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    3 Recipes to Welcome Spring

    With spring comes more activities, busy schedules and time spent outside. Now is the time to find recipes that are quick and easy and take in-season foods to make your meals delicious and fun. Here are three recipes to try this spring.

    This recipe is a great way to combine spring vegetables with a healthy starch for an exciting side dish. It’s also a colorful addition to your plate.

    1 cup pearl couscous
    2 cups chicken stock
    ½ ripe avocado
    5 tablespoons avocado oil
    Sea salt and black pepper
    ½ cup edamame
    1 small bunch radishes
    1 kirby cucumber
    1 small serrano chili
    3 scallions
    2 handfuls arugula

    1. Make the couscous ahead of time so that it isn’t too hot when you add it to the salad. Cook it in the chicken stock instead of water for more flavor.

    2. Spoon the avocado in a bowl and mash it with a fork. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper. Pour in oil, whisking as you add it.

    3. Slice or cut radishes into pieces, then cut the cucumber in a similar way. Cut up chili and scallions in thin pieces.

    4. Place couscous, edamame, radishes, cucumbers, chili, scallions and arugula into large bowl and add dressing. Toss and serve.

    This dish is the perfect main entrée for your spring dinner.

    1 pound spaghetti
    1 cup chopped pancetta
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 pound ramps
    1/3 cup white wine
    1/2 cup grated parmesan
    1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
    1/2 medium sized lemon
    5 eggs

    1. First, cut the root end off the ramps and separate the bulbs from the leaves. Slice the bulbs in half and then chop. For the leaves - stack 5 - 10 leaves on top of each other. Then slice them lengthwise into 1/4 inch ribbons. Repeat with the remaining leaves.

    2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, parmesan, and pecorino. Season with black pepper.

    3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp. Add white wine and cook until reduced by half.

    4. Remove the pancetta and add the ramp bulbs, cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. About 2 minutes before your pasta is done, add the ramp leaves and cook until softly wilted.

    5. Boil salted water in a large stock pot. Cook your spaghetti 1 minute less than suggested for al dente.

    6. Drain your cooked pasta (reserving 1/4 cup pasta water) and add the spaghetti to the pan with pancetta and ramps. Toss the pasta in the sauce for 1 minute, allowing each piece to get coated with the sauce. The pan
    should still be at medium heat.

    7. Pour the egg/cheese mixture into the hot pasta, using a wooden spoon to quickly distribute the mixture. Remove from heat and continue stirring for 1 - 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the eggs are cooked. Squeeze lemon over the sauce and season with salt and pepper.

    When you think of spring, strawberries are sure to come to mind. Here is a simple recipe that creates a perfect dessert for any meal.

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
    1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
    2 hard-boiled egg yolks, pushed through a small mesh sieve
    3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    3 pints fresh strawberries, halved or quartered
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 tablespoon sugar

    1. Sift together the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the baking powder into a bowl. Add 6 tablespoons of the chilled butter pieces and, using your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the hard-boiled egg yolks and cream; gently mix until it the dough just comes together.

    2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and gently knead to make a smooth dough (about two or three turns). Pat down the dough to make a 1-inch-thick round. Using a lightly floured 2 1/2-inch-round cookie cutter,
    cut out 6 shortcakes. Brush the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle with the reserved tablespoon of sugar. Place the shortcakes on a plate lined with waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

    3. Heat the oven to 350ºF. Transfer the chilled shortcakes to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

    4. While the shortcakes cool, prepare the fruit filling and whipped cream: place the strawberries in a glass bowl and add the sugar. Gently stir and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

    5. Whip the cream and sugar together in a medium bowl until the cream just begins to thicken.

    6. Using a fork or serrated knife, cut the shortcakes in half lengthwise. Place the bottom halves on 6 plates and generously spoon the macerated fruit and juices over them. Top with a heaping dollop of lightly whipped sweetened cream. Top with the top halves of the shortcakes.

    If you just aren’t in the mood to cook this springtime or don’t have time, you can enjoy a delicious meal at one of the restaurants at the Isle Casino® Cape Girardeau. Stop by Farmer’s Pick Buffet® for fresh local foods, Farraddays® Steakhouse for fabulous steaks, Keller’s® or The Lone Wolf® for some amazing choices in menus. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you can’t go wrong with any one of these eateries.

    PS. A bonus for both Keller’s® and The Lone Wolf® is live music on select weekend nights.
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