J. Q. Rose--Today I am visiting author and editor Penny Ehrenkranz blog as her guest author. Gloria Hart, the main character in my book, is my guest today. After you print out Gloria's vegetable recipes, hop on over to Penny's blog and join us there.Thank you for being here today, Gloria.
Gloria Hart--I am so happy to be here with your readers this beautiful sunny day in Florida. When I watch all the news reports on the cold, snowy weather and blizzards up north, I am delighted Jim and I spend our winters here.
We enjoy running away from responsibilities and freezing temps every winter. However, one winter certainly wasn’t the usual fun experience of golf, games, beach time, and the early bird dinners at the Golden Corral. Instead the residents in our retirement community were living in terror. We had no idea who or what was killing the folks on Sunshine Boulevard.
My husband, Jim, as Captain of the First Responder Team, was pulled into the investigations and saw first hand the emergency calls. He still has nightmares when he remembers those death scenes--the victims' yellow bodies and the stench.
To add to that sad season of death blanketing our community, our friends betrayed us by keeping secrets from us. One of them even ended up lying naked in a geranium bed!
Many snowbirds returned to the safety of the north country rather than experience the terror during that horrific time. We discussed leaving too. But we couldn’t leave our friends and neighbors during this catastrophe. Jim wanted to stay to help with the First Responders Team. Many of the old folks were experiencing heart attacks, panic attacks, and health issues related to the frightening events in the neighborhood. I couldn’t leave the many friends and neighbors who I checked on every morning. We couldn’t return to Michigan realizing our hearts would remain in Florida. So we stayed and managed to survive that winter of deadly events.
I am so glad that upsetting winter season is behind us. This year has been a lot of fun. Jim is happy his garden is growing well. Along with golfing and serving on the First Responders Team, he is an avid gardener twelve months out of the year. He has a huge garden up north and a small one behind our double-wide trailer in Florida.
Needless to say, I have had to come up with some creative recipes to use all the wonderful, fresh produce from his gardens. J Q suggested I share some recipes with you. I am sure some of you have made New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier this year, so maybe these recipes will inspire you.
Happy New Year 2011!
Stuffed Green Peppers
We like the peppers stuffed with or without the meat using corn or peas or more veggies from the garden.
Place 6 peppers (either a full-sized pepper with the tops off and seeds cleaned out or a cleaned pepper cut in half) in a micro-waveable 8" x 8 " dish. (Yes,this is so much easier than boiling them for 5 minutes in boiling water, I think.) Salt the inside of the peppers. Cook the peppers in the microwave for 3-4 minutes depending on how thick the wall is. They need to be hot.
Prepare a cup of rice--instant, brown, whatever your family prefers.
Brown one pound of ground beef with onions in a large skillet. Drain. Return to the skillet.
Add rice and 3/4 can of diced tomatoes to the meat and onions including juice. You may add salt and garlic to taste. Heat through.
Stuff peppers with meat mixture. Top with remaining tomatoes and juice. Return to microwave and cook covered 10-12 minutes or bake in 350 degree oven, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove foil from oven baked peppers, and cook 10-15 minutes longer.
Remove from heat and sprinkle tops with cheese. No need to return the peppers to the heat as the cheese will melt.
I let the dish of peppers set for five minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Seven Layer Salad, one of our family favorites. You may want to add or delete any of the layers. I like to add boiled eggs and radishes, so that may make it a nine layer salad. Use what you have from your garden to make this a tasty addition to your turkey or ham dinner or to your cookout with burgers and dogs.
Seven Layer Salad
Shred lettuce to fill a 9 x 13 pan.
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. celery
1 sweet onion, sliced thin or green onions from your garden
1 package frozen peas, not thawed or fresh from the garden
1 c. mayonnaise mixed with 2 T. sugar(I use the light mayo)
Place veggies in pan in order listed above.
Sprinkle 4 ounces cheddar cheese on top of dressing. (Sub fat-free cheese)
Cook 6 strips of bacon. (optional)
Break them up when cool and place on top of cheese.
Break them up when cool and place on top of cheese.
Cover. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
Sunshine Boulevard--Coming March 1 from Muse It Up Publishing
Hi Gloria, wow, sounds like you lead an exciting life in Florida. Warm weather sounds great too. You sure made me hungry with those recipes. Back here suffering in the cold, I'd use the oven for the peppers. I never heard of boiling or putting the peppers in the microwave first. Is there a reason for that? The salad sounds delicious.
Oh yes, a boomer's life in FL is sooooooo exciting...especially heading out for early bird specials!!
Hmmmm..if you don't cook the peppers a little, aren't they crunchy? I've always done this, but I am open to leaving out that step. It's a bit of a hassle.
Thanks for visiting.
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