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Hello August! While welcoming another new month with a smile and nod of approval, I’m also wondering what happened to June and July. I’m seemingly busier than ever before during the summer months. I often find myself celebrating seasonal herbs with daily visits to the garden making sure the Italian parsley, curly leaf parsley, basil and rosemary plants survive soaring temperatures, invasions of interesting insects, beautiful lacy green ferns, and majestic orange daylilies. Then there’s the patch of soil where green beans were planted in previous years that has suddenly exploded with a spectacular patch of beautiful weeds sporting leaves I’ve never seen before.

But now it’s time to move on to thank readers who continue to send nice letters with recipes, comments and requests while still in the heat of summer for simple recipes to serve just one or two, not six or eight. The recipes come from the “Southern Living Cookbook For Two” by Audrey P. Stehle.

Do you have a recipe for two to share?

Peach breakfast drink

1 cup sliced fresh or frozen peaches, thawed

8-ounce carton plain yogurt

1 cup skim milk

1 tablespoon honey

Combine all ingredients in container or electric blender; process until smooth.

Yield: 3 ¼ cups

Southern breakfast biscuits

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

2 ½ tablespoons shortening

1/3 cup milk

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk, stirring until blended well. Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Roll dough to a ½-inch thickness; cut into rounds with a 2 ½-inch cutter. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Yield: 6 biscuits

Sauteed apple rings

¼ cup butter

2 cooking apples, unpeeled and cut into ¾-inch slices

Sugar

3 tablespoons water

Melt butter in a skillet; add apple slices, and sprinkle each slice with ½ teaspoon sugar. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes. Turn apple slices, and sprinkle each with ½ teaspoon sugar; cook 2 minutes. Turn slices over again, and cook 1 minute. Carefully remove apples to a serving plate. Set aside. Add water to skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until water evaporates and mixture thickens slightly. Spoon mixture over apple slices.

Yield: 2 servings

Apple-almond German pancake

3 tablespoons butter, divided

2 eggs

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2 apples, peeled and cut into wedges

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Lemon wedges

Powdered sugar

Sour cream, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place 2 tablespoons butter in a 9-inch ovenproof skillet or pie pan; melt in preheated oven. Place eggs in blender container; blend on high 1 minute. Blending constantly, gradually add milk; slowly add flour and salt, and blend 30 seconds. Remove pan from oven and pour batter into hot melted butter. Return to oven; bake 20-25 minutes or until puffy.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet; add apples and almonds. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Cook over low heat until apples are glazed and tender; stir occasionally. Cut pancake into wedges and spoon warm apple-almond filling over each serving; serve immediately. Pass lemon wedges, shaker of powdered sugar, and sour cream, if desired. Nice served with hot link sausages. Yield: 2 servings

Lunch begins with a quick beefy vegetable soup that can be prepared and stored either in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen for several weeks. Muffins can be baked in serving size portions in muffin tins to later thaw and be ready to eat by lunch time.

Quick beefy vegetable soup

½ pound ground beef

10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables

1 cup tomato juice

1 cup beef broth

1 cup cubed potatoes, uncooked

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Brown beef in a medium saucepan, stirring to crumble; drain off drippings. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Yield: 2 servings

Buttermilk corn muffins

¼ cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup cornmeal

¼ cup sesame seeds

½ cup wheat germ

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Combine first 7 ingredients in a mixing bowl; set aside. Combine egg, buttermilk, and oil; stir into flour mixture. Spoon batter into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Yield: about 1 dozen

If you’ve never hard-boiled eggs, here is a simple method to keep on hand at all times.

Place cold eggs in saucepan or pot and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 12 minutes. Plunge eggs immediately into cold water to stop the cooking process and to make them easy to peel.

Deviled eggs

3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped onion

2 teaspoons chopped green olives

½ teaspoon vinegar

½ teaspoon prepared mustard

Dashes of salt and pepper

2 green olives, sliced

Slice eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise. Add remaining ingredients except sliced green olive; stir well. Stuff egg whites with yolk mixture. Garnish eggs with sliced green olives. Yield: 2 servings

Here is a delightful and simple seafood supper to enjoy before dessert is served.

Broiled herb fish fillets

2 fish fillets

2 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh dill weed

½ to 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon grated gingerroot, optional

¼ cup dry white wine, optional

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Place fillets skin side down in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with dill, thyme, salt and gingerroot, if desired. Pour wine over and around fish, if desired; set aside. Combine butter and lemon juice in a saucepan; cook over low heat until butter melts. Pour over fillets. Broil 6 inches from heat for 7 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when test with a fork.

Yield: 2 servings

Golden Parmesan potatoes

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths

2 to 3 tablespoons butter, melted.

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, optional

Combine flour, cheese, salt, and pepper in a bag. Moisten potatoes with water, shaking off excess. Shake a few at a time in the bag, coating well. Pour butter into a 12x8x2-inch baking dish. Place potatoes in the dish in a single layer. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour, turning once. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Yield: 2 servings

Quick broiled tomatoes

3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon commercial low-calorie Italian dressing

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

2 small tomatoes

Combine breadcrumbs, dressing, and parsley in a small bowl; mix well. Cut thin slice off stem end of tomatoes. Spoon breadcrumb mixture over cut surface of tomatoes. Broil about 4 inches from heat or 7 minutes or until stopping lightly browned. Yield: 2 servings

And finally, a dessert that’s simple to make and delicious with a few extra pieces for the next day.

Chocolate oatmeal pie

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup uncooked regular oats

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons cocoa

  • 1 unbaked 8-inch pastry shell

Combine first 7 ingredients; blend well. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool before serving. Yield: one 8-inch pie

Contact the Cooks’ Exchange in care of the Wisconsin State Journal, P.O. Box 8058, Madison, WI, 53708 or by email at greenbush4@aol.com.

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