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  • Honey-lime chicken wings combine sweet, sour

  • Chicken with lime juice and honey has a nice sweet and sour taste. Use the lime juice to taste, the more lime juice the more sour the taste. I sometimes add a little lemon juice to the mixture to soften the twang to the taste. Experiment with the best flavor for your taste.
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  • Chicken with lime juice and honey has a nice sweet and sour taste. Use the lime juice to taste, the more lime juice the more sour the taste. I sometimes add a little lemon juice to the mixture to soften the twang to the taste. Experiment with the best flavor for your taste.
    Strawberries are still plentiful in the stores and there are so many recipes for this tasty little fruit. Macerating the fruit adds a new sweetness. Adding sugar to this process brings out the strawberry’s natural pectin, which is perfect for making jam. Adding a little balsamic vinegar, which makes the berries a brighter red, and/or crushed rosemary or other herbs give a new dimension to the flavor of this fruit. The longer the berries macerate, the richer and more intense their flavor becomes. Adding some sugar or vanilla makes it perfect for toppings on other desserts.
    Enjoy!
     
    Baked Honey-Lime Chicken Wings
    Chicken drumsticks work well with this recipe also.
    4 pounds chicken wings (about 24), tips cut off, and split into 2-pieces
    ¼ cup honey
    2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    2 teaspoons lime zest
    2 cloves garlic, minced then smashed
    fresh ground black pepper, to taste
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    In a large bowl mix together honey, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper to taste. Add chicken wings and toss to combine well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 4 hours, stir occasionally to mix.
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Foil line 2-baking sheets, then add racks. Remove wings from the marinade and place on racks, reserving marinade. Brush wings with marinade. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven. Baste with reserved marinade. Turn wings over, and baste the second side. Return to oven and bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.
     
    Strawberry Salsa
    1 pint fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
    2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
    1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
    ½ cup fresh cilantro, minced
    6 tablespoons EVOO, olive oil
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    In a large bowl combine strawberries and 1-tablespoon balsamic vinegar, toss to mix well. Add tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.
    In a small bowl combine oil, 1-tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and salt; gently stir into tomato and strawberry mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.
     
    Pasta Salad with Genoa Salami and Black Olives
    3 cups uncooked farfalle, large elbow, or cellentani pasta
    ½ medium red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
    ½ orange bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
    ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
    4 ounce slice of genoa salami or hard salami, cut into cubes, about one cup
    Page 2 of 3 - 4 ounce slice of provolone cheese, cubed, about one cup
    ½ cup black olives, cut in half
    ½ cup Italian salad dressing
    Fresh sweet basil, chopped
    Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water, set aside.
    In a large bowl mix together red pepper, orange pepper, provolone cheese, salami, and black olives. Fold the cooked pasta into this mixture. Drizzle with Italian dressing and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Add more dressing if desired and sprinkle with chopped basil before serving.
     
    Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Raisins
    Serves 8 – 10, with one cup servings.
    ¼ cup cider or champagne vinegar
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    ½ cup mayonnaise
    ¼ cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
    4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    2 pounds of fresh small broccoli florets, about 12 cups
    ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
    12 strips of smoked bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled
    1 cup raisins
    Sunflower seeds (Optional)
    In a blender add vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, sugar, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cream cheese; cover and blend until smooth. Add a little milk or cream for a thinner consistency.
    In a large salad bowl toss together broccoli, crumbled bacon, raisins, and red onion. Pour dressing over salad, toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. When ready to serve sprinkle with sunflower seeds, if desired.
     
    Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin
    1 pound zucchini, cut into ¼-inch rounds
    1 pound yellow squash, cut into ¼-inch rounds
    4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
    ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    ½ cup sweet onion, finely chopped
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme flakes
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 ¾ cups warm milk
    2/3 cup bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons butter, melted
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Vegetable spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, set aside.
    In a large skillet with 1-tablespoon olive oil, in batches, sauté zucchini and yellow squash in a single layer for better cooking, for 3-4 minutes. Add more olive oil as needed.
    In a bowl stir together mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. In prepared baking dish layer zucchini and squash with shredded cheese, making about 2-3 layers.
    In the skillet add some olive oil and saute onion with thyme and onion powder; cook about 3-4 minutes, stirring. Add 2 tablespoons flour and cook, stirring, for one minute. Quickly whisk in warm milk, continue whisking, and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes; add salt and pepper, to taste
    Page 3 of 3 - Pour the hot mixture over zucchini and squash.
    In a bowl toss together bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle over zucchini and squash. Bake in a 375 degree oven until vegetables are tender and cheese is bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.
     
    Cream-Cheesecake with Peaches
    1 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
    1 cup graham cracker crumbs
    1/3 cup butter, softened
    2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
    1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
    2 large eggs, room temperature
    ¼ cup lemon juice
    1.2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ½ teaspoon almond extract
    2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
    3-4 fresh ripe peaches or nectarines, cut into ½-inch slices
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 – inch pan.
    In a bowl stir together pecans, graham cracker crumbs, and butter with a fork until well combined. Press this mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
    In a bowl with an electric mixer beat cream cheese until smooth and no lumps remain. Continue mixing and add sweetened condensed milk, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, almond extract, and flour. Mix until completely blended. Pour over graham cracker crust.
    In a blender or food processor puree peaches. With a tablespoon drop spoonfuls of peach puree over top of cream cheese mixture. With a knife gently swirl peaches through filling to make a marbled appearance.
    Bake for 30 minutes or until center is set. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled throughout, about 4 hours or overnight. Cut into squares and serve chilled.
     
    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.
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