A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Blueberries and Blackberries Blueberry and Corn Salsa Blackberry Cream Pie Blueberry Lemon Cake Spiked Blueberry Lemonade Punch Blueberry Pound Cake Blueberry Pie Blueberry Mojito Blackberry Cobbler Blackberry Cream Pie Melon

Madison County Championship Rodeo

Blueberries and Blackberries Blueberry and Corn Salsa Blackberry Cream Pie Blueberry Lemon Cake Spiked Blueberry Lemonade Punch Blueberry Pound Cake Blueberry Pie Blueberry Mojito Blackberry Cobbler Blackberry Cream Pie Melon

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Blueberries and Blackberries Blueberry and Corn Salsa Blackberry Cream Pie Blueberry Lemon Cake Spiked Blueberry Lemonade Punch Blueberry Pound Cake Blueberry Pie Blueberry Mojito Blackberry Cobbler Blackberry Cream Pie Melon

31 Summer Fruit Recipes We Love

Watermelon Sorbet recipe

Blueberries and Blackberries

Melon

Peaches

 Strawberries

Cherries


Blueberry and Corn Salsa

Yield: 4-6 servings.

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh corn, cooked and cut off the cob (5 ears)
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped

In a mixing bowl, combine vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and salt. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Slowly add canola oil and continue to whisk until dressing thickens. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, add blueberries, corn, jalapeño, cilantro, and onion, and toss to combine. Pour dressing over salsa. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

Enjoy as a side dish or with tortilla chips.


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Blackberry Cream Pie

⅔ cup sugar
½ tablespoon salt
2½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon flour
3 cups whole milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 9-inch pie crust, baked and cooled
1 cup thawed and drained frozen blackberries or 1 cup of washed and patted-dry fresh blackberries
whipped cream topping (optional)

Mix sugar, salt, cornstarch, and flour in a saucepan. Gradually stir in the milk. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Stir a little of the mixture into egg yolks. Next, blend egg yolk mixture into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Blend in butter and vanilla extract. Cool stirring occasionally. Fold in berries after pie mixture has cooled.

Pour into baked pie shell. Chill for 2 hours. Top with whipped topping if desired. Garnish with berries.


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Blueberry Lemon Cake

2 cups flour
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 ½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch diameter cake pans with 1 ½ inch high sides. Butter pans and dust with flour.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. In a separate bowl, toss blueberries in a bit of the flour. Set remaining flour mixture and blueberries aside.

Stir whole milk, vanilla extract, and grated lemon peel in small bowl. Beat butter in a large bowl until light and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.

Add flour mixture to egg mixture a little at a time, alternating with milk. Fold in blueberries and divide batter equally among pans.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool cakes in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around pan sides to loosen. Turn cakes out onto racks to cool completely. Layer cakes with frosting spread generously between layers and on top.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Add vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice.


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Spiked Blueberry Lemonade Punch

Blueberry Lemonade:

½ cup sugar
1 cup blueberries
½ cup lemon juice
2 ½ cups water, divided

Cocktail Punch:

1 cup vodka
5 cups ginger ale, chilled
1 750-milliliter bottle champagne, chilled
Lemon slices
Superfine sugar for garnishing glass rims
Frozen blueberries as “ice cubes” (optional)

For the blueberry lemonade: In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix 1/2 cup water, blueberries, and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and wait for berries burst, about 10 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. Add lemon juice and remaining 2 cups water. Chill until cold.

For the cocktail punch: Add vodka to pitcher. Just before serving, stir in ginger ale and frozen blueberries. Run lemon slice along rim of each serving glass. Coat rim with dip with superfine sugar, tapping gently to discard the excess. Fill each glass with equal parts spiked blueberry lemonade and champagne.


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Blueberry Pound Cake

Yield: 10-12 servings.

1 pound unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
4 cups cake flour
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Glaze:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 300°. Lightly grease a 10-inch tube pan with vegetable oil or butter. Sprinkle a light coating of cake flour over greased surface. Tap to remove any excess flour.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter at medium speed for 2 to 7 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, on medium speed, until fluffy and light in color. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until the yolks disappear.

Add flour to creamed mixture, a little at a time, alternating with milk and ending with flour. Beat at low speed, just until blended, after each addition. Add extracts and blend for 1 minute. Fold in blueberries with a spatula.

Pour batter into tube pan. Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

For the glaze: Beat confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons butter, and lemon zest together in a bowl until glaze is smooth. Pour about half of the glaze over the cake; let cool. Pour remaining glaze over the cake.


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Fresh Blueberry Pie

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons tapioca
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
2 tablespoons butter
2 pie crusts, unbaked

Preheat oven to 400˚. Mix sugar, tapioca, nutmeg, and cinnamon together. Gently toss berries with sugar mixture. Fill 1 piecrust with berry mixture, and top with second crust. Make a few openings in top crust for steam to escape. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.


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Blueberry Mojito

Yields: 2 servings.

1 cup blueberries (extra blueberries for garnish, if desired)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
8-10 fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 ounces white rum
Club Soda

Puree blueberries in a blender or food processor until smooth, set aside. Muddle sugar and mint in a cocktail shaker.

Add lime juice, rum and blueberry puree. Cover cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds.

In 2 tall cocktail glasses filled with ice, pour about 1/3 full with club soda.

Top with blueberry mixture and stir to combine. Garnish with additional mint and blueberries, if desired.


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Blackberry Cobbler

Yield: 6-8 servings.

1 tablespoon + 6 tablespoons salted butter
1 large egg
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ cups + 2 tablespoons sugar
4 cups frozen or fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Grease an 8 x 8-inch pan with 1 tablespoon of butter. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, flour, and 1¼ cups of sugar until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add ¼ cup of the flour mixture to the bottom of the pan. Pour in the blackberries and sprinkle the lemon juice on top. Spread the remaining flour mixture evenly over the blackberries. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter and pour on top. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar on top.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve in individual ramekins and top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (optional).


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Grilled Fish Tacos with Watermelon Pico de Gallo

Yield: 4 servings.

For the pico de gallo:
4 cups seedless watermelon, diced
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
½ cup red onion, diced
Juice of 1 lime, plus extra wedges to serve alongside
1 teaspoon cumin
½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup romaine lettuce, sliced into ribbons

For the fish tacos:
1½ pounds boneless, skinless, firm white fish
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Cumin
8 (8-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled

Combine watermelon, mango, jalapeño, and onion in bowl. Stir in lime juice and cumin. Set aside.

Preheat an outdoor grill, and lightly oil grill grate. Brush fish with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and a light dusting of cumin. Lay fillets on grill. Cook about 4 or 5 minutes per side until marked and cooked through. Place the fish into a bowl and break into bite-size pieces.

Fold cilantro and shredded lettuce into the pico de gallo. Warm tortillas on the grill, then fill with fish. Top the tacos with pico, then scatter with crumbled cheese. Serve with lime wedges.


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Honeydew Sorbet Float

Yield: 6 servings.

6 cups honeydew melon, cut into 1-inch chunks (approximately 2 melons)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ cups cold water
¼ cup honey
1 bottle sparkling water or champagne, chilled
Fresh mint leaves (for garnish)

Place cut honeydew in a single layer on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Place baking sheets in the freezer for 4 hours or until melon is frozen.

Working in two batches, place half of the frozen melon in a high-powered blender or food processor, and add half quantities of the lemon juice, water, and honey. Blend until smooth. Repeat.

Pour melon mixture into a rectangular aluminum baking dish and cover surface of mixture with plastic wrap.

Place dish in the freezer for another 30 to 45 minutes until it sets.

To assemble the float, place 2 scoops of honeydew sorbet in 6 chilled glasses and top each with champagne or sparkling water. Garnish each serving with a fresh mint leaf.


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Watermelon Arnold Palmer

Yield: About 6-8 servings.

1 quart green tea, chilled
1½ quarts lemonade, plus 2 cups, chilled
6 cups watermelon
2 lemons, cut into small pieces
2-3 ice cube trays, depending on size

Puree watermelon in blender and strain. Add 1 cup of lemonade for every 2 cups of watermelon juice. Put 2 or 3 pieces of diced lemon into each cube section. Fill trays with melon-juice mixture. Freeze for several hours or overnight.

To serve, fill glasses with watermelon cubes. Top with half tea and half lemonade.


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Raleighwood Melon-tini

Yield: 6 servings.

2 cups watermelon puree
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup vodka
1 cup water
½ cup sugar

Mint leaves, for garnish

Combine watermelon puree, lemon juice, vodka, water, and sugar in a pitcher and mix well to dissolve the sugar. Serve over ice in glasses. Garnish with mint leaves.


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Watermelon and Feta Salad Recipe

Yield: 6 servings.

6 cups cubed watermelon, rind and seeds removed
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
6 thin slices red onion
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
6 large fresh mint leaves, chopped
12 fresh basil leaves

In a large bowl, combine watermelon, yellow pepper, and sliced onion. Set aside. Whisk together lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Pour dressing over watermelon and toss. Add feta, mint, and basil, and toss gently.


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Watermelon Sorbet

Yield: About a dozen ½-cup servings.

8 cups watermelon
1 (12-ounce) can orange juice concentrate, thawed
Sugar or honey to taste
Zest of one orange

Put melon and juice concentrate into a blender and pulse until pureed and well-blended. Taste and add sugar or honey if needed. Pour puree into a covered container and freeze 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Garnish with orange zest.

Variation: For a sparkling sorbet, after pureeing, put mixture into a container and stir in 2 cups of soda water or sparkling wine. Freeze as noted.


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Chicken & Peach Skillet Dinner

Yield: 4 servings.

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 chicken thighs
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup sweet onion, sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced into strips
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups firm, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
Juice from 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Pat chicken with a paper towel, then sprinkle with salt. Place chicken in hot skillet, skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes or until meat is browned, turning once. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.

Reduce heat to medium; add onion and bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion becomes translucent. Stir in balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in peaches and lemon juice. Return chicken to skillet. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil just before serving.


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Fresh Peach Chutney

Yield: 8 servings.

1½ pounds ripe peaches (approximately 4 to 5 medium peaches), pitted, peeled, and cut into small pieces
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 medium sweet onion, or 1 cup, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, cored, seeded, and minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Combine the vinegar, sugar, and molasses in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and stir until sugar dissolves.

Reduce heat and add the onion, pepper, and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the peaches and red pepper flakes. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until peaches are cooked and begin to break apart.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve over fried chicken, grilled seafood, shrimp, or as a dip with tortilla chips. Store leftover chutney in the refrigerator for up to a week.


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Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream & Caramel Sauce

Yields: 4 servings. 

2 large peaches
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Vanilla ice cream

Caramel Sauce:
½ cup sugar
½ stick butter
¼ cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Begin by making your caramel sauce. In a heavy skillet melt the sugar, stirring constantly. Sugar will clump and then melt, continue to stir as it turns amber brown.

Cube butter and stir into sugar until combined. Remove from heat and add cream. Stir rapidly until fully incorporated. Add in vanilla extract and allow cooling.

Slice peaches in half. Brush each half with coconut oil. Grill peaches flesh side down for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Serve hot with ice cream and drizzled caramel sauce.


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Peach Cream Pie

2 tablespoons butter
1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked
3 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
⅔ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup cream

Preheat oven to 425˚. Cut butter into small pieces and dot pie shell with butter. Cover with peaches. Combine sugar, flour, and nutmeg. Stir in cream. Pour over peaches. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Chill before serving.


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Peach Flatbread with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Drizzle

Yield: 6 servings.

4 small flatbreads, naan, or pre-cooked thin crust pizza
2 ripe peaches, thinly sliced
½ cup crumbled blue cheese (or goat cheese)
½ cup balsamic vinegar, plus extra
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup packed arugula, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400˚.

Brush each flatbread lightly with olive oil, then top each with a quarter of the sliced peaches and a quarter of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Place flatbreads on baking sheets and bake for ten minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil, then simmer on low until the mixture has reduced by half (approximately five minutes). Transfer to a small pitcher or bowl.

In a separate bowl, toss arugula with a splash of balsamic vinegar and splash of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove flatbreads from oven, then top each with arugula salad and generous drizzle of the balsamic reduction.


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Rosemary Peach Lemonade

Yields: 4 servings.

1½ cups peach nectar
½ cups water
1¼ cups rosemary simple syrup (recipe follows)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a 2-quart container, combine peach nectar, water, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled before serving. 

Rosemary Simple Syrup

1⅓ cups water
1 cup sugar
4 (5-inch) stalks fresh rosemary

Combine water, sugar, and rosemary in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a container to remove rosemary stalks and leaves. Let syrup cool, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.


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The Best Peach Ice Cream

Yields 1 quart.

3 large egg yolks
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1½ cups heavy cream
1½ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 vanilla bean (optional)
3 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into bite-size chunks

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and brown sugar.

In a large saucepan, bring cream and milk to a simmer over low heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture until combined; return to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes or until the custard has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Immediately strain custard into a bowl.

Set bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water to cool, stirring occasionally. When custard has cooled, stir in lemon juice, vanilla, and vanilla bean, if desired. Chill overnight.

Remove vanilla bean and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the peaches halfway through the churning process.


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Peach Cobbler

Yield: 6 servings.

2½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
½ cup very cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg
¼ cup cold water
3 pounds fresh, medium-size peaches (about 10 peaches), peeled, pitted, and sliced
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup orange juice
½ cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt. Work in the shortening and cubed butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cold water. Sprinkle over flour mixture, and form dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll out half of the dough to a ⅛-inch thickness. Place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, covering the bottom and halfway up the sides. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

In a large saucepan, combine the peaches, lemon juice, and orange juice. Add ½ cup butter, and cook over medium-low heat until butter is melted. In a bowl, combine 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, and cornstarch; stir into peach mixture. Remove from heat, and pour into baked crust.

Roll remaining dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Place dough over peach mixture. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Cut an “x” in the center of the top dough to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to set for 15 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream (optional).


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Peach Tea Cocktail

Yield: 6 servings.

6 tea bags
1 quart water, divided

2 cups peach nectar
2 tablespoons sugar
6 shots Defiant whiskey
Fresh sliced peaches
Mint sprigs

Pour 1 cup of water into a small saucepan. Add tea bags and bring to a boil.

Once at a boil, remove saucepan from heat and cover. Steep for 5 minutes.

Pour tea and sugar into pitcher. Add remaining 3 cups of water and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Allow tea to cool in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Add peach nectar to tea. Stir to combine.

Pour peach tea into a glass with ice, leaving enough room for 1 shot of whiskey. Add whiskey and stir.

Garnish with freshly sliced peaches and a mint sprig as desired.


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Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream

Yield: 14 servings.

4 cups heavy cream
4 cups whole milk
2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 pints fresh strawberries
Ice
1 cup rock salt, divided
4 gallon-size plastic bags
4 sandwich plastic bags

Hull strawberries. Chop ⅓ and set aside. Place remaining strawberries in blender and pulse until minced but not pulverized.

In a large bowl, combine strawberries, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir well. Divide between sandwich bags.

Fill each gallon bag halfway with ice and ¼ cup of rock salt. Place a sandwich bag filled with mixture into each gallon bag and seal tightly. Wrap each with a hand towel, and distribute to your eager party guests.

Shake, being careful not to put pressure on the interior bag, for 10-15 minutes or until your cream solidifies and becomes ice cream. Serve immediately or freeze for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour.


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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Yield: 12 servings.

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
3 tablespoons sugar
2½ cups pretzel sticks, coarsely chopped
1 (6-ounce) package strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold water
3 cups fresh strawberries, capped and sliced
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup sugar
8 ounces whipped topping
Chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine butter, 3 tablespoons sugar, and pretzels; mix well. Press pretzel mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove dish from oven and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add cold water and stir. Add strawberries. Chill strawberry gelatin mixture until partially set. In a mixing bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, and 1 cup sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.

Spread cream cheese mixture over pretzel crust. Pour gelatin mixture over cream cheese layer. Chill until set. Top with chopped pecans (optional).


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Strawberry Shortcake

Yield: 12 servings.

Biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup whole milk, very cold

Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
6 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
4 tablespoons sugar
Fresh mint (optional)

For the biscuits: For best results, place butter pieces in freezer for at least 1 hour before making recipe. Preheat oven to 425°.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in chilled butter until the flour resembles peas. Slowly add cold milk and incorporate with pastry cutter or hands. Do not overmix. Dough will be wet.

Pour dough onto a clean, heavily floured countertop. Shape dough into a ball and roll out to ½-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut biscuits and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.

For the strawberries: Sprinkle sugar over strawberries and toss. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

For the whipped cream: Chill the mixing bowl and beaters prior to making whipped cream. Pour whipping cream into the bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mixer) and turn to medium speed. Slowly add sugar and continue whipping until cream begins to thicken. Increase speed to medium high and whip until cream is fluffy and forms a peak.

To assemble: Place biscuit on plate and split in half. Spoon strawberries on bottom half of biscuit and top with whipped cream. Place top of biscuit on whipped topping. Garnish with fresh mint (optional).


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Frozen Margarita Pie

1⅓ cups pretzels, crushed
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
1 (21-ounce) can strawberry pie filling
½ to ⅔ cup frozen margarita mix, thawed
1 (8-ounce) carton Cool Whip, thawed

Grease 9-inch pie plate. In a medium bowl, combine 1¼ cup of the pretzels, sugar, and butter. Press evenly onto bottom and sides of prepared pie plate to form crust. In a large bowl, combine strawberry pie filling and margarita mix. Fold in Cool Whip. Spoon mixture into crust. Sprinkle with remaining pretzels. Freeze for about two hours until firm. Before serving, remove pie from freezer, and let stand 30 minutes at room temperature.


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Cherry Biscuit Cobbler

Yield: 8 servings.

For the biscuits:
5 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (for best results, freeze for 1 hour)
2 cups all-purpose flour

2  tablespoons baking powder
3  tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk, very cold

For the filling:
1  tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2  pounds fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
¼  cup sugar
¼  cup water
1 (13-ounce) jar cherry preserves
4 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the biscuits: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in chilled butter until the flour resembles peas. Slowly add cold milk and incorporate with pastry cutter or hands. Do not overmix. Dough will be wet. Pour dough onto a clean, heavily floured countertop. Shape dough into a ball and roll out to ½-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch-round biscuit cutter, cut biscuits and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate biscuits for 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 ̊.

For the filling: Prepare a 2-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon softened butter. Arrange cherries in baking dish. In a saucepan over low heat, mix together sugar, water, cherry preserves, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt. Heat to a thick sauce consistency. Pour filling over cherries.

Arrange chilled biscuits over filling. Brush biscuits with melted butter.

Place cobbler on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 ̊ and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.


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Cherry Gin Fizz

Crushed ice
8 ounces sweetened cherry juice
Juice from 2 limes
2 ounces gin
2 ounces Luxardo maraschino liqueur
Club soda
Lime slices and cherries (for garnish)

Fill two glasses ¾ way with crushed ice. Blend together the cherry juice, lime juice, gin, and Luxardo, and stir. Pour over crushed ice, and top with club soda. Garnish with lime slices and cherries.


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Cheerwine Hand Pies

Yield: 8 pies.

For the Cheerwine cherry filling:
1 cup tart cherries, fresh or frozen
¼ cup Cheerwine soft drink
3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the hand pie dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
3 ounces cream cheese
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash

For the Cheerwine glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons Cheerwine

For the Cheerwine cherry filling: Place cherries and Cheerwine in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. After cherries lose considerable juice at about 10-15 minutes, remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix sugar and cornstarch. Pour mixture into hot cherries and mix well. Return mixture to stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Cover and place in fridge until chilled.

For the hand pies: Preheat oven to 425° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a food processor, mix flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add cream cheese and butter into flour mixture and pulse about 6 times to cut the fat into the flour. Add milk and almond extract and blend until a loose dough begins to form.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Lightly flour top of dough and roll it out to a 12 x 15-inch square. Cut it into about 16 circles with a 3 ½-inch cookie cutter. Reroll scraps if necessary. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of chilled cherry pie filling into the middle of 8 of the circles, leaving at least a ½-inch margin around the edges. Place 8 other circles on top of the filled ones, using a fork to crimp the edges closed. Poke vents in each assembled hand pie.

To assemble: Brush hand pies with egg wash mixture and sprinkle with extra sugar. Bake in the 425° oven for 15-17 minutes, until the pie tops are golden brown. After allowing pies to cool for approximately 30 minutes, whisk together powdered sugar and Cheerwine in a small measuring cup with a pour spout. Drizzle over top of the hand pies. Serve immediately.

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