Country Cooking – March 18

Last week the recipes were for small gatherings or perhaps for two servings. This week they tend to be for large gatherings such as pot lucks, brunches, fundraisers, etc. All may be easily divided for a smaller group or family size. Speaking of pot lucks or picnics,  that will soon be happening, and to get a variety of food that the participants will enjoy each should bring at least one hot dish – casseroles, meat, etc. and one cold dish- either salad or dessert. Make enough for your family plus some to share. If you are single take turns to bring one of the main course dishes. There always seems to be enough and seldom is there much to take home. The story goes from many years ago that one family brought just a can of pork and beans that could be served either hot or cold. As it was no one thought to bring the can opener so they were always able to take their contribution home again.  I doubt it happened very many times as those in charge came more prepared with the necessary equipment.

I have heard there may be more regulations coming up regarding church suppers, organization fundraisers, etc. unless they are catered by a licensed entity for serving food. More and more groups are aware of safe handling of food by serving hot foods hot, cold foods cold and using gloves when handling the food. Cleanliness is of utmost importance and doesn’t let food sit out without refrigeration for more than two hours. Less is better. Most of us enjoy the various dishes presented at a pot luck and often ask for the recipe if it is a new combination or way of preparation. Too often we stick to the tried and true and when being adventurous find out that the new flavors can be quite pleasing. As I survey many cookbooks from around the country it is obvious what the ethnic group is and also what ingredients are available in the area. It will be a while before our gardens are ready to produce but already the stores have fresh asparagus, strawberries, tomatoes, etc. some of which are available all year round. We are fortunate to live in an area where there is often an abundance of produce and many who are willing to share with others. The communities Food Shelves are good places to contribute to whether it is extra that you can not use or to grow specifically for them.  Everyone enjoys good fresh vegetables and fruit.

Biscuit Egg Bake

1 tube (16.3 ounces) large refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

12 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chillies

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic seasoning blend

1 package (2.1 ounces) ready-to-serve fully cooked bacon, diced

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Separate biscuits. Cut each biscuit into fourths; arrange in a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, tomatoes, onions, chilies, salt, pepper and seasoning blend. Pour over biscuits. Sprinkle with bacon and cheese.

Bake, uncovered at 350º for 40-45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160º. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Lemon Crumb Muffins

6 cups all-purpose flour

4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

8 eggs

2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream

2 cups butter, melted

3 tablespoons grated lemon peel

2 tablespoons lemon juice


3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

Glaze: 1/2  cup sugar and 1/3 cup lemon juice

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream, butter, lemon peel, and juice. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened in a small bowl, combine flour and sugar, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5  minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. In a small bowl, whisk glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm muffins. Serve warm. Yield: 40 muffins.

Strawberry Glazed Walnut Salad

1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced

1 package (7 ounces) glazed walnuts

1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach

1 package (5 ounces) spring mix salad greens

Poppy Seed Dressing:

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup 2 % milk

3 tablespoons sugar 

4 teaspoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, walnuts, spinach and salad greens. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Serve with salad. Yield: 14 servings.

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