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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bacon Cheeseburger Roll-up

Prep Time:
25 min
Total Time:
50 min
6 servings, one slice each

1 lb. Lean ground beef
4 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onions (about 1 small)
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese
       Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pkg. (13.8 oz.) refrigerated pizza crust

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Cook ground beef, bacon and onions
in large skillet on medium-high heat until ground beef is evenly
browned, stirring occasionally. Drain; return meat mixture to skillet.
Add VELVEETA; cook until completely melted, stirring frequently.
Cool 10 min.

UNROLL pizza dough onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking
spray. Press into 15x8-inch rectangle. Top evenly with meat
mixture. Roll up dough, starting at one of the long sides.
Rearrange, if necessary, so roll is seam-side down on baking sheet.

BAKE 20 to 25 min. Or until golden brown. Cut diagonally into
six slices to serve

Greek Sandwich with Feta Vinaigrette

Serve a sandwich piled high with the fresh flavors of the
Mediterranian.  The vinaigrette adds bright flavor to the
stacker and is also tasty on salad greens.
4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
8 (1-ounce) slices sourdough bread
1 peeled cucumber, diagonally cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 cups chopped arugula
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives

To prepare the vinaigrette, combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium
bowl, stirring with a whisk.
To prepare the sandwich, combine 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a
medium bowl. Place 2 tomato slices on each of 4 bread slices, and
sprinkle evenly with half of the salt mixture. Arrange the cucumber
slices over the tomato slices; sprinkle evenly with remaining salt
mixture. Add arugula, onion, and chopped olives to the vinaigrette;
toss to coat. Arrange the arugula mixture evenly over the cucumber
slices. Top with the remaining bread slices.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Honey Peanut Squares

Honey Peanut Squares

1/2 C honey or light corn syrup
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
4 C corn flakes
1/2 C peanuts (opt.)
Butter square 8x8x2" pan. Heat honey & sugar just to boiling in 3 qt
sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir
in PB. Fold in cereal & peanuts. Press into pan. Cut into 1&1/2"
squares. Let stand 1 hour before cutting.

Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies are a bread. Just deep-fried.
1 cup self-rising corn meal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
2 eggs
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Red Pepper (optional)
Buttermilk (start with 1/2 cup and add more if needed)
Oil for deep frying
Mix all ingredients with enough buttermilk so the batter will 'mound' on a teaspoon. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes before deep frying at medium temperature. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.
TIP: Dip the teaspoon in cold water before dipping into batter for each hush puppy. Usually, each one will turn itself in the oil when it is browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove from deep fryer.

Making Fruit Leather

Making Fruit Leather
How to Make Fruit Leather
Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap and tape it to the edges. Do not use wax paper or aluminum foil. The fruit tends to stick to these.
Wash and core fruit. Fruit may be pureed with or without the skin. The skin on red apples will give the puree a nice pink to reddish color.
Place pieces of fruit in blender. Puree until smooth. Some fruits make a smoother puree if they are cooked first with a little water, then pureed.
If desired, add any combination of the following flavorings: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, honey, lemon, mint, nutmeg.
When the puree is smooth, pour onto the prepared cookie sheet. Spread it around so that it is even and not too thick-1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Leave at least 1 inch around the edges so that the puree has room to spread and the plastic wrap can be removed easily. You can make smaller pieces of fruit leather by pouring small "pancake" size spots of the puree onto the cookie sheet.
Dry the fruit leather by using one of the drying methods (at end of document). Dry it until it is still rubbery (pliable). The center should not be sticky. Remove the leather from the tray while it is still warm. Peel away the plastic wrap and roll up the leather. Cooled fruit leather does not roll as easily.
Individually wrap the leather in plastic wrap or put it in an airtight bag or container.
Combine 2 or more fruits for a unique flavor.
Apples combine well with all fruits, especially berries.
Apricots with apples, plums, or pineapple.
Bananas with apple-berry, lemon-walnut, orange-pineapple.
Blueberries are best when combined. Try them with apple, peach, or cantaloupe.
Spices and Flavorings
When the puree is dried, the spices and flavorings will concentrate, so use them sparingly.
Add one spice or flavoring at a time in small amounts. Blend and taste. You should not be able to tell what has been added, only that something has. If you really taste a strong flavor, too much was added. To weaken strong flavor, dilute the puree by adding more fruit. If additional fruit is not available, dry the puree, then put a filling with the fruit leather or spread on a topping such as cream cheese. This will help tone down the flavor.
Use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon extract per quart of puree.
Begin with one tablespoon fresh juice (lemon, orange) for each quart of puree.
Wash the orange or lemon before grating it. Try one teaspoon of grated peel per quart of puree.
For added variety and texture add a garnish. Just as frosting garnishes a cake and strawberries garnish a dish of ice cream, fruits, nuts, seeds, and cereals can garnish fruit leather.
After pouring the puree onto the cookie sheet or after the puree has begun to dry but is still very sticky, add a garnish.
When dry, roll up as usual or cut the leather into bite size pieces.

Garnish ideas include
Chopped, dried fruit, chopped dates, shredded coconut, granola, chopped nuts, raisins, whole or chopped, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds.
Storing Fruit Leather
Fruit leather can be left whole or cut into 4- to 6- inch pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap so that fruit leathers do not stick together. Put these wrapped pieces into an airtight container. Label container. Freezing is ideal for longer storage. Leathers that contain nuts, coconut, or fillings should be stored in the freezer.
Methods of Drying
There are several methods of drying; each has advantages and disadvantages:
Choose which method is best for you.
Sun drying depends on the temperature and the relative humidity outside. If you live where the temperature is in the 90°s with low humidity and low air pollution, sun drying can be used. A major advantage is low cost. Drying trays, netting to protect against bugs, and the fruit are the only investment. Another possible advantage is the sun's sterilizing effect caused by ultraviolet rays that may slow the growth of some organisms.
Sun drying is dependent on the weather. If it is sunny one day and not the next, you have to finish drying your fruit by one of the other methods before it spoils. Also, when it cools at night you have to bring the food inside. Spoilage can occur while the fruit still has enough moisture for microbial growth. Another disadvantage is time. What would take 6 to 8 hours to dry using another method, may take 2 to 4 days in the sun.
Solar drying is like sun drying, only better. The sun's rays are collected in a solar box; drying temperature is higher and drying time is shortened. With a shorter drying time, microorganisms have less chance to cause spoilage. If you don't want to buy or build a solar box, the back window ledge of an automobile where the sun shines through can be used as a solar dryer. Crack the windows slightly to allow some air flow so it doesn't get too hot. Stack the trays like you would for other methods. Cover the trays so insects don't ruin the food.
Oven drying. To dry small amounts at one time, the oven drying method is a good choice. There is little or no investment in equipment. You don't have to depend on the weather. Most foods can be dried in an oven.
One disadvantage to oven drying is the cost of the energy used. Oven drying takes 2 or 3 times longer to dry foods than a dehydrator. The food dried in an oven is more brittle, usually darker, and less flavorful than food dried in a dehydrator.
Test the temperature of the oven for about one hour with a thermometer. Prop the oven door open as you would when actually drying fruit. The oven should maintain 140°-150°F. If the oven cannot maintain this temperature, it may not work for drying. If the oven is too hot, your food will begin to cook instead of dry. If it is too cool, it may not dry fast enough and food will spoil.
Dehydrator drying. Electric dehydrators can be purchased or made. A dehydrator should have a heat source, a thermostat, and some method of air circulation. Dehydrators yield a better quality dried product than any other method of drying. They also allow greater flexibility because they don't depend on the weather or tie up your oven. Follow the directions that come with the dehydrator. Many of the basic principles that apply to oven drying also apply to using a dehydrator.
This information is provided by: Washington State University Cooperative Extension in Spokane County
Washington State University Cooperative Extension, Spokane County, 222 N. Havana, Spokane, WA 99202. 509-533-2048.
Applesauce and Fruit Roll-Ups
3 cups strawberries
3 cups applesauce
2 cups bananas
2 cups applesauce
In a blender mix all ingredients until pureed.
Pour onto solid fruit leather sheets; dry at 135º for 4 to 8 hours, or until leathery.
Remove from sheets while still warm.
Let cool slightly.
Roll in plastic wrap and store in dark, dry cool place or in the freezer.

Fried Jalapeños

Fried Jalapeños

Jalapeños have a wonderful flavor, If you remove the seeds and internal stems, you get a great tasting chile pepper without as much heat. These little devils are great to munch on before a Tex-Mex meal.
1 14-ounce can whole pickled jalapeños
1/2 pound Longhorn cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
oil for deep-frying
Cut the tops off the jalapeños and scoop out the seeds. Stuff each jalapeño with one-half to one tablespoon grated Longhorn cheese, pressing it down into the pepper with your finger.
In a bowl, combine the eggs and milk. In a separate bowl, stir the salt and pepper into the flour. Roll the filled jalapeños in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, then again in the flour mixture. Set aside to allow the coating to set while you bring the temperature of the oil to 350°F degrees.
Deep-fry the jalapeños until they are golden brown (1 or 2 minutes).
Note: If your supermarket doesn't have Longhorn cheese, medium-sharp cheddar can be substituted.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Granny Cake

Granny Cake
Makes 12 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 70 minutes
Cool: 2 hours
Stand: 2 hours
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup butter
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Paper doily (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)
1. Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and cloves; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add bananas, undrained pineapple, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add flour mixture. Beat on low speed until combined. Beat on medium speed 1 minute. Fold in pecans. Spread in prepared pan.
3. Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 70 to 75 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool thoroughly on wire rack.
4. If desired, decorate cake with a powdered-sugar design: Place doily on top of cake. Sift powdered sugar over the doily to fill cutout designs. Carefully remove and discard the doily. Makes 12 servings.

Butter Cinnamon Cake

Buttery Cinnamon Cake

1 - 10 inch Bundt Pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and lightly flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Stir together the flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat shortening, 1 1/3 cups white sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating for at least 1 minute after each egg. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Remove cake from pan while it is still warm, and poke holes around the top of the cake with a fork. Pour the warm cinnamon syrup into the holes and onto the top and sides of the cake.
To Make Cinnamon Syrup: In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup white sugar, butter, water, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Heat and stir until butter melts.