Welcome the new season into your kitchen with fresh
asparagus, spinach and morel mushrooms. The ham will likely be salty
so it is recommended to taste the finished dish before adding any
2-1/2 c. penne pasta
12 fresh asparagus spears
2 c. fresh spinach
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1/4 lb. cooked ham
4 tbsp. butter or margarine
1-1/2 c. milk (hot)
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Soak freshly picked mushrooms in salt water for at least 1/2 hour.
Store fresh asparagus with root-side down in a bowl of water. Prepare
this dish in three segments, boiling the pasta, sauteing the vegetables,
and preparing the sauce. (Unless there are 3 burners available some
staggered preparation is necessary. A microwave can be used to boil
the pasta, heat the milk, reheat the vegetable mixture, or reheat
the entire dish before serving. The following sequence uses two
burners and a microwave.)
Wash and cut asparagus sprigs into diagonal pieces (2 inches) discarding
the biggest ends. In a skillet over low heat, sweat the asparagus
cuts until dry, melt half (2 tbsp.) of the butter and cover. Rinse
and pat dry mushrooms, then chop into appealing shapes. Add mushrooms
to the skillet when asparagus starts to soften. Cut ham into chunks
or slices as desired. Wash and cut spinach leaves into 1 inch strips.
Add ham and spinach and cook until asparagus is tender and spinach
is fully wilted. Empty the skillet into a microwaveable bowl and
Boil 8-10 cups of water in a large pot. Add the penne pasta to
the boiling water and cook until al dente (approx. 14 min.)
Continuing using skillet by melting remaining (2 tbsp.) butter
and stirring in onion powder, thyme and flour. Gradually add hot
milk, crushing lumps until sauce is thick and smooth. Drain pasta
and stir in a little olive oil to deter sticking. Gently reheat
vegetable mixture in microwave. Plate layered elements of pasta,
vegetables, and sauce. Makes 4 generous servings.
Chocolate Spoon Bread with Port Wine Sauce
A decadent dark chocolate dessert pairs nicely with
a sherry glass of Country Moon "Native Harvest" wine.
This simple recipe produces shockingly rich results. Try your own
combination of dried fruit and nuts. We like cranberries for the
3 c. milk
3/4 c. cocoa powder unsweet
1/4 c. sugar
6 c. wheat bread cubed 1/2"
1 c. semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/4 c. quick oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, heat milk over medium
heat until steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat, add cocoa
powder and sugar. Stir gently and set aside to cool. Grease 9"
x 13" casserole dish. Choose a sturdy but airy bakery loaf
of wheat bread. Cut bread into 1/2" inch cubes and add to casserole
dish. Whisk eggs and drizzle over bread. Measure chocolate morsels,
dried cranberries, sliced almonds and quick oats, then shake evenly
over bread. Pour milk mixture evenly over bread. Press any dry areas
into liquid. Do not stir. Cover with aluminum foil and cook 45 minutes
at 350 degrees.
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. port wine (or Native Harvest)
1/4 c. cocoa powder unsweet
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
Stir together and simmer on low heat
until thick and creamy. Cover and set aside until bread is ready
to serve. Reheat sauce and drizzle on individual servings or over
the entire dish.
Summer Market Salad
This salad comes "in season" the end of
July when you can get both fresh corn and blueberries at the farmer's
market! Then pick your spring blossoms before they finally surrender
to the summer heat and add them for a special touch. Save any white
wine past its prime for the salad dressing.
3 heads romaine lettuce
2 ears of corn
1 cucumber sliced, quartered
1 c. blueberries
1/2 c. pecan halves
1/4 c. red onion, chopped
Cook ears of corn, let cool and cut from cob. Wash
and chop lettuce. Add all other ingredients finally garnishing with
edible flowers such as violas or pansies.
White Wine Poppyseed Dressing:
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. white wine
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Rainbow Bean Salad
A light and refreshing no-meat meal is perfect for
a hot summer day! Serve with fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.
The bean salad also works as a chunky dip with sturdy corn chips.
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can kernel corn
1 fresh green pepper, chopped
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil
1 tbsp. onion flakes
1 tbsp. dried cilantro
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
Combine dressing ingredients in a glass bottle and
set aside. Empty the four cans into a colander, rinse and drain.
Transfer to large serving bowl. Add chopped green peppers. Stir
in dressing. Makes 8 meals. Keeps well in refrigerator for several
Country Moon Sangria
This sweet and fruity beverage is perfect for a summer
evening.The alcohol level will drop by half, so a 8-10 ounce serving
is equal to one glass of wine. Our sweetest red wine, Concord Mist,
is especially suited for this recipe!
8 parts sweet red wine
4 parts lemon-lime soda
2 parts pulpy orange juice
1 part grenadine
For a gallon of Sangria, these amounts follow the proportions above:
64 oz. (2-1/2 bottles) wine
32 oz. (1/2 of 2 liter) lemon-lime soda
16 oz. pulpy orange juide
8 oz. (2/3 bottle) grenadine
Serve over ice and garnish with fresh fruit on a skewer!
Baked Potato Salad
This versatile side dish is great in any season and
can be served cold or hot!
5 lbs. red skin potatoes
5 lbs. sweet potatoes or yams
8 oz. sour cream
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
fresh chives, chopped
coarse black pepper
Stir dressing ingredients into sour cream container
and refrigerate. Wash potatoes and place whole in baking dishes.
Cover dishes with foil and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Remove foil
and allow to cool and air dry quickly. Refrigerate as soon as potatoes
are cool to touch. (OK to sit overnight in refrigerator.) When chilled,
cut potatoes into 3/4" cubes, removing skin from sweet potatoes
but leaving red skins adhered. Discard any unsightly parts. Gently
stir dressing into potato chunks and add garnish. Serves a crowd
up to 30 people. Keeps for several days. May be reheated as a casserole.
Stuffed Grape Leaves
Serve these as appetizers or cover several with goat
cheese for a main course. The trick to sucess
is having a thick-bottomed stew pot (not cast iron) and a heavy
plate that fits inside the pot.
50 fresh leaves or 1 lb. jar (canned)
1 tsp. baking soda
1-3/4 c. tomato juice
3/4 c. lentils, rinsed
1 can of creamed corn
5 green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. allspice
Begin by soaking fresh leaves in water with
baking soda added.
Place lentils in a saucepan and cover with water.
Cook on medium about 10 minutes and drain. Add remainder of stuffing
ingredients to saucepan.
Rinse grape leaves individually. Line stew pot
with leaves. Place 1 tablespoon of stuffing in each remaining leaf,
folding the bottom up and then rolling tightly from side to side.
(The roll should look like a short cigar.) Secure with toothpick
when necessary. Arrange rolled leaves in layers in the pot. Pour
tomato juice over the rolls. Cover with heavy plate. Add enough
water to submerge plate and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer
until leaves are tender and have turned dark.
Mulled Apple Spice
Perfect for a chilly evening, this hot punch is especially
pretty served in clear glass mugs.
In your slow cooker crock, add equal parts:
Apple Spice wine (1 bottle)
Apple juice or cider (25 oz.)
Heat slowly on low temperature. Thinly-sliced oranges will float
prettily on top. Grate some cinnamon flecks or add some allspice
for a little extra flair! (Not much extra cinnamon is necessary.
Cinnamon sticks with no diffuser will create unpleasant particles
Very Berry Sparkler
Refreshing and "not-so-sweet," this bubbly
beverage works well either as an aperitif or dessert. Be sure to
choose Country Moon Bramble Cat wine for the base of this punch.
Make it by the glass, pitcher or punch bowl.
4 parts wine
2 parts club soda
1 part cranberry juice
fresh raspberries or blackberries
Serve in champagne glasses and bob a fresh berry or two on top!
In a punch bowl, mix:
3 bottles of wine
36 oz. of club soda
18 oz. of cranberry juice
Beautiful brown flecks of pecans are both inside and
dusted on top of these buttery wine-friendly cookies.
2 sticks butter
2 c. flour
2/3 c. confectioner's sugar
3/4 c. pecans
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. water
Chop pecans to fine pieces. Separate 1/2 cup
of largest pieces for batter. Crush remaining pieces into a grainy
powder and keep for later.
In a glass or plastic bowl, soften butter in
microwave for 10-20 seconds. Add all ingredients except pecan powder.
Stir into a stiff dough and roll out 1/2" thick. Cut into desired
shapes and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 17 minutes at 325 degrees.
Do not allow to brown. Remove from oven and dust immediately with
pecan powder. Remove each cookie carefully with spatula to wax paper
and allow to cool.
Grab some fresh ingredients from your Farmer's Market
for this light summer meal.
3 ears of fresh corn
1 green pepper
1 yellow squash
1 can of red kidney beans
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Carve corn off the cob. Melt
butter in skillet on medium heat and add corn, stirring occasionally.
Slice green peppers lengthwise. Slice squash into 1/8" slices
and halve. Add vegetables and beans to corn mixture. Add seasoning,
stir and cover until squash is tender. The red pepper flakes add
a spicy heat and can be omitted or substitued for a smaller amount
of ground cayenne pepper. Add fresh cilantro to taste. Serves 2
as a meal or 4 as a side dish.
Our Midwest family likes this Italian dish made with
corn instead of black olives. Great for special occasions or pitch-ins.
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 can whole kernel corn
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 16 oz. pkg. egg noodles
3/4 lb. grated Velveeta (or other easily melted
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
In skillet, brown the ground beef, onion and green pepper. In a
large pot, boil water and add egg noodles. Boil for 9 minutes and
pour off water. Add browned ground beef mixture to noodles along
with other ingredients and stir gently in large pot. Turn all into
9 x 13 casserole and heat uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.