Welcome to Soul Food Lovers' Newsletter

What’s Inside This Issue
Volume #032

Welcome New Subscribers
Special Announcements
Feature Article: Quick Picnic Planning Tips
Quick and Easy Salads
Cassandra’s Tips
Link to Your Gift
Soul Food Resource Center

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Welcome New Friends, We’re Happy to Have You With Us!

Thanks to all of you for joining us. We invite you to send comments, suggestions, and ideas on what you would like to see in this newsletter.

Please feel free to take our reader’s poll. This poll gives us insight into the kind of information you want to see in this newsletter. So please take some time from your busy schedule to let us know what you want us to cover. No need to include your name. Visit the new Soul Food Resource Center (in this newsletter) for the Reader’s Poll link.

Also, if you have recipes or cooking stories from the kitchen you want to share, please feel free to do so. Send them directly to me at CONTACT US!

Again, welcome, sit back, relax, and enjoy this newsletter.

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Look for our new cooking videos on soul food advisor in the next few weeks. Watch how to prepare popular southern dishes with these quick and easy videos.

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Enjoy Your Free E-book

By now I know most of your are enjoying your free e-book. If you haven’t downloaded your free cooking e-book, its still waiting for you. Several hundred people have already download the e-book and we have received numerous comments. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced cook, this e-book has something in it for you. Anyone can learn to prepare great southern recipes regardless of your level of cooking. So download your free copy today and tell your friends to do the same! RECIPE CENTER

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Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook is now available in E-Book form. It makes great reading with easy to follow soul food recipes. Read some of the reviews for this cookbook. And, check out the new webpage here:
SOUL FOOD COOKBOOK

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Check out our Dessert Recipe Feed that loads new and delicious recipes twice a day 24/7. Check it out here: NEWS CENTER

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FEATURE ARTICLE- Picnic Planning Tips
By Cassandra Harrell

The food for your picnic is always the life blood of the event and will determine the success or failure. But it’s also important to first focus on these key elements that brings it all together.

· A Pleasing Menu: Select foods that both children and adults will enjoy. If there will be seniors present, make sure you have a menu that will compliment their dietary and health needs if necessary. The idea is to serve a variety of foods that will be pleasing to everyone.

· A Great Flow: Make sure you have carefully planned the flow of traffic from the start of the serving line to finish. Everyone should have easy access to the buffet table without interfering with guests that are seated.

· Prepare in Advance: Make as many items on the menu beforehand as possible. Also, if weather permit, set the buffet table the night or morning before the picnic. When ready to serve, all you have to do is add the food.

· Have Plenty of Food: Always have more food than you think you’ll need. It’s best to have more food than not have enough. Running out of food usually don’t set well with people.

Take time and carefully plan your picnic. Planning is key to a successful event. Have fun!

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QUICK AND EASY SUMMER SALADS -

Use these wonderful and delicious salads for your summer meals.

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BLT SALAD


2 cups ranch salad dressing
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 head lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
½ cup celery, diced
6 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
1/2 cup diced green peppers
1 medium onion, chopped
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Grated cheese, optional

Mix salad dressing and sugar. Set aside. In a 9 X 12 inch casserole dish, layer the following: lettuce, tomatoes, celery, eggs, peppers, onion, and bacon. Spread dressing on top of salad. Sprinkle grated cheese over top of dressing if desired. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

GREEN BEAN AND SESAME SALAD


1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Place beans in a large pot then cover with water halfway. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse in cold water; pat dry. Place in a serving bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, canola oil, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil and salt. Pour over beans and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds; toss again. Serve at room temperature. Yield: 5 servings.

CLASSIC MACARONI SALAD


1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked, drained
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped green or red pepper
¼ cup chopped onion

In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir in macaroni, celery, pepper and onions. Cover; chill. Yield: 5 cups.

MIXED VEGETABLE SALAD


1 (16 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green pepper
¾ cup sugar
½ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Season salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon red ground pepper, optional

Cook mixed vegetables in a medium pot on the stove with enough water to slightly cover vegetables or in the microwave until crisp-tender. Drain; place in a large bowl. Add kidney beans, celery, onion and green pepper. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, vinegar and cornstarch to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cool slightly.

Pour sugar mixture over vegetables and toss. Add garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper if desired. Refrigerate.

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RECIPES FROM SUBSCRIBERS -

CARAMEL BANANA CREAM PIE
RECIPE FROM HELEN

8 or 9-inch graham cracker crust
24 caramels
2 tbsp. milk
3 1/2 oz. pkg. instant vanilla
pudding and pie filling
1 c. cold milk
1 c. frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 bananas
Additional banana slices

In small saucepan, melt caramels with milk over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth. In small bowl combine pudding mix and milk, blend at low speed until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.

To assemble pie, but 1 banana into slices, arrange evenly over bottom of crust. Drizzle caramel mixture evenly over bananas. Slice second banana, place slices over caramel layer. Spread pudding mixture over bananas. Refrigerate to chill. To serve cut into wedges. Garnish top with banana slices. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

BBQ RIB MARINADE
RECIPE FROM LYNN

Here's a recipe I developed when we lived in Bogalusa, LA. Even though Shanny was my friend, she never gave me the recipe - so I developed my own! Enjoy! Lynn

2/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 capfuls - Crab Boil
1 teaspoon sweet basil
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
Sprinkle with oregano, chili pepper, garlic salt, onion salt.
Add hickory flavor if desired.

Parboil country style ribs about 20 minutes. Marinate at least 8 hours. Use leftover marinade for chicken (2 - 4 hours), hamburgers (only 30 minutes), etc., or as barbecue sauce.

DEB’S BANANA PUDDING
RECIPE FROM DEBRA

1 (3 ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 ½ cups regular milk
1 (14 ounce) can eagle brand milk
8 ounces cool whip, softened
4 to 6 ripe bananas, sliced thin
1 ½ (11 ounce) bags vanilla wafers

In a large bowl, whisk together pudding and sweet milk; add eagle milk and cool whip. Mix together until creamy. Set aside. In a large bowl, add a layer of bananas and a layer of wafers. Spoon half of pudding mixture over wafers.

Repeat process with bananas and wafers. Spoon remaining pudding over wafers. Top with wafers. Chill.

Thanks to everyone who sent in recipes for this edition. I appreciate it!

For more exciting recipes, please visit the RECIPE CENTER

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CASSANDRA’S QUICK TIPS FOR PURCHASING FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

· Purchase bananas that’s slightly green and allow them to ripen at room temperature. The skin should be free of bruises or colored spots.

· Cantaloupes are ripe if the stem scar is smooth and the space between the netting is yellow or yellow-green. When fully ripe, they will carry a fruity odor.

· Watermelons are ripe if there is some yellow color on one side. If melons are white or pale green on one side, they are not fully ripe.

· When purchasing strawberries that are in containers, make sure you check the bottom to see the condition of the berries underneath. Usually the best berries are on top.

· Leafy vegetables such as greens should have healthy, green leaves that have not wilted or yellowed.

· When choosing fresh lima beans or peas, select pods that are well-filled, but not bulging. Avoid dry looking, spotty or pods that have yellowed.

· Choose cabbage that are heavy in weight and does not have holds on top. Avoid cabbage that color has faded.

Watch for more exciting tips next month!

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Until Next Time

Cassandra Harrell is an avid soul food lover and the author of the new Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook with 250 easy-to-follow soul food and southern recipes from three generations of Southern cooks. Throughout the cookbook you’re find helpful cooking tips and fun recipe stories about the dish.

Cassandra Harrell
Editor & Soul Food Advisor
(c) copyright 2009 Soul Food Advisor