Happy New Year! May you and your family be blessed with a wonderful upcoming year filled with good health, love, friendship, and maybe some extra money.

Enjoy!

 

Cranberry Martini

For more of a cranberry taste use cranberry flavored vodka, or orange flavored vodka for a more orange taste. Makes 2 martinis. I enjoy this served over ice with a garnish slice of orange.

1 ½ ounces vodka

½ ounce Grand Marnier or orange liqueur

½ ounce dry vermouth

3 ounces cranberry-raspberry juice

Fresh cranberries for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all ingredients. Cover and shake about 45 seconds. Strain into 2 chilled martini glasses. Garnish with cranberries skewered on toothpicks or small skewers.

 

Shrimp Dip with Green Goddess Dressing

1 pound cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

¼ cup fresh dill

¼ cup fresh parsley

3 scallions, chopped

1/3 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

1 lemon, juice and zest

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 round or oval loaf sourdough bread, abut 8-inch round

Olive oil for drizzling

In a blender or food processor pulse the shrimp until finely chopped, do not puree, only coarsely chop. Transfer to a large bowl.

To the processor container add the cream cheese, dill, parsley, scallions, mayonnaise, and sour cream and process until smooth.

Add the cream cheese mixture to the shrimp mixture along with lemon juice and zest, mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two up to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a serrated knife hollow out the bread loaf, leaving ½-inch thick shell; set aside. Slice the cut out bread into pieces and arrange on a baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and bake until toasted, about 5-8 minutes.

Fill the loaf with the dip and top with chopped dill. Serve with toasted bread and/or crackers.

 

Stuffed Christmas Flounder

Submitted by Ines Cuadrado

Even though it is not Christmas Eve, this dish is worthy of a New Year’s dinner. It is said that this dish is a tradition along the southeastern coast in this area. This recipe is by Susan Mitchell. Enjoy!

1 large fresh flounder, pocketed cavity

2 cups crabmeat

1 small sweet onion, finely chopped

1 small bell pepper, finely chopped

1 egg, slightly beaten

½ stick butter

1 small can evaporated milk

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Worcestershire sauce, salt, and hot sauce, to taste

1 sleeve of saltine crackers

4-5 strips bacon

Crush up the saltine crackers and soak in the evaporated milk. Add all other ingredients. Stuff the mixture in a pocketed, cleaned, and scaled flounder. Place the bacon strips across the flounder and bake it at 350 degrees for one hour. Start to watch for doneness after 45 minutes, depending on the size of the flounder.

 

Pineapple Sauce and Baked Ham

1 precooked 3-5 pound smoked ham

1 20- ounce can crushed pineapple

½ cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Pinch of salt

Prepare ham according to package directions.

In a saucepan mix together brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in pineapple, syrup, mustard, lemon and orange juice, and Worcestershire Sauce. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly while the sauce thickens. When the sauce reaches a boil, cook for about a minute longer. Serve warm over ham.

 

Peas and Bacon

Do not overcook the peas.

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled

¼ cup sweet onion, chopped

1 16-ounce package frozen peas, thawed

¼ cup dry white wine

2 cloves garlic, minced then smashed

1 teaspoon dried ground thyme

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in peas, wine, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a quick simmer. Lower heat to medium low and cook until peas are tender about 3 minutes, do not overcook. Stir in crisply cooked crumbled bacon. Serve hot.

 

Sweet Potato and Apple Bake

Serves 4-6.

4 large sweet potatoes

2 cooking apples, cored, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed

¼ teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice or ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and wrap in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1-hour. When cool to the touch, peel, and mash with butter, brown sugar, and Chinese Five-Spice. Fold in apple chunks. Spoon into an ungreased casserole dish and bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly.

 

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Topping:

¾ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup brown sugar, packed

4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup chopped pecans (Optional)

Cake Batter:

½ cup butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

2 tablespoons Apple Schnapps or apple cider, if desired

1-3/4 to 2 cups chopped, peeled ,and cored tart apples, about 2 apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs, Apple Schnapps, and vanilla extract.

In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; gradually add this mixture to the creamed mixture, mixing well after each addition. Fold in chopped apples. Pour into a 13 x 10 – inch buttered baking dish.

For topping stir together brown sugar and cinnamon. With two knives, or a pastry cutter, cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in chopped nuts, and sprinkle this mixture over batter.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold and cut into squares.

This cake may be made in advance and frozen for up to 6 months, if desired.

 

Raspberry Bars

Makes 12 bars.

1 cup ( 2 sticks) butter, softened

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 1/3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 10-ounce jar of seedless raspberry jam

2/3 cup granola without dried fruit

¼ cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Vegetable spray a 9 – inch square pan then line with parchment paper so edges hang over sides of pan.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until well combined; add vanilla and salt. Add flour gradually mixing until dough just comes together.

Pat 2/3 of the dough evenly on the bottom and about ¼ inch up the sides of prepared pan.

Spread dough with jam, leaving ¼-inch border.

Mix granola into remaining dough, breaking dough into small pieces. Evenly spread crumb mixture on top of jam. Sprinkle with almonds and bake until lightly browned, about 40-45 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Lift from pan using the parchment paper, cut into bars.

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; placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing and winning second place for her Sweet Blueberry Pepper Jelly in 2015; and winning first in 2016 for her spoon blueberry muffins with apricot sauce and second for her blueberry crisp squares — and has won various other contest awards — including three blue ribbons at the 2016 Cape Fear County Fair — for her blueberry cheesecake, muffins, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.