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From Gina, Fla, 05-08-2002
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Msg ID 0812521
Hello Everyone,

Mother's Day is around the corner and I spent a wonderful afternoon yesterday going into "town"...Tampa that is. I stopped in several antique stores, Stein Mart, Tuesday Morning, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma. I finally did spy something Mom would enjoy for her new apartment as well as something for DH's birthday which is in early June. Ah, shopping...sometimes it is sooo relaxing and therapeutic!! Just what I needed!

On the route home, I took the scenic route...going through Hyde Park which is a very, very old part of Tampa. It boasts gorgeous, to-die-for, extremely high priced neighborhoods. Some are very quaint turn-of-the century cottage style homes while others are brick mansions. I just love to drive up and down the beautiful streets and enjoy how they landscape their yards and gardens. The porches are tastefully decorated with white wicker rockers or white wooden rockers, so apropos to a sweet summer setting. I did notice that red geraniums are the popular choice to dress up a house! Many homes had an American flag flying in the breeze adding to the quintessential Americana flavor! What a delight to my senses....

My cat is doing very well, thank you! He is once more playing with the kitten and napping on his favorite dining room chair! He is on a special SD/Science Diet and has gotten quite used to the fact he eats in the Laundry Room...he thinks he's special!!

For tonight's dinner, something simple...Chicken Piccata; if you love the flavor of lemon, tender chicken and a quick recipe, then this classic Italian dish will do just fine on your menu tonight! I will pair it with a melange of yellow crookneck squash and zucchini and some Glazed Carrots. For dessert, a Banana Pound Cake to enjoy on the porch with a cup of coffee as we watch the sun go down!

Enjoy! Gina Chicken Piccata
serves 4

4 chicken cutlets
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 t. garlic, minced
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. capers, drained
2 T. butter
fresh lemon slices
fresh chopped parsely for garnish

Take the chicken cutlets and put one at a time between plastic wrap and gently pound with a mallet. Season cutlets with salt and pepper then dust with flour. Add oil to skillet and heat over medium-high.

Saute the curtlets 2-3 minutes on each side. Flip the cutlets over and cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer them to a warm platter and pour off any fat from the pan.

Deglaze the pan with wine and add the garlic, cooking until the garlic is slightly browned and liquid is nearly gone. Add the broth, lemon juice and capers. Blend gently and return the cutlets to the pan and cook on each side for 1 minute. Transfer cutlets once more to the warm platter. Finish up with butter and lemon slices. Once the butter has melted pour the suace over the cutlets and garnish with parsely.

Florida Sunshine Glazed Carrots
Serves 6

6 carrots, peeled and sliced large chunks
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground corriander
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. fresh orange or tangerine juice

Place the carrots in a saucepan, cover barely with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain.

Stir the sugar and spices together and set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet, stir in the carrots and the citrus juice. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture and cook over med. heat till carrots are glazed and sauce is slightly thick. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Summer Vegetable Melange

1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
4 slices onions, chopped coarse
1 orange bell pepper, sliced in strips
2 T. Hellmann's Citrus Splash Tangerine Balsamic
1 t. McCormick's Key West Seasonings
salt and pepper to taste
1 t. Lawry's Garlic and salt seasoning
2 T. olive oil

Heat olive oil in skillet, add mushrooms and onion, stir and when mushrooms are done, add pepper, zucchini and squash. Splash on the citrus dressing and stir around. Sprinkle on all the seasonings and stir again. Lower heat to medium low and let cook for 5 minutes.

Banana Pound Cake

1 1/2 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
4 large eggs
2 c. very ripe mashed bananas
1/4 cup plus 2 T. buttermilk
2 t. vanilla extract
3 c. flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Cream sugar and shortening til creamy and smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Add bananas, then buttermilk and vanilla. Combine flour, soda and salt and add gradually. Mix on low til just blended. Stir in the chopped pecans and spoon the batter into a greased bundt pan.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Insert wooden pick in center to make sure it is done...cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert on a platter and cool completely. When completely cooled, dust with confectioner's sugar.

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