June 2018
Homeplace & Community

The Co-op Pantry

There are lots of things to celebrate this month. Summer will officially be here … regardless of our strange weather this year. It is time for picnics and pool parties.

June is National Fresh Fruit and Veggie Month. Our gardens are producing ripe veggies as well as fruit and nuts being ready to harvest. If you don’t have a garden, I urge you to buy locally grown items at your neighborhood farmers market. Fresh is always best!

In this part of the country, another important item is celebrated this month: iced tea. That is one of the things I associate with living in the South.

Then we have the various foods or drinks with a special day in June … literally too many to list. I am just going to feature some great recipes this month.

Happy June!

~ Mary

 

For July, we will be featuring recipes containing blueberries and pickles, and making baked beans, ice creams and pickles. Of course, any of your favorite dishes served at Independence Day and Memorial Day cookouts would be great.

August is National Catfish Month. We will let Chef’s Corner take care of the catfish recipes. We will be featuring kiwifruits (yes, they can and do grow in Alabama), oysters, peaches, watermelon, zucchinis and goat cheese.

We are always interested in anyone who would be willing to be interviewed and share some of her … or his … favorite recipes with us. Contact us if you are interested.

We would love to hear from you … for recipes or to be our featured cook.

~ Editor

 

Mary Delph is an associate editor with AFC Cooperative Farming News. You may email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Jena Klein is AFC’s Wellness Program Coordinator. You may email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ANYTIME FRUIT SALAD RECIPE

1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks
2 large firm bananas, cut into ¼-inch chunks
1 cup green grapes
1 (15-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 medium red apple, sliced
1 medium green apple, sliced
½ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

In a cup or small bowl, drain juice from pineapple. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, bananas, grapes, oranges and apples. Set aside. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add orange juice, lemon juice and pineapple juice. Stir until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Pour over fruit; mix gently. Cover and refrigerate until served.

Note from Mary: This fruit salad can be served at any meal of the day – including breakfast dish.

 

BAKED EGGS WITH FETA
AND TOMATO SAUCE

1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ small yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (15-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with garlic
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
4 large eggs

Heat oven to 375°. Place two small, shallow baking dishes on a rimmed baking sheet.

In 8-inch skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add bell pepper and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes. Simmer 3 minutes, until slightly thickened. Divide between baking dishes. Sprinkle feta cheese on each baking dish. Crack 2 eggs into each. Place baking sheet with dishes in oven. Cook about 15 minutes, until whites are just set.

 

THE WORLD’S BEST
AND EASIEST CHEESEBALL

1 cup pecans, finely chopped for rolling
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
¼ teaspoon pepper (I use coarsely ground pepper)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
Oil, to grease hands
Plastic wrap

In a shallow dish, spread pecans. Set aside. In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment), mix cream cheese until smooth. Add cheddar cheese. Mix until just combined. Lightly sprinkle remaining ingredients except oil over cheese mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined. With lightly greased hands, portion cheese mixture into four pieces (or two, if you want larger cheeseballs) and roll each section into a round ball. Coat in pecans. (One easy way to do this is to hold the cheeseball in one hand and scoop up the pecans and press them onto the cheeseball with the other, turning the cheeseball as you go and letting the excess pecans fall back into the dish. This also helps pecans go a little further). Cover each cheeseball in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

HERB BAKED CATFISH

4 (6-ounce) fillets catfish fillets
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
¾ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Heat oven to 350°. In a 9x13 baking dish, arrange catfish fillets. In a small bowl, combine parsley, paprika, thyme, oregano, basil and black pepper. Sprinkle herb mixture over fish. In another bowl, mix lemon juice, butter and garlic powder. Drizzle butter mixture over fish. Bake until fish is easily flaked with a fork, about 20 minutes.

 

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
FROM SCRATCH

Parchment paper
2 (4-ounce) packages sweet chocolate baking bars
½ cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Coconut-Pecan Frosting (recipe provided)
Chocolate-dipped toasted pecan halves, garnish

Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease three 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper and lightly grease paper.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, place baking bars and water. Microwave on HIGH for 1-1½ minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring once halfway through.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.

In another medium bowl, place butter and sugar. With electric mixer on medium speed, blend until fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cake layers to loosen from sides of pans. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; discard parchment paper. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Spread Coconut-Pecan Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired

 

COCONUT-PECAN FROSTING

2 cups chopped pecans
1 (12-ounnce) can evaporated milk
1½ cups sugar
¾ cup butter
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350°. In a shallow pan, spread pecans in single layer. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 20 minutes).

In a heavy, 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, cook evaporated milk, sugar, butter, and egg yolks stirring constantly, 3-4 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cook, stirring constantly, 12-14 minutes or until mixture becomes a light caramel color, is bubbling and reaches a pudding-like thickness.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in coconut, vanilla and pecans. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until cooled and spreading consistency.

Note from Mary: This is a very labor-intensive recipe, but, once you take a bite, you will realize it was well-worth it!

 

JUNE HEALTHY RECIPE

CUCUMBER GREEK SALAD

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 103 calories per serving

2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch chunks
4-6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
½ red onion, sliced
¼ cup olive oil
1½ Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Black olives, pitted and sliced, to taste

In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes and onions.

In a smaller bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice and dried oregano. Pour over the vegetables. Mix well. Season salad with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle feta cheese and olives on top. Mix. Taste and adjust spices if need be. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Enjoy!

Note: Andrea Gallagher, AFC main office, shared with me a few really great websites for healthy recipes. She often uses these websites for finding recipes for her family. I retrieved this one from Belle of the Kitchen, https://belleofthekitchen.com/2015/07/15/cucumber-greek-salad/, one of the websites! Again – as always – I played with the recipe. My family is not real fond of feta cheese, so we substituted blue cheese plus added yellow, red and green bell peppers for more color!