"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood"
The kids are out-of-doors once more;
The heavy leggins that they wore,
The winter caps that covered ears
Are put away, and no more tears
Are shed because they cannot go
Until they're bundled up just so.
No more she wonders when they're gone
If they have put their rubbers on;
No longer are they hourly told
To guard themselves against a cold;
Bareheaded now they romp and run
Warmed only by the kindly sun.
She's put their heavy clothes away
And turned the children out to play,
And all the morning long they race
Like madcaps round about the place.
The robins on the fences sing
A gayer song of welcoming,
And seems as though they had a share
In all the fun they're having there.
The wrens and sparrows twitter, too,
A louder and a noisier crew,
As though it pleased them all to see
The youngsters out of doors and free.
Outdoors they scamper to their play
With merry din the livelong day,
And hungrily they jostle in
Then, armed with cookies or with cake,
Their way into the yard they make,
And every feathered playmate comes
To gather up his share of crumbs.
The finest garden that I know
Is one where little children grow,
Where cheeks turn brown and eyes are bright,
And all is laughter and delight.
Oh, you may brag of gardens fine,
But let the children race in mine;
And let the roses, white and red,
Make gay the ground whereon they tread.
And who for bloom perfection seeks,
Should mark the color on their cheeks;
No music that the robin spouts
Is equal to their merry shouts;
There is no foliage to compare
With youngsters' sun-kissed, tousled hair:
Spring's greatest joy beyond a doubt
Is when it brings the children out.
We all looked forward to the first day of Spring, and it snowed. I chuckled on my way to work thinking how "sno cone" recipes would look in my April column. If you really love snow, you can save it you know. I had a school friend that used to make snow balls and freeze them so that she and her brothers could have a fourth of July snowball fight. I thought that was a bit odd. Tonight, even though we don't have any snow left, I called an older friend to see how she makes Jack Wax. She said that her husband had a dish of snow saved in the freezer for making it. I started to wonder, how many people have snow in their freezers, and when is it going to snow again so I can get some. Not. I still find it a bit odd. I guess you can save snow at any age, there's no law against it.
Jack Wax is made by heating maple syrup just until it spins a hair and pouring it immediately over fresh, clean snow. The maple taffy treat is wound up on a fork and eaten. If the syrup is not heated to a thin thread, it permeates the snow.
I've tried a lot of good recipes this month. I especially love the Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad and the Party Potatoes. Jack Gerber's Peanut Butter Pork with Spicy Dipping Sauce is a winner and hopefully you'll be giving it a try when you get the grill out of winter storage. The Dipping Sauce is a must. The Beef Fried Rice is a quick and tasty main dish. Your sweet tooth can be satisfied with the Butterscotch Bars, unpeeled Apple Cake with raisins and nuts, and some candy recipes. Someone wrote and requested a shrimp soup recipe so I am providing two recipes for you to try. Thanks to Gayle Thorpe for sending me a jar of home-made buttermilk from her Jersey cows along with a recipe for light and tasty buttermilk pancakes.
Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad
Chicken and 3 Coatings:
1 cup white sifted flour (put in separate dish)
Coating 1: Place one cup of flour in a medium-size bowl. Coating 2: Mix together three eggs and milk and place in a separate bowl. Coating 3: Mix 2 cups pecans with 1 cup flour in a blender. Place in a medium-size bowl. Coat chicken first in flour, second in egg batter, and third in pecan flour. Sauté meat in vegetable oil over medium heat in a large frying pan until lightly browned on both sides. Place chicken in baking pan in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes or until juices run clear when a knife is inserted into meat. Cool.
Glazed Pecans for Salad:
Mix pecans, brown sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat and stir until pecans are glazed. This only takes a minute. Set aside to cool.
Assemble Salad: In a large bowl, toss Romaine lettuce with glazed pecans, vinaigrette, oranges, craisins, and Mozarella cheese. Divide into individual bowls (3 or 4), top with slices of chicken down middle. Excellent.
Party Potatoes (Marcie Stockin)
Boil potatoes in water to cover until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream together. Add drained, cooked potatoes and butter. Beat until smooth. Stir in fresh chives. Add salt to taste. Turn into 2-quart baking pan and bake uncovered in 350 degree oven until hot, about 25 minutes.
Peanut Butter Pork with Spicy Dipping Sauce (Jack Gerber)Peanut Butter Pork:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
In resealable bag, combine first eight ingredients. Add pork, refrigerate several hours or over night. Grill – serve with sauce below.Spicy Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 garlic clove minced
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Beef Fried Rice
Mix in small bowl, set aside:
2 tablespoons Wesson Canola Oil
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Beat 2 eggs and cook in oil 45 seconds, stirring constantly, until eggs are just set. Set eggs aside in a bowl. Add 2 more tablespoon oil to pan and sauté carrot, onion, celery, and garlic for 3 minutes. Add beef and bring up to temperature, about 1 minutes. Add rice and heat through. Stir in soy sauce mixture, then eggs. Last few seconds add shredded lettuce. Serve.
Buttermilk Pancakes (Gayle Thorpe)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and soda. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter or oil. Stir in blueberries if desired. Add 1/4 cup of pancake batter to a lightly oiled hot griddle over medium heat, cook until bubbles form and break on top of pancake, flip pancake over and cook until lightly browned on bottom. Recipe makes 20 (4-inch) pancakes.
Butterscotch Bars (Marsha Seeley)
Mix together butter, eggs, and sugar. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Stir in morsels. Pour into greased 8-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degree for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then cut into 2-inch squares.
Apple Cake (Wanda McDonald)
2 1/2 cups sifted white flour
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in eggs, oil, apples, raisins and nuts. Stir by hand until well blended. Bake in greased and floured 9x13-inch cake pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean..
Caramel Nut Eggs (Irene Burkhouse)
7 1/2-oz. jar Fluff
Place confectioners sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add Fluff and vanilla. Use clean strong hands to work mixture together and shape into egg shapes. Chill overnight. Melt caramels and water in double boiler. Dip eggs in caramel and roll in pecans. Place on wax paper or lightly butter metal surface.
Peanut Butter Eggs (Marcie Stockin)
Set out an ungreased cookie sheet for placing peanut butter eggs. In a large mixing bowl, place confectioners sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla. Use clean hands to combine the ingredients thoroughly. Form mixture into egg shapes, making them tight and smooth. In a double boiler over low heat, melt chocolate and canning wax. Keep chocolate over double boiler until all balls are coated. Use a spoon to dip each egg, one at a time, into the melted chocolate and roll around to coat. Remove balls to cookie sheet. Place in refrigerator or freezer to cool. Once the chocolate is set, the eggs can be left out at room temperature. Makes about 3 dozen eggs.
Quick Shrimp Soup (Marcie Stockin)
2 cans (14.5-oz.) chicken broth
Place chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lemon juice, oregano, and oil in a large cooking pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in raw shrimp and simmer until shrimp is cooked through and turns pink, about 3 minutes.
Fern's Shrimp Soup (Fern, the Gumbo Queen)
Place all ingredients except shrimp in large cooking pot. Cover and
cook on low until vegetables are crisp tender. Stir in shrimp. Cover and
cook until shrimp are opaque (this should only take about 5 minutes). Remove and
discard bay leaf.