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Let’s protect our town and keep it clean

Driving around different roads and sections of town, it was difficult to believe that there are so many neglected homes in our area. Of course you will find neglected homes in every town, but I am more concerned because I live here.

It may be that the owners of the neglected homes may not have the financial means to improve the property, but they could at least have all the trash surrounding the house taken away and keep the yard up and at least looking somewhat respectable. I do appreciate the churches and organizations that organize and get young teenagers to take on projects to help many of the elderly and can not afford to hire work done. They supply the paint and labor, cleaning supplies, etc. and what all they possibly can to help the people out to improve their living situations and at the same time making the premises more presentable.

We have a wonderful town and we need to take pride to keep our city clean and looking the best and not be exposed to areas that are run down and neglected. Until next time!

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Vegetable Pouches

Vegetable Filling:

1 cup finely chopped spinach, packed

1/2 cup finely chopped yam

1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped green onion

1/2 teaspoon finely grated gingerroot

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

20 round dumpling wrappers

Sauce:

2 tablepsoons water

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon sweet or regular chili sauce

2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

Combine first six ingredients of filling in non-stick wok or frying pan. Stir-fry on medium-high for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are tender-crisp. Add mint. Stir.

Brush wrappers with water. Place 2 teaspoons filling on center of each wrapper. Bring wrapper edge together in center to form pouch. Pinch and twist to seal about 1/3 inch from top. Line bottom of large bamboo steamer or regular steam basket with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. Arrange pouches in single layer in steamer. Place bamboo steamer in wok on rack, or place steamer basket in pan, over simmering water. Cover. Steam on medium-low for about 20 minutes until wrappers are translucent and tender. For sauce, combine all 4 ingredients in small bowl. Serve with vegetable pockets.

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Mango Smoothie

1 14-ounce can of sliced mango in syrup, drained and 1/4 cup syrup reserved or 1 cup chopped fresh mango and 1/4 cup pineapple juice

1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

1 cup prepared orange juice

1/2 cup crushed ice

Put all 4 ingredients into blender with reserved syrup. Process until smooth

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Berry Smoothie

1 1/2 cups milk

12 frozen or fresh whole strawberries

2/3 cup frozen or fresh whole raspberries

2/3 cup frozen or fresh blackberries

1/2 frozen low-fat strawberry yogurt

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Put all 7 ingredients into blender. Process until smooth.

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Cognac Peach Dessert

White Cake:

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 egg whites, at room temperature

1 cup cake flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

Sauce:

16 frozen peach slices

2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup cognac

For cake, heat milk and vanilla in small saucepan on medium, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Remove from heat. Beat egg whites in small bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Sift flour, granulated sugar and baking powder in medium bowl. Using same beaters, slowly beat in hot milk mixture until smooth. Beat for 1 minute. Fold egg whites into batter until well combined. Turn into greased and floured 10 inch angel food tube pan. Bake in 300 oven for about 40 minutes until wooden pick inserted between edge and center of cake comes out clean. Do not invert. Let stand in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Cut around side of cake to loosen. Remove from pan. Place on wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 8 wedges.

For sauce, combine peach slices, brown sugar, cinnamon and water in large saucepan. Cover. Heat on medium-low for about 10 minutes, stirring occaionally, until peaches have thawed. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add cognac. Heat and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes until cool. Remove peaches with slotted spoon, reserving syrup. Arrange 2 peach slices on each cake wedge. Drizzle reserved syrup over peaches and wedges.

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Poached Maple Pears

4 firm medium pears, peeled

1 cup port

1/2 cup prepared orange juice

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 cinnamon stick

6 whole cloves

Remove cores from pears using apple corer and keeping pears whole. Combine next 5 ingredients in medium saucepan. Add pears. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until pears are soft. Remove pears with slotted spoon. Keep warm. Remove and discard cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring port mixture to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes until reduced to 3/4 cup.

Lay pears on cutting board. Slice horizontally from large end, leaving 1/2 inch at small end intact. Place on individual serving pllates. Fan out slightly. Drizzle with port mixture.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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