Spring makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook.  There are so  many websites that I love to visit and get ideas for dishes to prepare.  Today I have three recipes that I have added to my recipe box as what we like to call “keepers.”

I loved to go to Shoney’s when I was younger, and I always saved room for strawberry pie.  I recently ran across a website for recipes of favorite dishes from restaurants.  When I saw the strawberry pie, I had to give it a try.  It was easy and delicious and tasted just as I remembered.

I was looking for a different bread to serve with Easter lunch when I ran across this Olive Cheese Bread.  Once again, easy and delicious — not only as an addition to a meal but a great appetizer for guests.

A pool party isn’t a pool party without a little libation, if you are so inclined.  This Margarita punch is delicious with the spirits or without.  Make a little extra, and fill some ice cube trays to use when serving the beverage. It will keep from diluting your drink.  

Just make sure you freeze the ice cubes before adding the tequila so they will freeze properly.

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful spring weather and will join me with some warm weather cooking.  Thanks for reading.  

STRAWBERRY  PIE

(Tastes just like Shoney’s!)

1 9-inch-deep dish pie shell, baked and cooled

1 pound fresh strawberries, washed and stems removed

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 small package strawberry Jell-O

1 small carton Cool Whip

Blend water, sugar and cornstarch in a medium-sized boiler and cook over medium high heat; stir occasionally.  You will know when it’s thick enough when the mixture can coat the back of the spoon and glaze will slowly come off of the spoon.

Add Jell-O and mix well.  Place the drained strawberries in the prepared pie shell and cover with cooked mixture.

Chill and top with Cool Whip.

OLIVE  CHEESE  BREAD

(This is a great addition to any meal, or a delicious appetizer.)

1 (6-ounce) can black olives, drained and chopped

1 (6-ounce) jar pimiento-stuffed green olives, drained and chopped

2 stalks green onion, chopped

1 stick butter, room temperature

½ cup mayonnaise

12 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1 loaf French bread, sliced lengthwise

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Mix the olives, green onion, butter, mayonnaise and cheese until thoroughly combined.  

Spread the mixture onto the French bread halves; bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cheese has melted.  

MARGARITA  PUNCH

(Look out pool, here we come!!)

2 (12-ounce) cans frozen limeade punch, thawed

1 ( 12-ounce) can frozen lemonade, thawed

1 (1-ounce) bottle orange extract

4 cups water

1 (3-liter) Sprite

1-2 cups tequila, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher; refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over ice.

*For virgin punch, swap tequila with more Sprite.

•Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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