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April Recipes

EASTER JELLY BEAN BARK

1 Bag Jelly Beans

1 pkg. Vanilla Almond Bark

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper.

Pour a layer of jelly beans on the pan (about half the bag).

Melt almond bark over low heat or in the microwave according to the directions on the package.

Pour melted almond bark over jelly beans. Scatter remaining jelly beans on top. Place in refrigerator for 45 to 60 minutes or until cooled completely. Cut in bars or break into pieces. Enjoy!


PEANUT BUTTER EGGS

This candy egg recipe is an easy sweet treat prepared with peanut butter dough and chocolate topping. You can also add some colorful sugar sprinkles or drizzle some caramel on top of these eggs.

For Eggs:

10 oz. Peanut Butter

4   oz. Cream Cheese

4   oz. Unsalted Butter (softened)

1   tsp. Vanilla

16 oz. Powdered Sugar

For Topping:

12 oz. Semisweet Chocolate Chips

2   Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

In a mixing bowl, combine first four ingredients and mix well using dough mixer or hands until well combined.

After that, gradually add sugar and mix until thick sticky dough is formed and sugar is completely dissolved. Chill the dough completely, about 2 hours. This will make it easier to work with.

Form into small balls, giving them an egg like shape, if you feel the dough is too sticky to handle then grease your hands with a bit of butter.

Place these eggs on a greased parchment sheet and refrigerate for few minutes to set.

Melt chocolate and oil over double boiler or in microwave.

Dip each peanut butter egg in the melted chocolate mixture and then refrigerate for 15 minutes till chocolate sets nicely. Makes 12 to 16 eggs.

Tips for coating candy.

*You can use a simple fork or spoon for dipping candy or buy an inexpensive dipping set. I use one of my grandmothers old hat pins. It is perfect to stab each candy, lower it into the chocolate and then place on the parchment paper. Remembering not to stab so deeply that the candy will not slide off when placed on the paper. Using the hat pin leaves a tiny hole behind that can be filled with a drop of chocolate.

*Keep all water/moisture away for your chocolate coating. It will cause your chocolate to seize up.

*Also do not make or coat candy on humid days.

*Choose an appropriately sized container for what you are dipping. For example, if you are dipping pretzel rods melt your chocolate in a tall glass, so the chocolate is deep enough to coat the rod to the level desired.


SPRING CHICKEN & BARLEY SOUP

Barley works very well in this lighter, spring soup. Be sure not to skip the orange zest. It is a lovely "secret" ingredient that makes this soup extra special.

1    Tbsp. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Onion (finely chopped)

1/2 Cup Celery (finely chopped)

2    Cloves Garlic (divided)

6    Cups Reduced-sodium Chicken Broth

1    Large Bone-in Chicken Breast (10-12 ounces, skin removed, trimmed)

1/3 Cup Pearl Barley

1    15 oz. Can Diced Tomatoes

1    Cup  Asparagus, (1/4 inch thick, trimmed and diagonally sliced)

1    Cup Peas (fresh or thawed frozen)

1/2 tsp. Coarse Salt

      Freshly Ground Pepper (to taste)

1/2 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves (lightly packed, torn)

1    Strip Orange Zest, (1/2 by 2 inches)

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Grate or finely chop 1 clove garlic; add to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, chicken and barley. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon. Return the broth to a simmer and cook until the barley is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, shred the chicken or cut into bite-size pieces; discard the bone.

When the barley is done, add the chicken, tomatoes and juice, asparagus, peas, salt and a grinding of pepper; return to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more.

Coarsely chop the remaining garlic clove. Gather basil, orange zest and the garlic and finely chop together. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with a generous pinch of the basil mixture. 4 servings, about 2 cups each


HAM BONE SOUP

A simple, tasty soup using a leftover ham bone, kidney beans, and potatoes. Put it all into the slow cooker in the morning, and come home to a savory hot meal.

1 Ham Bone (with some meat)

1 Onion (diced)

1 (14.5 oz.) Can Tomatoes (peeled and diced, with juice)

1 (15.25 oz.) Can Kidney Beans    

3 Potatoes (cubed)

1 Green Bell Pepper (seeded and cubed)

4 Cups Water

6 Cubes Chicken Bouillon

Place the ham bone, onion, tomatoes, kidney beans, potatoes, and green pepper into a 3 quart or larger slow cooker. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in water, and pour into the slow cooker.

Cover, and cook on High until warm. Reduce heat to Low, and continue to cook for 5 to 6 hours. Servings: 4


GRILLED MUSHROOM & CHEESE MELTS

2  Tbsp. Butter

8  oz. Fresh Baby Bella Mushrooms

2  tsp. Minced Garlic

3  Tbsp. White Wine

2  Tbsp. Parsley (minced)

2  Slices Provolone Cheese

4  Slices Wheat Bread

Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel to remove dirt. Thinly slice the mushrooms. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic; sauté until lightly browned. Turn the heat up to high, add the wine, and stir until the wine has cooked down and there is hardly any liquid left in the pan. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.

Heat a griddle or large skillet to medium high heat. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over the exterior of the 4 slices of bread (melting it first helps it go farther). Place the bread on the griddle, buttered side down, and top with mushrooms and one slice of Provolone. Top with a second slice of bread, buttered side facing up. Grill until golden brown, flip, and repeat. The cheese should be melty and gooey and bread will be crispy on the outside.

Notes:

For open faced sandwiches, grill the bread first on the griddle like directed, then add the cheese finishing the whole thing in a hot oven for a more even, gooey, picturesque melted cheese topping.


SHEPHERD'S PIE POTATOES

2    tsp. Butter

1/2 Onion (chopped)

6    oz. Lean Ground Beef

1    Cup Beef Stock

1    tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1    Tbsp. Tomato Purée

1    Large Idaho Potato (baked)

      Small Handful Grated Cheddar Cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt half the butter in a nonstick pan. Cook the onion for 3 to 4 minutes, then increase the heat and add the ground beef. Fry for a further 3 to 4 minutes until the beef has browned. Stir in the stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée and some seasoning. Gently bubble for 15 to 20 minutes until the ground beef is tender and the sauce has thickened.

To assemble, cut the baked potato in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a small bowl, leaving the skin intact. Mash the potato with the remaining butter and season well. Divide the ground beef mixture between the potato skins, then cover with the mashed potato. Transfer the potatoes to a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden. Serve with your favorite vegetable.

More Filling/Topping Ideas for baked potatoes: Baked Beans, Ham and Cheese, Prawns with Thousand Island Dressing, Coleslaw, Tuna and Cheese, Cream Cheese and Chives, Salsa, Crab Meat, left over Bolognese, Scrambled Egg, Chicken Salad, Mushrooms and Cream....  Creating tasty toppings for baked potatoes is a great way to use up or stretch those leftovers rattling around in your fridge.


HAWAIIAN ROAST CHICKEN

Something delicious happens when chicken vacations in Hawaii.

1    Cup Dole Canned Pineapple Juice

1    (4 lb) Whole Broiler-fryer Chicken

2    Tbsp Olive Oil (divided)

1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup

3    Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1    Tbsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce

      Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove giblets and pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Brush chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place chicken, breast side up, in a foil-lined roasting pan. Tuck wing tips under back of chicken and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Roast 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine pineapple juice, remaining tablespoon olive oil, maple syrup, mustard, and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is thickened. Reserve 1/2 cup sauce to serve with chicken.

Brush chicken with remaining glaze. Roast 35 to 45 minutes more brushing with glaze every 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F.

Serve reserve sauce with roast chicken. Use leftover chicken to make sandwiches.

Recipe From: Dole Food Company


PARMESAN SPRING CHICKEN

1    Egg White

5    Tbsp. Parmesan (finely grated)

4    Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts Halves

14  oz. New Potatoes (cut into small cubes)

1/2 Cup Frozen Peas

      Good Handful Baby Spinach Leaves

1    Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar

2    tsp. Olive Oil

Heat grill to medium and line the grill pan with foil. Beat the egg white on a plate with a little salt and pepper. Tip the Parmesan onto another plate. Dip the chicken first in egg white, then the cheese. Grill the coated chicken for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once until browned and crisp.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 10 minutes, adding the peas for the final 3 minutes, then drain. Toss the vegetables with the spinach leaves, vinegar, oil and seasoning to taste. Divide between four warm plates, then serve with the chicken. Serves 4


SPANISH RICE

2    Tbsp. Olive Oil

1    Cup Uncooked Long Grain White Rice

1    Onion (chopped)

1    tsp. Garlic (chopped)

1/2 Green Bell Pepper (chopped)

2    Cups Chicken Broth    

1    (10 oz.) Can Diced Tomatoes w/ Green Chiles or    

      Diced Fiesta Tomatoes w/ Lime and Cilantro

1    tsp. Chili Powder

1/2 tsp. Cumin

1    tsp. salt

1/3 Cup Parsley (chopped)

Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Sauté rice, onion, garlic and bell pepper until rice is browned and onions are tender.

Stir in broth and tomatoes. Season with chili powder, cumin and salt. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally. Add parsley 10 minutes before done. Servings: 4


CHIPOTLE CRUSTED PORK TENDERLION

Sweet and spicy rub for pork tenderloins. Just coat, let stand for 20 minutes and grill!

1 tsp. Onion Powder

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

3 Tbsp. Chipotle Chile Powder    

1 1/2 tsp. Salt

4 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

2 (3/4 lb.) Pork Tenderloins

Preheat grill for medium-high heat. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle chile powder, salt, and brown sugar. Place tenderloins in bag and shake, coating meat evenly. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.

Lightly oil grill grate, and arrange meat on grate. Cook for 20 minutes, turning meat every 5 minutes. Remove from grill, let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Servings: 6


PORK CHOP-APPLE-BEAN PACKETS

Pork chops, topped with saucy beans and sliced apple, cooked in foil packets on the grill

2       Cans (15 oz. each) Van Camp's® Pork and Beans (drained)

1 1/2 Cups Red Skin Apples (sliced, quartered)

1/2    Cup Onion (chopped)

1/2    Cup Hunt's® Original Barbecue Sauce

         No-Stick Cooking Spray

4       Bone-in Pork Chops (6 oz. each)

1/4    tsp. Salt

Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat according to manufacturer's directions. Stir together drained beans, apple, onion and barbecue sauce in medium bowl.

Place four 18x12-inch pieces of heavy foil on counter. Spray each with cooking spray. Place 1 pork chop in center on each piece of foil; sprinkle with salt. Spoon 1/4th bean mixture over pork for each packet. Bring up short sides of each foil packet and double fold top. Double fold both ends to seal each packet, leaving space for steam to gather.

Place packets on grate of covered grill. Grill 15 to 20 minutes or until pork is cooked through (160 degrees F) and apples are tender. Carefully open packets. Makes: 4 servings (1 packet each)

Cook's Tips:

Packets may be baked on shallow pan in 425 degrees F oven 20 minutes or until pork is cooked through (160 degrees F) and apples are tender.


BACON-WRAPPED SWEET CORN

4  to 6 Ears Sweet Corn

1  lb. Sliced Bacon

    Seasoning to Taste

Shuck and desilk corn, washing to remove any stray silk.

Wrap corn in two slices of bacon, covering the corn end to end. Season to taste with salt and pepper or your preferred spice blend. Wrap in foil and grill for 10 minutes of medium direct heat.

Move corn to indirect heat on the grill and continue to cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Number of servings (yield): 4-6