recipes, food and cooking

 January 1, 2005

Happy New Year Everyone!

     Mary Ellen        

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RECIPES FOR JANUARY

SPICY CHICKEN SOUP

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
Two 14-ounce cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
11-ounce can whole-kernel corn with sweet peppers, drained

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onions, garlic and cumin; saute 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in chicken, chipotle, broth, tomatoes and corn. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Makes 4 servings (serving size 2 cups).

COQ AU VIN

1 bottle (750 ml) medium-bodied, fruity red wine

2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 ounces (about 6 slices) bacon, preferably thick-cut, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces

6-7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large carrot, chopped coarse
1 large onion, chopped coarse
2 medium shallots, quartered
2 medium garlic cloves, skin on and smashed
4 whole chicken legs, trimmed of excess skin and fat, thighs and drumsticks separated, or 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
Salt and ground black pepper
Bouquet garni: 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 10 fresh parsley stems, and 1 bay leaf tied in a 6-inch square of cheesecloth
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
24 frozen pearl onions (evenly sized), thawed, or fresh pearl onions
8 ounces white mushrooms, whole if small, halved if medium, quartered if large
2-3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Bring the red wine and chicken broth to a boil in a large, heavy nonreactive saucepan, reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook until reduced to about 4 cups, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain; set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the rendered bacon fat and heat until melted; add the carrots, onion, shallots, and garlic and sauté until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Press the vegetables against the side of the pan with a slotted spoon to squeeze out as much fat as possible; transfer the vegetables to the pan with the reduced wine mixture. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the Dutch oven.

Generously sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste. Place the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter has melted, add half the chicken pieces, skin-side down, and cook, not moving them until the skin is crisp and well browned, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken and brown on the second side, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the browned chicken to a large plate. Brown the remaining chicken pieces, transfer them to the plate, and set aside.

Pour off all the fat from the Dutch oven. Return the pan to the heat and add the wine-vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the pan bottom with a wooden spoon. Add the browned chicken, bouquet garni, and tomato paste. Return the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, partially covered, until the meat is tender and infused with wine flavor, 45 to 60 minutes. Turn the chicken once during cooking.

While the chicken and sauce are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pearl onions and cook, stirring occasionally and reducing the heat if the butter starts to brown too fast, until lightly browned and almost cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt to taste, cover, increase the heat to medium, and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Remove the cover, increase the heat to heat, and boil until the liquid evaporates and the onions and mushrooms are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the onions and mushrooms to the plate with the bacon; set aside.

When the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a serving bowl or platter; cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large measuring cup, pressing on the solids with a wooden spoon to release as much liquid as possible; the sauce should measure 2 to 3 cups. Return the sauce to the pan; skim as much fat as possible off the surface. Counting 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour for each cup of sauce, mash 2 to 3 tablespoons each butter and flour in a small bowl or plate to make a smooth paste (beurre manie). Bring the sauce to a boil and whisk in the beurre manie until smooth. Add the reserved chicken, bacon, onions and mushrooms. Adjust the seasonings, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer very gently to warm through and blend the flavors, about 5 minutes. Check the seasonings one more time and adjust with additional salt and pepper if necessary; add the parsley. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and pour the sauce over it. Serve immediately.

Serves four.

"The New Best Recipe" by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine

RED SNAPPER OVER SAUTEED SPINACH AND TOMATOES

3 tablespoons country-style Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons reduced-fat Italian dressing
Four 6-ounce red snapper fillets
Cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped onion
10-ounce package fresh spinach (about 10 cups)
1 cup chopped red or yellow tomato
4 lemon wedges

Preheat broiler.

Combine mustard and dressing, stirring with a whisk.

Arrange fish, skin side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush half of mustard mixture over fish. Broil fish 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

While fish cooks, combine onion and remaining mustard mixture in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Add half of spinach; cover and cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Add remaining spinach and tomato; cover and cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Stir well to combine.

Serve fish over spinach mixture; serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings (serving size: 1 fish fillet, about 3/4 cup spinach mixture, and 1 lemon wedge).

Source: Cooking Light

CHICKEN WITH CRANBERRY, CHERRY AND LIME SAUCE

4 boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and seasoned with salt and pepper and a dust of cinnamon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dried cranberries, rinsed
1/2 cup sun-dried cherries, rinsed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Trim and then rinse the chicken breasts in cool water, pat dry and season with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Sear the chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, in a large sauté pan until light brown/gold on each side. Add 1 cup of chicken broth, and reduce heat to simmer. Turn chicken a couple of times to keep moist.

While chicken is cooking add the remaining cup of chicken broth to a small sauce pan and add the cranberries, cherries, fruit zest, maple syrup, and red pepper flakes, bring to a boil and then let reduce on medium and stir occasionally for about 20 minutes.

Remove chicken from pan and add the lime juice and chicken base

Note: A splash of tequila may also be added to the sauce.

BOURBONLESS CHICKEN

8 skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of any fat and cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Place the chicken in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients; pour evenly over the chicken. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and let marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Remove the foil and bake, basting frequently, until the chicken is well-browned and glazed, about 1-1/2 hours.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutrition facts per serving: 373 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 115 mg cholesterol, 53 g carbohydrates, 28 g protein, 1,358 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

EGGPLANT AU GRATIN

1-1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch round slices
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup heavy cream

Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan. Place a single layer of eggplant slices over the entire bottom of pan and sauté, over high heat, until browned on both sides. Remove browned slices and reserve and repeat with remaining eggplant slices. Add remaining oil and sauté onion over medium-high heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has reduced and is thickened, about seven minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg and one-half cup of Parmesan cheese and stir to form a thick paste. Stir in heavy cream.

Layer half of the eggplant slices in an over-proof 2-quart casserole. Top with all of the thickened tomato sauce. Sprinkle one-quarter cup of Parmesan cheese over tomato sauce and add remaining eggplant slices. Pour ricotta-cream mixture over eggplant and sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for 10 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 325-degrees and continue to bake until top is golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.

Serves 8

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SLOW COOKER RECIPES

SLOW COOKER SOUTHERN BARBECUE PORK ON A BUN

1 cup ketchup
1 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 (3-pound) boneless pork shoulder butt roast, trimmed of excess fat
Hamburger buns or other rolls, split

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine ketchup, chili sauce, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes and garlic. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Let cool.

Place roast in a large glass bowl or resealable plastic bag; pour sauce over pork and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove roast from marinade and place in slow cooker. Add 3/4 cup water to marinade, mix well and add to roast in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours, until meat is tender.

Remove meat from barbecue sauce and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving into thin slices.

To serve: Place meat on one half of kaiser bun, add additional sauce and top with the other half of bun.

Makes 14 - 1/2 Cup servings

America's Best Slow Cooker Recipes

CROCKPOT BEEF BURGER STROGANOFF

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
3 slices bacon, diced
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbs flour
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 can (10 3/4oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 tbs dry red wine
1 cup dairy sour cream
6 to 8 hamburger buns, toasted and buttered

In large skillet, brown beef and bacon until red color disappears. Drain.

In crockpot, mix together drained beef, bacon, onion, flour, paprika, and salt. Stir in undiluted soup and wine.

Cover pot and cook on low 4 to 5 hours. Stir in sour cream.

Spoon mixture over toasted buns or buttered noodles.

Serves 6 to 8.

CROCKPOT CHEESE AND MEATBALL SOUP

2 cups water
1 cup corn -- whole kernel
1 cup potato -- chopped
1 cup celery -- chopped
1/2 cup carrot -- sliced
1/2 cup onion -- chopped
2 cubes beef bouillon
1 jar cheez whiz -- (16 oz)

Meatballs
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce

Meatballs:
Mix ingredients together thoroughly. Shape into medium size meatballs.

Place uncooked meatballs and all other ingredients, except Cheez Whiz, in electric slow cooker. Stir gently.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Before serving add Cheez Whiz, stirring gently until well blended.

Note: Serve with a crusty bread.

Serving Size: 6

CROCKPOT BLACK BEAN CHILI

3/4 cup cooked black beans
1 lb. stew beef, cubed
3 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1/2 cup diced green chilies
3 tbsp. tomato paste
3 to 4 beef bouillon cubes, or beef base
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese

Brown stew beef in oil with onion and green pepper.

Combine all ingredients except cheese and cook 6 to 8 hours on low.

Sprinkle cheese over individual servings.

CROCKPOT CHICKEN LASAGNA FLORENTINE

2 (10.5oz) cans condensed reduced-fat cream of chicken
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (10oz) thawed, drained and squeezed
1 (9oz) package frozen diced cooked chicken
1 (8oz) carton reduced fat sour cream
1 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup (2oz) Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
9 uncooked lasagna noodles
Cooking Spray
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella

Combine first 10 ingredients in large bowl and stir well.

Coat CP with spray and place 3 uncooked lasagna noodles in bottom of cooker. Break noodles in half as necessary to fit. Spread 1/3 spinach mixture over noodles; sprinkle with 1/3 cup mozzarella. Layer 3 more noodles, half REMAINING spinach mixture, and 1/3 cup mozzarella. Top with remaining noodles and spinach. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover with lid; cook on high 1 hour and reduce to low 5 hours or until done.

8 servings (1 cup) 7 points each serving

2 starch, 2V-L Meat, 1M-F meat, 1 fat 339 cal, 12.5 fat, 2 fiber

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EASY DESSERTS

CINNAMON APPLE NACHOS

2 whole pita breads
1/4 cup butter, melted ( 1/2 stick)
Sugar
Cinnamon
1 green apple, such as granny smith, cored and diced
1 banana, halved lengthwise and slices

Peanut butter sauce
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon honey

Heat over to 400 degrees

Cut the pitas in half with kitchen scissors, so you have two big pockets for each pita. Cut each half into triangle shapes (four triangles per pocket). Each triangle still has two layers, so separate and pull the pita bread apart at the edge where it's still attached.

Place all the pita chips on a big cookie sheet. Brush melted butter onto the chips with a pastry brush. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and use your hands to sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over all the pita pieces.

Bake chips until crisp and lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the peanut-butter sauce. Put peanut butter, milk and honey in a small pot. Melt together over low heat while stirring to combine the mixture. Remove sauce from heat. Pile cinnamon-pita chips on a platter and pour the peanut sauce all over them. Top with chopped up banana and apple and serve.

Serves four.

"Cooking Rocks!: Rachael Ray 30-minute Meals for Kids" by Rachel Ray

ICE CREAM MELT CAKE

Choose your favorite ice cream and let it melt. However, the only thing to this recipe is you must have 2 cups of melted ice cream.

vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
flour for dusting the pan
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix
2 cups melted ice cream, your choice of flavor
3 large eggs

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

Place the cake mix, melted ice cream, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula.

Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger
and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 38 to 42 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a small rack, then invert it again onto a second rack so that the cake is right side up to complete cooling, 30 minutes more.

Meanwhile prepare the Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting. Place the cake on a serving platter and frost the top of the cake with clean, smooth strokes.

Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting

2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 large marshmallows
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sift the sugar and cocoa powder together into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Place the marshmallows, butter, and milk in a medium-size heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir until the marshmallows are melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the confectioners' sugar and cocoa mixture over the marshmallow mixture. Add the vanilla and stir until the frosting is smooth and satiny.

Use at once to frost the top of the cake of your choice.

APPLE FRIED PIES

2 tablespoons butter
4 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 (8-piece) container refrigerated flaky biscuit dough

For the filling: Add the butter to a large saute pan and melt. Add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice and cook over medium heat until the apples are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

When the filling is cool, roll the biscuits out on a lightly floured surface so that each biscuit forms a 7 to 8-inch circle. Place 2 to 3tablespoons of the filling on 1/2 of each circle. Brush the edges of the circle with water. Fold the circle over the filling to make a half-moon shapes. Seal by pressing the edges with the tines of a fork.

Heat a deep fryer or a deep pot halfway filled with oil to 350 degrees F.

Carefully add the pies to the oil, 1 at a time, and fry until golden brown, turning the pies as necessary for even browning, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar immediately.

Yield: 8 servings

CROCKPOT CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CAKE

2 c. chocolate cake mix
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. chopped nuts

Combine all ingredients in bowl mixing well. Beat about 2 minutes. Pour batter into greased and floured 2 pound coffee can. Place can in crockpot. Cover top of can with 8 paper towels. Cover crockpot and bake on high 2 to 3 hours.

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SUPER BOWL SUNDAY

DEEP-FRIED CHEESE RAVIOLI

Vegetable oil for deep frying
10 ounces fresh cheese ravioli

Fill deep, heavy-bottomed pan or deep-fryer one-third full of oil and heat to 350 degrees or until a cube of bread dropped into oil browns in 15 seconds. Cook ravioli in batches until golden brown.

Remove from oil and drain on crumpled paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper and serve hot.

FABULOUS JALAPENO DIP

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 teaspoons garlic powder or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
4 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sauté chicken in olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Cut breasts into thirds and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through but not overcooked. Transfer chicken pieces to cutting board and finely chop.

Combine remaining ingredients in medium bowl; mix well. Add chicken; stir until completely blended. Transfer to greased 8-inch-square ovenproof pan. Bake until mixture is hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

From "The Junior League Cooks at Home," by the Association of Junior Leagues International, the dip originally came from the St. Joseph, Mo., Junior League. Crackers or pita chips are the way to go for dipping.

Serves 10.

WING DIP

2 blocks cream cheese
10 ounces ranch dressing
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
3 cans chicken, drained
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
8 ounces Frank's Red Hot Sauce

In saucepan, blend cream cheese and ranch until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in rest of ingredients. Place in baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Serves 12.

ANCHOR BAR BUFFALO WINGS (The Original!!!)

Sauce
6 tablespoons Louisiana Hot Sauce
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine - not butter
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
Dash of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
Carrot and celery sticks
Marie's Bleu Cheese Dressing

The Sauce: This makes enough for about 30 "wingettes." Mix all the ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat until the margarine is completely melted. Stir occasionally.

The Wings: Fry the wings in a deep fryer set at 375 degrees F using vegetable or peanut oil. Fry 15 wings at a time for 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the wings for a few minutes then put them in a bowl. After all the wings have been fried, pour the sauce over them, cover the bowl, and shake to completely coat the wings.

They can be eaten now, or you can put them on a baking sheet and bake them for a few minutes to get an extra-crispy coating.

Serve with carrot and celery sticks and Marie's Bleu Cheese Dressing.

Source: Ladies Home Journal - August 1991 - This is supposed to be the REAL Buffalo Wing recipe from the Anchor Bar in Buffalo.

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A HARVEST IN MY KITCHEN by Terri Cheney

How do you harvest from your kitchen? In a variety of ways.

This week I found my family had left about half a bag of apples. They simply no longer wanted apples. As well I had a half pound of grapes, several citrus fruits that were rapidly becoming old and wrinkly and three over ripe bananas. In the fridge, I found 8 oz of vanilla yogurt that was about to expire.

Quick thinking revealed several possibilities of how to use these items. The apples could easily be cooked as slices or applesauce for a different side dish to serve with pork loin. I chose to make the applesauce; Chance is very fond of this, and will carry it in his lunch. Other possibilities were apple turnovers, or apple rolls (biscuit dough rolled with an apple filling and cooked in a simple sugar syrup), apple brown betty, or apple butter.

Because I collect old cookbooks and old home magazines, I was aware that the apple peelings and cores could be saved in my freezer and used to make jelly. So to those peelings, I added my half pound of grapes. A mixed fruit jelly is nice for a change.

The citrus fruit consisted of two or three tangerines, four navel oranges and a large pink grapefruit. I zested the rind of these and froze it for a later use. Another possibility: candied citrus peel.

I peeled away the pithy membrane of the citrus fruits and sectioned. I made ambrosia, a dish my family enjoys as a refreshing and light dessert. I could also have made a marmalade or sherbet from the fruit and juice that resulted when I sectioned the citrus.

The bananas and yogurt made a wonderful low fat banana bread which I made into two smaller loaves. One for now and another for the freezer. I could also have made a banana cake, banana muffins or pancakes with the same ingredients. The bananas could also have been frozen and used with the yogurt to make a blender smoothie. This is a great way to use up yogurt by the way. Any fruit (I like to freeze mine) mixed with yogurt and well blended will make a wonderful fat free "milk shake" as my family calls them.

I feel very virtuous today with all my "harvesting" right here in my own kitchen. I can't name the number of times I might have simply tossed these items into our compost bin. I knew I'd saved money just by looking at those items with new eyes, and none of the recipes were difficult to make.

Did you know that Jacques Pepin makes a lettuce souffle? Leftover cabbage, onions, peppers and green peas are excellent additions to homemade fried rice. Haven't any rice? Then stirfry the coarsely shredded cabbage with the other vegetables.

I recently combined leftover kidney beans with yellow rice and a cup of frozen corn, added a little chili powder and topped with leftover Monterey jack cheese. Served with spicy Mexican cornbread and a green salad, it made a wonderful meatless dinner.

Potatoes that are wrinkling slightly can easily be made into potato soup, or cooked and mashed for a side dish. Of course, leftover mashed potatoes make great potato pancakes, but did you know that you can also add mashed potatoes to ground meat dishes to stretch the meat? My grandma used to make a candy called potato candy. The potatoes were mixed with confectioner's sugar until stiff, then rolled out, spread with a peanut butter filling and rolled like jelly rolls. She then sliced into thin slices. I was nearly 24 before I realized she actually used the potato in it!

Limp carrots, and celery stalks go straight into my freezer. I include the tops and root ends I cut from onions, as well as the outer skins. These vegetables make an excellent seasoning for homemade broth (made using a chicken carcass from a previously roasted chicken.) I have a separate bag for such vegetables as these to use when I make stock. Bell peppers and onions may be sliced or chopped, packaged and frozen for use in future meals that call for those ingredients.

Before you toss your food away reconsider. You may just get more for your money than you thought. Harvesting food right in your own kitchen may be your most economical move yet!

(C)2005 Terri Cheney

Join us for daily inspiration at PennySisters@yahoogroups.com

(C)2005 PennyAnnPoundwise is solely created, owned and written by Terri Cheney. No portion of the newsletter may be reproduced without permission of the author.

Read archived issues at PennyAnnPoundwise@yahoogroups.com

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KITCHEN TIPS

To ripen fruits, wrap them in newspaper and put in a warm place for 2-3 days. The ethylene gas they emit will make them ripe.

Test to see if your eggs are fresh - Immerse eggs in a pan of cool salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh; if it rises to the surface, it is certainly quite old.

If dough sticks to your rolling pin, place it in freezer for a few minutes.

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RESTAURANT RECIPES

Just happened to have dinner here last night, it is a wonderful Italian restaurant in Boston's North End. If you ever go there be sure to ask for Michael's Special Antipasto appetizer, it isn't on the menu.

PAGLIUCA'S SHRIMP MARGHERITA

7 shrimp, shells removed, deveined
Flour, as needed
1 egg, beaten
Grated parmesan or romano cheese, as needed
2 T. olive oil
Pinch salt, plus more to taste
3 slices lemon
Pepper, to taste
2 T. butter
Chopped fresh parsley, to taste
1/4 c. white wine

Dredge the shrimp in the flour. Dip in the egg, then in the cheese, coating well on all sides.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan. Add a pinch of salt. Saute the shrimp until brown on both sides. Drain the oil from the pan. To the same pan, add the lemon slices, salt and pepper, oregano, butter, parsley and white
wine. Bring to a simmer, and serve alone or on top of pasta.

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