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Martha Stewart's beach bash recipes: Mango salad, mini-cupcakes, more

Though few can throw a party quite like Martha Stewart, we can all aspire to her hosting ability. The entrepreneur and home expert is now sharing her wisdom with TODAY, with her top beach party recipes — from warm nuts in banana leaf cones, to red, white and blue mini-cupcakes. Red Zinger drink 6 cups water4 Red Zinger tea bags4 Raspberry Zinger tea bags1 orange, sliced 1/4-in. thick1 lemon, s

Though few can throw a party quite like Martha Stewart, we can all aspire to her hosting ability. The entrepreneur and home expert is now sharing her wisdom with TODAY, with her top beach party recipes — from warm nuts in banana leaf cones, to red, white and blue mini-cupcakes. 

Iced tea

Red Zinger drink 

  • 6 cups water
  • 4 Red Zinger tea bags
  • 4 Raspberry Zinger tea bags
  • 1 orange, sliced 1/4-in. thick
  • 1 lemon, sliced 1/4-in. thick
  • Sprigs of fresh mint (for garnish)
  • Ice

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the tea bags, and steep for 4 to 6 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Add the remaining 2 cups of water. Refrigerate until cold (at least 1 hour). 

Fill a large pitcher with ice. Add chilled tea and orange and lemon slices. Pour into glasses with ice and garnish with mint. 

Warm nuts in banana leaf cones

  • 5 cups mixed nuts, such as walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans and hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced crosswise into rings (to yield about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise 
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 tbsp. coarse salt 

Cook's Note: It's a good idea to buy your nuts from a purveyor who buys in volume. That way, you'll be assured that they are as fresh as possible. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the nuts in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Toast until the nuts are golden and fragrant (about 8 to 12 minutes), rotating the pans halfway through baking. Once done, transfer the nuts to a large bowl, and set aside. 

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and fry until golden (about 3 to 5 minutes). Transfer the ingredients to a paper towel, and set aside.

Melt the butter and pour it over the nuts. Add the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar and salt and stir well. Toss in the shallots and garlic and serve warm. (The nuts may be reheated in a 300-degree oven for 10 minutes). 

Chicken salad

Classic chicken salad with chunky bread
Serves 4

  • 13 1/2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (12 oz.)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. tarragon leaves, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper 
  • 8 slices white bread, toasted

Pour broth into a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken breast, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes (until the chicken is cooked through). Drain, but reserve the broth. Set the chicken aside to cool. Once it's cool enough, shred into bite-sized pieces. 

Peel and core the apple, and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Place the diced apple into a large bowl, and toss with lemon juice to coat. Add the shredded chicken, celery, mayonnaise and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine. 

Spread chicken salad onto bottom bread halves, and cover with top halves. Cut each sandwich diagonally in half and serve. The chicken salad can be refrigerated for up to 1 day in an airtight container. 

Mango salad

Mango and hearts of palm salad with lime vinaigrette 
Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-in. wedges
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz. can hearts of palm, drained, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1 head Boston lettuce (about 8 oz.), washed and dried 
  • Salt
  • Pepper

In a small bowl, whisk lime juice and mustard. Set vinaigrette aside. 

In a medium bowl, toss mango, onion, hearts of palm and half of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. 

Evenly divide the lettuce among 4 plates, and top with the mango mixture. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. 

Martha Stewart's cupcakes

Red, white and blue mini-cupcakes

For the cakes: 

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract 
  • 6 large eggs 
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

For the frosting: 

  • 4 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar 
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside. 

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Mix in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until well-blended. Add in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with milk in two batches, and beating until combined after each addition. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin tins. Bake, rotating the tins halfway through, until tops spring back when lightly touched (about 20 minutes). Let cool in tins on wire racks. 

To make the frosting: 

Beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low, gradually adding an additional 5 1/4 cups of sugar. 

Raise the speed to medium-high, and add the milk and vanilla. Continue to beat until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Store at room temperature until ready to use (up to 2 days). When making blue and red frosting, add food coloring.