Butler County Times Gazette
  • Food for Thought: Springtime means lighten up, add color

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  • Tip of the Week
    When spring finally arrives, we gladly shed heavy coats and snow boots. Meals, too, lighten up with warmer weather, as we leave behind hearty soups and heavier meals in favor of more sprightly and seasonal fare. Spring celebrations - from Easter brunches to graduation dinners - are great opportunities to revisit old favorites and try something new.
    This spring, why not celebrate the season with a blend of familiar and new? Here are some favorite flavors and foods of spring, along with some ideas for giving them new appeal:
    • With bright colors and strong, sweet flavor, citrus adds zing to spring. Lemon is ideal for incorporating into spring dishes, from enhancing veggies like early spring squash, to delightful desserts like Lemon Pull-Aparts. Lemon also plays well with a variety of fish dishes - perfect for anyone observing fish Fridays during Lent.
    • Peas are the quintessential green veggie of spring. Low in calories and high in vitamin A, peas are a go-anywhere ingredient. Raw peas add color and snap to spring salads. A handful tossed into warm pasta dishes add a layer of flavor and enhance nutritional value. Cream them as a base for a cold soup or a sauce to enhance fish.
    * Nutritionists advise Americans to eat a colorful range of fruits and vegetables, and for sheer bright color and great flavor it’s hard to beat strawberries. They also deliver a wealth of health benefits since they’re packed with key nutrients like potassium, magnesium and vitamin K - all important for overall good health. Eat them sliced and sprinkled with an alternative sweetener for a simple, low-calorie treat, or try something new and original like strawberry bruschetta.
    - Brandpoint
    Number to Know
    100 percent: Spring brings the arrival of one of the most delectable edible buds - artichokes. Virtually 100 percent of all artichokes grown commercially in the United States are grown in California. Artichokes are packed with antioxidants and fiber, and they are believed to deliver a host of health benefits, including improved digestion and lower cholesterol.
    — California Artichoke Advisory Board
    Easy Recipe
    Bunny Buns
    Ingredients:
    1 package Rhodes Dinner Rolls (thawed but still cold)
    Directions:
    Cut a small piece of one roll for a tail. Roll remaining piece into a 16-inch rope with pointed ends. Twist top of rope together. Place on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Pull pointed ends apart for ears. Roll small cut-off piece into a ball for the tail. Using your finger, make an indentation at the spot for the tail. Moisten the tail with water and place in the indentation. Repeat to make as many bunnies as desired. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and allow rolls to rise for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the wrap and bake at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy with butter.
    Page 2 of 2 - — Brandpoint
    Food Quiz
    The peak season for asparagus is what?
    A. Spring
    B. Summer
    C. Fall
    D. Winter
    Answer at bottom of rail.
    Wise to the Word
    Shocking: A green vegetable is shocked after blanching by throwing it into an ice bath (cold water with ice cubes added) to stop the cooking process.
    — Cookthink
    The Dish On...
    “The Hungry Girl Diet: Big Portions. Big Results. Drop 10 Pounds in 4 Week,” by Lisa Lillien
    The New York Times bestselling author of the Hungry Girl cookbooks now delivers the first-ever meal plan based on the concepts that have satisfied millions. Lisa Lillien has taken her famous super-sizing techniques, diet philosophies and delicious recipes, and she’s put them into a foolproof four-week jump-start plan that’s approved by a registered dietitian.
    - Amazon
    Food Quiz answer
    A. Asparagus is harvested from March to June, depending on the region.
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