Mary’s Memo #2213

     In The Flavors of the Florida Keys, Linda Gassenheimer takes home cooks on a cultural and culinary tour of one of the most popular vacation spots in the U.S., the sun-drenched and laid back Florida Keys. We’ve already shared a recipe from this cookbook but who says we can’t feature another one!
     Hidden from the Overseas Highway in Key Largo, the Key Largo Conch House looks like a Victorian home. Their porch is a perfect setting to enjoy a Keys breakfast including Tropical Coffee Cake made in-house fresh daily.

Vegetable oil spray3 cups flour3 teaspoons baking powder1 teaspoon salt2 cups sugar1 cup key lime juice1/2 cup pineapple juice1 cup butter, softened (I used unsalted)3 eggs1 small box vanilla instant pudding1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped1 cup shredded coconut1/2 cup sugarPreheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x13-inch pan with vegetable oil spray. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, 2 cups sugar, key lime juice, pineapple juice, butter, eggs and vanilla together until blended. Add the pineapple and mix well. Mix macadamia nuts, coconut and 1/2 cup sugar together in a separate bowl.

Pour half the batter into greased pan. Sprinkle half the nut mixture over the batter and pour the remaining batter into pan. Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture over top. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes.

Source: The Flavors of the Florida Keys (Atlantic Monthly Press; December 2010; $27.50).


     How can anyone not have time to brew a cup of coffee in the morning when there are coffeemakers that make it in a minute or two? Give me a break! I have a conventional coffee maker that has a mug of java ready to drink in the time it takes to put the dog out and feed her! That’s because I get it ready to plug in the night before. How instant do people expect
things to be? And what’s in that tiny bottle labeled 5-Hour Energy Drink that keeps a person going that long? What do you think? WHAT’S UP WITH EGGS
     Today’s eggs have less cholesterol and more vitamin D. The USDA has reassessed the nutrition content of eggs and found that they contain 14 percent less cholesterol and 64 percent more vitamin D than amounts found during the previous assessment in 2002. The government based its findings on a random sample of large eggs taken from 12 locations around the country. They found that one large egg contains an average of 185 milligrams of cholesterol and 41 International Units (IU)
of vitamin D. The USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming less than 300mg of cholesterol per day and 600 IU of vitamin D for adults up to age 70 and 800 IU for adults over the age of 70.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Food & Fitness Advisor, April 2011.
I really like eggs and they are a good source of protein and cheap compared to meat and fish. When was the last time you made deviled eggs for yourself or family? I made some to eat today with a slice of olive on top. Since I limit meat consumption to once daily, two deviled egg halves, a mug of hot V-8® juice and whole wheat crackers like Triscuits® or a slice of whole wheat bread makes a nutritious lunch. To make deviled eggs my way, remove yolks to a dish and mash fine with a fork. Add mayonnaise, Dijon or honey mustard, salt, pepper and a tad of sugar to taste. Fill white halves and garnish with a pimiento stuffed olive slice.

     Mary Ann belongs to a theater group from her church that sees a movie together once a month. Afterwards they go to someone’s house for snacks and a discussion of the movie. At one of these events the hostess served a Baked Potato Dip. Mary Ann thought it was especially good and sent me a copy. Knowing
many of you are planning graduation parties, it seemed like an opportune time to share the recipe. You can also make it ahead and zap in the oven just before needed. Now how easy is that!?

(2) 8-ounce packages cream cheese1 cup sour cream(1) 3-ounce package real bacon pieces2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided5 scallions, choppedMix cream cheese with sour cream. Stir in bacon, one cup of cheese and scallions. Spoon into a 10-inch glass pie plate. Top with other cup of cheese. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Serve with Frito Scoops.
*To make a leaner version, you can use reduced-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat sour cream (my preference in sour cream, whether regular or light, is always Daisy®). I’ve tried it and it works. Just let it set a couple minutes before serving.
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