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Old Family Recipes With A Healthy New Twist

Bea’s culinary talents are taken from generations of cooks, all the way back to her great-grandmother.

Bea has re-worked all the family favorites, taking out the ingredients that we now know to be unhealthy. She has replaced them with lighter and healthier ingredients such as herbs, herbal seasonings and good oils. Amazingly enough, Bea’s own family has a hard time detecting the difference in the degree of goodness!

Currently, Bea is working on a cookbook of extended recipes from a healthy view of cooking. What you find here is only a small sample of the cookbook’s delights.

So, you are invited to cook along with us and if you are using herbs…Sage Hill Farms has the best. Remember, chemicals in your food are a minus before you even start to cook. Organic, sustainable and home grown are highly encouraged.

Tip: When using spices such as bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, any vibrant spice…..keep in mind that a little goes a long way. If not sure, less is better than too much. This is the season for the warm and earthy spices….Enjoy~

Enjoy these Sage Hill Favorites,
and be sure to check back often for new recipes.

Bea’s Golden Fruitcakes~

If you use organic ingredients in this recipe, it will be as healthy as a dessert can be. Low in fat, and calories are about 145 per slice.

This is not your yesterday’s fruitcake!

6 cups-finely chopped dried fruit-your choice (apricots, apples, raisins, cherries, cranberries and pears…mix as you like -all or one or two.)
1 – ½ cups chopped walnuts
1 -¾ cups good brandy
½ cup unsalted butter (room temp)
¾ cups -packed- light brown sugar
3 large eggs-lightly beaten
1 – ½ cups All-Purpose flour (I use unbleached)
1-½ tsp sea salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground clove
½ cup apricot jam-for topping (warmed)

In a large glass bowl, combine dried fruit, walnuts, and 1&¼ cups of brandy.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 8 hours or all day-stir occasionally.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, one at a time- scraping bowl down between additions.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and spices.

On low speed, beat in flour mixture in two additions – scraping bowl in-between.

Fold fruit mixture into batter.

Pre-heat oven to 300*

If using mini muffin pans drop one rounded Tbsp of batter to each tin (paper liners work well also.) For other size pans fill 2/3 full.

Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean…about 25 to 30 minutes for mini tins, 5 to 10 minutes longer for larger pans.

**When using more than two pans in the oven at once-rotate them about halfway through the baking time.

Brush cakes with ½ cup of brandy when done. Transfer to a wire rack for cooling.

Store in the refrigerator, wrapped or covered well for up to a month.

Brush with warm apricot jam before serving.

Easter Morning Brunch

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 large cooking apple, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup local honey or applesauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sour cream, divided ( I use yogurt-plain )
6 eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
half of a 1-pound loaf of French or Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, slices halved

Melt the butter or margarine in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute’ the apple until just softened, about 3 minutes, and remove from heat. Stir in the raisins, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup sour cream.

In a medium bowl beat the eggs, milk, maple syrup, and remaining 1/2 cup sour cream. In a buttered 10-inch pie plate or 9-inch square baking dish, layer half the bread; spread apple-sour cream mixture over the bread and then layer with remaining bread.

Pour egg-milk mixture over. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake strata in preheated oven 50 to 60 minutes, or until set and lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.