Sandra Williams, owner of Oxford Beauty Shop, 17 Spring Road, has an idea for yellow squash. She admits to “not cooking much,” but says she often slices squash in half, tops it with a little butter, salt and pepper and cooks it in the microwave often until it is tender.
A frequent visitor to Anniston, Barbara Eubanks of Albertville, is a speaker and writer. She has found a new way to cook corn on the cob via the microwave without ever dealing with a strand of corn silk. She recommends watching a YouTube video called “Clean Ears Everytime.” Place 2 ears of mature, untrimmed field corn in the microwave. After 10 minutes, while using oven gloves, remove the corn and slice off a bottom piece of the corn through the husk. Shake the corn from the top, still while wearing oven gloves, and it will fall into a plate with no silk strands attached.
Josh Toney, a finance manager at Benton Nissan, 1834 U.S. 78 East, Oxford, cooks out of the kitchen. He likes to grill outside; therefore, he will often prepare vegetables and cook them on the grill before cooking meat. One of his recipes is to place fresh asparagus on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to close around the vegetables. Then, sprinkle the asparagus with salt and lemon pepper and add a little butter. He closes the foil and places it on the grill when the charcoal is ready, which should take place about 30 minutes before placing the meat on the grill. When cooking fresh mushrooms, he places them in a disposable aluminum pan with a little butter and Lowry’s Seasoning Salt. He adds a touch of garlic powder and pepper and places the pan on the grill as soon as the fire is lit.
Betty West, manager and co-owner of West Insurance Agency, 1211 West Hamric Dr., Oxford, has a diabetic family member, so she is careful about how she sweetens her meals. She prefers to use artificial sweeteners in her two favorite summer treats – tossed salads and fruit with dip.
Here is her recipe for tossed salad: toss lettuce with summer vegetables and place either chicken salad or taco meat on top. On the nights when she makes the taco salad, she pours salsa from a jar over it. When she prepares chicken salad, she makes a vinaigrette out of red wine vinegar, a touch of garlic salt and a little sweetener, which is poured over the salad.
Her recipe for dipping grapes and watermelon is to mix whipped topping, cream cheese and sweetener together.
“It is good with apple slices and peaches,” she said.
Eat it cold:
Roberta Hedgepeth, secretary at Greenbrier Church of Christ, 3425 Greenbrier-Dear Road, likes to prepare sandwiches for her and her husband, John.
“My favorite is chicken salad,” she said.
Her favorite recipe calls for a can of drained canned chicken. She doesn’t measure anything, but she adds in a little mayonnaise, sour cream, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, chopped walnuts or pecans and chopped green grapes. She tosses them all together and serve on a croissant.
“I like the sweetness that the grapes add,” said Hedgepeth.
Freeze a container of flavored or plain yogurt. Freeze fresh fruit, such as strawberries. (Roberta has even frozen chunks of watermelon for this recipe.) Place frozen fruit and frozen yogurt in a blender. Add a cup of milk. Blend these three ingredients together until it is of the consistency of ice cream. Roberta sometimes adds ground flax seeds for fiber.
Favorite fruit dip:
Blend cream cheese, powdered sugar and a little fruit juice. Use as a dip for fruits, such as melons and strawberries.
Crock Pot Cooking:
Human Resource manager at Consolidated Publishing Co., Elaine Estes, uses the crock pot for convenience and energy savings. She advises cooks to visit the Crocking Girl’s Facebook site at www.facebook.com/happycrockin. Here are two of her favorite recipes:
Dried lima beans, large:
Wash and look over 1 pound limas to remove stones/defective beans. Place beans in a cold crock pot. Add water to the pot covering the beans plus 3 inches. Add real bacon bits to taste, 2 teaspoons of chicken bullion, 1 tablespoon of creole seasoning and salt to taste. Turn crock pot on low at about before heading out to work and turn off eight to nine hours later.
Serve with tomatoes and cornbread.
Season a 2-3 pound roast by sprinkling it on all sides with creole seasoning and garlic powder. Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Place roast and 1 small sliced onion in pot and turn on low. Add no liquid. Cook six hours. If someone is at home during the day, they can add vegetables to the pot. Wash and cut up red or yellow-gold potatoes with peeling and carrots in large chunks and place on top. Cook three more hours.
Another tip to save on heating the kitchen: Crock pots can be set outside of a back door to cook provided no animals or children can access the hot food.
Sue Anderson, a social worker who lives in Oxford, said a recipe called Texas caviar is one of her favorites for cool summer eating. “You can adapt it in whatever way you wish,” she said. Here is her basic recipe:
1can of black beans, washed and drain; 1 can of whole kernal corn, drained; 1 chopped medium onion; 1 bell pepper chopped; 2 tomatoes, chopped; and æ bottle of Zesty Italian salad dressing. Mix all vegetables together and pour dressing over them. May be served with any kind of corn chips, but Sue’s favorite is lime-flavored chips.
Healthy yogurt concoction:
1 cup of Greek yogurt and 1 regular-sized can of drained salmon, bones removed
Mix these two ingredients together with a whisk. Serve on crackers, raw sliced vegetables or eat it with a spoon all by itself. This is a recipe where the whole is better than the sum of its parts.
Low-fat, low-sugar easy dessert:
Follow directions on the back of sugar-free pudding mix. Chill. Cut up soft summer fruits, such as peaches, and spread over the top. (My favorite flavor of pudding is white chocolate. --Sherry)
Fresh tomato soup
Extract the juice from several ripe tomatoes. Season the juice, if needed, with salt and/or lemon juice. Add in favorite vegetables, such as chopped avocado, cucumbers, chopped herbs, fresh corn and squash. Sprinkle fresh chopped herbs and crumbled crackers over the top.
Happy summer eating.