Happy Mother’s Day, may your day be blessed with family and friends, and of course enjoying delicious meals whether at home or dining out. Here are some special recipes for a pleasant dining experience.

Happy Mother’s Day, may your day be blessed with family and friends, and of course enjoying delicious meals whether at home or dining out. Here are some special recipes for a pleasant dining experience.



Strawberry-Blueberry Sangria

Serves 6.

If using frozen fruit, do not defrost, this way the fruit will keep the sangria cold without diluting it. Make the raspberry ice cubes the night before and store in a freezer bag for ready use.

1 bottle rose wine, chilled

1 ½ cups lemon-lime soda, chilled

½ cup orange liqueur (I use Grand Marnier.)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

8 ounces fresh strawberries, halved

6 ounces fresh or frozen, do not defrost, blueberries

2 medium oranges – 1-thinly sliced and the other juiced

Ice cubes with raspberries

In an ice cube tray the night before, place a raspberry in each cup of the ice cube tray and freeze.

In a large clear glass pitcher, gently stir in wine, soda, orange liqueur, and sugar, until sugar is dissolved, then stir in strawberries, blueberries, orange juice, and orange slices. Pour sangria and fruit mixture into raspberry cubed ice-filled glasses.


Blueberry Jam filled Corn Muffins

These muffins may also be made without the jam.

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup medium cornmeal

2 tablespoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups whole milk or half-and-half

½ pound butter, melted and cooled

3 large eggs

1 cup good blueberry preserves or jam ( strawberry, peach or raspberry may be substituted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line 12-large muffin cups with paper liners (Try the new square paper liners for a treat.).

In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together milk, melted butter, and eggs.

In another bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just blended but evenly mixed. Spoon the batter into paper liners, filling each cup to almost the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven, until the tops are crisp and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly and remove from muffin pan.

After the muffins are cool. Spoon blueberry jam or preserves into a pastry bag, or plastic quart bag with corner trimmed off, fitted with a large round tip. Push the tip of the bag through the top of the muffin and squeeze 1-2 tablespoons of jam into the middle of the corn muffing; repeat for each muffin.


Cheese and Onion Quiche

1 Single pre-made refrigerated piecrust

1 large Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped then sautéed in butter

½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

½ cup Swiss cheese, shredded

½ cup 3- Mexican cheeses, shredded

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

5 large eggs

1 cup half-and-half

1 tablespoon dried sweet basil, crushed

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, crushed

2 teaspoons dill seed, crushed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pre-made piecrust in a 9-inch pie plate; flute the edge.

In a skillet sauté chopped onion in 1-2 tablespoons butter until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl mix together evenly all the cheeses. Sprinkle this mixture into pastry shell.

In another bowl whisk together eggs and half-and –half until well blended. Stir in sautéed onion, basil, parsley, and dill seed; pour over top of cheese mixture.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let quiche stand for 15 minutes before serving.


Strawberry Fruit Salad

5 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, and quartered

1 cup fresh blackberries

1 cup fresh raspberries

1 cup fresh blackberries

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons orange juice

¼ cup fresh mint, finely chopped, if desired

Whisk together honey, lemon juice, and orange juice, set aside.

In a large clear glass bowl add strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, and blackberries, stir together; drizzle juice and honey mixture over berries and gently toss together to coat. Cover and let this stand for 1-2 hours or chill, if desired. Just before serving fold in chopped mint, if desired.


Spinach Salad with Toasted Pecans and Mandarin Oranges

1 can Mandarin orange sections, drained

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon lime zest

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

4 cups baby spinach

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced

¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled

¾ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

In a large whisk together olive oil, lime zest, and lime juice. Add onion and avocado, gently stir, then toss in spinach, Mandarin oranges, and feta cheese. Chill for 2-3 hours. When ready to serve top with toasted pecans.


Shrimp Piccata with Farfalle

Serves 4 - 6.

1 pound farfalle pasta, cooked according to package directions

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 pound raw shrimp (21-25 count), peeled and deveined, tails left on, if desired

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced, then smashed

1 cup chicken both

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/3 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook farfalle, or any other preferred pasta, according to package directions. During the last 2-minutes of cooking add fresh or frozen peas and cook for 2 minutes; drain, pour into a large serving dish, keep warm, and set aside.

In a bowl whisk together cornstarch and chicken broth, set aside.

In a skillet sauté garlic in butter and olive oil for 1-2 minutes; stir in shrimp and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture, heat for 1-2 minutes. Add in wine and lemon juice, simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes, do not over cook. Pour shrimp mixture over farfalle, sprinkle with chopped parsley; serve immediately with Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Strawberry Pie

1 prepared refrigerated piecrust

6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

½ cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 cup water

3 tablespoons strawberry-favored gelatin

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Whipped cream or topping

8 fresh strawberries with leaves left on cut into fan shape, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Press the piecrust evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake until golden in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool.

In a saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, and water and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, until thick, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin and balsamic vinegar, mix completely. Let cool until lukewarm. Add the strawberries, gently fold in to mix evenly, and pour into cooled piecrust. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving. Add whipped topping and fresh strawberries for garnish. Refrigerate leftovers.


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.