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Sep 30, 2009

Hearty Herb Bread

Slightly heavier textured bread with a delicious combination of parsley, onion, and oregano

2 loaves

3 1/2 - 4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dry milk powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 package (1/4 ounce or 1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
2 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sliced green onions
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, milk powder, sugar and yeast. In a saucepan, heat water, oil and butter to 120-130 degrees (F) and add to dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed for three minutes.

2. Stir in eggs, onions, parsley, oregano, salt and enough remaining all-purpose flour to make a soft dough.

3. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

4. Punch dough down; divide in half. Shape into loaves; place in greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until done.

French Breakfast Puffs

A light and fluffy quick muffin topped with sugar and cinnamon

12 muffins

1/3 cup shortening or softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk


6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg, mixing well. Stir in milk.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Add to wet mixture, stirring until moistened.

3. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until muffins test done.

4. Remove muffins from pan and allow to cool for a few minutes. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip the top of each muffin in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon sugar

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

A soft and spongy lemon poppy seed muffins with the perfect balance of sweet and tart!

12 muffins

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 egg
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest (the zest from ~two large lemons)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/4 cups kefir (or buttermilk)

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

2. In a smaller bowl, combine egg, sugar, andlemon zest, stirring well. Add butter and kefir (or buttermilk) and stir.

3. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir just until moistened. Do not over mix. The batter will be fairly thick.

4. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Divide batter evenly into 12 paper-lined or greased muffin cups. Bake muffins on rack in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until muffins test done. (Ours are usually done in 17-19 minutes; over-cooking seems to make them unnecessarily dry.)

5. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling

Soft Butter Spread

A fluffy butter mixture that's easily spreadable

2 cups

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water, at room temperature

1. Using an electric mixer, blend butter on HI until fluffy.

2. Continue mixing, and slowly add oil. Continue mixing and slowly add water. Mixture will turn white and be very light and fluffy!

3. Chill until set.

New Year's Apple Challah

A sweet bread with apples and cinnamon throughout, baked in a circular "loaf"

1 huge loaf

Dough ingredients:

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil or melted butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons dry yeast
5 to 6 cups flour

Apple filling:

3 cups coarsely chopped apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice (skip if apples are tart)

Egg wash:

1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon sugar
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling -- optional

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the first seven dough ingredients, in order listed. Stir in a cup or two of the flour, then add yeast.

2. Add enough additional flour to equal about 5 cups, and stir/knead into a smooth dough, adding additional flour if needed. Knead dough for 8-10 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.

3. Place apple filling ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Set aside

4. Punch down the risen dough, kneading to remove excess air bubbles. On a lightly-floured surgace, roll the dough into a large round, about 1/2-inch thick. Spread apple mixture over the dough.

5. Fold the edges of the dough over the apples and continue to fold/roll the dough to make one big lump with the filling enclosed. Let rest 5 minutes.

6. Grease a 10-inch springform pan. Place springform pan on a large cookie sheet (to catch any leaks during rising/baking).

7. Now, this part gets messy. Using a sharp knife (I use a serrated one), cut off chunks of the dough and place them in the prepared pan. You should end up with 15-20 chunks of dough (though a particular number doesn't matter). The apple pieces should be randomly dispersed throughout the dough chunks. Sprinkle with any escaped apple pieces.

8. Combine the egg and sugar, and then dab the egg wash over the top of the dough. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Cover gently with a piece of plastic wrap and place pan in a warm location to rise.

9. When dough has almost doubled in size, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and then place baking sheet/springform in the middle of the oven (remove the piece of plastic wrap first, of course!!!) to bake for 45-55 minutes or until done. When I make this, usually the edges of the top get well-browned before the middle is cooked. So, after about 25-30 minutes, I cover the darker areas loosely with foil -- sometimes forming a large loose "ring" of foil (with no foil in the middle) to lay on top.

10. When challah is done, remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out of pan onto a cooling rack and cover with a clean towel until completely cool.

Preparation Time:
1 hour (plus rising time)

Cooking Time:
45-55 minutes or longer


Goblin Tongues

Apple Bites

These toothsome treats are a fun and healthy break from Halloween sweets. RECIPE INGREDIENTS:

Slivered almonds

1. Just quarter and core an apple, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter, then press slivered almonds in place for teeth.

2. Tip: If you're not going to serve them right away, baste the apples with orange juice to keep them from browning

Edible Eyeballs

Cream cheese
Pitted black olives

1. Simply slice carrots into 1-inch-thick chunks, top each with a blob of cream cheese and one half of a pitted black olive, and serve.
Cheese-Finger Food

Mozzarella string cheese
Green bell pepper
Cream cheese

1. Wearing plastic gloves or sandwich bags over your hands to keep the cheese as smudge-free as possible, use a paring knife (parents only) to cut each string in half and then carve a shallow area for a fingernail just below the rounded end of each half.

2. Mark the joint right below the nail as well as the knuckle joint by carving out tiny horizontal wedges of cheese, as pictured.

3. For the fingernails, slice a green bell pepper into 3/8-inch-wide strips. Set the strips skin side down on your work surface and trim the pulp so that it's about half as thick. Then cut the strips into ragged-topped nail shapes and stick them in place at the ends of the fingers with dabs of cream cheese


Mini bagels
Cream cheese
Bologna slices
1. For each Goblin Tongue sandwich, spread cream cheese between the top and bottom of a mini bagel.

2. Use a butter knife or kitchen shears to cut a tongue shape from a half slice of bologna. Then gently press the base of the tongue into the bagel hole.

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping Recipe


1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 large eggs
1/3 cup plus another 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
1 pre-baked pie crust (see pie crust recipe for instructions on pre-baking a pie crust)
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup of pecans, half of them lightly chopped, the other half whole

1 Make the pie crust. (See pie crust recipe for instructions on pre-baking a pie crust.) If you use a store-bought frozen crust, you do not need to pre-bake it, just defrost it 10 minutes and prick the bottom all over with a fork before using.

2 Make the sweet potato purée. In a large saucepan, cover the sweet potato pieces with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato pieces are soft when poked with a knife or fork. Drain. Purée in a food processor until smooth. You may need to add back a little liquid (a tablespoon or two of water) to get a smooth consistency. Let cool completely before using.

3 Prepare the pie. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place rack at bottom of oven. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and maple syrup until smooth. Add the sweet potato purée, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 3/4 cup of cream. Mix until completely smooth. Pour into cooled crust.

4 Bake the pie. Bake on lowest rack for 50 minutes, until filling has set. You may want to tent the edges of the pie with aluminum foil or a pie crust protector to prevent the pie crust edges from burning. Cool on rack for one hour. Then transfer to refrigerator and chill completely.

5 Make the pecan topping. Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp cream, and mix in. Add the pecans, mix to coat the pecans with the sugar mixture. Let cool for 1 minute. Pour mixture over cooled pie. Use a rubber spatula to spread topping over the top of the pie. Cool until topping has hardened, about 30 minutes.

Bisquick Apple Coffee Cake

Bisquick Apple Coffee Cake Recipe



2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup of milk or water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 tart green apple, cored, peeled, sliced

1/3 cup Bisquick mix
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter

1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2 Grease 8" square pan or 9" round pan. Mix cake ingredients. Spread cake batter in pan. Insert apple slices into the batter evenly throughout the cake.

3 Mix the topping ingredients of Bisquick, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread topping mix over top of batter in pan. Add slices of butter all over the top.

4 Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown, testing with a toothpick.

Serves 4.

Baked Garden Eggplant


2 Tsp. olive oil
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 1 lb.)
2 Medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
1 Tsp. oregano leaves
1/4 Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. Italian breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 1 1/2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
Heat oil in small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and 1 tablespoon water.
Combine onion mixture and remaining ingredients except Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs; mix well. Pour into prepared casserole; cover and bake 30 minutes. Stir. Bake 10 minutes longer; stir. Top with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Reduce heat to 375°F. Bake uncovered 10 minutes or until eggplant is tender.

Quick Lemony Brussels Sprouts


1 Lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 Tsp. olive oil
1/2 Small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tsp. grated lemon peel
2 Tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 Tsp. pepper
1/8 Tsp. salt (optional)

Trim outer leaves from Brussels sprouts. With sharp knife, cut a small “x” in stem end of sprouts; set aside.
Combine oil and onion in microwave-safe 1-quart casserole; toss to coat onions. Microwave, covered, 1 minute. Add Brussels sprouts and 3 tablespoons water. Cover and microwave on HIGH 6 to 9 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are crisp-tender, stirring once. Add lemon peel, lemon juice, pepper and salt, if desired; toss to coat.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast


1 Tbsp. oil
3-to 3-1/2- Lb. boneless beef pot roast (rump, chuck or round)
4 Carrots, sliced
4 Medium all-purpose potatoes (about 2 lb.), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Envelopes Lipton® Recipe Secrets ® Onion Soup Mix
3/4 Cup water


In large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat and brown roast.
In slow cooker arrange carrots and potatoes; top with roast; set aside.
In glass measuring cup combine Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix with water. Add to skillet, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Add soup mixture to slow cooker. Cook covered on Low 8 to 10 hours or HIGH 4 to 6 hours. Remove roast and vegetables to serving platter.
Thicken gravy, if desired, by combining 1/4 cup water with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until thickened.


Try a few of the ideas listed below and you will see that cooking can be a breeze.

1.Before beginning any messy project, cover your tabletop or work surface with plastic wrap that doesn’t just cling, but seals. Simply remove the plastic wrap when done for easy cleanup.

2.Make cleanup a snap by lining baking pans and roasting pans with aluminum foil. Make sure the foil extends a couple of inches over the edges of the pan for easy lift out.

3.Lightly brush turkey, chicken or hens with cooking oil before roasting to produce an appetizing golden sheen.

4.For big flavor with little work, add your favorite herbs and spices to butter. Mix in, then roll herbed butter in plastic wrap and freeze. Simply slice, as much as needed, onto roasted meat or broiled fish.

5.To prevent cheese from sticking to a grater, simply spray the grater with nonstick cooking spray before using.

6.Extend food freshness and stretch your grocery dollar by storing leftovers in resealable storage or freezer bags. Or prepare, bake, serve, store and reheat favorite foods in heat-resistant, oven-safe and freezer-ready storage containers.

7.Keep homemade or ready-to-bake cookie dough on hand. Store homemade dough in cookie-size (1-inch) balls in the freezer, or keep the ready-to-bake variety in the refrigerator. You’ll be prepared to produce a hot-from-the-oven treat in minutes for unexpected guests.

8.Bake and freeze unfrosted cupcakes. They’re easy to frost and decorate when frozen, but will thaw quickly. Frosting and decorating is an ideal project for kids looking for something fun to do, or a time-saver for when you want to bring something fancy to a party or meeting and simply don’t have time to bake.

9.When kneading dough for holiday breads, spray your hands first with nonstick cooking spray to prevent dough from sticking.

10.Use the microwave oven on the low setting to melt chocolate and to soften butter.