recipes, food and cooking

August 2005

Hello Everyone!

I've been hearing from a lot of you lately wondering where your newsletter is. We've had some medical issues to deal with that has been changing our way life right now. I will try my best to get the newsletters out in the coming months, but if you don't see them in your mailbox, I hope you will understand. I hope to resume them in a normal fashion soon.

I hope all of your summers have been going great and you enjoy these recipes. Both That's My Home and Razzle Dazzle Recipes (including some new ethnic recipes that I will be adding to soon) have been updated this summer so there are plenty of new recipes for you to browse.

     Mary Ellen        

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APPETIZER RECIPES

SWEET POTATO CHIPS

2 - 6 to 8 ounces sweet potatoes, peeled, and sliced thinly
1 teaspoon olive oil cooking spray
Herb mix
Salt to taste
Aluminum foil

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with olive oil.

Peel and slice the sweet potatoes (a mandolin makes this job a breeze). Place slices on the foil, spray slices again with the cooking spray, and sprinkle with herb seasoning and salt.

Put baking sheets in the oven, bake for 20 minutes, turn over, reduce oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and continue to bake until slices are crisp, but not burned, approximately 15 to 20 more minutes.

Cool, remove from baking sheet, and enjoy.

Note: A small sweet potato, 6 to 8 ounces will fill one baking sheet.

Yield: 30 slices

FRICO WITH POTATOES AND ONIONS

2 medium-large baking potatoes
3/4 pound Montasio cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onions or scallions (white and light green parts only)
Salt and pepper to taste

In water to cover, boil the potatoes in their jackets 25-30 minutes, keeping them on the firm side. While the potatoes cook, remove rind from the Montasio and shred.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, peel and slice them 1/4-inch thick. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the sliced potatoes and cook, gently turning the potatoes occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Place a 4 to 5-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and heat until a shred of the Montasio begins to sizzle 2 to 3 seconds after it hits the pan.

Scatter about 1/2 cup of the cheese in an even layer over the bottom of the skillet. Arrange one fourth of the potato-onion filling over the cheese and press it very gently into an even layer.

Sprinkle another generous ½ cup of the cheese over the filling in an even layer. Cook until golden brown and crisp on both sides.

The filled fricos require a little extra care when removing them from the pan and turning them. Slide the crisp onto a baking sheet and keep it warm in the oven while cooking the remaining fricos.

Makes four crisps

SKORDAKIA (Garlic Dip)

3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into small pieces
3 cups cold mashed potatoes
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 cup water, optional
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg yolk, optional

Peel the cloves of garlic and pound to pulp in a mortar or heavy bowl.

Add the mashed potatoes and continue pounding until thoroughly blended. Beat in egg yolk.

Add the olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice and water, if needed, alternately, a little at a time until all are used up. Continue stirring briskly for a smooth sauce.

Season to taste and stir again until well blended. Cover and store in a cool place.

SALMON CAKES

2 lbs. salmon, chopped
1 c. fresh tomatoes, diced
1 c. roasted red peppers, diced
1 c. roasted yellow peppers, diced
1 c. red onions, diced
2 c. mayonnaise
1 oz. Lemon juice
1 T. mustard
1 T. pepper
2 c. bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 c. cilantro
Bread crumbs to coat

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Portion to 1 1/2 oz. and coat with breadcrumbs.

Sauté until golden brown (approx. 1 1/2 min. on each side).

Finish by baking in a 350-degree oven for about 5 min. or until warmed through.

SHAO MEI (Chinese Dumplings)

Skin:
Small size wonton wrappers (1 package)

Filling:
1-1/2 pounds lean pork
3/4 pound medium shrimp
2 ounces black mushrooms, soaked in water

Seasoning:
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons sesame seed oil
Assembly:

Cut pork and black mushrooms into small pieces. Squeeze mushrooms until dry.

Mix shrimp in mixer until it begins to get sticky. Take out, mix pork the same way for about three minutes.

Then add shrimp and mushrooms, and mix and add salt and pepper and sugar. Mix and finish with sesame seed oil.

Wrap 1-1/2 teaspoons of filling in each wrapper.

Steam for 10 minutes and serve.

AMERISTAR'S DEEP FRIED BBQ RIBS

1 Each Fully Cooked Rack Baby Back Ribs
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Seasoned Flour
1/2 Cup BBQ sauce

Cut rack into individual ribs, coat with buttermilk then dredge in flour.
Deep fry to golden brown and toss with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri

BARBECUED BRISKET DIP

1 pound chopped barbecued brisket
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/4 cups tomato-based barbecue sauce
1 (4-ounce) can chopped jalapeno peppers
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup grated Pecorino (sheep milk cheese) or Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients and place in a baking dish.

Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Serve with French bread.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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ON THE GRILL

CHIPOTLE BROWN SUGAR MARINATED STEAK BITES WITH GRILLED POLENTA AND GAZPACHO

Chipotle Marinade
1/3 can chipotles in adobo
4 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. cider vinegar
2T olive oil
1 head of minced cilantro
1/2 t. cracked black pepper
2 T. soy sauce

Polenta
4 c. chicken stock
1 c. cornmeal
1 c. grated cheddar cheese

Gazpacho
1 c. tomato consassé (tomato - peeled, seeded and chopped)
1/2 c. tomato juice
1/2 c. diced cucumber (peeled & seeded)
1/4 c. finely diced blanched carrots
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T. white wine vinegar
1 t. Splenda
1/4 c. finely diced celery
8 yellow pear tomatoes (garnish)
4 T. lemon zest
pinch salt
pinch white pepper
1 t. fresh oregano

Gazpacho may be made 1 day out. Simply toss all the ingredients & chill.

Marinade
1 lb. shoulder tender loin into ¾ x ¾ cubes and marinate for at least 2 hours.

Polenta
Slowly incorporate cornmeal into boiling chicken stock, stirring constantly. Allow to simmer 5 minutes, add cheddar. Pour into a mold and allow setting. Cut Polenta into triangles.

To finish, grill steak & polenta on indoor or outdoor char grill and serve atop gazpacho.

GRILLED MARINATED SCALLOPS WITH GINGER AND SESAME

1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Zest and juice of 1 lime
24 large sea scallops
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
Lime wedges

In a shallow dish, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, lime zest, and lime juice. Add the scallops, turn to coat, and set aside for 30 to 40 minutes.

Build a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill. Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until they turn one shade darker, about 4 minutes.

Thread the scallops on four metal skewers, placing them so that the flat surfaces are exposed. Grill, turning once, until the scallops are lightly browned and no longer translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Sprinkle with sesame, garnish with lime wedges, and serve.

Serves 4

GRILLED POTATO SALAD

Salad:
4 medium red potatoes, unpeeled, each cut vertically into four slices, parboiled
2 ears corn
1 large sweet onion
1/2 bunch scallions cut into ¼-inch pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped tarragon

Dressing:
2 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup aged sherry
vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat grill.

Parboil potatoes until soft but not mushy and slice into 1/8-inch slices.

Toss potato slices with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Toss cleaned ears of corn with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast corn on grill until it starts to brown.

Peel onion and slice into ½-inch thick slices; toss lightly with olive oil.

Grill potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes per side. (There should be brown grill marks on both sides.)

Grill onion slices 3 minutes per side. (There should be brown grill marks on both sides.) After they have cooled, cut into bite-size pieces.

After corn has cooled, cut the kernels from the cobs.

Mix corn, potatoes, onions, tarragon and scallions.

To make the dressing, combine the mustard, honey, vinegar and salt. Slowly whisk in olive oil.

Combine dressing and potato mixture.

Serves 4 as a side dish

Nutritional information per serving: 346 cal., 21 g fat (3 g sat.), 0 mg chol., 36 g carb., 1390 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 5 g pro.

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PIZZA

ORIGINAL BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA

BBQ Chicken Pieces
10 oz. boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons favorite BBQ sauce (we use a spicy-sweet sauce)

For the Pizza
1 recipe Basic Pizza Dough
Cornmeal, semolina or flour for handling
1/2 cup of favorite BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons shredded smoked Gouda cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 small red onion, sliced into 1/8-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

To make BBQ Chicken:
In a large frying pan, cook the chicken in olive oil over medium-high heat until just cooked, 5 to 6 minutes. Do not overcook. Set aside in the refrigerator until chilled through. Once chilled, coat the chicken with 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce; set aside in the refrigerator.

To make the pizza:
Place the pizza stone in the center of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F for one hour before cooking pizzas.

Use a large spoon to spread 1/4 cup BBQ sauce evenly over the surface of the prepared dough within the rim. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon smoked Gouda cheese over the sauce. Cover with 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella.

Distribute half the chicken pieces evenly over the cheese (approximately 18 pieces). Place approximately 18 to 20 pieces of red onion over the surface. Sprinkle an additional 1/4 cup Mozzarella over the top of the pizza.

Transfer the pizza to the oven; bake until the crust is crisp and golden and the cheese at the center is bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes. When the pizza is cooked, carefully remove it from the oven; sprinkle 1 tablespoon cilantro over the hot surface. Slice and serve.

Repeat with remaining ingredients for a second pizza. (The 2 pizzas may be prepared simultaneously if you are careful in placing the pizzas at opposite corners of your pizza stone.)

Makes (2) 9-inch pizzas

Source: The California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook

BASIC PIZZA DOUGH

1 pound 2 ounces all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Place the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt and instant yeast, and mix well with a wooden spoon. Slowly pour in 1 cup of warm water while stirring. Add the olive oil and continue stirring until the dough becomes compact and elastic. Add a little flour if the dough is too wet, or water if it is too dry. Knead for about 8 minutes, shape into a ball and place in a oiled bowl. Cover and let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 550°.

Dust a counter with flour and place the risen dough upon it. Divide it into 4 equal parts and shape into balls. Cover and let rest for about half hour. Roll them out into very thin disks and brush them with olive oil.

Place each disk on a baking peel, top with the ingredients of your choice, and place in the oven. Bake until crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Serves 4

SARA'S GRILLED PIZZA MARGHERITA

Food processor pizza dough (recipe below) or 1 lb. thawed frozen pizza dough, divided and formed into 4 balls
1 lb. plum tomatoes or 1 (28 to 32 oz.) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
6 oz. mozzarella, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
6 to 8 medium fresh basil leaves, torn

If using fresh tomatoes, cut an X (just through skin) in each, at end opposite stem, and immerse in boiling water for 10 seconds. Transfer to cold water with a slotted spoon, then peel. Seed and chop tomatoes (fresh or canned).

Simmer tomatoes, salt, and two tablespoons oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until very thick and reduced to about 1 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Toss together mozzarella and remaining tablespoon oil.

Follow same method as BBQ Chicken Grilled Pizza. When ready, add 1/4 of sauce, and 1/4 of the mozzarella to crust. When cheese has melted, scatter basil over pizzas just before serving.

Cook's note:

Pizzas can also be cooked in a well-seasoned 10- to 12-inch ridged grill pan. Heat pan over high heat until hot, about five minutes, then cook pizzas one at a time over moderately high heat, following grilling instructions in recipe above, covering pan after sprinkling with cheese, and using cooking times for charcoal grill.

Food Processor Pizza Dough

Makes about 4 servings.

One 1/4-ounce package yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 to 2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Combine 3/4 cup warm water (105° to 115° F), the yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade; let stand five minutes.

Add 1 3/4 cups of the flour, the salt, and oil; process until a soft dough forms. Add as much of the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, as necessary to make the dough manageable.

Shape the dough in a ball, place in an oiled bowl, turning so an oiled surface is up.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 35 minutes.

Use as directed in a recipe or refrigerate for use up to one day later. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before using.

Source: Sara Moulton

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DINNER RECIPES

SEAFOOD PASTA ALFREDO

8 oz. cream cheese, regular or salmon flavored
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
3/4-1 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
granulated garlic to taste
salt to taste
4-6 oz. crab meat, fresh or imitation

In a saucepan, gently heat cream cheese, butter and milk. Stir until smooth. Add Parmesan, garlic, salt and crab meat. Set aside and keep warm.

1 lb. salmon, cut into 2" squares
1 small bell pepper, cut in 1 1/2" squares
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. granulated garlic
8 oz. prawns, shelled, deveined and sauteed

Place salmon cubes and bell pepper pieces onto skewers. Baste w/ melted butter mixed with granulated garlic. Grill or broil until cooked yet pink in the center. Saute prawns in remaining garlic butter.

1 lb. Fettuccini pasta, plain or flavored (cooked in boiling, salted water until just tender)

Toss hot pasta with Alfredo/Crab Sauce. Top with salmon skewer and sauteed prawns. Garnish with fresh dill.

ROAST CHICKEN MARINATED WITH HERBS AND CHICKEN

5- to 6-pound chicken
6 quarts cold water
1/2 cup sea salt (kosher or regular will do)

Mix salt with a little hot water to dissolve then add the rest of the cold water to six quarts. Place the chicken into the brine for about two hours. Drain the chicken, pat dry with a paper towel and place in a roasting dish.

Mix together the following ingredients into a paste-like mixture:

1 tablespoon each: fresh basil, rosemary, thyme, sage and chives
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup melted butter
Salt and pepper

Rub the herb mixture all over the chicken, inside and out and especially under the skin. Gently pull the skin from the smallest end of the breast and rub the meat with the seasoning.

Next, rough cut carrots, onion, parsnips, potatoes (new potatoes probably could be used unpeeled; ours were not of best quality, so we peeled them) and celery. Season with salt and pepper and saute in butter or olive oil (we used a combination) until vegetables start to brown and caramelize. Add to roasting pan and bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes then turn down to 350 degrees until chicken is done, 180 degrees on the inside thigh temperature. Let rest a few minutes, carve and serve.

CUBAN SANDWICHES

6 Long sandwich rolls or hoagie rolls, split in half
12 Thin slices of Smoked Ham
12-18 Thin slices of Swiss Cheese
12 thin slices of kosher dill pickles, sliced lengthwise
Roast Pork, thinly sliced or shredded (plus some reserved pan juices if you prefer) -- Recipe below
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1-2 Chipotle chiles in Adobo sauce, processed until smooth
Cuban Roast Pork

Cuban Spice Rub

2 Tab. Paprika
1 Tab. Garlic Powder
1 Tab. Onion Powder
1 Tab. Thyme, dried, crushed
1 Tab. Kosher Salt
1 Tab. Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Ground Allspice
1/2 Tsp. Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper, ground
Mix ingredients together. Set aside 2 teaspoons to use if making the Cuban black beans.

1 6-8 lb. Pork Loin or Shoulder, boned
Recipe of Cuban Spice Rub
1/2 Cup Freshly squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 Cup Freshly squeezed orange juice or grapefruit juice
1 Large Green Bell Pepper, coarsely chopped
1 Large Onion, coarsely chopped

Rub Pork with Cuban Spice Rub Mix and set aside. Combine juices with water or wine and add the chopped onion and pepper. If you want, you can marinade pork in this mixture overnight or you can pour the mixture over the pork in a roasting pan or slow cooker and cover and cook immediately.

If cooking in a slow cooker, cook on low for 8-10 hours or overnight. Cool in juices. Transfer to cutting board and discard fat. Slice or shred the pork, as desired. (Pork can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for 3 days.) Strain the pan juices into a glass measure and skim off the fat. Can then use over the pork on the sandwiches.

If cooking in oven, place pork in Dutch oven or roasting pan on a roasting rack and pour over ingredients. Cover and roast in 350 degree oven for 3-4 hours or until roast is nice and tender. Cool in juices. Transfer to cutting board and discard fat. Slice or shred the pork, as desired. (Pork can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for 3 days.) Strain the pan juices into a glass measure and skim off the fat. Can then use over the pork on the sandwiches.

To Assemble Cuban Sandwich:

Process chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and add chipotle paste that results into the mayonnaise, one tablespoon at a time, until desired taste. (Chipotle Peppers are smoked jalapeno peppers --- these will be hot, so add to desired heat.)

Spread Chipotle Mayonnaise on both cut sides of roll. Add slices of Swiss cheese, then slices of smoked ham, the slices of dill pickle, then shredded pork (adding some pan juices if desired). Top with roll half. Assemble all sandwiches.

Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium high. Place Cuban Sandwiches on grill. Top with cookie sheet and weigh down with heavy skillet or weighted cans. Grill a several minutes on each side, turning just once. Slice in half and serve.

(You can also use an electric sandwich grill press if you have one.)

Serve these sandwiches with plantain chips or your favorite chips or a salad or this recipe for Cuban Black Beans and Rice.

CUBAN BLACK BEANS AND RICE

2 Tabs. Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, finely chopped (approx. 1 cup)
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped (approx. 1/2 cup)
3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Large 1 lb. 13 oz. Size Can of Black Beans, undrained
1 1/2 Cups Water
2 Tsp. Cuban Spice Rub (from above recipe)
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tabs. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice or White Vinegar or to taste
4-6 Cups Hot, cooked white rice

Heat oil in heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion, pepper and garlic and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in beans, seasoning, and water. Bring to a boil and simmer 10-15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add lime juice or vinegar and heat 5 minutes more. Serve over hot cooked white rice.

Makes 6-8 servings.

SOUTH OF THE BORDER CHICKEN FIESTA

Filling
2 (6 oz.) pkgs. Southwestern seasoned, fully cooked Chicken Breast Strips
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can Southwest Style Pepper Jack soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (15 oz. Can black beans, drained
4 tbsp. Green chilies, chopped

Topping
1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (7 oz.) pkg. Martha White Sweet Yellow Corn bread Mix.
3/4 cup Mexican style shredded cheese
4 tbsp. Green chilies, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream style corn
1 egg
Shredded lettuce
Sour cream
Salsa
Mexican style shredded cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees

Melt butter in a 10 1/4 inch skillet & sauté onion and garlic until tender. In a medium bowl, combine all fillings ingredients; stir until smooth. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients. Including sautéed onion & garlic.

With a paper towel wipe skillet clean. Pour filling ingredients into skillet.

Spread cornbread mixture over chicken filling. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until cornbread topping is golden brown.

Cut into wedges and garnish each slice with shredded lettuce, sour cream, cheese and salsa.

Prepared by Traci Mitchell (Winner of the Martha White Cornbread Mix at the 2004 National Peanut Festival in Dothan, AL.)

SOUR CREAM NOODLE BAKE

4 cups medium egg noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 tbs. butter
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
dash garlic salt
dash pepper
2 cups sour cream
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup shredded cheese

Cook noodles as directed on package. Drain. Brown ground beef in butter, drain off fat, stir in tomato sauce, salt, garlic salt, and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Mix together sour cream, onions and noodles. In buttered (2-quart) casserole dish alternate layers of noodles and meat mixture, beginning with noodles and ending with meat. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

CHEESY CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Nonstick cooking spray or butter, for greasing casserole
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 package chicken Ramen noodles with seasoning packet
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 small can white chicken chunks, drained

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 1-quart casserole dish with cooking spray or grease it with butter.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it's tender.

Add the soup, milk and just less than half of the seasoning packet. Stir until the mixture is smooth.

Cook the noodles in water according to package directions, then drain them.

Add the cheese, chicken and soup mixture. Stir until the cheese is melted.

Pour the noodles into the prepared dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven and serve.

Serves: 2 (generously)

From "101 Things to Do with Ramen Noodles" by Toni Patrick

HARVEST TIME CASSEROLE

1 lb. lean ground beef, browned and drained
1 med. Onion, chopped
1 can tomatoes, with liquid
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 can Fiesta Nacho cheese
2-3 med. potatoes, sliced thin
1/3 cup flour
2 10 oz. packages frozen vegetables or equal fresh (corn, beans, peas, celery, mushrooms, onions, spinach, ect.)
1 1/2 cups Shredded cheddar cheese
Salt to taste

In large bowl, combine beef, onion, tomatoes, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Pat into a greased 2 or 3 qt. Casserole.

Layer with potatoes, flour and mixed vegetables. Pour Fiesta Nacho Cheese over all. Bake at 375 degrees, covered for 45-55 minutes.

Remove cover, sprinkle with cheese and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

You may precook all ingredients and layer them in a casserole dish and cook for about 20 minutes.

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DESSERT RECIPES

FUNNEL CAKES

3 to 4 cups of flour
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar for topping
Vegetable oil for deep frying - heat to 375 degrees

Beat the eggs, then add the sugar and milk.

Sift 2 cups of flour, the salt, and the baking powder and add to the milk, sugar, and egg mixture.

Mix while adding more flour until the batter is smooth and not too thick.

The funnel should have an opening of at least 1/2 inch and be able to hold around a cup of batter.

Put your finger over the bottom and add about a cup of batter. Remove your finger and allow the batter to pour into the center of the oil. Be careful, the oil may splash!

Gradually swirl the batter outward in a circular motion, or criss-cross back and forth to make a cake about 7 or 8 inches round.

Check it with a pair of tongs and turn it when the bottom becomes golden brown.

When both sides are done, remove with tongs and let it drip on a paper towel.

Funnel cake is often served with powdered sugar on top. You could also use molasses, maple syrup, or fruit preserves.

PINEAPPLE CAKE

1 angel food cake mix
1 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple with its own natural juice

Mix the two together. It will foam up and get to the consistency of marshmallow cream.

Bake at 350 degrees in an ungreased, 9-by-11-inch pan until it is brown all over the top and the top does not feel sticky to the touch. It should take just over a half hour.

Do not underbake.

Top with Cool Whip.

Serve warm or refrigerated; tastes great both ways.

PEANUT BUTTER PECAN TURTLE CHEESECAKE

9" or 10" Spring Form Pan
3-8 oz. packages of cream cheese
5 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 cup plus (1/2 cup reserved) peanut butter
1/2 sour cream
1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
1 cup toasted, chopped pecans
Caramel sauce
Chocolate sauce
2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 cup melted or softened butter

Mix Graham cracker crumbs and butter in small bowl until crumbly. Press into bottom of the spring form pan. Bake @ 350 degrees about 8 minutes.

Remove from oven set aside, cool. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, including the yolk.

Add peanut butter, vanilla and whipping cream. Mix at medium speed until very creamy and smooth. Pour batter into spring form pan over crust.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Take out of oven and mix remaining 1/2 cup of peanut butter with 1/2 cup sour cream, spread over top of cheesecake, return to oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 1-2 hours.

Refrigerate overnight. Before serving, cover top of cheese cake with crushed pecans. Drizzle caramel and chocolate sauce all over. Run knife around edges of pan, release side and place cheesecake on plate and serve.

Serves 14-16

MARGARITA PIE

1 1/4 cups finely crushed pretzels
2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 to 4 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons Triple Sec
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Lime slices for decoration

Lightly butter a 9-inch pie plate. Combine crushed pretzels, butter and sugar in a small bowl; press firmly on bottom and up the side to the rim of the buttered pie plate. Refrigerate while making filling.

Combine sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, tequila and Triple Sec in a large bowl; mix well. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared crust.

Cover and freeze 4 hours or refrigerate 2 hours. If frozen, soften in refrigerator slightly before serving. Decorate with lime slices. Freeze or refrigerate leftovers.

Makes 1 pie

INCREDIBLE CARAMEL NUT SAUCE

Gooey and chock full of nuts, this sauce makes ice cream something very special!

In a small saucepan gently heat, stirring until blended:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
2 cups roasted, unsalted nuts, chopped coarsely

Serve at room temperature and store refrigerated.

SOUTH OF THE BORDER BROWNIES

4 ounces semi-sweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk chocolate chips (about 6 ounces)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Stir unsweetened chocolate and butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool 5 minutes.

Mix in sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla stirring until batter is smooth. Add flour until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into greased 9x9 pan. Bake at 325° until tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.

For brown sugar topping:
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar, cream and butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until mixture is smooth and just starting to boil. Remove from heat; mix in vanilla. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Whisk until thick enough to spread. Spread over brownie. Allow to stand until topping sets.

EASY PEANUT BUTTER-CHOCOLATE SQUARES

2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c butter or margarine
2 c peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)

In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Do NOT microwave! Mix in peanut butter until well combined. Pour mixture in a 9x13 pan lined with foil. Cover and refrigerate until hardened. Cut into small squares.

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FROM THE GARDEN

ZUCCHINI RELISH

10 cups chopped zucchini
4 cups chopped onions
2 green peppers, chopped
5 Tbsp. salt
2 1/2 cups vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. mustard seed

Grind zucchini, onions and peppers. Combine with salt and let stand overnight. In the morning, rinse in cold water and drain well, squeezing out all the water.

Place in a large pan with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook 30 minutes, stirring often. Put in sterilized jars and seal.

Makes 6 pints.

Note from newspaper: I would suggest processing the half-pint jars in boiling water for 5 minutes, a time recommended by the National Center for Home Food Preservation for relish made with green tomatoes and lots more vinegar, which acts as a preservative.

GREEN TOMATO JAM

2 pounds green tomatoes
2 lemons
1 tart apple
1/2 cup water
1 (4-inch) cinnamon stick
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

Scrub and rinse tomatoes, lemons and apple. Remove and discard stem ends of tomatoes; cut tomatoes into quarters. Transfer 2 tomatoes to a food processor; pulse until chopped. Pour into a heavy, nonreactive 4-quart pan. Repeat with remaining tomatoes. (Or dice tomatoes with a knife.)

Grate zest (colored portion of peel) from lemons. Add to the pan. Halve lemons; cut off and discard pith (white part of peel). Slice thinly; remove seeds. Add lemon slices to the pan.

Peel, quarter, core and dice apple; add to the pan. Pour in water; add cinnamon stick. Stir to combine. Cover the pan; bring to a boil. Uncover; simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in 1/2 cup sugar; return to a simmer. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar. Let jam return to a simmer, then cook, uncovered, until the temperature reaches 220 degrees, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat; remove the cinnamon stick. Pour the jam into hot, clean jars to within 1/4 inch of rims. Wipe rims clean, attach lids, and screw the caps on tightly. Invert the jars briefly for a quick vacuum seal. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate up to 1 month.

Yield: 3-1/2 cups.

Nutritional information per tablespoon: 20 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no protein, 5 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams sugar, no fiber, 2 milligrams sodium, 3 milligrams calcium, 35 milligrams potassium.

TARRAGON PESTO

1 cup packed fresh tarragon leaves
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, quartered
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

* Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse several times, then process until fairly smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Makes about 1 cup.

SOURCE: Recipe from Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarborough in EatingWell magazine

CAPRESE ON A STICK

Pint container of marinated fresh mozzarella bocconcini
Pint basket of small tomatoes, halved
Bunch basil leaves
Wooden skewers

Assemble on skewers: Half a tomato (cut edge up), basil leaf, bocconcini, basil leaf, half a tomato (cut edge down). Arrange on a platter.

ROASTED TOMATO AND HERB TART

12 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 red heirloom plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
4 yellow heirloom plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
1 1/4 cups grated Gruyère cheese (about 4 ounces), divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place garlic on 6-inch square of foil; drizzle garlic with 1 teaspoon oil. Seal foil packet. Toss tomatoes, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons oil in bowl. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle any juices in bowl over tomatoes. Place garlic packet on same sheet. Bake until garlic is soft, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven; increase temperature to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out puff pastry on floured surface to 10-inch square; transfer to prepared sheet. Using fork, pierce pastry all over. Chill 20 minutes.

Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over pastry, leaving 1-inch plain border. Arrange tomatoes in alternating colors, cut side up, over cheese in 4 rows. Place garlic cloves between tomatoes. Sprinkle with thyme, rosemary and 1/2 cup cheese. Bake tart until golden, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6 appetizer servings.

Per serving: 325 calories; 23 g fat (7 g saturated fat; 64 percent calories from fat); 21 g carbohydrates; 20 mg cholesterol; 434 mg sodium; 10 g protein; 2 g fiber.

MICROWAVE GINGER PLUM JAM

3 cups chopped peeled purple plums (about 10 to 12 plums)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Place plums and sugar in a deep 8-cup microwavable container. Stir in lemon juice.

Microwave, uncovered, on high power for 7 minutes, stirring twice. Add ginger; microwave, uncovered, on high for 15 to 18 minutes or until mixture reaches 220 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, stirring every 4 minutes.

Ladle the jam into hot, clean jars to within 1/4 inch of rims. Wipe rims clean, attach lids, and screw the caps on tightly. Invert the jars briefly for a quick vacuum seal. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate up to 1 month.

Yield: 2-1/2 cups.

Nutritional information per tablespoon: 56 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no protein, 14 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams sugar, no fiber, no sodium, 2 milligrams calcium, 32 milligrams potassium.

Adapted from "Small-Batch Preserving," by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard

REFRIGERATOR PICKLES

7 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 c. onions, thinly sliced
1 T. pickling salt
2 c. sugar
1 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. mustard seed
1 clove garlic, minced

Let this stand together for one hour. Drain well. Boil together sugar, vinegar, celery and mustard seeds and garlic. Pour this mixture over the drained cukes. Place in small containers or jars in the refrigerator. Will keep for several weeks.

TOMATO SALSA (freezer)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 stalks celery, minced
2 tablespoons serrano chiles, seeded and chopped (wear rubber gloves)
1 clove garlic
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and quartered
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon mild honey
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil ( 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Cook's note: The salsa will be thin but delicious.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Add the onion, celery, chiles, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes or until soft. Add tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, honey, basil, cumin, and chili powder. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes (fish out tomato skins as mixture cools).

Ladle into two 1-cup freezer containers and let cool. Cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Label the containers; freeze for up to 3 months. To use, thaw in refrigerator.

Yield: 2 cups

Source: The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest

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COOLIN' DOWN

FUZZY CHICAGO BOTTOM

4 scoops peach ice cream
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon grenadine, optional
1 1/2 tablespoons crushed pineapple, with juice
Shredded coconut, optional
Lime slices, optional

Place all ingredients into the cup of a drink mixer or blender. Process until desired consistency. Garnish with coconut and lime slices.

MUDDY BOTTOM BABY

4 scoops chocolate ice cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup marshmallow cream
1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy pieces
Whipped cream, optional

Place all ingredients into the cup of a drink mixer or blender. Process until desired consistency. Garnish with whipped cream.

DRAW ONE FROM THE SOUTH WITH A SANDY BOTTOM

4 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 cup strong coffee, chilled
1/2 banana, mashed
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon Irish Cream Liqueur, optional
Whipped cream, optional

Place all ingredients into the cup of a drink mixer or blender. Process until desired consistency. Garnish with whipped cream.

CRASH A VAN WITH COW JUICE

4 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/3 cup milk
2/3 cup fresh raspberries, mashed
1/2 cup crushed cookie pieces
Raspberries for garnish

Place all ingredients into the cup of a drink mixer or blender. Process until desired consistency. Garnish with raspberries.

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DOGS ARE PEOPLE TOO RECIPES

PEANUT BRINDLE

3 1/2 cups rice flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup unsalted peanut butter
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped unsalted peanuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a jelly roll pan with nonstick vegetable spray.

Stir together the rice flour, cinnamon and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, honey, peanut butter, oil and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and add 1 cup water. Stir to form a stiff batter.

Turn the dough out onto the jelly roll pan. Cover the dough with plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out evenly to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the dough with peanuts, lightly pressing them into the dough. Score the dough with a knife into 2 x 3-inch rectangles.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown.

Cool to room temperature in the pan before breaking apart along the score lines and serving.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or wrap well and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw before serving.

Makes 25 servings.

SALIVATIN' CINNAMON APPLE NIPS

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs
1 cup cored and diced apple

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 baking sheets with nonstick vegetable spray.

Stir together the flour, oats, baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the oil and honey until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir to form a smooth dough. Fold in the apples.

Drop the dough by the rounded teaspoonful, 1 1/2 inches apart, on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool to room temperature before serving.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or wrap well and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw before serving.

Makes 30 cookies.

YIP YAP BANANA SNAPS

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup canola oil
2-3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup honey
1 large egg
1 3/4 cup quick rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in the oil, bananas, honey and egg until smooth. Fold in the oats.

Drop the dough by the rounded teaspoonful, 1 1/2 inches apart, on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until light golden.

Cool to room temperature before serving.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or wrap well and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw before serving.

Makes about 36 cookies.

These recipes are all from a new cookbook called "It's Cooking the Three Dog Bakery Way by Mark Beckloff and Dan Dye"

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