I think I’ve mentioned before I’m one of those people who swears cilantro tastes like soap. I’ve exchanged parsley for it in today’s recipes. Feel free to change it back. And, research the health benefits. It is really good for you. The use of cilantro and coriander dates back centuries.

I still ain’t gonna eat it.

I will eat quinoa and its use goes back as well. The nutritional benefits are impressive. I thoroughly enjoyed the salad. The tiny sprinkle of sugar takes the tart edge off the lime.

The bean burrito is very delicious and also good for you. Yes, I know there’s cream cheese in it. I suppose one could use low fat cream cheese, I couldn’t. I did use the spicier version of the chili hot pinto beans. The cream cheese tames the heat in spicy food. I prefer my homemade tortillas to store bought, but I ran out of time before I ran out of chores. Homemade is easy, but time is scarce.

I love most all seafood and it’s good for you unless, of course, you like your shrimp butterflied and fried like I do. I was a little hesitant about frozen shrimp, but fresh is too expensive to use in soup. The frozen was fresh tasting. The texture was great and the flavor, too. I plan to cut the shrimp into smaller pieces next time. I considered a smaller shrimp, but the larger size was so tasty.

As for the biscuits, all they need is more butter, strawberries and whipped cream, honey, jam or jelly and a pan full.

Happy New Year.

Sweet Cream Biscuits

2 cups (10 ounces) self rising flour, sifted

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar (coarse if you have it)

Place oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spray lightly with Pam. Whisk together flour and one tablespoon sugar. Add whipping cream in half cup increments until a sticky dough forms. Spoon or dip approximate quarter cup mounds of dough onto the prepared pan. Brush each one with butter. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coarse sugar. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden. Butter some more and enjoy whilst hot.

Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and prepared according to package directions

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/2 cup coarsely shredded carrot

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1/2 cup coarsely chopped craisins

1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley or cilantro

1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup finely diced yellow bell pepper

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon Olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Very Light sprinkle of sugar

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Chill at least one hour. In a medium size bowl, Combine all other ingredients except almonds. Add chilled quinoa. add toasted almonds just before serving.

Black and Brown Bean Burritos

10” tortillas, one per guest

2 tablespoons butter, oil or bacon drippings

1 cup diced red bell pepper

1 cup diced red onion

3 cloves garlic, very finely minced

1 large jalapeno, seeded, deveined and finely diced

1 (15 ounce) can Bushes Chili hot beans (pinto) rinsed and well drained

1 (15 ounce) can Bushes Chili hot beans (black) rinsed and well drained

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed

1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley or cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Warm tortillas however you wish, wrapped, in the oven, in the microwave or in a skillet.

Heat oil In a large skillet. Add pepper, onion, garlic and jalapeno. Cook until tender. Add beans and heat through. Reduce heat; add cream cheese cubes. Cook and stir until smooth. Stir in parsley and lime juice. Let guests fill and wrap their own.

Shrimp Chowder

3 cups diced potatoes, cooked and drained

1/4 cup butter

3 ribs celery, finely diced

2/3 cup finely diced onion

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cubed

2 cups half and half

1 pound frozen, cooked shrimp, thawed and tails removed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in a medium size heavy soup pot. Add celery and onion. Cook until tender. Reduce heat and stir in cream cheese until smooth. Stir in milk until smooth. Reduce heat to medium low. Stir in potatoes and shrimp. Add salt and pepper. Heat through. Top with bacon bits if desired. Serve hot.

Miss Olivia Sipe is the owner of Miss Olivia’s Table in Maryville.

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