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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Phyllo Easter Nests

These Phyllo Easter Nests are a perfect addition to your Easter dessert selection.

Estimated Times: 32 mins.

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 NESTLÉ BUTTERFINGER NestEggs, finely chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces (1/2 package) kataifi (shredded phyllo dough), thawed according to package directions
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
18 NESTLÉ BUTTERFINGER NestEggs, wrapped


PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Lightly brush 12-cup muffin pan with melted butter.

MIX nuts, sugar, cinnamon and chopped Nestlé NestEggs in medium bowl. Set aside.


PULL phyllo into 1-inch-thick bundles; cut bundles into 2-inch lengths. Place phyllo in large mixer bowl and separate into a loose pile with fingers. Toss pile with sugar and cinnamon. Add remaining melted butter; toss pile. Divide phyllo mixture among muffin cups; press onto bottoms and up sides.

FILL center of nests with 1 tablespoon walnut filling.
BAKE for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden and crispy. Let cool completely in pan; fill each nest with 3 wrapped Nestlé NestEggs.

Espresso Crinkles

Lightly coat your hands with flour to make rolling the dough into balls easier. The dough freezes well. Freeze the dough after step 1, thaw in the refrigerator, then proceed with step 2. The powdered sugar coating gives these cookies an appealing cracked finish. Serve with coffee to echo the espresso.

2 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 1/4 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon instant espresso granules
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg whites

1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine oil and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat; cook until chocolate melts, stirring constantly. Add espresso granules to pan; stir until blended. Remove from heat. Pour chocolate mixture into a large bowl; cool 5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, syrup, and vanilla. Add egg whites, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, stirring gently just until combined. Cover; chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350°.

3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dredge balls in remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar; place balls 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until tops are cracked and almost set. Cool cookies on pan 2 minutes or until set; remove from pan. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Spanish Rice

1/2 cup pico de gallo

1 cup long grain rice
2 cups chicken broth

Bring chicken broth to a boil and add rice. Cover and let rice simmer
20 minutes, or follow package instructions. Just before serving rice,
stir in pico de gallo. For best results use fresh ingredients. Salsa,
marinade, Spanish rice and guacamole may be purchased.

Portabella Mushroom Fajitas


4 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2-1/2 tbs olive oil
black pepper to taste
2 lbs portabella mushrooms cut lengthwise
1 red bell pepper sliced
1 orange bell pepper sliced
1 yellow bell pepper sliced
(or substitute whatever peppers are available)
1 medium white onion chopped
1 package of tortillas (may use fat-free)

Prepare the marinade for the mushrooms by mashing chopped garlic with
1 tsp salt; add the remainder of ingredients. Pour the mixture over
the mushrooms and marinate for at least 20 minutes, or overnight in
the refrigerator.

When peppers and onions are all sliced and chopped, saute‚ them in a
large lightly oiled pan. When the onions and peppers begin to get
soft, add the mushrooms and marinade and stir until they are all well
blended. Warm tortillas in microwave by placing them on a plate with a
wet paper towel over them and heat on high for 20 seconds.

Serve with pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa and sour cream (may
substitute with low-fat sour cream).

Black Bean Pepper Salad

1each, green, yellow, orange, red bell pepper chopped

1 small red onion chopped1 garlic clove minced
coarse ground black pepper
1 16 oz can of black beans
1 tbs olive oil
4 tbs balsamic vinegar

Combine peppers, onion and garlic. Thoroughly rinse beans and add to mixture. Drizzle oil and vinegar over mixture. Stir, allowing the colors of the peppers to blend. Crack black pepper over top to taste.

For best flavor, marinate overnight.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Creamy Mushroom Phyllo Triangles

This elegant appetizer takes a couple of hours to make, but you can do all the preparation ahead of time. Don't fold triangles too tightly or the mixture will burst through the phyllo. Assemble and freeze up to two weeks before the party. Don't thaw the triangles before baking; just add seven minutes to the baking time.

48 triangles (serving size: 2 triangles)

3/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 3/4 ounce)
1 pound button mushrooms
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
24 (18 x 14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray

Cover porcini mushrooms with boiling water in a bowl. Let stand 1 hour. Drain well; chop.

Place half of button mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 8 times or until finely chopped. Remove from processor. Repeat procedure with remaining button mushrooms. Add onion to processor; pulse 8 times or until finely chopped.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add button mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are tender and liquid evaporates (about 10 minutes). Stir in porcini mushrooms, oregano, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheese; stir until cheese melts. Stir in parsley.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or work surface (cover remaining phyllo to prevent drying). Cut sheet in half lengthwise; lightly coat with cooking spray. Fold each phyllo piece in half lengthwise to form a (3 1/2-inch-wide) strip. Spoon a level tablespoon of mushroom mixture onto 1 short end of each strip, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold 1 corner of edge with 1-inch border over mixture, forming a triangle; continue folding back and forth into a triangle to end of strip. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo, cooking spray, and mushroom mixture. Place triangles, seam side down, on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat tops with cooking spray.

Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information
Calories:49 (37% from fat)
Fat:2g (sat 0.8g,mono 1g,poly 0.2g)

Mediterranean Rub Mix

1 ts Dried Leaf Thyme

1 ts Rosemary
1 ts Sage
1 ts Marjoram
1 tb Garlic; finely chopped
1/2 ts Coarse Kosher salt
1/4 ts Cracked black pepper

Mix all together. Rub into beef 1 hour before cooking. To use on fish, add 2 T. lemon zest, and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on fish with rub.

Mandu Tuikim (Korean Dumplings)

Yield: 70 Dumplings

1/2 lb Cabbage
1/2 md Onion
1/2 lb Lean ground beef
1 Egg
1 tb Flour
1 tb Soya sauce
1 ds Salt and pepper
1 pk Wonton skins or wrappers
1 Egg white
1/4 c Vegetable oil

Boil Cabbage and onion until cooked. Grind finely. Put the cooked cabbage
and onion in cheese cloth and squeeze to remove moisture. Mix cabbage and
onions with remaining ingredients, up to wonton skins. Open wonton package,
taking one at a time, so thay won't dry out, wet two edges with egg white
and drop filling mixture onto center. Fold into triangle and seal, making
sure there is no air left inside. Once your triangles are all made, drop
into boiling water until they float. Leave them in the boiling water for 1
minute and then remove them immediately. Let them dry on a tray until the
skin is no longer sticky to the touch. Dry on both sides. A fan may speed
up the process. Pan fry the triangles in the 1/4 cup vegetable oil until
brown and crisp. Serve hot with dipping sauce. To Follow.

Dipping Sauce:
1 ounce Kikoman Soya Sauce
1/2 ounce Vinegar
1 tsp. Sake Mix all the ingredients together.

Posted to MM-Recipes Digest V4 #140 by (valerie) on May
20, 1997

Canadian Steak Rub

make 1/2 cup

4-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. fresh coarse ground black pepper
2 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. dried oregano leaves
2 tsp. ground cumin

1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until well blended.
2. Store mixture in an air-tight container.
3. To use: Rub the seasoning blend on a steak and grill, or use it to season beans, rices, grains or vegetables.

Barbecued Popcorn Spice

Something to spice up your popcorn.

2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon hickory smoke salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tbsps.

5 minutes 5 mins prep

Mix and sprinkle over popped popcorn.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Crescent Rolls with Fresh Herbs

Press a few fresh herbs into the dough, roll up the crescents, brush with egg and bake -- simple, but oh, so elegant.

Prep Time: 25 Min Total Time: 40 Min Makes: 16 rolls

4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
16 small leaves fresh herbs, if desired

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix all chopped herbs.

2. Separate dough into 16 triangles. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon herb mixture; press lightly into dough. Roll up each triangle, starting at shortest side and rolling to opposite point. On ungreased cookie sheets, place rolls point sides down; curve each into crescent shape.

3. In small bowl, beat egg and water until blended. Brush egg mixture over tops of rolls. Place 1 herb leaf on top of each roll; brush egg mixture over top of leaf.

4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Cream Puffs

This classic dessert is easily made ahead. Bake the shells up to a month in advance, then freeze in an airtight container. Several hours before serving, cut top third off puffs using a serrated knife. Fill the frozen shells with the custard filling and refrigerate. In the refrigerator, the shells will thaw but remain crisp.

10 servings (serving size: 1 cream puff)

1 1/2 cups 2% low fat milk, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed

1 cup water
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon powdered sugar

To prepare filling, heat 1 1/4 cups milk in a medium, heavy saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around the edge (do not boil). Combine remaining 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 eggs in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add the hot milk to the sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Place milk mixture in pan. Add 1 teaspoon butter; cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 3 minutes), stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; stir in vanilla. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of custard; refrigerate 2 hours or until chilled. Fold in whipped topping. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 425°.

To prepare shells, cover a large, heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine water, 3 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour to water mixture, stirring well until smooth and mixture pulls away from sides of pan. Return pan to heat; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Add 2 eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating with a mixer at medium speed just until combined. Beat 1 minute at medium speed.

Drop the dough into 10 mounds (about 1/4 cup each), 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not open oven door). Bake an additional 20 minutes. Turn oven off, and partially open oven door. Pierce the top of each puff with a knife; cool puffs in oven 20 minutes. Remove from oven; cool completely on a wire rack.

Cut top third off puffs; fill each puff with about 1 tablespoon filling. Replace tops, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Note: A small rubber spatula is the best tool for releasing the sticky cream puff dough onto the baking sheet.

Nutritional Information
Calories:177 (33% from fat)
Fat:6.6g (sat 3.4g,mono 2.1g,poly 0.5g)


Tortilla Soup Mix:

1 cup converted long grain rice
2 to 2 ½ cups crushed tortilla chips

Seasoning Packet:
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
2 teaspoons lemonade powder with sugar
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup dried minced onion

Place the rice into a wide-mouth 1-quart canning jar. Mix and place the seasonings in a small plastic bag. Place the packet on top of the rice. Add the crushed tortilla chips.

Attach a gift tag with the following cooking directions:
1 jar Tortilla Soup Mix
2 (5 oz.) cans chicken
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chillies

Carefully remove the tortilla chips from the Tortilla Soup Mix. Remove the seasoning packet and set aside. Place rice in a large soup pot. Add 10 cups water, chicken, tomatoes, and seasoning packet. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add tortilla chips. Cover and simmer 5 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Country Soup in a Jar

1 quart jar

1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup dried split peas
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
1/2 cup dry lentils
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
1/2 cup uncooked alphabet pasta
1 cup uncooked twist macaroni

In a wide mouth 1 quart jar, layer the barley, peas, rice and lentils. Then layer around the edges the onion, parsley, salt, lemon pepper, bouillon and the alphabet pasta. Fill the rest of the jar with the twist macaroni.

Seal and attach a gift card. The gift card should read: Add contents of jar to 3 quarts of water, 2 stalks of chopped celery, 2 sliced carrots, 1 cup of shredded cabbage (optional) and 2 cups diced tomatoes. Over medium low heat, cover and simmer about 1 hour, or until vegetables are tender.


For the jar:

2 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
2 teaspoons celery flakes
1 teaspoon pepper
4 cups wide egg noodles

Layer the ingredients in the order given into a wide-mouth 1-quart canning jar. Pack each layer in place before adding the next ingredient. Attach a gift tag with the following cooking directions.

For the recipe card:
1 jar Chicken Noodle Soup Mix
2 (5 oz.) cans chicken

Bring 10 cups of water to a boil in a large soup pot. Add the Chicken Noodle Soup Mix. Add chicken, breaking it up well with a fork. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Grilled Pizza with Italian Sausage

30 min

20 min
2 12-inch pizzas

2 (12-inch) ready-made pizza crusts

1/3 cup Crisco® Light Olive Oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 pound spicy Italian sausages
1 red bell pepper, cored, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 large red onion, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
2 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions

1. HEAT oven to 375°F.

2. WHISK together all marinade ingredients. Pour half of the marinade in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.

3. SPRAY grill grate with no-stick cooking spray. Heat grill. Brush sausages, red pepper and onion with remaining marinade; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. GRILL until sausages are cooked through and peppers and onion are slightly charred and crisp-tender, turning and basting occasionally with marinade to within 5 minutes of being done, about 12 minutes for sausages and 8 minutes for vegetables. Discard any remaining marinade.

5. TRANSFER to cutting board; cut sausages into 1/2-inch pieces and peppers into thin strips.

6. SPRINKLE each pizza crust with 1/2 of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Top each with 1/2 of sausage, peppers and onion, then with 1/2 the goat cheese, tomatoes and green onions. Remove bowl of marinade from refrigerator; drizzle over the pizzas.

7. PLACE pizzas on cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until cheeses are melted and crusts are golden brown.

Cranberry-Orange Tea Bread Muffins

Prep: 25 min., Bake: 35 min.

Makes 2 dozen

1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 (12-oz.) package fresh cranberries (about 2 cups)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup orange juice
24 aluminum foil miniature baking cups
Vegetable cooking spray
Orange-Cream Cheese Glaze
Garnish: Candied Kumquat Slices

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring occasionally.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. Pulse cranberries and sugar in a food processor 3 to 4 times or just until chopped.

4. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg, beating until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture alternately with orange juice, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in cranberry mixture and pecans.

5. Place baking cups in miniature muffin pans; coat with cooking spray. Spoon batter into baking cups, filling completely.

6. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes clean. Remove from pans to a wire rack; spoon Orange-Cream Cheese Glaze over warm muffins. Garnish with Candied Kumquat Slices, if desired.

Note: To make ahead, place unglazed muffins in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic freezer bag; freeze up to two months. Let thaw at room temperature before glazing.

Lyda Burnette, Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2008

Wendy's Chili

If you don’t want to go out and order a side of chili from Wendy’s then here is the simple recipe to make your own.

· 1 1/2 lb. ground beef (small grind)
· 2 tsp. vegetable oil
· 1 can onion soup
· 2 tsp. chili powder
· 2 tsp. ground cumin
· 1/2 tsp. pepper
· 2 tsp. cocoa powder
· 2 cans kidney beans, undrained
· 6 tsp. tomato paste
· 15 tsp. tomato sauce
· 2 tsp. brown sugar
· 1 tsp. vinegar
· 6 C. V8 juice

Brown the beef in oil. Break meat into tiny pieces. Place onion soup and half of cooked beef into a blender and process on high speed. Place with unblended beef into 2 1/2 qt. saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until flavors are blended.

KFC's Mac and Cheese


· 6 C. water
· 1 1/3 C. elbow macaroni
· 4 oz. Velveeta cheese
· 1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
· 2 Tbs. whole milk
· 1/4 tsp. salt

Bring water to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. Add elbow macaroni to the water and cook it for 10-12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. While the macaroni is boiling, prepare the cheese sauce by combining the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir often as the cheese melts into a smooth consistency. When the macaroni is done, strain it and then pour it back into the same pan, without the water. Add the cheese sauce to the pan and stir gently until the macaroni is well coated with the cheese. Serve immediately while hot.

Yield: 3 servings

French Vanilla Cocoa Mix

Post by KD7LBR started on: 09/09/02 at 5:50pm »

10 1/2 c. non-fat dry milk
4 c. powdered confectioners sugar
2 8oz. jars French Vanilla flavored non-dairy powdered creamer
3 1/2 c. powdered cocoa
2 3/4 c. plain non-dairy powdered creamer
1/2 tsp. salt

Use 8, pint size, canning jars.
Combine all the ingredients together. Divide evenly
into the 8 jars. Seal and decorate, and attach the
recipe tag.

French Vanilla Cocoa
Place 3 large tbsp. of the mix into a coffee mug. Add
boiling water or milk. Stir and enjoy!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

White Pizza

"Our favorite local restaurant has wonderful white pizza, but they aren't always open when I have a craving. So I decided to try my hand at my own white pizza; it was simply delicious and maybe even better than theirs." -CL Reader

6 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 (1-pound) Italian cheese-flavored pizza crust (such as Boboli)
1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/2 cup finely chopped spinach
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup thinly sliced plum tomatoes

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread cheese mixture over pizza crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle with basil and next 6 ingredients (basil through garlic powder). Arrange plum tomato slices in a single layer on top. Place pizza on baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Remove pizza to cutting board; cut into 6 slices.

Cranberry-Orange Bread with Grand Marnier Glaze

This bread is a versatile, easy-to-make crowd-pleaser, delicately laced with Grand Marnier and studded with tart dried cranberries and orange zest. You can vary the size: Make 2 large loaves, or spread the joy with 6 mini loaves. Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes. Notes: Loaves can be made up to 1 month ahead and frozen. Bake and glaze loaves and allow them to cool completely. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, put in zip-lock plastic bags, and freeze. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and defrost at room temperature.

Makes 2 regular loaves or 6 mini loaves; 12 servings per large loaf

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened, plus more for buttering pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups powdered sugar
7 to 8 tbsp. Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

1. Preheat oven to 330°. Butter two 6-cup-capacity loaf pans (or, if making the mini loaves, butter six 2-cup-capacity pans).

2. With an electric or standing mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add orange juice, sour cream, orange zest, and vanilla; mix until blended.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture and cranberries to wet ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are absorbed; do not overmix.

4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers of breads comes out clean, 70 to 75 minutes for large loaves and 60 minutes for mini loaves.

5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 7 tbsp. Grand Marnier. Glaze should have consistency of thick maple syrup or corn syrup. If it is too thick, thin with an additional tbsp. of liqueur.

6. Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a cooling rack set over a large baking sheet. With a thin skewer or long toothpick, poke deep holes in tops of loaves. Drizzle with Grand Marnier glaze so that it coats the top, runs down the sides, and seeps through the holes.

7. Let loaves cool completely, then slice and serve, or wrap and freeze (see Notes).

Outback-Style Sweet Potato

A delicious blend of cinnamon and honey mixed together with the sweet taste of the potatoes.

· 1 large sweet potato
· 2 Tbs. shortening
· 2-3 Tbs. kosher salt
· 3 Tbs. softened butter
· 3 Tbs. honey
· 1 tsp. cinnamon

Rub outside of potato with shortening and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake the potatoes at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes (until soft). Split the potato. Whip together butter and honey and put inside. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana

This version whacks off 15 grams of fat from the original version served at your nearby Olive Garden. It reduces the calories from 275 to 196.

· 1/2 lb. hot Italian lean turkey sausage (2 large links)
· 3 C. fat-free chicken broth
· 3 C. fat-free milk
· 1 Tbs. Hormel Real Bacon pieces
· 1/4 tsp. salt
· Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
· 1 medium russet potato
· 2 C. chopped kale

Grill or sauté the sausage until cooked. Combine the chicken broth, milk, onion, bacon pieces, salt, and pepper flakes in a medium saucepan over medium/high heat. Quarter the potato lengthwise, then cut into 1/4- inch slices. Add to the saucepan. When mixture begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Cut the sausage at an angle into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Add the sausage to the saucepan. Simmer for 1 hour or until potato slices begin to soften. Add the kale to the soup and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Olive Garden Spaghetti Delle Rocca

This is about as close as you are going to get to the real thing from Olive Garden, only thing that would be better would be if you ordered it to go. Then you wouldn’t even have to go through all the work preparing it.

· 1 oz. extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 Tbs. minced fresh garlic
· 2 oz. washed and dried quartered button mushrooms
· 2 oz. diced yellow onions
· 2 lb. cherry tomatoes cut in half
· 1/2 C. pitted Kalamata black olives
· 1/2 C. pitted green olives
· 2 tsp. capers, rinsed
· 1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
· 1 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
· 1/2 tsp. salt
· 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
· 1 lb. dry pasta, cooked according to package directions
· Grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Heat oil in sauce pot. Add garlic, onions and mushrooms. Cook for one minute; do not brown. Add cherry tomatoes, olives, capers, basil, parsley, salt and pepper flakes; sauté 10 minutes, stirring frequently. In a large bowl, combine sauce and drained pasta while both are hot. Top with grated Parmesan cheese; garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hazelnut Honey Bread

This rustic baguette-style bread, named pain aux noix in France, is delicious toasted or just sliced. The French use a soupy, fermented yeast, flour and water mixture, called a starter or poolish, to develop the distinctive tangy character. Spraying the oven with water helps create authentic artisan-style crusty bread. It's optional though, so go ahead and simply omit the spraying.

Servings: 2 loaves, 16 slices each

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) sliced hazelnuts

3/4 tsp (4 mL) active dry yeast
1/2 cup (125 mL) warm water
3/4 cup (175 mL) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (125 mL) warm water
3/4 tsp (4 mL) active dry yeast
2-1/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
1/3 cup (75 mL) liquid honey
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, melted
2 tsp (10 mL) salt

Starter: In bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water; let stand for 1 minute. Stir with wooden spoon until yeast dissolves. Add flour; stir until consistency of pancake batter, about 2 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap; place in warm, draft-free place until bubbly and doubled in bulk, about 4 hours.

In food processor, finely chop half of the hazelnuts; set aside.

Dough: Pour warm water into large bowl; sprinkle yeast over top and let stand for 1 minute. Stir with wooden spoon until dissolved. Stir starter and scrape into yeast mixture. Add 2 cups (500 mL) of the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sliced and chopped hazelnuts, milk, 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the honey, butter and salt ; stir until ragged soft dough forms.

Turn out onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, dusting with as much of the remaining flour as needed to prevent sticking, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Line large rimless baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Punch down dough; turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead into ball. Divide in half; shape each into ball. Gently pull each into 11- x 8-inch (28 x 20 cm) rectangle. Starting at narrow end, diagonally roll up each into cylinder; pinch along bottoms and ends to smooth and seal. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, seam sides down and spaced well apart. Using serrated knife, cut 3 diagonal slashes in top of each loaf. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Stir remaining honey with 1 tbsp (15 mL) warm water; brush over loaves. Place baking sheet in centre of 400°F (200°C) oven. With spritzer bottle filled with cold water, spray walls and floor of oven (avoiding oven light bulb) until steam fills oven, about 10 seconds. Quickly close oven door to trap steam; wait for 5 minutes then repeat steaming. Bake until loaves are golden and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to rack to let cool.

Additional Information

Bread Machine Hazelnut Honey Bread (for dough only): Into pan of 1-1/2- to 2-lb (750 g to 1 kg) bread machine, add (in order) starter, water, milk, honey, melted butter, salt, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and bread machine yeast instead of active dry yeast. Choose dough setting. Add chopped and sliced hazelnuts when specified by machine for additions. Shape into 2 loaves and bake as directed.

Canadian Living Magazine: December 2005

Chocolate-Ginger Pound Cake

Prep: 20 min; Bake: 1 hr., 10 min; Cool: 1 hr., 10 min.

Makes 12 servings

1 (12-oz.) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Place chocolate morsels in a small microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30- second intervals.

2. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

3. Sift together flour and next 3 ingredients. Stir together buttermilk and crystallized ginger. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.

4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan to wire rack, and cool 1 hour or until completely cool.

To freeze: Wrap cooled cake tightly with plastic wrap. Wrap loosely with aluminum foil. Freeze up to 1 month.

Southern Living, SEPTEMBER 2007

Potato Soup (Bennigan's Style)


1 3/4 oz. Ham base
2 qts. Chicken stock
8 oz. Yellow onion, dice
3 oz. Margarine
2 lbs. Potatoes, bite size
1 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
2 C. Milk
3 oz. Flour
3 oz. Margarine


Combine chicken stock in sauce pan with ham base. Stir until lumps are gone. In separate stock pot: melt first margarine measurement; add onion and sauté until transparent. Add potato bite size pieces and pepper. Add chicken stock mix and stir until well mixed. Bring mixture to a boil. In small pan, melt second margarine measure and add flour to create a roux. It should be light brown in color. When stock comes to a boil, add roux with a wire whisk. This will cause the soup to start thickening. Return to a boil. Slowly add the milk. If the soup is too thin, make additional roux and add it to the soup. If you need to do this, be sure to cook the roux until a tan color. This will get rid of the raw flour taste. If the soup is too thick, thin it out with more milk.

Olive Garden Pasta con Zucchini

Homemade tomato sauce can't be beat in this restaurant favorite.

· Your favorite pasta
· Sauce:
· 1/3 C. olive oil
· 1 C. onion, chopped
· 1 lb. fresh mushrooms, divided
· 1 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
· 3 C. tomatoes, crushed
· 16 oz. canned tomatoes, diced and drained
· 1 1/2 C. tomato puree
· 1 C. black olives, sliced, drained
· 2 tsp. capers, drained
· 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
· 1/2 tsp. dried basil
· 1/4 tsp. black pepper
· 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
· 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
· 1/2 tsp. salt
· Zucchini:
· 4 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/4" thick
· 2 Tbs. olive oil
· Dried basil
· Dried oregano
· Salt and black pepper
· 1 lb. rigatoni, cooked
· Parmesan, grated


To make the sauce, cut 1/2 half of the mushrooms into quarters and reserve. Finely mince remaining portion. Heat olive oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and minced mushrooms. Cook 10 minutes or until onions are very soft, stirring frequently. Add garlic and mushroom quarters and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer 20

minutes, stirring frequently.

To make zucchini, sprinkle sliced zucchini with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Heat 1 Tbs. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place zucchini slices in one layer in the pan. Sauté about 3 minutes per side just until tender. Remove to heated platter and cover to keep warm while sautéing remaining zucchini. Add remaining olive oil as needed. Ladle sauce over pasta. Top with zucchini slices and serve. Pass extra sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 4 servings

Boston Market Meat Loaf


· Meat Mixture
· 1 1/2 lb. lean ground Chuck
· 1/2 C. minced onions
· 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
· 3/4 C. drained diced tomatoes
· 3/4 C. Plain bread crumbs
· 1 Egg
· Topping
· 3/4 C. tomato sauce
· 2 Tbs. sugar

Mix all ingredients together in first list until well blended. Place in a lightly greased bread pan and bake at 350 for 3/4hr. Remove from oven and drain excess grease from pan. Mix tomato sauce and sugar together and pour over the meatloaf and place back in the oven to finish baking until done about 1/2 hr depending on the oven.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Honey Cornbread

Prep Time: 8 Minutes

Cook Time: 25 Minutes Ready In: 34 Minutes
Servings: 8

"A sweet cornbread that will crumble in your hand and melt in your mouth."

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder 1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x9 inch baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the cream, oil, honey and eggs; stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of pan comes out clean.

Chicken with Tomatoes and Thyme


Makes 4 servings

1 lemon
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
8 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon capers
4 small chicken thighs
4 small chicken drumsticks
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

4 1-quart resealable plastic freezer bags

Freeze It:
Slice the lemon into rounds.

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and their liquid, lemon, thyme, and capers. Divide them among the 4 plastic freezer bags.

Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 1 leg and 1 thigh to each bag.

Freeze, for up to 3 months, until ready to cook.

Cook It:
Heat oven to 400° F.

Remove the bags of chicken and tomatoes from the freezer (you'll need 1 bag of chicken and tomatoes for each serving). Empty the contents of each bag into a baking dish. Drizzle with the oil, using 1 1/2 teaspoons for each serving. (For 4 servings, use 2 tablespoons oil.)

Roast until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 50 minutes.

Olive Garden Apple Carmelina

Now you won’t have to spend money at this restaurant. You can make the exact same thing at home.

· Topping:
· 3/4 C. flour
· 5 Tbs. butter, softened
· 1/4 tsp. salt
· 1/2 C. brown sugar
· 1/4 C. sugar
· Filling:
· 2 (20 oz.) cans sliced apples, drained
· 1/2 C. sugar
. 1/2 tsp. apple pie spice
· 1/4 C. brown sugar
· 1/4 C. flour
· 1/4 tsp. salt

Mix apples, 1/2 C. sugar, apple pie spice, 1/4 C. brown sugar, salt, and flour together, stir well. Pour into a lightly buttered 8" x 8" baking dish.

Place the topping ingredients together in a bowl. Mix the flour, salt, sugars and blend well. Add and work in the softened butter to the topping ingredients. Mixture should look like coarse meal. Sprinkle over apples and place in a preheated oven at 350F for 30 - 35 minutes. Serve topped with your favorite vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Wolfgang PuckTo make great chicken soup, start by making chicken stock from bones, necks and even feet from your butcher. This will give your soup a foundation of rich flavor and body. Then, poach a good, plump chicken in the stock. Simmer it very slowly and gently with aromatic vegetables to coax out the maximum flavor; and take care to cleanse the surface repeatedly by skimming off the froth of impurities that forms there, to ensure crystal-clear liquid and pure flavor. Remember that before the matzo mixture is chilled, it might seem looser than you'd expect; so don't make the mistake I once did of adding more matzo meal for a firmer pre-chilled mixture, which will only yield matzo balls that are as hard as rocks.

· 6 lb. chicken bones, including necks and feet, coarsely chopped
· 1 medium carrot, cut into 1-inch slices
· 1 medium onion, quartered
· 1 small celery stalk, cut into 1-inch slices
· 1 small leek, cleaned and cut into 1-inch slices
· 1 sprig fresh thyme
· 3 sprigs fresh parsley
· 1 bay leaf
· 1/2 tsp. whole white peppercorns
· 1 whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
· Salt
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 3 large carrots, cut into small cubes
· 2 large onions, cut into small cubes
· 3 celery stalks, cut into small cubes
· 3 parsnips, cut into small cubes
· 3 whole cloves, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied into a bundle
· 4 Tbs. melted rendered chicken fat or vegetable oil
· 4 eggs, lightly beaten
· 1 C. matzo meal
· 1 1/2 tsp. salt
· 1/4 C. cool Chicken Stock or water
· 2 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley leaves
· 2 Tbs. chopped chives
· 1 Tbs. chopped dill leaves

First, up to several days ahead, make the Chicken Stock: Put the chicken bones in a 6- or 7-quart pot, add enough cold water to cover well, and bring to a rolling boil. As the liquid approaches a boil, carefully and continuously skim off the foam and fat that rises to the surface. Add the remaining stock ingredients, reduce the heat to a bare simmer, and continue simmering, uncovered, 2 to 3 hours, skimming as necessary. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and cool. If making the stock in advance, cover and refrigerate; if you do so, discard most of the hardened layer of fat that forms on its surface before continuing; if you use the stock immediately, carefully skim off most of the liquid fat floating on its surface. Reserve 1/4 C. of stock for the matzo balls.

For the Chicken Soup, put the stock and the chicken in a large stockpot, add a little salt and pepper, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Add the cubed vegetables and clove bundle and simmer gently for 45 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside to cool. Set the broth aside and keep it warm. While the chicken is cooling, make the Matzo Balls: In a mixing bowl, stir together the chicken fat or oil and the eggs. Stir in the matzo meal and salt until thoroughly blended, then stir in the stock or water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. With a small ice cream scoop, scoop out balls of the matzo meal mixture, taking care not to compact them, and drop gently into the water. Cover and cook for about 40 minutes.

While the matzo balls are cooking, remove the skin and bones from the cooled chicken and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Return the chicken meat to the broth. Return the soup to the medium heat to bring it back to hot serving temperature. To serve the soup, ladle the broth, vegetables and chicken meat into individual soup plates or bowls. With a slotted spoon, transfer 1 or 2 matzo balls from their pan to each bowl. Just before serving, garnish with chopped parsley, chives and dill.

(Chef Wolfgang Puck's TV series, "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," airs Sundays and Wednesdays on the Food Network. Also, chef Wolfgang Puck's latest cookbook, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy, is now available in bookstores. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY. 14207.)


Bennigan's Smothered Chicken


· Chicken Marinade (prepackaged, or see below recipe)
· 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
· 1 C. sliced onions
· 1 C. sliced mushrooms
· 1 tsp. hickory smoke flavor (found on condiments aisle)
· 3 Tbs. butter or margarine
· 4 to 8 slices provolone cheese (use more or less to your liking)
· 4 slices cooked bacon
· Chicken Marinade
· 1 tsp. basil leaves
· 1 Tbs. garlic powder
· 3 Tbs. hickory smoke flavoring
· 1/4 C. white cooking wine
· 1/4 C. vegetable oil
· 1/2 tsp. salt
· 1/2 tsp. black pepper
· 2 Tbs. vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Marinade meat in covered bowl or plastic bag for at least 2 hours. Marinate chicken as shown above, or follow directions on package if using pre-packaged marinade. While chicken is marinating, slice onions and mushrooms and cook your bacon. Sauté mushrooms and onions in butter and hickory smoke flavor for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are transparent but not brown and mushrooms are tender. Remove chicken from marinade, and grill for about 10 minutes. Do not overcook chicken. While grilling, preheat oven on broil. After chicken is done, remove from grill and place in a shallow baking dish. Cover each breast with a strip of bacon, then provolone cheese, then some sautéed onions and mushrooms. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chicken Cannelloni with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce

For quick weeknight solutions, prepare and stuff cannelloni shells. Wrap tightly with wax paper; freeze until ready to serve. Let thaw in the refrigerator. Unwrap and place in a baking dish; top with your favorite supermarket pasta sauce, and bake as directed.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 (8-ounce) package cannelloni or manicotti shells
4 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
2 (8-ounce) containers chive-and-onion cream cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
Garnish: chopped fresh basil or parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Stir together chicken and next 6 ingredients.

Cut pasta shells lengthwise through the other side. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture into each shell, gently pressing cut sides together. Place, cut sides down, in 2 lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dishes. Pour Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce evenly over shells.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish, if desired.

Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2002

Aunt Mary Bea's Cheese Bread

Delicious compound butter and Swiss cheese melt together to make this an ultimate, gooey cheese bread.

Serves 1 loaf
Active Time 15 mins Total Time 35 mins

½ cup green onions
½ pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp poppy seeds
¼ tsp kosher salt

To start, finely mince the green onions.

Make sure the butter is at room temperature and add the mustard powder, poppy seeds and salt. If you’re using salted butter omit the salt. Then add the green onions and mix everything to combine. Set aside.

8-10 slices Swiss cheese (preferrably processed)*

1 large loaf French bread

To assemble the bread, first preheat your oven to 375° degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the cheese* into triangles and set aside.

Next, slice the bread into about 1-inch thick pieces. Don’t slice all the way through though; keep the bottom intact and just slice around the edges.

Spread the compound butter liberally and evenly in between each piece. Any leftover butter goes well with grilled meats, fish and especially vegetables.

Place a slice of cheese in between each layer. If any pieces of bread fall off, simply glue the loaf back together with a piece of cheese.

To bake the bread, wrap it tightly in foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese has fully melted. When checking the bread, be careful of the steam when opening the foil.

To serve, simply tear the warm bread apart and enjoy!

Panera Bread Cafe's Sierra Turkey Sandwich

Making this famous restaurant sandwich is easy (and much cheaper!). This recipe makes enough to feed a large party.

· 2 1/2 C. heavy mayonnaise
· 2 Tbs. sugar
· 1/3 C. pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
· 3 medium limes, juiced
· 20 wedges Asiago cheese focaccia, split
· 5 lb. smoked turkey breast, sliced thin
· 2 large sweet onions, sliced very thin
· 1 lb. field greens, washed, dried and chilled

Blend mayonnaise, sugar, pureed chipotle and lime juice together in a medium bowl. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

For Each Serving: On bottom piece of split foccacia, spread 2 Tbs. of chipotle mayonnaise. Top with 4 oz. turkey and 1 slice onion. Lightly cover with greens. Replace top of foccacia.

Yield: 20 sandwiches

Olive Garden's House Dressing

Copy this great dressing with fresh ingredients and serve it over your favorite salad.

· 1/2 C. distilled white vinegar
· 1 tsp. lemon juice
· 2 Tbs. beaten egg
· 1/3 C. water
· 1/3 C. vegetable oil
· 1/4 C. corn syrup
· 3 Tbs. grated Romano cheese
· 2 Tbs. dry, unflavored pectin
· 1 1/4 tsp. salt
· 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
· 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
· 1 pinch dried oregano
· 1 pinch red pepper flakes

Pour the vinegar, lemon juice, and egg into a blender; Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend on low speed for 30 seconds. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.Note: Mixing the raw egg with vinegar and lemon juice will kill any Salmonella present. Serve this dressing over mixed greens or use as a marinade for your favorite meat.

Chili's Tortilla Crunch Chicken Fingers


· 1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
· 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
· 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
· 1/8 tsp. ground cumin
· 1 C. crushed tortilla chips
· 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
· 2 Tbs. butter or margarine, melted
· 1 egg
· 2 Tbs. water


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Combine dry onion soup mix, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, cumin, and finely crushed tortilla chips; set aside. Beat together egg and water; set aside. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and lb. to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 1/2 x 3-inch strips. Dip strips into egg then into tortilla chip/spice mixture, coating well. Arrange in a single layer on prepared baking dish; drizzle with butter. Bake uncovered for 15 to 18 minutes, or until chicken is done and topping is golden and crispy.

Yields 6 servings.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Sourdough can claim to be the original bread as it's made with spongy starter, the leavener used in making bread before cake and granular yeasts were commercially available. Although it's not a last-minute project — the starter and the bread need time to develop the distinctive tangy taste — this crusty, chewy loaf is actually easy to make and well worth the time. And if you feed the starter regularly, you can enjoy making this bread for years to come.

Servings: 1 loaf, 12 slices

Sourdough Starter:
all-purpose flour
Warm water
active dry yeast
Whole wheat sourdough Bread:
Half batch sourdough starter
1 cup (250 mL) warm water
2 cups (500 mL) white bread flour (approx)
1-3/4 cups (425 mL) whole wheat bread flour
2 tsp (10 mL) salt
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornmeal
1 egg

Sourdough Starter: In 8-cup (2 L) container, stir 2 cups (500 mL) flour, 1 cup (250 mL) water and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) yeast. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand at room temperature until tripled in volume, 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Refrigerate for 3 days. Stir in 1/2 cup (125 mL) water or milk and 1/2 cup (125 mL) flour. Refrigerate for 3 more days.

Divide the starter in half; place one-half in large bowl. To feed the remaining starter, stir in 3/4 cup (175 mL) water or milk and 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) flour. Refrigerate for at least 2 days or for up to 1 week. The starter must be fed once a week; if not making bread, dispose of half the starter and feed the remainder.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread: Into Sourdough Starter in large bowl, stir in 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the water until smooth. With spoon, beat in 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) of the white bread flour to make smooth paste. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature for at least 12 hours or for up to 24 hours. Stir in remaining water.

Stir in whole wheat bread flour and salt. Turn out onto floured surface; knead, dusting with as much of the remaining white bread flour as needed to prevent sticking, until smooth and elastic, 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place until tripled in bulk, 2 hours.

Punch down dough; turn out onto floured surface. Knead about 10 times to remove air bubbles. Cover with tea towel; let rest for 10 minutes. Press into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick circle. Fold dough 1-1/2 inches (4 cm) down from top, pressing down with hands. Repeat folding, pressing into torpedo-shaped loaf. Pinch edge and ends to seal.

Place loaf, seam side down, on cornmeal-dusted baking sheet. Cover with towel; let rise until doubled, 1-1/2 hours. Whisk egg with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water; brush over loaf. Using serrated knife, cut slashes in top. Bake in centre of 425 F (220°C) oven until golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool on rack.

Additional Informations
White Sourdough Bread: Omit whole wheat bread flour and increase white bread flour to 3-1/4 cups (800 mL).

Rye Sourdough Bread: Omit whole wheat bread flour and use 1-3/4 cups (425 mL) rye bread flour.

Boule (round loaf): Line 12-cup (3 L) bowl with tea towel. Dust with white bread flour. Instead of forming dough into torpedo shape, shape into ball and place, seam side up, in prepared bowl. Let rise as above; transfer to baking sheet. Cut crisscross slashes.

Canadian Living Magazine: November 2002

Cheese Straws

Prep: 30 min., Bake: 12 min. per batch, Cool: 30 min. If you like yours less spicy, use the smaller amount of red pepper.

Makes about 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon half-and-half

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor; pulse in 5-second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-and-half, and process 10 seconds or until dough forms a ball.

2. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and roll into an 8- x 10-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut dough with a sharp knife into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-wide strips, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place on ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until ends are slightly browned. Cool on baking sheets on a wire rack 30 minutes. Break into desired lengths.

Note: To make cheese rounds, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness, and cut with a 1 1/2-inch round cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake and cool as directed. Freeze baked cheese straws or rounds in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic freezer bag up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

Matt Lee and Ted Lee, Matt & Ted Lee
from their cookbook,

The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook
Norton, Southern Living, DECEMBER 2007

Olive Garden's San Remo Seafood Dip

This shrimp and crab mixture is meant for breadstick dipping

· 1 (6 oz.) can tiny shrimp (drain, reserve liquid)
· 1 (6 oz.) can crab meat (drain, reserve liquid) 2 oz. cream cheese, cubed
· 2 Tbs. olive oil
· 2 Tbs. flour
· 1/4 tsp. salt
· 1/8 tsp. crushed garlic
· 1 tsp. horseradish
· 1/3 C. asiago cheese
· 2 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese
· 3/4 C. half and half
· 1 1/2 C. Barilla marinara sauce (remove excess liquid)
· 1/4 C. parmesan cheese (for topping)
· Breadsticks bought at the store

On medium-low, heat olive oil and flour in 2 quart saucepan. Add liquids from canned seafoods. Add cubed cream cheese, salt, garlic and horseradish. Stir till smooth. Add asiago and 2 Tbs. parmesan cheese. Stir until smooth. Add seafood; blend well. Simmer until heated. Add half and half a little at a time to seafood sauce. It will resemble a pudding. Simmer 12-15 minutes. Stir frequently, don't scorch. In a shallow baking dish, spray with a non-stick spray. Line the bottom of the dish with the marinara. Place seafood mixture on top of the marinara. Sprinkle with 1/4 C. parmesan cheese. Bake at 325F for

10-15 minutes. Do not brown. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Breadsticks: Follow the instructions on the package for baking time and temp. Before you put them in the oven, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with parm cheese. Wrap in tin foil. When they're done, cut them on a diagonal into dipping size pieces.

Louise's Italian Cafe Grilled Chicken Calzones


· 1 10 oz. pkg. refrigerated pizza dough
· 1/4 C. prepared pesto
· 6 Tbs. ricotta cheese
· 1 1/2 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (scant 1/2 C.)
· 1 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
· 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half, cut into bite-size pieces
· 1 tsp. grated Parmesan/Romano mixture
· 2 1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil Parsley sprigs for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll pizza dough and place on greased baking sheet. Layer pesto, cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes and chicken breast pieces in middle of dough. Lift one edge of dough and stretch over the filling to form a half-moon. Seal edges by pressing with tines of fork or pizza wheel, and make a fluted edge around the seal.

Prick top with fork to allow steam to escape. Brush with olive oil. Bake in preheated oven 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley.

Yield: 2-3 servings

Cheesecake Factory Cajun Jambalaya Pasta


· 4 oz. butter
· 2 tsp. Cajun spice mix
· 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
· 1 lb. fresh linguini pasta
· 1/2 C. clam juice
· 2 oz. green bell peppers, cut into thin strips
· 2 oz. red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
· 2 oz. yellow bell peppers, cut into thin strips
· 4 oz. red onions, cut into thin strips
· 1/2 lb. fresh medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
· 1/2 C. diced tomatoes

Place the butter into a sauté pan. Allow the butter to melt slightly. Add the seasoning into the pan and stir together with the melted butter. Add the chicken into the pan and continue to cook until the chicken is about half done.

While the chicken is cooking, carefully place the pasta into boiling water and cook until al dente. Pour the clam juice into the pan. Add the peppers and onions. Cook for another minute, making sure the vegetables are heated through and the chicken is almost done. Add the shrimp into the pan. Toss the ingredients together and continue to cook until the shrimp are almost done. Add the tomatoes into then pan. Continue to cook mixture until both the shrimp and chicken are thoroughly cooked through.

Place some pasta into each bowl. Spoon equal portions of the jambalaya mixture into each bowl over the pasta.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Make-and-Take Bacon and Egg Sandwiches

In a rush to get to weekend practices? Wrap up these warm, tasty sandwiches to take along.

Servings: 4 sandwiches

12 slices bacon
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
4 eggs
4 baking_powder Biscuits
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded cheddar cheese

In skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp or desired doneness, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Drain fat from pan.

In skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Crack eggs into skillet; break yolk and fry until whites are set, about 3 minutes. Turn over and fry until whites and yolks are set, about 30 seconds.

Cut biscuits in half; divide eggs, cheese and bacon among biscuits.

Canadian Living Magazine: November 2007

Asiago Bacon Breakfast Bread

Makes: 1 round loaf

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Proof Time: 40 minutes
Bake Time: 25 to 30 minutes

1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons butter OR margarine
1 envelope Fleischmann’s® Active Dry Yeast
2 eggs
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
10 to 12 strips cooked bacon, crumbled (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon Spice Islands® Chives

Heat milk, water and butter until warm (100° to 110°F). Pour into large mixing bowl and add yeast. Stir and let rest for 5 minutes. Beat in eggs.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add to liquid mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Combine cheddar cheese, Asiago cheese, bacon and chives in a bowl. Reserve one third, stir remaining cheese mixture into batter. Pour into greased 9-inch round cake pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, 40 to 50 minutes.

Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese mixture over bread. Return to oven and bake additional 5 to 10 minutes until well browned and bread is done. Cut into slices and serve warm. Refrigerate leftover bread.

Lime-Basil Butter/Spread

4 tablespoons well-softened butter or margarine

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (approximately 1 large wedge)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil

Mix together the butter, lime juice and basil with a fork or whisk.

Refrigerate for several hours or overnight so that the butter re-solidifies and the flavors can blend together.

(If you're in a hurry, you can put the butter in the freezer for 20-30 minutes instead, but the basil flavor will not be as intense.)

Note: Once you've mixed the lime juice with the butter, it will soften
more quickly than undiluted butter.

Honey Butter


4 ounces butter
1/2 cup honey
5 to 6 slices cooked crisp bacon, drained and crumbled


In a mixing bowl with electric mixer at high speed, beat butter until light and fluffy. Lower speed to medium and beat in honey and bacon until well blended. Keep in covered container and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Use on fresh corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, green beans, or other cooked vegetables.

Herb Butter

Herb butter is great to use in any dish that benefits from the addition of herbs: pasta, steamed vegetables, fish, etc. Herb butter is easy to make and keeps well in your freezer. It's great to keep on hand for jazzing up those last minute meals.

4 oz. Butter (1 stick), softened
1/4 Cup Herbs (your choice), finely chopped
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
Sea Salt, to taste

Any combination of herbs will do here. Trying a mixture of any of the following: tarragon, chives, parsley, dill, rosemary, thyme, sage, dill or use a single herb. Chop the herbs as fine as possible.
Cream the butter and herbs together with a fork.

Add the lemon juice and salt to taste.
On a piece of plastic wrap, shape the butter into a log about one inch in diameter. Wrap the log in plastic.

The butter will keep in the refrigerator for a week or a month in the freezer.

When you're ready to use it, just slice off a piece and place directly on the hot food. If the butter is frozen, let it warm slightly before using.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Classic Riccotta Pie

1 1/2c Flour

1/4 tsp Salt
3/4c butter softened
1 egg yolk
2-3 Tbs water
3 1/2c Ricotta cheese
1/4c Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 TB Grated lemon peel
1 TB Grated orange peel
1 TB Vanilla
4 Eggs beaten
1 c Sugar

Mix 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium size bowl. cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the water. Add more water a few drops at a time if pastry is crumbly. Roll dough on well-floured surface into 13 inch circle. Ease pastry carefully into greased 10 inch pie plate. Fold edge of pastry under and pinch to stand 1/2 inch above pie plate.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cheese, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, grated lemon and orange peels and vanilla in large bowl. Beat in 4 eggs. Add sugar gradually. Pour filling into pastry-lined pie plate. Bake pie until filling is firm about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Sprinkle ground cinnamon lightly over cheese filling just before serving. Serve warm or cold

Cheese Dill Scones

Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes. Notes: These scones are best the day they're made, but freeze well, wrapped in 2 layers of plastic wrap. Unwrap and bake frozen at 350° until warm, 10 minutes.

Makes 8 scones

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded extra-sharp cheddar
1/4 cup (2 oz.) shredded parmesan
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup low-fat milk

1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine flour, mustard, baking powder, and salt. With your fingers or a fork, work butter into flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal studded with a few pea-size pieces. Stir in cheeses, chives, and dill.

2. Add milk and stir to combine. Transfer dough to a floured surface and gently knead 2 or 3 times until it comes together. Pat into a 1-in.-thick disk and cut into 8 triangles. Arrange triangles about 2 in. apart on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 20 minutes.

Pedro's Mexican Restaurante Snickers Chimichangas

A different way to eat a snickers bar, try it burrito style.

· 7 (2 oz.) Snickers candy bars
· 4 (12-inch) burrito-size tortillas
· 2 Tbs. melted butter or margarine
· Vanilla ice cream
· Maraschino cherries and whipped cream, optional

Cut 6 Snickers bars into 4 equal pieces. Arrange 6 pieces in the center of each tortilla. Fold up burrito style; seal ends with a toothpick. Transfer to small cookie sheet. Brush all sides of each burrito with the melted butter then cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour. (Can be made ahead. Refrigerate up to 24 hours.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake burritos until golden brown and crisp, 20 minutes. Coarsely chop remaining Snickers bar. Place each chimichanga in a shallow dessert bowl. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, cherries and chopped Snickers bar.

Makes 4 servings.

Lone Star's Amarillo Cheese Fries and Dip


· 8 oz. bottle (1 C.) ranch salad dressing
· (1/2) 1.25 oz. packet. taco seasoning
· 32 oz. pkg. frozen spicy French fries - prepared as directed
· 4 strips cooked bacon - crumbled
· 1/2 C. shredded Colby Jack cheese

Combine ranch dressing and taco seasoning; set aside. Sprinkle cheese and bacon evenly over fries on the baking sheet. Return fries to hot oven until cheese has melted. Serve fries with prepared sauce for dipping.

Fiddleheads Restaurant Apple Cobbler

This sweet apple dessert is a nice complement to the flavors of the Americas that are the signature of Fiddleheads. Pastry chef Melissa McKinney is credited with creating this tasty cobbler.

· 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
· 1 C. granulated sugar
· 1/2 C. chilled butter -- (1 stick) plus
· 2 Tbs. chilled butter -- (divided)
· 1 egg
· 4 Tbs. milk -- (4-5)
· 2 tsp. vanilla -- (divided)
· pinch salt
· 12 sweet cooking apples -- see notes
· 1/4 C. firmly packed brown sugar
· 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Sift together the flour and sugar. With a pastry blender or mixer, cut 1/2 C. chilled butter into the flour mixture until it resembles tiny peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, 4 Tbs. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla and salt. Combine the milk mixture with the flour mixture and gently stir until the dough holds together, adding an additional 1 Tbs. milk if necessary. Chill the dough. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel, core and slice the apples. Combine the apples with the brown sugar, cinnamon and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla. Spread the apples in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and dot with the remaining 2 Tbs. chilled butter. Drop the dough topping in small pieces over the apples (it is OK if there are spaces without topping). Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the apples are tender and bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm. Serving Size : 12

Per serving: 112 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (4% calories from fat);

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spicy Pumpkin Bread


24 slices (serving size: 1 slice)

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
Cooking spray
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 7 ingredients (flour through cloves) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine sugar and the next 5 ingredients (sugar through pumpkin) in a bowl, and stir well with a whisk until smooth. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter into 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf
pans coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with walnuts. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaves in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool loaves completely; cut each loaf into 12 slices.

Carrot Cake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

"I grind oats with flour in a food processor to make this cake more nutritious, and use only 1/4 cup canola oil and pureed baby food carrots to make it moist. This cake keeps for up to three days in the refrigerator and also freezes well." —Christine Dohlmar, Valrico, Florida

12 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 ounces)
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 (2 1/2-ounce) jar carrot baby food
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups finely grated carrot (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup golden raisins
Cooking spray

1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 325°.

To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a food processor; pulse 6 times or until well blended. Place flour mixture in a large bowl. Combine granulated sugar, canola oil, baby food, and eggs; stir with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Stir in grated carrot and raisins. Spoon batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare frosting, combine cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating at low speed until smooth (do not overbeat). Spread over cake; sprinkle with coconut. Cover and chill.

Restaurant-Style Chicken Scampi

Coated chicken tenders tossed with hot cooked pasta, bell pepper, onion and garlic in four cheese Alfredo sauce. This is a delicious, rich chicken scampi very similar to that served at a well known Italian restaurant chain. Perfect with a green salad with Italian-style salad dressing and breadsticks!

· 1 lb. raw chicken tenders or strips
· 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
· 1 Tbs. olive oil
· 1 (16 oz.) package spaghetti
· 1 Tbs. olive oil, divided
· 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
· 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
· 1 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
· 1 onion, chopped
· 2 Tbs. chopped garlic
· 1 1/2 C. four cheese Alfredo sauce
· 1/2 C chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken and flour in a large resealable plastic bag; seal bag and shake to coat. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Shake excess flour off chicken and saute in oil for 4 to 5 minutes each side, or until golden brown and cooked through (juices run clear). Remove from skillet and place in a medium bowl; set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, reserving 2/3 cup cooking water, and return pasta to pot. Set aside pasta and cooking water. Wipe skillet with paper towel. Heat 1 tsp. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add green bell pepper, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook 3 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Stir in Alfredo sauce, cover and heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to reserved pasta in pot, then add reserved cooking water and chicken. Toss to mix, pour into serving bowls and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Black Kettle Restaurant Roasted Eggplant Soup


· 1 eggplant, about 7 inches long, unpeeled (see note)
· 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
· 1 whole jalapeno pepper (see note)
· 1 large red bell pepper, halved, seeds and stem removed Olive oil spray
· 2 Tbs. seasoning mixture (see note)
· 1 qt. hot chicken stock
· 1 qt. hot whipping cream
· 3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
· 3/4 C. flour
· Sour cream for garnish

Place eggplant, onion and peppers directly on hot grill. Spray with olive oil carefully as grill will flame. Sprinkle with about half of seasoning mixture. When golden brown, turn and repeat with oil and seasonings. If desired, vegetables can be baked at 425 degrees on a cookie sheet about 20 minutes until soft and tender. During baking, vegetables should be sprayed with olive oil, sprinkled with seasoning and turned. When vegetables are done, put in food processor and process until finely minced. In a large soup pot, add vegetable mixture to stock and cream. Cook over medium heat until heated through, about 5 minutes. Combine butter and flour to make roux. Add gradually to soup until desired consistency is achieved. To garnish, put sour cream in squeeze bottle and draw some onto soup surface. Using a knife, cut across sour cream to decorate. Makes 3 quarts, 10 to 12 side-dish servings or 4 to 6 main-dish servings.

Applebee's Santa Fe Stuffed Chicken


· 8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
· 1 (8 oz. or larger) package Monterey jack cheese,
· 1/2 C. butter, melted
· 1 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
· 1 1/2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
· 1/2 tsp. salt
· 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
· 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
· 1 small red bell pepper
· 1 small green bell pepper

Cut some of the cheese into 8 slices, and reserve part of it for the cheese sauce. Place one chicken breast between two sheets of wax paper. Working from the center to the edges lb. with a meat mallet until flat and rectangular shaped. Repeat with remaining breasts. Wrap the flattened chicken breasts around cheese. Secure with wooden picks or uncooked spaghetti noodles. Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, cumin and pepper. Roll the secured chicken pieces in the melted butter and then in the bread crumb mixture. Place chicken breasts in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, but don't crowd them. Drizzle the remaining butter over all eight of the breasts. Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze to bake later (baking time will be increased by about 5 to 10 minutes). Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is done. Make a roux with butter and flour. Add about 1 C. milk. Bring to a simmer. Add cheese and lower the heat, stirring constantly so cheese does not burn. Add more milk as needed to thin out the cheese sauce. Dice bell peppers. When chicken is done, pour some cheese sauce over top and sprinkle with diced peppers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Maple-Nut Rolls

Makes 24 rolls

Prep: 45 minutes
Rise: 1 hour 30 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes

4-3/4 to 5-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter (no substitutes)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon apple pie spice
1/4 cup butter (no substitutes)
1 cup finely snipped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 tablespoon half-and-half or light cream
3 tablespoons butter (no substitutes)
1-1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup

1. Stir together 2-1/4 cups of the flour and the yeast in a large mixing bowl. Heat and stir milk, the 1/3 cup butter, granulated sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat just until warm (120 degree F to 130 degree F) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to dry mixture along with eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the flour remaining from the 4-3/4 to 5-1/4 cups as you can.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the flour remaining from the 4-3/4 to 5-1/4 cups to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).

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

4. Lightly grease two baking sheets. Roll each half of dough into a 12x8-inch rectangle.

5. For filling, combine brown sugar, the 1/4 cup flour, and apple pie spice. Using a pastry blender, cut in the 1/4 cup butter until crumbly. Stir in dried apricots. Sprinkle filling over dough rectangles; top with pecans. Roll up each rectangle, jelly-roll style, starting from the long side. Seal seams. Slice each roll into 12 pieces. Place, cut sides down, on prepared baking sheets.

Cover dough loosely with clear plastic wrap, leaving room for rolls to rise. Let dough rise in a warm place until nearly double in size, about 30 minutes. Remove plastic wrap.

7. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Break any surface bubbles on dough with a greased toothpick. Brush dough with some of the half-and-half or light cream.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until light brown. If necessary, cover rolls loosely with foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Remove from oven.

9. Brush again with half-and-half or light cream. Cool for 1 minute. Carefully invert rolls onto wire rack. Cool slightly. Invert again onto a serving platter.

10. Meanwhile, for the maple glaze, heat 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for 7 to 10 minutes or until light brown; remove from heat. Stir in sifted powdered sugar and maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup. If needed, stir in milk to make of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over rolls; serve warm. Makes 24 rolls.

Make-Ahead Tip: Place rolls on baking sheet as directed. Cover dough loosely with clear plastic wrap, leaving room for rolls to rise. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Uncover; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and bake as directed.

Beer-Cheese Spread

Prep: 15 min., Chill: 2 hr. This recipe makes a lot, but it can be frozen for up to a month. It fits perfectly into 4 (10-oz.) ramekins. Try it over French fries, hot dogs, and chili too.

This recipe goes with Grilled Beer-Cheese Sandwich

Makes 5 cups

1 (2-lb.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (12-oz.) bottle amber beer, at room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: thyme sprig

1. Beat together first 5 ingredients at low speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended. Gradually add beer, beating until blended after each addition. Beat at medium-high speed 1 minute or until blended and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 2 hours. Garnish, if desired. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Abita Amber Beer. This spread can be frozen up to 1 month; thaw overnight in refrigerator.

Grilled Beer-Cheese Sandwich: Spread 1 tsp. softened butter evenly on 1 side of 2 bread slices. Place bread slices, buttered sides down, on wax paper. Spread 1/4 cup Beer-Cheese Spread onto 1 side of 1 bread slice. Top with remaining bread slice, buttered side up. Cook sandwich in a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Therese Halaska, Portage, Wisconsin, Southern Living, OCTOBER 2007

TGI Friday's Jack Daniels Grill Glaze II

Just like you order in the restaurant, this special sauce is finally revealed.

· 1 tsp. onion powder
· 1 Tbs. Tabasco sauce
· 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
· 1/4 C. Jack Daniel's Ole No. & Tennessee Whiskey
· 2 C. packed brown sugar
· 1/4 C. water
· 2 beef bouillon cubes
· 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
· 2 4 oz. chicken breasts


Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool. Use as a glaze on meat, poultry, and seafood just before removing from grill.

To prepare chicken breasts using Jack Daniel's grill glaze: Use 2 (4oz.) breasts for each serving. Marinate chicken in your choice of marinade for 5-10 minutes. Place chicken on the grill or in a sauté pan. While cooking, baste often with marinade. When cooked to your satisfaction, brush liberally with glaze. Remove immediately to serving dish. Glaze burns quickly and can be difficult to remove from grill or pans if left to burn onto surface.

O'Charley's Baked Potato Soup

Stay home tonight and try your hand at this great soup

· 3 lbs. red potatoes
· 1/4 C. margarine, melted
· 1/4 C. flour
· 8 C. half-and-half
· 1 (16-oz.) block Velveeta cheese, melted White pepper, to taste Garlic powder, to taste
· 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
· 1/2 lb. bacon, fried crisply
· 1 C. cheddar cheese, shredded
· 1/2 C. fresh chives, chopped
· 1/2 C. fresh parsley, chopped


Dice unpeeled red potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in a large Dutch oven, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes or until 3/4 cooked. In a separate large Dutch oven, combine melted margarine and flour, mixing until smooth. Place over low heat and gradually add half-and-half, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until smooth and liquid begins to thicken. Add melted Velveeta. Stir well. Drain potatoes and add to cream mixture. Stir in pepper, garlic powder and hot pepper sauce. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place soup into individual serving bowls and top with crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, chives and parsley.

Yield: 4 servings

Applebee's Southwest Steak


· 2 (5.5 oz.) sirloin steaks, or your favorite cut
· 4 shakes blackened steak seasoning
· 1/2 C. red peppers - julienne cut
· 1/2 C. green peppers - julienne cut
· 1 C. yellow onion - julienne cut
· Butter, as needed
· Salt, to taste
· Pepper, to taste
· Garlic, granulated, to taste
· 1 slice cheddar cheese
· 1 slice monterey jack cheese - sliced


Preheat skillet or grill to 550 degrees F. Shake blackened steak seasoning on to one side of meat and grill to desired doneness, turning halfway on grill between "flips" to achieve "diamond" grill marks. While steak is cooking, cut onions and peppers. Melt butter and sauté onions and peppers. Season with salt, pepper and garlic. Reduce heat and hold until steak is cooked. For final minute of steak cooking, top with cheese slices.