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Saturday, October 31, 2009

How to Make Italian Nachos

Enjoy this Italian delight—pasta chips, sausage, peppers, cheese and more in a rich alfredo sauce. This recipe will make 4 plates of nachos to be served as a main dish.


vegetable or canola oil for frying
1 pkg wontons, cut diagonally to form triangles
1 lb ground Italian sausage, browned
or 2 cups cooked chicken pieces
1 16-ounce jar alfredo sauce, warm
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 16-ounce jar sliced pepperochini peppers
3-4 jalapeno peppers, sliced (optional)
2 tomatoes, diced
2/3 cup sliced olives
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
Zesty Italian Seasoning to taste (optional)

1. Heat 2-3-inches of oil a heavy saucepan or deep fryer to 350 to 375 degrees. Cook the wontons until they barely begin to brown on each side, turning as needed. They will continue to cook for a few seconds after removing them from the oil so take them out a little earlier than you think you should. They will cook fast so don’t put too many in the pan at a time. Set aside on paper towels to drain.

2. Pile 1/4 of the wontons on a large serving platter. Sprinkle 1/4 of the sausage. Drizzle with 1/4 of the warm alfredo sauce. Add 1/4 of the cheese, tomatoes, olives and peppers. Top with 1/4 of the shaved parmesan & a sprinkle of the Italian seasoning.

3. Repeat 3 more times to complete 4 plates of nachos.

Grilled Peaches Jezebel

Prep: 5 min., Grill: 6 min.

Makes 6 servings

1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon horseradish
6 firm, ripe peaches, halved
Vegetable cooking spray

1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients. Brush half of honey mixture evenly over cut sides of peaches.

2. Coat a cold cooking grate with cooking spray, and place on grill over medium heat (300° to 350°). Arrange peach halves, cut sides up, on grate; grill, covered with grill lid, 3 minutes on each side or until tender and golden. Remove from grill, and brush cut sides of peaches evenly with remaining honey mixture.

Southern Living, AUGUST 2007

Crockpot Breakfast Cobbler

4 medium-sized apples, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups granola cereal

Place apples in crock pot and mix in remaining ingredients. Cover and
cook on low 7-9 hours (overnight) or on high 2-3 hours. Serve with milk.

Yield: 4 servings

Coffee Eggnog Punch

64 oz of eggnog, chilled.

1/4 cup of light brown sugar, packed.
1 cup of whipping cream.
1/2 cup of Kahlua.
1/2 cup of brandy.
1/4 cup of powdered sugar.
1 tablespoon of instant coffee.
1 teaspoon of vanilla.
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.

In a bowl, combine the eggnog, brown sugar, instant coffee and cinnamon; then beat on low speed until the sugar and coffee have dissolved.

Stir in the Kahlua and brandy; then chill.

In another bowl bowl, beat the whipping cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff.

Pour the eggnog mixture into a punch bowl; then top with the cream mixture.


Apple Chimichangas

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large apple cored, with skin and cut in thin slices
1 large pear, not very ripe, cored with skin and cut in thin slices
1/4 cup tequila
4 flour tortillas
1 cup vegetable oil
Vanilla ice cream


Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add sugar and cinnamon and continue cooking until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add apples and pears and cook until slightly softened, another 6 minutes. Add tequila and continue cooking until browned, another 5 to 7 minutes.

Place 1 tortilla on a plate, and spoon about 1/6th of the apple/pear mixture into the center. Roll them and tuck the ends, egg-roll style, and secure them with toothpicks.

In another skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles and pops in the oil, about 350 degrees F, and fry each chimichanga until browned and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Remove the toothpicks and cut in half.

Serve hot, topping with a scoop of the vanilla ice cream.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Polenta with Wild Mushrooms and Gorgonzola

Spring 2006 By: Heather Trim

from LCBO Food and Drink

Polenta is a staple grain in northern Italy and is often combined with mushrooms and Gorgonzola. Using a mixture of mushrooms such as shiitake, button, oyster and portobello is best.

Mushroom Mixture
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
½ lb (250 g) sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme or parsley
Salt and black pepper

2½ cups (625 mL) water
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¾ cup (175 mL) instant polenta
½ cup (125 mL) finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter

Crumbled Gorgonzola
1. Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until it begins to foam. Increase heat to high and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring until mushrooms are lightly golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and herbs, stir 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

2. In a large saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Gradually add polenta, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until creamy (like a thick porridge), 2 to 6 minutes depending on instant polenta used. Stir in Parmesan and butter.

3. Serve polenta in wide pasta bowls, topped with mushrooms and sprinkled with Gorgonzola.


If you can't find instant polenta, available in some supermarkets and most Italian grocery stores, polenta also comes cooked and formed into a log shape. Slice log into ½-inch-thick (1-cm) slices and cook in olive oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick frying pan until crispy and hot. Serve mushrooms and Gorgonzola over top.

Serves 2 to 3

Peach Upside-Down Cake

The sugar and fruit juice tossed with the peaches create a caramelized glaze as the cake bakes.

9 servings (serving size: 1 cake piece, 1/4 cup frozen yogurt, and 2 teaspoons caramel syrup)

3 cups thinly sliced peeled peaches (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Cooking spray
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 1/4 cups vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt
6 tablespoons fat-free caramel sundae syrup, warmed

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Spoon into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray.

Place 2/3 cup sugar and next 4 ingredients (2/3 cup sugar through egg) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (for about 5 minutes). Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.

Spoon batter over peach mixture in pan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Place a plate upside down on top of cake, and invert onto plate. Serve warm with frozen yogurt and the caramel syrup.

Peanut Butter And Apple Crumble

Yield: 8 servings

4 cups Thinly sliced peeled apples
1 2/3 cups (10-oz pkg) REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips
1 cup Sugar, divided
2 tbsp Plus 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
6 tbsp Butter or margarine, divided
1 cup Quick-cooking or regular rolled oats
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
Whipped cream (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.
In large bowl, stir together apples, peanut butter chips, 3/4 cup
sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. Spread into prepared pan; dot with 2
tablespoons butter. In medium bowl, stir together remaining 1/4 cup
sugar, remaining 1/2 cup flour, oats and cinnamon; cut in remaining 4
tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle oat
mixture over apples.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and edges are bubbly.
Cool slightly. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.
Recipe from Hershey's Kitchens

Hash Brown Quiche

courtesy Paula Deen, 2007

Show: Paula's Home Cooking
Episode: Breakfast Eggstravaganza

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

3 cups, shredded frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 cup shredded Cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a 9-inch pie plate, toss the hash browns with the melted butter into the plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.

Eggnog Recipe with Brandy, Bourbon, or Rum

No need to fear raw eggs in eggnog. The eggs are gently cooked to kill any potential bacteria in this eggnog. Since it contains alcohol, the kids won't be able to enjoy it, but you'll find a recipe for non-alcoholic eggnog at the bottom. Be sure to check the notes if you plan on increasing the alcohol so you can make adjustments. You'll want to keep this rich and creamy eggnog on hand all through the holiays.

6 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup brandy, bourbon, or dark rum (see Notes)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
Additional grated nutmeg for garnish


Combine eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a heavy 3- or 4-quart pan, whisking until well-combined. Continue whisking while pouring milk in a slow, steady stream until completely incorporated.

Turn on burner to lowest possible heat setting. Place pan on burner and stir mixture continuously until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 degrees F. and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be patient. This should take about 25 to 30 minutes.

Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove any accidental small cooked bits of egg. Add brandy, bourbon, or dark rum, plus vanilla extract and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Pour into a glass pitcher, decanter, or container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate this egg custard mixture to chill at least 4 hours or up to 3 days before finishing.

When ready to serve, pour heavy cream into a bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks. Fold whipped cream into cold custard mixture until combined.

Serve in chilled cups or glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Cooked Non-alcoholic Eggnog Recipe

Yield: 12 to 16 eggnog servings

Notes: If you'd like a more potent eggnog and want to add more alcohol, you'll need to make a minor adjustment to maintain consistency. Simply increase the liquor amount to 1 cup and the heavy cream to 3/4 cup.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pineapple Casserole

Simple, tasty casserole. Great for potlucks and family get togethers

Cook time : 30 minutes

1 lg can pineapple bites, drained
1 lg can crushed pineapple, drained
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cupz ritz cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350'
Grease casserole dish.
Mix pineapple, sugar, flour and cheese in bowl.
Pour into small casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs.
Pour melted butter over top.
Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool a bit before serving. It tastes great warm or cold

Lamb Chops with Tomatoes


8 1-inch-thick lamb loin chops
Salt and pepper
1 8.8 oz. pouch cooked long grain rice
4 medium plum tomatoes, cut up
4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh oregano
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1. Season chops with salt and pepper. Grill over medium coals 12 to 14 minutes for medium-rare, turning once halfway through grilling.

2. Meanwhile, microcook rice according to package directions. In food processor combine tomatoes, green onions, and oregano; process with on/off turns until coarsely chopped. Transfer to bowl; stir in vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange chops on rice; top with tomato mixture. Makes 4 servings.

3. Pantry Ingredients: balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper

Grilled Halibut Steaks

Simple & Delicious

July/August 2009 issue

“No one would guess you use convenient ingredients like brown sugar, soy sauce and lemon juice in this simple recipe. I always get compliments.” Mary Ann Dell — Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

: Lower Fat
METHOD: Grill (gas or charcoal)
TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.

2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 halibut steaks (5 ounces each)


In a small saucepan, combine the first six ingredients. Cook and stir until butter is melted. Remove from the heat; set aside.

Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Grill halibut, covered, over medium-hot heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting frequently with butter mixture. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts
One serving:1 halibut steak
Calories: 236

Dutch apple Pie with Oatmeal Streusel

1 pie

1 (9 inch) pie shell
5 cups apples - peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Fit pastry shell into pie pan and place in freezer.

To Make Apple Filling: Place apples in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine 2 tablespoons flour, white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Mix well, then add to apples. Toss until apples are evenly coated.

Remove pie shell from freezer. Place apple mixture in pie shell and dot with 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil lightly on top of filling, but do not seal.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

While filling is baking, make Streusel Filling: In a medium bowl combine 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, oats, and lemon peel. Mix thoroughly, then cut in 1/2 cup butter or margarine until mixture is crumbly. Remove filling from oven and sprinkle streusel on top.

Reduce heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until streusel is browned and apples are tender. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning.

Chicken-Avocado Salad

serves 4

2 cup finely chopped cold cooked chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 salt and pepper
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 ds hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 lg ripe avocados
2 hard cooked eggs sliced

Combine all ingredients except avocados and eggs. Halve avocadoes and remove seeds. Scoop out pulp and reserve avocado shell. Dice pulp and add to chicken mixture. Fill shells with mixture. Top with egg slices.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grilled Peaches and Pork

Pairing peaches with succulent pork is the ultimate summer supper. Balsamic vinegar and turbinado sugar bring out the sweetness of the peaches, while grilling the fruit caramelizes the sugars.

4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork, 8 peach slices, 1 1/2 cups arugula, and 1/4 teaspoon sugar)

4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut pork loin chops
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large peaches, peeled, halved, and pitted (about 12 ounces)
Cooking spray
6 cups trimmed arugula
1 teaspoon turbinado or granulated sugar


Place each piece of pork between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound each piece to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine 2 tablespoons vinegar, juice, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon juice mixture. Pour the remaining juice mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add pork; seal and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Place peaches, cut sides up, on a plate; drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar.

Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until pork is done. Set aside.

Place peaches, cut sides down, on grill rack; grill 4 minutes or until soft and slightly browned. Turn and cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Cut each peach half into 4 slices. Slice pieces of pork into 1-inch-thick strips.

Drizzle trimmed arugula with reserved 1 tablespoon juice mixture, tossing to coat. Divide arugula evenly among 4 plates. Top with grilled pork strips and peach slices; sprinkle evenly with turbinado sugar.

Goat Cheese, Roasted Pepper and Baby Spinach Frittata

Early Summer 2008 By: Heather Trim

from LCBO Food and Drink

Served warm or at room temperature, this easy egg dish takes mere minutes to make. Leftovers are delicious between sliced foccacia.

6 eggs
¼ cup (50 mL) milk
Generous pinches salt and pepper
1 roasted red pepper, patted dry, cut into bite-size strips
A handful of baby spinach leaves
½ cup (125 mL) creamy plain or flavoured goat cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
2 tbsp (25 mL) thinly sliced green onion (optional)

1. Preheat broiler and set rack about 3-inches (8-cm) from element.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Stir in roasted pepper, spinach and half the goat cheese.

3. In a large nonstick frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion if using, stirring until softened, about 1 minute. Stir egg mixture, then add to pan. Evenly distribute red pepper, spinach and cheese. Once edges start to set, tilt pan and lift set edges. Let uncooked egg run onto pan. Cook until the top is barely set, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining goat cheese.

4. If handle of pan is not ovenproof, wrap with foil. Set pan under broiler 30 to 60 seconds. Let stand a couple of minutes before serving in wedges.

Serves 3

Rack of Lamb Persillade

Ina Garten,

Show: Barefoot Contessa
Episode: Birthday Gift Dinner

3 small or 2 large racks of lamb, frenched
Good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped garlic cloves (3 cloves)
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the racks in a roasting pan, fat side up. Rub the tops with
olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast the lamb for
10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the parsley and garlic in the bowl of a food
processor fitted with the steel blade and process until they're both
finely minced. Add the bread crumbs and lemon zest and process for a
second until combined.

Take the lamb out of the oven and quickly press the parsley mixture
on top of the meat. Drizzle with the melted butter and return
immediately to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.

Take the lamb out of the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Allow it
to rest for 15 minutes, cut in double chops, and serve.

Lemon Dill Sole

(low carb)

4 sole fillets
2 green onion, sliced
1 lemon
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 t. dried dill weed

Place fillets in a sprayed 11 x 7 inch baking dish. sprinkle green onion over fish. Squeeze juice from lemon and combine with remaining ingredients. Spoon over fish. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 450. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked thro

Baked Apples and Cranberries

2 - 3 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbs butter, cut into pieces

Toss the apple slices, cranberries, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl to combine well.
Place the mixture onto a large piece of aluminum foil, or divide among smaller pieces of foil, and dot with butter.
Wrap the mixture tightly in the foil and cook directly over hot coals for about 10 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Savory Severed Monster Fingers

By Halloween Alliance

Severed fingers with rotted black fingernails . . . hungry yet? A twist on the traditional pigs in a blanket, these delicious digits are simple to prepare, yet they look wonderfully gruesome on an appetizer platter. Everyone needs at least one quick and easy Halloween recipe. Kids will love these, and this recipe is easy enough that they can help make the fingers.

Monster Finger Ingredients

2 cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough, each can should make 8 crescent rolls
1 16 oz package of cocktail smokies (aka little cocktail weenies)
8 black olives, halved lengthwise to use as nails

“Digit”al Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Open a can of crescent rolls, and unroll the dough.

Place one triangular piece of crescent roll dough on the cookie sheet.

Put a cocktail weenie in the wide end of the dough triangle. Roll the dough around the sausage. You should have one layer of dough covering it completely-no edges peeking out! This is the base of the finger, and you should still have some crescent roll dough left over.

Roll the remaining dough to form the rest of the finger, tapering it at the end and rounding it off so it looks realistic.

Put 1/2 of an olive on the end of the finger. Tuck the edges into the dough so that it looks like a fingernail.

Use a knife to score “wrinkles” into the knuckle.

Put the fingers in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown. Chew on these nails! Mmm, good!

Fresh Peach Salsa

Prep: 20 min., Cook: 10 min. This versatile salsa is equally delicious made with fresh nectarines. You'll need a 4- to 5-inch-long piece of ginger (about 1 inch thick) to get 2 Tbsp. of grated ginger.

Makes about 4 cups

1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 large firm peaches, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


1. Sauté first 4 ingredients in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in peaches and remaining ingredients, and cook, stirring gently, 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days.

Southern Living, AUGUST 2006

Golden Honey Mustard Dressing

Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson, 2007

Show: Nigella Express
Episode: Storecupboard SOS

This is wonderful on any salad, but particularly good on bitter leaves such as chicory or radicchio. If you can't get rapeseed oil, the dressing will be less golden, but any oil of your choice will do.

4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon Maldon or kosher salt, or 1/2 teaspoon salt

Put all the ingredients into a jam-jar, make sure the lid's on firmly and shake like mad.

Baked apples with cherries and almonds


1/3 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped almonds
1 tablespoon wheat germ
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 small Golden Delicious apples, about 1 3/4 pounds total weight
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons dark honey
2 teaspoons walnut oil or canola oil

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a small bowl, toss together the cherries, almonds, wheat germ, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.

The apples can be left unpeeled, if you like. To peel the apples in a decorative fashion, with a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, remove the peel from each apple in a circular motion, skipping every other row so that rows of peel alternate with rows of apple flesh. Working from the stem end, core each apple, stopping 3/4 inch from the bottom.

Divide the cherry mixture evenly among the apples, pressing the mixture gently into each cavity. Arrange the apples upright in a heavy ovenproof frying pan or small baking dish just large enough to hold them. Pour the apple juice and water into the pan. Drizzle the honey and oil evenly over the apples, and cover the pan snugly with aluminum foil. Bake until the apples are tender when pierced with a knife, 50 to 60 minutes.

Transfer the apples to individual plates and drizzle with the pan juices. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Backyard Lobster Bake

courtesy Michael Chiarello

Show: Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello
Episode: Backyard Lobster

15 pounds of seaweed (your fish person can get you some)
16 (1 1/2 pound) lobsters*
16 ears corn, shucked
5 pounds red potatoes, parboiled halfway in salted water
10 pounds large clams
1 (750 ml) bottle white wine
2 yards wet burlap

Special equipment: #3 galvanized washtub (easy to find at a local
hardware store)

Start the fire 1 hour in advance, making sure the coals are white hot
before you begin cooking.

Spread 1/2 of the seaweed on the bottom of the tub to protect the
lobsters from burning. Place lobsters on top of seaweed. Place the
corn on top of the lobster, and the potatoes on top of the corn.
Arrange the raw clams on top of the vegetables and top with the
remaining seaweed. Pour the wine into the tub. Place the wet burlap
over the food and tuck the edges into the tub to retain the steam

Place the tub on top of the coals. Every 15 minutes, moisten the
burlap with water. Cook for about 45 minutes.

Serve the lobster bake strewn out on newspapers, with melted butter,
piles of coarse sea salt, and favorite spices as condiments.

*Chef's Notes:
Do not buy lobsters that are over 5 pounds, as the meat tends to get
stringy. Look for flexibility in the tail and a healthy sheen when
selecting the lobster.
You can do this on a stovetop using the exact same method. Be sure to
place the pot overlapping a couple of burners to get the heat you
will need

Monday, October 26, 2009

Marshmallow Monster Eyes

By Halloween Alliance

These sweet, squishy Halloween treats look positively unnerving staring up from a party platter. For the ultimate in gross realism, the eyeballs gush "eyeball jelly" when eaten. Gross… but very tasty! Kids love these, but they do have a lot of sugar. So, unless you have padded walls, it is probably best to make sure they have an outside activity to do afterwards - trick-or-treating, perhaps? These are much easier to make than they look!

Ingredient List
1 bag of marshmallows
1 jar of strawberry jam or preserves
1 can of cream cheese or vanilla icing
Food coloring (either black, or red and green to make black)
20 Gummi Savers (2 packages)

Making Monster Eyes (Here’s Lookin’ at You)

Turn on your CD player and play "Somebody’s Watching Me" from Rockwell

Grease a cookie sheet.

Cut the very top off of a marshmallow. You can use either a knife or kitchen shears, but kitchen shears are easier to use and make a cleaner cut. Place the bottom piece of the marshmallow on the cookie sheet. Use your fingers to hollow out the center of the marshmallow.

Fill the center with ½ teaspoon of strawberry jam.

Fit the marshmallow top back onto the marshmallow bottom.

Repeat for remaining marshmallows.

Refrigerate marshmallows for 30-45 minutes. This helps the top and bottom pieces adhere to each other.

Place the cookie sheet in a 250 degrees Fahrenheit oven, and bake for 6-8 minutes. The marshmallows should be puffy and soft, but not brown.

Remove the marshmallows from the oven - they should have flattened out some, as shown in the picture. Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect - the icing will fix that! Put the marshmallows in the refrigerator for an hour, until they become firm again. If you are impatient, you can put them in the freezer for 15-20 instead. Be careful not to freeze them.

Using a knife, coat the marshmallows with the cream cheese icing, concealing the seam and any imperfections.

To make irises, place 1 Gummi Saver on top of each iced marshmallow.

To make pupils, place 3 tablespoons icing in a small bowl. Add food coloring and stir until it turns glossy black. If you don’t have black food coloring, you can use equal amounts of red and green to make black.

Place the black icing in the bottom corner of a sandwich bag. Snip the tip of the corner off.

Squirt icing through the corner of the bag, filling in the center of each iris with black.

Grilled Peach-and-Mozzarella Salad

Prep: 25 min., Grill: 10 min. We found traditional peaches work better in this dish than white peaches, which have more sugar and water and don't hold up as well on the grill.

Makes 4 servings

5 peaches (not white)
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons tequila (optional)
1/3 cup olive oil
Vegetable cooking spray
1 (6-oz.) package watercress or baby arugula, thoroughly washed
3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 16 (1/4-inch) slices
Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs

1. Peel and chop 1 peach. Cut remaining 4 peaches into 28 (1/4-inch-thick) rounds, cutting through stem and bottom ends. (Cut peaches inward from sides, cutting each side just until you reach the pit. Discard pits.)

2. Process chopped peach, green onions, next 7 ingredients, and, if desired, tequila in a food processor 10 to 15 seconds or until smooth. Add oil, and pulse 3 to 4 times or until thoroughly combined.

3. Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Brush both sides of peach rounds with 1/3 cup peach dressing.

4. Grill peach rounds, covered with grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear.

5. Arrange watercress evenly on 4 plates. Alternately layer 4 grilled peach rounds and 4 cheese slices over watercress on each plate. Top each with 3 more peach rounds. Drizzle with remaining peach dressing. Garnish, if desired.

Grilled Peach-and-Feta Salad: Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange 1/4 cup pecans, chopped, in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 5 minutes. Reduce peaches from 5 to 4, and reduce salt to 1/2 tsp. Substitute 8 cups loosely packed Bibb lettuce leaves (about 6 oz.; 1 to 2 heads of lettuce) for watercress and 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese for mozzarella cheese. Peel and chop 1 peach. Cut each of remaining 3 peaches into 8 wedges. Proceed with recipe as directed in Steps 2 through 4, decreasing grilling time for peach wedges to 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Divide Bibb lettuce and 4 cooked bacon slices, halved crosswise, among 4 plates or shallow bowls. Top with grilled peach wedges. Sprinkle with feta cheese and pecans. Serve with dressing. Makes 4 servings; Prep: 25 min., Bake: 10 min., Grill: 6 min.

Note: You can also use a grill pan to get those beautiful grill marks on the peaches.

Southern Living, JUNE 2008

Shellfish and Chicken Paella with Saffron Rice Chorizo and Green Peas

courtesy Bobby Flay, 2008

See this recipe on air Saturday Aug. 02 at 4:00 PM ET/PT.
Show: Throwdown with Bobby Flay
Episode: Paella

Paella is a very versatile dish made with regional ingredients. It is
meant to use the freshest, most readily available fish that can be
found. If you use fish or shellfish, go with what is freshest and
vary the cooking time-when you add that particular ingredient to the
mix-accordingly. Since we were in San Francisco, we decided to use
local, fresh caught cuttlefish. I encourage you to use whatever your
fish market or fish monger was able to catch that day. I also suggest
using the thighs and legs of the chicken because the dark meat will
more likely stay moist during the cooking process than chicken
breast. I season each layer of the dish with salt and pepper, but go
easy-the chorizo adds quite a bit of salt to the dish, too.

Lemon Aioli:
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
*2 egg yolks
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground white pepper

4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 cups chicken stock, divided
Large pinch saffron
12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 (2 1/2-pound) whole chicken, cut in 8 pieces or 4 legs and 4 thighs
(dark meat)
1/2 pound chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/4 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio (paella) rice
12 mussels, debearded and scrubbed
8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tail on
8 baby octopus
4 baby squid, cleaned and sliced into rings, tentacles reserved,
and/or 8 ounces cuttlefish pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 cooked lobsters (1 1/2 pounds each), tails in the shell, split
lengthwise, claw meat in the shell or out, as desired
Freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish
1/2 cup Lemon Aioli

For the aioli:
Place the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest
in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Slowly add
the oil, drop by drop at first, until thickened. Season with salt and
white pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the paella:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the tomatoes in a small
baking dish and drizzle with the honey, 2 tablespoons of the olive
oil, and salt and pepper, and roast until soft. Set aside.
Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan and add a
large pinch of saffron. Put about 1/2 cup of the stock in another
saucepan, add the clams, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook just
until the clams open; remove the clams from the liquid and set aside,
reserving the liquid.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a very large skillet or paella
pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and
pepper and add to the heated pan. Cook until browned on all sides.
Remove the chicken pieces to a plate. Add the chorizo, onion and
garlic and saute until chorizo has browned and the onions are

Add the rice, about 7 1/2 cups of the chicken stock, the reserved
clam liquid, and any juices from the chicken and bring to a simmer.
Nestle the chicken in the rice and let cook, uncovered, until the
rice is quite al dente, about 15 minutes. Adjust the heat as
necessary to maintain a gentle simmer-the rice on the bottom of the
pan should form a dark brown crispy crust by the end of the cooking
time. If the stock is disappearing too quickly, just add a bit more
of the remaining 2 cups.

Add the mussels, shrimp, octopus, squid, and/or cuttlefish, and peas.
Cook until the shrimp are pink and the mussels open. Add the lobster,
clams and roasted tomatoes and heat briefly. At this point, you
should still be able to see liquid bubbling gently; it will settle
when you turn off the heat. Fold in the parsley and lemon aioli and
mix until combined, season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Hausfreunde (Friend of the House)

We believe this recipe came by its cheerful name because it is so easy to make and keep, perfect for a host or hostess who enjoys the company of unexpected visitors. When Christmas brings you a guest, this is a delicious cookie to be able to offer.

4 eggs
1 cup, plus 4 teaspoons baking chocolate
1 cup, plus 4 teaspoons sugar
1 cup, plus 4 teaspoons chopped almonds
1 cup, plus 4 teaspoons raisins
1 cup, plus 4 teaspoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
powdered sugar

Beat the eggs with the sugar till foamy. Add the remaining ingredients one by one, ending with the flour. Spread dough into a large greased baking pan with 1" sides (this recipe makes bar cookies). Bake at 300° F for 20-30 minutes. When done, ice with a mixture of milk and powdered sugar. Let cool and cut into quarters. Stored in a cookie tin and refrigerated, these bars keep for quite a while.

Apple and Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

Filled with fruit and cream cheese, these desserts

resemble small strudels.

1 cup dried apples, chopped
1/3 cup thawed apple juice concentrate, undiluted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 large egg

12 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Cooking spray
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, divided
1/4 cup sugar, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

To prepare the filling, combine the first 4
ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
Bring the apple mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat,
and simmer for 5 minutes or until most of the liquid
is absorbed. Cool to room temperature. Combine 1/4 cup
sugar and cream cheese in a small bowl; beat with a
mixer at low speed until blended. Add egg; beat until
blended. Fold in apple mixture; cover and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare the pastry, place 1 phyllo sheet on a large
cutting board or work surface (cover remaining dough
to keep from drying), and lightly coat with cooking
spray. Sprinkle the phyllo with 2 teaspoons graham
cracker crumbs and 1 teaspoon sugar. Repeat the layers
twice, ending with the crumbs and sugar. Cut phyllo
stack lengthwise into 6 (2 3/4-inch-wide) strips using
a sharp knife. Spoon 1 rounded teaspoon of apple
mixture 1/2 inch from the end of each phyllo strip.

Roll up each strip, beginning with apple mixture end;
place the strips, seam sides down, on a baking sheet
coated with cooking spray, and lightly coat each roll
with cooking spray. Repeat the procedure with the
remaining phyllo, crumbs, sugar, and apple mixture.
To prepare the topping, combine 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over phyllo
rolls. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, and cool on a wire

24 servings (serving size: 1 roll-up)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Peach Mojitos

Use a wooden muddler to crush the mint mixture in the pitcher, if available. The procedure releases the mint's essential oils, melding them with the lime juice.

10 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup)

3 cups coarsely chopped peeled ripe peaches (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 large limes)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed mint leaves
2 cups white rum
4 cups club soda, chilled
Crushed ice
Mint sprigs (optional)


1. Place peaches in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Press peach puree through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids.

2. Combine rind, lime juice, sugar, and mint in a large pitcher; crush juice mixture with the back of a long spoon. Add peach puree and rum to pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in club soda. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

Frankenstein Front Lawn Monster

Halloween yard decoration from FamilyFun

Young scientists will go absolutely mad over this huge Frankenstein's monster ingeniously crafted >from a picnic table. Just stand him up in your yard or driveway and hope for lightning to bring him to life. (Don't let the length of the directions scare you. The results are worth it, and with care, he can return year after year.)


•Wooden picnic table with stand-alone benches
•Green plastic rectangular tablecloth (ours was 54 inches by 108 inches)
•Staple gun or upholstery tacks
•Black all-purpose polyethylene sheeting (found in hardware/garden stores)
•Purple acrylic paint
•Two 6-inch Styrofoam balls
•White or yellow glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint
•2 foil pie pans, 8 3/4-inch diameter
•4 lengths of 20-gauge, 18-inch floral wire
•Duct tape
•White glue
•3 large sheets of green craft foam
•Roll of 3/4-inch-wide black electrical tape
•4 white foam egg cartons
•Roll of 1 1/4-inch-wide red plastic tape
•1 large sheet of red craft foam
•Two 5-quart paper paint buckets (found in hardware stores)
•Aluminum foil

Wrap the tablecloth tightly around the tabletop, then staple or tack the edges to the underside. Stand the table on end. You may need to steady it for safety (a parent's job) by securing it with ropes or propping it up against something solid like a tree so there's no chance of it tipping over.

Measure and cut 3 sheets of black plastic 12 inches wider than the table and half as long as the table. Fold the plastic in half over one end of your table. Staple down the hair on the back and sides of the table. Trim the plastic into three layers of jagged bangs, making the top layer the shortest and the two layers beneath progressively longer.

Paint a purple iris on each Styrofoam eyeball. When the paint dries, coat the entire eyeball (including the iris) with glow-in-the-dark paint. Set aside to dry. Use a pushpin to punch a hole through the center of each pie pan. For each eye, hold two lengths of floral wire together and fold them in half. Twist together the four ends of the wire, leaving 3 1/2 inches of the looped ends untwisted. Starting at the bottom of the pie pan, thread the twisted end of the wire through the hole in the pan and tape the loops. Coat the twisted tips of the wires with white glue, then press the wires into the bottom of the Styrofoam eyeball, leaving 2 inches of exposed wire between the pie plate and the ball. Staple the pans to the table.

Cut two simple ears and a nose from the green foam sheets. On the ears, make tabs by cutting 2 slits on the side that will attach to the table. Attach the ears by folding the tabs in opposite directions around the edge of the table and stapling them in place. Attach the nose with staples or tacks.

Lay strips of black tape between the egg cups. Cover the sides and top of the carton with red tape. Use more red tape to connect the cartons end-to-end to form two pairs of teeth. Cut a long tongue from the red craft foam and attach it to the table with one staple or tack where the mouth will go. The tongue should flop forward, sticking out. Plan to position the egg cartons so that two are above the tongue and two are below, with the bottoms of the cartons touching. Attach the cartons by opening each one and stapling from the inside, attaching the back hinges to the picnic table.

Cover both paint buckets with aluminum foil. Then attach them, open ends pointing out, to the bottom corners of the table by stapling each bucket from the inside.

Use black tape.

Raise the monster in the yard. For an extra touch, shine an outdoor light on the monster's face.

MULLED WINE (Glühwein)

Germans enjoy Glühwein or "Glow Wine" quite a bit around Christmas and New Year's Day. A favorite place to sip a warming glass is outside at the Christmas market.

(makes 24 glasses)

2 bottles red wine
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
1 lemon, sliced
20 whole cloves
6 to 8 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, sliced for garnish

Mix water, lemon and spices and simmer for an hour. Strain. Heat but do not boil the red wine. Add wine to hot water mixture. Ladle into cups and serve with half a slice of orange.

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

Serves: 16

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 75 to 80 minutes

Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
Flour for dusting the pan
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups chopped raw peeled apples, cut into 1-inch chunks, from 3 large apples
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt or 10-inch tube pan with vegetable oil spray, and dust the pan with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set the pan aside.

2. Place the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on medium-low until the mixture lightens, 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, soda, nutmeg, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and stir to combine using a wooden spoon. Fold in the apples, walnuts if desired, and vanilla.

3. Transfer the batter to the pan and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 75 to 80 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 25 minutes, then invert onto one wire rack (for the Bundt pan), or then again onto another wire rack (for the tube pan), so that it is right-side up. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze.

4. Place the butter, sugars, cream, and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let the glaze boil for 1 minute, stirring, then remove the pan from the heat.

5. Poke a few holes in the top of the cake with a bamboo skewer or fork, and spoon the glaze over the warm cake. Let the cake cool completely before slicing.

Cider and Maple Grilled Duck

This recipe moves duck from the roasting pan to the barbecue.

Servings: 4

2 tbsp (25 mL) coarse salt (or 3 tbsp/50 mL table_salt)
5 bay leaves, torn into pieces
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp (20 mL) minced fresh thyme (or 1-1/2 tsp/7 mL dried)
2 tsp (10 mL) coarsely ground pepper
1 duck, about 4 lb (2 kg)
1/3 cup (75 mL) maple syrup
3 cups (750 mL) dry cider or fresh cider
1 tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar
2 red-skinned apples, cored


In bowl, mix together salt, bay leaves, garlic, thyme and pepper.

Cut off tailbone, excess neck skin and fat in duck cavity. With kitchen shears, cut out backbone and wing tips. Cut off leg pieces from breast. Separate wings from breast. Cut breast in half. Place in glass baking dish. Rub salt mixture over pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours, turning once.

Rinse well; pat dry. Using skewer, prick skin all over, being careful not to prick into meat under fat. Brush with 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the maple syrup.

In wok or large pot, bring cider to boil. Place duck pieces, close together and skin side up, in steamer or on rack above cider. Cover and steam over medium heat for 1 hour, adding water to wok to maintain level if necessary.

Remove duck from steamer. Skim fat off cider. Bring to boil and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup (125 mL), about 12 minutes. Add vinegar and remaining maple syrup. (Make-ahead: Let cool; cover and refrigerate duck and cider separately for up to 24 hours.)

Place duck, bone side down, on greased grill over medium heat. Close lid and grill, turning and basting with maple mixture every 5 minutes, until skin is crisp and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut apples crosswise into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices. Grill, basting with maple mixture and turning once, until slightly softened and grill-marked, about 6 minutes. Serve with duck along with any remaining maple mixture.

Canadian Living Magazine: July 2004

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Popular Carrot Cake


1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/4 cups raw grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation Method:

In large mixing bowl blend sugar, oil and vanilla. Add eggs and beat well. In small bowl, stir together flour, salt, soda and cinnamon. Add to sugar egg mixture and mix in.

Fold in carrots and walnuts. Pour batter into greased 12×8x2-in. Dish. Microwave at High 13 to 15 Minutes, rotating dish 1/2 turn every 4 minutes. Let stand directly on heat proof counter or wooden board to cool. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting, if desired. Makes 1 (12×8x2-in. Cake.

Crostini with Peaches and Blue Cheese

For easy packing, keep the toasted crostini, peach mixture, and blue cheese in separate containers. Assemble on site. You'll skip broiling the cheese, but the flavor is equally sublime.


Makes 3 dozen

36 thin baguette slices
Olive oil
3 cups peeled and thinly sliced peaches (about 3 medium)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup (4 ounces) blue cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)


Brush baguette slices with olive oil; place on a baking sheet. Broil until toasted and crisp. Cool completely.

Toss peaches gently with vinegar. Top crostini with peaches and blue cheese. Sprinkle with pepper, if desired. Broil until cheese is hot, soft, and very lightly browned.

From Good Day for a Picnic by Jeremy Jackson (William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2005)

Coastal Living, JULY 2005

Lamb Au Poivre

Active time: 15 min Start to finish: 15 min

Servings: Makes 1 serving.

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 (3/4- to 1-inch-thick) rib lamb chops (1 lb total), bones frenched if desired and fat trimmed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Cognac or balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon unsalted butter


Coarsely crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or wrap in a kitchen towel and press on peppercorns with bottom of a heavy skillet.

Pat chops dry and season with salt. Rub one side of each chop with peppercorns, pressing peppercorns into meat to adhere.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook chops, peppered sides up, 2 minutes. Turn chops over with tongs and cook, pressing down on each chop with side of tongs to help pepper adhere to meat, about 2 minutes more (for medium-rare). Transfer chops with tongs to a plate and let stand while making sauce.

Pour off all but 2 teaspoons of fat from skillet if necessary, then sauté shallot, stirring, until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add broth and Cognac and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and swirl in butter. Add any meat juices that have accumulated on plate and season with salt. Serve sauce over lamb

Crockpot Bratwurst Casserole

1 lb sliced sausage or bratwurst

3 large carrots, sliced
3 med. potatoes, peeled and cubed
12 (or more!) cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
8 large white mushrooms, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted (use the roasted garlic version for even more flavor!)
1/2 c. water
seasoned salt and or cajun seasoning
3/4 cup each frozen corn and peas

Shredded cheddar cheese

Sear the sausage or brats quickly in a pan to render some of the fat and brown slightly. Add all ingredients to the crockpot EXCEPT the peas, corn, and optional cheese. Season however you like with pepper, seasoned salt, cajun seasoning, etc. Cook 3-4 hours on high, 6-7 on low, adding the corn, peas, and optional cheese during the last half hour of cooking. The potatoes, carrots, and garlic should be very tender.

Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples

5 servings

5 medium apples, washed, well dried
1 14-ounce) package KRAFT Caramels
3/4 cup chopped PLANTERS Salted Peanuts
1 (4-ounce) package BAKER'S GERMAN'S Sweet Chocolate
1 teaspoon butter or margarine

Insert 1 wooden pop stick (from bag of caramels) into stem end of each apple.

Microwave caramels and 2 Tbsp. water in deep microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 to 3 minutes or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after each minute. Dip apples into hot caramel mixture; turn until well coated. Scrape excess caramel mixture from bottoms of apples. Roll bottom halves in peanuts. Place on greased tray. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes.

Microwave chocolate and butter in deep microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 to 3 minutes until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after each minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Drizzle chocolate generously over apples or dip bottom of apple into melted chocolate. Let stand on wax paper-lined tray until chocolate is firm

Friday, October 23, 2009

Warm Prosciutto-Stuffed Focaccia

Online User Comment:

"This sandwich was GREAT! My family loved it (even my 2 year old) and wants me to make it anytime or for a fun football game watching party! I put some of the cheese in the middle of the spinach so that it would melt there and help hold it in....wonderful! "


Prep: 10 min., Bake: 15 min.


Makes 6 servings

1 (9-ounce) round loaf focaccia bread
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto*
4 ounces thinly sliced Muenster cheese
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup bottled roasted red bell peppers, drained
2 tablespoons light balsamic vinaigrette


Cut bread in half horizontally, using a serrated knife. Top bottom bread half with prosciutto and next 3 ingredients. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette; cover with top bread half. Wrap in aluminum foil; place on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until warm. Cut focaccia into six wedges. Serve immediately.
*6 ounces of ham may be substituted for prosciutto for approximately the same amount of calories

Breakfast Banana Bread


- 1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

- 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butter

Preparation Method:

In medium mixing bowl, combine banana, 1/2 cup brown sugar, oil, milk, vanilla, butter flavoring and egg. Add 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup walnuts, baking powder, salt, and soda, stir until moistened. Pour into wax paper lined 9-inch round baking dish. Microwave at MEDIUM (5) to 6 to 9 minutes. Rotate dish 1/4 turn every 3 minutes.

In small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup nuts, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon . Cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle on cake. Microwave at HIGH (10) 5 to 7 minutes until center springs back when lightly touched. Rotate dish 1/4 turn after 3 minutes. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.


4 lamb shanks

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs minced garlic
28 oz can whole plum tomatoes in juice
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup sun dried tomatoes (not in oil), halved
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 tbs chopped rosemary or 1 tsp dried
15.5 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed
12 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup frozen green peas
GARNISH: Chopped Parsley

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Add shanks, cook turning to brown all sides. Remove. Add garlic cook 20 seconds. Remove pot from heat. Add all tomatoes, broth, olives and rosemary, breaking up plum tomatoes. Add lamb. Cover and bake 2 hours or until lamb is tender. Stir in beans, artichoke and peas. Cover and bake 15 min. MAKES 6 SERVINGS.*

Recipe source: The Apple Dumpling Gang yahoo group, submitted by Russie

Bulgur Pilaf


2 cups bulgur wheat
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
5 cups beef or chicken broth
4 tablespoons melted butter
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in the Crock Pot and stir well. Cover and cook
on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Serves 6

Apple Yogurt and Granola Parfaits with Cranberry Sauce

For the granola:

2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins

For the cranberry sauce:
1 cup fresh cranberries
juice of 1/2 lemon
sugar (2-4 tablespoons, to taste)

For the parfaits:
4 cups plain, nonfat yogurt
2 cups fresh, diced apples, (tossed in 2 tbsp lemon juice)
8 tall parfait glasses

For the granola:
1. Heat the oven to 375°F.
2. Combine the oats and almonds in a medium bowl.
3. In a small saucepan combine the honey, molasses, water, vegetable
oil and cinnamon and heat through, stirring for about one minute.
Pour over the oat mixture and stir to blend.
4. Spread the granola onto a baking sheet and toast, stirring every
10 minutes until golden-crisp, about 30 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and add the raisins. Cool completely before
6. The granola can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container
for up to three weeks in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

For the cranberry sauce:
1. Puree the berries in a blender with the lemon juice. Blend in the
by the tablespoonful, tasting after each addition, until the
desired degree of sweetness is reached.
2. Strain through a fine strainer, pressing with a rubber spatula to
release the juices.

For the parfaits:
1. Layer the granola, apples and yogurt and drizzle with cranberry

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tomato-Egg Sandwiches

Prep: 20 min. This recipe is a snap to make ahead. The day before serving, combine the first 4 ingredients; cover and chill. Boil eggs, peel, and slice; cover and chill. Slice the tomatoes and toast the bread just before assembling the sandwiches. It's not necessary to cut the toasted bread slices with a cutter, but it looks really nice.

Makes 12 appetizer servings

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (9-oz.) jar horseradish sauce
1 small onion, grated (about 1/4 cup)
1 (1-oz.) package Ranch dressing mix
12 white sandwich bread slices, toasted
12 whole wheat sandwich bread slices, toasted
24 tomato slices (about 6 medium-size ripe tomatoes)
48 hard-cooked egg slices (about 8 large eggs)
Chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground pepper


1. Beat cream cheese and next 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended; set aside.

2. Cut 24 rounds from toasted bread using a 3-inch cutter. (Select a cutter close to the size of the tomato slices.) Reserve bread trimmings for another use, if desired.

3. Spread 1 side of each round evenly with cream cheese mixture; top with 1 tomato slice and 2 egg slices. Sprinkle evenly with dill and pepper.

Carol Swilley, Brandon, Mississippi, Southern Living, JULY 2006

Skull Head Cup Cakes

No bones about it, partygoers will get a scream

out of this playful treat.


12 marshmallows

Confectioners' sugar

24 unfrosted cupcakes (white or yellow works best)

White frosting

Junior Mints, chocolate chips, and slivered almonds

1. Cut the marshmallows in half widthwise using kitchen shears dipped in confectioners' sugar (this keeps them from sticking).

2. Carefully pull each cupcake liner partially away from the cake and tuck half a marshmallow between the paper and the cupcake to create the skull's jaw.

3. Frost each cupcake and marshmallow, then add Junior Mints with white frosting dots for eyes, a chocolate chip nose, and slivered almond teeth.

Slowcooked Ravioli Casserole

Recipe By : zendi

Source: Ready And Waiting/Rick Rodgers

Brief Description:

Ravioli taste, crockpot style

Servings : 4-6 servings
Cook time : 7hrs & 10 minutes

1&1/2lbs ground beef
1 medium onion,chopped
2 colves garlic,minced
1 28 oz can tomatoes,undrained
1 15oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb cooked pasta
1 10oz pkg frozen spinach,thawed,drained and moisture pressed out
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesian


In a large skillet,cook ground beef,onion,and garlic breaking up into small pieces.Cook until all beef is brown.Drain off fat.Transfer to a slowcooker.

Add tomatoes smashing tomatoes as you add them.Add tomato sauce,italian seasoning and pepper.Cover and cook 7 hours on low.

Skim any fat from surface.Stir in cooked pasta,spinach,ricotta and parmesian.Slow cook 5-10 minutes longer

Chocolate Popcorn Clusters

by Stella Zedman

Gooey chocolate, crunchy peanuts and sweet corn syrup and butter make popcorn pop! Perfect for birthday parties and late-night snacks, these crispy, crunchy clusters are delightfully sweet and salty to satisfy every craving.

• 12 cups (12 litres) plain popped popcorn (see below)
• 3 cups (750 mL) peanuts -- salted or unsalted
• 1-3/4 cups (425 mL) semisweet chocolate chips
• 1 cup (250 mL) corn syrup
• 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter

Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease a large roasting pan. Line a large cookie sheet (or two smaller ones) with waxed paper.

2. Measure the popcorn and peanuts into the roasting pan. In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate chips, corn syrup and butter. Place over low heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture is smooth and just beginning to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the popcorn mixture, tossing to coat everything as evenly as possible.

3. Place in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and dump popcorn mixture onto the waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Let cool completely, then break into clumps to serve. Store leftovers (as if!) in an airtight container.

Servings: Makes about 12 cups (3 liters).


This should be made with popcorn prepared either in a pan on the stove top or in a hot air popper. Don't add any additional flavoring or butter.

How kids can help:
Older kids can combine and melt chocolate mixture on the stove.
Help break up popcorn clumps when cool.

Apple Fritters recipe

1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and
chopped to make 1 cup
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Oil for deep frying

Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a deep fryer or deep pot.

Combine egg and milk in a large mixing bowl, stir in apples and 1 tablespoon cooking oil.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and salt. Add to gee mixture, stirring just until mixed.

Drop by tablespoonfuls a few at a time into oil and fry about 4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Combine confectioners' sugar and remaining 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a deep bowl. Roll fritters in mixture. Serve warm.

You can also roll them in regular sugar or in confectioners' sugar, your choice.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Southern Reuben Melts


Makes 4 servings

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
1 to 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 cups coleslaw mix
8 rye bread slices
1 (6-ounce) package Swiss cheese slices
12 ounces thinly sliced ham
Butter-flavored cooking spray


Stir together first 4 ingredients.

Stir together coleslaw mix and 1/2 cup mayonnaise mixture.

Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture evenly on 1 side of each bread slice; top 4 slices evenly with cheese, ham, and coleslaw mixture. Top with remaining bread slices.

Place sandwiches on a baking sheet coated with butter-flavored cooking spray. Coat bottom of another baking sheet with cooking spray, and place, coated-side down, on sandwiches.

Bake at 375° for 10 to 15 minutes or until bread is golden and cheese melts.

Southern Living, MARCH 2003

Roasted Duck Breasts with Farro Risotto and Duck Confit

This impressive dish is served at Le Cirque 2000 in New York. Order two 5-pound fresh ducklings from a butcher. Ask the butcher to cut each duck into two boneless breasts, two leg pieces, and two thigh pieces. Reserve the carcasses for making the sauce. You will probably need to order the rendered duck fat as well.

Servings: Makes 4 servings.


Duck Confit sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 ducks, legs, thighs, and breasts cut from carcasses; carcasses quartered
4 cups rendered duck fat

3 tablespoons chopped leek (white and pale green parts)
2 tablespoons chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped carrot
1/2 cup ruby Port
6 cups water
10 whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon butter

Farro Risotto
1 cup farro*
8 cups water
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2/3 cup dry red wine
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Duck Breasts
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup assorted chopped nuts (such as pistachios, hazelnuts, and pecans)
1 whole star anise**


For sauce:
Mix first 5 ingredients and duck legs and thighs in bowl. Cover leg-thigh mixture and breasts and carcasses separately; chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 200°F. Heat duck fat in medium ovenproof pot over medium heat to 200°F. Add duck leg-thigh mixture; transfer to oven and cook until meat falls from bones, about 2 hours. Allow duck confit to cool 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place duck carcasses in large ovenproof pot; roast uncovered until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Transfer pot to stove top. Add leek and next 3 ingredients and sauté over medium-high heat until vegetables are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add Port; boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add 6 cups water; boil gently for 30 minutes. Add peppercorns; boil broth 10 minutes. Strain broth; skim fat from surface. Boil broth in medium saucepan until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes. Whisk butter into sauce. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill confit and sauce separately.)

Rewarm duck confit to melt fat; remove duck from fat. Cut meat from bones and add to sauce.

For farro risotto:

Soak farro in cold water 20 minutes. Drain; rinse. Bring 8 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup oil and farro. Simmer 20 minutes. Drain in strainer and rinse. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté 1 minute. Add farro and wine. Simmer until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth 1 cup at a time and simmer until liquid is absorbed and farro is just tender, stirring frequently, about 14 minutes total. Stir in cheese and 1 tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare duck breasts:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle duck breasts with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add duck breasts, skin side down; cook until skin is crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn duck over. Cook 1 minute; remove from heat.

Bring honey to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add nuts and star anise; boil until honey is reduced to thick syrup, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Spoon honey-nut mixture onto duck breasts. Cook in oven about 4 minutes for medium-rare.

Rewarm duck confit sauce over low heat. Divide risotto among 4 plates. Using slotted spoon, remove duck meat from sauce and spoon over risotto. Slice breasts diagonally; arrange around risotto. Drizzle duck with confit sauce.

*Farro is sold at some Italian markets and natural foods stores.

**A brown star-shaped seed pod available at Asian markets and specialty foods stores and in the spice section of some supermarkets.

Overnight Crock Pot Roast and Leftover Pot Pie

1 3-pound roast
1 can of beer (use the cheapest you can find)
1 envelope Italian dressing mix
2 carrots, sliced
1 baking potato, sliced into chunks
3 celery stalks, sliced


The evening before you plan to have this meal, place roast in crock pot. Add beer and dressing mix, then cover. Turn crock pot on high for about an hour, then reduce to low and let the roast cook overnight. The next morning, add the veggies. Stir a couple times, shredding the beef if you want, to mix in the veggies. Serve at dinnertime, you cannot overcook this dish.

Leftover's Pot Pie

1 pie shell
Leftover meat and veggies
1 can of mushroom soup
A little splash of milk
A handful of shredded cheese (any kind you have on hand works)
Peas, corn, green beans (optional additions)
Salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix leftover meat and veggies with soup and cheese. Avoid adding too much au jus from the meat or you'll soak the crust. Add just a little milk if the mix feels too thick. If you have peas or corn or green beans handy, add them too, but they aren't essential.

My husband also likes fresh celery added for crunch, so that's an option as well.

You can pre-bake the shell if you like a crisp crust. Otherwise, simply fill the pie shell with the meat mixture and bake for 30 minutes.

Creole Cornbread Stuffing

10 cups

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups stone ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons white sugar
5 eggs, beaten
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
4 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 bay leaves
1 cup minced onion
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped parsley
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
2 green chile peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup butter
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
2 cups evaporated milk
7 eggs, beaten


To Make Cornbread: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter a 13x9 inch pan.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and sugar, and mix well.

Combine the 5 eggs, 6 tablespoons melted butter, and buttermilk. Add wet to dry while mixing on low with a mixer. Mix just until no dry ingredients remain. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake until top is browned and a toothpick comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

To Make Stuffing: In a small bowl combine the 2 tablespoons salt with the white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, oregano, thyme, basil, and bay leaves.

In another bowl combine the minced onions, green onions, parsley, red or green peppers, chili peppers, and garlic.

Melt 1 cup butter in a large fry pan. Add the spices and cook for a few minutes. Add the vegetables and cook about 5 minutes. Do not allow the vegetables to brown. Add the stock and Tabasco. Stir and cook 5 minutes more. Crumble the cornbread into the skillet and mix. Add the evaporated milk and 7 eggs OFF THE HEAT. Make sure to stir well when adding the eggs. Return to low heat and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Place stuffing in a bowl and cover. Cool before stuffing turkey.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

8 whole graham crackers

1 cup lightly toasted walnuts, divided
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature (recommended: Philadelphia)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light muscovado sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 recipe Apple Mixture, recipe follows
1 recipe Apple Caramel Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the graham crackers, 1/2 cup of the walnuts and brown sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground. With the motor running, add the butter through the feed tube and process until the mixture just comes together. Spray the bottom and side of the pan with cooking spray. Pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until lightly golden brown and just set, about 8 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and let cool completely.

Combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and the orange zest in a food processor and process until combined.

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand fixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the orange sugar, remaining granulated sugar, and light muscovado sugar and beat again until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time and mix until just incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the vanilla seeds and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the salt and heavy cream and mix until just combined.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour hot tap water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake until the sides of the cake are slightly puffed and set and the center still jiggles, about 55 minutes.

Turn the heat off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon and allow the cake to cook in the water bath for 1 hour. Remove the cake to a baking rack and allow to cool to room temperature for 2 hours. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours until chilled through.

Top with the warm apple topping, drizzle liberally with the caramel sauce and sprinkle with the remaining toasted walnuts. Serve additional sauce on the side.

Apple Mixture:

2 cups apple juice

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, reserved from the cheesecake mixture

1 tablespoon cold butter

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

3 Fuji apples, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

1/4 cup apple brandy (recommended: Calvados)

Bring apple juice, sugar and vanilla bean to a boil in a large saute pan over high heat and cook until slightly thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in the butter until melted. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized and soft. Add the apple brandy and cook until reduced by 1/2. Transfer the apples to a plate and let cool slightly.

Apple-Caramel Sauce:

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

3/4 cup heavy cream

Pinch salt

3 tablespoons apple brandy (recommended: Calvados)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat (do not stir), swirling the pot occasionally to even out the color, until amber in color, 10 to 12 minutes.

While the caramel is cooking. Place the heavy cream in a small pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and keep warm.

When the caramel has reached the desired color, slowly whisk in the heavy cream and salt and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the apple brandy and vanilla extract. Keep warm.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sweet and Sour Kielbasa

Yields: 6 servings

2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound kielbasa sausage

In a slow cooker set for low heat, mix the ketchup, brown sugar,
Worcestershire sauce, butter, onion, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper.
Place the kielbasa sausage in the mixture. Cook 30 minutes, until the
onions are soft, or as desired.

Honey Duck

8 servings

1 (4 pound) whole duck, rinsed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 orange, quartered
2 cups water
1 cup honey
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup undiluted, thawed orange juice concentrate


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a small bowl mix together mix together the basil, ginger and salt and sprinkle mixture on inside and outside of duck. Stuff duck with orange quarters and lay in roaster. Add water.

In a small saucepan combine the honey, butter, lemon juice and orange juice concentrate. Simmer together over low heat until syrupy; pour a little of the mixture over the duck, saving the rest for basting. Cover roaster.

Bake/roast ducks in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn duck breast down, reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and roast covered for another 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until very tender. If desired, turn duck breast up during last few minutes of cooking, to brown.

Cornbread Stuffing


2 tablespoons oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
3 cups cornbread cubes, dried*


*Slice cornbread into small cubes and let sit on the counter while you are preparing everything else. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the garlic, basil, onion, celery and scallions until soft. Add stock. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 2 minutes and remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together sauté mixture and corn bread. Let cornbread stuffing sit for a while, 10-15 minutes, so that the stuffing absorbs all excess moisture. Mix well again and add salt to taste.

Makes 6 cups

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New South Jalapeño Pimiento Cheese

Prep: 25 min. Jim Early took first place out of 300 entries in the Southern Foodways Alliance Pimiento Cheese Invitational by creating this update of his mother's recipe. If you need a smaller amount, you can easily cut the recipe in half.

Makes 6 1/2 cups

2 (8-oz.) blocks extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8-oz.) block mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
2 (7-oz.) jars diced pimiento, drained
1 (12-oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
1/2 cup drained pickled jalapeño pepper slices
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Assorted crackers or bread slices

1. Process first 3 ingredients, in batches, in a food processor 45 seconds or until well blended. Add pimiento and next 4 ingredients, and pulse 5 to 6 times or to desired consistency. Cover and chill up to 1 day. Serve with crackers or bread slices.

Jim Early, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Southern Living, JUNE 2008


Source: One of our members, Happy Cooker Paul D. Pruitt

Comments: You just don’t get any better than this…Wanda

2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (any crescent rolls will do)
2 apples, peeled and sliced into 8 pieces each
2 sticks (1cup) butter, melted
1-1/2 cups sugar (Splenda works well, use same amount)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (12oz) can Mountain Dew
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons cinnamon/sugar mixture

(Mix 1 cup sugar 1 Tablespoon cinnamon and reserve remainder for other uses)

Preheat oven 350º

Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll, sprinkling a little of the cinnamon sugar before rolling up. Line the dumplings in a 13x9-inch baking pan. In a medium size sauce pan, heat butter and sugar together until the sugar is melted and mixture is bubbly; remove from heat and add Mountain Dew and vanilla. Pour over crescent rolls and then sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cinnamon/sugar mixture. Sprinkle nuts over top and then bake uncovered approximately 45 minutes. Serve with Blue Bell Ice Cream for extra happy eaters! (If you don’t have Blue Bell ice cream where you are, OH Well!! Do the best you can.)


4 lbs bone-in pork ribs
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 medium onion chopped
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup apple butter
1 cup ketchup
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon steak sauce or worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic

CUT ribs apart and trim if necessary (ribs cut apart easier if only partially defrosted) SPRINKLE one teaspoon of salt evenly over ribs and set aside. STIR together remaining ingredients until well blended. POUR half of this mixture into slow cooker, place ribs in slow cooker, cover w/ remaining mixture. COVER and cook on high for 6 - 7 hrs.

Recipe can be doubled or tripled.