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A friend had back surgery, and once she was home and recovering, I was able to visit. I delivered a meal to her and her family, which was infused with healing thoughts and prayers.
I love the combination of flavors in this menu, featuring accents from late summer and early fall.


2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
3/4 pound pork tenderloin
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 350F.
TO MAKE THE GLAZE: combine honey, mustard, sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Remove fat from pork, and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Brush the glaze on the top of the pork, bake, basting occasionally with the glaze, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160F.

Recipe adapted from The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, August 2004


2 pounds asparagus
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Trim the woody ends of the asparagus, add the asparagus to the pot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is just tender. Drain the asparagus.
Combine the shallot, lemon juice, honey, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor. Pulse until well combined. Add the olive oil to form a dressing.
Pour over asparagus.

Recipe adapted from The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, April 2013


2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil, divided use
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 4-ounce jar of pimentos, drained
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Heat oven to 425F.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange sweet potatoes on the baking sheet and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and gently toss to coat. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until browned on the edges and just tender, toss once or twice during baking so they brown evenly. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool.
Use a food processor to puree the pimento, mustard, honey and red wine vinegar until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When ready to serve, add half of the vinaigrette to the sweet potatoes and toss gently to combine. Taste and add more vinaigrette as needed.

Recipe adapted from The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, September 2010


2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
10 ounce jar of maraschino cherries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened

Heat oven to 350F.
Lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch baking pan, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together eggs, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla.
Drain and chop cherries, reserving liquid. Stir cherries and nuts into egg mixture. Spoon over crust. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 hours.
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in enough of the reserved cherry liquid (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make icing of drizzling consistency.
Drizzle over the cookie.
Cut into bars.