July 2017
Homeplace & Community

The Co-op Pantry

Happy Independence Day, everyone!! I am going to try and keep this short and sweet so we have more room for recipes – LOL!! We drew this month’s recipes from ones you have sent to us, from our two cookbooks – "Southern & Then Some" and "Southern & Then Some More" – this magazine’s Co-op Pantry and our archives. Wow, so many fantastic recipes and so many, many great cooks!! 

The national foods we will feature for August recipes are goat cheese, kiwifruit (it’s not national, but we love them anyway), lemon, mustard, oyster, panini, peach, watermelon and zucchini. The ones for September are biscuit, breakfast, chicken, honey, mushroom, organic harvest, potato, rice (including wild), whole grains, waffle, bacon, coconut, coffee, guacamole, linguini, acorn squash, ethnic foods, peas and goose. Whew, that’s a lot of different foods. You are sure to have a recipe with at least one of them. Keep those recipes coming – we love getting them!!

We are still looking for cooks to feature. (Their recipes don’t have to be foods of the month.) Don’t be shy – our next cook could be YOU!! Let us know if you are interested!! 

Happy Fourth of July and enjoy trying these recipes!

Rainbow Ice Creams

Makes: 1½ quarts
1 (serving size) package fruit-flavored jello, any flavor*
½ cup boiling water
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (1 pint) half & half or liquid coffee creamer
2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream, unwhipped
1 cup fruit, pureed or mashed, optional
Food coloring, optional

In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in water. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into ice cream freezer container. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Freeze leftovers.

*Flavor Suggestions
Lime-flavored jello: Add 2 tablespoons lime juice from concentrate
Lemon-flavored jello: Add 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
Orange-flavored jello: Add 1 tablespoon grated orange rind

Note: I love ice cream and love this recipe!! So much fun and so many flavor combinations!!!

Jena Klein


Homemade Fruit Ice Cream

1 can condensed milk
1 pint whipping cream, whipped
3 cups sweetened pureed fruit, your choice*
½ gallon milk
2 cups sugar

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Pour into ice cream freezer and freeze.
*Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, peach, etc.

Glenda Knighten


 Dill Pickles

1 quart vinegar
2 quarts water
1 cup salt
Dill, to taste
Garlic, to taste

Wash cucumbers thoroughly and place in very hot water. In a large pot, boil vinegar, water and salt for 2 minutes. Drain hot water from cucumbers. Put cucumbers in sterile jars with dill and garlic. Pour boiling solution over cucumbers and seal immediately. Open in 2 to 4 weeks.

Aaron Lynch


 White Chocolate
Blueberry Cheesecake

2½ cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1½ Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
9-inch spring-form pan
2 cups white chocolate chips
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (¼-ounce) package unflavored powdered gelatin
2/3 cup water
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 pint fresh blueberries

In a bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, butter and 1½ tablespoons sugar. Press evenly into bottom of spring-form pan.

In a large microwavable bowl, place white chocolate. In microwave, melt in 30-second intervals, stirring well between each heating. When smooth, add cream cheese. Mix well with electric mixer. Add milk and beat until smooth.

In a small saucepan, combine gelatin and water. Allow to set for 1 minute. Gently heat on stovetop stove until gelatin is dissolved, constantly stirring. Stir gelatin into cream cheese mix until well-combined. Fold in heavy cream.

In a small bowl, pour 3 cups of batter. (This will be used for a white layer.)

Take a little less than a pint of blueberries (save some for top of cheesecake) and blend in a blender with 1 teaspoon sugar to make a puree. Stir puree into batter and mix vigorously until white streaks disappear. Pour onto graham cracker crust. Gently shake pan until batter is smooth and even.

Put in freezer for about 20 minutes. When no longer liquid but has a matte-appearance, it is ready.

While waiting for freezer mix to set up, occasionally stir white batter.

When freezer pie is set, pour reserved white batter on top of blueberry layer and refrigerate for about 4 hours.

To unmold, run a knife along edge of cheesecake and pop spring-form pan open. Remove cheesecake from mold and top with fresh blueberries.

Sharon Cunningham


 Blueberry Monkey Bread

Servings: 8-10
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
4 (10-ounce) packages buttermilk biscuits
1¼ cups fresh blueberries
2/3 cup brown sugar
10 Tablespoons (1¼ sticks) butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease bundt pan.

In gallon resealable ziplock bag, mix sugar and cinnamon. Cut biscuits into quarters. Place a few pieces in bag. Shake to coat. Remove and continue with remaining pieces until all are coated.

In pan, arrange about ¼ of pieces and ¼ of blueberries in an even layer. Place berries between biscuit pieces, creating a mosaic effect. Repeat 3 more times, covering berries of one layer with biscuits in the next layer, being careful to avoid columns of berries.

In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, margarine, vanilla, cinnamon and blueberries. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved and margarine is melted. Pour over biscuits in Bundt pan.

Bake for 65 minutes or until done. Cool for 10 minutes. Invert on a plate.

Nancy Trepanier


 Baked Beans

1 pound ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
3 cans pork and beans
½ cup brown sugar
½ bottle catsup
3 Tablespoons dry mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In a pan, cook first 3 ingredients together and drain. In a casserole dish, combine meat mixture and rest of ingredients. Mix well. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes.

Marjorie H. Stroud


 Block Party Baked Beans

2 pounds ground beef
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 (10¾-ounce) can cream of tomato soup (do not           dilute!)
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
½ cup ketchup
1 (16-ounce) can cut green beans, drained
1 (17-ounce) can lima beans, drained
1 (15½-ounce) can wax beans, drained
1 (15–16-ounce) can chili beans, undrained
1 (16-ounce) can pork & beans, undrained
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons prepared mustard

In a Dutch oven, brown beef over medium/high heat. Drain fat. Add onion and celery. Cook until tender. Stir in soup, tomato paste and ketchup. Add remaining ingredients, stirring well. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour or cook in a large crockpot.

Note: I prefer a crockpot, especially when it is for a get-together. We love this dish and have made it for a long time!!

Martha McCaleb



1 pound hamburger
4 large cans tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons basil
1 Tablespoon garlic salt
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped small onion
1 can chopped mushrooms
1 box lasagna noodles, cooked by package directions
1 egg
1 (12-ounce) container cottage cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large pot, cook hamburger. Drain. Add tomato sauce, basil, garlic salt, green pepper, onion and mushrooms. Simmer for 3 hours. In a lasagna pan, layer sauce mixture with noodles and cheese. In a small bowl, combine egg and cottage cheese. Spread over sauce mixture. Continue layering, ending with sauce on top. (This will keep the noodles from drying out.) Bake for 1 hour.

Note: You can make this the night before and freeze until you want to bake it. This is REAL GOOD!!

Rhonda Baldwin


Fried Beets

1 bunch beets
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut greens off beets. In a large saucepan of water, boil beets until done. (Should be tender when you stick a fork in them.) Shuck beets. (Skins should now remove easily.) In a fry pan, melt butter. Slice beets into butter. Season with salt and pepper. Fry until heated through.

Jena Klein


 Lemon Raspberry Cake

Parchment paper
2 9-inch cake pans
1½ cups granulated sugar
¼ light brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2½ cups cake flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
½ cup full-fat sour cream
½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2½ cups fresh or frozen raspberries, if using frozen, do not thaw first
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup raspberry preserves
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut out two 9-inch round segments of parchment paper to line cake pans. Spray each pan generously - sides and bottom - with nonstick cooking spray. Place parchment paper circles in bottom of pans and spray again. (It's important to make sure every bit of pans and papers are sprayed so cakes don't get stuck.) Set pans aside.

In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer (or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment), combine butter, sugars, lemon zest and extract, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (don't skimp on time here!). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well to evenly combine ingredients. Add dry mixture into wet ingredients. Mix on low speed until everything is just barely combined. (You should still see some lumps and dry streaks.) Turn mixer off. Add milk, sour cream and lemon juice, Use a rubber spatula to fold ingredients into mixture, stirring until everything is incorporated (be sure not to overmix). Set aside.

In another bowl, gently toss raspberries with flour. Add raspberries and any remaining flour to batter. Fold in by hand, using a rubber spatula, until just combined. (Again, be sure not to overmix! Overmixing is very easy to do, and will result in a dry, dense cake.)

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until tops are firm and slightly golden, and a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted in center comes out clean or with a few moist (but not wet) crumbs clinging to it.

Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes before gently running a knife around the edges to loosen any stuck bits. Turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cakes cool, make frosting.

When the cakes have completely cooled, place one round on a cake stand or large plate. Spread top and sides evenly with frosting. Top with raspberry preserves. Don't worry if they mix together a little. Gently place other cake round on top of frosted one and press down very lightly to seal together. Place semi-frosted cake in the fridge for 20 minutes. Continue frosting cake, using a thin spatula, offset spatula or whatever you have that works best, until top and sides of cake are evenly frosted. Place cake back in fridge for another 20 minutes before decorating.

Note: I love decorating this cake with fresh raspberries and thin lemon slices, but feel free to decorate according to your own tastes. The frosted cake will stay fresh, covered and stored in the refrigerator, for 3 days. Simply take it out of the fridge an hour or two before serving so it can come to room temperature.


Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 block (8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, a little softer than room temperature
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, a little softer than room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar, more if needed
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon pure lemon extract (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sour cream

In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment), beat cream cheese and butter on medium-speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add in confectioners' sugar. Add lemon zest,  juice and extract; and salt. Beat until combined. Increase speed back to medium and mix until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sour cream. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. (If it seems too thin, add a little more confectioners' sugar, starting with 1 tablespoon at a time. If it seems too thick, add in a little more sour cream, starting 1 tablespoon at a time.)


Blanches's Sweet Dill Pickles

1-2 hot peppers per jar
2 garlic buttons per jar
2 dill sprigs per jar
1½ cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
2 cups water
2 heaping Tablespoons salt

Wash cucumbers. Cut in pickle size, lengthwise. In each jar, place peppers, garlic, dill and cucumbers; packing tight. In a large pot, make a solution of vinegar, water, salt and sugar. Heat to boiling. Pour over cucumbers and seal jars. Place jars in water bath canner. Boil for 10 minutes to be ensure a good seal. (THIS IS A MUST.) Ready to eat in about 2 to 3 weeks. They are better if refrigerated before using.

Barbara C. Johnson

July Healthy Recipe
Roasted Beet Hummus


Medium beet
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1½ cups (250 grams) cooked chickpeas
¼ cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice or 1 large lemon juiced
¼ cup (60 ml) well-stirred tahini
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt, to taste
2-3 Tablespoons (30-45 ml) water
Dash ground paprika, for serving

Preheat oven to 400°. Cut leaves off beet. Do not cut root tip of beet until after roasting. (This maintains juices and flavor in beet.) Scrub lightly. Wrap in tin foil and place in oven for 1 hour or until skewer pierces beet easily.
In food processor, add remaining ingredients. Blend until desired consistency.
As hummus is blending, allow beet to cool until it can be handled. Rinse beet under cold water to easily remove beet skin. Cut off root tip. Cut into large pieces and add to food processor. Blend until fully incorporated.
Chill beet hummus and serve with sliced veggies or crackers!
Note from Jena: I love, love, love this recipe!! Not only is it healthy and good for you but it tastes delicious!! The bright pink/purple color gives pop to any food setting. It can be used as a spread on crackers or served as a dip for vegetables or chips. Again, not only the taste but the bright color makes this a fantastic addition to any meal!!


Mary Delph is an associate editor with AFC Cooperative Farming News. You may email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Jena Klein is with the AFC Wellness Program.

We are looking for cooks of all ages, cooking traditions and skill levels to feature in this column. We want to hear from those in Alabama as well as our out-of-state readers. The simple requirements for being a featured cook are to love to cook (and eat) and to share your story with us. Get those recipes coming! Any featured cooks during 2017 will receive a free copy of our cookbook.

-- Mary & Jena