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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chocolate Marshmallow Pillows

I hope you all are having a good Christmas Brake.  Today is the last day in 2009.  I want to wish everyone a
Happy New Year.  I said before that I wanted to take a brake until January 3rd. But I found this, and had to post it.  You have no idea how long I have been looking for something like this.  Enjoy!!

Prize-Winning Recipe 2009! Indulge in chocolate-frosted cookies with a marshmallow center made easier with a cookie mix.

Prep Time: 45 min
Total Time: 1 hour 5 min
Makes: 2 dozen cookies

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker double chocolate chunk cookie mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1 egg
2/3 cup chopped pecans
12 large marshmallows, cut in half

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, oil, water, egg
and pecans until soft dough forms.

On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2
inches apart.

Bake 7 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately press marshmallow half
lightly, cut side down, on top of cookie. Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer
or just until marshmallows begin to soften. Cool 2 minutes; remove
from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in 1-quart nonstick saucepan, melt chocolate chips over
low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Add whipping cream,
butter and vanilla; blend well. Stir in powdered sugar until smooth.

Spread frosting over each cooled cookie, covering marshmallow. Let
stand until frosting is set.

Nutrition Information:
1 Cookie: Calories 200 (Calories from Fat 90);
Total Fat 10g (Saturated Fat 3 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g);
Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 100mg;
Total Carbohydrate 27g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 18g);
Protein 1g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%;
Calcium 0%; Iron 4% Exchanges: 2 Other Carbohydrate;
0 Vegetable; 2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Source: Betty Crocker

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mocha Meringue Kisses

Makes 24 cookies

Prep: 25 mintues
Bake: 1 hour

1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon shortening

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil; set aside. In a small bowl stir together powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and espresso powder; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl beat egg whites and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gradually fold in the cocoa mixture.

3. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag. Pipe twenty-four 2-inch kisses onto the prepared cookie sheet. (Or drop mixture by rounded teaspoons onto the prepared cookie sheet.) Bake in a 250 oven for 1 hour. Cool on the cookie sheet. Remove from parchment paper.

4. In a small saucepan combine chocolate and shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Drizzle the melted chocolate over cookies. Makes 24 cookies.

Christmas Strollen

1 loaf

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 large egg
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup sultana raisins
1/3 cup red candied cherries, quartered
2/3 cup diced candied citron
6 ounces marzipan
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the egg, white sugar, salt, butter, and 2 cups bread flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has begun to pull together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead in the currants, raisins, dried cherries, and citrus peel. Continue kneading until smooth, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the marzipan into a rope and place it in the center of the dough. Fold the dough over to cover it; pinch the seams together to seal. Place the loaf, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), and bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow loaf to cool on a wire rack. Dust the cooled loaf with confectioners' sugar, and sprinkle with the cinnamon.

Delicious Turkey Soup

Servings: 8

Prep time: 15 Minutes
Cook time: 1 Hour

Ingredients I need
1 (Carcass) Turkey
3 Chopped Carrots
1 (15 ounce) Canned, Drained Beans - Green
1 Cup Chopped Celery
1 Cup Chopped Spinach
1 Cup Chopped Cabbage
2 Cups Rice - White

Cooking Directions

1. Pick your Thanksgiving, or Christmas turkey nearly clean.
(Turkey salad is great for a few days, or even turkey pot pies.)
We are not real concerned about the choice meat here. Dump the turkey
and all of its debris, including the juices, into a large pot. Add
green beans, celery, spinach, cabbage, and white rice. Pour in enough
water to cover everything.

2. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for an hour or so.
Add more water as needed.

3. Remove all turkey bones and unwanted debris (i.e., skin, cartilage,
etc.). There you have it. It's kind of a culinary scrapbook of your
Turkey Day

Cherry Mash Bars

1 - 9x9 inch pan

serves 16

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup half-and-half cream
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup cherry baking chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup roasted Spanish peanuts

Line an 8x8 or 9x9 inch square pan with waxed paper.

In a medium saucepan, combine butter, sugar, salt and half and half. Heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring enough to keep from scorching. Remove from heat and stir in the marshmallows, and cherry chips. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.

In the microwave or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt chocolate chips, and peanut butter together stirring frequently until smooth. Spread over the mixture in the pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting into squares.

Buttermilk Chive Biscuits

Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
2/3 - 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a bowl stir flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together
with a fork. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or
fingertips until mixture resembles very coarse meal. Stir in chives.
Make a well, slowly pour in buttermilk while stirring with a fork
until dough just holds together. All of the buttermilk may not be
needed. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and gently knead.
Pat dough out to a 3/4-inch thickness and cut in rounds with a
floured biscuit cutter. Transfer rounds to an ungreased baking sheet.
Gather scraps together, pat out again and cut remaining rounds.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Zesty Cheese Straws

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In a food processor, add the butter, cheese, flour, salt and cayenne and process until smooth dough is formed. Scoop it into a cookie press, fitted with a flat ridged tip. Pipe the dough in 2-inch strips onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. (Alternatively, refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes and roll on a lightly floured surface into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Cut into smaller rectangles, about 2 by 3-inches, with a pizza wheel or sharp knife.) Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to racks to cool.

Source: Paula Deen

Christmas Cheesecake

serves 10

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup milk
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 (8 ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling


Combine crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Chill 15 minutes. In a saucepan, combine gelatin and water; let stand for 1 minute. Add milk; cook and stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add gelatin mixture and lemon peel; mix well. Chill until partially set. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping. Pour over crust. Chill until firm, at least 3 hours. Spread pie filling over gelatin layer. Top with remaining whipped topping.

Mardarin Cherry Eggnog Ring

Yield: 10 servings

1 can (10 oz) mandarin orange - segments
1 pkg. (85 gr.) Jello cherry jelly-powder
1 c. boiling water
3/4 c. cold water
1 c. halved green grapes
1 pkg. Jello lemon jelly powder
1 c. boiling water
1c. canned or dairy eggnog
1 tsp. dark rum (optional)
1 env. Dream whip dessert - topping

A beautiful Christmas dessert centrpiece begins with an eggnog base under a glistening red crown filled with mandarin oranges and grapes.

Drain mandarin oranges segments. Dissolve cherry jello powder in 1 cup boiling water. Add cold water. Chill until slightly thickened. Add mandarin oranges and grapes. Spoon into an 6 cup jelly mould.

Chill until set but no firm; surface should be sticky when adding second layer.

Meanwhile dissolve lemon Jello jelly powder in 1 cup boiling water. Cool slightly. Add eggnog and rum. Chill until slightly thickened.

Prepare Dream Whip as directed on package;p reserve 1 cup. Fold eggnog mixture into remaining Dream Whip. Spoon over fruit jelly layer in mould. Chill until set, 4 hours or overnight.

Unmould onto chilled serving plate. Garnish with remaining Dream Whip if desired.

Buffalo Chicken Wing Soup

Quick Cooking

"My husband and I love buffalo chicken wings, so we created a soup with the same zippy flavor," reports Pat Farmer from Falconer, New York, "It's very popular with guests." Start with a small amount of hot sauce, then add more if needed to suit your family's tastes.

METHOD: Slow Cooker
TIME: Prep: 5 min. Cook: 4 hours

6 cups milk
3 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 1 pound)
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup hot pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts).

Basic Eggnog For Christmas

6 separated eggs

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 quarts thick cream
1 1/4 tumblers whiskey, brandy or rum
Dashes of cinnamon or nutmeg

Beat egg yolks and sugar together until they are senseless
(or lemon-colored).

Set aside while you beat the egg-whites stiff followed by some harshly thrashed

Dump all this into the yokes along with your choice of liquor.
Then chill.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gouda Cheese Logs

Prep Time: 15 min

Total Time: 2 hours 15 min
Makes: 24 servings (2 tablespoons each)

1 tub (8 ounces) soft cream cheese
2 cups shredded Gouda or Colby cheese (8 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup sliced drained sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Assorted crackers, if desired

Mix cream cheese and Gouda cheese until blended. Stir in chives, tomatoes and garlic powder. Shape mixture into 2 small logs or 1 large ball. Roll in parsley.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours until firm. Serve with crackers.

Cherry Poppyseed Twinks

"A great poppy seed version of the thumbprint cookie. These are so good that they are almost addictive."

2 1/2 dozen


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C ).

Cream together butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour, salt, and poppy seeds until well blended. Drop dough from a teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Make an indention in the middle of each cookie with your finger. If the dough is too sticky, dip your finger in water first. Fill each hole with about 1/2 teaspoon of cherry preserves.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges begin to brown

Frozen Christmas Wreath

Water; boiled and cooled

1 bunch Mint sprigs, fresh
2 Lemons
fresh or frozen red fruit: cranberries or strawberries or raspberries

Freeze this floating ring in stage so decoration don't rise to the top
and add to a holiday punch bowl.

NEVER use real holly; it is poisonous.

In a 10 inch ring mold, freeze 1/4 inch water until solid. Pour 1/8"
cluster of 3 cranberries (or other red fruits) around inner edge of
mould and freeze till solid.

Repeat with second 1/8th inch layer of water and red fruit around
edge of mould; freeze.

Repeat water layer; arrange tiny clusters of mint and single leaves
face down among berry clusters to look like holly.

Freeze. Using stripper and working from top to bottom, cut 8 evenly
spaced ridges out of rind of each lemon; cut each lemon into 8 thin
rounds. Pour 1/8 inch water into mould; arrange overlapping lemon
slices all around mould. Tuck in mint leaves, face down; freeze.

Repeat pouring in water; arrange ring of cranberries against outer
edge of mould and freeze. If necessary pour in water to top of mould;
freeze. To unmould, dip ring into cold water for 30 seconds; invert on
plate and unmould.

Slide into punch, rounded side up.

MAKES: 1 ring

Christmas Walnut Toffee

1-1/2 pounds

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, divided
1 (6 ounce) package chocolate chips

Butter a 9 inch square baking dish, and set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and corn syrup until smooth. Heat to 290 degrees F (145 degrees C) using a candy thermometer.

When the temperature has been reached, stir in 1 cup of the walnuts, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into the prepared pan, and allow to cool. When the toffee is cooled, remove from the pan, and place onto waxed paper. Melt chocolate chips in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave, stirring frequently until smooth.

Spread half of the melted chocolate onto one side of the toffee slab, and sprinkle with half of the remaining nuts. Allow to cool until set, then repeat with the other side. Break into bite size pieces when set.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Healthy Cooking

Bacon lends a wonderful salty flavor while balsamic vinegar adds a hint of spicy tang. Who knew Brussels sprouts could taste so good? Paula Young -Tiffin, Ohio

TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

3 bacon strips
1-1/4 pounds fresh or frozen brussels sprouts, thawed, quartered
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside.

In the same pan, saute brussels sprouts and onion in reserved drippings until crisp-tender. Add the water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until brussels sprouts are tender. Stir in bacon and vinegar. Yield: 12 servings.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Have a gingerbread house party

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Photography by Frank Grant

Kids, candies and gingerbread are a dynamite idea for an afternoon of holiday fun. You'll find everything you need here - from a pre-party checklist to full-size pattern pieces and nifty decorating ideas. Best of all, our easy gingerbread dough is make-and-bake-ahead.

2/4 lb (375 g) Smarties
2 pkg (each 100g) multi-coloured jelly beans
1 pkg (4 oz/113g) cinnamon hearts
1 pkg (4oz/113g) multi-coloured candy shot
2 pkg (each 4pz/113 g) red and green sugar sprinkles
1 jar (2 oz/50 g) silver dragées
12 green gumdrops
12 mini candy canes
12 gummy bear candies
12 licorice Allsorts
1 pkg (200g) peppermints
1 pkg (250 g coloured mini marshmallows
1 pkg (200g) spearmint leaves
other candies, as desired

5 sturdy paper plates
Waxed paper and plastic wrap
10 Popsicle sticks
5 paper cups
2 sq m (20 square feet) tinted cellophane
5 m ribbon

Preparing for the party

Several days before:

Prepare Gingerbread Dough

While dough chills, cut out waxed paper pattern pieces (click here to download a pdf of gingerbread house pattern pieces)

Bake gingerbread pieces; store in airtight containers for up to 3 weeks.
Make Royal Icing; refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days.

Just before the party:

Protect table with plastic or disposable cover. Set out a waxed paper place mat for each child.

Assemble kit for each child consisting of one house base, two sides, one front and one back cookie piece. (Reserve roof pieces to give out once walls have dried.) Place kits on paper plates and set at each place.

Divide Royal Icing among paper cups; cover with plastic wrap and set out at each place, along with two Popsicle sticks.

Place candy decorations in bowls in centre of table.

Cut ribbon lengths and 60 cm (2-foot) squares of tinted cellophane to wrap finished gingerbread houses in, so the can be carried home.

Have damp cloths and paper towels available for wiping hands.

Cherry Tea Ring

Makes 2 rings (24 servings)

Prep: 50 minutes
Rise: 2 hours
Cook: 25 minutes

1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 degree F to 115 degree F)
7 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 slightly beaten eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water
2 cups snipped dried tart cherries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
2-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons light-colored corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 to 4 tablespoons evaporated milk, half-and-half, or light cream


1. In a small saucepan heat and stir milk and butter until warm and butter almost melts. Cool to lukewarm (105 degree F to 115 degree F).

2. In a large mixing bowl dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water. Stir in the milk mixture, 3-1/2 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, eggs, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1-1/2 hours).

4. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.

5. In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water to boiling; remove from heat. Add cherries; let stand 5 minutes. Drain, squeezing to remove excess water.

6. Roll half of the dough into a 15x9-inch rectangle. Sprinkle half of the Cinnamon Filling evenly over dough. Sprinkle with half of the cherries. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting from a long side. Seal seam. Grease a large baking pan.

7. Place dough roll on prepared baking sheet. Attach ends together to form a circle; pinch seam to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut slits at 1-inch intervals around the ring. Gently turn each slice so one of the cut sides is down. Cover; let rise until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes). Repeat with remaining dough, remaining Cinnamon Filling, and remaining cherries.

8. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until tea rings sound hollow when you tap tops (the centers may be lighter in color) (if necessary, cover rings with foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning). Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. Drizzle with Almond Glaze.

Cinnamon Filling: In a medium mixing bowl stir together 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in 1/2 cup butter until crumbly.

Almond Glaze: In a small bowl stir together powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir in enough evaporated milk, half-and-half, or light cream to make drizzling consistency. If desired, stir a few drops red food coloring into half of the glaze. Makes 2 rings (24 servings).

Cinnamon Filling: In a medium mixing bowl stir together 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in 1/2 cup butter until crumbly.

Holiday Chocolate Caramels

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar; packed
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 squares unsweetened chocolate (about 2 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine cut in pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place sugars, corn syrup, half-and-half and chocolate in large heavy
saucepan and bring to boil, stirring to melt chocolate and dissolve
sugar. Reduce heat to moderate and continue cooking, stirring
occasionally, until syrup reaches 248 degrees on candy thermometer
(firm-ball stage).

Remove from the heat and quickly stir in butter and vanilla just
until blended and butter melts. Pour into well-greased 8x8x2" pan.
Cool and cut in small squares.

If desired, top each square with pecan half or almond slivers. Wrap
individually in plastic wrap or foil. Store in cool, dry place.

Makes about 1-1/2 pounds.

Dr. Oetker s Rouladen


8 Beef, thin slices
1/2 c Onion; diced
1 ts Cornstarch
1 tb Lemon juice
Mustard, prepared
8 tb Oil
1 ts Paprika
Sour cream; (optional)
4 oz Bacon, uncooked; diced
1 c ;Water, boiling
1 c Tomato puree
Creme fraiche; (optional)


Cut thin slices of roasting beef to around 4 x 6 inches off a roast. It is best to cut the meat WITH the grain of the meat, so the slices will hold together. Pound the slices lightly to flatten and tenderize them. Brush lightly with prepared mustard. Then sprinkle the slices with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. In a small bowl mix together the diced bacon and diced onions. Spread the mixture on the meat slices. Then, starting at the narrow end, roll up the meat slices and secure them with skewers, toothpicks, or string.

Christmas Cranberry Salad

serves 6 to 8

1 pound cranberries, finely ground
2 cups white sugar
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 pint whipped cream, beaten stiff

Mix together the cranberries and sugar; cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, combine the cranberry mixture with the pineapple, marshmallows, pecans and whipped cream. Mix well.

Pour into a 3 quart dish, cover and refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fresh Ginger Beer

If you like ginger ale, you'll love this tangy beverage. Add your favorite rum to create a memorable cocktail. If you can't find superfine sugar, place granulated sugar in a blender, and process until fine. You can find bottled ground fresh ginger in the produce section of the supermarket.

8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

2 cups cold water
1 cup fresh lime juice
4 teaspoons bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
3/4 cup superfine sugar
3 cups sparkling water
Lime slices (optional)

Combine water, juice, and ginger in a blender; process until blended.

Line a strainer with cheesecloth. Strain mixture over a pitcher; discard solids. Add sugar to pitcher; stir until dissolved.

Add sparkling water just before serving. Serve over ice. Garnish with lime slices, if desired.

Chocolate Panna Cotta with Port

Port wine and balsamic vinegar deepen the fresh fruit flavors in the cherry sauce. Be sure to get started at least one day ahead; the panna cotta custards must chill for 24 hours before serving.

Servings: Makes 6.

Panna Cotta
Canola oil
1 cup whole milk
2 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound cherries, stemmed, pitted
3/4 cup ruby Port
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


For panna cotta:

Brush six 3/4-cup glass custard cups with canola oil. Pour milk into medium bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over; let stand until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.

Stir cream and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil; remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted. Whisk warm chocolate mixture into gelatin mixture; stir to dissolve. Stir in vanilla. Working in 2 batches, transfer mixture to blender and use only 3 on/off turns to just fully blend mixture (do not overmix). Divide mixture among custard cups. Cover and chill 24 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)

For cherries:

Stir cherries, Port, sugar, and vinegar in heavy large skillet over high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until cherries are soft and wooden spoon leaves path in sauce when drawn across bottom of skillet, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before continuing.)

Set custard cups in large baking dish. Pour enough hot water into dish to come halfway up sides of cups. Let stand 11/2 minutes. Take cups out of water; wipe bottoms dry. Invert each onto plate, shaking gently to dislodge panna cotta. Spoon cherries and sauce over panna cottas and serve.

Christmas pudding‏

I went to a Tupperware party a few night ago, the first one I have been to in years. The demonstrator gave us this recipe, to cook in the one litre red microwave jug. As soon as I get mine I am going to try this!

1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
2 cups mixed dried fruit
1 cup of milk
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup of sherry
2 tbsp butter
1 tspnmixed spice
1 tsp bicarb soda

Pour sherry over mixed fruit & allow to stand overnight.
Heat milk & butter until boiling then add bicarb soda.
Mix in all of the other ingredients.
Place in a greased Tupperware 1 litre microwave jug,
cover & cook for approximately 10 minutes on medium.

Christmas Creamy Egg Nog

2 quarts

4 egg yolks
1 (5 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups milk
4 egg whites
1 fluid ounce rum
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until they are thickened and light. Gradually stir in condensed milk, sugar, vanilla and milk. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then add them to the milk mixture. Stir rum into the mixture (to taste). Garnish with nutmeg

Browned Green Beans

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ ------------ --------- --------- --

1 1/2 pounds Green beans
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
1/2 cup Low-salt chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons Fresh lemon juice

Trim ends from beans and remove strings. Cut beans in half lengthwise,
slicing through the seam on each side of beans.

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add beans, and cook 5 minutes
or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium and
gradually add broth, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes.

Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. Yield: 6 servings (serving size:
3/4 cup).

CALORIES 53 (42% from fat); PROTEIN 1.9g; FAT 2.5g

From COOKING LIGHT magazine, July 1995.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sweet Chocolate Braided Bread

While challah is a traditional bread baked for the Jewish Sabbath, it has become popular with everyone, everywhere. It's attractive and has a firm, egg-rich texture that works for dinner, sandwiches, or French toast. It is typically braided with three, four, or six strands of dough.

(The braided strands are symbolic of love.) Challah is really very easy to make. There is a sense of satisfaction in working the dough by hand and crafting such an attractive bread and it certainly will impress your guests.

In this version, we added chocolate for the dough and a chocolate cream cheese filling and then we drizzled the bread with a chocolate cream cheese glaze. It may not be real challah but it is absolutely scrumptious—maybe our best chocolate bread ever.

Braiding bread is not complicated; it just looks impressive. To see illustrations for braiding bread, check out the instructions earlier in this section.

This recipe can be doubled.

3 to 3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 packet instant active dry yeast
3/4 cup water, heated to 110 degrees
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg at room temperature

For the filling
5 ounces cream cheese
1 ounce semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Chocolate glaze directions follows.

1. Mix about one cup of the flour, the yeast, and the heated water until smooth. This will hydrate the instant yeast. If you are using other than instant yeast, hydrate the yeast separately.

2. Add the brown sugar, cocoa, butter, salt, and egg and mix. Add enough of the remaining bread flour to make a soft but not tacky dough. Knead until the gluten is developed, about four minutes with a stand-type mixer at medium speed. Set the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it stand until doubled, about one hour.

3. To make the filling, beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth. Add the melted chocolate while it is still hot and mix until smooth. Add the sugar, flour, egg yolk, vanilla, and nutmeg and mix until smooth.

4. Once the dough has risen, use a knife to divide the dough into three equal
pieces. Roll the dough pieces with a rolling pin to rectangles 15 inches by 5
inches. Spread one-third of the filling down the center of each leaving a one-inch

Crispy Salmon with Herb Salad

Rest salmon fillets atop fresh herbs tossed with a light lemon dressing. Because they're left whole, use small basil and mint leaves; if you have only large leaves, tear them in half. Refrigerate the herb mixture before preparing the salmon so it won't wilt.

6 servings

1 1/2 cups arugula leaves
3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup small fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray
6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned
6 lemon wedges

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Combine juice, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and garlic, stirring with a whisk.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Sprinkle salmon with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add fish to pan; cook 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, turning once. Combine arugula mixture and juice mixture; toss well to coat. Place 1/2 cup herb salad on each of 6 plates; top each serving with 1 fillet. Serve with lemon wedges


(Serves 32 half-cups)

Nothing says the holidays like a warm, fragrant mulled wine. If you
prefer your wine less sweet, cut the sugar in half.

3 large navel oranges
30 whole cloves
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 liters dry red wine
Cinnamon sticks and orange peel, for garnish

1. Cut 1 orange into 1/4-inch slices; then cut each slice into fourths.
Stud the orange slices with the cloves, dividing evenly. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, cook sugar and water, stirring
until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Slowly
pour in red wine and clove-studded orange slices, stirring until heated
through but not boiling.

To serve: Cut thin strips of rind from 2 oranges. Cut rinds into 6-inch
lengths and twist each around a cinnamon stick. Use as a decorative
stirrer to add a dash of cinnamon flavor.

Christmas Strawberries

"These strawberries are made from strawberry flavored gelatin, coconut and colored sugar crystals."

2 dozen

2 (6 ounce) packages strawberry flavored gelatin
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups flaked coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup red decorator sugar
1/4 cup green decorator sugar
2 ounces slivered almonds

Blend together the gelatin and condensed milk. Add coconut and vanilla; mix well and refrigerate until chilled.

Roll into small balls and shape into strawberries; roll in red sugar crystals.

Dip fat end into green sugar crystals. Place an almond sliver into the fat end for a stem. To prevent hardening, store in an air tight container until ready to serve.

Broiled Garlic and Lime Shrimp


 2 pounds large shrimp in their shells
12 garlic cloves, peeled
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
 Kosher salt

1. Using a paring knife, slit each shrimp down the back through the shell; remove the dark intestinal vein. Spread the shrimp open and flatten them out. Arrange the butterflied shrimp in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, shell side down.

2. In a saucepan, cover the garlic with water and simmer until softened, about 20 minutes; add more water if necessary. Drain and let cool, then finely chop.

3. In a bowl, combine the garlic, butter, serranos, cilantro and lime juice. Brush the shrimp with the mixture; season with salt.

4. Preheat the broiler. Broil the shrimp for 3 to 4 minutes, or just until cooked through. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and drizzle with any remaining butter. Serve with lots of paper napkins.

Make Ahead
Prepare the shrimp through Step 3 and refrigerate overnight.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ube-Macapuno Cake

"This is a great Filipino purple yam cake."

2 1/2 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup ube (purple yam), cooked and finely grated
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup corn syrup
7 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
7 egg whites 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup white sugar
6 drops red food color
6 drops blue food coloring
1 (12 ounce) jar macapuno (coconut preserves)
1 cup evaporated milk, chilled
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 drop violet food coloring

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line bottoms of 3 - 9 inch pans with parchment paper, but do not grease. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. Place grated ube in a large bowl. Mix together 3/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla; gradually blend into ube until smooth. Blend in corn syrup, egg yolks, and oil. Beat in flour mixture until smooth; set aside.

3. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add sugar, then red and blue food coloring, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pans.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center of cake bounces back when lightly tapped. Invert pans on a wire rack and let cool upside down. When cool, run a knife around the edges to loosen cake from pans. Fill between layers with coconut preserves, then frost top and sides with butter icing.

5. To make Butter Icing: Combine evaporated milk and 3/4 cup sugar. set aside. Cream butter until light and fluffy; gradually add sugar mixture, and continue beating to desired spreading consistency. Add food color, one drop at a time until desired tint is achieved.

Tinkerbell's cup cake tower

Recipe By : artedible

Source: My own creation Brief Description:
A Beautiful and Super Easy to serve "cake". No cutting necessary !!! Servings : 24 in recipe ( mine had 48 )

Prep time : 1 hour (filling and decorating)
Cook time : 12 minutes ( Cupcakes )
Total time : 72 minutes Ingredients:
Cup cakes:

2 butter sticks
1 cup confectioners powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
2 whole eggs
1 cup milk
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 lb flour
2 tsp baking powder

1/2 pound of caramel spread (I used Argentinan dulce de leche, the BEST)

2 cans of cream cheese frosting
green moss food coloring
colored fondant

To make the Cupcakes:

First mix butter, confectioners sugar and salt together with an electric mixer until it turns pale.

Once that is complete add whole eggs and milk,
Mix together again and set aside.

In a separate bowl beat egg whites until they turn fluffy, add sugar and keep beating and VOILA!! You have MERINGUE!!

Ok here is the key:

Slowly add some flour to the butter mix and then slowly add some meringue in equal parts, Mix with a SLOW motion.Do Not Beat.

Pour in to a cup cake pan with cupcake liners.
Set the oven at 360F and bake for 12 minutes.

Pull out the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool. Once they have cooled, inject the cup cakes with the carmel spread using a decorator or sleeve with a filler tip (the best purchase I have ever made).

Toppings :
First dye the frosting and using a star tip on the decorator or sleeve work in a spiral motion starting from the outside working toward the center (it is's not going to take forever like you think).

In order to create the small flowers and butterflies I used a small flower cutter, for the butterflies I cut one petal off the flowers. (When you fold it in half it looks like a butterfly.)

Finally put on top all the flowers, butterflies, bees and leaves. You can model these from fondant up to 1 week before and just store them in cool dry place, not the fridge.

The good thing about this cup cake tower is that you can have it without refrigeration for several hours (just in a cool place is enough)

I also built the display from scratch, It was made out of foamboard (you can e-mail me for instructions on how to build it).

I decided to place real dolls on the base as props(they look much better than anything made specifically for cakes, believe me, I looked EVERYWHERE for something nice made for cakes.)

The candles are just stuck in the base...simple and effective

Ultimate Chocolate Cappuccino Cookie Cups

Christmas Banana Bread

This bread is very good. Be sure to not overcook. Cherries and

Chocolate chips make a nice Christmas bread.

Recipe By : Phyllis Schmalz
Serving Size : 16
Categories : Sweet Bread

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ ------------ --------- --------- --
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time,
beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt;
gradually add to creamed mixture. Beat in the bananas just until combined.
Stir in the walnuts, chocolate chips and cherries. Pour into a greased
9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° F for 70-80 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes
before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Recipe Author: Phyllis Schmalz
Recipe Source: Creative_Cooking_ Corner (Eunice)

Author Note: "'This bread is a pretty addition to the table during the
holidays,' says Phyllis Schmalz of Kansas City, Kansas. Cherries, walnuts
and chocolate chips give fast festive flair to the loaf of moist banana

Cabbage-Tomato Pasta Toss


Here's an unusual combination of ingredients that blend very well together. It's a nice side dish for any beef entree.

TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.

2 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
8 ounces uncooked bow tie pasta
2 cups shredded cabbage
1-1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, vinegar, basil and parsley; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding the cabbage during the last 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute the bread crumbs, almonds and garlic in oil and butter for 6 minutes or until golden brown.

Drain pasta and cabbage; place in a large bowl. Add tomato and crumb mixtures; toss. Yield: 6 servings.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sala Sabor de Mexico's Red Sangria

Hands on time: 20 minutes Total time: 3 hours and 20 minutes
Serves: 20

1. 2 (750-milliliter) bottles shiraz or other red wine
3/4 cup Gran Torres liqueur
1/2 cup triple sec
3/4 cup simple syrup (equal parts granulated sugar and water, boiled until dissolved, then cooled)
1/2 cup orange juice
Lemon, lime and orange slices for garnish

In a large pitcher, combine wine, Gran Torres Liqueur, triple sec, simple syrup and orange juice. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 24 hours.

Before serving, stir well to combine, then pour over ice. Garnish.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

For a special treat for the kids after brunch, serve this drink garnished with whipped cream and mini candy canes.

Servings: 4

2 cups (500 mL) milk
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated_sugar
2 oz (60 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1-1/2 oz (45 g) milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 tsp (1 mL) peppermint_extract

In saucepan, bring milk, sugar and 1 cup (250 mL) water to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat.

Whisk in bittersweet and milk chocolates until melted. Stir in peppermint extract. (Make-ahead: Let cool; refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours. Reheat to serve.)

Holiday Best: 2008

Fiesta Fudge Cookies

Christmas Punch

Serving Size : 1-1/2 gallons

3 cans (6-oz size) frozen lemonade concentrate
1 pkg frozen strawberries
1 quart ginger ale

Dilute the lemonade concentrate according to directions on the can and pour into punch bowl. Stir in thawed strawberries. Just before serving add ginger ale and ice.

Buttery Parmesan Garlic Bread

Simple & Delicious

July/August 2009 issue

Here's a golden-brown crusty loaf that will round out all kinds of dinners in just minutes! Talena Keeler - Siloam Springs, Arkansas

CATEGORY: Appetizer
TIME: Prep/Total Time: 15 min.

1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 loaf (8 ounces) French bread, halved lengthwise

In a small bowl, combine the butter, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Spread mixture over cut sides of bread. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 4 servings.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rosemary-Mustard Grilled Potatoes

by Susie Middleton

By par-cooking your potatoes before they go on the grill, they'll have a soft, almost cakey texture on the inside when they're done, but they'll still have that terrific grilled flavor. The mayonnaise not only adds flavor to the potatoes, but helps keep them from sticking to the grill.
Serves four as a side dish.

1 lb. medium red- or yellow-skinned potatoes
Kosher salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
freshly ground pepper

Wash the potatoes and cut them into 3/8-inch slices. Cover the potatoes with cold water and 1 Tbs. salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower to a gentle simmer (you don't want them to break up), and cook until they're almost but not quite fully cooked, 4 to 6 minutes. The potatoes will still be a little hard in the center, but the outer edges will look opaque. Drain in a large colander and rinse with cold water until they're cool; handle them gently. Spread them out on clean dishtowels and let them sit at room temperature (for up to an hour) until you're ready to grill them.

Light a charcoal grill and allow the fire to reach a medium-hot temperature (the top of the coals should be 5 to 6 inches from the grill grate, and you'll be able to hold your hand over the fire for no more than 3 to 4 seconds when it's medium hot). Alternatively, heat the entire surface of a gas grill until it reaches medium hot.

In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the potato slices with the mayonnaise mixture until the potatoes are well-coated. Put the potatoes on the grill grate in one layer, directly over the fire. Cook for 3 to 6 minutes or just until deep golden brown and crisp. With tongs, turn the pieces over to the other side. Cook until that side is deep golden brown and crisp, another 3 to 6 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

Olive Oil & Herb-Grilled Potatoes: In place of the mustard-mayonnaise mixture, toss the potatoes with 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, 3 tsp. mixed chopped hardy herbs (such as rosemary, sage, or thyme), and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

Tapenade-Grilled Potatoes: In place of the mustard-mayonnaise mixture, toss the potatoes with 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil and 1 Tbs. black olive tapenade.

photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 39, pp. 44-48
June 1, 2000

Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting

From Taste of Home's Cupcake of the Week Newsletter

This creative recipe couldn't be easier — or more impressive! Made from a standard box mix, simply fold in cookie dough and then decorate with the unbeatable ganache frosting. What's not to love!? —Morgan Phillips, Charlottesville, Virginia


PREP 25 min.
COOK 20 min.
TOTAL 45 min.

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, milk, eggs, butter and vanilla; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups one-third full. Roll tablespoonfuls of cookie dough into balls. Drop into center of each cupcake. Top with remaining batter. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips with cream over low heat; stir until blended. Remove from the heat. Transfer to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate for 45-60 minutes or until mixture reaches spreading consistency, stirring every 15 minutes.

Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert #20 star pastry tip. Fill bag with chocolate mixture; pipe cupcakes. Sprinkle with miniature chocolate chips. Yield: 2 dozen.

Peanutbutter Chocolate Chip Candy Cookies

Cheddar Beer Soup

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ ------------ --------- --------- --

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup red bell pepper -- chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion -- chopped
1/2 cup celery -- chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 bottle (12-ounce) dark beer
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add flour to vegetable mixture, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, beer, and milk, whisking to break up any lumps. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until soup begins to thicken. Add paprika, red pepper, mustard and Worcestershire, stirring well to combine. Add cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

"Cooking with Paula deen Nov./Dec. 2008 pg 59"


1/4 c. whipping cream

7 scoops ice cream
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. chocolate syrup
1 banana

Put all of these in a blender. Put whipped cream and nuts on top of glasses.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How to make Easy Sour Dough Bread

Sourdough simply uses wild yeast in place of commercial yeast to leaven the bread. It relies on the wild yeasts that are in the air all around us and cultures those yeasts in a warm, wet environment created with water, flour, and sometimes other components. When creating a sourdough starter, we always felt like we were on an expedition trying to trap invisible yeastie beasties with our flour and water concoctions. Because we couldn’t see the beasties, we were never sure what we had captured. While usually successful, we never felt like we were in control. Maybe that is the way sourdough bread should feel, a symbiosis with nature.

But there is an easier way: use commercial yeast in the starter. I know, that’s heresy to the sourdough bread zealot but we only care about the bread. Using commercial yeast is easier, it’s the alcohol from the long cool fermentation that creates the sourdough-like flavor, and the wild yeasts will eventually take over the starter anyway. Because it's easy, it’s no big deal if you abandon your starter after a few weeks; you can readily start another when you’re back in the mood or have the time.

Using this recipe for sourdough bread, a small amount of yeast is used in the starter. As the starter is used and refreshed with new feedings of flour and water, wild yeasts are introduced and cultivated.

Here is the recipe:

For the starter:
1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 cup high gluten unbleached flour.

Mix the starter in a glass or steel bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set it aside at room temperature until it is doubled and bubbly, maybe 4 to 6 hours.

For the sponge:
A sponge is a pre-ferment, a wet mixture of flour and yeast that acts as an incubation chamber to grow yeast at the desired rate. It is added to the dough.
1 cup of the starter
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups flour

Mix the one cup starter with the flour and water, cover, and set aside to ferment until it has tripled in volume. At room temperature, it will take four to eight hours. You can put it in a cool place--about fifty degrees--and let it perk all night. (In the winter, your garage may be just right.) You can also put it in the refrigerator overnight. At temperatures of forty degrees, the yeast will be inactive but the friendly bacteria will still be working and enhance the sour flavor of the bread. If you retard the growth with lower temperatures (“retard” is the correct term for slowing the growth of the yeast), simply bring the sponge to room temperature and let it expand to three times its original volume before proceeding.

For the dough:
All of the sponge 11/2 cups flour (more or less)
2 teaspoons salt

Mix the salt with the flour. Knead the combination into the sponge by hand until you have a smooth, elastic, slightly sticky dough, adding more flour as needed. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and let it rise again until doubled, about an hour.

Bakers note: Notice that the salt is not added until the last stage. Salt in the
sponge would inhibit yeast growth.

Form the loaves:

Though you can make this bread in pans, it works best as a large freestanding round or oval loaf or two smaller loaves. Place a clean cotton cloth in a bowl or basket in which to hold the loaf. Lightly dust the interior of the bowl with flour. Place each formed loaf upside down in a bowl on top of the dusted flour. Cover the loaves with plastic and let them rise again until doubled. This rising will probably take less than an hour.

Bakers note: You want a light dusting of flour on the cloth to be transferred to the bread, not a heavy caking. Softly sifting flour from a strainer is the easiest way to achieve an even coating. A stainless steel strainer is available in our store.

If you choose to bake the bread in pans, omit this step. Instead, let the dough rise in a greased bowl covered with plastic until doubled. Form the loaves for pans, place the loaves in greased pans, and let rise until well-expanded and puffy. Bake at 350 degrees until done, about 30 minutes.

To bake crusty bread:
To form the thick, chewy crust that is typical of artisan breads, follow these instructions:

Place a large, shallow, metal pan in the oven on the lowest shelf. You will pour hot water in this pan to create steam in the oven. (High heat is hard on pans so don't use one of your better pans and don’t use a glass or ceramic pan which might shatter.) An old sheet pan is ideal. Fill a spray bottle with water. You will use this to spray water into the oven to create even more steam.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When the oven is hot and the bread is fully risen and is soft and puffy--being very careful not to burn yourself with the rising steam and with a mitted hand—turn your head away and pour two or three cups of very hot water in the pan in the oven. Quickly close the oven door to capture the steam. With spray bottle in hand, open the door and quickly spray the oven walls to create more steam and close the door. The oven is now ready for the loaves. Work quickly to get the bread in the oven before the steam subsides. Gently invert the loaf or loaves onto a slightly greased non-insulated baking sheet on which a little cornmeal has been dusted. With your sharpest knife, quickly make two or three slashes 1/4-inch deep across the top of each loaf. This will vent the steam in the bread and allow the bread to expand properly. Immediately, put the bread in the steamy oven. After a few moments, open the door and spray the walls again to recharge the steam.

Do this twice more during the first fifteen minutes of baking. This steamy environment will create the chewy crust prized in artisan breads. Let the bread bake at 425 degrees for fifteen minutes in the hot steamy oven then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for a total of 35 to 40 minutes. Check on the bread ten minutes before the baking should be complete. If the top is browning too quickly, tent the loaf with aluminum foil for the remainder of the baking to keep it from burning. The bread is done when the crust turns a dark golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 210 degrees. It is important that the bread is well-baked to drive moisture from the loaf. If the bread is under baked, the excess moisture will migrate to the crust and you will no longer have the dry chewy crust of a great artisan loaf.

This sourdough bread is to die for. The prolonged rising gives the yeast plenty of time to convert the starch to sugars and the friendly bacteria a chance to impart their nut-like flavors. Storing your crusty bread:

Unused crusty bread should be stored in a paper bag at room temperature. If the bread is stored in a plastic bag, the crust will become soft.

Garlic Roast Chicken

Yield: 6 servings

1 6-to 7-pound whole roasting chicken, giblets removed
9 sprigs fresh thyme
9 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 lemon, halved
4 heads garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
1 cup Nicoise olives
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large baguette, thickly sliced

Heat oven to 450° F. Gently loosen the chicken skin from the breast meat and place a third of the thyme and tarragon under the skin. Place another third of the herbs, plus the lemon and a handful of garlic cloves, inside the chicken cavity, and tie the legs together with cooking twine.

Place the chicken in a small roasting pan and surround with the remaining herbs, garlic, and olives. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil.

Roast the chicken for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the thigh juices run clear when pricked with a fork or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 170° to 175° F. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest 15 minutes. Skim the fat from the pan juices.

Place the chicken on a platter with the roasted olives and garlic and spoon the pan juices over it. Serve with the baguette slices, which will sop up the juices and can be spread with the roasted garlic.

Nutritional Information
Calories:965 (0% from fat)
Fat:51g (sat 12g)

Christmas Candy Cane Cookies

Christmas Pasta

courtesy Rachael Ray

Show: Food Network Specials
Episode: All-Star Holiday Party

We eat fish on Christmas Eve, no meat allowed. After Midnight Mass, all
bets are off! We make this sauce for Christmas Day: you can't fit
another meat in the pot! As many times as you reheat it, it just gets
that much better, so if people are coming and going throughout the day,
cook off only as much pasta as you need at the time -- half a pound for
every 3 people. The sauce will cover up to 2 pounds of pasta. If you are
making this full menu, prepare the fudge and chill while your sauce
simmers and before you prepare your salad. When you are done eating your
30 minute meal, the fudge will have chilled for 45 minutes and will then
be firm enough to slice. Happy Holidays and Merry Eating!

1/4 pound pancetta, thick cut, chopped into small bits (Italian cured
pork, ask at deli counter)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
1 pound combined ground beef, pork and veal
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup good quality dry red wine
1 cup prepared beef stock, paper container or canned
2 (32-ounce) cans chunky style crushed tomatoes
Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon (a couple of pinches) allspice or cinnamon
Coarse salt and black pepper
2 pounds penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Grated Pecorino Romano, as an accompaniment
Fresh, crusty bread, for mopping

Heat a deep pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and brown to render
the fat. Transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. To the pan add the
oil, and the meats and brown and crumble them for 5 minutes. Stir in
garlic, and pancetta bits.
Chop carrot, celery, and onions near the stove and add to the pot as you
work. Cook vegetables with meat 5 minutes and add wine. Cook for 1
minute; add stock and tomatoes to the pot.

Stir in parsley, allspice, or cinnamon and season sauce with salt and
pepper, to taste. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and
cook 10 to 15 minutes, minimum, before serving. Reheated sauce only

Toss pasta (cook off only as much pasta as you need at the time: half a
pound for every 3 people) with a couple of ladles of sauce to coat, then
top bowl with extra sauce. Top pasta with lots of cheese and pass bread
at the table.

Caesar Salad

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ ------------ --------- --------- --
1 cup Oil -- olive
3 Garlic cloves -- peeled and halved
1 large Romaine head
3 slices Bread -- French, 3/4" thick
2 tablespoons Cheese -- Parmesan, grated
1 Egg
3 tablespoons Vinegar -- red wine
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Mustard -- dry
1 Lemon -- halved
Pepper -- fresh ground
1/4 cup Cheese -- Parmesan, grated
2 ounces Anchovy fillets -- opt.

Combine olive oil and garlic in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Chill
several hours or overnight.
Wash romaine under cold, running water. Trim core, and separate stalks
into leaves; discard wilted or discolored portions. Shake leaves well to
remove moisture, or dry on paper towels. Place romaine in a large plastic
bag; chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

Brush both sides of bread slices with garlic-olive oil mixture, and cut
into 3/4" cubes. Place on a baking sheet, and bake at 350d egrees for 15
minutes or until croutons are dry and crisp. Place in a bowl, and toss
with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Let croutons cool; then store in an
airtight container.
Pour water to a depth of 2 inches into a medium saucepan; bring water to a
rapid boil, and turn off heat. Carefully lower egg into water, using a
slotted spoon; let stand 1 minute. Remove egg from water, and set aside
to cool.

Discard garlic from olive oil mixture in jar. Add vinegar, Worcestershire
sauce, salt, and dry mustard to jar. Shake dressing well.

Cut coarse ribs from large leaves of romaine; tear leaves into bite-size
pieces, and place in a large salad bowl. Shake dressing well, and pour
over romaine; toss lightly until well coated.

Break coddled egg over romaine; then squeeze on lemon halves. Grind a
generous amount of pepper over salad, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
Toss lightly. Top with croutons; garnish with anchovies, if desired.

SOURCE: Southern Living Magazine, sometime in 1980. Typos by Nancy

Converted by MC_Buster

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pepper Cheddar Bread

We know of three ways to add fresh veggies to bread: stuff the bread hot-pocket fashion, add bits of chopped veggies to the dough, or puree the vegetables and add the puree to the dough. In this recipe, bits of green or red peppers are laced through a cheddar bread. It makes for an attractive, unusual bread. Consider this a type of bread. We’ve made this bread with bacon bits instead of green peppers. We’ve also used sautéed onions instead of peppers. Don’t hesitate to experiment. This is a great cheddar bread. The addition of bell peppers is an extra. There is just so much cheese that you can add to a bread before it is weighed down and the rise becomes very slow. Get the most pronounced flavor from your cheese by using a sharp cheddar. A slow rise will only enhance flavors, so be patient.

You may need to adjust the moisture used in this bread. It’s easy to add a little more flour; a little more difficult to dribble in a bit of water. Because it is easier to add flour than water, start your dough a bit on the wet side and add flour as needed.

1 bell pepper, either red or green
5-6 cups white bread flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 seven-gram packet of instant yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water, 110 degrees
2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 tablespoon salt

1. Dice the bell peppers. Spread the pepper pieces on a paper towel on a plate and cook them in the microwave until tender. Set them aside to cool.

2. Place about two cups of the bread flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of your stand-type mixer. Add the warm water and beat with a dough hook until it is partially mixed. The purpose of this mixing is to hydrate the yeast.

3. Add most of the remaining flour to the bowl. Add the cheese, melted butter, white pepper, and salt. Knead with the dough hook at medium speed for four minutes. Add the vegetables and knead them in. Since the vegetables are moist, you will likely need to add flour to reach the right consistency. Set the dough in a greased bowl, turn once, and cover. Set the bowl in a warm place and allow it to double in size.

4. Grease two large loaf pans. Form two loaves, cover them, and let them rise until doubled and puffy.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until done. The internal temperature should be 190 to 200 degrees. Remove the bread from the pans and let the bread cool on a wire rack.

Baker’s Note: A soft dough rises more quickly than does a firm dough. Since this recipe
calls for so much cheese, make the dough a little softer than normal with just a bit more

Broccoli-and-Cheddar-Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Servings 4

2 large baking potatoes (10 oz. each)
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets, stems cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 oz. soy “cheddar cheese,” shredded (1 cup)
2 Tbs. soy “sour cream”
2 tsp. soy “bacon” bits

Broccoli-and-Cheddar-Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Vegetarian Times Issue: April 1, 2000 p.46

Serve this hearty combo for an easy lunch or dinner. The “bacon” bits are made from soy; brands like Frontier and Lightlife offer them in all-natural form. If desired, you can individually wrap each prepared stuffed potato in foil and freeze. Bake at 350°F to defrost and cook through, about 30 minutes.

1.Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.

2.Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, combine broccoli, salt and 2/3 cup water. Cover, bring to a boil and cook until broccoli is just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

3.Remove potatoes from oven and cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Line baking sheet with foil.

4.Cut each potato lengthwise in half. Scoop out flesh into medium bowl, leaving 1/2-inch-thick shells. With fork, mix “cheese” and “sour cream” into potato flesh; fold in cooked broccoli. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

5.Heap filling into potato shells, packing lightly. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon “bacon” bits over each, pressing into place. Set stuffed potatoes on prepared baking sheet and bake until “cheese” has melted and filling is heated through, about 20 minutes.

White Christmas Bars In A Jar

1/4 C. White chocolate or vanilla milk chips

1/2 C. Chopped pecans, toasted* and cooled
1/2 C. Sweetened dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 C. Light brown sugar, packed**
1 C. Buttermilk biscuit baking mix
1/2 C. Brown sugar, packed**
1 C. Buttermilk biscuit baking mix

In 1-quart wide-mouth glass jar, gently layer and pack ingredients in the
order listed, beginning with the white chocolate or vanilla chips. If there
is any space left after adding the last ingredient, add more white chocolate
or vanilla chips to fill the jar. Place lid on top. Cut an 8-inch circle of
fabric to cover lid. Place fabric over lid; secure in place with ribbon or
raffia. Decorate as desired.

Make a gift card to attach as follows:


Preheat oven to350 ºF. Empty contents of jar into medium bowl. Stir in:

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 large egg
1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Press into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for
20 to 22 minutes, or until bars are light golden brown and center is almost

Makes 16 bars.

* To toast pecans, place in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for
4 to 5 minutes, stirring every minute.

** After measuring the brown sugar, crumble it between your fingers for
uniform texture. Be sure to pack the brown sugar firmly in the jar to
prevent the baking mix from sifting down through it.

Cashew Turkey Salad Sandwiches

Taste of Home

August/September '09 issue

One bite and you'll be hooked on this slightly sweet sandwich. It's protein-packed so you can feel good while you munch! Mary Wilhelm, Sparta, Wisconsin

TIME: Prep/Total Time: 15 min.

1-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey breast
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
2 tablespoons chopped dried apricots
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted cashews
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons reduced-fat plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 lettuce leaves
8 slices pumpernickel bread

In a small bowl, combine the turkey, celery, apricots, cashews and onion. Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, salt and pepper; add to turkey mixture and stir to coat.

Place a lettuce leaf on half of the bread slices; top each with 1/2 cup turkey salad and remaining bread. Yield: 4 servings.

Bravo Broccoli

Healthy Cooking

April/May 2009 issue
Page: 59

Here’s a fast, delicious way to dress up crisp-tender broccoli from our Test Kitchen! Just toss with a simple sweet-sour mixture that gets a slight kick from crushed red pepper flakes.

TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.

1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons Domino® or C&H® Pure Cane Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Place broccoli in a steamer basket; place in a large saucepan over 1 in. of water. Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a large bowl.

Combine the remaining ingredients; drizzle over broccoli and gently toss to coat. Yield: 4 servings.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Reindeer Cupcakes

North Pole inspired characters are cute as a button and delicious, too. Get the kids involved in the easy decorating.

Servings: 12

1/2 cup (125 mL) cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) sifted cake and pastry_flour
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened

Chocolate Icing:
3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, softened
1/4 cup (50 mL) whipping_cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) icing sugar
1 oz (30 g) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

24 pretzels (at least 3 inches/8 cm wide)
12 miniature marshmallows, snipped in half crosswise
24 chocolate chips
12 candy coated chocolate pieces or gumdrops

In small bowl, whisk cocoa with 3/4 cup (175 mL) boiling water; let cool.

In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, half of the cooled cocoa mixture and vanilla; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. On low speed, beat in butter and remaining cocoa mixture until combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Gradually beat in egg mixture. Divide among 12 large paper lined muffin cups, smoothing tops.

Bake in 350F (180C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pans; let cool completely on racks. (Make ahead: Wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Or overwrap in heavy duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)

Chocolate Icing: In bowl, beat butter until fluffy; gradually beat in cream. Beat in vanilla. Beat in sugar, 1/2 cup (125 mL) at a time. Beat in chocolate until fluffy. (Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours; beat to use.) Spoon 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the icing into piping bag fitted with small plain tip; set aside. Spread rounded 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the remaining icing over each cupcake.

Decorations: For antlers, soften pretzels between damp paper towels for 5 minutes. Using serrated knife, cut pretzel as in photo; press through icing into cupcake to attach. Pipe three 1/2 inch (1 cm) rounds of reserved icing for eyes and snout. Press 2 marshmallow halves, cut sides up, onto icing rounds for eyes. Press 1 chocolate chip into each marshmallow half for pupil. Press brown or red candy onto mound for snout.

Holiday Best: 2008

Beer Basted Asian Chicken

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Cooling Time: 4 hrs marinating

Servings: 6

4 lb. whole chicken
1 can (12 fl. oz.) beer
1/2 cup MAGGI TASTE OF ASIA Cooking Soy Sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons peeled, chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame oil

PLACE chicken in large, heavy duty resealable plastic bag. Add beer, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, cilantro, ginger, garlic and oil. Marinate, turning chicken occasionally, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

PREHEAT oven to 350 F. Place chicken and marinade in 13 x 9 inch baking pan.

BAKE, basting occasionally, for 1 hour 20 minutes or until juices run clear when thigh is pierced. Transfer chicken to platter.

STRAIN pan juices into medium saucepan; spoon off fat and discard if necessary. Boil for 6 to 8 minutes or until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup. Serve sauce with chicken.

Calories: 740 Calories from Fat: 420 Total Fat: 47 g

Ukrainian Christmas Honey Cookies

They may be rolled out and cut into rounds, stars, or crescents. Often they are hung on the lower branches of the Christmas tree as treats for the younger children.

4 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup powdered sugar (icing)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 extra large eggs
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons chopped orange peel
1 egg beaten with a little water for glaze
20 blanched almonds (without peel)
coarse sugar crystals

Sift together flour, spices, sugar, and baking powder. Add eggs, honey, and orange peel to make a stiff dough. On a floured work surface, roll out dough about 1/2 inch thick. Cut shapes with cookie cutter, place on nonstick baking sheet, and brush with glaze. Place 1/2 almond in the middle of each, sprinkle with coarse sugar, and bake in preheated 350 degrees oven until done, about 15 minutes. Cool on racks. Store in tightly covered tins.

Carrot Tortellini Salad

Simple & Delicious

Hasel King from Nacogdoches, Texas combines spinach tortellini and carrots to bring color and variety to this tasty chilled pasta recipe. Italian dressing and fragrant basil add lively flavor with minimal effort.

TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling

1 package (10 ounces) refrigerated cheese-filled spinach tortellini
1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2/3 cup Italian salad dressing
2 green onions, sliced
8 to 12 small fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook both types of tortellini according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water.

In a large bowl, combine tortellini and remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving, stirring occasionally. Yield: 7 servings.

Blueberry Brunch Loaf

Recipe By :Jean Nietert, Claremont, SD
Categories :
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ ------------ --------- --------- --
1/4 cup butter -- softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup blueberries -- do not thaw if using frozen
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons butter -- softened
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 to 1 1/2 tsp milk

Cream butter and brown sugar. Stir in egg and orange peel. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk and juice, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Fold in blueberries. Pour into a greased 9x5" loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

For the glaze, combine sugar, butter and orange peel. Gradually add milk until glaze is of spreading consistency. Drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mediterranean Spinach Strata

Fresh tomatoes and spinach pair well with nutty Asiago and tangy feta cheese in this make-ahead dish that's great for lunch, brunch or dinner. Substitute Parmesan, Romano, or sharp provolone cheese for the Asiago, if you prefer. Presliced mushrooms and packaged spinach provide a head start. A single serving of this strata contains about a third of your daily calcium needs

10 servings

2 (8-ounce) loaves French bread baguette, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 (7-ounce) bags baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3 cups thinly sliced plum tomato (about 1 pound)
1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Asiago cheese, divided
3 cups fat-free milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 large egg whites, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 bag of spinach; cook 3 minutes or until spinach wilts. Add remaining spinach; cook 3 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Place half of bread slices in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread spinach mixture over bread. Top with tomato slices; sprinkle evenly with feta and half of Asiago cheese. Arrange remaining bread slices over cheese. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, milk, and remaining ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Pour over bread; sprinkle with remaining Asiago cheese. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Uncover strata; bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Serve warm.

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2002

Christmas Chocolate Almond Toffee

This is a perfect combination of crunchy toffee, almonds and a touch of chocolate. Drizzle it with a little melted chocolate, if you want.

Servings: 2 lb (1 kg) about 40 pieces

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
2 cups (500 mL) granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) butter, cubed
1/4 cup (50 mL) water
3 tbsp (50 mL) light corn syrup
1/4 cup (50 mL) cocoa powder
1 cup (250 mL) whole blanched almonds, toasted

Spread oil on large rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

In large heavy saucepan, bring granulated sugar, butter, water and light corn syrup to boil over medium-high heat, stirring; boil, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer registers 300°F (150°C) or hard-crack stage when spoonful dropped into cold water separates into hard brittle threads, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk in cocoa; stir in almonds. Quickly spread as thinly as possible on prepared pan. Let cool completely. Break into pieces. (Make-ahead: Store layered between waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.)

Canadian Living Magazine: December 2004