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August Recipes

VINTAGE LEMONADE

5       Lemons

1 1/4 Cups White Sugar

1 1/4 Quarts Water

Peel just the rind (no white pith) from the 5 lemons and cut them into 1/2 inch slices. Set the lemons aside. Place the rinds in a bowl and sprinkle the sugar over them. Do not stir this around, just leave it sit. Let this stand for 1 hour, so sugar soaks up the oils from the rind. Do not let it sit longer than 1 hour or it will develop a bitterness.

Bring the water to a boil in a covered saucepan and then pour the hot water over the sugared rinds. Allow this mixture to cool for 20 minutes and then remove the rinds.

Squeeze the lemon flesh into another bowl. Pour the juice through a strainer into the sugar mixture. Stir well, pour into a pitcher and pop it in the fridge. Serve over ice in tall glasses.

Makes 1 1/2 Quarts.


MEADOW MINT TEA

3 1/2  Quarts Water

2        Cups (packed) Fresh Mint Leaves

1/2     to 3/4 Cup Sugar (to your taste)

This recipe makes 3 1/2 quarts of iced tea, enough to fill an average sized “sun tea” jar.

Boil water in a large pot. Rinse and clean mint leaves, keeping them whole. Add mint to the pot of boiling water. Cover pot, remove from heat and let steep for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove mint leaves with a slotted spoon.

Pour the tea through a fine screen strainer into a pitcher or large jar. It is important to strain the tea, you don’t want pieces of leaves floating around. Stir in the sugar to your taste. Start with the lower amount and add additional sugar until you reach desired sweetness. Refrigerate, serve cold.


Tips for buying Lemons and Limes

Squeezing fruit while you shop is frowned on but when it comes to picking the best lemons and limes you have to bend the rules a bit. The juiciest lemons and limes are always going to be the ones that give a little when you squeeze them. These softer citrus fruits will have less pith, and therefore more juice, than their less-pliant companions. They’re also much easier to juice and use in cooking or baking.

Don’t worry - we’re not talking about mauling the lemons or causing their skin to break. Just picking one up and gently pressing it with your thumb is all it takes to tell if the fruit is soft or hard.


PARMESAN TOMATO CHIPS

      Cooking Spray

15  Tomatoes (sliced 1/3” thick)

2    Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

      Salt

      Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2    Tbsp. Italian Seasoning

1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees and spray a cooling rack with cooking spray, then place on top of a large baking sheet.

On a large, paper towel-lined plate, arrange tomatoes and cover with another paper towel, then press out juices.  Place tomatoes on cooling rack and lightly drizzle with olive oil, then season generousley with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Bake, checking every 30 minutes until tomatoes are completely dried out and beginning to crisp up, about 3 hours.

Remove from oven and heat broiler. Sprinkle tomatoes with Parmesan, then broil on low until cheese is melty, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool, then remove from cooling rack. Garnish with additional salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, if desired and serve.

Serves 5.


TOMATO BUTTER SPAGHETTI

1    Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1    Onion, Chopped

      Kosher Salt

      Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2    Cloves Garlic, Minced

3    Lb. Fresh Tomatoes, Chopped

1    Tbsp. Dried Oregano

4    Tbsp. Butter

8    Oz. Cooked Spaghetti

1/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Torn

      Finely Grated Parmesan, for serving (Optional)

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until beginning to soften, then stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Continue to cook over medium heat to let the tomatoes start to break down.

When the mixture reaches a simmer, reduce heat slightly and stir in butter. Season again with salt and pepper, add oregano, and let simmer about 15 minutes more to allow the flavors to develop. Taste and season as necessary. Serve over cooked pasta and top with basil and Parmesan, if desired.


COWBOY CORN CASSEROLE

1      (4 oz.) Pkg. Cream Cheese (softened to room temperature)

1/2   Cup Whole Milk

1/4   Cup Heavy Cream

3      Tbsp. All-purpose Flour

1       tsp. Paprika

1       tsp. Garlic Power

4 1/2 Cups Corn Kernels

3       Cups Shredded Cheddar (divided)

10     Slices Bacon (cooked, crumbled)

         Salt

         Ground Black Pepper

2       Tbsp. Chives (for garnish)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk cream cheese, milk, heavy cream, flour, paprika and garlic powder until combined. Fold in corn, 2 1/2 cups of the cheese and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then garnish with chives and serve.

Serves 8


CORN AND TOMATO PASTA SALAD

1 1/2  Cups Bow-tie Pasta (uncooked)

2        Ears Corn (or 1 cup whole kernel corn)

1        Cup Chicken (cooked, shredded)

1        Large Tomato (seeded, chopped)

1/4     Cup Olive Oil

3        Tbsp. Vinegar

2-3     Tbsp. Basil Pesto

1        Tbsp. Chicken Broth

1/4     tsp. Salt

1/8     tsp. Ground Black Pepper

2        Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese (finely shredded)

          Snipped Fresh Basil

In a dutch oven, cook pasta according to package directions. Add corn during the last 7 minutes of cooking pasta. Return to a boil and continue cooking. When pasta is cooked and corn is crisp-tender, remove ears of corn and drain pasta in a colander. Rinse pasta and corn with cold water to stop the cooking and drain well. Cut the corn from the cobs.

In a large bowl combine pasta, corn, chicken and tomato.

For dressing: In a screw-top jar, combine the olive oil, vinegar, pesto, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Cover and shake well.

Pour dressing over the pasta mixture; toss gently to coat. Chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and basil before serving.

Serves 8


PASTA CORN AND BACON SALAD

WITH BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING

8       oz. Orecchiette Pasta

         Salt (for pasta water)

4       Strips Bacon

1 3/4 Cup Fresh Corn Kernels

3/4    Cup Green Onion (thinly sliced)

3/4    Cup Red Bell Pepper (diced)

1/4    Cup Fresh Basil (chopped)

1/3    Cup Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

         Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Heat 2 quarts water in a large pot until boiling. Add 1 tbsp. salt. Add pasta and boil, uncovered at a rolling boil until al dente. About 1 minute before pasta is ready, add the corn to the boiling water with the pasta. When done, drain and set aside.

Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. Put in a frying pan and heat on medium. Cook until well browned. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate.

In a large bowl add the drained pasta and corn mixture, the bacon and the remaining ingredients. Toss with the dressing. Add more salt and pepper to your taste.

Serves 4 to 6.

Goes great with grilled chicken or steak.


CAPRESE CORN SALAD

3       Cups Fresh Corn Kernels (about 4 ears)

1 1/2 Cups Grape Tomatoes (halved)

1       Cup Small Mozzarella Balls (quartered)

1/2    Cup Basil (sliced)

3       Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

2       Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1       tsp. Italian Seasoning

1/2    tsp. Garlic Powder

         Salt

         Ground Black Pepper

Cook corn and cut from cobs. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir until ingredients are completely mixed and coated in dressing. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

Serves 4


MEXICAN CORN ON THE COB

6    Ears Fresh Corn (unhusked)

6    Tbsp. Butter

6    Tbsp. Mayonnaise

2    tsp. Chili Powder

1/4 Cup Cotija Cheese* (grated)

1/4 Cup Cilantro (chopped)

2    Limes (juiced)

* you can substitute Parmesan or Romano cheese.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place corn, in its husks, directly on the oven rack. Roast until tender and cooked through, about 40 to 45 minutes. Peel down husks. Rub each ear of corn with 1 Tbsp. butter, 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise and sprinkle with chili powder, cheese, cilantro and lime juice.  

Serve immediately.

Serves 6


CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER LAYERED DESSERT

Pretzel Crust:

2 1/2 Cups Pretzels (crushed)

1/4    Cup Sugar

3/4    Cup Butter (melted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9x13 inch pan, add in the crushed pretzels, sugar and melted butter. Stir to coat all pretzel crumbs in butter. Firmly press the mixture into the pan. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling:

1   (8 oz.) Pkg. Cream Cheese (room temperature)

1   Cup Smooth Peanut Butter

1   Tbsp. Butter (room temperature)

1   Cup Sugar

1   tsp. Vanilla Extract

1   Cup Heavy Cream (whipped to stiff peaks)

In a medium bowl, add in the cream cheese, peanut butter and butter. Beat on medium/high until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Add in a quarter of the whipped cream and fold it into the cream cheese mixture. This will lighten the mixture before you add the rest of the whipped cream and deflating it. Gently add the remaining whipped cream and fold it in carefully. Spread the filling into the cooled crust. Be sure to get to all the edges of the crust to prevent pudding from seeping through and making your crust soggy.

Chocolate Pudding:

1      (5.85 oz.) Box Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix

2      Cups Milk

1      (11.75 oz.) Jar Hot Fudge Topping

1      (8 oz.) Tub Whipped Topping

1 1/2 Tbsp. Smooth Peanut Butter

In a mixing bowl, add in the chocolate pudding mix and 2 cups of milk. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium until incorporated. Let thicken for 5 minutes before spreading on top of the cheesecake filling. Spread the pudding evenly and be sure to get the pudding to all the edges.

Remove the lid from the hot fudge topping and microwave it for 45 seconds. Pour all the fudge topping into a plastic sandwich baggie and cut a hole in one corner. Drizzle the hot fudge topping all over the top of the pudding.

Spread the whipped topping over the top of all that. Be sure to get all the way to the edges.

Add the peanut butter into a sandwich bag and microwave it for 20 seconds. Squish it around to be sure it is all runny. Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag. Drizzle the peanut butter on top of the whipped cream in a design of your choice.

Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Serves 12.


Fun Facts About Chocolate:

Chocolate comes from a fruit tree; it’s made from a seed.

It takes 400 cocoa beans to make 1 lb. of chocolate.

Each cacao tree produces approximately 2,500 beans.

U.S. manufacturers use about 3.5 million pounds of whole milk every day to make chocolate.

Approximately 3 million tons of cocoa beans are turned into chocolate products each year.