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Blueberry season in full bloom



Published: Wed, August 3, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



What gives you the blues and makes you happy at the same time? Blueberries, of course! Pick-your-own blueberry farms flourish with families gathering together to pick berries for family fun and delicious munching.

CHICKEN PASTA SALAD WITH BLUEBERRIES

Dressing

1 cup red wine vinegar dressing

Salad

3 cups spiral pasta

2 cups (about 1 pound) cooked chicken, cubed

1 cup sliced celery

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup pea pods, trimmed, cut-in-half

1/2cup finely chopped red pepper

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup red wine vinegar dressing

2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on package. About 1 minute before it is cooked, add the pea pods. Drain and rinse with cold water. To a large bowl, add pasta and pea pods along with the remaining salad ingredients, except Parmesan cheese. Toss with 1/2 cup red wine vinegar dressing. Cover; refrigerate several hours or overnight to blend flavors. Before serving, toss with remaining dressing and Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 12 (1 cup) servings

FRESH BLUEBERRY-STRAWBERRY MOUSSE PIE

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup fresh blueberries, finely chopped

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries, hulled and finely chopped

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1 (8 ounce) container lite whipped topping

1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker crumb crust

In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand 1 minute. Stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved (about 1 minute). Stir in lemon juice; set aside to cool. In a large bowl, add blueberries, strawberries and confectioners' sugar; toss to coat. Stir in dissolved gelatin. Fold in whipped topping; spoon pie mixture into crust. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or until firm. Garnish suggestions; whipped topping, additional fresh fruit or serve with blueberry sauce (see recipe below).

Yield: 8 servings

Blueberry Sauce

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir constantly over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes or until thickened.

Yield: about 2 cups

BLUEBERRY FRUIT SMOOTHIE

1 cup low-fat vanilla ice cream

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)

1/2 cup light peaches, packed in water or natural juices, chopped

1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

1/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

Place all ingredients in a blender. Cover and mix until smooth, about 30 to 45 seconds.

Yield: 2 servings; about 2-1/2 cups

RED WHITE AND BLUEBERRY CHEESE SPREAD

2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons Cointreau or Triple Sec

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/3 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned salt

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1/3 cup Great American Dried Blueberries

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

Beat cream cheese in mixing bowl. Add all ingredients except chopped red peppers, mix well.

Place cheese mixture on center of a piece of plastic wrap. Bring corners up to meet and seal around cheese, molding mixture into a ball. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator and form once again into a ball. Mixture will be stiff and easy to form. Roll cheese ball in finely copped red peppers to cover.

Garnish with fresh herbs and blueberries, serve with crackers.

Yield: one 16 ounce ball

GLAZED BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST ROLLS

1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough

Vegetable cooking spray

flour

Blueberry filling:

3/4 cup blueberries, finely chopped

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons corn starch

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 375 & deg;F. Coat 12 muffin cups with vegetable cooking spray. In a small saucepan, combine blueberry filling ingredients, stirring to dissolve cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly (about 3 minutes). Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Unroll pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface; pat into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle. Spread blueberry filling over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border along the sides. Beginning with a long side, roll up jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in coated muffin cups. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove rolls from pan; cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before adding glaze.

For glaze: Combine powdered sugar, milk and grated orange peel, stirring until smooth. Drizzle icing over rolls.

Yield: 12 rolls




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