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Today's Features

  • It is hard work establishing a good asparagus bed, but the good thing is you only have to do it once. I've been picking asparagus every spring since 1991, and always get a good crop. As an added bonus, the birds spread the seeds all over the place, and soon you have volunteer plants. When the ferns are visible with their red seeds, make yourself a map so you'll know where to look when next April comes around.

  • Even though I had dessert recipes in my column last week, with Mother's Day coming up this Sunday I'm going to do it again. My mother definitely had a sweet tooth, and was always trying new recipes. I was her (lucky) guinea pig for many years, and when I moved away from home she still sent me recipes wherever I was.

    She was very fond of pecans, and I know she would d love this Butter Pecan Dessert. It has a crunchy buttery crust full of chopped pecans, and a thin cheesecake-like filling on top. Yummy! I could eat the whole pan full myself.

  • Two of my favorite spreads for crackers are easy to make and keep well in the refrigerator. Either one would be a great addition to a party.

  • If you're looking for a delicious dessert, there's nothing like a good pie, and these two are killer!

  • If you've got a dog or cat in your family, how about trying one of these homemade treats for them? Let the kids help. It's fun!

  • It's almost strawberry-picking time, which is a good excuse to try this great dipping sauce for strawberries.

    It's an adults-only sauce, as it contains bourbon, and quite delicious.

    Speaking of sauces, this Jezebel sauce is very easy to make, lasts forever in the frig and is great with grilled meat, egg rolls or (my favorite) cream cheese and crackers.

    And speaking of easy, I fixed country-style ribs in the crockpot the other day using just three ingredients. They were tender, sweet-spicy and scrumptious!

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    I'd like to share a new shrimp recipe that is easy and great for Lent or any other time! I frequently experiment with shrimp dishes and this one is a keeper for 2010.

    I call it Super Spicy Shrimp, mainly because one of the ingredients, chipotle chilies in adobo sauce is quite spicy (and delicious!) You can add more or less than what is in the recipe, depending on your taste for the fiery. It comes in a jar that will keep in the refrigerator a long time.

  • I like to keep cookie dough in the refrigerator (or freezer) so I can have warm cookies at the spur of the moment. You can keep almost any cookie dough in the refrigerator for several days, but if you freeze your cookies in whatever size you want before they're baked, you can just whip them out whenever you need them. You don't have to thaw the dough before you bake the cookies, just add a couple minutes to the baking time.

    I was wanting something a little different the other night and came up with these delicious Almond Toffee Cookies. They're terrific! See what you think.

  • This week's recipe is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken.

    It's easy, tastes delicious and is great with rice, potatoes or polenta.

    I've been making it a long time. I recently found the recipe in my mom's recipe box where I had sent it to her and it was dated December 1970.

    You can use cut-up whole chickens, breast pieces or legs and thighs (my dad's favorite.)

    Try it; you'll like it.

    BBQ Chicken in Casserole

    2 chickens, cut up

    1 t. salt

    1 c. flour

    1 stick butter