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#fruitsveggiesandfreedom : Eggplant Bruschetta with House-Roasted Peppers

We are excited to introduce you to our third blogger in the #fruitsveggiesandfreedom series – Christine Pittman of Cook the Story Blog. While Christine doesn’t hail from the state of Georgia she does however reside in one of our neighboring states, Florida. Her passion for fruit and vegetables runs deep as she is a brand ambassador for several regional and national brands including Produce for Kids. Christine’s Pinterest Board titled “Eat Your Veggies” is named appropriately for what she enjoys to write about most. We are honored that she wanted to come on board with us and share a very creative twist on traditional bruschetta using in-season eggplant. 

**Christine has received compensation for her time and efforts in creating this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are Christine’s.


Isn’t summertime just plain great? We had a party for the 4th of July this year. It was a blast to sit out in the sun (blast, as in blast-of-heat, yowzers!) with friends and watch our kids splash away in the pool. There were tons of fireworks in the evening and everyone had a really great time.

The way we made this party easy on ourselves was to ask our friends to each bring some food to share with everyone. We grilled up some ribs and chicken and left the rest to luck. And lucky we were! Our friends came through and brought all kinds of goodies. What I loved about it was how many fresh items, bursting with summer’s fruits and veggies, found their way into my friends’ dishes. Good job you guys!

One of our friends brought an interesting bruschetta-type mixture. I love that kind of thing piled onto toasted bread. But, as I was eating it and gushing over all the fresh veggies on the table, I started wondering if the bread was necessary. Could something else stand in for it? A vegetable, perhaps?

The idea for grilled eggplant as a bruschetta base (or as the base for any canapé) was born.

For this recipe, you cut the eggplant fairly thick, around ¾-inch. That’s so they don’t end up limp and mushy after cooking them. You need them to hold their shape so you can pick them up and smoosh them into your mouth.

You brush the eggplant slices with olive oil on both sides, season with salt and pepper and then grill them for 3 to 4 minutes per side, spinning them by 90 degrees halfway through each time to get those nice hashtag grill marks.

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Then you let those cool while you get your topping ready.

You can do any kind of bruschetta-type topping. Instead of using the traditional tomatoes here, we decided to roast our own red bell peppers and use those. We did ours under the broiler. You put them on a pan really close to the heat source.

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Then you let those cool while you get your topping ready.

You can do any kind of bruschetta-type topping. Instead of using the traditional tomatoes here, we decided to roast our own red bell peppers and use those. We did ours under the broiler. You put them on a pan really close to the heat source.

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Peel those peppers. It’s easiest to do in a bowl of water. The skins come off easier and the black bits wash away. Note that if some skin doesn’t come off or if some black bits remain, that’s ok.

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Once you have your peppers peeled, dice them. Mix with some chopped basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Then pile it onto the eggplant rounds.

They’re good to go just like that. But I was in an indulgent mood. Whap! In comes burrata on top of each one. It’s basically fresh mozzarella that’s been stuffed with cream. Yes, really. It’s mild and oozing and the creaminess goes so well with the fresh vegetables. You’re going to just plain love it all.

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Enjoy the rest of your summer!

-Christine


Recipe:

Recipe time: 35 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Coarse black pepper
  • 5 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 ball of burrata cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat broiler and adjust oven rack so that it is as close to heat source as possible. Put bell peppers on a sturdy baking sheet and under the broiler for 15-20 minutes, turning peppers over every few minutes until they are blackened all over the outsides.
  2. Put peppers in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, trim ends off eggplant and slice into 6 ¾-inch slices. Brush each side of each slice of eggplant with ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle each side with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper.
  4. Preheat grill to medium. Add eggplant slices. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side, spinning halfway through on each side to get hashtag grill marks. Remove from grill and allow to cool.
  5. Put peppers is a small bowl with about 1 cup of water. Use fingers to remove peel, letting the water help to wash away the black specks. It’s ok if some bits of peel and flakes of black remain.
  6. In a medium bowl combine peppers with basil, garlic, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of coarse black pepper. Pile mixture onto the eggplant rounds. Cut burrata into 6 pieces and use a spoon to scoop each one and it onto a mound of red pepper.

#fruitsveggiesandfreedom : Grilled Veggie Pizza

#1

Well its time for another guest blog post to celebrate #fruitsveggiesandfreedom! This week we are thrilled to have Jenna Braddock, RDN share an original recipe with us this week. Jenna promotes healthy lifestyles through her blog, Make Healthy Easy where you will find real life strategies for better health and doable and delicious recipes like this Grilled Veggie Pizza! Jenna is also active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest sharing her healthy lifestyle antics including her life as a mom to two boys and wife to a football coach.

**Jenna has received compensation for her time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are Jenna’s.


Summer veggies are the star of this simple and delicious Grilled Veggie Pizza recipe. If you’ve never grilled pizza then it’s time to try! THIS is how you can make pizza light and healthy!

Team Braddock loves us some pizza. In fact, if you asked Jackson and Ben, they would confirm that pizza is their favorite food, second only to “ham and cheese”.

Thank you to the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association for sponsoring this post on Summer Veggie Pizza. I was compensated to create this recipe and write this post.

Since we have a sincere love of pizza I want to be able to enjoy it on a weekly basis. See, our very favorite pizza is Mellow Mushroom, buuuttt their pizza is pretty indulgent. It’s not the kind of pizza we can eat all the time and still be the healthy people we want to be. Plus, I find that having it only occasionally makes it tastes so much better.

How to make healthy pizza

So instead we have an almost weekly pizza night at home — homemade style.

Here’s how we do it:

  1. I buy pre-made dough from our grocery store. It’s just easy. I do make it from scratch from time to time, which is also pretty easy but takes time.
  2. I make my own pizza sauce to control sodium. It’s really easy and I make a big batch of it to use on about 5-6 pizzas. I’ve been working on a recipe to share with you so stay tuned for that.
  3. We always add lots of fruits and veggies like peppers, pineapple, tomatoes, olives, onions, garlic, fresh basil and more. It’s fun to come up with new combos when we feel adventurous.
  4. I don’t load it up with cheese. Sure, pizza tastes great with a super thick layer of cheese, but you don’t have to have that much to still taste good.
  5. We always have a side salad with our pizza. It’s usually something very simple but gets the job done. Our rule is you have to eat some salad before you go for seconds on pizza.

All these steps help us be able to enjoy pizza at home and make it more reasonable, even healthy! Some nights we throw a blanket on the floor of the living room and watch a movie while we eat. Everyone seems to love those nights just a bit more.

The Quest for Perfect Crust

The other thing I love about pizza night is the challenge of perfecting my crust. I want super crispy on the bottom but soft on top. It’s tough! I’ve been cooking my pizzas in the oven at 500 degrees using a pizza pan. It works fine but it’s not awesome.

I’ve been wanting to try grilling pizza for a while because I’ve heard it’s the bee’s knees for getting amazing crust. But I have to confess, that I was intimidated to try grilled pizza. It just seemed like a lot could go wrong so I avoided it for a long time.

When the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association challenged me to create a recipe using summer veggies, the wheels of my recipe-developing brain started to turn and I decided THIS was just the opportunity I needed to conquer grilled pizza. Doesn’t grilled veggies on grilled pizza just sound like summer dinner magic???!!!!

#2

Well, I can tell you that it is magic!! And Team Braddock agrees. This recipe earned the coveted honor of:

#3

Besides amazing crust, the true stars of this pizza are the delicious, in-season (summer) vegetables Vidalia onion, bell peppers and tomatoes. They are a winning combination together and there’s no comparison to eating these vegetables in-season! They just taste so much better.

#4

Thanks to all the veggies, this is a lighter pizza that is perfect for an easy dinner or even an appetizer while friends are gathering at your house. I served this for our family dinner one night and as an appetizer for a dinner party another night.

Before I give you the recipe, here are some important tips for this recipe:

  1. Everyone’s grill is different so it’s important to experiment with how your grill works with pizza dough. The first time you try grilling pizza, buy an extra dough or two just in case you have a learning curve (as I did).
  2. I own a 3 burner gas grill and found that cooking my pizza on indirect heat (turning a burner off and leaving 2 burners on) gave me my desired outcome. You might find you like cooking on direct heat. The goal is keep the temperature in your grill around 600 degrees F. I found hotter than that charred my crust too much. Again, I encourage you to experiment with your grill.
  3. You don’t have to have a pizza peel but it sure does help. They are not expensive and worth it if you plan on grilling pizzas somewhat regularly, which you might after trying it once. Here’s one like I have for just $23: Pizza peel
  4. I did try using a pizza stone on my grill for this recipe. However, the temperature was just too hot and it literally burned my stone black. No bueno. That’s why I opted for the indirect heat method to prevent burning.
  5. The goal of grilling the peppers and onions first is to just give them a little color, not cook them fully. You can skip this step all together and put raw veggies on your pizza if you would like. We like the grill flavor to come through in the veggies as well.

 

#5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#6

6.  Make sure you generously flour the board or pan surface you roll out the dough on. It might seem like a lot, but in order for your board to easily slide off onto the grill it is necessary. I also found the pizza peel very helpful here but you could use a large grill spatula. Here’s how it looked for me:

 

Now that you know the keys for success, you are ready to make Grilled Veggie Pizza!

Grilled Veggie Pizza

Prep time: 25 min Cook time: 9 minutes Makes 8 slices

1 Vidalia onion, sliced in half across its “equator”
2 bell peppers (color of choice), deseeded and sliced in rings
Vegetable oil
1 store bought raw pizza dough (enough for one pizza)
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend
Fresh cracked pepper
1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced in circles and deseeded
4 oz crumbled goat cheese

  1. Preheat grill with lid closed to high temperature, around 600 degrees F.
  2. While grill is heating for pizza, grill the onions and peppers. Brush each cut side of the onion with vegetable oil. Toss the pepper rings with a small amount of vegetable oil, just to lightly coat, about 1-2 teaspoons. Lay onion, cut side down, on the heated grill and grill covered for about 5 minutes. Also lay the pepper rings on the grill and grill covered for about 1 minute per side. (The goal is not to fully cooked veggies, just give a little grill flavor and add grill marks.) When veggies are done, remove from grill, close lid and continue heating grill. Carefully slice the onion into rings.
  3. Assemble the pizza: Generously flour a large flat cutting board or rimless baking sheet (preferred). Stretch or roll pizza dough to desired thickness and lay on board or baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on dough and spread evenly to all the edges of the dough. Sprinkle oiled dough with cracked pepper and Italian seasoning and gently press the seasoning into the dough with your hands.
  4. Layer the tomato slices, peppers and onions on pizza as desired. Gently press the veggies into the dough to help them stay in place. Sprinkle goat cheese on top of pizza.
  5. Grill pizza: Turn off one burner of preheated grill. Oil grill grates above the off burner. Slide pizza off pan and onto oiled grill. Close lid quickly and cook for about 4 minutes.
  6. Open lid and use a pizza peel or large grilling spatula to turn the pizza 180 degrees on the grill. Close lid and continue grill for about 4-5 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Total cook time will vary based on grill and temperature.
  7. Use pizza peel or large spatula to slide pizza off the grill and back onto baking sheet. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and slice into wedges. Enjoy!

 

Notes: The goal temperature for cooking the pizza is to stay around 600 degrees. You may have to play with your temperature settings to keep your grill at that temp. Another option for smaller grills with only 2 burners is to set one burner to medium temperature and keep one to high.

I hope you give grilled pizza a try and not put it off due to intimidation, like I did. It truly is a game changer to making delicious homemade pizza along with using in-season vegetables like peppers, onions and tomatoes. Remember adding lots of veggies is a great way to make pizza healthier and a food you can enjoy more regularly so add them to your grocery list now!
Don’t let summer slip away without enjoying massive amounts of delicious, in-season fruits and veggies. Check out the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association’s blog Produce Bites for more recipes and ideas on using produce in your everyday life. It’s a great resource to help you get creative.

For the love of pizza and veggies,
JENNA

MiniPop Table

#fruitsveggiesandfreedom : Triple Layer Mini- Popsicles

It’s July – and time for #fruitsveggiesandfreedom!  We’re excited to have a series of bloggers share their recipes on how to utilize Georgia grown fruits and vegetables this month!  First up is  Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RD, LD.  Sherry is an award winning registered dietitian nutritionist passionate about making the delicious choice the healthy choice and converting the science of nutrition into bite-size nuggets. Sherry blogs at www.southernfriednutrition.com and lives in the Atlanta, GA area with her husband, son and their golden retriever.  Connect with Sherry on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

Triple Layer Mini-Popsicles

Sherry Collins, MS, RD, LD

This is a sponsored post that I wrote for Produce Bites, the consumer education arm of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.  While they compensated me for the post, I created the recipe and all comments are completely my own honest thoughts and opinions.  Now…celebrate with #fruitsveggiesandfreedom!

It is just about my favorite time of the whole year, y’all!  Summertime is prime time for fresh fruits and veggies.  My garden is bursting with ridiculously large zucchini, perfectly ripe tomatoes, and the hottest jalapenos this side of Texas!  You can bet we’re eating our veggies around here.  So when my friends at Produce Bites invited me to help them promote Georgia grown fruits and veggies for the 4th of July holiday weekend…how could I say no?!

I don’t know about where you are, but around here it’s H-O-T!  Like nearly a hundred {bazillion} degrees.  Okay, not really, but getting close.  When the humidity and temperature starts to rise, I am ready for some watermelon!  A chunk of sweet, juicy Georgia grown watermelon is absolutely heaven and the perfect thing to help beat the summertime heat.  And did you know that watermelon is also super nutritious AND low calorie too?  Seriously, you can eat almost 2 cups and still be well under 100 calories, while slurping up more than 1/3 of your daily vitamin C and vitamin A needs. But it’s mostly water (water+melon), which makes it the perfect food for staying hydrated in the inferno we call summer in the south.

Since we’re about to have the 4th of July holiday, I made you these theme-worthy mini-popsicles.  Let me be honest, I really made them for my toddler.  He loooooves popsicles.  In fact, I can freeze almost anything in popsicle form and he will eat it!  These were an incredible hit.  He devoured them!  And I don’t even have to feel one bit guilty that my son got to eat one (or three) of these for breakfast.  The Greek yogurt boosts the nutrition by adding protein and probiotics (good gut bacteria), while the blueberries add even more vitamin C plus fiber.  Even though these have a little honey to sweeten, I don’t think they’re overly sweet.  You can adjust to your tastes or even leave it out if you like.  These are a super treat and perfect for your 4th of July celebrations.  Be sure to add the ingredients for these to your grocery list and look for Georgia grown!

By the way, I used a large silicone ice cube mold for these mini-pops.  Festive red, white, and blue straws that I cut into thirds for my “sticks” work perfectly for little hands like my toddler’s!  You could use any sort of stick that works for you, including wooden popsicle sticks, toothpicks, and even bamboo skewers.  This recipe also translates perfectly for other ripe Georgia grown fruits.  Next time around I’m going to try them with peaches and blackberries!

MiniPop TableHappy Independence Day, y’all!  Thank God for our freedom…and for our farmers.

For more great seasonal Georgia Grown recipes, head on over to the Produce Bites website at www.producebites.org and follow #fruitsveggiesandfreedom for more ideas for your holiday menu.

Triple Layer Mini-Popsicles
Yields 24 (large ice cube-size mini-pops)

Red Layer

  • 1 ½ cup watermelon, cubed
  • 1 Tbs fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp honey

 

Blend all ingredients in a blender or small food processor until completely pureed.  Transfer to a measuring cup to pour into molds or ice-cube trays, filling each section only 1/3 full, to make the first layer.  Freeze for 1-2 hours until set.

White LayerFilling

  • 1 ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 Tbs honey

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together until completely smooth.  Add to the frozen watermelon layer gently, being sure not to disturb the watermelon layer.  Insert the straws, toothpicks, or sticks into the molds or ice cube trays and return to the freezer for another 1-2 hours.

 

 

 

 

Blue LayerIngredients

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey

 

 

 

 

 

MiniPop CloseBlend the final layer’s ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth to your liking (I left mine just a little chunky because I like the way it looks and the texture).  Add this layer to the frozen watermelon and Greek yogurt layers completing the popsicles.  Return to the freezer for 1-2 hours or until completely frozen.  These are great to make the day before you want to enjoy them.

 

Love this recipe? Be sure to visit Sherry Collins at her website – www.southernfriednutrition.com.  Try your own recipes this weekend and  hashtag  #fruitsveggiesandfreedom !  Happy Independence Day! 


Strawberry Smoothie Ice-Cream Pie

FOFTCU03

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-smoothie-ice-cream-pie

Yield:

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients

1 (7-ounce) package waffle cones, broken into pieces
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 (1-quart) containers premium vanilla ice cream, divided
1 (16-ounce) container fresh strawberries (1 quart), stemmed
1/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 ripe bananas
Garnishes: waffle cone pieces, fresh whole strawberries, fresh blueberries

Preparation

Process first 3 ingredients in a food processor until finely crushed. Firmly press mixture onto bottom of a lightly greased 10-inch springform pan.

Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Let vanilla ice cream stand at room temperature 20 minutes or until slightly softened.

Process strawberries and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar in a food processor until pureed, stopping to scrape down sides; remove strawberry mixture, and set aside.

Process blueberries and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar in food processor until pureed, stopping to scrape down sides; set aside.

Mash bananas with a fork in a large bowl; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Set aside.

Place 1 quart of ice cream in a large bowl; cut into large (3-inch) pieces. Fold strawberry mixture into ice cream until blended. Place in freezer until slightly firm.

Divide remaining quart of ice cream in half, placing halves in separate bowls. Stir blueberry mixture into half and mashed banana mixture into remaining half. Place bowls in freezer.

Spread half of strawberry mixture evenly into prepared crust in springform pan. Place pan and remaining strawberry mixture in freezer. Freeze 30 minutes or until strawberry layer in pan is slightly firm. Spread banana mixture evenly over strawberry layer in pan; return pan to freezer, and freeze 30 minutes or until banana layer is slightly firm. Repeat procedure with blueberry mixture. Spread remaining strawberry mixture over blueberry layer in pan, and freeze 3 hours or until all layers are firm. Let pie stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Häagen-Dazs ice cream.

 

 

Southern Living

April 2005


Summer Corn Chowder

corn chowder

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/pork/summer-corn-chowder

Yield:

  • Makes: 6 servings
  • Start to Finish 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels or one 10-ounce package frozen whole kernel corn (2 cups)
  • 1 14 – ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1 12 – ounce package frozen shelled sweet soybeans (edamame), one 10-ounce package frozen baby sweet peas
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh marjoram or oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
  • 1 14 3/4 – ounce can no-salt-added cream-style corn
  • 1 cup cubed lean cooked ham or cooked turkey ham
  • 2/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh marjoram or oregano sprigs (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan bring fresh or frozen corn, broth, edamame, onion, the 2 teaspoons fresh or 3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram, salt and white pepper to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 to 7 minutes or until corn and onion are tender. Stir in undrained cream-style corn, ham, milk and Worcestershire sauce. Heat through.
  2. If desired, garnish each serving with a fresh marjoram sprig. Makes 6 (1-1/3-cup) main-dish servings.

variation

  • Tuna Corn Chowder: Prepare as directed above except; omit ham. Stir in one 6-ounce can tuna, drained and broken into chunks, with cream-style corn.

variation

  • Clam Corn Chowder: Prepare as directed above except; omit ham. Stir in one 6.5-ounce can minced clams, undrained, with cream-style corn.

variation

  • Crab Corn Chowder: Prepare as directed above except; omit ham. Stir in one 6-ounce can crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed, with cream-style corn.

Chilled Strawberry Soup

chilled-strawberry-soup-sl-x

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chilled-strawberry-soup

Yield:

Makes about 4 cups
Total time: 2 Hours, 10 Minutes

Ingredients

3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Riesling
1/3 cup sugar
Garnishes: olive oil, freshly ground pepper, sliced fresh strawberries

Preparation

Process 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, Greek yogurt, Riesling, and sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Cover and chill 2 hours. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and sliced fresh strawberries.

 

 

Southern Living

April 2012


Wild Blueberry Detox Smoothie

blueberry detox

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.wildblueberries.com/recipe/wild-blueberry-detox-smoothie/

 

Yield:

1 serving

Prep time: 5 minutes

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
  • 1 cup frozen Wild Blueberries
  • Handful of kale
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Squirt of pure maple syrup, stevia or Medjool dates to sweeten, optional (I used 2 dates)

Preparation

Place all ingredients in a blender (I used my Nutribullet). Blend until completely smooth and creamy.

 

 

Alexis Joseph, MS, RD, LD

Wild Blueberries


Strawberry-Lemon Shortbread Bars

strawberry-lemon-shortbread-50400000111518-xl

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-lemon-shortbread

Yield:

Makes 4 dozen
Total time: 8 Hours, 8 Minutes

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon lemon zest, divided
3/4 cup cold butter
2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup strawberry preserves
Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, fresh strawberry slices

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together flour, powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp. lemon zest in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Press mixture onto bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.

2. Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until lightly browned.

3. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat just until blended after each addition. Stir in fresh lemon juice and remaining 1/4 tsp. lemon zest, beating well.

4. Spread preserves over shortbread. Pour cream cheese mixture over preserves, spreading to edges. Bake 28 to 32 more minutes or until set. Let cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Cover and chill 4 to 8 hours. Cut into bars; garnish, if desired.

Note:

Refrigerate leftovers. Store them in an airtight container up to 2 days.

 

 

Southern Living

April 2011


Chicken and Corn Hash-Brown Bake

hasbrown chicken

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/chicken/chicken-and-corn-hash-brown-bake

 

Yield:

  • 12 servings
  • Prep 25 mins
  • Bake 1 hr
  • Stand 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 10 3/4 – ounce can reduced-fat and reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 8 – ounce carton dairy sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons dried dillweed or dried basil, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 28 – ounce package frozen diced hash brown potatoes with onions and peppers, thawed
  • 2 cups chopped smoked or roasted chicken or turkey
  • 2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels, one 10-ounce package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed (2 cups), or one 15.25-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 8 – ounce package cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 8 – ounce package shredded Colby, cheddar or Swiss cheese (2 cups)
  • 1 cup seasoned croutons, coarsely crushed (optional)

Directions

  1. In a very large bowl combine soup, sour cream, milk, dill and pepper. Stir in potatoes, chicken or turkey, corn, cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the Colby cheese. Spoon mixture into a greased 13x9x2-inch baking dish (3-quart rectangular).
  2. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and stir mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1-1/2 cups Colby cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes more or until top is golden and potatoes are tender, sprinkling with croutons, if you like, the last 10 minutes of baking. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 12 servings.

Strawberry-Orange Trifle

strawberry-trifle-sl-1713127-x

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-orange-trifle

 

Yield:

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

1 qt. strawberries, halved
4 oranges, sectioned and halved
2 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 (11.3-oz.) jar lemon curd
1 1/2 sleeves shortbread cookies, crushed
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Preparation

1. Toss together first 4 ingredients, and let stand at room temperature 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, beat whipping cream and lemon curd at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Gradually increase mixer speed, beating until medium peaks form.

3. Layer one-third each of fruit mixture and curd mixture in a large bowl. Top with half of crushed cookies. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining one-third fruit mixture and curd mixture. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours. Garnish, if desired.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Keebler Sandies Simply Shortbread cookies.

 

 

Southern Living

March 2008


Strawberry Salsa

strawberry-salsa-sl-x

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-salsa-0

Yield:

Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Total time: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup red pepper jelly
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 small avocado, diced

Preparation

Whisk together red pepper jelly, chives, cilantro, lime zest, fresh lime juice, and dried crushed red pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in strawberries and sweetened dried cranberries; cover and chill 1 hour. Stir in diced avocado just before serving. Serve with grilled or pan-fried meats, poultry, or seafood.

 

 

Southern Living

April 2012


Wild Blueberry Chia Jam

1-chia-jam-1-200x267

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.wildblueberries.com/recipe/wild-blueberry-chia-jam/

Yield:

16 servings

Ingredients

1.5 cups frozen wild blueberries
3 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tbsp. maple syrup
3 tbsp. water

Preparation

Place wild blueberries in a high powdered blender and pulse them a few times until broken up. I like my jam to have bits of berries in it, but you can pulse until a desired consistency is achieved. Combine wild blueberries, chia seeds, maple syrup and water into a jar. Cover and shake until combined. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator to set. In the morning, you will have fresh, minimally processed jam!

 

 

Alexandra Caspero

Wild Blueberries


Fresh Corn Salad

corn salad

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/fresh-corn-salad/

 

Yield:

  • Makes: 8 servings
  • Start to Finish 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4-1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 ears fresh corn
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion (cut to same size as the clusters of corn kernels), soaked in ice water for 20 minutes and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, seeded, not peeled if unwaxed, then diced to same size of onions
  • 1/2 cup red or orange sweet pepper, diced to same size as onions
  • 1/2 cup cherry or pear tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, finely torn
  • 1 tablespoon basil leaves or buds, pulled apart
  • 1 tablespoon fresh jalapeno, seeds and veins removed, very finely diced*
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 -2 cups small arugula leaves

Directions

  1. For dressing, in a glass bowl whisk together vinegar, sugar, the 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper until sugar is dissolved. Let dressing stand while preparing salad.
  2. For salad, cut corn kernels from cobs. In a large bowl toss corn and remaining ingredients except sea salt and arugula leaves.
  3. To serve, transfer salad to large serving bowl. Season with the 1/2 tsp. sea salt. Add the dressing; gently thread in arugula leaves. Serve immediately. (Cucumbers and tomatoes will begin to break down.) Makes 8 servings

Orange-Berry Swirl Smoothie

berry-swirl-sl-1867493-x

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/orange-berry-swirl

Yield:

Makes 5 cups (serving size: 1 cup)

Ingredients

2 (10-oz.) packages frozen strawberries in light syrup
1 (6-oz.) container plain low-fat yogurt
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup fat-free milk

Preparation

1. Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Serve immediately.

Laura Morris, Bunnell, Florida

Southern Living

January 2009

Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad

chicken salad

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/salads/corn-and-tomato-pasta-salad

Yield:

8 servings

Prep 25 mins

Chill 2 hrs

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dried bow-tie pasta
  • 2 fresh ears of corn or 1 cup whole kernel frozen corn
  • 1 cup shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 -3 tablespoons purchased basil pesto
  • 1 tablespoon chicken broth or water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Snipped fresh basil

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook pasta according to package directions. Add corn during the last 7 minutes of cooking pasta. Return to boil and continue cooking. When pasta is cooked and corn is crisp-tender, drain pasta and corn in a colander. (If using fresh ears, it may be easier to remove the ears with tongs, and then drain the pasta.) Rinse pasta and corn with cold water to stop cooking, and drain well again. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs.
  2. In a large bowl combine pasta, corn, chicken, and tomato.
  3. For dressing: In a screw-top jar, combine the olive oil, vinegar, pesto, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Cover and shake well.
  4. Pour dressing over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat. Chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and basil before serving.

Carrot Cake

F3491-1

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/best-carrot-cake?utm_source=un_display_na_ti_20150501_outbrain

Yield:

1 (9-inch) cake

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preparation

Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

Stir together first 4 ingredients.

Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

 

 


 

Butternut Glaze:

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

 


 

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

 

 

Southern Living

October 1997


Wild Blueberry and Apple Crisp

blueberry apple crisp

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.wildblueberries.com/recipe/wild-blueberry-and-apple-crisp/

Ingredients

4 apples, peeled and sliced

3 cups frozen fresh wild blueberries, thawed (plus more for the garnish)

2 Tbsp. brown sugar (I used stevia brown sugar blend)

1 cup oatmeal (I used 2 Nature’s Own Coconut Oatmeal flavored packets)

1 cup pecan pieces

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

Dash salt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350. Slice up the apples and place in a large bowl with the thawed frozen Wild Blueberries. Stir in the chia seeds. Blend the pecan pieces in your blender until they look like course sand. In a separate bowl, mix together the oatmeal, pecans, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, incorporate the coconut oil.

Grease the bottom of the baking dish with coconut oil. Pour the fruit into the dish. Cover with the oatmeal pecan mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, cover with foil, and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve with thawed Wild Blueberries on top.

 

 

Wild Blueberries


GFVGA Member Spotlight – Lane Southern Orchards

Produce Bites is a consumer outreach website hosted by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. In order to show our readers how they can find ‘fun on the farm’ this spring and summer, we’ve decided to spotlight some of our member farms that are also agri-tourism destinations! Spend some time on the farm with your family this summer and eat Georgia grown fruits and vegetables.


Baby on peach crate

Are you looking to try a tasty, juicy Georgia peach? If so, Lane Southern Orchards is your go-to place. This farm has been growing peaches for more than 100 years! They are located outside of Fort Valley, GA. – just a short five minute drive off of I-75 at exit 142.

This farm was originally founded in 1908 by the Lane’s great-grandfather, John David Duke, and was named Diamond Fruit Farm. When asked how the farm turned into an agri-tourism attraction, Wendy Barton said, “When the family built an office on the farm for the sales team to reach out to grocery stores and smaller shops, they kept getting a knock on the door from people wanting to buy peaches.  They decided to hire a college student, get a picnic table and have the student handle the sales of the peaches to locals.  It then progressed to four rocking chairs and a few more peach displays.  When the peaches were graded every day, they decided to get an ice cream machine to offer ice cream to the locals and travelers that were stopping by every day.  When Ms. Caroline Lane had 15 ice cream machines in her kitchen, she said it was time to build something here on the farm for the customers to enjoy the ice cream and other seasonal fruits.  In 1990, the retail store was expanded to include the Peachtree Café, a gift shop and southern gourmet shop.  We currently have 40 rocking chairs and welcome over 300,000 visitors a year.”

 

rocking chairs         peach blosson        produce in market

 

The farm now consists of 2,500 acres of peaches, 3,500 acres of pecans, six acres of strawberries and a special patch of muscadines, scuppernongs and kiwi. This agri-tourism attraction allows the public to pick their own produce throughout the year and take farm tours to learn how the produce goes from the field to the table.

Lane Southern Orchards is hosting an exciting upcoming event that you won’t want to miss – the Spring Fling! This event is set for April 23, 2016 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m..  The Spring Fling is the farm’s way of welcoming springtime and visitors to the farm to pick strawberries at the beginning of the peak harvest season.  Activities include: a play area for the kids, a scavenger hunt in the strawberry patch, face painting, live entertainment and a class teaching you how to make strawberry preserves.  This is something the entire family will enjoy!

Other plans for the year include a Fourth of July picnic celebration and the Farm Fall Festival. The Fall Festival is in October and allows you the opportunity to visit the pumpkin patch and the five acre corn maze! Be sure to keep up with Lane Southern Orchards online to get details for these events.

This farm is a great location for nearly any affair! Children’s entertainment activities include the world’s tallest pinball machine, human hamster balls, bungee jump, Spider Mountain and many other supervised carnival games. There is enough to keep the children busy for an entire day; meanwhile, parents can relax in the shade under the pavilion while they watch their kids play. Lane Southern Orchards also specializes in company picnics, family fun days and corporate events.

Visit their website to learn more, and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook!


GFVGA Member Spotlight – Jaemor Farms

Three generatoins of the Echols family

Produce Bites is a consumer outreach website hosted by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. In order to show our readers how they can find ‘fun on the farm’ this spring and summer, we’ve decided to spotlight some of our member farms that are also agri-tourism destinations! Spend some time on the farm with your family this summer and eat Georgia grown fruits and vegetables.


Jaemor Farms, a 350 acre property, is a successful family operation at the foot of the North Georgia Mountains in Hall, Habersham and Banks counties. It was recognized as a Centennial Farm in 2012, meaning the farm has been in the Echols family for more than 100 years!

When asked why the farm turned into an agri-tourism attraction, Drew Echols said, “When I came back to the farm 14 years ago, I had to find my own place in the family business. After many talks with my granddad, dad and uncle, we opened a corn maze. This year (2016) marks our 11th year for a fall corn maze, which really kicked off our ‘agri-tourism’ at the farm, outside of the roadside market that has always been at our farm. We have also learned that if the child will eat it, the parents will bring them to the farm to pick it. Three years ago we added two festivals to our schedule to capitalize even more on agri-tourism opportunities at the farm. It takes our entire team at Jaemor working together to make it all happen.”

This farm is special to Echols now, more than ever, because he is setting his children up for success if they desire to continue the family business. He understands that today’s youth are the future of agriculture. His children will be the sixth generation running Jaemor Farms if they so choose. Echols has enjoyed growing produce and selling it locally, and he hopes to pass this on to his kids.

Cohen and Chloe Echols, Drew and Shelly's children

This family business has two roadside markets where you can buy many of their products. You can visit the original market in Alto, GA., which has been open for 35 years. This is one of the largest roadside markets across the country! They have another fresh market located in Commerce, GA. as well. While visiting, be sure to grab a sweet treat fresh from their farm. The menu offers a variety of treats such as: homegrown produce, fried fruit pies, homemade ice cream, freshly baked breads, homemade cakes, jellies, jams and preserves. If you can’t make it to their market but are interested in supporting their business, visit their website to make a purchase! Also make sure you follow them on Facebook!

Fruitful peach tree at Jaemor Farms


Grilled Ham-and-Cheese Sandwiches with Strawberry-Shallot Jam

grilled-ham-cheese-sandwiches-strawberry-shallot-jam-sl-x

This great recipe is brought to you from:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-ham-cheese-sandwiches

Yield:

Makes 4 servings

Total time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

3 tablespoons strawberry-lemonade jam (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
8 sourdough sandwich bread slices
12 thin slices deli ham
1 1/3 cups (6 oz.) shredded Gruyère or other Swiss cheese
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preparation

Stir together Strawberry-Lemonade Jam, minced shallot, olive oil, and Dijon mustard; spread on 1 side of 4 bread slices. Top each with 3 slices deli ham, 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz.) shredded Gruyère cheese, and 1 bread slice. Brush 1 Tbsp. melted butter on both sides of each sandwich. Cook sandwiches in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat 1 minute on each side or until browned.


Strawberry-Lemonade Jam

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Preparation

1. Process strawberries in a blender until smooth; press through a wire-mesh strainer into a 3-qt. saucepan, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice; discard pulp. Stir in sugar.

2. Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch; gradually whisk into strawberry mixture. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place plastic wrap directly on warm jam; chill 2 hours or until cold. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.

 

APRIL 2014