Words and Recipes by Carly Terrell
Photography provided by Shad Ramsey Photography

“If we had no Winter, Spring would not be so pleasant” – Anne BradstreetAs I no longer need to be bundled indoors and can open the windows to let the fresh breeze in, I know that Spring has sprung! Now is the time to take advantage off the fresh citrus or perhaps a passed-down strawberry rhubarb pie recipe. Let’s give ourselves a break from the hecticness of recent holidays and enjoy the warmer, longer days. Would the appearance of green grass and new leaves be so wonderful if they hadn’t been absent? Spring is here, and it is to be enjoyed with all of your senses.

Meet Carly Terrel

Born in Nebraska and raised in Arizona, Carly Terrell, now a Granbury resident, has been honing her cooking skills since she was a young child. Giv-en her changes of scenery along the way, she has certainly picked up a thing or two! Carly is also the proud wife of a railroad engineer and mother of two young boys, who keep her quite busy. In her downtime of the hectic railroad life, she has put her foodie efforts into her successful cooking blog of family loved recipes. She has been fortunate enough to have been featured in Taste of Home magazine, Good Housekeeping, Readers Digest and on ABC’s The Chew… but always has plans for more!

Hummingbird Cookies

Ingredients:
•½ cup unsalted butter, softened
•1 cup packed light brown sugar
•2 tsp pure vanilla extract
•1 ripe banana, mashed
•½ cup pineapple tidbits, drained and mashed
•2 Tbsp + 2 cups flour
•1 tsp salt
•1 tsp baking soda
•½ tsp cinnamon
•1/8 tsp nutmeg
•½ cup pecans, chopped

Frosting
•8 oz cream cheese, softened
•2 tsp pure vanilla extract
•2 cups powdered sugar
•½ cup pecans, chopped

Directions:
Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour. Packing will result in a dense, heavy cookie.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a stand mixer, combine butter and brown sugar. Mix in vanilla, mashed banana and mashed pineapple. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour. Mix well.In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg. Add to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in pecan pieces.With a medium size cookie scoop, portion dough onto your prepared cookie sheets. Press each cookie gently with your palm to flatten; bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on edges.While cookies are cooling, make the frosting. Mix the cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar until creamy. Frost the top of each cookie and sprinkle with the pecan pieces.

Chicken Salad Crescents

Ingredients:
•2 (8oz) cans crescent roll dough
•1 egg, whisked with 1 tsp water (can add food coloring if desired)
•2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
•½ cup grapes, halved
•1/3 cup celery, diced
•¼ cup red onion, diced
•¼ cup pecans, chopped
•½ cup mayonnaise
•1 tsp celery salt
•Salt and pepper
•Fresh parsley or dill, garnish

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, grapes, celery, onion, pecans, mayonnaise, celery salt and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unroll the crescent dough and pinch seams together. Using a pizza cutter, cut lengthwise into 6-8 equal strips. Brush each strip with egg wash and roll each strip out to about 16”, like a thick spaghetti noodle. Repeat.Using either a cream horn mold or foil shaped into a cone, wrap one rolled strip of dough around the mold. Apply more egg wash/food coloring if desired. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake for 7-8 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then carefully remove mold.Fill each “carrot” with chicken salad (or salad of choice) and top with a parsley or dill sprig.

Pimiento Cheese Drop Biscuits

Ingredients:
•2 cups flour
•2 tsp baking powder
•2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
•2 tsp sugar
•½ tsp garlic powder
•½ tsp baking soda
•½ tsp cayenne pepper
•1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
•1 cup whole buttermilk
•¼ cup mayonnaise
•¼ cup pimientos, diced
•Melted butter, for brushing the tops
•Flaky salt, for garnish

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, grapes, celery, onion, pecans, mayonnaise, celery salt and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unroll the crescent dough and pinch seams together. Using a pizza cutter, cut lengthwise into 6-8 equal strips. Brush each strip with egg wash and roll each strip out to about 16”, like a thick spaghetti noodle. Repeat.Using either a cream horn mold or foil shaped into a cone, wrap one rolled strip of dough around the mold. Apply more egg wash/food coloring if desired. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake for 7-8 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then carefully remove mold.Fill each “carrot” with chicken salad (or salad of choice) and top with a parsley or dill sprig.

Springtime Tortellini Pesto Soup

Ingredients:
•1 Tbsp olive oil
•½ cup onion, diced
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•8 cups (64oz) chicken broth
•¼ cup prepared basil pesto, plus more for garnish
•2 (15oz) cans great white northern beans
•16 oz frozen tortellini
•1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
•6 oz fresh spinach leaves
•Chicken sausage, sliced (i.e. HEB Naturals Apple Gouda)
•Fresh parmesan cheese, garnish
•Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. To the onion and garlic, add in the broth and whisk in the pesto. Add in the tortellini and white beans and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add in the asparagus, spinach leaves and sliced sausage and simmer until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with more pesto and parmesan cheese.

Crispy Baked Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Garlic Aioli

Ingredients:
•1 (15oz) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
•¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
•½ tsp garlic powder
•1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
•¼ cup parmesan cheese, gratedLemon-Garlic Aioli
•¾ cup mayonnaise
•1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
•1 clove garlic, finely minced
•1/8 tsp kosher salt

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic and salt till incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Place drained artichoke hearts in a dish and thoroughly pat dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and garlic powder. In a separate bowl, combine the parmesan and Panko breadcrumbs. Dip each artichoke heart into the melted butter, followed by the breadcrumbs. Place on prepared sheet and repeat with all remaining artichokes. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve alongside the lemon-garlic aioli.