Today's Features

  • With the kids out of school, here are some fun projects you can whip up in your kitchen to keep them busy on a rainy day.

    I made this play-dough for my girls, Rachel and Stevie, when they were little and now my grandson Owen. You can divide it up (or make 2 recipes) and use food coloring to make different colors, or you can add an envelope of Kool Aid powder with the dry ingredients for color.

    Store it in a cool place, but it does not require refrigeration. It lasts a long time.

  • When I was growing up, I never ate spinach, but now I love it. Fresh spinach, that is, not the canned stuff.

    I usually plant two or three big flowerpots with spinach and lettuce every year and put them on my front porch (away from rabbits.) I get plenty for myself, to use in salads and cooked dishes.

    I was experimenting the other night and ended up making some delicious enchiladas with a little bit of leftover chicken, spinach and a big Vidalia onion. Yum!

  • 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.