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4 medium turnips
4 summer apples (galas are good)
1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 T. sucanat or natural sugar, honey or agave

Peel the turnips. Wash the apples.  Whisk the last three ingredient together. Adjust sweetness to taste. Using a spiralizer, mandolin or grater, process the turnips, then the apples. Toss the turnip-apple mixture with the dressing. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then serve.

Chef Jannequin Bennett, author Very Vegetarian and The Complete Vegan Kitchen

Apples contain abundant amounts of the flavonoid quercetin, which appears to help prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells, reduce the incidence of lung cancer and contribute to improved lung function. 

Scientists have identified about 7,500 different kinds of apples around the world.
An apple is more than 80% water.  They also contain a lot of air; that’s why fresh apples float.  


1 tsp. salt 
2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
2 eggs
3 c. flour
4 c. apples, diced
1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ c. chopped walnuts
1/3 c. raisins
2 tsp. baking soda

Mix apples, sugar and nuts together and let stand one hour or longer. Mix other ingredients together and add to apple mixture. Put in greased tube pan and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until done. Let cake cool completely before removing from pan.
Note: You can “dice” the apples with a food processor, using the shredding blade.

June King of Flagstaff, Arizona


2 c. flour  
¼ c. sugar
4 T. shortening
1 egg, beaten 
½ c. sugar

4 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. milk
3 med. apples

1 tsp. cinnamon

In large bowl, sift flour with baking powder, ¼ cup sugar and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives using short cutting action cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Combine milk and egg; add to flour mixture and stir just until blended; set mixture aside. Peel, core, quarter, and slice apples (about 4 slices per quarter). Spread batter in greased pan. Arrange apple slices in rows or a pattern on top of batter, pressing apples lightly into batter and keeping apple slices upright rather than flat. Mix ½ cup sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle mixture evenly over apple slices. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven until cake is set in center, about 40 minutes. Serves 8.

Elizabeth James

Serve hot with cream, ice cream or whipped cream.
By Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist, Serves 6-8

1½ cups biscuit mix (like Bisquick - divided)
½ cup brown sugar (packed)
5 tablespoons softened butter (divided - margarine not recommended)
3/4 cup milk (any type)
½ cup white sugar

2 eggs (½ cup)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon all spice
8 (3 inch in diameter) tart apples (any type - peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick - about 6 cups)

Grease the inside of your slow cooker with the butter wrapper or lightly mist it with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, use your fingers to combine 1 cup biscuit mix, brown sugar and 3 tablespoons butter making a crumbly mixture.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together milk, white sugar, eggs, spices, remaining 2 tablespoons butter and biscuit mix.  Stir in apples to coat.  Pour mixture into greased slow cooker.  Sprinkle crumb mixture over top.  Cover slow cooker.  Cook on low 7 to 8 hours. 

Karla's tips:
The slow cooker used to test this recipe was 7 inches round X 5 1/4 inches deep.  Cooker was not preheated.

Cooking on high is not recommended.  Refrigerate leftovers and microwave to reheat.

No nutmeg or all spice in your spice rack?  Omit them and use 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon or apple pie spice instead.  

For more visit


1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups finely chopped Granny Smith, Ginger Gold apples
1 cup chopped nuts
1 6-ounce package butterscotch morsels

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Add flour, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon, beating well after each addition. Stir in apples, nuts and morsels. Mixture will be very thick. Press mixture into a greased 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
— Recipe courtesy of the Virginia Apple Grower's Association



1½ sticks margarine softened
6 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups flour

Cream margarine and sugar. Add vanilla and flour. Pat onto bottom and up 1-inch sides of 9-inch spring form pan.


12 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar

1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon rind

Combine all ingredients, spread over crust.


1 quart baking apples, peeled, sliced
¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Combine topping ingredients. Arrange mixture on top of cheese mixture. Sprinkle with 6 tablespoons. slivered or sliced almonds. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce to 400 degrees and bake 25 minutes longer. Cool completely.
— Recipe courtesy of the Virginia Apple Grower's Association


1 cup grated, peeled Golden Delicious apple
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup grated carrot
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup minced green onion
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 sole, cod or other white fish
¼ teaspoon ground ginger fillets (4 to 5 ounces each)
¼ teaspoon ground mustard
½ cup chicken broth or water

Heat oven to 400 degrees; lightly oil small roasting pan. In medium-size bowl, combine apple, carrot, green onion, lemon juice, ginger, mustard, salt, pepper and thyme; mix well. Spread apple mixture evenly over length of fillets; carefully roll up. Place stuffed fillets, seam side down, in oiled pan. Pour broth over rolled fillets; cover with aluminum foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until fish is opaque and barely flakes. Serve. Makes 4 servings.

Microwave version: Prepare apple stuffing mixture and roll up fillets as above. Place stuffed fillets, seam side down, in oiled microwave-safe dish. Pour broth over rolled fillets; cover with waxed paper and microwave on HIGH 5 minutes or until fish is opaque and barely flakes. (If microwave does not have carousel, rotate dish halfway through cooking.)
— Recipe courtesy of the Virginia Apple Grower's Association


12 cups chopped, unpeeled apples
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

¾ cup apple cider
½ teaspoon ground cloves

Combine apples and cider in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until apples are soft. Puree in food sieve or food mill. Return mixture to pot; add sugar and spices. Cover and cook on low 1 to 2 hours. For a thicker apple butter, uncover, and cook on high until desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Store in refrigerator or pour hot apple butter into hot canning jars, leaving a quarter inch headspace. Adjust caps for canning. Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.
— Recipe courtesy of the Virginia Apple Grower's Association

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Not a smidgeon of added sugar (or artificial sweetener either)in this little gem but it's plenty sweet. The natural sweetness comes from using sweet apples. The apple juice or apple cider just makes the filling. Are you going to be surprised! Makes one (10 inch) pie.

12 (4 inch) red or yellow delicious apples (peeled, cored and coarsely chopped - about 10 cups)
¼ cup dark raisins
¼ cup walnuts (halves and pieces)
¾ cup unsweetened apple juice or cider

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon instant or quick cooking tapioca
¼ teaspoon vanilla

Position oven rack so pie will bake in lower third. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line pie pan with bottom crust. Fill with apples, raisins and nuts.

In a small sauce pan, heat juice, butter, tapioca and vanilla until butter melts. Pour over apples in crust. Top with second crust. Crimp edges. Cut a steam hole in the center of the pie.

Bake in preheated oven 50 minutes or until crust is browned and apples are tender. Cool completely before cutting so the juice thickens. Cutting too soon results in a watery pie.


Related to onions and garlic, asparagus was used for medicinal purposes by ancient Greeks and Romans to relieve toothaches and prevent bee stings.

Low in calories and sodium, green asparagus contains vitamin C and folacin, as well as moderate amounts of vitamins A, and E, potassium, small amounts of iron and a substantial amount of fiber.

By Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist Serves 2-4

Use thick spears for this recipe.  They have more asparagus taste than the delicate pencil thin type.

½ lb fresh asparagus spears
2 cups water
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup light cream or half & half
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut asparagus into random ½ inch pieces.  Put into a medium pot with water.  Cover.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Cook asparagus till very soft - about 25 minutes according to thickness.  Cool mixture until easy to handle, then purée.  Pour mixture thru a sieve.  Discard solids.  Return puréed asparagus to pot.  Place pot on low heat.  Stir cornstarch into cream (or half and half) then whisk into asparagus.  Cook, whisking until mixture begins to bubble around edges, starts to boil and has thickened slightly.  Remove from heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot or chill and serve cold.

By Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist Serves 2-4

High heat and a few minutes in the oven are all that's required for great asparagus taste.
Pan size doesn't matter but an 11 X 15 inch pan with sides no taller than 1 inch works well.

1 pound fresh asparagus spears
2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter, olive oil or a combination of both

Zest and juice from 1 lemon (no white pith)
Kosher salt (optional)

Position oven rack so asparagus will roast in center.  Preheat to 475 degrees.
Coat pan with baking spray.  Cut asparagus so spears are even and all the same length.  Toss with butter or oil.  Arrange coated spears in a single layer in prepared pan.  Roast 5 minutes.  Turn spears over (a pan cake turner works well) and roast until tender - about 5 minutes more according to thickness.  Arrange roasted asparagus on serving platter.  Sprinkle with lemon juice, zest and salt (if desired).
Karla's tip:  Got leftovers?  
Toss cold, roasted asparagus into a salad.  
Purée leftovers spears with some cream and vegetable or chicken broth.  Serve hot or cold as a yummy soup.

By Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist Serves 4

A yummy side dish that easily becomes a main dish when you toss in some shrimp or tofu.  Makes a great sauce to spoon over an omelet, too.
Preparation and cooking time - 10 minutes plus extra to cook rice.

1 cup raw jasmine rice (See Karla's tips #1)
3 tablespoons shredded, sweetened coconut 
½ (12-14 oz) can coconut milk (not cream of coconut)

¼ cup orange juice 
1½ teaspoons mild red curry paste (not yellow curry-see Karla's tips #2 - below)
1 pound fresh asparagus cut into 2 inch pieces

Cook rice according to package directions.  Keep warm.    
Toast coconut in the microwave (See Karla's tips #3).  Set aside.  
In a large frying pan over low heat, whisk together coconut milk, orange juice and curry paste. Stir in asparagus and bring to a boil.  Cook, uncovered, whisking occasionally, until mixture is reduced by 1/3 and asparagus is tender but still green - about 5 minutes according to thickness of the asparagus.  Spoon over cooked rice and sprinkle with coconut for serving. 

Karla's tips
1: For authentic taste use jasmine rice (it has a more rice-y taste) but any brown or white rice will do nicely.       
2:  "Pataks" is a nationally available brand of red curry paste that's found in upscale grocery stores everywhere.  Look for it in the international food or gourmet section.  You'll find coconut milk there, too. 
3:  Toasting coconut in the microwave is not hard but it's a little different than toasting it in the oven.  In the microwave, the coconut will brown in spots rather than uniformly.  When the spots are a nice golden color, stop microwaving and quickly stir to distribute the browned bits.  More browning will occur without additional microwaving.  This is a good method to use when you only need a little coconut or don't want to heat up the oven. 


Blueberries are high in antioxidants, contain both antibacterial and antiviral compounds, and have a reputation for fighting infections.

Choose deeply colored blueberries with a natural powdery bloom for the best flavor.
American colonists made gray paint out of blueberry skins boiled with milk.


2 9” prepared pie crusts, defrosted
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries

2/3 – 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Butter the bottom and sides of a 11x14” baking dish, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Defrost crusts until malleable; remove from pans.  Place on surface dusted with powdered sugar.  Re-form crusts into one 11x16” rectangle; place in the middle of the baking dish.  Reserve ¼ cup berries for topping; mix raspberries and blueberries with 1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit), cornstarch and cinnamon.  Spread berry mixture in center of crust.  Fold sides of crust into middle; pinch closed down the center and at top and bottom.  Sprinkle crust with remaining granulated sugar, dot with remaining butter and top with reserved berries.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Yield: 6 servings


One cup of cantaloupe provides 103.2% of the daily value for vitamin A, an important nutrient for maintaining good vision.

Cantaloupes got their name from the Italian village of Cantaloupe where they were first cultivated around 1700.  However, what Americans call a cantaloupe is actually a muskmelon.


1 medium cantaloupe
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
2 medium nectarines, peeled, seeded and sliced

2 medium peaches, peeled, seeded and sliced
2 cups watermelon chunks, seeded
12 nasturtium flowers and leaves, rinsed

Cut the cantaloupe into 4 rings; carefully remove seeds and rind by cutting around the inside and outside of the rings.  Place each ring on a salad plate.  Top with watermelon chunks, then peach and nectarine slices; top with berries. Chill well.  Drizzle dressing over each salad just before serving. Arrange 3 nasturtium flowers and leaves around each ring.


1 8-ounce container of low fat or non-fat vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon mint leaves, finely chopped and crushed

Stir mint leaves into yogurt, mixing well.  Chill until ready to serve.

Yield: 4 servings


Because of its high fiber content, whole grain corn aids bowel health and can help reduce blood LDL cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Corn silk is the thread that extends from each kernel out of the husk at the end of the ear.  Each silk needs to be pollinated to produce a kernel of corn.


Recipe by Chef John Maxwell
Servings: 6

8 ounces crab — Lump meat only
2 tablespoons chives — minced
5 eggs
1 pint heavy cream

1 cup corn niblets
1 ounce sherry
3 ounces prosciutto — sliced very thin

Pick the crab free of any shell or cartilage. Gently combine the crab, corn and chives.

Beat the eggs and add the cream and sherry Butter six ramekin molds and line them with the prosciutto. Divide the crab mixture evenly between the molds and fill each with the cream and egg mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 30 minutes or until the top is slightly browned and the custard is set. Cool slightly and unmold for service.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 396 Calories; 35g Fat (79.5% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 304mg Cholesterol; 569mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 6 Fat.



Recipe from the Virginia Egg Council
Servings: 12 amazing appetizer portions

6 large Eggs, hard boiled* and peeled
12 oz. Beer and 1 teas. Old Bay seasoning
12 large Shrimp plus enough shrimp to measure 1 cup, chopped
3 - 4 T. Mayonnaise
1 T. Pesto

2 T. Capers (include caper juice)
2 T. finely chopped Onion
2 T. finely chopped Parsley
Salt, Pepper, onion powder, garlic salt and a spec of Dijon mustard to taste
Paprika to garnish


Recipe from the American Egg Board
Servings: 12

12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1 can (8 ounces) white lump crabmeat, drained, flaked   
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish


Recipe from the Virginia Egg Council
Servings: 12

12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt

48 thin 2-inch long celery sticks
72 mini chocolate chips
96 thin 2-inch long pieces carrot
Shredded lettuce, optional



Recipe from the Virginia Egg Council
Servings: 12

12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons yellow mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt
24 mini chocolate chips
1 baby carrot, cut into 12 small pieces

VARIATION:  Substitute small pieces of black olive for the mini chocolate chips.


Compared to citrus fruits, green peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C per pound.  Red bell peppers have triple the vitamin C in the green varieties and are also a good source of beta carotene.

All sweet bell peppers start out green and change to their ultimate color as they ripen.  Depending on the variety and stage of ripeness, colors of sweet bell peppers can range from green, orange, yellow and red, to ivory, brown, purple, or even black.


1 small green pepper, chopped
1 medium squash, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 package refrigerated crescent rolls
1 jar prepared pizza sauce

2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 ear corn, kernels cut off
4 ounces shredded Mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix pepper, squash and onion in microwave-safe dish.  Cover (leaving small opening for steam to escape) and microwave on high for approximately 2 minutes, or until barely crisp. Drain vegetables.  Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  Unroll crescent dough, separating into triangles; arrange triangles on cookie sheet.  Spread each triangle with pizza sauce. Top with cooked vegetables as well as tomatoes and corn; sprinkle with cheese and oregano.  Bake 15 – 18 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Makes 8 servings.


Honey has long been known to have medicinal, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It's an old fashioned food that must not get lost in the sea of modern refined and artificial sweeteners. According to The American Academy of Pediatricians, honey should not be given to children less than one year old.

Recipes courtesy of Melissa Ball

On a bed of salad greens (kale, cabbage, etc.), assemble three groups of cheese:
Manchego and quince paste or grapes
Brie and caramel sauce
Gorgonzola Dolce and a honey comb

The honey comb seems to be everyone’s favorite, but you also could drizzle the Gorgonzola with honey and sprinkle walnuts over the top.

Use pomegranate seeds/halves as accents.

Recipes courtesy of the National Honey Board. For more, visit

1 cup - butter (no substitutions)
2 cups - honey
2 cups - whipping cream

1 cup - brown sugar
1 teaspoon - vanilla extract
finely chopped almonds, optional

Line bottom and sides of 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap; set aside. Melt butter in medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add honey, cream and brown sugar; mix well. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling, stirring frequently, until candy thermometer registers 250°F to 255°F, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla; pour into prepared pan. Let cool completely in refrigerator before cutting into individual caramels with very sharp knife. Roll in chopped nuts or coconut, if desired, and wrap each individually in clear plastic wrap. Store, tightly wrapped in refrigerator up to 1 month. Caramels will be soft at room temperature and firm if kept chilled.

Serving Suggestion
Drop one into a cup of hot coffee or tea or enjoy this delicious treat on its own.

Recipes courtesy of the National Honey Board. For more, visit

4 slices - bacon
8 slices - (scant ½-inch-thick) rustic bread, preferably whole wheat
2 tablespoons - melted butter

¼ cup - honey
6 to 8 ounces - Dubliner or other creamy Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced with a cheese plane
8 slices - dill deli sandwich pickles, blotted dry

Place the bacon in a large cast-iron or heavy-duty nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat, turning, until crisp. Drain on paper towels and cut slices in half. Let the pan cool, discard the bacon fat, and wipe clean.

Spread one side of each slice of bread with the melted butter. Place 4 slices, buttered side down, on a work surface. Spread each unbuttered side of the bread slices with about 1 tablespoon of the honey. Top each with a ¼- to 1/ 3-inch slice of cheese covering the surface, 2 half-slices of bacon, and dill pickles, cut to fit. Top with the remaining bread slices, placing them buttered side up.

Heat the skillet over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles upon contact. Add the sandwiches and adjust the heat to medium-low. Place a lid just a bit smaller than the skillet directly on top of the sandwiches. Cook the sandwiches for about 5 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt and the bottom slice of bread is golden brown. Using a wide spatula and holding the top of the sandwiches in place with fingertips, carefully turn them and brown the other side for about 5 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to avoid overbrowning.

Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting surface. Let cool slightly and cut them in half before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Kim Haasarud, 101 Cocktail Book Series

2 oz - light/silver or gold rum
1 oz - ime juice

1 oz - orange blossom honey syrup
1 part - orange twist, for garnish

For orange blossom honey Syrup:
2 parts orange blossom honey
1 part HOT water

Combine. Stir until dissolved. Bottle and refrigerate.

For Drink Preparation:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
2. Top with ice and shake vigorously.
3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
4. Garnish with orange twist.

Recipes courtesy of the National Honey Board. For more, visit

2 large - eggs
3 tablespoons - cold, crumbled mild feta or goat cheese

2 teaspoons - crystallized honey
Olive oil or butter, for pan

Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Have the cheese and honey measured and ready.

Heat a small heavy skillet over medium heat until hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle. Add a drop of olive oil or a sliver of butter and tilt the pan to cover the surface.

Pour the eggs into the pan. The pan should be hot enough to sizzle and start setting the eggs immediately. Decrease the heat to medium-low. Pull the eggs away from the edges of the pan and tilt the pan so that uncooked eggs in the center run to the edges.

Sprinkle a layer of the cheese over half of the circle of partially cooked egg. Top with the crystallized honey. Using a small rubber spatula, fold the half of the omelet without the filling over the filled half. Cook on low for about 30 seconds, or until the eggs are set.

Slide the omelet onto a plate and serve.

Type of Honey: Almost any honey that is crystallized or creamed can be used. Some examples are star thistle, goldenrod, thyme, and clover.

Recipes courtesy of the National Honey Board. For more, visit

1¼ cup - old fashioned oats
3 tablespoons - shredded coconut
½ cup - sliced almonds, finely chopped
1 tablespoon - hemp seeds, shelled (optional)

1 scoop - whey protein powder
½ cup - honey
½ cup - dried apricots, chopped
½ cup - peanut butter

In a medium bowl add the oats, coconut, almonds, hemp seeds and protein powder. Stir until well distributed. Add the honey, apricots and peanut butter and stir well. Put mixing bowl into the refrigerator for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then roll into rounded balls. When chilled, they can last about 5 days. 

Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

Scrumptious with chips. Yummy on grilled salmon. Gorgeous as a salad over crispy greens.

1 small butternut squash (peeled, seeded and diced into 3/8 inch pieces - about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons honey
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice and 1 tablespoon rind)
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1½ teaspoons Kosher salt (or 3/4 teaspoon regular salt)

1 (15-16 oz) can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 small red, sweet or Vidalia onion (diced - about 3/4 cup)
¼ cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves (chopped - no stems)
1 cup corn (fresh, canned and drained or frozen, rinsed and thawed)

Put diced squash into a heat safe bowl (don't add any water), cover with a plate or an inverted bowl and microwave till just tender - 3 to 4 minutes. Don't over cook.

Mean while, whisk together honey, lemon rind, lemon juice, garlic, cinnamon and salt. Using a rubber scraper, add remaining ingredients. When squash is tender, fold the hot squash into the mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Longer is better.

BEE STILL MY HEART (Stilton and Honey For Two)
Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

Get a small wedge of creamy stilton (English blue cheese) and some very light colored, mild honey.

Put the cheese on a plate. Drizzle with a little more honey than you think you need.

Sprinkle a few raw walnut halves and pieces over the top if you're game.

Serve with port for two and a ripe pear - peeled, seeded and cut into slices.

Don't worry about crackers - just use your fork to nibble your way into the wedge, sipping your port as you go.

Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

It just wouldn't be Valentine's Day without chocolate.

These ultra dark, ultra rich hand made truffles are kissed with the elegance of ginger.

Wonderful with champagne, merlot or French roast coffee.

For the sophisticated, adult taste. Don't waste these on the kiddies.

Makes about 1½ dozen

1 (1 oz) square unsweetened chocolate
2 oz regular cream cheese (softened- low fat or fat free not recommended)
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)

1 teaspoon dried ginger
Toasted wheat germ or sifted, dark cocoa powder for coating (about 1/4 cup - natural cocoa not recommended)

Put chocolate into a heat proof cup and microwave until almost melted - about 1 minute. Stir to finish melting.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and chocolate together until smooth. Beat in honey. On low speed, add powdered sugar and ginger mixing until smooth.

Refrigerate to firm - about half an hour. Longer is OK.
Put wheat germ or cocoa (for coating) into a small bowl. Divide firm mixture evenly into 18 pieces.

Using your hands, lightly roll each piece into a ball and roll in coating. Shake off excess.
Keep finished truffles refrigerated.


Bistro Mushrooms
Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

8 oz Baby Bella (small Portabella) mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil

Dash black pepper

Wash mushrooms well under tepid, gently running water.  Drain well.  Drying not necessary.  Cut into 1/8 inch thick slices. Heat oil and pepper together in a medium frying pan.  Add mushrooms and spread out into a single layer.  Cook on high (watching carefully) until liquid starts to release and mushrooms begin to brown.  Stir and flip mushrooms (a pan cake turner works well).  Let mushrooms continue to cook until darkened, tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Chill.  Mixture can also be served hot.  Even easier so there's less last minute cooking ..... chilled mixture can me microwaved to reheat.


Old Fashioned "Uncanned" Fresh Peach Preserves
Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

8-10 ripe peaches (each about 3 inches in diameter - about 3 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons lemon juice (bottled is OK)

1 1/4 cups sugar (other sweeteners not recommended)
1 teaspoon butter - optional (margarine not recommended)

Wash peaches and peel.  Remove any bruised parts and pits.  Using a hand held, old fashioned potato masher, coarsely mash peaches.  (Using a blender of food processor makes the peaches too smooth.)  Stir in lemon juice.  Measure peaches and juice.  You should have about 5 cups.  A little more or less is OK.
Put mashed peaches and juice into frying pan.  Stir in sugar and butter, if desired. (Butter is not necessary but it keeps the amount foam produced during cooking to a minimum.  Without the butter, you'll need to skim the foam off the preserves which is I find tedious.)
Cover pan. (If using aluminum foil, crimp it on tightly.)  Bring peaches to a boil over high heat.  Boil with lid on 1 minute.  This "washes down" any sugar crystals so your preserves will not get grainy. 
Remove lid (or foil).  Reduce heat so peaches don't boil over (it makes a horrible mess) but keep the mixture bubbling.  Cook, stirring so the peaches don't scorch, until the mixture reduces in volume by half - about 8 minutes.  Remove from heat.  (The mixture will look more like a sauce than preserves but thickens with cooling.)
Skim off any foam and discard.  Immediately ladle into a heat proof container.  Cool.  Cover and refrigerate till needed.  Keeps about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.  Do not store at room temperature.
Karla's Tip:  If larger quantities are needed, prepare one batch at a time, washing and drying the pan between batches.  Don't double the recipe or cook in a deeper pot.


Recipe by Chef John Maxwell
Servings: 10

6 peaches — peeled and seeded
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brandy
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1¾ cups flour, all-purpose

½ teaspoon salt
2 egg — separate out yolks
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter — melted
oil for frying

Cut the peaches into 1 inch thick wedges. Combine the sugar, brandy and cinnamon. Add the peaches and toss to coat.

Combine the baking powder, flour and salt. Whisk together the egg yolks and milk and stir into the dry ingredients. Stir in the butter.

Whip the egg whites into soft peaks and fold them into the batter. Dip the peaches into the batter and fry them in hot oil until browned.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 198 Calories; 4.3g Fat (21.0% calories from fat); 4.6g Protein; 31.4g Carbohydrate; 1.9g Dietary Fiber; 46.9mg Cholesterol; 202.4mg Sodium. Exchanges: 11 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 4 Fruit; 1 Non-Fat Milk; 7 Fat; 4 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Peach-Ham Kebobs

¾ cup fresh peach purée (For purée, peel and slice 3 peaches. In a blender, whiz slices with ½ cup sugar and a pinch of salt until smooth. Freeze excess.)
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Dash of ground cloves
2 pounds ham, cut in 2-inch cubes
3 green peppers, sliced
4 – 5 fresh Virginia Grown peaches, peeled or unpeeled, and quartered

Mix first 4 ingredients for a marinade.  Pour half over the ham cubes and marinate approximately 15 minutes. Discard marinade. Alternate ham cubes, green pepper slices and fresh peach quarters on skewers. Broil in broiler or cook on an outdoor grill. Brush with the other half of the marinade as the meat cooks.

Virginia Grown Summer Fruit Shortcake


1 can refrigerated biscuits – “Grand” size
3 Tablespoons  sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon


4 cups fresh Virginia Grown peaches, nectarines, blueberries, or blackberries or any combination of the four

1 – 2 Tablespoons sugar


1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit.  Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Separate biscuits.  Sprinkle biscuit top and bottom lightly with mixture of sugar and cinnamon.  Bake approximately 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Place on cooling racks for ten minutes. 
Prepare the filling by gently washing the berries or peeling and slicing peaches or nectarines.  Add sugar to taste, mixing gently.  Split each biscuit.  Place the bottom section on a plate, spoon on the fruit, then add the upper section of the biscuit.  Pour the cream into a cold bowl with deep sides; add sugar and whip to soft peaks.  Top the filled fruit shortcakes with a dollop of whipped cream and add several berries or fruit sections for decoration.  Makes 8 servings.

Virginia Grown Summer Fruit Pizza

1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 can prepared cream cheese or vanilla frosting

4 cups fresh Virginia Grown peaches, nectarines, blueberries and blackberries
1 – 2 Tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit.  Spray 2 pizza pans or 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray.  Divide the cookie dough into two equal portions. Roll out each portion between two pieces of plastic wrap, forming two 10” – 12” rounds (whatever size will fit on the pans or sheets).  Remove one piece of plastic wrap, position the dough on the pan or sheet, then remove the other piece of plastic wrap.  If the dough sticks to the plastic wrap, place it in the freezer briefly.  Bake the rounds for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown. Using a knife, score each round while still warm into 6 triangular sections.  Place the scored rounds on a cooling rack for ten minutes.  When cooled, place each round on a serving plate.  Spread with frosting but leave the edge with score lines showing.  Prepare fruit by gently washing the berries and peeling and slicing the peaches and nectarines.  Add sugar to taste, mix gently.  Place the sliced fruit and berries in any appealing pattern.  Separate the rounds into sections along the score lines.  Makes 12 servings.

Virginia Grown Summer Fruit Crisp


5 cups Virginia Grown peaches, blueberries, blackberries or nectarines
1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ – ½ cup sugar, depending on how tart the fruit is
2 Tablespoons  cornstarch


½ cup rolled oats
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chopped nuts
4 – 5 Tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit.

Filling: Gently wash fruit; if using peaches and nectarines, peel and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Add cinnamon, sugar and cornstarch.  Mix and place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. 

Topping:  Combine rolled oats, flour, sugars, cinnamon, nuts and butter.  Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until fruit is bubbling and the top is golden brown.  Makes 6-8 servings. 


Peanuts are a nutrition powerhouse.  One ounce provides 15 percent of the Daily Value of protein along with nearly half of the 13 vitamins necessary for the body’s growth and one-third of the minerals.
Cholesterol-free peanuts are also a good source of folate, which can help prevent certain birth defects and may aid in decreasing stroke and coronary disease among the elderly.


2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons grated onion
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth

½ cup peanut butter
¼ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; add onion and celery. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add flour and mix until well blended. Stir in chicken broth and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remover from heat, strain broth. Stir peanut butter, salt and lemon juice into the strained broth until well mixed. Serve hot in cups. Garnish each cup with a teaspoon of chopped peanuts.
Yield: 6 servings

Virginia Peanut Butter Bread
By Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist

A wonderful (and so easy to make) hostess gift.  Wrap it in cellophane and tie it with a bow. 
Makes 1 loaf
Pan size:  8½ X 4½ X 2½ inches

2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder

½ cup sugar
½ cup natural type peanut butter
1¼ cups milk (any type)

Position oven rack so bread will bake in center.  Preheat to 350 degrees.  Grease pan.
Stir dry ingredients together.  Using an electric mixer, blend in peanut butter until the mixture looks uniform.  Stir in milk just to combine.  Pour into prepared pan. 
Bake 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out dry.  Remove from oven.  Cool 10 minutes in pan.  Un-mold onto cooling rack.  Cool top side up (at least 1 hour) before cutting.  


When colonists landed in the New World, they saw that Native Americans used pumpkins as a staple in their diets and the newcomers quickly put the colorful squash on their own dinner tables as a side dish, soup, dessert and even beer. 

Pumpkins are a nutritious source of beta-carotene, potassium and vitamin C; an adaptable ingredient in tasty fare from soups and stews to breads and pies; and a decorative element that adds bold color and unique form to front porches and mantle pieces.


2½ c. flour 
2 c. sugar 
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger 
½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs
1 c. canned pumpkin
½ c. oil
2 c. finely chopped apple

In large bowl combine the first seven ingredients. In a small bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Makes 18 muffins.

Cordelia Higgins, Crewe, Virginia


2¼ c. flour
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 eggs

2 c. sugar
1¾ (15-oz.) cans pumpkin
½ c. oil
1 c. dried cranberries

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil in small mixer bowl; beat just until blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon into 2 greased and floured 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 2 loaves.

Cordelia Higgins, Crewe, Virginia


3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. canned pumpkin
¾ c. flour
1 c. powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese

1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. chopped pecans

2 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat eggs for 5 minutes until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until stiff. Add pumpkin. Mix dry ingredients and fold in egg mixture. Grease a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan and line with wax paper. Pour batter into pan and bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. When done, turn out cake onto a dish towel and peel off wax paper. Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar onto cake and roll in towel and let cool. When cool, unroll and ice. Roll back up and refrigerate.

Hedy Thomas, Farmville, Virginia


Raspberries contain lutein, an antioxidant which has been linked to the promotion of healthy skin and reducing the risk of macular degeneration.  Lutein also filters blue wavelengths of light which are believed to induce damage in the eyes and skin.
Members of the rose family, raspberries are typically red-pink in color, but actually come in a range of colors including black, purple, orange, yellow and white.


1½ cups fresh raspberries
1½ cups milk
1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt

Place all ingredients in a blender.  Blend for 30 seconds.  Serve in chilled glasses.  Freeze remainder in ice pop forms to enjoy later.  Makes 4 servings.



3 Yukon gold potatoes
1 clove garlic, raw
1 head of roasted garlic
2 T. lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Roast the garlic head using your favorite method. (Either separating the cloves, tossing with a minimum of olive oil and roasting OR clean the head of garlic of all dirt, rub the outside with some olive oil; wrap the head in foil and roast - or however you like to roast garlic).  Peel potatoes. Cut into 2" chunks. Boil the potatoes until tender. Drain. RESERVE THE END OF THE POTATO WATER. (The water left after most of the water has been drained off, contains a fair amount of potato starch. This will keep the mixture from being too gummy.)  Using a potato masher or pastry cutter, mash the potatoes. Grate the raw garlic clove into the potatoes. Add the remaining ingredients. Add enough potato water to give a good consistency for spreading or dipping. Adjust salt to taste.

Chef Jannequin Bennett, author Very Vegetarian and The Complete Vegan Kitchen

Potatoes are a good source of potassium, which is more abundant just under the skin so eating the skin is a nutritious bonus.  They also contain vitamin C, calcium, iron, and phosphorus.  Water makes up as much as 80 percent of the weight of a potato.

By bringing water to a boil before adding the potatoes, you reduce the cooking time and help preserve vitamin C.   


3 medium potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 carrots, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 large tomato, cut into ½ inch cubes
¼ pound green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup fresh corn

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Toss all ingredients in 2- to 3-quart baking dish.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake in oven about 1 hour, mixing twice, until potatoes are tender.
(Makes 8 servings)

Best eaten hot out of the oven. Isn't everything? An by the way, these are practically fat free but don't let that scare you away from these yummy treats!

Makes 12-16 (3 inch) rolled biscuits

2 cups self rising flour (see tip below)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter (softened - margarine or oil not recommended)

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (see tip below)
¼ cup buttermilk

Position oven rack so biscuits will bake in center. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheet with baking parchment or coat with baking spray.

Using a hand held potato masher, blend self rising flour, sugar, butter and mashed sweet potatoes together. Stir in butter milk just to combine. Do not over mix.

Pour dough onto lightly floured surface. Using floured hands, bring dough together kneading lightly (2 or 3 times) until it comes together and is not very sticky. (It should still be a little sticky but manageable. I know that's vague but if you over work the dough, your biscuits will be flat and rubbery.)

Pat dough (don't try to roll it out) into a 3/4 inch thick circle. Cut biscuits using a 3 inch cutter. Place 2 inches apart in prepared cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes or until nicely browned on bottoms. Tops won't brown much. Don't open oven door during baking.

Baker's Tips
1. Cook books will tell you that you can add baking powder and salt to all purpose flour and it's the same as self rising flour. Don't believe it. For biscuits, every great southern cook knows the flour must be self rising.
Look for it in the baking aisle of grocery stores everywhere.

2. To cook a fresh sweet potato, wash it under running tap water and drain. Don't peel. Pierce skin 2 or 3 times with a fork. Microwave till soft - 8 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the potato. Don't overcook or the potato will explode and make a horrible mess. Cool. Remove peel and discard. Mash.

3. For canned sweet potatoes, use 1 (29 oz) can or 2 (15 oz) cans. Either syrup or water pack is OK. Don't use sweet potato pie filling. Open cans, pour off liquid and discard. Rinse potatoes under tepid running tap water. Drain. Mash then measure.

4. Use an old fashioned, hand held potato masher so potatoes are thick and not overly mashed. Don't use the food processor or blender.

5. To measure lightly pile mashed sweet potatoes into measuring cup.



By Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist

Summer is gone and so are the garden fresh greens, cucumbers and tomatoes we enjoyed as salads.

But don't worry, there's a seasonal abundance of healthfully delicious, winter greens and veggies ready to take their place. And just about any thing you serve as a vegetable side dish can find it's way into a salad. Experiment!

Cold season salads are easy on the budget plus they're an environmentally responsible alternative to the high cost of out of season, out of region, hot house grown greens, tomatoes and lettuce.

Fabulous with crab cakes, fried fish, barbeque and hot turkey sandwiches.

Serves 2-4

3 (3 inch in diameter) apples (any eating variety - peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped - about 1½cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 (4 inch long X 3 inch in diameter) sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed - about 2 cups)
1 stalk celery (finely chopped - about ½ cup)

¼ cup pecan halves and pieces
1 small Vidalia onion (chopped - about 1/4 cup)
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup mayonnaise or cooked salad dressing (like Miracle Whip- or to taste)

Toss apples with lemon juice. Set aside.

Put potatoes into a large pot. Add enough water so it comes to one inch above the top of the potatoes. Partially cover pot and bring to a boil on high. Reduce heat to simmer and cook till potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife - about 8 minutes. Do not over cook or potatoes will mash.

Remove from heat and drain. Rinse with cool tap water. Drain well.

Combine remaining ingredients. Fold gently into cooked potatoes (a rubber spatula works well). Chill.

Whole, mini mushrooms makes this salad even quicker.

Serves 2-4

4-6 (2 inch) fresh, raw mushrooms (cut into ¼ inch thick slices - about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup vinaigrette or Italian salad dressing (or to taste)

Toss mushrooms with lemon juice. Let sit one minute. Toss with dressing. Marinate at least ½ hour before serving. Longer is better.

Stilton and blue cheese are equally yummy with seasonal pears. In a pinch, canned pears can be substituted.

Serves 2-4

2 (3 inch in diameter) ripe, fresh pears (any variety - peeled, seeded and cut in half length wise)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise or cooked salad dressing (like Miracle Whip - or to taste)

2 oz gorgonzola
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds

Toss pears with lemon juice. Let sit 1 minute. So pears will sit on plate without wobbling, slice a very thin piece from the rounded side of each half. Chop the pieces and place into the empty seed cavities. Arrange pears on serving dish, seed cavity up. Dollop mayonnaise or cooked salad dressing into seed cavities and sprinkle crumbled cheese over top. Sprinkle with nuts or seeds to garnish.


Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

Sweet potatoes

Dried cranberries

(All ingredients are to taste)

Using a paring knife, peel the potatoes and cut into random 3/8 inch cubes.  Put a little water into a large skillet (about 1/3 cup for 3 cups of cubes - more or less doesn't matter).  Add the potatoes.  Cook on medumn (covered) till tender but not too soft - stirring ocassionally. (Add a bit more water, if necessary.)

When almost done, toss in some dried cranberries.  Let them warm and plump a bit.  Remove lid to evaporate any remain water. 

Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

Sweet potatoes

Other ingredients for your favorite potato salad

Using a paring knife, peel the potatoes and cut into random 3/8 inch cubes. Put a little water into a large skillet (about 1/3 cup for 3 cups of cubes - more or less doesn't matter). Add the potatoes. Cook on medium (covered) till tender but not soft - stirring occasionally. (Add a bit more water, if necessary.)

Use half and half with white potatoes in your favorite potato salad recipe or make it with all sweet potatoes.  Cooked sweet potatoes are not as sturdy as cooked white potatoes and can smash during mixing so mix everything (except sweet potatoes) together first and fold in the sweet potatoes last using a rubber scraper.

Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

Sweet potatoes
Fresh kale

Soy sauce (or Braggs Aminos)
Dried Cranberries

(All ingredients are to taste)

Using a paring knife, peel the potatoes and cut into random 3/8 inch cubes. Put a little water into a large skillet (about 1/3 cup for 3 cups of cubes - more or less doesn't matter). Add the potatoes. Cook on medium (covered) till tender but not too soft - stirring occasionally. (Add a bit more water, if necessary.) 

When almost done, toss in a tablespoon or two of soy sauce (or Braggs Aminos), a couple of handfuls of finely chopped. fresh kale orchard and some dried cranberries. Toss to coat.  Cover pan to let the kale (or chard) wilt and soften. Remove lid to evaporate any remain water. 

Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

Sweet Potatoes
Orange Juice
Brown sugar

Butter (melted)

(All ingredients are to taste)

Using a paring knife, peel the potatoes and cut into random 3/8 inch cubes. Put into a pot and cover with water so there's 1 inch of water above the potatoes.  Bring to boil on high.  Reduce heat.  Cook until potatoes are very soft and mash-able - about 15 minutes.  Drain and mash. Mix in orange juice until you like the consistency.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a casserole add sweet potato mixture.  Top with brown sugar and pecans. Drizzle with melted butter.  Bake till heated through and top is crunchy - about 30 minutes for a 6 cup casserole.  Adjust baking time according to the size of your casserole.

Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

Sweet potatoes
Honey (or brown sugar or maple syrup)
Pecans (optional)


(All ingredients are to taste)

Wash sweet potatoes well.  Place onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast in the oven until soft (about 1 hour at 375 degrees but roasting temperature is unimportant.  You can roast sweet potatoes along with anything you are cooking in the oven - adjusting the time as needed.)  Cool.
Remove peel.   Cut into slices.  Place onto a heat safe serving dish.  Drizzle with honey (or brown sugar or maple syrup) to taste.  Dot with butter.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.  Microwave till hot and bubbling.


Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit
Butternut, acorn, pumpkin, hubbard, dumpling, spaghetti squash etc.
All winter squash can be roasted the same way.

Wash the squash well.  Drain.  Do not dry.  Microwave (if it will fit into your microwave) for 2 minutes to soften the skin.  Cut in half.  Remove the seeds and discard.  Rinse again to remove any traces of seed pulp.
(If stuffing, slice a bit off the bottom so it will sit on the plate cut side up without rolling.) Put cut side down onto parchment lined pan.  Roast in preheated 350 degree oven will soft.  (Spaghetti squash cooks quicker than the others - about 35 minutes for an 8 pound squash.  Other squashes take about 1 hour for a 3 pound squash.)

Remove from oven when cooked. Let cool until easy to handle then stuff as desired.  Return to oven to heat through - about 20 minutes according to the kind of stuffing or microwave. 

Nice in butternut squash or pumpkin

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch black pepper
4 cloves garlic (chopped - to taste)
1 onion (chopped)
1 stalk celery
½ teaspoon dried sage

½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 apple (peeled, cored and coarsely chopped)
2 tablespoons walnuts (optional)
1 cup bread cubes or a little more if necessary
Vegetable or chicken broth to moisten
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a skillet.  Add the pepper and garlic.  Cook about 2 minutes or till fragrant.  Add the onion and celery.  Cook, stirring occasionally until soft.  Stir in the apices, apple and walnuts, if desired.  Cook until apple is softened - about 2 minutes.  Stir in bread cubes and enough broth to moisten.  Add salt, if desired.
Nice in acorn or hubbard squash

Stir sweet orange marmalade (to taste) into hot cooked rice. 

Karla Tip:
Be sure to use sweet orange marmalade and not regular orange marmalade.  Regular orange marmalade contains the white pith of the orange so it is bitter.  Sweet orange marmalade contains only the zest (the peel) so it's a pure orange taste with no bitterness. 

Serve over cooked spaghetti squash.  Top with cheese, if desired. 

Makes about 6 cups sauce

1/3 cup olive oil
Ground black pepper (to taste)
5 to 6 cloves garlic (to taste - finely minced or mashed)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (not tomato puree)
Fresh oregano (optional)
Salt to taste

Heat oil, pepper and garlic together in a skillet (not cast iron) until garlic has started to brown. Be careful not to burn it.  Stir in the tomatoes and optional oregano.  Cook on medium heat, stirring occasional until reduced by 1/3 - about 20 minutes.  Do not over cook.


Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

Too yummy for words.  Great on grilled fish.  Delicious on burgers or pork barbecue.  Makes a wonderful chip dip, too.  Best eaten the day it's made.
Makes 3 cups

1½ cups fresh, ripe red tomatoes (cored, peeled, and finely diced - about two 3 inch tomatoes)
1½ cups fresh, ripe peaches (peeled, pitted and finely diced - about two 3 inch peaches)
2 tablespoons white or rice vinegar

1 small red onion (finely diced - about ½ cup)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, basil or parsley leaves
½ teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste - optional)

Toss together and chill till serving time.


Enjoy one last taste of summer - Tuscan style.
Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup bread crumbs (plain or flavored)
1 large egg plant (2-3 pounds, peeled and cut lengthwise into ½ inch thick slices)
½ cup olive oil

3-4 tomatoes (cored and cut in half - peeled and seed, if desired)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Sprig or two fresh thyme for garnish

Melt butter in a small frying pan.  Stir in bread crumbs.  Cook over low heat until bread crumbs are lightly browned and fragrant.  Set aside.
Brush eggplant lightly with oil.  Grill on medium high heat (350-400 degrees) pressing down to make grill marks (a pan cake turner works well). Turn eggplant and cover.  Cook till done -  3-4 minutes.  Eggplant should be fork tender and soft but not mushy.  Arrange cooked eggplant (grill marks up) on a heat proof serving platter.  Keep warm. 
Brush tomatoes with oil and place on grill cut side down.  Cook till warm - 3-4 minutes.  Tomatoes should be warm and slightly soft but still hold their shape.  Arrange grilled tomatoes, cut side up, on same platter as grilled eggplant.
Drizzle any remaining oil over all and sprinkle with prepared bread crumbs and thyme leaves. Garnish with a spring or two of thyme.
Cook's Tip:  Several smaller eggplants can be used in amounts to serve 6-8 instead of one large eggplant.  Also, zucchini can be substituted.

Recipes courtesy of Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist.  (Used by permission)  For more, visit

You must have a food mill to make this recipe.  A food mill (also called a mouli) is an old fashioned kitchen gadget that works like a charm separating the juice of the cherry tomatoes from the pulp.  
Food mills are inexpensive, easy to use and readily available where ever house wares or canning supplies are sold.  Be sure to get one that's made from stainless steel so it won't rust.

Makes 1 quart (4 cups)

Keeps about a week in the fridge

8 cups cherry tomatoes (approximately-stems removed)
1/2 cup tap water
3 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
3/4 teaspoon kosher or canning salt (iodized table salt or salt substitutes not recommended)
Pinch ground black pepper

Wash tomatoes well.  Drain.  Put tomatoes and water into a deep (non aluminum) pot. (Cutting cherry tomatoes or removing cores is not necessary.)  Partially cover pot.  Bring to a boil.  Cook 5 minutes or until tomatoes are mushy.  Remove from heat.  Remove cover.  Cool about 5 minutes or until tomatoes are easy to handle. 
Position food mill over a large bowl.  Put cooked tomatoes into the food mill.  Work blade to remove the juice.  (Do not use a blender or food processor.) Discard pulp.  Measure juice.  You should have 4 cups juice.  You can add up to 1/4 cup water, if necessary, to make 4 cups.  If you need more than 1/4 cup water to make 4 cups, cook and puree more tomatoes.
Return juice to pot.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, partially covered.  Immediately remove from heat.  Cool slightly then ladle into a heat safe pitcher.  Refrigerate till serving time.

Tomatoes contain lycopenes which may be natural cancer-fighting agents.  Research has shown that eating tomatoes and tomato products helps reduce the risk for several types of cancers including lung, stomach, pancreatic, breast, cervical, colorectal, oral, prostate and esophageal. 

Although tomatoes are actually fruits, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they should be classified as vegetables as part of a decision in a tariff dispute.


6 large tomatoes, chopped
1½ cups onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1½ teaspoons sugar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
6 cup half & half or soymilk

Simmer tomatoes, onions, celery, sugar, salt and pepper about 30 minutes. Once onions are soft, strain. Set liquid aside. In saucepan, melt butter (or margarine). Stir in flour. Whisk in half & half or soymilk, and cook until thickened. Slowly add reserved tomato liquid and gently heat. Simmer about 45 min. Serve hot or cold with fresh basil garnish. Serves 6.

Copyright 1997 Jo-Linda Burke Sanders


16 oz kale, washed and chopped
¾ cup tomatoes
½ cup onions, chopped
¾ cup mushrooms, chopped
½ cup yellow pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced

2 tablespoons Bakon Yeast (hickory smoked)
1½ teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons raw sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup distilled water

Sauté onions, mushrooms, pepper and garlic in oil. Add kale, salt, Bakon Yeast, sugar and distilled water. Simmer 1 hour. Add tomatoes. Simmer another hour, adding more distilled water if necessary. Serve hot. Approx. 6 servings

Copyright 1996 Jo-Linda Burke Sanders


Recipe by Chef John Maxwell
Servings: 24

2 pounds tomatoes — Roma
¼ cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons garlic — minced
2 tablespoons shallots — minced
salt and pepper — to taste
1½ gallons chicken stock

1 cup tomato paste
2 quarts heavy cream
2 tablespoons basil — minced
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
½ cup red wine

In a sauté pan, heat all but 1 tablespoon of the oil. Sauté half the garlic and half the shallots until they are clear. Cool the mixture and use it to season the tomatoes.

Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper and roast them at 350 degrees F. for about 20 minutes or until the skins begin to blister and brown. Heat the remaining oil in a stockpot. Sauté the remaining shallots and garlic. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 3 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with red wine and add the chicken stock. Reduce by about ¼.

Process the roasted tomatoes and add them to the soup. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the heavy cream and heat through. Add the basil and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle each serving with a little cheese.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 340 Calories; 32g Fat (86.8% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 109mg Cholesterol; 2278mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 6 1/2 Fat.


2 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium zucchini, minced
1 small green pepper, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

24 ounces tomato juice
8 drops hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste

Combine first 6 ingredients, or for smoother texture, process in food processor or blender for 5-10 seconds.  Combine juice, pepper sauce and spices; whisk together.  Add vegetables.  Add salt to taste.  Mix well.  Refrigerate.  Serve cold.  Makes 6 servings.



1 Tablespoon dried rubbed sage
1-1/2 Teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (5 to 6 Pound) BONE-IN TURKEY BREAST, fresh or frozen, thawed
1 Cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix sage, seasoned salt and black pepper in small bowl.

Place turkey breast on a V-shaped wire rack in a foil-lined heavy roasting pan. Spread seasoning mixture over entire surface and under skin of turkey breast. Cover loosely with heavy duty foil.

Roast 45 minutes in preheated oven. Remove foil. Add water to pan. Roast 1 to 1-1/4 hours longer or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, basting occasionally with pan juices.

Remove turkey breast from oven. Loosely cover with foil. Let stand 15 minutes. Transfer to platter or carving board and slice.

Recipe Source: Recipe and photo kindly provided by McCormick & Company, Inc.



1/2 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup salt
10 black peppercorns, whole

1 Medium orange, peeled and juiced
1 Gallon cold water
1 12-pound WHOLE TURKEY, fresh or thawed

  1. Combine all ingredients, except turkey, in large pot and simmer over low heat for 1-½ hours.
  2. Chill brine in ice bath until cold.
  3. Place whole turkey into foodservice-safe grade container.
  4. Pour chilled brine over top to submerge. Close bag and cover.
  5. Marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  6. Remove turkey from brine, drain excess liquid.
Turkey Prep

2 bay leaves
2 Sprigs fresh rosemary
4 Sprigs fresh thyme

2 Medium carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 Medium white onions, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces

  1. Place herbs and vegetables in body cavity and secure.
Cooking Procedure

1 Pound unsalted butter, softened
2 Medium oranges, juiced
1 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon pepper

1/2 Cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped

  1. Combine butter, orange juice, salt, pepper, maple syrup, rosemary, thyme and garlic in a large bowl.
  2. With fingers, slowly massage the compound butter into the skin of the turkey until well absorbed.
  3. Fold wings under the back of the turkey and return legs to the tucked position. Turkey may be cooked in a 325 degree F oven or on a rotisserie.
  4. If roasting in a thermal oven, cook on a rack for approximately 3 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh.
  5. If cooking by the rotisserie method, thread turkey evenly on the rotisserie-spit fork using a counterweight to achieve an even balance. Place a drip pan in the center of the grill beneath the area where the turkey juices will drip. Cook the turkey over indirect medium heat in a covered rotisserie.
  6. If cooking with charcoal, replenish briquettes with about 15 briquettes every hour, as needed, to maintain medium heat. Cook until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh (about 3 hours).
  7. Allow turkey to rest for about 15 minutes. Remove vegetables and herbs from the cavity prior to carving. Place slices on a platter and garnish with oranges.

Recipe Source: Marc Van Steyn, Executive Chef, Rigsby's Cuisine Volatile, Columbus, Ohio


Horseradish Mayonnaise

1/4 Cup mayonnaise

1/4 Teaspoon prepared horseradish

  1. Mix together. Cover and refrigerate.

Sandwich Assembly
8 Slices 12-grain bread
As needed red leaf lettuce, cleaned, drained and chilled
1 Pound COOKED or OVEN ROASTED TURKEY, cut into slices
1/2 Cup leftover cranberry orange relish
4 (1/4-Inch thick) slices leftover cooked TURKEY SAUSAGE dressing
1 Thin slice red onion

  1. For each sandwich, spread a thin layer of horseradish mayonnaise on bread slices and top one bread slice with red leaf lettuce leaves.
  2. Pile on 4 ounces leftover cooked turkey breast slices. Top with a scoop of cranberry-orange relish.
  3. Cover relish with slices of turkey sausage dressing.
  4. Separate red onion slices into rings and cover sausage dressing with 3-4 red onion rings.
  5. Add the top bread slice and serve immediately.

Chef: Chef/Owner Ken Upton


PREPARING ASPARAGUS - By Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist  
For more visit

Tips for Choosing the Best Asparagus
Asparagus is a porous reed.  It looses moisture the minute it's cut.   Whether you buy asparagus at the grocery store or a roadside stand, here are some tips for selecting the best asparagus:
1. Choose plump, moist-looking stems with tightly closed tips. 
2.  Look at the bottom of the stalks.  They should be fresh and green. 
3.  Sometimes stores stand asparagus upright in water or ice.  Again, check the bottoms.  They should look fresh and moist- never brown or slimy. 
Which is better - pencil thin asparagus or thick?  Either! 
Pencil thin asparagus is used for style and its very delicate taste.  
Thick asparagus has more asparagus flavor.

Why Condition Asparagus

Asparagus should always be conditioned before cooking regardless of whether the recipe tells you to do so or not.  Asparagus is a porous reed.  It looses moisture rapidly after it's harvested.  What's left behind (in varying degrees according to how old the cut stalks are) is fibrous.  Have you ever eaten what appeared to be a tender, pencil-thin asparagus only to find it a little stringy?  That's the fiber.    

Before mass shipping halfway around the world, local asparagus was much fresher.  Also, we used to overcook vegetables so asparagus was typically boiled to oblivion which softened the fiber.    

Today, with the emphasis on quick cooking to retain taste and nutrition, asparagus should be conditioned so moisture is absorbed back into the stalk.    As the spears are cooked, moisture inside the stalk steams the fiber from the inside making the asparagus tender, faster.          

 How to Condition Asparagus
1.  Wash spears.  Drain.
2.  For each stalk, hold one end in each hand.  Gently bend stalk.  It will break where the tender and woody parts meet.  Discard woody ends.
3.  Put about 2 inches of tepid water into a non reactive container (a canning or pickle jar works well - so does a pitcher).  Stand spears upright in water.
4.  Drape an open plastic bag over top of spears and refrigerate.

Garden spears can be cooked the same day.  Conditioning freshly cut garden asparagus is just a way of "holding" them until you're ready to cook.

Purchased spears should be conditioned at least 24 hours.

Both garden and purchased spears can be refrigerated in water up to about 5 days but change the water each day.


Here are some easy ways to incorporate five to nine daily servings of Virginia Grown produce into your regular menu. Start the day with your usual bowl of cereal but pump it up by adding fresh strawberries, blueberries or nectarines.  Fortify your favorite juice by whirring it into a smoothie.  Add low-fat vanilla yogurt, berries and ice and you have breakfast to go.  For a unique taste, microwave chopped asparagus and mushrooms until crisp-tender, then add them to beaten eggs just before scrambling.  Top waffles or pancakes with raspberries or blackberries and you can tally up extra fiber and vitamin C along with great taste. 

Add your own snacks to the menu so you’re ready when the munchies hit at the office or on the move.  Take along a variety of ready-to-eat Virginia Grown treats such as grape tomatoes, apple slices, or Virginia peanuts for a quick pick-me-up.  Add fresh herbs to sour cream or plain yogurt and you’ve got a delicious dip for cucumber slices, green beans and pepper strips.  Add honey instead of herbs and you have an easy condiment for melon chunks and Asian pear slices.

In addition to the usual sandwich fixings, layer on sliced Virginia Grown peppers, cucumbers and baby spinach or a combination of salad greens.  The result is extra flavor and terrific texture.  Pizzas, burgers and baked potatoes are natural landing pads for the extra zest and zing that Virginia Grown vegetables can add.  Load them up with your favorites.  But don’t stop there.  Incorporate a variety of chopped vegetables into the ground meat for a delicious new burger taste, in rice for a flavorful pilaf and in tomato sauce for an innovative topping for pasta. 

Color coordinate your next salad by building crisp lettuces, broccoli, snap beans, cucumbers and peppers into a garden of greens.  How about a colorful slaw that combines chopped cabbage with some uncommon partners such as field-fresh peas, diced red bell pepper and sweet corn along with the usual ingredients.  Wrap up a mixture of your favorite fillings in a tortilla along with extra chopped tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers to enhance both taste and nutrition. 

When you are firing up the barbecue, don’t forget to put Virginia Grown on the menu.  Add thick slices of eggplant, kebobs of squash and peppers, or sweet corn in the husk to the selection of meat, poultry and seafood.  Grilling enhances the flavors and the process is simple.  Brush the vegetables with a prepared marinade, pop them on the grill, turn every five minutes until tender.  Soak the corn in cold water for ten minutes, pull back the husks only far enough to remove the silk, replace the husks, wrap in foil and roast for about 30 minutes with the grill top down, turning 1/3 turn every ten minutes. 

For a sweet treat and the perfect ending to any meal, simply bite into fresh, juicy Virginia Grown peaches, nectarines, berries, Asian pears, apples, cantaloupe or watermelon.  For a more elaborate treat, layer lemon yogurt, blueberries, vanilla yogurt and raspberries in an elegant wine glass.  Top ice cream or frozen yogurt with Virginia Grown blackberries.  Purée raspberries and drizzle over chunks of cantaloupe and watermelon.  Don’t forget shortcake – any berry will work well.  Or choose sweet potato pie, blackberry cobbler, apple cake or peach ice cream, just to mention a few. 

When you add Virginia Grown fruits and vegetables to the menu, you add great taste, terrific texture, beautiful color and good nutrition.  Click here to find out where you can purchase Virginia Grown fruits and vegetables, when specific varieties are available, how to make delicious dishes featuring fresh produce, how much nutrition each variety provides and much more.

Important Links:

Safe Handling and Cooking Tips
Virginia Grown TV Commercial
Farmers Market Week TV Commercial

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