Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Twists on Spring Favorites

Pepper Blair has written more than twenty-six hundred poems. Although generally brief (let us call them terse or concise) , the works are complete in substance and legitimate in form.

Most of the poems (collectively written over a period of nearly thirty years) were produced in a relatively short while. In a providential period of five years , two thousand and forty were created. Concerning this, Blair once remarked, 'I know not how or why, but inspiration came one early spring, stayed through twenty seasons, then departed from me as abruptly as it had arrived. I will consider this time a blessing the rest of my days.'

Miraculous Pebble
by Pepper Blair

This is a miraculous pebble.

I picked it up once long ago.

As soon as I did, a bright angel

Descended with wings white as snow.

As soon as I did, there came singing

From somewhere above where gulls fly.

The hour was late in the evening.

Then starlight appeared in the sky.

This is a miraculous pebble.

I picked it up once by the sea.

As shiny and smooth as a jewel,

I carry it now faithfully. 


The following recipes are suitable for a spring brunch with a bit of a twist. The next two postings will include recipes for Asparagus Pasta with Toasted Pecans, Lemon-Rosemary Coffee Cake, Egg Strata, Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream and Bourbon-Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin.
  Sunshine Citrus Platter
Cook's notes:
The presentation of these fruits on the platter is what really makes this side shine. Blueberries could be added along the side. 
recipe is from Southern Living
  • 4 navel oranges
  • 2 Ruby Red grapefruits
  • 2 TB. powdered sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • Peel grapefruit and oranges
  • Cut fruit into 1/2 inch rounds
  • Arrange on platter, sprinkle with powdered sugar and then cinnamon
  • Top with fresh mint 
Mixed Greens with Blackberry-Basil Vinaigrette 
Cook's notes:
Blackberry-Basil Vinaigrette is the star attraction in this salad. Different fruits can be substituted for the salad ingredients.
Salad Ingredients:
  • Mixed greens
  •  1-1/2 cups chopped mango
  • 1-1/2 cups grapefruit segments
  • 1 cup diced avocado
  • fresh blackberries
  • candied pecans
  • 1 cup diced cucumbers
Blackberry-Basil Vinaigrette Ingredients:
  • 1/2 jar (10 oz.) seedless blackberry preserves
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp.salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
Vinaigrette Directions:
  • Pulse blackberry preserves, balsamic vinegar and next four ingredients in a blender 2 or 3 times until blended
  • With blender running pour oil through food chute in a slow steady stream, process until smooth
  • Chill till serving
Salad Directions:
Mix salad ingredients and drizzle with vinaigrette just before serving

Just Peachy Sangria
recipe from 
  • 1 bottle of white wine like Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 cup peach schnapps
  • 1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 2 nectarines, sliced or 2 peaches
  • 1 cup green or red grapes, whole or sliced
  • raspberries and strawberries can be added
  • Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher
  • Cover and chill at least 2 hours 
  • Stir before serving

that it is possible to remove the residue left by oily salad dressings and tomato based sauces by scrubbing the containers with a paste of baking soda and water. 

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