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home : news : news July 25, 2017

4/7/2017 9:11:00 AM
A little taste of the tropics

It’s pineapple recipes today. There is so much information about this fragrant fruit from where it originated, how it traveled from country to country and I won’t begin to name all of them. When I think of pineapple, the Hawaiian Islands come to mind. From Kona to Honolulu, then on to California was a long journey to ship pineapple and most of the fruit spoiled on the way. The obvious answer was canning the fruit which must be completely ripe, picked and canned in a short period of time. Otherwise, since they spoil within 24 hours in the field, fresh pineapples for the market have to be picked green and let ripen to where ever they are being shipped. They change color, and have the appearance of a ripe fruit, but the flavor is never up to that of the plant-ripened fruit. Canned pineapple of top quality is usually the highest in flavor to choice fruit bought fresh. For additional flavor, buy pineapple in its own juice, not in thick syrup. Well, I just bought a pretty much green fresh pineapple and it’s sitting in my utility room slowly ripening. I’ll be checking it often to make sure it doesn’t spoil.

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PINEAPPLE CHEESECAKE SQUARES
Crust:
1/2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. butter or margarine

Filling:
1-8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drain well, saving juice
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 T. sugar
1 T. flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
Cinnamon

In a bowl, combine crust ingredients, cutting in butter until crumbly. Press into bottom of an ungreased eight inch square baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool. For filling, beat cream cheese, sugar and flour; add egg and mix until smooth. Stir in pineapple juice. Gradually add milk and vanilla. Sprinkle with drained pineapple over crust. Slowly pour filling over pineapple. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature. Chill; cut into squares. Keep in fridge. Serves six. Note: I use a serving spoon to spoon filling over pineapple rather than pouring it. Also, you might like to dress it up with a dollop of whipped cream of Reddi Whip and top with a cherry.

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PINEAPPLE, CARROT AND RAISIN SALAD
1-20 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice, drain well
3 c. shredded carrots
1 c. raisins
1 c. low fat vanilla or pineapple yogurt

In a bowl, fold together all ingredients. Sprinkle with a little raisins when ready to serve if you wish. Drink the drained juice or add it to O.J. Serves six.
I have to insert a little gripe regarding yogurt. Many recipes call for one cup whatever flavor yogurt. All yogurt I’ve seen is six ounces containers or less. I stir in two tablespoon of sour cream to equal the one cup asked for. If you’re a big fan of yogurt, buy a big container and measure out one cup.

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SWEET ‘N SOUR CHICKEN
1 lb. uncooked chicken breasts or uncooked pork, cut in bite size pieces
1 T. olive or canola oil
1 medium onion, cut in small wedges or chunks
1 medium clove garlic, minced or 1/4 t. garlic powder
2 medium carrots, peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium green pepper, cut in chunks
2-8 oz. cans pineapple chunks in juice, undrained
1/4 c. vinegar
3 T. each, brown sugar, ketchup and soy sauce
1 T. ginger
2 c. hot cooked rice

In a large, skillet, brown meat in oil. Reduce heat to low, add onion, garlic, carrots and green pepper. Cover, cook five minutes. Turn heat to medium. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients, except rice. Stir into skillet. Cover and simmer 10 minutes longer. Serve over rice. Note: If you like the mixture a little thick, stir in a mixture of 1-1/2 T. corn starch and 2 T. water, stirring to incorporate thickening. Serves four.

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Soon, we are going to be celebrating Easter with family and friends. In our family, ham is a given to serve. This sauce is a delicious condiment to serve with it.

PINEAPPLE SAUCE FOR HAM
1 c. (8 oz. can) crushed pineapple, with juice
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 T. each, soy sauce and ketchup
1 t. ground mustard
1/4 c. water
4-1/2 t. corn starch
1/4 c. water

Combine first six ingredients in a saucepan, mixing well; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for eight minutes. Stir corn starch into 1/4 c. water until smooth; add to pineapple mixture, stirring constantly until thickened. Pass sauce with sliced ham. Makes 2-1/3 cups.

Thought for the Day: The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.



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