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Think Spring Dinner: Celebrate the coming Warm Season with a Lucious Meal

Spring is coming and soon it will be warmer. The ancients saw the coming of spring as the return of the life giving sun and they celebrated. Why not anticipate warmer weather and sunny days with a Think Spring meal for your family and friends.

Eggs have symbolized new life and rebirth forever. A great appetizer for your Think Spring Meal is deviled eggs. Who doesn’t like them? These are a little different since they contain pesto, a spring green colored basil leaf product. You can get pesto in jars in the produce area of your grocer and in spring it is probably a good thing to get it instead of trying to make it yourself. Pesto takes a great deal of basil and if you live a cold area you are going to have to purchase it instead of picking out of your garden. That could be expensive.

Deviled Pesto Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 6 hardboiled eggs, peeled
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese (fresh grated not in the can)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley and paprika for garnish

Directions:

  1. Slice eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks.
  2. In a small bowl combine mashed yolks, mayonnaise and mustard. Blend well until smooth.
  3. Stir in pesto, parmesan and lemon juice then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon mixture into egg whites and garnish first with paprika and a sprig of parsley.
  5. Refrigerate until serving. Makes 6 servings.

With the appetizer out of the way you can bring out a lovely spring broccoli salad. This isn’t a salad that uses lettuce; instead it is more like a potato salad as you use mayonnaise, vegetables, fruits, with mayonnaise and vinegar. It is sweet and sour and luscious.

Spring Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 12 slices of bacon
  • 2 heads of fresh broccoli, florets removed
  • ¾ cup celery, chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup sunflower seed kernels
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Fry bacon in a skillet until done and brown, remove and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  2. In a large salad bowl toss broccoli florets, celery, onions, grapes, raisins and sunflower seeds.
  3. Crumble bacon and add to bowl.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar.
  5. Pour over the salad and toss.
  6. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Lamb is also a symbol of spring probably because babies are born during that time. This recipe is a simple and easy lamb chop recipe that you will want to use over and over again. It uses herbs to give it a delicious flavor.

Think Spring Herb Lamb Chops

Ingredients:

  • 1 – ½ tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 (4 ounce) lamb rib chops, trimmed

Directions:

  1. Start the broiler in your stove up and get it hot.
  2. In a bowl combine garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub over the lamb.
  3. Place lamb on a broiler pan coated both sides with cooking spray and broil 5 minutes on each side or a little longer if you like well done. Lamb is somewhat like beef as it should be served on the rare side for best flavor.
  4. Remove to a platter and garnish with parsley. Makes 6 – 2 chop servings

Green is the color of spring. The next recipe is for noodles that are definitely green. They use the basil that you bought for the eggs and make a lovely compliment to the lamb chops.

Spring Green Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces spinach noodles
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons pesto

Directions:

  1. Cook spinach noodles as per package directions.
  2. Drain well and place in a serving dish.
  3. Melt butter in a pan on the stove or in the microwave.
  4. Add pesto and mix well. If you like a little more basil taste, add a little more pesto.
  5. Pour over noodles and toss well. Serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Top off that dinner with a spectacular dessert. Strawberries are in season in spring and they are available in the grocery store starting in February. This is a twist on strawberry shortcake that uses angle food cake. The dessert resembles a Napoleon with many layers of goodness.

Strawberry Layer Dessert

Ingredients:

  • 1 angel food cake in loaf form (either buy one in the grocery or make your own from a cake mix)
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced (keep a few whole for garnish)
  • 1 regular container Non-Dairy whipped topping

Directions:

  1. With a serrated knife carefully cut the cake long wise into three separate layers.
  2. Reserve about ½ cup of the whipped topping and place the rest in a bowl.
  3. Add all sliced strawberries and gently fold them in.
  4. Place one rectangular slice of the angel food cake on a large plate.
  5. Spread ½ of the strawberry mixture on top.
  6. Place the middle layer of angel food cake on top.
  7. Spread with the rest of the strawberry mixture.
  8. Place the last angel food layer on top.
  9. Place small dollops of the reserved whipped topping on top and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  10. Cut in slices and serve with a whole strawberry for garnish. Makes about 6 servings.

Celebrate with a Think Spring meal and enjoy the fact that warmer weather and sunny days are on the way.

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