Springtime Recipes Category

Table of Contents

  1. Contents of Springtime Recipes
    1. EASTER (RECIPES AND IDEAS for a meaningful, joy-filled...)

Springtime Recipes

Fresh and delicious!

Herbed Lemon Chicken

 

This simple recipe, courtesy of my friend Stephanie, receives a four star rating! This recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled and extra batches frozen in the marinade for future meals.

3 lb chicken, cut-up or parts of chicken to equal 3 lbs.
4 medium lemons, cut in wedges
1/2 cup olive oil
9 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne (more or less to taste)

Squeeze the juice from the lemons into a large re-sealable plastic bag - leave the lemon wedges in the bag. Add oil, garlic, basil, thyme, salt and knead the bag to mix ingredients. Add skinned chicken. Seal bag, squeezing out air. Refrigerate 24 hours, turn frequently. Grill or broil chicken, turning every 10-15 minutes until juices run clear. 4 servings.

Urban Homemaker

BASIC SALSA

Basic Salsa can be made using the following recipe. Add other spices to create your own "signature recipe"

14 pounds of tomatoes (scalded and peeled and cut-up)
5 cups of onions (chopped)
10 green peppers (chopped)
2 ounces or more jalapeno peppers (chopped)
1 cup vinegar
1/ 2 cup brown sugar
1/ 4 cup salt
2 teaspoons oregano flakes
1 Cup chopped cilantro, optional
3 teaspoon cumin
3 teaspoons chili power
1 teaspoon garlic powder
10 teaspoons of Clear-Jel

 

Urban Homemaker

Broccoli Marinade

Marinade:
1 C. apple cider vinegar
1 TB fructose
1 TB dill weed
1/2 TB salt
1 TB black ground pepper
1-2 tsp garlic powder
1 C. safflower oil
1 large or 2 medium broccoli heads, cut into florettes

Whisk or blend marinade ingredients and pour over broccoli florettes. Marinate for 12-24 hours.
Urban Homemaker

Cauliflower-Potato Soup

Cauliflower Potato Soup

This soup is delicious. You may cut both the butter and cream cheese from the original recipe in half to lower the fat content. It is still delicious and satisfying. This soup has become a family favorite anytime of year.

4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups water
2 cups milk or alternative
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 TB Spike (seasoning usually found in grocery stores)
1 - 8oz. package cream cheese (may halve)
1/4 cup butter

In a large pot, combine the first 8 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes**, stirring occasionally. Slightly mash mixture with potato masher in pan. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Simmer for 10 minutes uncovered.

**To save time and nutrients I combine these ingredients into my Duromatic pressure cooker and cook on the second ring for 6-8 minutes. To reduce pressure quickly put the covered pan in the sink and run cold water over it and continue according to the recipe.

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COOKING WITH CHILDREN - QUICK & HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS

COOKING WITH CHILDREN - FUN AND HEALTHY SNACKS
MARILYN'S FAMOUS FRUIT LEATHER

1 Cup fruit (fresh or canned) strawberries, apricots, and peaches are my favorites
1 large apple, peeled
1 Cup. vanilla or strawberry yogurt

Blend the above ingredients in your blender for about one minute or until pureed. Taste the puree and add honey or spices such as cinnamon to taste. (Remember that drying concentrates flavors). Pour puree onto lightly greased fruit leather inserts, or saran covered cookie sheets. Dehydrate overnight at 115 degrees or in a low oven with the door ajar. Leather is ready when no wet places remain. Wrap the leather in saran and freeze. Freeze fruit leather so it doesn't vanish too quickly. Make lots. Children and their friends will love this snack and beg for more.

NUTTY BUTTER BALLS
Dried fruits are concentrated in natural fruit sugar; nuts are high in fat. Yet dried fruits are high in minerals and nuts high in protein and essential fatty acids. To learn about what kinds of nuts and dried fruits are best to buy for good nutrtion, consult p. 11-12 of LUNCHES AND SNACKS by Sue Gregg.
This recipe from Sue Gregg, used by permission, is a family favorite.

1. Chop together in small pieces in blender or by hand:
1/2 Cup date dices
1/4 cup cashews
` 1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cups wheat germ, raw or toasted
1/4 cup rolled oats, uncooked
1/4 dried coconut, unsweeteneed, optional

2. In a large mixing blowl blend together thoroughly with a large mixing spoon:

3/4 cup peanut butter
2 TB honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup nonfact dry milk powder

3. Gradually mix chopped mixture into peanut butter mixture with large mixing spoon. When you can no longer mix easily with the spoon. Knead mixture well with your hands into a smooth ball.

4. Shape into walnut-size balls; refrigerate until firm on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Store in a plastic gag or covered plastic container and referigerate.

NUTRITION QUIZ: What nutrients are dried fruits and nuts especially h9igh in? What is an essential fatty acid (see p. 100)? Name the two important essential fatty acids. Why should dried fruits and nuts be eaten in small, rather than large, quantities? Why is it healthier to use unsulfured dried fruits (p.11)?

NACHO SNACK
Another family favoraite snack from Sue Greggs LUNCHES AND SNACKS.

SPECIAL TIP: Most taco chips are not made from whole corn. Look for chips made with stoneground cornmeal (this is whole corn), and, if possible, also with canola oil. Avoid chips made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil such as shortening, or coconut oil. Some chips are made with less salt. Look in supermarkets and health food stores.

Amount: 1 serving

Oven: 325 F - about 10 minutes

1. Top chips with cheese and salsa; heat in oven at 325 for about 10 minutes or until cheese melts:

1 oz (about 3/4 cup) taco chips or Corn Chips
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salsa, to taste
2.
Garnish with CHOPPED GREEN ONION, IF DESIRED.

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Snack Time!
by Leanne Ely

It's summer. They're home. They're whining and most of all,
they're constantly hungry. So what's a mom to do?

Feed 'em!

Kids need snacks, but not constant grazing. You need to make
sure the snacks are healthy and are going to do them some good,
nutritionally. Just giving them the junk that they clamor for
from watching too much TV is going to keep them eating
continually. It makes sense, if you think about it. When your
children (or you for that matter) don't get the nutrition
necessary, their bodies are still craving those nutrients and
will keep signaling that it's time to eat-even after downing a
bag of Doritos and drinking a whole liter of Pepsi. They might
be temporarily full-but never satisfied because the body was
never fed. See why good nutrition is so important?

So let's get a grip on this summertime food issue. Not having a
plan (as we well know!) is a recipe for disaster. You know how
to make a grocery list-how about adding some of these items on
your list this week?

Veggie Ranch. I think my son will eat anything with ranch
dressing on it. It's not my very favorite thing in the world
nutritionally, but if you blend it up with some non-fat cottage,
you've got a fairly decent dip. Add baby carrots, celery sticks,
broccoli flowerettes and even some cherry tomatoes and you have
a veggie platter they'll love. Keep your ready-to-go veggies
(separated in big plastic zip-top bags) and dip (in a container)
within easy reach and let that be your first answer when they
ask. Remind your children to pour their dip into their own bowls-
you just KNOW they're going to double dip!

Favor Fruit. Summer is fruit season. Snip some grapes from the
bunch and they have a great snack to go. A banana is a season-
less fruit and easy to grab, too. Watermelon is perfect this
time of year with the heat and everything-why not have it sliced
up and cold in the fridge, ready to go? Ditto that idea with any
melon. You might even make up a fruit salad of honeydew and
cantaloupe. My troops love this treat and grab the plastic bowl
and help themselves when it's in the fridge. And don't forget
the perennial favorite: apple slices dipped in peanut butter.

Pop up. I am a huge fan of popcorn. Lots of roughage (like your
grandma used to say) and a fun snack that won't take major bites
out of your budget, too. Use an air popper (way cheaper than the
microwave kind and none of those nasty hydrogenated fats either)
and add a teeny bit of butter. We also add a little grated
Romano cheese. My kids love this!

Nuts to you. I keep raw almonds in the fridge and will mix some
almonds with dried apricots. Talk about your fiber count-yee
haw! Plus the added bonus of all those nutrients. Great snack for
kids and adults alike!

Cheese Whiz! Not that icky stuff you squirt out on a cracker.
But string cheese and cheddar cubes, for starters. American
cheese--its more "product" than real cheese. For optimal
digestion, cheese should be aged over 60 days. That should be
enough to scare you away!

Urban Homemaker

Creamed New Potatoes and Peas

Creamed New Potatoes & Peas
"Enjoy the bounty of the Spring Garden!"

Makes 4 servings, double or triple as needed.

15-20 new potatoes (Or regular potatoes cut up)
1 onion, chopped
1-2 Cups baby spring peas or snow peas
1/2-1 tsp dill weed
1-2 cups chopped ham or cooked smoked sausage, optional

White Sauce (makes 2 cups)
4 TB butter or coconut oil
4 TB flour, whole grain preferred
2 Cups milk, or water, or leftover potato water
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook as many new potatoes (or regular potatoes) as needed to feed your family in a Duromatic pressure Cooker for about 5 minutes and allow the pressure to come down naturally. OR, boil the new potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, saute one chopped onion in 2 TB butter or olive oil. Set aside.

3. Prepare white sauce in a small sauce pan, by melting the butter, then stir in the flour and allow to bubble while stirring for about one minute. Gradually and slowly while stirring, add the liquid. Bring to a boil, and boil for one minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Combine the white sauce with the sauteed onion, cooked new potatoes, and 1-2 cups of baby spring peas or snow peas.

5. Add dill weed and adjust seasonings to taste.

6. Add chopped ham, or kielbasa type sausage to make this a more solid main dish.

Urban Homemaker

Easy No-Fail Yogurt

Easy No-Fail Yogurt If you use powdered milk, the yogurt will be especially fast, easy, and economical because you are able to skip the step which requires scalding the milk.
  • 1/4 C. cold water
  • 2 to 2-1/2 C. dry milk powder (or more for a firmer yogurt)
  • 1 T. or 1 envelope unflavored gelatin or Agar Agar. (opt.)
  • 1/2 C. plain yogurt or 2 - 5 gram packets of Yogourmet Freeze Dried Starter
  • 2 Qt. pure lukewarm water (110�F)
  • Sprinkle gelatin into cold water in a saucepan. When water is absorbed, bring mixture to a boil and stir into blended lukewarm water and milk mixture (about 110�F). Add yogurt or starter and blend until smooth. Pour into Yogourmet jar and incubate for 4 hours. After 4-6 hours the mixture should be set. Test with a spoon, rather than jiggling. Set yogurt should be refrigerated. This recipe will set more firmly as the yogurt cools. Add 1/4 to 1/2 C. sweetener or flavorings to mixture before incubation if you wish to make flavored yogurt. Try orange, lemon, almond, maple, or vanilla flavorings or combine yogurt with homemade jam. I have found that you may use yogurt from an old batch to start a new batch but the incubation time often takes longer because there are less live acidophilus organisms. This process of using yogurt as a starter may be repeated many times before fresh starter is needed.

    Urban Homemaker

    German Puff Pancake

     

    I like this easy recipe because it is so easy and versatile; perfect for a company breakfast. Powdered eggs can be substituted for fresh eggs and no one will be the wiser. If you have children age 6-12, this is an easy recipe to let them help you with.

    1 cup boiling water
    3/4 cup chopped dried apples, apricots, dates, raisins or currants
    4 TB butter
    6 eggs
    1-1/4 cup milk
    1/4 tsp. salt
    2 TB honey
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1-1/2 cup flour (freshly milled whole wheat pastry or kamut if available)
    Powdered sugar or berry jam or jelly, if desired

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour boiling water over dried fruit to cover. Let stand to soften about 5 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in the microwave in a 9X13 glass baking dish. Allow the butter to evenly cover the entire bottom of the baking dish. In a blender, combine eggs, milk, honey, salt, and vanilla. Blend lightly to mix. Add flour. Mix well in blender. With a wooden spoon stir in drained, chopped dried fruit. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until puffy and golden brown. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or serve with strawberry, raspberry, or your favorite jam or jelly. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings.

    Urban Homemaker

    Juicing: Tips For Preparing Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Juice

    1. Use organic herbs, fruits, and vegetables if at all possible OR grow your own. Conventional produce should be thoroughly washed or peeled.

    2. Carrots, cabbage, apples, and grapes have a high moisture content and therefore make a good juice "base".

    3. Vegetables such as tunrip, rutabaga, broccoli, parsely, onions and celery should be juiced in samll amounts because of their strong flavor.

    4. Fresh juice should be consumed right away in order to receive maximum health benefits from the live enzymes and nutrients.

    5. Limit green juices to approximately 1/4 of the juice because they are powerful drinks which can cause nausea nad headaches if you are unaccustomed to them.

    6. It is suggested that two glasses per day be consumed for health maintenance and four glasses per day to speed healing.

    For more information, please contact marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323 or visit us at www.urbanhomemaker.com/catalog

    Copyright 2004-all rights reserved.

    Urban Homemaker

    Lacto-Fermented Salsa

    LACTO-FERMENTED SALSA

    A Perfect way to use the bounty of the Fall Harvest of Tomatoes!  Makes one quart, double, or quadruple if you have lots of tomatoes and peppers.
    Does not require canning! Let your nose be your guide.

    4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
    2 small onions, finely chopped
    3/4 cup chopped chile pepper, hot or mild
    6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (optional)
    1 bunch cilantro, chopped
    1 tsp dried oregano
    juice of 2 lemons
    1 TB sea salt
    4 TB whey, if not available, use an additional 1 TB salt
    1/4 cup filtered water.

    Peel tomatoes, cut along the "equator" of the tomato, sqeeze out the seeds. Dice up tomatoes, and combine with all the other ingredients, and place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar. Press down lightly with a wooden pounder or large spoon, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the salsa mixture should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to cold storage. Make several jars if you have plenty of tomatoes, as this salsa is wonderful. The same Salsa can be made using canned tomatoes in the winter time.

    Urban Homemaker

    Quick Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe and Tips

    THIS WEEK'S 'Dinner on the Double' Quick Mediterranean Pasta Salad

    Here's what you need: Whole wheat rotini (or similar) pasta (about
    8 oz.), 1 can (about 14 oz.) artichoke hearts (drained and chopped),
    1 jar (about 7 oz.) roasted red peppers (drained and sliced), 1 small
    can sliced black olives, turkey pepperoni (about 4 oz.), fat-free or
    light Italian dressing, shredded parmesan cheese.

    To prepare: Cook and drain pasta, rinse with cold water. While pasta
    is cooking add remaining ingredients except cheese to large bowl.
    Add cooked pasta, toss well (with enough dressing to coat lightly).
    Serve either chilled or at room temperature. Sprinkle with cheese
    before serving.

    TRY SERVING WITH: Whole wheat rolls.

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Urban Homemaker

    Raised Bed Gardening by Lisa Vitello

        Since we were “suburb born” rookies when we first made our move to the country, we have gleaned from a lot of different resources to educate ourselves regarding the skills required to grow food.  What we often found ourselves doing was taking a little knowledge here and a little there and then practicing those ideas in our garden.  Some practices we have continued through the years and others we chucked.

         One of the really useful things we learned was the concept of intensive planting.  In his book How to Grow More Vegetables(than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine), author John Jeavons opened our eyes to the fact that one doesn’t have to necessarily follow the recommended spacing instructions on the seed packages.  By growing plants in a raised bed which has been prepared for optimum production, you truly can grow more than you ever thought possible.

         Jeavons champions the double dig method of prepared raised beds.  This involves digging out a 12” layer of soil, setting it aside, loosening another 12” layer beneath that, and then replacing the first layer, combining it with compost and other organic matter.  While this does indeed create an incredibly rich environment for plant growth, it is extremely labor intensive.  We tried it and quickly realized that to grow the large garden we envisioned would take more energy and time than either of us possessed.

         We came up with a compromise of sorts.  Guy built raised bed frames out of redwood, ranging in size from 6x4x12 to 20x4x8, depending on what we wanted to grow in them.  We placed these over ground that we had rototilled and amended with compost, fertilizer and other minerals such as green sand and bone meal.  We added store bought soil mix.  Our favorite brand here on the North Coast is Organic Gardener, produced on McClellan Mountain, just east of us.  Ask your local nursery what they would recommend for your area.

         Store bought planting mix can be expensive.  What we have done over the years is created a couple of new raised beds each season.  That way, it is not a huge expense all at once.  We also till up a large plot, adding steer manure and minerals, for our big crops like corn, green beans and tomatoes.

         Because we grow a very large garden, we try to start many of our plants from seed.  However, for a first time garden with just a couple of raised beds, purchasing starts won’t be too much of an expense.  While you are at the nursery, browse around for catalogs or brochures on local growing conditions.  Most nurseries will have these available.  These ought to give you a good idea of what grows well in your area and when to plant.  Don’t be afraid to ask nursery employees questions.  Most of them are there because they enjoy gardening and can be a gold mine of knowledge.

         Whether or not you have a lot of space to grow a garden – try starting out with just one 20x4x8’ raised bed.  You will be amazed at how much you will be able to reap from such a small space!  You can even grow quite a bit in smaller containers, like half whiskey barrels and large pots.

         Let’s take the example of that 20 foot bed.  Below is an illustration of what you might be able to plant in it: 
    You could allot three feet for the lettuce and other salad veggies, four feet each for the bush beans, zucchini and strawberries and another three foot section for the snap peas.  That leaves you with six inches of space between each section.

         The peas can be planted as seeds in the early spring.  Buy the type that will climb up poles rather than the bush variety.  That way, they will go up instead of spreading out and taking up too much room in your bed.  One quick and easy way to create a natural “trellis” for your climbing peas is to use cut branches from trees.  If you don’t have any, ask someone you know who has trees to trim.  They will probably be glad to get some of the cuttings off of their hands.

         The lettuce, green onions and other salad greens like parsley can be bought as starts and also planted in the early spring.  Spinach can be sown as seed right in the bed.  Strawberry plants can also be put in at this time.  Wait until later in the springtime to put in the green beans and zucchini as seeds.

         Remember, you can plant closer together than normally indicated on the seed package or plant information.  When plants grow closer together, the leaves from each plant touch the other ones, creating shade underneath.  Weeds cannot grow as profusely in that shade.  This works best if you plant in a triangle pattern, rather than the typical straight rows, as shown below:

        Therefore, if the lettuce planting instructions say 12 inches apart, place them eight inches apart instead.  If the seed instructions say to thin the seedlings so they are three inches apart, thin them two inches apart, and so on.  As long as you have prepared nutrient rich soil in that bed and fertilize the plants, they will do just fine.

         For those of you who are really short on space, you can still enjoy the pleasure of eating your own, homegrown food by planting a small salad garden in a half whiskey barrel.  These barrels are normally available at your local nursery, but I’ve seen them for sale in local classifieds and usually at a much lower price.  So it pays to check around.

         The most important thing to remember when planting in a barrel is that you must be sure to drill a couple of holes in the bottom for water drainage before you fill it with dirt.  These barrels were made to hold liquid and unless you give the water a way to drain, it will stay in the barrel and drown your plants.  Trust me; we learned this the hard way.

            Fill the barrel with planting soil, leaving about six inches of space at the top.  Sprinkle some all-purpose organic vegetable fertilizer over it and work it in a little.  For this mini-garden, we recommend one cherry tomato plant in the middle. Plant several varieties of lettuce around the cherry tomato, then green onions and herbs like parsley and cilantro around that.

         If you live in an area with very hot summers, be sure to look for lettuce varieties that resist bolting (going to seed).  Keep the lettuce, onions, and herbs going all summer long by cutting off what you want at the base rather than pulling out the entire plant.  New growth will come back again and again.

         Don’t wait for the perfect time or the ideal growing situation.  Just try planting some veggies in the ground somewhere and see what happens.  Our first garden was in the backyard of our Southern California tract home.  We had no idea what we were doing – just tilled up the grass and threw seeds in.  God blessed our fledgling efforts with a very bountiful garden that year and we have been hooked ever since.  We learn something new every growing season.    

    Editor's Note:
    Lisa Vitello, editor of New Harvest Homestead Newsletter, invites you to subscribe to her newsletter.  You will receive a complimentary copy of Breakfasts for Busy Moms - Kicking the Breakfast Cereal Habit, by Marilyn Moll for new subscriptions.  This is a $6.97 value.

    Lisa will speaking about gardening February 7, 2008 during our regularly scheduled free Continuing Education for Moms Seminar.  To receive contact details, email marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com.

                     
    Urban Homemaker

    Strawberry-Spinach Salad

    STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD


    This recipe has been adapted from SIMPLY IN SEASON, Recipes that celebrate fresh, local foods in the spirit of More-with-Less..has infinite variations. Strawberries and spinach are the only two requirements. Use whatever other ingredients you like and have on hand.

    4 or more Cups spinach or other mixed greens
    1 Cup straberries
    2 green onions, sliced
    1 small red onion (cut into thin rings)
    1 or more garlic, minced
    2 TB sunflower seeds (raw or toasted)
    1/2 Cup bacon pieces, crumbled
    1/2 Cup chopped walnuts or slivered almonds (toasted)
    1/2 Cup grated cheese or 1/4 Feta Cheese crumbled
    sliced cucumbers, optional
    avocado slices, optional
    1 cup cooked chopped chicken or turkey

    Assemble these ingredients as desired, attractively, mix and match ingredients. Add dressing, below.

    Balsamic Dressing:


    1/4 cup honey
    2 TB sesame seeds
    1 TB poppy seeds
    1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar (wine vinegar is fine)
    1/4 Cup olive oil
    dash of Worcestershire sauce
    salt and pepper to taste


    Combine ingredients in a jar with tight fitting lid and shake well.

    Urban Homemaker

    Time Saving Hints for Home Preservers

    ALWAYS MAKE SURE ALL EQUIPMENT IS ON HAND BEFORE STARTING. There is nothing worse than coming up short on lids or sugar, spices or some other needed ingredient once you get started in canning.

    STORE HAVESTED VEGETABLES in plastic bags and chill quickly if you are not going to get to them right away.

    TRAY FREEZE VEGETABLES - If you are faced with huge quantities of vegetables and not enough time, try tray freezing them. Wash the vege, dice and/or chop. Spread the veges out on cookie sheets and place in the coolest part of your freezer and allow to freeze. Once frozen, veges can be tossed into freezer bags and/or vacuum packed.

    TRAY FREEZE BERRIES - Whenever strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries come into season, I wash them in cold water, drain well in a collander and tray-feeze them on cookie sheets without sugar. When frozen solid, they go into freezer bags. Berries can be used later for jams, jellies, pies, puddings, smoothies, etc.

    APPLESAUCE - The fastest and easiest method of making applesauce is with a hand-cranked strainer. Apples need not be peeled or cored, just cooked until soft and pureed in the strainer.

    PUREES - Overripe, unblemished fruits can be frozen whole or sliced to make quick purees when defrosted. Fruit puree is perfect for smoothies, pancake and waffle toppings dressings for fruit salads, and other

    PUMPKINS AND SQUASH - will store well until late fall or early winter when you have more time for processing.

    HEAT SYRUPS FOR FRUITS - Try using a coffee maker pot to pour the syrup into the jars, instead of utilizing a laddle to save time and mess!

    FREEZING STRAWBERRIES - To keep strawberries from absorbing large amounts of water, hull the berry AFTER wasing.

    DEFROSTING BERRIES - Please frozen berries into a bowl, cover with sugar, and then cover the bowl, to minimize exposure to air and promote better color, texture, and flavor retention.

    If you decide to try out dehydrating and making your own healthy fruit leathers with no additives, you will be surprsied just how quickly these nourishing snacks will disappear. May I suggest you be sure to have plenty of fruit leather inserts or Teflex sheets on hand so you can make lots?

    MARILYN'S FAMOUS FRUIT LEATHER RECIPE

    This fruit leather is VERY easy to make and kids love it. A simple, nutritious snack!

    1 large apple, washed, quartered, and seeds removed (Skin removal is optional.)
    1 16 oz can of favorite canned fruit such as apricots OR 2 Cups Fresh Fruit of choice
    1 - 8 oz container of vanilla or favorite fruit flavored yogurt.

    Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until the mixture is pureed. This will make 3-4 cups of puree. LIghtly oil fruit leather tray or Teflex sheet. Pour mixture onto tray and dehydrate at 110 - 130 F or until the mixture becomes leathery with no wet pockets. (A warmed oven can also be used, with the door ajar.) Usually this will take overnight if dehydrating starts after dinner. Dehydrating time will vary based on how much puree is poured on the fruit leather tray, and local humidity conditions. When the leather is dry, remove it from the tray, wrap in cellophane, and ENJOY! This yummy treat won't last, so make several trays.

    This is a great treat for camping, hiking, car trips, and just plain snacking!

    For more information about preserving, I recommend the following resources:

    The Busy Person's Guide to Preserving Food - Easy Step by Step Instructions for Freezing, Drying, and Canning by Janet Chadwick. $14.95

    The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest - 150 Recipes for Freezing, Canning, Drying, and Pickling Fruits and Vegetables, by Carol W. Costenbader. $18.95

    How to Dry Foods - A Complete book on Dehydrating by Deanna Delong $15.95

    Stocking Up - The Third Edition of the Classic Preserving Guide by Carol Hupping and the Staff of the Rodale Food Center.$20.00

    Keeping the Harvest - Preserving Your Fruits, Vegetables, and herbs by nancy Chiofi & Gretchen Mead. $14.95

    For more information, contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323.

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    Urban Homemaker

    EASTER

    RECIPES AND IDEAS for a meaningful, joy-filled holiday.

    ADDING MEANING TO YOUR EASTER CELEBRATION

    Adding Meaning to Your Easter Celebration


    Making Jesus the center of your family's celebration can present a challenge when images of the Easter Bunny are so prevalent. Parents must take special measures to help kids understand that Jesus is the giver of Easter gifts-His love, His sacrificial death, the salvation we have through Him-not a big rabbit who hands out candy and colored eggs.

    Here are some ideas for putting the spiritual significance back into your Easter celebration.

    * Put a spiritual twist on the tradition of decorating Easter eggs. Before dying the hard-boiled eggs, use crayons to write an Easter message on each egg. Because the crayon wax keeps the dye from adhering in those spots, your "Jesus is Risen" and "Jesus Died for You" messages will show through clearly.


    * If your church does not celebrate Holy Week, attend Holy Week services at a church that does. Or celebrate each day as a family by reading passages of scripture that recount what each special day commemorates.


    * Attend an Easter cantata presented by a church other than the one your family normally attends. This allows family members to experience a celebration of Easter that is different than that to which they are accustomed.


    * As a family, choose a few craft projects that emphasis the meaning of Easter. Do an Internet search or check out books from the library for ideas. Use your completed projects to decorate your home for your family celebration.


    * Celebrate the Resurrection of Christ by doing the kinds of things Jesus came to earth to do. Extend God's love to others by visiting the elderly and sick, gathering up clothing to take to a homeless shelter, or making and delivering food baskets to families in need.


    * If you don't usually do so, attend a sunrise service so your family can experience a little of what Jesus' followers must have felt the morning they found the empty tomb. Afterwards, enjoy a big family breakfast in celebration of the Risen Lord.


    * Do some research on how the Resurrection is celebrated in other cultures. Turn the Easter celebration into a learning experience by enjoying traditional Easter foods and activities from another country.


    * Many churches make Easter crosses by attaching real flowers in some fashion to a wooden cross to symbolize the new life brought to us through Jesus' death. Make your own family Easter cross by cutting out a large cross from brown construction paper. Let the children use construction paper, markers, crayons and paint to create flowers to decorate it.


    BYLINE:
    Nancy Twigg is a Christian speaker and author who loves inspiring others to live more simply. Adapted from Nancy's book, Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions.

    Bunnies and Ham and Eggs, Oh My!

    Bunnies and Ham and Eggs, Oh My!
    by Tawra Kellam
    http://www.livingonadime.com/

                It’s almost that time of year again. You’re standing, dumbfounded, in front of a mound of hard boiled eggs, sliced ham and chocolate Easter bunnies. You wonder “what am I going to do with 6 dozen eggs, 6 lbs. of ham and 25 chocolate bunnies”.  The stress of it is almost enough to send you to bed for a week--or at least tear most of your hair out. Here are a few ideas and recipes from www.LivingOnADime.com to help you avoid both of those.

                Leftover Bunnies: Take a rolling pin to them and crush the life out of them. Then use the crumbs to sprinkle on ice cream, use in milk shakes, stir a few in a mug of hot chocolate, use in place of chocolate chips for making cookies or melt for dipping fruit and candy.

                Leftover Ham: Save bone for bean or split pea soup. Make ham salad, chef salad or ham sandwiches. Chop and freeze to use in: potato salad, scrambled eggs, omelets, to top baked potatoes, for potato soup, scalloped potatoes, au gratin potatoes, pasties or pizza- with pineapple.

    Top tortilla with ham, salsa, and cheddar cheese and warm, for hot ham and cheese sandwiches.

                Leftover Eggs: Make potato salad, tuna salad, pasta salad, chef salad, spinach salad with eggs and bacon, deviled eggs, golden morning sunshine or fill tomatoes with egg salad.


    Golden Morning Sunshine

    2 cups white sauce

    4 eggs, hard boiled and chopped

    Make white sauce. Once the white sauce has thickened, add eggs.  Serve on toast.


    White Sauce

    ¼ cup dry milk

    2 Tbsp. flour

    dash salt

    1 cup cold water

    1 Tbsp. margarine

    In a covered jar, combine dry milk, flour and salt and mix well.  Add water.  Shake until all the ingredients are dissolved. Melt margarine in a 1 quart sauce pan. Stir in flour-milk mixture and cook over low heat until mixture thickens and starts to bubble.  Keep stirring until thickened completely.

    Tawra Kellam is the editor of DiningonaDime.com

    More Easter Themed Activities:

    1. To learn to dye Easter eggs with natural colors, CLICK HERE.

    2. Another fun Resurrection project is Resurrection Cookies.

    3. Or make Hot Cross Buns.

    4. More Ideas for Adding Meaning to your Easter Celebration.

    CHALLAH - Traditional Easter Bread

    Challah

    Challah is traditionally served at Easter time or for the Sabbath meal anytime, according to author Martha Zimmerman in her book Celebrate the Feasts.

    2 TB Saf yeast
    3/4 cup warm water
    3/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup butter
    2 TB honey
    2 tsp. salt
    4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour or 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 bread flour
    2 whole eggs
    1 egg yolk (reserved for glaze)
    1 TB poppy seeds

    Mix 3/4 cup warm water, 2 eggs and yeast in mixer bowl. Stir in 2 cups flour, beat well, and allow the mixture to sponge (bubble up) for about 15 minutes or more. Meanwhile, heat milk, butter, honey, until the butter melts. Cool to lukewarm. Add these ingredients to the "sponge", add the salt, and stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until the dough is smooth, and elastic but not dry; about 7 -10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball.

    Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Turn once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about one hour. A finger pressed into the dough will leave an imprint when the dough has risen enough. Punch the dough down, divide into thirds. Roll each third into an 18-inch strand. Line up the three stands one inch apart on a large, greased baking sheet. Braid loosely, beginning in center and working toward ends. Pinch ends together and tuck under.

    Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes. Brush with egg yolk that has been beaten with one TB of water and sprinkle poppy seeds over the egg wash. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven 35-45 minutes.This recipe makes one large braid or two small braids. Recipe can be doubled of tripled if you have a heavy duty mixer. This recipe can also be preapred as is, in a bread machine on the dough cycle and then shaped by hand.

    For more more information contact marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323.

    www.urbanhomemaker.com

    Easter Cookies with Bible Lesson

    Easter Cookies

    To be made the evening before Easter. My daughter did this in her Sunday School Class

    and really enjoyed the taste, and remembered most of the symbolism.

    You need:
    1c. whole pecans
    1 tsp. vinegar
    3 egg whites
    pinch salt
    1c. sugar
    zipper baggie
    wooden spoon
    tape
    Bible
    Preheat oven to 300.

    Instructions:

    Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden
    spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested He
    was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
    Read John 19:1-3

    Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.
    Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to
    drink.
    Read John 19:28-30

    Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His
    life to give us life.
    Read John 10:10-11

    Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush
    the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by
    Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
    Read Luke 23:27

    So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1c. sugar. Explain that
    the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He
    wants us to know and belong to Him.
    Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16

    Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are
    formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God' s eyes of
    those whose
    sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
    Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

    Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons (you don't want them too big or it
    won't work, so I'm told) onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that
    each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.
    Read Matt. 27:57-60.

    Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give
    each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb
    was sealed.
    Read Matt. 27:65-66. GO TO BED!

    Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.
    Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
    Read John 16:20 and 22.

    On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.
    Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the
    first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
    Read Matt. 28:1-9

    Cookies can be left on a very very low temp..like 250 degrees. and be ready
    in a couple of hours...when surface of cookie looks dry and cracked....they
    are ready to eat!!!!!

    These cookies are quite sweet but tasty!


    HOT CROSS BUNS

    HOT CROSS BUNS

    Remember the children's nursery rhyme that goes as follows?

    Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
    One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns
    If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
    One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns

    Hot cross buns were sold in the street to the cry of "Hot cross buns!" around the period in English history dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth century.

    A hot cross bun is a type of sweet spiced bun made with currants and leavened with yeast. It has a cross on the top which might be made in a variety of ways. Using confectioner's frosting, is the most common way.

    According to one source, hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of Christ and the resurrection. Have fun with the children and enjoy the process of being together in the kitchen. Here's my recipe for the buns:

    Hot Cross Buns

    2/3 cup dried currants
    3-1/2 to 4 cups whole wheat flour (or half bread flour and half whole wheat
    2 TB yeast
    1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
    3/4 cup milk
    1/2 cup cooking oil
    1/3 cup sugar or honey
    1 tsp salt
    3 eggs
    1 slightly beaten egg white
    Frosting (recipe follows)

    Cover currants with very hot water. Let stand about 10 minutes or up to one hour at room temperature. Drain well. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and cinnamon. Heat milk, oil, sugar or honey, and salt until warm (115 to 120�). Add to the dry mixture. Allow to sponge for about 15 minutes if time allows. Add eggs, one at a time. By hand or mixer, stir in currants and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until the gluten is developed by mixer or on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6-10 minutes.

    Shape into ball. Place in greased bowl. Turn once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch down. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

    Divide into 18 pieces. Form smooth balls. Place on greased baking sheet 1-1/2 inches apart. Cover; let rise until double, 30 to 45 minutes. Cut shallow cross in each. Brush tops with egg white. Bake in preheated 375� oven 12 -15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet. Use confectioner's Frosting to make a "cross" on the bun.

    Confectioner's Frosting:

    2 TB milk
    1 cup sifted powdered sugar
    1/2 tsp. vanilla

    Combine these ingredients together and add milk or water as needed to get a good pouring consistency for the frosting. Place the frosting in a small zip-lock sandwich baggie, clip the corner and use the baggie to squeeze the frosting over the cooled buns in a cross shape. Small children will enjoy this process even if it gets a little messy!

    More Easter Themed Activities:

    1. To learn to dye Easter eggs with natural colors, CLICK HERE.

    2. Another fun Resurrection project is Resurrection Cookies.

    A Beginner's Guide  to Baking Bread  ebook by Marilyn Moll offers step-by-step instructions for getting started with baking yeast breads.

    Click Here to purchase this instantly downloadable ebook for $9.95.

    Learn how to:

    * How to Select Ingredients
    * Selecting a Grain Mill
    * Selecting A Mixer

    * Step-by-Step Mixing Instructions
    * How to Develop the Gluten

    * Tips for the Best Bread
    * Lots of Bread and Roll Recipes
    * Troubleshooting Guide
    * The Two-Stage Process

     Item #6059    $9.95

    Click Here to purchase this ebook for $9.95.


    Natural Easter Egg Dyes

    If you would like to try dying eggs naturally, try the following:  by Tawra Kellam

    ~Yellow-- yellow onion skins, turmeric (½ tsp. per cup water) celery leaves           

    ~Orange--any yellow dye plus beet juice

    ~Red--beets, paprika, red onion skins

    ~Pink -cranberry juice

    ~Blue--blackberries, grape juice concentrate, red cabbage

    ~Brown--black tea, white oak, juniper berry, coffee, barberry

    ~Light purple--blackberries, grapes, violets

    ~Green--alfalfa, spinach, kale, violet blossom plus ¼ tsp. baking soda, tansy, nettle, chervil, sorrel, parsley, carrot tops, beet tops or dip yellow egg in blue dye

    Hard boil eggs with 1 tsp. vinegar in the water.  Place dying ingredients in  non-aluminum pans, cover with water and boil 5 minutes to 1 hour until desired color is achieved.  Use enough material to make at least 1 cup dye. Crush ingredients as they boil to extract as much dye as possible. Strain the dye. Most dyes should be used hot. Let each egg sit in the dye until it reaches the desired color. Some dyes will take longer than others to make the desired colored on the egg.  Remove the egg and let dry.
     

    Glitter Eggs- Place 1 tablespoon each of glue and water in a cup. Stir the mixture and then paint the eggs with it. Sprinkle with glitter. This can also add sparkle to already dyed eggs!

     Crepe Paper Eggs- Wet a white or dyed egg. Dab torn pieces of colored tissue paper or pieces of pretty colored napkins on the eggs. When the paper dries, the paper falls off and leaves the color behind on the egg.

    Decoupaged eggs - Tear small pieces of wrapping paper, napkins, stickers, or clip art. Mix equal amounts of glue and water. Paint egg with glue mixture. Place paper on top and then cover with more glue mixture. Let dry. 

    Spotted Eggs- Place 1 tsp. of cooking oil in dye. Dip the egg. The oil will cause the dye to make an irregular pattern on the egg.

    Waxed Eggs- Dip a portion of the eggs in melted paraffin or candle wax. Then dip them in the dye. Remove from dye. Dry and peel off the wax. The egg will be white on one half and colored on the other half. You can also dip in dye before waxing to get two colors.

    Hollow Eggs- Poke a hole in one end of an egg with a very small needle. Poke another slightly larger hole in the other end. Then blow on the small end and the egg will come out the other side. Decorate as desired.

    Tawra Kellam is the author of the frugal cookbook Dining On A Dime: Eat Better, Spend Less. For more free tips and recipes visit her web site at http://www.LivingOnADime.com/

    More Easter Themed Activities:

    To learn to dye Easter eggs with natural colors, CLICK HERE.

    Another fun Resurrection project is Resurrection Cookies.

    Or make Hot Cross Buns.

    More Ideas for Adding Meaning to your Easter Celebration.

    PASSOVER SEDER RECIPES

    Matzah Kugle
    This dish is simply delicious. It can be made ahead and refrigerated. Leftovers are welcome at our house!

    6 pieces of Matzah
    1 dozen eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp salt
    1 cup raisins
    8 grated apples (tart ones are best)
    grated rind of 1 orange
    1/2 cup melted butter
    1 cup chopped almonds

    Crumble pieces of Matzah into water and soak until soft (do not drown!); squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands. Beat the eggs. Add sugar, salt, and cinnamon, beating till well blended. Stir crumbled matzahs, raisins, almonds, apples, and orange rind into the egg mixture. Turn it all into a well-greased 9 X 13 pan. Sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar on top and pour the melted butter on top of that. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, until firm and nicely brown.

    Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls

    Chicken Soup Stock

    Start with a 4-5 pound chicken or use the back and the insides of the chickens you might be serving.

    3 quarts of water
    2 onions,
    3 carrots
    2 pieces of celery, stalks, and tops
    1 TB salt
    Several good shakes of garlic powder
    1/8 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp. dill weed

    Clean the chicken thoroughly; clean and cut up the vegetables. Add all of the ingredients to the water and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat. Simmer for 2 hours. Pour the soup through a colander, and refrigerate broth for 2-3 hours, until the fat forms a layer at the top. Save the carrots aside. Remove the layer of fat and return the broth (without the meat) and carrots to the pot to reheat. This will boil down to about 2- 2 1/2 quarts of soup. If you want to stretch it a little, add more water and a few chicken bouillon cubes (when n one is looking). The chicken meat should be cut up and used for salad or chicken casserole recipes.

    Matzah Balls (a.k.a. Knaidlekh)

    1 Cup Matzah meal
    1/2 cup water
    1/3 cup oil
    4 eggs
    1 tsp. salt
    dash of pepper

    Beat the eggs, add water, oil, salt, and pepper to the eggs; mix well. Add the Matzah meal and stir thorougly. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Bring a pot of slightly salted water to a rolling boil. Form the Matzah meal mixture into 1 " size balls and drop (gently, please) into the broth. First they sink, but then they should rise to the top. Cook 20 minutes. You may set these aside and later add them to the soup, just before serving. Makes about 30 -1" balls.

    Resurrection Eggs


    There are several ways to use the plastic Easter eggs with "props" to teach the Easter Story to young children..

    A.  You can summarize the story using the "article" in each egg as a prop as you go.

    B.  Or, you can also read a book and pause using the article in each egg as a prop as you read, Benjamin’s Box  by Melody Carlson.  It is written so it can be used along with the Resurrection Eggs.

    C.  Tell or read the Easter story. Have the children open the eggs and use as props.

    To make your own Resurrection Eggs:

    #1 – Bread or small cracker pieces – For the last meal Jesus ate with His friends (Passover) Mark 14:22 or Luke 22:14

    #2 – Rooster (feather) – Jesus predicted that Peter would lie three different times and say he didn’t know Jesus by the time the rooster crowed. – Matthew 26:33

    #3 – 3 silver dimes - Judas betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver money. Luke 22:3-5, Luke 22:47-52


    #4 – Thorns – People were mad that Jesus said He was the Son of God, so they made a crown of pointy thorns to put on His head – Matthew 27:29-31 and Mark 15:17

    #5 – Nails – Jesus was nailed to a cross. They left Him hanging there until He died, even though He hadn’t done anything wrong. Matthew 27:31 and Luke 23:33 and Luke 23:40-41

    #6 – The Cross -  They placed His cross on a hill between two other men who were criminals.

    #7 – Dice – W
    hen the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and played a game to decide who would get his clothes – John 19:23-24

    #8 – Spear – Use a toothpick to symbolize that one of the soldiers pierced Jesus side.

    #9 – White cloth –(Use cheesecloth or other small scrap) After Jesus died, His friends wrapped Him up with cloth and lay Him in a special cave, a tomb. Luke 23:53 and Matthew 27:57-60

    #10 – Cinnamon Sticks – Three women brought special spices to anoint Jesus body. Mark 16:1

    #11 – Stone (small pebble) – The people who had kidded Jesus put a large rock over the mouth of the tomb, to make sure that no one could get Jesus out. Matthew 27: 62-65 and Matthew 28:66

    #12 – Empty!! – Three days later, the huge rock was moved and Jesus was gone from the tomb. An angel said He was alive again! This day is what we celebrate on Easter Sunday because Jesus was raised to life again and lives today!  Luke 24:3, 6 and Matthew 28:2-6

    More Easter Themed Activities:

    To learn to dye Easter eggs with natural colors, CLICK HERE.

    Another fun Resurrection project is Resurrection Cookies.

    Or make Hot Cross Buns.

    More Ideas for Adding Meaning to your Easter Celebration.
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