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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple Mother's Day recipes

Cornmeal poundcake is baked in a skillet and

Cornmeal poundcake is baked in a skillet and served topped with macerated strawberries. Credit: Marge Perry

CORNMEAL POUNDCAKE WITH MACERATED STRAWBERRIES

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature, plus extra to butter skillet

1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons lemon extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 (16-ounce) packages strawberries, sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.

2. Combine the softened butter and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs and lemon extract until well combined, about 2 minutes.

3. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared skillet and smooth the top with a spatula.

4. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 37 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 30 minutes before serving.

5. While the cake bakes, macerate the strawberries. Combine the strawberries and the remaining sugar in a bowl and toss well. Let stand at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Spoon berries over wedges of poundcake. Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 364 calories, 5 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 17 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 151 mg sodium

TIP: The strawberries may be macerated up to 24 hours ahead: They will give off more liquid and get softer over time.

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SPINACH AND CHEDDAR FRITTATA

8 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 slices bacon

6 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry

4 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Whisk the eggs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until well-combined.

3. Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, turning once, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel. Chop when cooled.

4. Pour off all the fat except for 2 tablespoons and return the skillet to the stove over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms start to brown slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach and reserved bacon and cook 2 minutes longer.

5. Pour in the egg mixture and stir gently to evenly distribute the vegetable mixture. Stir in the cheese. Cook until eggs are partially set, about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until eggs are cooked through and the top is lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes. Slide frittata onto a cutting board or platter and cut into wedges to serve. May be eaten hot or at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 284 calories, 19 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 21 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 593 mg sodium

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CREAM CHEESE AND BLUEBERRY STRATA

12 slices cinnamon swirl bread (12 ounces), halved diagonally

1 cup fresh blueberries

6 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup sugar

6 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups 2-percent milk

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar

1. Coat an 11-inch-by-7-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange half of the bread in bottom of the prepared dish with bases of triangles facing in same direction. Top with the blueberries. Scatter the cheese cubes over the blueberries. Arrange the remaining bread over the cheese and blueberries with triangles facing in the opposite direction. Combine the sugar, eggs, milk and cinnamon in a bowl; pour over the bread in baking dish. Press on the bread to submerge. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the strata uncovered 50 to 60 minutes until puffed and golden and knife inserted into center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut strata into squares and serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 280 calories, 12 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 311 mg sodium

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