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Recipes for Sizzling Spring Delights

All you need for a red-hot spring dinner with family and friends.

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As soon as the sun starts peeking out from behind the cold winter days, you come down with the much-anticipated condition of the season: spring fever! You’re suddenly overwhelmed with a desire to clean your house from top to bottom, get some fresh air, and have all your family and friends over for a nice evening of food and fellowship.

If you’re stuck wondering what to serve you guests, read on for some fantastic ideas that will have your mouth watering in no time!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Want something that screams warm weather? You’ve got to toss some strawberries in it. A great way to add strawberries is through a spinach-based salad. This recipe makes about four servings. Since it is rather fattening (35 grams of fat per serving), you probably shouldn’t make this your everyday salad.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion
10 ounces fresh spinach (rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces)
1 quart strawberries (cleaned, hulled, and sliced)
1/4 cup almonds (blanched and slivered)

Directions

Whisk together first eight ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Cover the bowl and chill for an hour. Next, combine the spinach, strawberries, and almonds in a large bowl, pour the chilled dressing over the salad and mix together. After 10 or 15 minutes of refrigeration, serve to your springtime guests and enjoy!

Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’ – Robin Williams

Chicken Barbecue Quesadillas

Think there’s no way to improve on chicken quesadillas? How about using one of spring’s most heralded flavorings to add some barbecue flavor? In addition to bringing in some great spring flavor, chicken barbecue quesadillas are a healthy and easy addition to your springtime festivities! This recipe makes 8-10 servings.

Ingredients

2 cups cooked chicken (finely chopped)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion (optional)
8 large flour tortillas
6 to 8 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken, barbecue sauce, and onion until it is warmed all the way through. While warming, sprinkle cheese on the tortillas. (Feel free to cut tortillas into shapes for some added flair.) Add a tablespoon of the chicken-bbq-onion mixture, add a little more cheese on top, and put the top tortilla in place. Do this for all the tortillas. A few minutes before eating time, put the tortillas on a warmed griddle for a couple minutes on each side and eat up!

Cool Spring Punch

With the warm weather comes the need to cool down. That’s where this one-of-a-kind recipe comes in. Combining some of your favorite fruit flavors into a refreshing punch, cool spring punch is sure to please. You can also spice it up a bit more if the kids aren’t around!

Ingredients

10 strawberries (washed and stems removed)
3 pineapple spears
20 red seedless grapes
2 ounces rum (optional)

Directions

Toss all the ingredients in a juicing machine, turn it on, and serve ice cold!

Avocado-Mango Salsa

After cleaning up for your guests, you’ll probably want some down time to enjoy your work. With a bag of tortilla chips and this excellent salsa, you’ll have plenty of time to relax, and your guests will be begging for more of this light, spring salsa!

Ingredients

1 ripe mango (peeled, sliced, and diced)
1 tomato (seeded and diced)
2 green onions (sliced)
1/4 cup limejuice
1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and minced)
1 ripe avocado (diced)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

Directions

Combine all ingredients, put in your favorite serving dish, and serve. You can also add this to your favorite grilled meat for a marvelous addition to your spring fare.

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