Life on Regal-Hill: May 26, 2010

I’m looking forward to Memorial Day here at Regal-Hill since I am anxious to finish planting the garden vegetables and flowers for this year. By then we should be past the last freeze and it will be safe to put out frost-sensitive plants.
I hope we all remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. The holiday is really about honoring those who served in the military and gave their lives in defense of our country. Remember to proudly fly the United States flag, take time to attend a parade in your community, give a donation to the American Legion in your community and buy a red poppy for your lapel. You can also visit cemeteries and make sure flags are at the gravestones of veterans. It seems to me that most cemeteries I have visited in this area have flags, but it doesn’t hurt to check. If you find the grave of a veteran that doesn’t have a flag you can contact the American Legion and they will put one there or you can do it yourself.
When you set the table for your guests on this day be sure to use a red, white and blue theme, possibly with a white tablecloth and red and blue streamers, balloons, napkins and dishes.
May all of our Memorial Day plans be carried out and enjoyed enough to remember for many years to come. Happy Memorial Day.
What are your plans for Memorial Day? If you plan to invite family or friends over to eat that day perhaps these recipes will help you plan your best Memorial Day meal ever.

Antipasto-Stuffed Baguettes
1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon each dried basil, thyme, marjoram and rosemary, crushed
2 French bread baguettes (8 ounces each)
1 package (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami
1 cup packed fresh baby spinach
1 jar (7-1/4 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
In a blender or food processor, combine the olives, oil, lemon juice, garlic and herbs; cover and process until olives are chopped. Set aside 1/3 cup olive mixture (refrigerate remaining mixture for another use).
Cut the top third off each baguette; carefully hollow out bottoms, leaving a 1/4-in. shell (discard removed bread or save for another use). Spread olive mixture in the bottom of each loaf. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Fold salami slices in half and place over cheese. Top with spinach, red peppers and artichokes, pressing down as necessary. Replace bread tops. Wrap loaves tightly in foil. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Serve cold or place foil-wrapped loaves on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Cut into slices; secure with a toothpick with a U.S. flag on it.
Yield: 3 dozen
Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations 2004

Berry-Topped Stars
1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough, softened
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
24 small fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
4 large kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced or
1 cup fresh blueberries
In a small bowl, combine cookie dough and flour until combined. Roll on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-in. star-shaped cookie cutter.
Place 1-in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Set aside 1-2 tablespoons. Spread remaining frosting over cookies. Place five strawberries on each cookie. Using reserved frosting, attach one kiwi or 4-5 blueberries to each. Store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 2 dozen
Taste of Home Recipe Online