May 25, 2017 at 10:20 a.m.

Little bit of this and that

Little bit of this and that
Little bit of this and that

We recently had a garage sale in the Park and I had a few cookbooks I thought I would no longer be using so I set them out on the tables at  very reasonable prices… 5, 10, 15 cents. Putting them out my thoughts were, maybe I could use a couple of these books for recipes in my columns. It is said that once you have clothes, household items, books, etc. you should not take them back. That pretty much worked for me, except for a couple pretty glass plates and five cookbooks that no one wanted. I only had 9 there!   Yup, they’re in my workroom sitting on the desk waiting to be put back on the shelf!

So it’s a little of this and a little of that today.

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OVERNIGHT COFFEE CAKE
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, well beaten
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. buttermilk

Topping:
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars; add eggs, beating until creamy. Combine dry ingredients; stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk. Turn into greased 9x13-inch baking pan. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter.
Cover; refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, remove cake from fridge, set on counter for 30 minutes before baking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Makes 12-15 servings.

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Strawberries are almost ready to be picked or you can always buy them at the groceries stores, of course!

FROZEN STRAWBERRY VELVET
1 c. graham cracker crumbs, divided
3 T. melted butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 c. whipping cream, whipped
2 c. thickly sliced strawberries (or small ones rather than slicing), raspberries or blueberries

In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter; pat about 2/3 of mixture into bottom of 11x7 or 9x9-inch glass or metal pan. Beat softened butter and powdered sugar for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 2 minutes after each addition. Spread carefully over crumbs. Fold fruit  into whipped cream; spread over butter-sugar layer. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top.  Freeze until firm. Defrost in fridge 2 to 4 hours before serving.   Makes 9 servings. Note: To make it easier to spread fruit, drop “blobs”  here and there for easier spreading. Memorial Day is coming soon and this would be a colorful dessert to serve for a gathering. You can combine the strawberries and blueberries....the colors of our American flag.

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SPINACH & BACON SALAD
1-1/2 lbs. fresh spinach                     
3 T. wine vinegar
5 T. peanut oil or canola oil (peanut is best)
5 T. olive oil
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
8 slices bacon, crisply fried, damping off grease, crumbled in 1/2 –inch pieces
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 hard cooked egg

Trim off all stems and wash spinach; dry well and tear into bite-size pieces.  Combine oils mustard, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper; mix well.
When ready to serve, toss spinach with dressing. Top with mushrooms and bacon. Grate or sieve egg for garnish.  Makes 6 servings.

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This dressing can be drizzled over fresh fruit (sliced apples, pears, kiwi fruit and fresh pineapple are a good combination), red or green leaf lettuce or Romaine lettuce combined with fruit rather than veggies or cottage cheese.

HONEY ORANGE POPPY SEED 
DRESSING
1/3 c. honey
2 T. vinegar
1 T. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 T. prepared mustard
1 t. salt
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. chopped pecans
1 t. poppy seeds

Combine honey, vinegar, orange juice concentrate, mustard and salt. Add oil slowly, beating thoroughly with a hand beater until well blended. Stir in pecans and poppy seeds. Chill in pint jar with lid 2 hours. Shake well before serving (in a small pitcher or little bowl with a spoon in it).  Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

Thought for Memorial Day: A special time to honor our men and women, who gave their lives for us that we may be a free nation. Fly our flag proudly.

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