Here are some special recipes for summer enjoyment.

Here are some special recipes for summer enjoyment.



Green Bean Salad with Peaches

2 pounds green beans, trimmed

1/3 cup EVOO, olive oil

1 medium Vidalia or sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 pound, about 4 medium, firm ripe yellow peaches or nectarines, sliced, then cut in half crosswise

1 tablespoon fresh sweet basil, chopped

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

In a skillet heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until caramelized about 8-10 minutes. Stir in peaches and cook until peaches are slightly soft about 4-5 minutes.

In a large bowl whisk together remaining oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in basil, then toss in onion and peaches, set aside.

Bring a large pot of water with 1-2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Add green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes, quickly drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water until chilled. Drain and add to peach mixture, toss to combine well.


Baked Corn Casserole

10 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup all purpose flour

½ cup yellow cornmeal

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

1 15-ounce can yellow corn, drained, reserving ¼ cup liquid

1 15-ounce can cream-style corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a 9 x 13 –inch baking dish, or a 2-quart casserole baking dish, set aside.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Melt 8-tablespoons butter in a saucepan and pour into bowl, then mix with eggs, corn kernels and reserved liquid, and cream style corn; stir until well combined. Stir in dry ingredients, combine well, and pour into prepared dish. Dot with remaining butter. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 35 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Potato Salad with Bacon

10 medium white potatoes, about 8 cups, peeled, cooked, and cubed

10 strips of smoked bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

3 hard boiled eggs, chopped

1 8-ounce package French onion dip

1/3 cup sweet pickle relish

Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

In a large bowl combine the potatoes, bacon, and eggs, tossing together.

In another bowl stir together onion dip, relish, salt and pepper. Stir into potato mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or over night.


Broiled Chicken with Peach Preserves

4 chicken boneless breasts

½ cup peach preserves

4 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons low salt soy sauce

In a small bowl stir together peach preserves, soy sauce, and orange juice; mix thoroughly. Brush mixture on both sides of chicken breasts. Place chicken on a broiler pan and broil until done, turning once.


Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

2-4 racks of baby back ribs, cut into 3-4 pieces each

2-4 cups Sweet Baby Ray barbecue sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

2 large sweet onions, chopped

Place ribs in slow cooker. Stir together brown sugar and barbecue sauce. Top ribs with onion and barbecue sauce.

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours or until meat is tender.

To serve, cut ribs between bones and coat with extra sauce as desired.


Coconut Cake with Blueberries

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract

1 cup milk or almond milk

½ cup canola or coconut oil

1 ½ cups fresh blueberries

1 cup flaked coconut

2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

In a bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, almond extract, and oil. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture. Gently fold in blueberries. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with coconut.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

In a small bowl combine confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice. Make for a consistency that will pour over cake. Pour over cake before serving.


Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.