Coast-inspired dishes for summer gatherings

By ANDREW ARMSTRONG / Recipe Columnist

I have loved this much-needed vacation on the Atlantic coast. The Caribbean spaghetti and Virginia bread are two of my recent discoveries from my trip. One of the things I have learned while being here is that people do not seem to be as close. I guess that is what is so great about Alabama: We are full of just as much hospitality as we are charm.

I hope these recipes will fill your stomachs and your hearts. Take the time to eat together and talk. No one is promised tomorrow, and when a person grows older they will forget a lot of things. But the one thing they will never forget is how much love they felt from those who have passed on.

Mother’s Day has passed for 2018, but to celebrate with Christopher and his family I prepared the Caribbean spaghetti. It has a rich flavor and is sweet and creamy.

Follow Andrew Armstrong on Facebook at Andrew M. Armstrong Recipe Columnist, and then send your recipes to P.O. Box 693 Leeds, Alabama 35094 to be featured in future additions.

Caribbean Spaghetti

1 large zucchini, chopped

2 small squash, chopped

1 can of baby corn

1 small can of mushrooms

1 onion, chopped

1 head of broccoli, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 can of petite diced tomatoes

1 stick of butter, melted

1 can of cream of coconut

1 can of coconut milk

¼ a cup of pineapple rum

1 tablespoons of Kahlua

1 teaspoon of vanilla

¼ a teaspoon of thyme

3 cloves of fresh garlic crushed

¼ a teaspoon of all spice

¼ a teaspoon of cinnamon

½ a teaspoon of celery salt

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 small pinch of marjoram

1 ½ teaspoons of flour, for thickening

Dash of mixed Italian seasonings

Salt and black pepper to taste

Sauté the fresh vegetables with the seasonings and margarine, but set the vanilla to the side. Once they are browned and have a golden color, add the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes. Ladle the mixture over fresh spaghetti noodles.

Virginia Apple Bread

2 ½ cups of flour

1 stick of margarine, melted

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder

1 apple, peeled and chopped

½ a cup of macadamia nuts, chopped

2 cups of milk

1 egg, separated and the white whipped

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

½ teaspoon of all spice

¼ teaspoon of cloves

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Mix the first seven ingredients with the seasonings. Fold in the egg white and the yolk. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees, until golden and crisp.

Juanita’s Spaghetti

Spaghetti noodles

Meatballs

2 dry Sauers spaghetti seasoning packets

1 can of tomatoes

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire

1 onion, chopped

Frozen meatballs

Salt pepper to taste

1 Prego meat flavored spaghetti sauce

(45-ounce jar)

(Optional additions)

1 can of mushrooms

1 bell pepper, chopped

Sauté the onion and seasonings with a splash of oil. Once browned add the remaining ingredients, excluding the noodles. Bring to a boil. Once the meatballs are cooked, then add the noodles and cook, until tender.

Lakeside Bake-Beans

2 cans of Bush’s honey bake beans (16-ounce size cans)

1 small bell pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

2 teaspoons of garlic

¾ a cup of margarine

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

½ a teaspoon of celery seed

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 cup of buttermilk

¾ cup of white sugar

1/4 a cup of brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. In an oven-safe pot sauté the margarine, onions and bell peppers together with the seasonings. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.