The Cars 108 Taste of Home Cooking School 2014 is just three weeks away. Be inspired with a sneak peek at two of the tempting spring recipes that our culinary specialist will showcase during the event..

My Taste of Home cookbooks and are the first two places I look to first when I'm cooking for a holiday, friends and family, or just for fun on a weekend. If you have ever drooled through on of their many cookbooks, you know what I'm talking about!

Make plans to take those recipes to a whole new level as Pioneer Sugar and Cars 108 present The Taste of Home Cooking School 2014 on Thursday, May 8th at the Holiday Inn Gateway Center. Culinary Specialist Eric Villegas will prepare ten incredible seasonal recipes and share practical and useful kitchen tips that will make you a star in your own kitchen. Doors open at 4pm with vendor exhibits, samples, door prizes and live music. The show starts at 7pm. For complete details on this event, CLICK HERE.

A very limited number of VIP tickets are still available for $45, and include preferred seating, a gift bag, a Taste of Home cookbook and a 5:30pm meet and greet with Eric Villegas, complete with Hors D' oeuvres. To purchase VIP tickets, CLICK HERE. You'll also receive a free one year digital subscription for "Taste of Home", "The Family Handyman" or the "Reader's Digest."

General admission tickets are $20 in advance, or $24 at the door, and include a gift bag and a free one year digital subscription to the magazine of your choice. To purchase General Admission tickets, CLICK HERE.

Eric, our Culinary Specialist for the evening, has been kind enough to share some brand new spring recipes. We will feature a few of them here on over the next few weeks...just for inspiration!

Nothing says spring to me quite like a scrumptious strawberry trifle. Don't let the beautiful presentation intimidate you. There's nothing to it!

strawberry trifle Taste of Home

Strawberry Trifle

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling
MAKES: 8-10 servings

1 cup cold milk
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
8 cups cubed angel food cake
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 375 calories, 23 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 85 mg cholesterol, 445 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein.

1. In a large bowl, beat the milk, sour cream, pudding mix and orange peel on low speed until thickened. Fold in whipped cream.
2. Place half of the cake cubes in a 3-qt. glass bowl. Arrange a third of the strawberries around sides of bowl and over cake; top with half of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining berries. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Originally published as Strawberry Trifle in Country Woman September/October 2002, p35

Light and fresh salads are popular at this time of year as well. This recipe gets five stars...check it out.

Pomegranate Spinach Salad

Pomegranate Salad Taste of Home[/caption>

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.

MAKES: 6 servings

1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3/4 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground mustard

Nutritional Facts

1 cup equals 149 calories, 11 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 4 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein.

1. In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, cheese, almonds and pomegranate seeds. In a blender, combine the dressing ingredients; cover and process until blended. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Yield: 6 servings.

Originally published as Pomegranate Spinach Salad in Light & Tasty December/January 2006, p61