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Nov 10, 2009

Chicken Fajita Chili

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed (3/4 inch)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 sweet onion, halved, sliced lengthwise (1/4 inch)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 (1.12-oz.) pkg. fajita seasoning
1 (28-oz.) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 (15-oz.) can pinto beans, undrained
1 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped roasted red and/or yellow bell peppers
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1. Place chicken in resealable plastic bag; add 2 tablespoons of the oil, lime juice and crushed red pepper. Massage bag to coat. Refrigerate 2 hours.

2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large pot over medium-high heat until hot. Cook chicken 8 to 10 minutes or until browned on all sides, stirring frequently. Remove chicken.

3. Add onion to pot; cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook 30 to 60 seconds or until fragrant.

4. Stir in fajita seasoning to coat onions. Return chicken to pot. Stir in all remaining ingredients except cilantro; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in cilantro.

8 (1 1/4-cup) servings

PER SERVING: 290 calories, 11.5 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 20.5 g protein, 26.5 g carbohydrate, 45 mg cholesterol, 1030 mg sodium, 6 g fiber

Chicken with Raspberry Vinegar

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
3/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup minced shallots

1. Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap; pound with flat side of meat mallet to 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken; cook 5 to 8 minutes or until browned and no longer pink in center, turning once. Place on plate; cover loosely with foil.

2. Add broth, preserves, vinegar and shallots to same skillet; cook 30 seconds, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Increase heat to high; cook 6 to 9 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup. Stir in any accumulated juices from chicken. Serve chicken with sauce.

4 servings

PER SERVING: 355 calories, 6.5 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 28 g protein, 44.5 g carbohydrate, 75 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

What's the best way to wash fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides?

What's the best way to wash fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides?

Even though the pesticide residue found on fruits and vegetables is generally well below the levels considered harmful, produce should be washed with cold, drinkable water. Fruits and vegetables that will be peeled also should be washed first to avoid any cross-contamination between the peel and the flesh.

Here are some other washing tips:
--When possible, wash produce just before using it. Many fruits and vegetables, such as raspberries, are delicate and will usually stay fresh longer if stored without washing.

--Before cleaning produce, wash your hands with soap and water and make sure that your sink, countertops and cutting boards are clean.

--Scrub firm produce well with a brush or rub it with your hands under cold running water; the abrasive action of the water helps dislodge and rinse away surface residue.

--Soft or fragile produce can be placed in a colander or basket, immersed in water and gently swished around; it also can be rinsed with a sink sprayer.

--Before washing leafy greens, remove and discard the outer leaves.

--Plain water works best when washing fruits and vegetables. Avoid washing food with soap, and never wash it in any bleach or detergent mixture because it can absorb these harmful solutions. The effectiveness of commercial washing solutions has not yet been established, and they aren’t recommended by the government agencies that regulate pesticide use.

Tortellini with Spicy Sausage and Broccoli

2 (9-oz.) pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 large garlic clove, minced
12 oz. fully cooked hot sausage links, sliced
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired*

1. Cook tortellini according to package directions, adding broccoli during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons pasta cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, pulse sun-dried tomatoes and oil in food processor until coarsely chopped. Add olives, rosemary and garlic; pulse until olives are coarsely chopped.

3. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Cook sausage 3 to 4 minutes or until it begins to brown. Stir in tortellini, sun-dried tomato mixture and reserved pasta cooking water if needed. Top with cheese.

TIP *Shave cheese with vegetable peeler.

4 (2-cup) servings

PER SERVING: 655 calories, 45 g total fat (15 g saturated fat), 30 g protein, 33 g carbohydrate, 175 mg cholesterol, 1365 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber

Southwest Pulled Pork

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast (also known as Boston butt roast)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup purchased mole sauce*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add pork; sprinkle with salt. Cook 4 to 6 minutes or until browned on all sides. Place pork, onion and bell pepper in 4- to 5-quart slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours or until pork is tender. Remove pork and vegetables with slotted spoon; place on plate. Reserve 3/4 cup of the liquid; discard remaining liquid. Return liquid to slow cooker; stir in chili sauce, mole sauce, cumin and chili powder. Shred pork; stir into sauce in slow cooker, along with vegetables. Cover and cook on low 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.

TIP *Mole (pronounced MOH-lay) is an intricate, rich Mexican sauce with many versions. It usually contains chiles, ground nuts or seeds, spices and sometimes chocolate. Look for it in the Hispanic section of the grocery store or specialty markets. If you can’t find mole sauce, substitute taco sauce. Because the consistency of taco sauce is much thinner than mole sauce, you may need to reduce the amount of reserved liquid to 1/3 to 1/2 cup.

6 servings

PER SERVING: 375 calories, 22 g total fat (6.5 g saturated fat), 30 g protein, 12.5 g carbohydrate, 85 mg cholesterol, 770 mg sodium, 3.5 g fiber

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

3/4 cup warm water (110°F. to 115°F.), divided
1 (1/4-oz.) pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup buttermilk, warm (110°F. to 115°F.)
1 egg, room temperature, beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups bread flour

1. Place 1/4 cup of the warm water in small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand 10 minutes or until yeast is dissolved and foamy.

2. Meanwhile, whisk remaining 1/2 cup water, buttermilk, egg, butter, sugar and salt in large bowl. Whisk in yeast mixture to combine. Slowly stir in 3 1/2 cups of the flour, using hands if necessary, until soft dough forms, slowly adding additional 1/4 cup flour as necessary to form soft dough that pulls away from sides of bowl.

3. On lightly floured surface, knead dough 7 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly buttered large bowl; turn to coat all sides with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently punch down dough; turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half; cut each half into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into desired shape; place on baking sheet. Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray; cover rolls. Let rise in warm place 30 to 40 minutes or until doubled in size. (To make ahead, shape rolls, place on baking sheet and cover with greased plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.)

5. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

16 rolls

PER ROLL: 135 calories, 2 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 4 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 15 mg cholesterol, 235 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

3/4 cup warm water (110°F. to 115°F.), divided
1 (1/4-oz.) pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup buttermilk, warm (110°F. to 115°F.)
1 egg, room temperature, beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups bread flour

1. Place 1/4 cup of the warm water in small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand 10 minutes or until yeast is dissolved and foamy.

2. Meanwhile, whisk remaining 1/2 cup water, buttermilk, egg, butter, sugar and salt in large bowl. Whisk in yeast mixture to combine. Slowly stir in 3 1/2 cups of the flour, using hands if necessary, until soft dough forms, slowly adding additional 1/4 cup flour as necessary to form soft dough that pulls away from sides of bowl.

3. On lightly floured surface, knead dough 7 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly buttered large bowl; turn to coat all sides with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently punch down dough; turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half; cut each half into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into desired shape; place on baking sheet. Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray; cover rolls. Let rise in warm place 30 to 40 minutes or until doubled in size. (To make ahead, shape rolls, place on baking sheet and cover with greased plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.)

5. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

16 rolls

PER ROLL: 135 calories, 2 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 4 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 15 mg cholesterol, 235 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

Chive Rolls

1 cup self-rising flour*
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 6 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients just until moistened. Spoon dough into muffin cups, filling two-thirds full.

2. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

TIP *To substitute for self-rising flour, use 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

6 rolls

PER ROLL: 135 calories, 6.5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 3 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 5 mg cholesterol, 320 mg sodium, .5 g fiber

Warm Cheese with Nuts

1/2 cup walnuts or hazelnuts
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
12 oz. soft goat cheese
1 egg, beaten
Crackers or bread

1. In food processor, combine walnuts, lemon peel and tarragon; pulse until finely ground. Place in shallow bowl.

2. Shape cheese into 3 (1/2-inch-thick) rounds.

3. Dip each cheese round in egg, then ground nut mixture, coating all sides thoroughly. Place on baking sheet. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 2 hours.

4. When ready to serve, heat oven to 375°F. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until nuts are lightly toasted and cheese is warm. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with crackers or bread.

6 servings

PER SERVING: 215 calories, 18 g total fat (9 g saturated fat), 10 g protein, 4.5 g carbohydrate, 75 mg cholesterol, 205 mg sodium, .5 g fiber

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Focaccia

You can roast the vegetables 1 day ahead. Just make sure to rewarm them before using them.

4 plum tomatoes, halved
2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch wedges
1/2 small eggplant, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 (8-inch) focaccia bread
1 (14-oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup crumbled tomato-basil feta cheese

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Line 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. Place tomatoes (skin side-up), mushrooms, bell pepper, eggplant and onion on pan. Lightly spray vegetables with cooking spray.

2. Bake 15 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned. Place vegetables in large bowl.

3. Place bread on ungreased baking sheet; bake 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through.

4. Meanwhile, add artichoke hearts and vinegar to vegetables; toss gently to coat.

5. Cut bread in half horizontally. Place vegetables on bottom half; top with cheese. Cover with top half of bread. Cut into quarters; serve warm.

4 servings

PER SERVING: 295 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 10.5 g carbohydrate, 49.5 g protein, 5 mg cholesterol, 820 mg sodium, 8 g fiber

Sliced Dill Pickles with Coriander

Slicing the cucumbers lengthwise makes the pickles just right to use straight out of the jar in sandwiches and on hamburgers, straight out of the jar. The texture is slightly soft, which makes them easy to eat when tucked in between other ingredients in a sandwich.

7 (1-quart) glass canning jars with lids and screw bands
8 to 10 lb. firm pickling cucumbers (look for young dark green cucumbers with few seeds)
7 sprigs fresh dill
3 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, divided
8 cups distilled water
4 cups cider vinegar
3/4 cup pickling salt
7 small heads fresh dill with seeds or additional dill sprigs

1. To sterilize jars, place on rack in large pot. (If you don’t have a specially designed canning pot with jar holders, put small round cooling rack in bottom of pot to elevate jars.) Fill pot and jars with enough hot water to completely cover. Cover pot; bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes. To keep warm, leave jars in water or place on rimmed baking sheet in 250°F. oven. (This prevents the jars from breaking when you add the hot brine.)

2. Warm lids and screw bands according to manufacturer’s directions.

3. Meanwhile, slice 1/2 inch off end of each cucumber. With mandolin or sharp knife, slice cucumbers lengthwise into generous 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place 1 dill sprig and 1/2 teaspoon of the coriander seeds in each hot sterilized jar. Tightly pack sliced cucumbers in jars.

4. Combine water, vinegar and salt in large saucepan; cover and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve salt. Pour over cucumbers, filling jars to within 1/4 inch of rim, leaving headspace. Add dill heads with seeds to each jar.

5. Wipe rims of jars with damp cloth. Place warm canning lid on rim; tighten screw band around jar until it’s finger-tight. (Do not overtighten.) Repeat with remaining jars.

6. Place filled jars on rack in large pot of hot water (water should cover jars by at least 1 inch). Cover and bring to a rapid boil; boil 15 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary and starting timing only after water has come to a full boil. Carefully remove jars; place on paper towel-lined baking sheet.

7. Let jars stand 12 hours. As jars cool, they should make a loud popping sound. Make sure each jar has sealed and each lid is concave on top. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year (the shorter the storage time, the better the quality). Let pickles stand 3 days before opening; refrigerate opened jars of pickles. Once opened, they’ll keep up to 3 months in the refrigerator.

7 quarts

PER 2 SLICES: 5 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), .5 g protein, 1.5 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, .5 g fiber

Roasted Red Pepper Crostini


This casual appetizer is perfect for summer parties. If you're grilling, toast the bread on the grill and let guests assemble their own crostini.

24 thin slices baguette
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 oz. goat cheese
1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into 24 pieces
24 small basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Place bread slices on baking sheet. Brush both sides lightly with oil. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly toasted, turning once. Set aside.

2. When ready to serve, spread toasted bread slices with cheese. Top each with piece of roasted pepper. Garnish with basil; sprinkle with pepper.

24 appetizers

PER APPETIZER: 95 calories, 3 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

Marshmallow-Pumpkin Dip

Serve this creamy pumpkin pie-like dip with slices of red apples and thin, crisp ginger cookies.

1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 marshmallow creme
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl until smooth. Cover and store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

1 1/4 cups

PER 2 TABLESPOONS: 60 calories, 4 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 1 g protein, 5.5 g carbohydrate, 10 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, .5 g fiber

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely ground flax seeds
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Dash salt
1 1/4 cups nonfat or low-fat milk
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs, beaten

1. Whisk flours, flax seeds, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Whisk in milk, oil and eggs, adding additional milk for desired consistency.

2. Heat griddle to 325°F. (or large skillet over medium heat, adjusting heat as necessary); lightly oil. Pour scant 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle; cook 2 minutes or until puffed on edges and bubbles begin to break on surface. Turn; cook an additional 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

14 (3 1/2-inch) pancakes

PER PANCAKE: 135 calories, 8 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 4 g protein, 13.5 g carbohydrate, 30 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber

Potato, Greens and Ham Omelet

1 (12-oz.) russet potato, peeled, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 small head kale or small bunch Swiss chard (about 8 oz.)
6 eggs
2/3 cup chopped deli ham (4 oz.)

1. Heat broiler. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with foil. In large bowl, toss potato slices with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and dash of the pepper. Spread potato slices on baking sheet (set bowl aside for later use). Broil potatoes 4 to 6 inches from heat 5 to 6 minutes or until tender and edges are lightly browned.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion slices; cook 5 to 6 minutes or until they begin to brown, stirring occasionally.

3. Place kale in large microwave-safe glass bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high 2 minutes or until wilted and tender. Drain; rinse under cold running water. Squeeze to remove excess water; chop.

4. Place eggs, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining pepper in bowl used to season potatoes; beat to combine. Stir in onions, kale, potato slices and ham.

5. In same large skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add egg mixture; flatten evenly in pan. Cook 3 minutes or until bottom is golden and set (lift outside edge to check). Place pan under broiler; broil 4 to 6 inches from heat 2 minutes or until top is set. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into 4 wedges.

4 servings

PER SERVING: 345 calories, 20.5 g total fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 19 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate, 335 mg cholesterol, 825 mg sodium, 4.5 g fiber

BLACKED CHICKEN WINGS

BLACKED CHICKEN WINGS

The Cajun spice used to flavour these wings is available in the
bottled-spice aisle of most supermarkets.

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) Cajun spice
1 tsp (5 mL) Tabasco, or to taste
2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lime juice
2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar
24 chicken wingettes or drumettes, or a mix of both
Salt to taste
Lime slices for garnish

Place the oil, Cajun spice, Tabasco, soy sauce, lime juice and sugar in a
large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the wings and toss to coat. (Wings can
be readied to this point several hours in advance. Cover and keep
refrigerated until ready to cook.)

Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C). Arrange the wings on a nonstick baking
sheet; brush with any liquid in the bowl. Season the wings with salt. Bake
for 15 minutes, and then remove from the oven. Set an oven-rack 6 inches (15
cm) from broiler. Preheat the broiler to high. Broil the wings 2 to 3
minutes per side, or until richly coloured and cooked through. Set the wings
on a platter, garnish with lime slices and enjoy.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 19 to 21 minutes

Makes: 24 wings

Caramel Candy Apples

Caramel Candy Apples

6 md Apples
1 1/4 c Margarine
2 3/4 c Dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 c White corn syrup
1 cn Sweetened condensed milk (Eagle brand)
1 1/2 ts Vanilla

In heavy saucepan or skillet, melt margarine and sugar. Add corn syrup and condensed milk. Cook until mixture forms a firm ball in cold water. Remove from heat, beat. Add vanilla. Place sticks in apples and dip in mixture. Set apples on waxed paper lined surface.

Cake Balls

Cake Balls

1 box cake mix - any flavor
1 tub of frosting - (usually the same flavor as the cake)
Almond bark

Bake cake in 9x13 pan according to directions. Once cake has cooked and cooled, crumble into a bowl. Add 2/3 of the frosting then roll into balls a little smaller than a golf ball. Lay on cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen dip in melted Almond Bark.

You will need to dip them while they are frozen so they keep their shape.

PUMPKIN PIE SQUARES

PUMPKIN PIE SQUARES

1 box yellow cake mix, divided
7-8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg

FILLING:
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
2 large or 3 small eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves TOPPING:
1 cup reserved cake mix
4 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

Grease the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan. Reserve 1 cup of the cake mix. Blend the remaining mix with the melted butter and 1 egg. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan.

Beat together the filling ingredients and pour over the bottom layer. Combine the topping ingredients to make crumbs and sprinkle over the pumpkin layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Turkey Casserole

Turkey Casserole


Turkey Casserole

2 c. cooked turkey pieces
2 c. cooked noodles (rotini noodles are good)
2 c. uncooked broccoli flowers
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sour cream
1 can (10 and 1/2 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 T. lemon juice
1 and 1/2 c. grated Swiss cheese

Combine turkey, noodles and broccoli. Combine remaining ingredients, except save 1/2 c. cheese for garnish.. Add to turkey mixture and place in buttered casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Add remaining cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes.

MINCED MEAT

1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups currants
1 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples
1/2 pound beef (use an inexpensive cut, such as round) boiled and minced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon mace
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoons salt
2 cups apple cider
1/4 pound beef suet, minced
1/4 cup brandy

Mix all together in a large pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes. It will keep, refrigerated, for up to a month, or you can pack into sterilized jars and seal in a hot water process. What a great holiday gift!

Buttermilk Mashed Golden Potatoes

Buttermilk Mashed Golden Potatoes

These potatoes can be transported and kept warm in a crock pot.

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup buttermilk or more if needed
1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them by at least 1 inch.

Cook over medium heat, covered, until the potatoes are very tender, approximately 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the buttermilk and heat until just warm.

When the potatoes are done, drain and return them to the pan. Mash the potatoes with a ricer or potato masher.

Stir in enough of the warm buttermilk mixture to make the potatoes fluffy but not soupy.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a crock pot. Keep warm on low for up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serves 6.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie


Pecan Pie

1 baked pie shell (homemade or purchased)
3 large eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups pecan halves, toasted (see note)

Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk eggs, corn syrup, sugars, butter, vanilla and salt until smooth; mix in pecans.

Pour mixture into pie shell and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake on lowest rack until filling jiggles slightly in the center when gently shaken, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool pie completely. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Serves 8.

To toast pecans: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and toast until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.

Green Goddess Dip

Green Goddess Dip

Serve with crudites.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
1 green onion, cut up
2 fresh parsley sprigs, cut up
1 garlic clove, cut up
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar or 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a food processor combine all ingredients. Process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

Makes about 1 cup.

Crudites:
Radishes
Baby carrots
Sliced cucumber spears
Sugar snap peas, trimmed
Bell peppers, cut into strips

Broccoli Casserole With Parmesan Cheese Sauce

Broccoli Casserole With Parmesan Cheese Sauce

This casserole goes well with any meat entree.

4 1/2 cups broccoli florets
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/4 cups whole milk
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup coarse dry bread crumbs, preferably sourdough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, cook broccoli in boiling salted water to cover for 3 minutes and drain thoroughly.

In an 8-by-10-inch glass baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray or oil, place the broccoli in a single layer.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.

Add flour, salt and pepper and stir until bubbly.

Add milk and stir constantly until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Add cream cheese and Parmesan and stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth.

Pour the sauce over the broccoli.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Stir in bread crumbs and mix well. Sprinkle mixture over the casserole.

Bake, uncovered, until casserole is bubbly and the top is golden, approximately 35 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

Vanilla Caramels

Vanilla Caramels

2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Boil sugar, butter and milk to firm-ball stage, 245 degrees F. Do not stir after sugar is dissolved. Pour on buttered platter, cool, beat until creamy. Add vanilla extract and chopped nuts or cherries, if desired. Press into buttered pans. When firm, cut into squares. Wrap in wax paper.

Red Velvet Cake Balls

Red Velvet Cake Balls


Red Velvet Cake Balls

Bite-sized, candy covered cake.

1 box(es) Red Velvet Cake Mix
3/4 cans Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound Package Candy Coating
Preparation Instructions
Bake cake as instructed on package in a 13 X 9 pan.

After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.

Mix thoroughly with 3/4 can cream cheese frosting.

Roll cake/frosting mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50)

Chill for several hours or speed this up by putting in the freezer for about 15 minutes to get the rolled balls firm enough to dip.

Using a small bowl, melt candy coating in microwave per directions on package. (30 second intervals, stirring in between.)

Remove chilled balls a few at a time from the freezer and dip in melted candy coating. Drop the ball in the bowl of melted candy coating and then cover exposed areas using a spoon.

Lift the ball from the chocolate with the spoon without rolling it around and tap spoon on side of the bowl to allow excess chocolate to fall off.

Slide each ball on to a wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry.

Drizzle extra melted candy coating on top for decoration

Oyster Pudding

Oyster Pudding

1 pint of oysters (or more if preferred)
12 slices of bread
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cups milk
4 eggs
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
paprika

Take 6 slices of bread and butter on one side. Place the bread butter side down in a casserole dish. Then put oysters over top of the bread. Spread 4 ounce of cheddar cheese evenly over oysters. Butter other 6 slices of bread and put on top of cheese with butter side up. Beat 4 eggs until frothy; add milk, salt and pepper. Pour over bread sprinkle with paprika and bake at 325 degrees 1 hour 25 minutes. Give it about 15 minutes to setup after it finishes baking.

Baked Oysters with Breadcrumbs and Garlic

Baked Oysters with Breadcrumbs and Garlic

2 T. butter
1 c. fresh white breadcrumbs, made from 3 slices French or Italian bread
1 t. finely chopped garlic
2 T. finely chopped parsley
2 doz. fresh oysters, well drained
3 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 T. butter cut in tiny pieces

Preheat 350. Generously butter ovenproof baking dish. Melt 2 T. butter in 6-8" skillet. When foam subsides, add crumbs & garlic; toss in butter until crisp and golden. Remove from heat; stir in parsley. Spread 2/3 c. of crumb mixture in bottom of baking dish & top w/ oysters (in one layer). Mix remaining bread crumbs w/ cheese & spread over oysters; top w/ butter pieces. Bake 12-15 min. or until crumbs are golden & juices are bubbling. Serve.