Happy Father’s Day to everyone! Here are some special recipes to celebrate this special day.


Watermelon Mojitos

Serves 6.

½ small watermelon, cut into chunks

1 bunch fresh mint, tough stems removed, 6 springs reserved for garnish

1 tablespoon superfine or granulated sugar

1 lime, juiced

1 ¼ cups white rum

In a blender, in batches puree watermelon. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible, about 3 cups; discard solids.

In a large container, combine mint, sugar, and lime juice. With the back of a wooden spoon, crush mint with lime juice until sugar is dissolved. Add watermelon juice and rum. Fill container with ice and stir to combine. Serve over ice cubes with mint garnish.


Shrimp Pasta Salad

Serves 6.

10 ounces dried bow ties or farfalle pasta

1 ½ pounds medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 ¼ cups of your favorite Italian salad dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again.

In a large bowl combine pasta, shrimp, celery, and onion. Stir in tomato halves. Pour dressing over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Stir before serving.


Chicken Thighs with Garlic Lime Sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced then smashed

salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided

4 6-ounce chicken thighs, skinned

3 tablespoons chicken broth

1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro

lime wedges Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl; stir in 1- tablespoon lime juice. Rub garlic mixture over chicken.

Place chicken in a medium skillet.

In a measuring cup combine 1 -tablespoon juice, chicken broth, and vinegar; pour over the chicken. Place over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Wrap handle of pan with foil. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees.

Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Place pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Spoon over chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.


Peach Baked Beans

Serves 6.

3 slices smoked bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces, crisply cooked

1 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 large ripe, but firm, peach peeled chopped, about 1- cup

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ cup ketchup

¼ cup bourbon (Optional)

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

In a slow cooker vegetable spray the inside. Add bacon, beans, garlic, ketchup, bourbon, brown sugar, and vinegar. Stir well to combine evenly.

Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours, Add peaches and stir to mix well. Cook covered for another hour. Serve hot.


Creamy Potato Salad.

Serves 6.

1 ½ pounds small new potatoes, about 12-14

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 stalks celery thinly sliced

¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

2 scallions, light green parts, sliced thinly

In a large pot, place potatoes. Add enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until tender about 15 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Cut into quarters.

In a large bowl whisk together, sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, celery, and scallions and toss to coat. Fold in parsley, cover and refrigerate.


Peach Cobbler

4 cups sliced peaches, if frozen, thaw them

1 cup granulated sugar, divided

½ teaspoon almond extract

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, melted

¾ cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

¾ cup milk

Vanilla ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl gently toss peaches, ½ cup sugar , cinnamon, and almond extract; set aside.

Pour butter into a 2-quart baking dish.

In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining sugar; whisk in milk until smooth. Pour evenly over butter, but do not stir. Top with peach mixture.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with ice cream, if desired.

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.