vegetables. Instead of presenting guests with mountains of crunchy vegetables to be picked through, I prefer to set up personal portions in shot glasses or glass votive holders, and serve each with a tablespoon of dipping sauce. Each glass holds a mini-salad that's symbolic of a petite garden, meant to remind us that Mother Earth can sustain us if we treat her well.
12 shot glasses or votive holders
2 bunches baby bok choy
2 hearts of celery
8 ounces of green beans
1 bunch of skinny asparagus
1 bunch of baby carrots
1 seedless cucumber
1 clove garlic
1 cup thick Greek-style plain yogurt
½ lemon, juiced
1. Place clean glasses in the refrigerator to chill.
2. Separate leaves of bok choy and stalks of celery; rinse well.
3. Clean green beans and asparagus, and slice each in half diagonally.
Blanch beans for 4 minutes and asparagus for 2 minutes in simmering water. Rinse in cool water.
4. Peel carrots; slice in half vertically.
5. Peel cucumber so that thin slivers of skin remain. Cut into two 4-inch-long sections and cut each into 1/2-inch thick strips.
6. Cover all prepared veggies with a damp paper towel, and crisp in the refrigerator until serving time.
7. Crush garlic and mix with yogurt, lemon juice, and pepper to taste.
8. Spoon yogurt into shot glass. Fill with mix of vegetables and serve.
Makes 12 servings.
More eggs are sold before Easter than at any other time of year. Fittingly, the week after is National Egg Salad Week. Eggs are sold in cartons to protect them while shipping and — because they have a porous skin — to avoid odors in the refrigerator. This sturdy carton is also a great way to serve eggs salad in eggshell cups. Simple wood paddles make perfect spoons for each eggshell.
saucepan to hold 6 eggs
knife or mezzaluna
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 stalks celery, finely diced
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg carton
1 ounce kelp caviar
12 wood spoons
1. Place 6 eggs in a saucepan that allows the eggs just enough space to lie together. Cover with 1 inch of room-temperature water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 7 minutes. Remove eggs from water and submerge in large bowl of very cold water to chill.
2. Crack open the dozen uncooked eggs, using a knife to gently tap open the top end of the shell. You'll want to preserve 2/3 of the shell intact. Pour out the egg contents and set aside. (If lightly beaten together first, the eggs can be frozen in an airtight container for later use.)
3. Place the empty shells in a stockpot water bath and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cool, and clean. Set aside.
4. To crack cooked eggs, tap each against the counter and roll it under the palm of your hand to crackle the skin. Peel and discard shells.
5. Place cooked eggs in a large mixing bowl. Use a knife or mezzaluna to dice them, add ¼ cup of mayonnaise and diced celery, and mix well with a fork. Flavor with salt, pepper, and mustard to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.
6. When ready to serve, remove the carton top and discard. Spoon egg salad into each eggshell, top with a ½ teaspoon of caviar, and nest in the carton with a spoon to serve.
Makes 12 servings.
For more of Maria's party ideas, visit her Web site at www.mariamcbride.com.