STRAWBERRIES IN RASPBERRY SAUCE

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2 quarts fresh Strawberries
1 pkg frozen raspberries, defrosted
3 tablespoons Kirsh Cherry Brandy or any other brand
1/3 cup of powdered sugar

heavy cream
powdered sugar

1. Wash strawberries and remove stem. Pat dry with a paper towel. Place in a glass or
clear bowl (if you have one).
2. Place the defrosted raspberries into a strainer and place over a separate bowl. With
the back of a tablespoon, pressing hard, squeeze the juice from the rasberries into the
bowl leaving the seeds in the strainer. This takes several turns of pressing the
tablespoon. Option- (I added some fresh raspberries to the frozen raspberries to
make more juice because I had them available.) When you feel you have squeezed
enough raspberries through the strainer, set aside the bowl of juice.
3. In a blender or food procesor, add the 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, Cherry Brandy and
raspberry juice. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour the Raspberry Sauce over the Strawberries and cover the bowl. Refrigerate for
3 hours or longer before serving.
5. When ready to serve the strawberries, prepare the whipped cream. In a separate
bowl, add heavy cream (about 8 ounces) and powdered sugar (about 1/4 cup). Beat
the cream and sugar until it becomes whipped cream. Serve immediately, with the
cream on the side in a separate bowl.
6. Enjoy – Strawberries and raspberries, a match made in heaven!

How many people serve fresh fruit when serving dessert? Many folks associate cake and ice cream with dessert, but there are also a lot of people who enjoy the natural sugars in ripe fruits and melons, especially in the summer. While I’m not a fan of fruit, it doesn’t mean that I won’t serve it to my family and friends.

Summer fruits such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are a huge hit with nearly everyone. My featured dessert is a simple dish to prepare and even adds that pop of color to dress up any table. But it’s the raspberry sauce that provides that something extra to the mix and gives you that winning dessert combo that everyone will ooh and ahh over. Who doesn’t love homemade fresh whipped cream anyway? A dollop of cream on top of strawberries in raspberry sauce is absolutely delectable!

This particular dish was served to my nieces and nephews at my Annual Niece and Nephew BBQ hosted by yours truly at the start of summer. I began this tradition a few years back because I wanted to re-create the fond memories my husband and I had of eating Sunday dinners with our aunts and uncles. This family tradition has gotten a bit lost over the years as family members moved further away from each other. Because our home is cozy (aka small) it’s more logical to host these get-togethers in the summer, so we can spread out on the deck, an area much bigger than my dining room. I look forward to spending this special time together with my nieces and nephews. Last year I wasn’t able to have the BBQ, and I thought with everyone’s busy lives no one would miss coming to our house. I was mistaken. My niece, Justine, made sure to let me know
that she indeed missed the Annual Niece and Nephew BBQ last year, and asked me very sweetly if I was going to do it this year. So, Justine, Eric, Brian, Jeanne Marie, Geoff, John, Caryn and Sean, I hope you enjoyed the Annual Niece and Nephew BBQ as much as Uncle Tom and I did. Get ready,
because I am already penciling you in on the calendar for next year!

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Lemon Bread

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1/3 cup of butter, softened
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Topping
1/ 8 cup sugar
juice of one lemon (1/ 4 cup)

1. Oven 350 degrees
2. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Add flour mixture along with milk to wet mixture. Fold in lemon rind and walnuts.
5. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
6. Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool and remove from pan while still warm.
7. Poke some holes on top of bread with a fork. Mix topping of sugar and lemon juice. Spread over top of bread. Let stand overnight before slicing. (But we can’t wait in my house that long.)
ENJOY – Sweet and sour lemon loaf……

Creamy Lemon Jell-O Mold

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2 – 3 ounce boxes of lemon Jell-O
3 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups half and half
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Dissolve Jell-O and sugar with boiling water in a medium size bowl until completely blended.
2. Stir in half and half, vanilla and sour cream.
3. Beat all ingredients until smooth.
4. Pour into 1 large or 2 small molds.
5. Chill until firm (overnight or for about 6 hours prior to serving).
6. ENJOY – Lemony, light and very refreshing, spells J-E-L-L-O

Have I told you before how some dishes taste even better 25 years later? If not, I am telling you now. This Creamy Lemon Jell-O dessert recipe was so old it had been typed by me on a typewriter, pre-computer days.

I love to revisit recipes that I loved long ago as much as I love creating new ones. I am not positive who gave this recipe to me, but I think it was Laurie, my friend and neighbor. Sometimes, you just have a craving for something and you have to feed that craving and this time, I was craving this lemon dessert.

I have two very wide, large binders that hold all of my typed recipes, separated alphabetically. The binders are my bibles. It took a long time to organize all the recipes I have written over the years and store them in these binders. If you go to my Banana Bread recipe in the binder, I literally have hand written in, on alternate pages, how to make Banana Bread using various amounts of bananas. Whether it is 1 or 10 bananas, I have the recipe altered on those pages surrounding the original recipe which calls for 2 bananas. All the little notes that cooks make on existing recipes are what can make or break a great recipe. The binders are like gold to me, because I couldn’t replace a lifetime of those cooking notes added to my recipes.

An old recipe is like an old letter, when reading it, a memory of a time and place is remembered and relived all over again and enjoyed!

APPLE CRISP

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4 to 7 apples (combine different apples, such as macintosh, granny smith, cortlandt, etc.)

cinammon

1 cup flour
1 egg
1 bar margarine, melted
1 / 2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Oven to 375 to 400 degrees.
2. Peel and slice apples. In a large pie oven dish, cover the bottom with a single layer of apple slices. Sprinkle cinnamon over slices. Repeat with another layer of apples higher than the pie dish and sprinkle cinnamon.
3. In a medium sauce pan, melt margarine. Add flour, sugar, vanilla, and egg. Mix well. Pour over the apples.
4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Serves 6 to 8. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of warm apple crisp is a great addition to an already delicious dessert!
5. ENJOY! – Apples served everyday will keep the doctor away!

Fall in New York is all about the apples! It’s apple season in our great state, and how wonderful it is to have access to so many varieties. Everyone seems to have a favorite, whether it is tart, sweet, crisp, or sour, there’s something for everyone. Are you aware that New York is one of the top 5 apple-producing states in the US and that it’s our official state fruit?

So, I want to offer you an easy recipe that will appeal to everyone….it’s Apple Crisp. The secret to remembering this recipe is to think of the number 1, as in 1 bar of margarine, 1 cup of flour and so on … except, of course, for the sugar. My friend, Laurie, gave the recipe to me. The sugar was originally 1 cup and I reduced it to ½ cup. No one even noticed. They thought it was perfect. Feel free to use any kind of apple for this recipe.

My kitchen is filled with an abundance of apples during this time of year. I find apple crisp to be a very quick and simple recipe to whip up after working all day or to serve guests at the last minute. All the ingredients are handy and ready.

So take yourself to the supermarket, farmer’s market, or the nearest farm and think about how great your kitchen’s going to smell when you make your own Apple Crisp!

FRUIT DIP


1 8-ounce cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons sugar
1 / 2 of a 6 ounce contained of frozen orange juice
1 1/ 2 teaspoons orange rind from one orange
1 / 2 cup of marshmallow cream

1. Softened cream cheese in a medium bowl. With a mixer, whip cream cheese and add sugar, continue to whip together. Add marshmallow cream and frozen orange juice, mix on a low speed.
2. Peel and wash orange, and then use a rind peeler or a knife and scrape the rind off the orange into the cream cheese bowl. Save a little bit of orange rind to decorate or use colored sugar or sprinkles.
3. Chill covered until serving. Serve with fresh, clean, sliced fruit.
4. ENJOY! – Dip in and enjoy!

I don’t like fruit. There, I said it! But it’s okay; I do eat all my vegetables. This is not a crime, however, but people think I am a freak. People think I am so strange because I don’t eat fruit. Even my own brother would introduce me to people by saying, “This is my sister, Mariann, and she doesn’t eat fruit.” Who cares? Well, my mother and father did. My mother said I didn’t even eat baby food jars of fruit. They tried to force me to try all kinds of fruit, and I fought back furiously. After one episode of a forced fruit session, I got sick all over the living room carpet. They finally gave up. The doctor said I would be fine as long as I ate my veggies. Well, let’s fast forward to now. I make great apple and peach pies, lemon mousse, strawberries in raspberry sauce, and so on. I have others perform the taste test for me because I never liked the taste of fruit, as explained above. And maybe it has just been too long without my tasting any fruits to try now!

Anyway, I do like this one fruit dip, and I like to dip cookies in it instead of dipping fruit. This dip tastes like a creamsicle pop from the ice cream trucks that drove around when I was a kid. For those of you who do not know what a creamsicle is, let me explain. It is vanilla ice cream covered in orange sherbet. It is icy on the outside and creamy on the inside; therefore, the name creamsicle. On a hot summer day, this is one of the most refreshing treats to have.

Fruit can be a very creative dessert. The colors, shapes and textures are so interesting and different. Whenever a guest who does not enjoy cooking wants to bring over a dessert, I always suggest a fruit platter. They are happy they’re not cooking, and I am happy that I have one less thing to do!

A few years back, my sister-in-law was having a Communion party for her daughter in a restaurant. I offered to help, thinking that since the party was being held in a restaurant, I would have little to do. Well, she asked if I could make a fruit basket using a watermelon. I had seen this before but never made one. I said “Sure, how hard could this be?” given that it is just cut-up fruit. Never again! This turned out to be so expensive and so much work. I was smart enough to recruit two of my friends to help me. To make this watermelon fruit basket, start with a whole watermelon and carve the top half into a basket with a handle. Then scoop with a melon baller utensil to make all the pieces of watermelon into small shaped balls. I also used cantaloupe and honeydew melons in addition to the watermelon and shaped them into small balls. To fill up this tremendous watermelon basket takes a lot of fruit balls. My dining room consisted of three women cutting melons and shaping fruit balls. The table was a sticky, fruity mess. I never thought we would finish. Even with the three of us working together, it took about two hours to complete this task. I brought my watermelon basket to the restaurant and my sister-in-law really appreciated it. I nicely informed her to enjoy it because this was my first and last watermelon basket.

Trust me in serving fruit; a fruit platter served with fruit dip is just as appealing as a watermelon fruit basket and also just as delicious.