Tasty Harvest

SHIRLEY'S KITCHEN

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Where does time go? It has been a year this month since I moved to Payson. It is a beautiful place that grows on you.

At night I love looking at the moon and stars, in daylight I enjoy the scenery and nothing compares to the wonderful smells of pines, cedar, juniper and apple trees. Now I understand why you all chose to live here.

I do not know why, but as we become mature adults, we tend to take for granted that which is right in front of us, especially if the situation or environment is peaceful. This area is serene, slow-paced and uncrowded, let's enjoy it.

We live in a stressful world which we can't always control. We are all very blessed to have a home here that is our safety net -- a place to regroup, relax, work, laugh and love -- to share with family, friends or just by ourselves.

I wish for Payson and other areas around us to stay like this for a very long time -- it helps keep our inner child alive.

Thank you for allowing me to say what is in my heart.

Today, I have two great recipes for you to try: Orange and Onion Salad and Skillet Tomatoes and Zucchini.

Orange and Onion Salad

6 large oranges

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup black olives

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

ground black pepper to taste

To give the raw onion a milder taste, soak the slices in cold water to cover for 30 minutes, drain and pat dry.

Peel the oranges and remove the white membrane. Cut crosswise into thin slices.

Arrange oranges on a large serving dish and place onion slices on top.

Sprinkle combination with seasonings.

Combine vinegar and oil and drizzle over all and garnish with black olives.

Chill until ready to serve.

Skillet Tomatoes and Zucchini

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

2 small zucchinis, sliced

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon basil leaves

dash of pepper

4 ounces (1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup seasoned croutons

In a large skillet, melt margarine then add zucchini and onion, sauté over medium heat until tender. Add tomatoes and seasonings and cover, cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tomatoes are tender.

Remove from heat and sprinkle with cheese and croutons. Cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese melts.

Tips for Today:

How about a romantic dinner tonight?

Skip the dining room area, instead, serve dinner in the living room. Use the coffee table, add a colorful cover, a candle or two, fresh flowers or a few branches of pine or juniper in a small container, or fill a clear vase with whole limes or lemons -- you are creating "ambiance."

Instead of a hot meal, try some finger foods:

  • A tray of fresh fruits
  • Cooked shrimp with cocktail sauce
  • A vegetable tray
  • A cheese tray with slices of salami, apples, etc.
  • An assortment of crackers, or fresh slices of French or baguette bread
  • Make a dessert of fresh strawberries with whipped cream and fudge

For sitting, put the pillows from your couch on the floor.

Have a wonderful and romantic evening.

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