Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges Recipe

Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges

Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 8 Servings


  • 4 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder



  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain; pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle potatoes with garlic salt and pepper.
  2. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until tender, turning once. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt and seasonings. Serve with sweet potatoes.




Originally published as Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges in Tailgating 2013 2013, p57


Almond Strawberry Salad recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Almond Strawberry Salad

Photo by Taste of Home©


  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced honey-roasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, honey and sugar. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.

Nutritional Facts
3/4 cup equals 74 calories, 4 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 98 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1/2 fat.
Originally published as Almond Strawberry Salad in Simple & Delicious March/April 2006, p17

Strawberry-Orange Vinegar and Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing Recipes

Strawberry-Orange Vinegar Dressing

This light and refreshing strawberry-orange dressing from our Test Kitchen will nicely accent any fresh green salad. Use your favorite salad greens or a ready-to-serve package to keep things simple. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
Strawberry Orange Vinegar
Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 1-2/3 cups or 26 Servings


  • 1 medium orange
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 c. sliced fresh strawberries


  1. Using a citrus zester, peel rind from orange in long narrow strips (being careful not to remove pith). In a large saucepan, heat vinegar and sugar to just below the boiling point. Place strawberries in a warm sterilized quart jar; add heated vinegar mixture and orange peel. Cover and let stand in a cool dark place 10 days.
  2. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth; discard pulp and orange rind. Pour into a sterilized pint jar. Seal tightly. Store in the refrigerator up to 6 months.

Nutritional Facts
1 tablespoon equals 15 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, trace sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, trace protein. Diabetic Exchange: Free food.

Originally published as Strawberry Orange Vinegar in Healthy Cooking April/May 2012, p31


Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing
Photo by Taste of Home©



  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup Strawberry Orange Vinegar (see above recipe) or raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Nutritional Facts:
2 tablespoons equals 108 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 74 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, trace protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 fat, 1/2 starch.

Originally published as Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing in Healthy Cooking April/May 2012, p33


Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate Recipe

Yield: 20 Servings

Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate

Photo by Taste of Home©


  • 4 pounds fresh raspberries (about 14 cups)
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 4 cups lemon juice
  • Chilled tonic water or ginger ale
  • Ice cubes


  1. Place raspberries in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Strain raspberries, reserving juice. Discard seeds. Place juice in a Dutch oven; stir in sugar and lemon juice. Heat over medium-high heat to 190°. Do not boil.
  2. Remove from heat; skim off foam. Carefully ladle hot mixture into five hot 1-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Wipe rims; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  3. Place jars into canner simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

To use concentrate: Mix 1 pint concentrate with 1 pint tonic water. Serve over ice. Yield: 5 pints (4 servings each)

Editor’s Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.

Nutritional Facts:
1 cup lemonade equals 319 calories, trace fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 20 mg sodium, 83 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.
Originally published as Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate in Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2010, p209

Strawberry Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: 2-1/2 cups or 20 Servings

Strawberry Vinaigrette Recipe
Photo by Taste of Home©


  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen unsweetened strawberries, thawed
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon poppy seeds

Place the strawberries in a blender; cover and process until pureed. Add lemon juice and sugar; cover and process until blended. While processing, gradually add vinegar and oil in a steady stream; process until thickened. Stir in poppy seeds. Transfer to a large bowl or jar; cover and store in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Facts
2 tablespoons equals 31 calories, 1 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 1 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, trace protein. Diabetic Exchange: 1/2 starch.

Originally published as Strawberry Vinaigrette in Taste of Home June/July 2006, p12

Plants that Attract Butterflies

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the following list of plants attract butterflies.

Purple coneflower and butterfly

Purple coneflowers are just one type of perennial that will attract butterflies.

It’s obvious: Butterflies and flowers were made for each other. As the poet pointed out, butterflies are flying flowers, and flowers are tethered butterflies.

In attracting butterflies to your garden, it’s important to understand what they want most out of life: nectar. The ancients, who believed that nectar fell directly from heaven, named it after the wines of the gods. A butterfly’s wish list also includes sunny open spaces, shelter from the wind, and fresh water.

For a nectar-rich flower border designed to satisfy these requirements, consider the plants listed below. Then invite a few butterflies over for a drink.

For a nectar-rich flower border designed to satisfy these requirements, consider the plants listed below. Then invite a few butterflies over for a drink.

Common Name                                       Latin Name
Allium                                                               Allium
Aster                                                                  Aster
Bee balm                                                          Monarda
Butterfly bush                                                 Buddleia
Catmint                                                            Nepeta
Clove                                                                 Pink Dianthus
Cornflower                                                      Centaurea
Daylily                                                             Hemerocallis
False indigo                                                    Baptisia
Fleabane                                                         Erigeron
Floss flower                                                   Ageratum
Globe thistle                                                 Echinops
Goldenrod                                                     Solidago
Helen’s flower                                              Helenium
Hollyhock                                                     Alcea
Lavender                                                       Lavendula
Lilac                                                              Syringa
Lupine                                                          Lupinus
Lychnis                                                        Lychnis
Mallow                                                        Malva
Milkweed                                                    Asclepias
Mint                                                            Mentha
Pansy                                                          Viola
Phlox                                                          Phlox
Privet                                                         Ligustrum
Purple coneflower                                  Echinacea
Rock cress                                                Arabis
Sage                                                          Salvia
Sea holly                                                  Eryngium
Shasta daisy                                           Chrysanthemum
Snapdragon                                           Antirrhinum
Stonecrop                                              Sedum
Sweet alyssum                                      Lobularia
Sweet rocket                                         Hesperis
Tickseed                                               Coreopsis
Zinnia                                                   Zinnia

Also, check out these two slideshows from Better Homes and Gardens are How to make a Butterfly Garden and Top plants for your Butterfly garden. The website also offers a free plan for a Butterfly Garden.

BHG Butterfly Garden

Better Homes & Garden offers a free butterfly garden plan. Check out more garden plans on the website.

Maggie Monday: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

The best way to eat your veggies!

Rantings of an Amateur Chef

There are so few veggies that you can build into a dessert. Carrots in carrot cake is a standout but other than that, there aren’t a whole lot of others. Zucchini, as it turns out, is another exception. Think zucchini bread and Maggie’s cake below…

Yea, this weekend go make this cake. This is pure yumminess, and with applesauce instead of oil, not really high in fat. It tastes great, and as most Bundt cakes, very pretty to look at. I’d recommend dusting the greased pan with cocoa. This cake is really moist, and I did have one tip that stuck in the pan. It is easily fixed with the glaze, but I think it might help to use the cocoa dusting.

Everyone in the house loved this, and I shared it with friends who were equally happy to gobble this up. Picky Pants daughter #2 was thrilled with this…

View original post 301 more words

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Custard Sauce

Yield: 16 Servings

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Custard Sauce
Photo by Taste of Home©


  • 1 3/4c. sugar
  • 1/2c. canola oil
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2c. buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 c. finely shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. sliced almonds

Custard Sauce:

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 c. whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour a 10-in.plain or fluted tube pan.  In another bowl, beat sugar, oil and butter until well blended.  Gradually beat in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
  2. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves; gradually beat into sugar mixture.  Stir in zucchini, chocolate chips and almonds.
  3. Transfer to prepared pan.  Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to cool.
  4. For sauce, in a large saucepan, mix sugar, flour and cornstarch.  Whisk in milk.  Cook and stir over medium high heat until thickened and bubbly.  Reduce heat to low; cool and stir 2 minutes longer.  Remove from heat.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to pan, whisking  constantly.  Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes.  Gently stir in butter and extract. Serve warm with cake. Cover and refrigerate leftover sauce.

Editor’s Note: For easier removal of cakes, use solid shortening to grease plain and fluted tube pans.

Originally published as Chocolate Zucchini Cake in Country Woman in September/October 2003, p.33


Marbled Chocolate Zucchini Bread – Real Simple Recipe

Yield: 8 Servings

Marbled Chocolate Zucchini Bread, Photo by Danny Kim

Photo by Danny Kim


  • 1/2 c. plus 2 tsp. canola oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (7 ounces)
  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 packed cups shredded zucchini (9 ounces)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with oil and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. Stir together the chocolate and 2 teaspoons of the canola oil. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup canola oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Stir in the zucchini.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk vigorously to combine, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer half the batter to the prepared pan. Pour half the chocolate into the pan. Repeat with the remaining batter and chocolate. Using a toothpick, swirl the chocolate and batter together to create a marbled pattern. Make sure to incorporate the batter at the bottom.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
by Lindsay Hunt, July 2014