Sunday, August 27, 2006

Shannon's Chocolate Cheesecake

2 (8oz) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c Splenda
1/2 t vanilla
2 t espresso powder, dissoved in 1 T hot water
2 eggs
4 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 Keebler or Nabisco Chocolate Ready Crust

Mix cream cheese, sugar, Splenda, vanilla, and espresso at medium speed with electric mixer until well blended.  Add eggs; mix until blended.  Blend in melted chocolate. Pour into crust. Bake at 325˚ for 45 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool in fridge at least 3 hours.

Bohemian Coffee Cake

Gladys Ellis, Lubbock, Texas

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour (I used 1 c whole wheat and 1 1/2 c all-purpose)
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/8 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 c buttermilk
1 t baking soda
2 eggs
1 c granulated sugar (I used 1/2 c sugar ad 1/2 c Splenda)
1 c packed brown sugar (I used 1/2 c Splenda brown sugar blend)
1 c oil (I used 1/2 c oil and 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce)
1 t vanilla
1 c chopped pecans
2/3 c sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350˚. Mix flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder; set aside. Mix buttermilk and soda; set aside. Beat together eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla until creamy. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture until batter is well blended. Shake pecans with a little flour in a bag to coat. Add pecans and coconut to batter. Bake in greased Bundt pan for 45-50 minutes, till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan; remove from pan to cake rack. Store covered.

Baked Onion Rings

2 large sweet onions
2 eggs
1 1/2 c crushed cornflakes
2 t sugar
1 t paprika
1/4 t garlic salt
1/4 t seasoned salt

Cut onions into 1/2-inch slices; separate into rings. In a shallow dish, whisk eggs. In another shallow dish, combine the remaining ingredients. Dip onion rings into eggs, then coat with cornflake mixture. Arrange rings in a single layer on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375˚ for 20-25 minutes or until tender.

Spicy Peanut-Encrusted Catfish

from Christine Cooks

3 catfish fillets (I used barracuda)
1 c dry-roasted, salt-free peanuts, chopped fine
2 T blackening spice (see below)
2 T olive oil or peanut oil
1/2 c Eggbeaters or other egg substitute, or 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and have a baking sheet ready. Blot fillets with paper towels until thoroughly dry. Set aside.With a chef's knife, chop the peanuts until they're in very fine pieces. You could use a small food processor but I like to chop such a small amount with my knife, avoiding the possibility of turning them into peanut butter. Combine the chopped peanuts and the blackening spice and place on a flat plate. Pour the eggs or egg substitute into a wide bowl. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium and add the oil. The oil should just shimmer in the pan, not smoke, or you could burn the peanuts (hmmm, how do I know that...?). Dip a fillet into the eggs to coat then into the peanut mixture, coating both sides and pressing lightly to make the peanut pieces adhere. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Place in the hot skillet and, keeping them from crowding each other, saute for about 5 minutes on one side then flip and saute the other side for another 5 minutes. Remove fillets to a baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven to finish - about 5 minutes more.

Blackening Spice
from Christine Cooks

5 T kosher salt
5 T paprika (I used sweet)
1 T dried thyme
1 T freshly ground black pepper
1 T garlic powder
1/2 t cayenne
1/2 t ground white pepper
Mix it all up and store in an airtight container.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Chicken Fried Rice

Fried Rice

2 eggs, well beaten
1 c frozen mixed vegetables
1 T Yoshida’s gourmet sauce, optional
1 T canola oil
1 c chopped cooked chicken
3 c cooked white or brown rice
3 green onions, thinly sliced (including green part)
1 c coarsely shredded cabbage
2 T low-sodium soy sauce

Heat a large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add eggs, tilt pan in a circular motion to coat bottom. Cook egg 1 minute; flip to other side and remove from heat. Once egg “pancake” has cooled, cut in small strips. Cook vegetables in a half cup of water for about 5 minutes; drain. In skillet, heat the gourmet sauce and oil; add chicken and sauté lightly until chicken is coated. Add rice, cabbage, and vegetables, and stir to blend. Add egg strips and green onions, and continue to cook over medium heat until all ingredients are hot. Add soy sauce; heat through. 4 Servings

Asian Citrus Grilled Chicken

1/4 c orange juice
1/4 c pineapple juice
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 c fresh lime juice
2 T ginger, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 T light brown sugar
1/2 c peanut oil
2 T rice vinegar
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1-2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs or breasts

Whisk all ingredients except chicken in a medium bowl until well blended. Pour into a large zip-top plastic bag; add chicken. Marinate several hours in refrigerator. Drain marinade and grill chicken till done.

Easy Baked Corn

From Calf Fries to Caviar by Janel Franklin and Sue Vaughn

Easy Baked Corn

1 15-oz. can cream-style corn
1 T cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
1 T sugar
1/4 c milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 T butter, cut in small chunks

Preheat oven to 350˚. Empty corn into small greased baking dish. Combine cornstarch, egg, sugar, milk, salt and pepper in the empty corn can (why mess up a clean bowl?). Add to corn and stir to mix. Top with butter chunks. Bake until thick and slightly brown about 25-30 minutes. 4 Servings.

Hot Ham & Swiss Sandwiches

Hot Ham & Swiss Sandwiches

1/4 c mayonnaise
1 T poppy seeds
2 T horseradish
2 T onion, grated
1 1/2 c thinly sliced or finely diced ham
8 slices Swiss cheese
4 large rye or whole grain hamburger buns

Mix the mayonnaise, poppy seeds, horseradish and onion together. Place a slice of cheese on a bun, top with ham mixture, and place another slice of cheese on top. Wrap in foil. Heat 30 minutes at 350˚.

Mom's Tuna Salad


2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
3 large sweet pickles, diced
1 7-oz. pouch albacore tuna (or two 4-oz. cans albacore tuna packed in water)
1/4 c Mirace Whip, or to taste

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

Mom's Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 T Miracle Whip, or to taste

Remove cooked yolks from egg halves and place in a small bowl. Add Miracle Whip and stir well with a fork to make a soft, creamy mixture. Fill yolk cavities in egg halves, mounding tops. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.

Blueberry Breakfast Bars

From Farmgirl Fare
Makes 12 to 16 large bars

Blueberry-Cranberry Breakfast Bars

Bottom Layer
2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons (1 stick + 2 T) butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Top Layer
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick/four ounces) butter or natural vegetable oil sticks (I use Earth Balance)

Middle Layer
3-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (I used 2 cups each blueberries and cranberries)
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (1/4 tsp. if freshly ground)

For the Bottom Layer:
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9" x 13" pan. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Press this mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan with your fingers. (I also use the bottom of a stainless steel measuring cup to help make the crust flat and even.)

For the Top Layer:
Place the flour, brown sugar, and butter or vegetable oil sticks in a small bowl and use a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers to combine until the mixture resembles large crumbs (some pea-sized clumps are okay). Set aside.

For the Middle Layer:
Place the blueberries in the bowl you mixed the Bottom Layer in and toss them with the almond extract. Pour them evenly over the Bottom Layer in the pan. Combine the sugar and flour and sprinkle it evenly over the blueberries. (Even when wet or frozen, the sugar/flour mixture wouldn't stick to my big fat blueberries when I tried tossing it with them. If yours will, just toss the sugar/flour mixture with the blueberries and then pour the whole mixture over the Bottom Layer in the pan.)

Sprinkle the Top Layer evenly over the blueberry mixture. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden, and the edges are starting to brown. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Store in a cool place or refrigerate. Bars may also be frozen.

Fresh Peach Ice Cream

3 large, ripe peaches, peeled and finely diced
1/3 c sugar (I used half sugar and half Splenda)
3 T lemon juice
1 c whole milk, well chilled
3/4 c granulated sugar (I used 1/2 c Splenda and 1/4 c sugar)
2 c fat-free half-and-half, well chilled
2 t pure vanilla extract

Combine peaches with sugar and lemon juice and let macerate for 2 hours. Place mixture in a colander, and drain over a large bowl, stirring to mash peaches coarsely. Set peaches aside. Add milk, sugar, half-and-half and vanilla to accumulated peach juices, and stir with a whisk until sugar is dissolved. Turn ice cream machine on, pour mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix about 20 minutes. Add reserved peaches through ingredients spout and let mix another 5 minutes. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container and place in freezer 2 hours before serving.

Triple Chocolate Ice Cream

1 1/3 c sugar (I used Splenda)
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 c 2% milk, divided
3 large egg yolks
1/2 c half-and-half (I used fat-free)
2 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped coarsely
3 t espresso powder dissolved in 2 T hot water
1/3 c semi-sweet chocolate chips, finely crushed

Combine sugar and cocoa in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in 1/2 c milk and egg yolks. Stir in remaining 2 cups milk. Cook 12 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160˚, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Place half and half in a microwave-safe dish, microwave at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until half-and-half boils. Add chocolate to half-and-half; stir until smooth. Stir in espresso mixture. Add half-and-half mixture to pan; stir until smooth. Place pan in an ice-filled bowl. Cool completely, stirring occasionally. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Freeze in freezer additional 1 hour before serving.

This ice cream hardened considerably once it was in the freezer, and I think it was because of the Splenda. But the rich chocolate flavor really hid the Splenda flavor, making this a pretty good low-sugar dessert.

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

1 1/8 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 c whole milk
3 c heavy cream
1 1/2 T pure vanilla extract

Caramelize sugar by browning it slowly in heavy skillet. Add 1/2 c hot water slowly, stirring until clear. Cool. Stick spoon with the rest of the hardened sugar in it in a cup filled with some of the milk. Let stand about a half hour or so, until hardened sugar has dissolved into the milk. In a medium bowl, combine milk and caramelized sugar/water mixture. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Turn ice cream machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20-25 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. Transfer to an airtight container and place in freezer for 2 hours before serving.

Burnt Sugar Cake

A Morlan/Floyd Family Recipe

3/4 c sugar
1/2 hot water
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c shortening
3 eggs
2 1/2 c flour
3 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 c milk

Caramelize 3/4 sugar by browning it slowly in heavy skillet. Add hot water slowly, stirring until clear. Cool.
Cream 1 1/2 c sugar and shortening. Add eggs. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to sugar mixture alternately with vanilla and milk. Add caramelized sugar mixture. Bake in greased layer pans at 350˚ till tests done.

Burnt Sugar Frosting: Caramelize 3/4 c sugar; add 1/2 c hot water. Add 1 stick butter, 3/4 c milk, 1 t vanilla, and 2 c sugar. Cook over medium heat until sotf ball stage. Remove from heat. Beat until dull; quickly frost cake.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Beef Patties en Croute



1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 t salt
1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 lb. liverwurst, cut into 5 slices
2 1/2 t prepared mustard
1 10-count package refrigerated biscuits

Shape ground beef into five 1-inch thick round patties; sprinkle with salt. In 10-inch skillet over high heat, cook patties 5 minutes or until browned on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Preheat oven to 450F. On lightly floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll one piece of biscuit dough into a 4-inch round. Place a liverwurst slice on center of dough round; top with a beef patty, 1/2 t mustard, and some mushrooms. Then roll another piece of biscuit dough into a 5-inch round; arrange on top of beef patty; press edges together to seal. If you like, cut a small piece of dough from edge of round to make a pretty design to use as a decoration. Repeat to make 5 in all. Place on cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until crust is golden. 5 servings

Catesa's Nut Butter

From Catesa of Look Hunny, I Cooked

I used a 6 ounce can of Blue Diamond roasted salted almonds, an 8 ounce can of Fisher honey roasted peanuts, a teaspoon of sesame oil and about a teaspoon of vegetable oil (I didn’t have peanut oil). Since the nuts were already salted and honey roasted, I didn’t need salt or sugar. I blended them in the food processor until I had a creamy mixture that looked just like Catesa’s.

Pear & Blue Cheese Pizza w/Caramellized Onions

(Original recipe from Catherine of Albion Cooks

IMG_0795this is an uncooked pizza, taken before I added the walnuts and put it into a Foodsaver bag

2 small onions, thinly sliced
1 c water
1 T olive oil
1 t sugar
4 8-inch Boboli pizza crusts
4 t olive oil
2 c shredded mozarella cheese
1 pear, thinly sliced and sprinkled with 2 t lemon juice
1 4-ounce package Treasure Cove blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 c coarsely chopped walnuts

First, steam the onions in the water in a skillet, covered, for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until water has evaporated. Add olive oil and sugar, and continue to sauté until onions are lightly browned. Remove from heat. Brush each pizza crust with a teaspoon of olive oil. Top each with 1/2 cup mozarella, one-fourth of the pear slices, one-fourth of the blue cheese, and one-fourth of the chopped almonds. Bake at 450˚ about 10 minutes.

After the pizzas were all assembled, I vacuum-packed each one with my Foodsaver, and put them in the freezer. Once work starts, I can just take one out, put it in the refrigerator at the office to thaw, and then cook it for lunch!

Apple Butter


5 pounds cooking apples, peeled and thinly sliced or chopped
1 c apple juice
1 c brown sugar (I bet I could substitute Splenda Brown Sugar Blend here, but I didn’t)
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a large pot stockpot. Cook over medium-low heat about an hour, adding more apple juice if necessary to keep mixture from drying out. Once apple soften and get mushy, mash with a potato masher.
Continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally, another half hour or so. Don’t add any more liquid - mixture should darken and thicken. It will have the consistency of applesauce, not store-bought apple butter. Pour mixture into hot, sterilized jars, filling to 1/4 inch from top; wipe jar rims. Cover immediately with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process jars in boiling water bath 5 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 3 pints.

Lime Jelly


6 - 8 medium limes
1 3/4 c water
4 c sugar
Green liquid food coloring
1 3-oz. package liquid fruit pectin

Grate rind from enough limes to measure 2 tablespoons; set aside. Squeeze juice from limes to measure 3/4 cup; pour lime juice through a wire mesh strainer, discarding seeds and pulp. Combine rind, juice, and water in a 4-quart saucepan. Stir in sugar. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add 1 or 2 drops of food coloring, if desired. Quickly stir in fruit pectin. Return mixture to a full rolling boil, and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam with a metal spoon. Quickly pour jelly into hot, sterilized jars, filling to 1/4 inch from top; wipe jar rims. Cover immediately with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process jars in boiling water bath 5 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Makes 5 half pints. (Try serving this over a block of cream cheese with crackers as an appetizer; or use as a spread on toast or pound cake. )

Gene's Sausage and Peppers


8-10 cloves garlic
3-4 T olive oil
2 med. onion
8 -10 green peppers
4 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 bunch fresh parsely, chopped, or 1/2 c dried parsley
1 1/2 t salt
1 t ground black pepper
1 T Italian seasoning
6-8 sweet Italian sausages (I’ve never tried the hot ones - they might be good, too)

Slice garlic, saute lightly in oil. Add sliced onion, saute lightly. Add cut peppers, cover and steam about 10 minutes. Add cut tomatoes and coarsely chopped parsley. Season to taste. Cook slowly 3/4 to 1 hour. While the peppers are cooking, cook the Italian sausage in a skillet, then slice into 1/4” slices. Add to peppers and serve in bowls with garlic toast. Serves 4-6

Oatmeal Date Bars


1 c chopped dates
1/2 c water
1/4 c Splenda granular
1 1/2 c quick-cooking oats
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c packed Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/3 c butter, melted
1 egg white

In a small saucepan, combine the dates, water and Splenda granular. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes for until mixture is smooth and thickened, stirring constantly.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, baking soda and salt. Stir in the butter and egg white until blended. Pat half of the mixture into an 8-in. square pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Carefully spread with date mixture. Gently pat remaining oat mixture over date mixture. Bake at 350˚ for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Creamed Turnips

from Alanna of A Veggie Venture

Water to cover, salted
1 pound turnips, peeled and quartered (the sauce volume below can handle 2 pounds)
1 cup whole milk (even though I often make white sauce with skim because it's what's on hand)
2 bay leaves (Turkish bay leaves are less bitter than California)
2 whole cloves
2 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
Kosher salt to taste
Sprinkle white pepper (white pepper doesn't mess up the color but black would be fine for taste)
Sprinkle nutmeg (fresh is always good but regular is just fine)

Bring water to boil in a small pot (if possible, use something other than non-stick so you can mash the turnips in the same pan later) on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the turnips and return to a boil, then reduce heat to MEDIUM to maintain a simmer. Cook until cooked through, about 15 minutes.Drain and return to pot.

While the turnips cook, combine the milk, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns in a microwave container. Bring it just to a boil in the microwave, starting with 30 seconds, then 15 seconds at a time until just before boiling. Let rest until ready to use. Remove the bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns.

While the milk is warming, melt the butter in a small saucepan on MEDIUM. Stir in the flour until the mixture is thick and silky and without lumps. Slowly -- that means a drop at a time at first, up to a tablespoon at a time -- add the hot milk (have you removed the bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns?), stirring all the time, incorporating the milk completely before adding more. Once all the milk is incorporated, continue to stir for a couple of minutes, finishing the cooking process. It's okay if small bubbles form but don't let the mixture boil. Once the white sauce is cooked, reduce the heat to LOW to hold. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg.

When the turnips drained, add the sauce to the pan and mash with a hand masher or hand mixer (it's too big a job for an immersion blender) until somewhat smooth -- though they won't be as smooth as mashed potatoes. Spoon into a serving bowl, then top with another sprinkle of nutmeg.

Pork Chops w/Cherry Preserves Sauce


4 boneless pork chops
1/2 t salt, divided
1/4 t black pepper, divided
1 c cherry preserves
1 t balsamic vinegar
chopped chives (optional)

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle pork with 1?4 t salt and 1/8 t black pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove pork from pan and keep warm. Add preserves, vinegar, 1/4 t salt, and 1/8 t pepper to pan. Cook 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Serve with pork. Garnish with chopped chives, if desired.