February 1, 2004

I'd like to announce that I am opening a new recipe site called Recipe-Recipes. It will contain recipes from my friend Chyrel's Recipes From Friends Message Board. I've only been working on it for a month and am adding new recipes daily to it. Enjoy the recipes this month!

     Mary Ellen        

SUPER BOWL APPETIZERS

SWISS AND BACON DIP

8 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 rounded teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
3 green onions, washed, ends removed, chopped
1/2 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
Baby carrots for dipping

Selection of spiced flatbreads, cocktail-size pumpernickel or rye breads, or sliced whole-grain baguettes for dipping

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, brown the bacon. Remove crisp bacon bits and drain on paper towels.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Swiss cheese and green onions with the cooked bacon. Transfer to a shallow small casserole or baking dish and bake until golden and bubbly at the edges, about 15-18 minutes. Top with the chopped almonds. Place the dip on a platter and surround warm casserole with carrots and breads for dipping. Serves 10.

- From "Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals Get Togethers"

PRAIRIE FIRE DIP
Recipe adapted from American Home Cooking by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked pinto beans (or about 1 1/4 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup bean cooking liquid, chicken broth or water
1 cup chili
8 ounces mild Cheddar, Monterey Jack or Mexican asadero cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
2 to 3 pickled jalapenos, chopped fine, plus pickling liquid to taste
Salt, optional
Thinly sliced scallion greens
1/4 cup chunky tomato salsa or pitted and sliced green or black olives, optional
Tortilla or other corn chips

Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute briefly until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in the beans and liquid, and mash beans with a potato masher or large fork. Stir in chili. When beans and chili are hot, mix in cheese. When cheese has melted, remove pan from heat. Add jalapenos and pickling liquid to taste. Add salt, if needed.

Pour mixture into a bowl, sprinkle with scallion greens, and, if desired, garnish with salsa or olives mounded in the center of the dip. Serve immediately with tortilla or other corn chips. If practical, keep dip warm on a warming tray or over another heat source.

Makes about 4 cups.

CHICKEN CRESCENTS

1 brick cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened
1 large can cooked chicken breast
3 packages of crescent rolls

Mix cream cheese, butter and chicken with fork until well-blended. Unroll crescents. Place one tablespoon of chicken mixture on wide end. Roll up, and bake on cookie sheet as directed on crescent package.

CLASSIC SPICY BUFFALO WINGS

5 pounds chicken wings
6 cups vegetable oil for frying
12 ounces Frank's Original Hot Sauce
1/2 stick butter
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 fresh lemon
Celery and blue cheese dressing, to serve alongside

Remove tips from wings and separate at joint. Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Melt butter in hot sauce with vinegar in microwave and add fresh lemon juice. Toss wings in hot sauce and serve with blue cheese and celery.

Makes 6 to 8

VALENTINE'S DAY RECIPES

The winner of our Valentine Recipe contest is Marlene D. from New York with this recipe.

SECRET KISS VALENTINE'S DAY COOKIES

1 C. butter
2/3 C. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 C. walnuts, chopped fine
1 package chocolate kisses
1 C. powdered sugar

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add flour and nuts on low speed until well-blended.

Chill dough 2 hours.

For each cookie, use about 1 tablespoon of dough to encase one chocolate kiss completely.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees until set but not brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove and roll in powdered sugar.

BUTTERFINGER CAKE

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 5)
1 1/2 cups chopped Butterfinger bars (about 6 oz.)

Frosting
2/3 cup whipping cream
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups chopped Butterfinger bars (about 7-1/2 oz)

Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350-degree F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1-1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottoms with waxed paper rounds. Butter and flour paper.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in dark rum and vanilla extract. Combine sour cream and baking soda in medium bowl. Add mashed bananas to sour cream mixture and stir until well blended. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in chopped Butterfinger bars.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until center of cake feels firm and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Turn out cakes onto racks and cook. Peel off waxed paper.

Combine cream, butter and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat; add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in rum and vanilla. Pour glaze into small bowl. Cover and refrigerate just until cool and thick, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Transfer 1 cake layer to platter. Slide waxed paper strips under edges of cake. Stir glaze until smooth. Spread 1 cup glaze evenly over top of cake layer. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining glaze over top and sides of cake. Cover top and sides of cake with chopped Butterfinger bars. Remove paper strips.

CHOCOLATE PRALINE LAYER CAKE

Cake:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 package Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs

Topping:
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
16 whole pecans
16 chocolate curls

Cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees. In small, heavy saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup whipping cream and brown sugar. Cook over low heat just until butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Pour into two 9- or 8-inch cake pans; sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.

In large bowl, combine cake mix, water, oil and eggs; beat at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Carefully spoon over pecan mixture.

Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled.

Topping: In small bowl, beat 1 3/4 cups whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.

To assemble: Place 1 layer on serving plate, praline side up. Spread with half of whipped cream. Top with second layer, praline side up; spread top with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with whole pecans and chocolate curls. Store in refrigerator.

Serves 16.

Julie Bengtson of Bemidji, Minn., won the 33rd Pillsbury Bake-Off with this recipe.

RESTAURANT RECIPES

BLACK-EYED PEA'S BROCCOLI-CHEESE SOUP

1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli
1 pint half-and-half
2 cups water
1 pound pasteurized processed cheese (Velveeta)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup cold water

Steam broccoli until tender. Place half-and-half and water in top of double boiler. Add cheese, salt and pepper. Heat until cheese is melted. Add broccoli. Mix cornstarch and water in small bowl. Stir into cheese mixture in double boiler and heat over simmering water until soup thickens.

Serves 8

SWEET BASIL'S STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING CAKE

2 1/4 cups dates, pitted
2 cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs

Cover the dates with water and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove and strain. When they have cooled enough to handle, peel and chop them. Return to the pan and cover with the two cups of water. Bring back to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside.

When they have cooled a bit - do not drain - stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Sift the baking powder, flour and salt together. Cream the butter and the sugar together with an electric mixer, then add the eggs.

Stir in part of the dates with their liquid, then part of the dry ingredients. Alternate dry and wet ingredients until all ingredients are in the mixer and the batter is smooth. Fill greased muffin tins no more than three-fourths full.

Spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and cover tins with the parchment paper, greased side down. Cover parchment paper with a baking tray. The tray keeps the muffins from rising too high.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. When slightly browned and firm, remove from oven. Let cool and remove from the tins.

Pour toffee sauce over each pudding. Top with soft whipped cream.

TOFFEE SAUCE

1 stick butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons dark rum or brandy, optional

Melt the butter and sugar together in a 1 - to 2-quart sauce pan.

Stir in the cream and bring to a full boil. (Use a pan large enough to allow the sauce to boil up so that the toffee sauce doesn't burn you.) Sauce is done when it lightly coats a spoon.

Remove from heat and let cool a bit before stirring in the optional liquor.

Makes 16 muffin-size puddings

WOLF CREEK MACARONI AND CHEESE

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup regular-strength chicken broth
3/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 large carrots, thinly sliced
4 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 1/2 cups dried elbow macaroni
Paprika
Salt
Pepper

Melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and stir often until limp, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, remove from heat and smoothly blend in milk and broth. Return to high heat and stir until boiling. Add cheese and mustard. Reduce heat to low and stir until cheese is melted. Keep the sauce warm.

Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 6- to 8-quart pan over high heat. Add carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and macaroni. Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are just tender when pierced and macaroni is just tender to bite, about 7 minutes. Drain well. Pour into a wide, shallow bowl, and mix with the warm cheese sauce. Dust with paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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CROCK POT RECIPES

SLOW COOKED VEAL PARMIGIANA

1 lb. veal cutlets or leg slices
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups ready-made spaghetti sauce
2 tsps. crumbled oregano
1 slice mozzarella cheese per cutlet
Fresh parsley for garnish

Melt butter. Mix Parmesan cheese, Italian bread crumbs and red pepper flakes together. Dip cutlets in butter and then dredge in the crumb mixture, coating well. Put cutlets into slow cooker.

Pour spaghetti sauce over all and dust tops with oregano.

Cook on Low for 6-8 hours and remove cutlets to platter. Top with mozzarella cheese. Wait for cheese to melt into cutlets and garnish with fresh parsley.

Serve with angel hair pasta.

Serves 4-6.

CHICKEN RECIPES

SWEET AND SPICY STICKY CHICKEN
  This recipe serves 2 but can easily be doubled.
  
  Whisk together in a bowl:
  1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (optional)
  1/4 cup water
  1 1/2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
  1 tablespoon soy sauce
  2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  1 clove garlic, minced
  1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add:
  1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  
Cook onion until soft, about 3 minutes.
  
Add to the pan:
  4 chicken thighs, fat and skin removed
  
and the brown sugar sauce. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, turning the thighs occasionally until they are cooked, 25-30 minutes.
  
Remove the thighs from the pan; cover with foil to keep warm.
  
Increase the heat to high and reduce the sauce by about half until it is thick and resembles a caramel sauce. Serve the chicken with rice and the sauce.

WHITE HOT CHICKEN CHILI
This is a good one to serve in taco shells or rolled up in flour tortillas," says Rose Murray, author of "125 Best Casseroles and One-Pot Meals"

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion
1 rib celery
1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast meat
2 cloves garlic
2 jalapeno peppers
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
Pinch salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups chicken stock
19 oz. canned white kidney beans
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley

In large saucepan over medium heat, heat half of oil; cook chopped onion and chopped celery for 5 minutes. Push to one side. Heat remaining oil on other side of pan over high heat; brown chicken on all sides, about 5 minutes. Stir in minced garlic, jalapeno peppers (seeded and chopped), chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in stock; bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in beans (drained and rinsed); cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro or parsley.

Makes about 4 servings.

CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH CRANBERRY DIPPING SAUCE

8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Marinade:
2 thumbnail-size pieces fresh ginger, peeled (divided use)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup dry sherry or dry white wine
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce
6 tablespoons sesame seeds
6 inch wooden skewers

Dipping Sauce:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
1 can (8 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce

Preliminaries: Heat oven to 375 degrees shortly before assembling the chicken skewers (see step below). Wash each piece of chicken, pat dry with paper towels, and cut each breast half into 8 pieces.

Make the marinade: Set aside 1 piece of ginger for dipping sauce. Place all remaining marinade ingredients in food processor and process until garlic and ginger are finely chopped.

Marinate the chicken: Pour marinade into a zip-lock bag and add chicken pieces. Press out the air, seal the bag, and lay it on a baking sheet in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours but not more than four hours. Turn bag over every hour.

Make Dipping Sauce: While chicken marinates, process garlic and ginger in food processor until finely minced. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Allow sauce to sit for a few hours so flavor develops fully. (Sauce keeps in refrigerator for 2 weeks.)

Assemble, bake chicken skewers: Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes. Spread sesame seeds on plate. Remove chicken from bag and thread onto skewers. Discard bag and marinade. Roll each skewer in sesame seeds and lay on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Presentation: Serve chicken on warmed platters accompanied by a bowl of dipping sauce.

Makes 10 servings

KITCHEN TIPS

To keep the unused portion of cottage cheese from becoming "soupy", replace the lid tightly and store UPSIDE DOWN in your refrigerator.

If you put too much salt in a sauce, drop in a potato while the sauce is simmering and it will absorb much of the salt.

Refrigerate cookie dough prior to baking to prevent the cookies from spreading and going flat.

When rolling out pie dough, biscuits, ect, dampen counter top and then cover it with plastic wrap. Dampening it will prevent the plastic from moving and when your finished, you can just roll up the plastic wrap and through it away. No mess!

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