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I love to share recipes and so I’ve developed this post as a place to do just that. I will try to keep them seasonal. Feel free to send me a favorite seasonal recipe to include here if you are into that sort of thing.

Seasonal Recipes – Spring 2012

Spring is a time of awakening, rejuvenation… I have tried to keep the recipes fresh, bright and a bit tangy, with subtle awakening flavors, in the recipes below. Many use spring ingredients.

Fruit and Chicken Salad

2 cups of diced white chicken, cooked

1 cup seedless grapes, sliced in half

2 green apples, diced

1 cup tangerine or seedless orange sections, cut into 1 inch slices

½ cup celery finely minced

Mix all of the above with a dressing made from the following blended well:

1 cup lite mayonnaise

1 T cider vinegar

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp onion powder

½ tsp. curry powder

sea salt to taste

3 T apple juice concentrate, white grape juice concentrate or apple jelly

1 cup slivered almonds

Serve on a bed of mixed greens

Spring Chicken Soup

11/2 cups of cooked white chicken shredded or chopped fine

6 cups of chicken broth

1 cup white wine

½ cup finely minced onion

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 piece of crystallized ginger, mince fine

½ cup shredded carrot

½ cup minced herbs of choice

1 handful of small scale pasta shapes, like stars or alphabets

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a medium kettle, bring the chicken broth to a boil, add the pasta and cook until just done. Shut off the heat.

In a small kettle, add the wine, onion, celery, carrot, ginger and herbs. Cover and simmer until veggies are just tender.

Add the veggies and cooked chicken to the kettle with the pasta and combine well.

Serve Hot

Makes 6 medium or 4 large bowls of soup

Minted Peas

Steam 3 cups frozen or fresh peas with 8 fresh minced or 2 tsp. dried mint leaves, until just tender. Toss with a sauce made of :

1 T mint jelly, melted

1 T soft butter

Serve immediately.

Rhubarb and Blueberry Sauce

This sauce is great over ice cream, sherbet, angel food cake and on biscuits for shortcake

3 Cups Rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces

1 Cup Orange Juice

Juice, Zest and Pulp of 1 Lemon

1 Cup White Sugar (Adjust up to 2 cups to taste)

Combine all ingredients above in a Pyrex type bowl, cover with plastic wrap, cut several small slits in the top of the plastic wrap. Microwave on medium high for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Be careful of steam burns.

When cooked through, remove from microwave and add:

2 cups blueberries, stir in.

Allow sauce to cool before serving. Refrigerate or freeze to keep.

Maple Milk Shake

3 cups of milk

½ cup maple syrup

2 cups vanilla bean ice cream

Blend all together in a blender until just smooth

Makes 2 tall glasses of milk shake

Winter 2011-2012

Holiday Cheese Ball

Bring to room temperature and blend together; will be stiff:

I pkg. Cream Cheese

I 1/2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese

Add:

2 T white wine

1T white Worcestershire sauce (or more for flavor and to moisten a bit)

Blend all together well.

Form into a ball shape and place on waxed paper

Coating

Crush 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts or mixed nuts with 1 t. dried parsley and 1/2 t. garlic powder.

Roll cheese ball in nut mixture until well coated. Wrap snugly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Will keep for 2 to 3 weeks. Remove from refrigerator 1/2 to 1 hour before serving to soften up a bit.

Serve with crackers, like Triscuits and wheat thins. Spread with a spreader.

Can also be cut into half and served 1/2 at a time.

Cream Whiskeys

Celtic Cream Whiskey

Honey ½ to 1 cup

Almond Extract ¼ to ½ tsp

Vanilla Extract ½ to 1 tsp.

Half and Half or Light Cream 1 qt.

Heavy Cream 2 cups

Irish or Scotch Whiskey 1 -2 cups, to taste

New England Cream Whiskey

Maple Syrup, dark ½ – 1 cup

Almond Extract ¼ to ½ tsp

Vanilla Extract ½ to 1 tsp.

Half and Half or Light Cream 1 qt.

Heavy Cream 2 cups

New England Maple Whiskey 1 -2 cups, to taste

In a small saucepan, heat honey or syrup slowly on low until it thins out.

In a blender, combine syrup or honey and whiskey and extracts. Blend together gently.

Add cream, one cup at a time, on low and blend after each cup is added.

Blend all on high for 15 seconds.

Start with the smaller portions of the ingredients with ‘to taste’ portions and if you prefer more of something (like almond extract), adjust by adding to a small amount of liqueur and blending well together, then blending well into remainder of liquer.

Pour contents into a sterile glass container and seal.

Refrigerate.

Serve in small liquer glasses, cold or allow to come to room temperature.

Keeps for up to 2 weeks but don’t worry, it won’t last that long!

Winter Salad and Maple Vinegarette Dressing

 Salad

For 4 individual salads:

In a large bowl, mix:

1 cup red leaf lettuce, torn

1 cup baby spinach leaves

1 cup red cabbage shredded

Arrange on 4 flat salad plates

Top with 1/4 of each of the following:

1 red apple, cored and sliced into wedges

1 red apple, cored and sliced into wedges

1 large carrot, shredded

handful each: pecans, smoked almonds

handful raisins

handful dried cranberries

4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, crumbled or cubed

Serve with a maple vinagarette dressing. See recipe below.

  Maple Vinegarette Dressing

1/2 cup cider or herb vinegar

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup cider or dessert wine

½ tsp each: crushed rosemary, crushed celery seed, crushed basil, dried thyme

1 clove garlic crushed

Blend well with a whisk or in a blender, make up at least 4 hours before serving

Keep refridgerated.

Ham and Potato Chowder

Stock or broth*, about 3 qt.

Cubed ham, 3 cups

6 to 8 roughly 1 inch cubed potatoes, steamed or baked, skins on is fine, (these can be slowly cooked in the oven or microwave whole, then cubed when cooled.) Remember to poke a few holes in each before cooking with a fork. If steamed, dice first and steam until fork tender, add cooking liquid to stock.

2 cups sliced carrots, cooked. Optional

1 to 2 onions, finely minced

½ cup flour, mixed well in 1 cup cold water

1 to 2 qt. of milk

Butter

Parsley

Fresh ground pepper

Start with 3 quarts of stock or broth*. Heat to a slow boil in a large kettle.

Finely mince the onion and heat with 2 tablespoons of butter until golden in a skillet, stirring frequently, med. heat.

Add cubed ham &/or bite sized meat from the bone, to the onions and brown a bit in the skillet. Shut pan off and set aside.

When broth/stock is boiling; slowly stir in flour and water mixture. Keep stirring, it will thicken up. As soon as it begins to thicken, reduce heat to low and keep stirring. Let mixture cook for 5 minutes on low.

(If a thicker soup is desired, repeat the water and flour mixture process again.)

Add milk slowly and keep stirring.

Shut off burner and remove kettle.

Add meat, onions and potatoes. Mix well.

Ladle into bowls.

Makes approx. 6 qt. of soup

Garnish each bowl with a ½ tsp of butter, a pinch of parsley and a grind of fresh pepper, if desired.

*Broth or Stock

Can be made from boiling water and bouillon cubes, chicken or vegetable (6 to 8 cubes for 3 qt. of water.)

Or

Chicken or ham bones cooked in 4 to 5 qt. of water for ½ hour, then bones removed. Strain through a collander.

Cook liquid until it is about 3 qt.

Reinforce with a few bullion cubes if necessary.

Remove meat from bones when cool. Set aside to add to soup later.

Autumn

Calico Beans

Ingredients:

Onions

Bulk Sausage, you choose how spicy

Baked Beans, Canned, at least one large can

Variety of canned cooked beans, at least 3 cans, like black, chick pea, pinto, white kidney, red kidney

Sage, Rosemary and Thyme to taste

Directions:

Dice up 2 to 3 onions into a skillet. Add 1 to 2 lb. of bulk sweet breakfast sausage, broken up (like Jimmy Dean in the tube). It’s usually sold in the freezer case in the supermarket with other similar frozen breakfast foods.

Note: Aunt Jean uses hamburg and diced bacon instead of the sausage and she adds ketchup and mustard too.

I like the subtle savory flavors of the sausage and leave it at that. It’s up to you.

Saute the onions and sausage together until they are cooked through well. Keep the sausage broken up. I sometimes add a little extra sage here.

Into the crock pot, add: one to two large cans of baked beans, your choice of flavor. I like the bacon and onion. Don’t drain them.

Then add several cans of cooked beans in a variety of colors and flavors. Drain these beans first but reserve about a cup of liquid because you may need to add it back later on.

I like to use dark red kidney beans, black beans, white cannolli beans and if there’s room left in the crock pot: garbanzo beans and pinto beans. The crock pot fills up surprisingly fast so decide which ones you want to use the most and add them first. I try to get as much contrast as possible, hence, calico beans !

Add the onions and sausage and mix together gently so the beans don’t get mushed. Heat on low for several hours to allow the flavors to mingle, occasionally stirring gently. If they get too thick add a little of the reserved bean juice back in.

That’s it ! Enjoy !

Peanut Pumpkin Soup

Smooth Peanut Butter 1 cup

Evaporated Skim Milk 2 – 12 oz. cans

2 cups or 15 oz. Can Cooked Pumpkin 1 16 oz. can

Chicken or Vegetable Broth, heated 4 cups

Curry Powder ¼ tsp.

Nutmeg ¼ tsp.

Ginger, ground ¼ tsp.

Onion Powder ¼ tsp.

Honey, if desired, up to 2 tbsp.

Directions:

In a large, heavy bottom kettle:

Bring broth to a slow boil. Add seasoning and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium low and slowly add Peanut Butter, whisking to blend.

Add honey if desired, blending well with a whisk.

Slowly add pumpkin, blending to combine.

Slowly blend in evaporated milk (shake cans well first).

Serve immediately or move to a crock-pot on low heat. Stir occasionally.

Autumn Oatmeal Cookies

I cup butter or butter flavored Crisco

I cup sugar

I cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. almond extract

I ½ cup all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp salt

3 cups Old Fashioned Oats

1cup chopped walnuts or pecans

! cup dried cranberries

1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine butter and sugars until creamy. Add almond extract and eggs. Mix in well.

Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in well.

Stir in oats, nuts, cranberries and chips.

Grease cookie sheets.

Place generous tablespoons of dough onto sheet and press down with the back of the spoon. Leave 2 inches between cookies.

Bake 10to 15 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes . Remove cookies to a rack to complete cooling.

Store in an airtight container.

Autumn Wild Berry Pie

Wild Berry Pie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 pie crust, unbaked

Blend together in a large microwavable bowl:

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 1/2 cups sugar

¾ tsp. ginger

¾ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

Slowly add and blend:

1 cup of each, fresh or frozen:

Blueberries

Raspberries

Blackberries

Dark Cherries, pitted

1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce

Cover bowl with plastic wrap, slash/poke top several times

Cook in microwave on medium for 15 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes

Bake crust for 5 to 10 minutes until barely golden. Take out.

Add cooked filling.

Add top crust (cut out shapes with a cookie cutter)

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until top is deeply golden.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Mulled Cider

1 Gallon Fresh Cider

6 Cinnamon Sticks

15 Whole Cloves

3 Star Anise

1 Orange, sliced crossways

1 Lemon, sliced crossways

1 Green Apple sliced crossways, showing stars

1 Red Apple, sliced crossways, showing stars, stud with cloves

½ cup brown sugar or maple syrup, optional

One hour before serving:

In a large, acid proof kettle:

Simmer 1 quart cider with all fruit and spices, for 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally

Add remaining cider, and sweetener if desired. Continue to simmer on low until served.

Summer

Stir Fry From the Garden

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Summer Smoothies                                                            Elizabeth

In a blender, Add:

Mixed Berry Smoothie with Mint


1 cup frozen fruit and/or berries

½ cup nonfat or low fat yogurt; vanilla,

plain or fruit flavored

¼ cup pure juice concentrate (no added sugar);

grape, white grape, peach, cranberry etc.

1 cup cold water

Blend all together on medium high for 30 seconds

Pour into a large tumbler and enjoy !

Depending on the combinations used, this recipe provides endless variations

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Garden Fresh Veggie and Dip Platter                          Elizabeth

Dip

Several hours before serving, blend together well, the following:

1 pint lite sour cream

1 cup lite mayonnaise

1 packet of Knorr Swiss dip and soup mix

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup finely minced fresh herbs, (or 1 tbsp. dry herbs) your choice

Chill

On a platter, scatter fresh herb leaves and sprigs

Place bowl in center with dip

Mound raw veggies around the bowl. Broccoli florets, Cauliflower florets, Carrot sticks, Celery sticks, Pepper slices, Mushrooms, Summer Squash slices, Zucchini slices…

Serve

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Chunky Cole Slaw                                                    Elizabeth

Mix together in a large bowl:

1 medium head of green cabbage, shredded coarsely

1 medium head of red cabbage, shredded coarsely

2 cups of shredded carrots

2 cups of raisins and/or dried cranberries or same amt. of prunes diced

3 green and/or red apples diced

Toss with dressing just before serving

Dressing

Mix these 3 together well:

2 cups lite mayonnaise

1 cup sugar

Then blend these in well:

1 cup apple cider or herb vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

¼ tsp fresh ground pepper

½ tsp celery salt

1 tsp. onion powder

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Herb Butter and Olive Oil Dip/Spread                                             Elizabeth

This is great basted onto chunks of Italian or French bread, on corn on the cob, the recipe for pizza below and lots of other things !

Try basting it onto Italian Bread Slices and sprinkling with grated Italian cheeses. Broil for one minute or less on a baking sheet. Drizzle on stir fry….

Combine over low heat in a small saucepan and stir occasionally for 15 minutes:

1 stick of butter

1 cup olive oil

3 to 4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

2 tsp. of onion, minced

1 tbsp. each, chopped fine:

Basil

Oregano

Parsley

Dill

Stir before using. Can be applied with a pastry brush or dipped into with bread.

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Fresh Simple Summer Pizza                           Elizabeth

One loaf of White or Whole Wheat Italian Bread

Herb Butter and Olive Oil spread

Fresh Ripe Tomatoes, sliced (Roma are best)

Fresh Basil Leaves

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Slice a loaf of Italian bread lengthwise

Spread some herb butter and olive oil mix on each side

Grill them spread side down on a cookie sheet, or upper grill rack, med setting

Once it’s a bit golden, turn it over

Cover it all with fresh basil leaves, then slices of very ripe tomatoes

Add another layer of spread and put it under the broiler, or on foil on the upper grill rack, medium setting

A few minutes later, add grated Parmesan and mozzarella and re-broil it.

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This sauce is great over ice cream and on biscuits for shortcake

Rhubarb and Blueberry Sauce                                            Elizabeth

3 Cups Rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces

1 Cup Orange Juice

Juice, Zest and Pulp of 1 Lemon

1 Cup White Sugar (Adjust up to 2 cups to taste)

Combine all ingredients above in a Pyrex type bowl, cover with plastic wrap, cut several small slits in the top of the plastic wrap. Microwave on medium high for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Be careful of steam burns.

When cooked through, remove from microwave and add 2 cups blueberries, stir in well.

Allow sauce to cool before serving. Refrigerate or freeze to keep.

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White Sangria                                                        Elizabeth

In a large gallon jar or pitcher, combine the following several hours before serving and refrigerate:

1 quart White Cranberry Juice

2 cups clear Peach Juice, not nectar

1 Ripe Peach, Sliced

2 cups mixed Strawberries sliced, Raspberries and Blueberries

1 Orange, Thinly Sliced

1 Lemon, Thinly Sliced

Before Serving, Add to Above:

1 bottle Inexpensive Sweet White Dessert Wine like Beringer Moscata

2 pints Raspberry infused Club Soda

Pour into a clear pitcher over ice

Hint: freeze additional berries and juice in small molds and use in place of ice

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*** Check out some interesting and old-fashioned watermelon recipes at Watermelon Pickles.

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