recipes, food and cooking

August 2007

Hi Everyone,

Just when I thought it couldn't get any hotter outside the humidity kicked in! I went out this morning intended to go out in the garden and didn't get off of the porch. The humidity is so bad this morning that it could knock you over. Our garden is doing real well, we had our first watermelon, which I have never been able to grow before and have at least 6 huge ones that are almost ready. I've been picking green beans, corn, lots of basil and herbs and a few tomatoes. We have to fight the birds for them so I am going to net them. This newsletter has a bit a everything this month and I hope you enjoy it!

     Mary Ellen        

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RECIPES FOR AUGUST

PINEAPPLE CHICKEN

2 teaspoons canola oil, divided use
1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1/2 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
3-4 green onions, white and light green parts, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 pound chicken tenders
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks (with the unsweetened juice)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Add 1 teaspoon oil and heat to medium. Stir-fry peppers, onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add remaining teaspoon oil to the skillet. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken tenders. Pan-grill 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove and set aside.

While the chicken is cooking, stir together the cornstarch with 1 teaspoon of the pineapple juice to make a slurry.

Add the juice from the pineapple to the skillet and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the pineapple chunks, slurry, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and peppers mix. Cook at a fast simmer for 4 minutes. Return the tenders to the skillet, tossing to coat the chicken. Simmer 1 more minute.

Makes 4 servings.

Approximate nutritional values per serving: 260 calories, 25 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 4 g fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 610 mg sodium.

BUFFALO CHICKEN ON-A-STICK

Sauce:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1/4-1/3 cup hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 0.6 ounce envelope dry Italian salad dressing mix

Chicken:
1 pound chicken tenders, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Wooden skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes to avoid burning)
Purchased blue cheese dressing

In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, hot sauce, cider vinegar and dressing mix. Stir over low heat until smooth. Taste and add more hot sauce if desired.

Preheat grill. Place chicken tenders in a large bowl; drizzle with vegetable oil. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Thread each chicken tender onto a wooden skewer. Grill on an oiled rack until cooked through and golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Brush generously with Buffalo Sauce in the last minutes of cooking. Serve with blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Serves 4

POTATO CHIP CHICKEN ROLL-UPS

16 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
8 button mushrooms
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 slices mozzarella cheese, sliced very thin
8 slices boiled ham, sliced very thin
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1 bag (about 8 ounces) potato chips

Wash hands. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dab oil from sun-dried tomatoes with paper towels. Place tomatoes in food processor; chop very fine. Add mushrooms and chop fine; set aside.

Slice chicken breasts horizontally so there are eight fairly uniform pieces. Place plastic wrap over the chicken and pound until the chicken is about 1/4 -inch thick. All pieces should be the same thickness.

Layer a slice of mozzarella cheese on a chicken breast, then a slice of ham and top with a teaspoon of the tomato-mushroom filling. Roll up in a bundle and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with all the chicken pieces.

In a wide bowl, beat the eggs and milk together with a fork. Crush the potato chips by placing them in two plastic bags and crushing with a rolling pin. Place crushed potato chips on a plate. Roll the chicken bundles into the egg mixture and then roll in the potato chip crumbs, pressing the crumbs on the meat.

Place in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.

Yields 4 servings.

Per serving: 692 calories; 37 g fat (13 g saturated fat; 48 percent calories from fat); 36 g carbohydrate; 236 mg cholesterol; 1222 mg sodium; 57 g protein; 3.5 g fiber.

MAHI-MAHI WITH SAUCE

1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons achiote paste
1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for seasoning the fish
Cayenne pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds skinless mahi-mahi fillets, 1 inch thick
1 papaya (about a pound), peeled, seeded and diced (may substitute diced pineapple)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
1 teaspoon seeded and finely minced serrano chile pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice

In large non-reactive bowl, add orange and lemon juices, achiote paste, garlic, chili powder, the ½ teaspoon salt and a pinch of cayenne, or to taste, and mix well. Whisk in olive oil.

Place fillets in shallow bowl or on plate and pour marinade over fish.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes.

To make salsa, in small bowl combine papaya, onion, cilantro, serrano chile pepper, lime zest and juice and a pinch of salt. Stir and set aside.

If using gas grill, preheat to medium-high, then reduce to medium. If using charcoal grill, start charcoal or wood briquettes. When briquettes are ready, distribute evenly under cooking area for direct heat.

Grill fish, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plates, and spoon salsa over it.

Makes 6 servings.

PANKO ROASTED SALMON

4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each), about ¾ to 1 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
4 thin lime slices for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place salmon fillets, skin side down, on a foil-lined, heavy baking sheet and salt and pepper them to taste.

In medium mixing bowl, stir together panko, lime zest, ¼ teaspoon salt and hot red pepper flakes. Add olive oil and stir until breadcrumbs are coated with it. Divide mixture evenly and cover top of each fillet generously with crumbs.

(If you have a few breadcrumbs left over, toast them in a skillet for a few minutes, stirring until golden, and sprinkle them over cooked vegetables such as broccoli or green beans.)

Place fillets on center rack of preheated oven and bake until flesh is opaque and flakes easily when pierced with knife and topping is golden brown, about 12 minutes or longer. (The thicker the fillets, the longer the roasting time will be.) Watch carefully, and if after 8 to 10 minutes the breadcrumbs start to brown too quickly, cover topping with a sheet of aluminum foil.

When fish is done, remove from oven. Sprinkle each fillet with cilantro or parsley and garnish with a lime slice. Makes 4 servings.

OVEN FRIED PECAN CHICKEN

4 boneless chicken breast halves without skin
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Creole mustard or a spicy brown mustard
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs or fine soft bread crumbs
2/3 cup pecans
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 to 2 tablespoons melted butter, or butter-flavored spray

Wash chicken breasts; pat dry. Put between sheets of plastic wrap and pound lightly to an even thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Combine mayonnaise and mustard in a bowl.

In a food processor or blender, process the bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley until fine. Coat chicken generously with the mayonnaise mustard mixture then coat with crumbs.

Place in a greased baking dish and drizzle or spray a small amount of melted butter over each chicken breast.

Bake at 375° for 20 minutes; turn and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until browned and chicken is cooked through.

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PACKET DINNERS

TAMALE CHICKEN PACKETS

1 (15 1/4 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
2 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips
1 cup chunky salsa, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
(1 to 1 1/4 pounds), cut in 1/2-inch strips
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 sheets heavy duty aluminum foil

Heat grill to medium-high or oven to 450 degrees F. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Center one-fourth of corn on each sheet of aluminum foil. Top with green pepper, olives, tortilla chips and half of salsa. Add chicken; sprinkle with onion salt and chili powder. Top with remaining salsa. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Repeat to make four packets.

Grill 12 to 14 minutes in covered grill or bake 15 to 18 minutes on a cookie sheet in oven. Sprinkle with cheese before serving. Serve with additional salsa and crushed chips, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

SHRIMP, CORN AND ZUCCHINI PACKETS

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon each minced garlic, dried thyme and salt
2 medium zucchini, cut into 2-inch chunks
4 ears corn, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp
8 thin slices lemon

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine oil, garlic, thyme and salt. Add zucchini, corn and shrimp; toss. Divide mixture and place on 4 (14 x 18-inch) pieces heavy-duty foil. Top with lemon slices. Fold top and ends, leaving room for heat circulation. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes; remove packets from oven and let stand 5 minutes before opening.

4 servings

LEMON PEPPER SEAFOOD PACKETS

4 fillets (about 1 1/3 pounds) of sea bass or other firm, white-fleshed fish, such as orange roughy or true cod
4 (12-inch square) sheets aluminum foil
1/3 pound fresh shrimp
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon salt-free lemon pepper seasoning blend
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Place a fillet of fish on each sheet of foil. Shell the shrimp. If a shrimp is large, chop it into thumbnail-size pieces. Place in a small bowl and squeeze lemon juice over all. Add the lemon rind and seasoning blend and stir to blend. Divide the shrimp and place on top of the fish fillets. Sprinkle each with paprika.

Fold the foil carefully to form packets that will not leak. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

To cook, heat a barbecue grill to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Serve in the packets, if desired.

NOTE: Packets can also be baked in a 375 degrees F oven for 15 minutes.

GREEK CHICKEN AND POTATO PACKETS

4 ( 18 x 12-inch) sheets heavy duty aluminum foil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 to 1 1/4 pounds)
1 1/3 pounds (4 medium) potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup sliced, pitted Kalamata olives or sliced ripe olives
1 medium tomato, cut in thin wedges
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Heat oven to 450 degrees F or set grill to medium-high. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Center one chicken breast half on each sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.

Combine potatoes, olive oil and garlic. Arrange potatoes around chicken. Sprinkle chicken and potatoes with oregano, salt and pepper. Top with olives. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Repeat to make four packets. Bake 25 to 28 minutes on a cookie sheet in oven or grill 18 to 22 minutes in covered grill.

Sprinkle with tomatoes and feta cheese before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

POTATO FLORET PACKET

5 medium red potatoes, cubed
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 cup fresh cauliflowerets
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt or garlic powder
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a bowl, combine the potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic salt and pepper. Place on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 17 in. x 12 in.). Fold foil around potato mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

Yield: 6 servings.

POTATO CHICKEN PACKETS

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 garlic clove, minced
8 to 10 small red potatoes, quartered
2 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

Place each chicken breast on a piece of heavy-duty foil (about 14 in. square). Combine the oil, rosemary, thyme, basil and garlic; drizzle over chicken. top with potatoes, squash, onion, butter, salt and pepper. Fold foil over vegetables and seal tightly.

Grill, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear and potatoes are tender.

Yield: 4 servings.

CHICKEN PIZZA PACKETS

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
16 pepperoni slices
1 small green pepper, julienned
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients. Coat four pieces of heavy-duty foil (about 12 in. square) with nonstick cooking spray. Place a quarter of the chicken mixture in the center of each piece.

Fold foil round mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium-hot heat for 15-18 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Carefully open each packet. Sprinkle with tomatoes and cheeses. Seal loosely; grill 2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 4 servings.

CHICKEN DIVAN PACKET

2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
1/2 cup uncooked instant rice
2/3 cup condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

Place each chicken breast half in the center of a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). In a bowl, combine the rice, soup and water; spoon over chicken. Arrange broccoli and mushrooms on top.

Fold foil around mixture and seal tightly.

Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and rice is tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

Yield: 2 servings.

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SALADS AND SIDES

DILLED GARDEN SALAD

Salad:
 2 medium tomatoes, cut into bite-size wedges
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small onion, cut in half, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, in 1/2-inch cubes

Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill OR 1 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For Salad: Place tomatoes, cucumber, onion and olives in large serving bowl; toss lightly.

Pour Vinaigrette over salad; toss well. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend flavors.

Stir cheese in just before serving.

For Vinaigrette: Whisk together oil, vinegar, dill, salt, sugar and pepper in small bowl. Note: To make a heartier salad for lunch, add cubes of ham or smoked turkey.

Makes 10 servings.

Approximate nutritional values per ½-cup serving: 120 calories, 10 g fat, 5 g cholesterol, 207 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber.

PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE

1 large ripe pineapple
1 3/4 cups long-grain white rice
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons shredded coconut, toasted, for garnish (optional)
1/3 cup (1½ ounces) finely sliced long beans or green beans
2 1/2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1/2 cup (2½ ounces) finely diced yellow onion
1/2 cup (2½ ounces) diced firm tofu or tempeh
2 teaspoons grated or finely minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup (2½ ounces) sliced canned straw mushrooms, or 2 ounces fresh oyster mushrooms, sliced if large
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1 mild fresh red chile, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons mashed yellow bean sauce or fermented tofu and its brine
Superfine white sugar to taste
Light soy sauce to taste

Cut pineapple in half lengthwise, cutting straight through the crown (leaves). Using sharp knife, remove flesh from skins. Cut flesh into ½-inch cubes. You will need 1½ cups for this recipe. (Reserve remaining pineapple for another use.) Turn the 2 empty pineapple skins upside down on a tray to drain.

Place rice in heavy saucepan and add water. Cover and bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Reduce heat to lowest setting so rice cooks very gently. Do not lift lid for at least the first 10 minutes of cooking; then, if you want, stir the rice lightly with a fork and return lid promptly. Cook until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is fluffy and dry, about 6 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, in small skillet without oil, toast coconut if using, until golden, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In small saucepan of lightly salted water, parboil beans 1½ minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in wok or large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and fry, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add onion and diced tofu or tempeh, and stir-fry until light golden, about 3½ minutes. Add ginger, parboiled beans, mushrooms, bell pepper, chile, tomato paste and yellow bean sauce or fermented tofu. Stir over high heat about 2 minutes, then add rice and continue stirring, tossing and turning until well mixed.

Stir the 1½ cups diced pineapple into the rice, and add sugar and soy sauce. Cook a little longer until heated through.

Mound rice in pineapple shells and garnish with the toasted coconut. Serve at once.

Makes 4 or 5 servings.

SPICY CUCUMBER SALAD

3 dried red chiles
5 cloves garlic
3 cups thinly shredded peeled cucumber
1 cup shredded peeled carrot
4 cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tamarind sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

Cut open the chiles, remove seeds and soak in water a few minutes. Remove chiles, squeeze them dry and place in a large bowl together with the garlic, cucumber, carrot, tomatoes and peanuts. Pound well with back of a heavy spoon while seasoning to taste with lime juice, soy sauce, salt, tamarind sauce and sugar. Makes 3 or 4 servings.

Note: Tamarind sauce is available in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets.

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

3 or 4 large firm green tomatoes
Salt
2 cups vegetable or peanut oil for deep frying
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups self-rising flour

Slice the tomatoes 1/4 inch thick. Lay them out in a shallow baking pan and sprinkle with salt. Place the tomato slices in a colander and allow time for the salt to pull the water out of the tomatoes (about 30 minutes).

In a skillet heat the oil for deep-frying over medium-high heat. Dip the tomatoes into buttermilk then dredge them in flour. Deep-fry until golden brown.

Serves 6

OVERNIGHT FARMHOUSE FOCACCIA

1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
2 2/3 cups warm water (90 to 100 degrees)
3/4 cup (4.5 ounces) whole-wheat bread flour
4 1/2 cups (about 22 ounces) all-purpose unbleached white flour
3 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Additional 1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose flour
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
About 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

Start the focaccia a day ahead. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/3 cup of the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the whole-wheat flour. Let stand until bubbly, 5 to 8 minutes. With a wooden spoon or a heavy-duty mixer with a paddle attachment, beat in the remaining water, whole-wheat flour, the 4 1/2 cups of white flour and fine salt. Beat by hand or at medium-low speed about 5 minutes into a soft, sticky, very elastic dough.

Knead 10 minutes, adding about 1/2 cup flour so that dough cleans the sides of the mixer bowl, but about a third of it puddles on the bottom.

By hand, work in the extra 1/2 cup flour, turning the dough out onto a floured board. Knead it with floured hands. The dough should be soft, sticky and very elastic.

Finish the dough made by either method by kneading in a few more tablespoons of flour to reduce its stickiness. It will be soft, and a little sticky. Place in a large, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours. It will not rise, so don't worry.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Set it back in the bowl and let it rise at room temperature about 4 hours, or until tripled in bulk.

Knead down with floured hands (it will be soft and sticky).

Oil an 18-by-13-inch sheet pan or 3 9-inch-square cake pans. Stretch the dough to fill the pan. It will be about 1/2 -inch thick. Cover with a towel and let rise at room temperature 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

During this last rise, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle dough with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt, or top dough with toppings to taste. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until dough is a rich golden brown.

Slip it out of the pan directly onto the oven rack and bake another 5 minutes, or until hollow-sounding when tapped on its underside. Serve focaccia rewarmed, or at room temperature.

Makes an 18-by-13-inch low-lying loaf that serves 12.

Per serving: 231 calories; 2 g fat (0.3 g saturated fat; 8 percent calories from fat); 45 g carbohydrates; 0 mg cholesterol; 1,162 mg sodium; 7 g protein; 2.5 g fiber.

GRILLED SOUTHWESTERN PASTA SALAD

8 oz multigrain or whole-wheat penne
8 oz lean boneless sirloin steak
1/2 teaspoons each ground cumin, salt and pepper
3 medium poblano chile peppers, halved and seeded
1 ear fresh corn, husked
1 medium sweet onion, sliced ½ in. thick
Nonstick spray
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut in bite-size chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Cook pasta in a large pot of lightly salted water as package directs. Drain; rinse under cold water and drain again. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

Heat outdoor grill. Rub steak with ¼ tsp each of the cumin, salt and pepper. Coat steak, peppers, corn and onion with nonstick spray.

Grill steak 4 to 6 minutes, turning once, for medium-rare. Remove to cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Grill peppers, corn and onion 8 to 10 minutes, turning as needed until lightly charred and tender.

Cut peppers and onion into bite-size pieces and cut corn off cob; add to bowl with pasta. Slice steak thinly against the grain and add to bowl.

Add remaining cumin, salt and pepper and remaining ingredients to bowl; toss to mix and coat.

Serves 4

Per serving: 410 cal, 25 g pro, 65 g car, 8 g fiber, 9 g fat (2 g sat fat), 38 mg chol, 331 mg sod

INDIAN SUMMER VEGETABLE MEDLEY

3 small zucchini, 1/4 inch slices
3 small yellow summer squash, 1/4 inch slices
3 small onions, 1/8 inch slices
3 very ripe, medium tomatoes, 1/8 inch slices
1/2 lb Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
3 T. olive oil
3 T. herbs basil, rosemary, and thyme

Coat the bottom and sides of a large Dutch oven or casserole with 1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil; layer each zucchini, summer squash, tomato and onion in that order; top with 1 Tablespoon herbs, salt and pepper and 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil, then add 1/3 of the grated cheddar. Repeat with a second and third layer. Put cover on casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check onions and squash for doneness. Serve immediately!

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BRUNCH

BRAZILIAN LEMONADE

The condensed milk adds an unusual creamy touch to an otherwise classic lemonade recipe.

2 lemons
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbs condensed milk
3 cups water
Ice

Slice off the ends of the lemons, then cut into wedges. Put lemon and the other ingredients in a blender and blend until liquified. Strain out pieces of rind and seeds, and serve over ice.

FRESH PEACH MUFFINS WITH PECAN CRUMB TOPPING

2 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen peaches (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ground pecans
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold butter

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Lightly grease 24 (2 3/4-inch by 1 3/8-inch) muffin cups.

Place the peaches in a bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of the sugar. Mix thoroughly. Allow the peaches to sit for one hour.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and remaining one cup of sugar until smooth and pale in color, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fluffy, about two minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine 3 1/2 cups of the flour, baking powder and salt. Remove the bowl from the mixer and alternately fold in one-third of the milk and one-third of the flour mixture. Repeat until the milk and flour mixtures are both incorporated, being careful not to over mix. Fold in the peaches.

Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling into each prepared muffin cup.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining flour, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Mix well. Add the butter. Using your hands, mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumb like mixture.

Divide the crumb mixture between the muffin tops, about 1 tablespoon each. Place in the oven and bake for about 18 minutes to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with butter.

Makes 2 dozen muffins

OVERNIGHT BUTTERSCOTCH BUNS

The Dough:
4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
3 1/2 level teaspoons (approximately 1 1/2 packages) active dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
Flour for kneading and rolling dough

The Filling:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried currants (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

The Glaze:
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar

For the dough: Put 2 cups of the flour in a large bowl. Add the yeast, sugar and salt. Stir to blend. Set aside.

Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat to 120°-130°. (All of the butter may not melt, but it will be completely incorporated by the end of the mixing process.)

Pour the butter mixture onto the flour mixture. Add the egg yolks and blend with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Gradually stir in the remaining 2 cups flour to form a soft dough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently knead until smooth, no more than 1 to 2 minutes. Use no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons additional flour when kneading the dough. It will still be slightly sticky yet soft.

Place the dough in a bowl, and cover the surface of the dough with plastic wrap. Cover the top of the bowl tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight (the dough will hardly rise).

To fill, form and glaze the buns: Set out two 9 x 2-inch cake pans. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and the pecans and currants in another small bowl. Set the 2 tablespoons melted butter nearby.

For the glaze: Pour half of the melted butter into one of the cake pans, then stir in half of the brown sugar; spread it evenly over the bottom. Repeat this for the second cake pan. Set the pans aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it in half. Wrap one portion of dough in plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator.

Pat the other half of the dough into a rough square, and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 12 x 12-inch square. Brush the entire surface with 1 of the 2 tablespoons melted butter (see filling ingredients). Sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar over the dough, then sprinkle half of the nut-currant mixture over the cinnamon-sugar. Lightly pat filling down onto the dough.

Gently roll up the dough like a jelly roll to form a 12-inch-long log. Pinch the seam to seal the roll.

Using a sharp knife (see Note), cut the roll into twelve 3/4- to 1-inch thick slices. Place cut-side down on the glaze in the pan, leaving 3/4 to 1 inch gaps between each spiral. Cover with a cotton kitchen towel and let the buns rise in a warm place until puffy, about 30-45 minutes. (This rich dough won't rise much before baking.)

Gently press a finger into one of the buns, and if the indentation remains, the buns are ready for baking.

After forming the first batch of buns, roll the other portion of dough following the same procedure.

At least 20 minutes before baking, adjust a rack in the middle of the oven and heat oven to 350°. Bake the buns for about 25 minutes, or until they are pale golden brown. Immediately invert the pans onto serving plates. Slowly lift off the pans so the glaze flows over the buns. If any glaze remains in the pan, spread it over the buns with a small metal spatula (careful, the glaze is extremely hot). Serve warm or at room temperature.

To store buns for later use, cool, wrap securely in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks. To serve, thaw at room temperature and rewarm in their foil wrapping in a 325° oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just heated through.

Yields 2 two coffeecakes each composed of 12 buns

PER BUN: 325 calories, 3 g protein, 36 g carbohydrate, 19 g fat (11 g saturated), 63 mg cholesterol, 132 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

APPLE PIE POPOVERS

1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups baking apples, chopped
1/2 cup apple jelly
2 T water
1/8 tsp cinnamon

4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup bread flour
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Melt the butter in a sauté or heavy frying pan Add apples, jelly, water, and cinnamon, cook till apples are tender. Set aside.

In a medium bowl and with a whisk or whisk attachment, beat the eggs, milk, and salt together.

Change to the paddle attachment. Beat in the flour until it is completely smooth. Continue mixing for several minutes to develop the gluten. Stir in the pecans.

Use a pastry brush to grease the insides of the popover cups with butter. If you are using a muffin pan, grease every other cup. Divide the filling, putting an equal amount in the bottom of each cup.

Pour the batter over the filling, filling the cups half full. Fill the cups two-thirds full. Bake at high heat for twenty minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 15 minutes. (Different ovens cool differently and may require different times.) Turn off the oven.

Open the oven door and quickly make a one-inch slit in the side of each popover to release the steam. Close the oven door and let stand in the oven for ten minutes or until the popovers are dry and firm enough to avoid collapsing.

Remove the popovers from the oven. Lift the popovers from the pan immediately by grasping the tops with an oven mitt. Let them cool slightly before serving.

HAWAIIAN FRENCH TOAST

4 Eggs
8 oz. Crushed Pineapple
1/4 Cup of Milk
1 Tablespoon each of Maple Syrup, Sour Cream and Sugar
4 Tablespoons Butter
8 Slices Texas Toast Style
Powder Sugar
Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

In a blender, whirl eggs, pineapple, milk, syrup, sour cream and sugar till smooth.

Trim bread slices and place in a shallow dish. Pour egg mixture over the bread and to coat the other side.

Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a pan.

Place 2 slices of bread in the pan at a time and cook till brown on both sides. Continue with other slices till done, use remaining butter.

Dust with powder sugar and coconut before serving.

COCONUT FRENCH TOAST WITH SLOW COOKED PEACHES AND BLUEBERRY GLAZE

French toast:
16 (1-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette (about 10 ounces)
Cooking spray
1 1/4 cups light coconut milk
1 1/4 cups egg substitute
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Sugar Free Slow Cooked Peaches:
4 cups sliced fresh peaches
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup Bisquick
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar twin brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar twin granulated sugar or Splenda sugar substitute

Blueberry Glaze:
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen blueberries, thawed
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
 
To prepare the French toast, arrange bread in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine light coconut milk, egg substitute, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla, stirring with a whisk, and pour evenly over bread. Turn the bread over to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

To prepare the Slow Cooked Peaches, Spray your crockpot with cooking spray. Stir in peaches, then put the mixture in the crockpot. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Adding topping to top of peaches. Cook low for 4-6 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove bread mixture from refrigerator, and uncover. Turn bread slices over, and sprinkle evenly with flaked coconut. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Bake, uncovered, at 350º for 30 minutes or until coconut is golden.

Drain blueberries, reserving liquids. Measure liquid, add water to make 1/2 cup.

In small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in reserve liquid. Over medium heat, bring to boiling, stirring, boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool slightly. Stir in blueberries; cool completely.

Makes 2 cups.

Serve French Toast with Slow Cooked Peaches topped with Blueberry Glaze.

CRISPY FRENCH TOAST STICKS

6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of nutmeg
6 slices of raisin bread, 1" thick, trimmed of crusts, each cut into 3 equal parts to create sticks
2 1/2 cups bran flake cereal (no raisins), crushed
2 tsp softened butter, divided
Vanilla yogurt and fresh fruit

Preheat the oven to 200F.

Vigorously whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg. Pour mixture into a shallow baking dish large enough to hold bread in one layer. Place the cereal in a second baking dish.

Soak bread sticks for about 30 seconds, then flip over and continue soaking until all the egg mixture is absorbed.

Melt 1 tsp butter in a large, non-stick skillet set over medium heat.

Dredge each bread stick in cereal on both sides. Working in two batches, fry the sticks until crispy and golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and keep warm in preheated oven. Repeat with remaining butter and bread sticks.

Serve with syrup and fresh fruit.

HUEVOS RANCHEROS

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
7 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons canola oil, or more to taste
12 corn tortillas (5 1/2 inches)
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons water, or more to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 eggs
2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (optional)

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, about 6 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Stir in the tomatoes and chipotle. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the cilantro with salt and pepper.

Set the oven at 300 degrees. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet.

In a large heavy nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 tortillas and cook for 30 seconds or until just starting to brown. Turn and cook the other side. Transfer the tortillas to the baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, adding a little more oil each time. Set the tortillas in the oven.

In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. Add the beans and cumin. With a potato masher, coarsely mash the beans. Stir in enough water to moisten the mashed beans. Add salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.

In the same skillet used for the tortillas, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Break 6 eggs into the skillet and fry until the whites are almost set. Using the edge of a metal spatula, separate the eggs and flip them, if you like, cooking the other side about 1 minute more. Transfer the eggs to a large plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and cook the remaining 6 eggs.

To assemble individual servings: Place 2 warm tortillas, slightly overlapping, on each of 6 plates. Place 2 eggs on top of the tortillas and spoon tomato sauce over the eggs. Sprinkle with cheese, if using, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Place a spoonful of beans on each plate.

Serves 6

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DESSERT RECIPES

UPSIDE-DOWN STRAWBERRY MERINGUE PIE

3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoons vinegar
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
9" baked pie shell
3 cup fresh strawberries, divided
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
red food coloring
1 cup whipping cream

Beat egg whites with vinegar and salt to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/2 c. sugar and vanilla, beating to stiff peaks. Spread on bottom and sides of baked pie shell. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 min; cool. Mash two cups strawberries. In saucepan, blend remaining sugar and cornstarch. Add water and berries. Cook until thick and boils. Cook two more min. Tint with food coloring. Cool slightly. Spread over meringue. Chill. Use whipping cream and whole berries for garnish.

BANANA TRES LECHES DESSERT

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (2 medium)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2 cup (from 14-oz can) coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 container Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting
Banana slices and/or toasted coconut, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and mashed bananas with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds; beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Poke top of cake every 1/2 inch with long-tined fork, wiping fork occasionally to reduce sticking. In large bowl, stir together condensed milk, coconut milk and whipping cream. Carefully pour evenly over top of cake. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight until mixture is absorbed into cake.

Spread frosting over cake. Garnish each serving with banana slices and/or toasted coconut, if desired. Store covered in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 35 to 40 minutes.

Nutrition Information: 1 Serving: Calories 430 (Calories from Fat 180); Total Fat 20g (Saturated Fat 8g, Trans Fat 2g); Cholesterol 55mg; Sodium 290mg; Total Carbohydrate 56g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 41g); Protein 5g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 10%; Iron 4% Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 4 Fat Carbohydrate Choices:

STRAWBERRY CANNOLI

1 pt (12 oz) strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tub (15 oz) whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 box (4 or 5 1/4 oz) sugar cones (12 cones)
Garnish: chocolate mini chips and sliced strawberries

At least 1 day before serving, proceed through Step 3. Line a colander and a medium-size strainer with a sturdy paper towel; set each in a bowl.

Pulse strawberries and granulated sugar in food processor until coarsely chopped. Scrape into colander, top with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight to drain well (this is important). Clean processor.

Put ricotta, cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in processor; pulse until smooth. Transfer to strainer, cover with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving: Prop cones upright in tall glasses partially filled with granulated sugar to support cones. Fold drained berries and almond extract into ricotta mixture. Spoon into a gallon-size ziptop bag. Cut 1/2 in. off a corner; pipe filling into cones and garnish.

Makes 12

Planning Tip: Prepare through Step 3 at least 24 hours, or up to 2 days, ahead. Fill cones just before serving.

Per serving: 188 cal, 6 g pro, 24 g car, 1 g fiber, 8 g fat (5 g sat fat), 28 mg chol, 93 mg sod

MINI KEY LIME CUPCAKES

Topping
1 box (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup Key lime or regular lime juice
4 drops green food color
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Cupcakes
48 regular-size paper baking cups
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
Frosting
1 container Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting
1 tablespoon Key lime or regular lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated Key lime or regular lime peel

In large bowl, beat pudding mix and whipping cream with wire whisk 2 minutes. Let stand 3 minutes. Beat in 1/4 cup Key lime juice and the food color; stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

Heat oven to 375°F (350°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Make cake batter as directed on box. Spoon about 1 rounded tablespoonful batter into each muffin cup, using about half of the batter. (Muffin cups will be about 1/3 full.) Refrigerate remaining batter. Bake 12 to 16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining baking cups and batter. Cool cupcakes completely, about 15 minutes.

Remove paper baking cups from cupcakes. Swirl about 2 teaspoons topping on top of each cupcake.

Stir frosting in container 20 times. Gently stir in 1 tablespoon Key lime juice and the lime peel. Spoon frosting into 1-quart resealable food-storage plastic bag. Cut 1/2-inch opening from bottom corner of bag. Squeeze 1 rounded teaspoonful frosting from bag onto topping. Garnish with fresh lime wedge, if desired. Store in refrigerator.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Divide batter in half. Distribute 1/2 batter evenly among 24 muffin cups. Refrigerate remaining batter, and repeat process.

Nutrition Information: 1 Serving: Calories 140 (Calories from Fat 60); Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 2 1/2g, Trans Fat 1g); Cholesterol 20mg; Sodium 115mg; Total Carbohydrate 19g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 14g); Protein 0g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 2%; Iron 0% Exchanges: 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

PUDDING CONES

2 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) Instant Pudding & Pie Filling, any flavor
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
10 flat-bottom ice cream cones

Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Gently stir in 2 cups of the whipped topping. Spoon evenly into ice cream cones; spread tops with remaining whipped topping. Freeze 3 hours or until firm. Store in freezer.

Makes 10 servings, 1 cone each

COSTA RICAN RUM CREAM CAKE

Cake:
1 pkg. yellow cake mix with pudding in the mix – you can use a white cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk

Sauce:
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup rum olvsquiltscc115vr 1 tsp. rum extract

Topping:
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup toasted coconut**
1/3 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, water, oil, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk and beat at low speed until moistened. Beat for two minutes at high speed. Pour into a greased 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

While cake is baking, combine sauce ingredients in a large bowl; blend well. Remove cake from oven and cool 5 minutes. Using a long-tined fork, pierce hot cake every 1-2 inches. Slowly pour sauce mixture over cake. Refrigerate cake at least 3 hours to chill and allow sauce to absorb.

Before serving, make topping. In a small bowl, beat 1 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form; spread over cold cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and macadamia nuts. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 12-15 servings.

**To toast coconut, spread on cookie sheet; bake at 350° F. for 7-8 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring occasionally. Or, spread a thin layer in microwave-safe pie pan. Microwave on low for 4½ to 8 minutes or until light golden brown, tossing with a fork after each minute.

RED VELVET CHEESECAKE

1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 (1-oz.) bottles red food coloring
1 (3-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese and 1½ cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 325º for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300º, and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run a knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Beat 1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese and ¼ cup butter at medium speed until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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KITCHEN TIPSS

Freeze leftover coffee or tea in ice-cube trays; the cubes let you chill your iced tea or coffee without diluting it.

How to Keep a Salad Cold

When you make large bowls of potato salad or any other kind of salad that has to be kept cold, here's a neat tip.

Take a small sealable tupperware type bowl (cereal bowl size) fill it with water, seal and freeze.

Now put it in the bottom of bowl you are going to serve the potato salad in. Then pile potato salad on top and it will keep the salad cold and safe to eat.

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CROCKPOT RECIPES

HUNGARIAN GOULASH

2 pounds round steak -- cut 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup onion -- chopped
1 clove garlic -- minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes
1 cup sour cream

Put steak cubes, onion, garlic in cooker. Stir in flour and mix to coat steak. Add all remaining ingredients except sour cream. Stir well and cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Add sour cream 30 minutes before serving and stir thoroughly. Serve over hot buttered noodles.

CHEESY TORTELLINI

1 pound Italian turkey sausage
2 cloves minced garlic
1 medium diced onion
1 large jar spaghetti sauce
1 drained 4 oz can mushrooms
1 undrained 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 9-12 ounce pkg tortellini
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown sausage with garlic and onion in skillet over medium heat. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine sausage mixture, spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and tomatoes in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3 ½-4 hours. Stir in tortellini and sprinkle top with cheese. Cover and cook on low 20-25 minutes (until tortellini is tender).

CHICKEN WINGS IN TERIYAKI SAUCE

3 pounds chicken wings (16 wings)
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry cooking sherry

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Cut off and discard wing tips. Cut each wing at joint to make two sections. Place wing parts on broiler pan. Broil 4-5 inches from the heat for 20 minutes, 10 minutes for each side or until chicken is brown. Transfer chicken to slow cooker/Crock Pot. Mix together onion, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cooking sherry in bowl. Pour over chicken wings. Cover and cook on Low 5-6 hours or on HIGH 2-3 hours. Stir chicken wings once to ensure wings are evenly coated with sauce. Serve from Slow Cooker. Makes about 32 pieces.

SALSA CHICKEN

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons lime juice

Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken in slow cooker, pour salsa over chicken. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or high 3 hours, until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Stir in cumin and lime juice, cover and cook an additional 15 minutes.

Note: For an extra spicy kick, add a pinch of ground red chili powder with the cumin and lime juice.

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