Don’t you just love folks who care and support the causes they believe in?

I had the pleasure of spending an evening with the donors of the Dana G. Smith Fund last week. Buoyed along by the sincere wishes and loving gestures from the attendees, I enjoyed sharing my cancer journey as well as the food! For those who appreciated eating the appetizers as much as I liked preparing them – here are the recipes and a couple of pictures. If you are interested in learning more about The Dana G. Smith Fund, I’ve got some info here on it – or check out their website at:

*The Dana G. Smith Fund was created in March 2006 to assist those in their fight against cancer. Oftentimes, because of poor insurance coverage, missed work, multiple co-pays, doctor visits and travel, those battling cancer find themselves unable to pay basic bills such as rent and utilities. To date, the DGS fund, operating under the auspice of the Piedmont Hospital Foundation, has been diverse in its ability to assist those in need. It has helped with mortgage payments, rent and utilities. It has repaired vehicles for patients enabling them to transport themselves to treatment, paid COBRA insurance premiums and dental care required needed because of side effects of chemotherapy. With help from those touched by Dana, her story and her cause, the fund has lifted weight off shoulders, elevated spirits and lengthened lives.

Fresh Melon Skewers with Hoisin-Lime Dressing
6 Cups Cubed Honeydew, Cantaloupe and Watermelon
12 Bamboo Skewers
¼ Cup Lime Juice, Plus the Zest of 1 Lime
3 TB Hoisin Sauce
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 TB Chopped Fresh Mint
½ Cup Chopped Peanuts
Step One Combine the melons in a large colander. Let sit at least 15 minutes and up to 4 hours. Discard liquid. Place the melons on skewers alternating each fruit.
Step Two Whisk lime juice, zest and hoisin sauce together in a small bowl to blend. Drizzle the dressing over melon skewers. Season to taste with pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro, mint, and then peanuts. Serve immediately.

Mini Crab Tostados
6 OZ Lump Crabmeat
2 Scallions, Minced
Zest and Juice of 2 Large Limes, Divided
3 TBs Minced Cilantro, Divided
Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
1/4 Cup Light Sour Cream
¼ Cup Non Fat Greek Yogurt
Chipotle Tabasco to Taste
1 Bag Tostitos Scoops
1 Ripe Avocado, Sliced Thinly and then in Hal
Step One Gently fold the crabmeat, scallions, zest and juice of 1 lime, 1 TB cilantro together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Step Two Mix together the sour cream, yogurt, the remaining lime and zest. Add the Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste.
Step Three Place a Tsp of crab salad in each Tostitos. Top each with the sour cream mixture and garnish with avocado. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Indian Spiced Nuts
4 TB Sugar, Divided
1 ½ Tsp Garam Masala
1 Tsp Cinnamon
½ Tsp Salt
1 Large Egg White
4 Cups Raw Nuts: Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, Brazil Nuts
Step One Preheat your oven to 350F. Cover a sheet tray with aluminum foil or parchment. Lightly spray with non-stick spray.
Step Two Combine 3 TB of sugar, spices and salt together in a bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add in the nuts and stir. Add the spice mixture and toss to coat.
Step Three Spread the nut mixture out in one layer on the sheet pan. Bake, stirring once, for about 15 minutes or until golden.
Step Four Remove the pan from the oven, stir the nuts to loosen them and sprinkle the remaining TB of sugar over the top.

Date and Toasted Pecan Goat Cheese Lollipops
½ Cup Chopped Dates, Pitted
1 10 OZ Log Goat Cheese, Room Temperature
4 oz Light Cream Cheese
1 Cup Toasted Chopped Pecans
24 Pretzel Sticks
Add the dates, goat cheese and 1/4 cup of the toasted pecans to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined. Put the remaining pecans on a plate. Using a teaspoon, scoop the goat cheese and roll into small balls. Roll in the pecans to cover all sides. Place the pretzel stick in the center of each goat cheese ball and serve.

Asian Tuna Pops
½ Cup Canola Oil
2 Tsp Dark or Toasted Sesame Oil
½ Cup Soy Sauce
2 TB Dark Brown Sugar
2 Cloves Garlic, Grated
2 Tsp Grated Ginger
1 TB Dijon Mustard
2 LB Tuna Steaks, in 1×2” pieces
Chopped Cilantro
Wasabi Mayo*
Step One Whisk or Shake in a Jar, the oils, soy, sugar, garlic, ginger and mustard. Place in a zippy bag and and the tuna. Marinate for at least 2 hours, but no longer than 4 hours.
Step Two Remove the tuna from the marinade and load onto bamboo skewers. Cook on a hot, oiled grill or grill pan about 1-2 minutes or until desired doneness. Sprinkle with Cilantro and serve with Wasabi Mayo. *Wasabi Mayo is made by combining light mayo with Wasabi paste to taste.

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