July 1, 2004

With the 4th of July only a few days away, I hope you enjoy these red, white and blue recipes.... If you are looking for a new recipe to try for a family picnic or outing with friends, there are picnic recipes at Razzle Dazzle Recipes and That's My Home as well as recipes for the grill. Enjoy!

     Mary Ellen        

RECIPES FOR JULY 

CREAMY BLUEBERRY DIP

2 cups fresh or thawed, frozen blueberries
1/3 cup light cream cheese (from an 8-ounce tub)
1 tablespoon apricot preserves

In the container of a food processor or blender, place blueberries, cream cheese and apricot preserves; whirl until smooth. Serve with sliced fruit or use as a dessert sauce spooned over cut-up fruit, if desired.

Yield: about 2 cups

BLUEBERRY AND CUSTARD-FILLED STAR PUFFS

1 sheet (from a 17-ounce package) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 package (3-3/8 ounces) instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
1 cup milk
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
1 pint (about 2 cups) fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (optional)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
Confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 400F.

On a work surface carefully unfold puff pastry; with a rolling pin roll pastry out 1/2 inch wider than its original dimension. Using a 3-inch star-shaped cookie cutter*, cut out 12 stars. With a spatula transfer stars to an ungreased baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer stars to a wire rack; cool slightly. Using a sharp knife cut stars in halves horizontally; cool completely.

To prepare sauce: In a medium bowl place pudding mix and milk. Using an electric mixer, beat until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Fold in sour cream; refrigerate covered, until thickened, about 15 minutes.

In another medium bowl combine blueberries, sugar, mint and orange peel; refrigerate covered, until ready to serve. Using a small strainer sprinkle tops of stars with confectioners sugar; set aside.

To serve: On each dessert plate place 2 star bottoms; spoon on 1/3 cup sauce and 1/3 cup blueberries; top with 2 reserved star tops.

YIELD: 6 servings

*If star shaped cutter is unavailable, cut a star from heavy cardboard; lightly place on pastry; with tip of a knife, cut out stars.

4th OF JULY SALAD

2 (3 oz.) pkgs. raspberry Jello
2 cups hot water
1 1/4 cups chopped cranberries, raw
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup half and half cream
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 pt. whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Dissolve 1 package Jello in 1 cup hot water.

In blender or processor chop cranberries, add 1/4 cup sugar, and stir into Jello. Pour into 8 cup mold or clear bowl. Refrigerate until firm. Heat half and half and 1/2 cup sugar.

In cup soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Add to cream mixture until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and vanilla. Cool mixture. Pour over first layer and refrigerate until firm.

Dissolve 1 package Jello in 1 cup hot water. Add blueberries, stir. Cool and pour over second layer. Chill until firm. Whip cream with sugar and pour on top of third layer. Keep refrigerated.

SKYROCKET ICE POPS

12 (8 oz) plastic cups
12 craft sticks (looks like popsicle sticks)

Red Layer:
4 cups cran-raspberry juice
red food coloring

White Layer:
2 cups frozen whipped topping
2 cups vanilla yogurt

Blue Layer:
4 cups grape juice
water
blue food coloring

Mix the grape juice and water until a suitable blue color results. Try adding blue food coloring to achieve the desired shade. Pour into the plastic cups filling them 1/3 full. Place into the freezer until the start to freeze. Once they do, stick a craft stick in the center of each cup.

Freeze until solid. Mix the yogurt and whipped topping together. Place a layer on top of the frozen blue layer, and freeze for one hour. Repeat the process given for the blue layer but do it with the cran-raspberry juice and red food coloring. Add a red layer to each cup and freeze until frozen.

Run the outer side of the cups under cold water to release them.

ICE CREAM IN A BAGGIE

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup half and half
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 sandwich size Ziploc bags
1 one gallon size Ziploc bag
2 cups ice
1 tablespoon coarse salt

Put one small Ziploc bag inside the other and add the milk, half and half, sugar, and vanilla extract to the inside bag.

Seal both bags securely, removing excess air.

Add ice and salt to larger bag and place smaller bag inside. Seal firmly.

Let the kids shake themselves silly -- shaking, tossing, and turning the bag. Ice cream will be soft and ready to eat in 5 to 10 minutes.

SAUTÉED CHERRIES

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 pounds fat, juicy sweet cherries, pitted (can use frozen)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 ounces top-quality vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.

Add the sugar, stir, then add the cherries and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are tender and hot through, about 3-5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, stir, then remove from the heat.

Divide the cherries among 6 shallow dishes, and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Top with pecans.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 380 calories; 17 g fat (10 g saturated fat; 40 percent calories from fat); 57 g carbohydrates; 50 mg cholesterol; 35 mg sodium; 5 g protein; 5 g fiber.

WATERMELON POP STARS

Watermelon Pop Stars make a really cool Fourth of July treat. To prepare: First use a cookie cutter to cut juicy star shapes from 1-inch-thick slices of seedless watermelon. Insert a Popsicle stick into each star, then set the pops on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Cover the stars with another sheet of foil and freeze for 1 hour or until firm.

BANANA SPLIT CAKE

Use a pastry blender to mash the bananas to produce a somewhat thick puree with small lumps.

Red Fruit Sauce
2 pints ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 pint raspberries
1/4 pound sweet red cherries, pitted and quartered (optional)
3 tablespoons to 1/3 cup sugar, depending on sweetness of fruit

Cake
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (2 medium) mashed ripe bananas
1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with the large egg to combine the yolks and white

Filling
3 pints (1 1/2 quarts) quality vanilla ice cream
1 cup strawberry preserves or jam
3 pints (1 1/2 quarts) quality chocolate ice cream

Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Toppings
10 to 16 fresh sweet red or maraschino cherries (with stems)
1 (10-ounce) jar favorite chocolate sauce
1 (10-ounce) jar favorite caramel sauce
1 1/2 cups chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans), optional

Fruit Sauce: Combine strawberries, raspberries and cherries in a large bowl. Pour sugar over the fruit and gently toss. Set aside at room temperature for at least 2 hours or, for time convenience, refrigerate overnight.

Using a fork, mash the fruit in the bowl, and let stand for 15 minutes. (You can make this the day before, but refrigerate the mixture after mashing the berries. For optimum taste, bring to room temperature before serving.)

Cake: Adjust rack in lower third of oven; preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch rectangular baking pan. Shake pan to distribute flour; tap out excess.

Have all cake ingredients at room temperature. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside. Combine the banana, sour cream and orange zest in a small bowl; set aside.

Put butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, preferably with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 30 to 45 seconds, or until smooth and lighter in color. Maintaining the same speed, add sugar in a steady stream. Then stop the mixer and scrape the mixture clinging to the sides of the bowl into the center. Continue to cream at the same speed until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

With the mixer still on medium speed, pour in the eggs, slowly at first. Continue to beat for 1 to 2 minutes longer, scraping the sides of the bowl at least once. When the mixture is quite fluffy, with the aid of a metal icing spatula, lift half of the flour mixture and sprinkle it over the creamed mixture. On lowest speed, blend it in. Add the banana mixture, mixing just to blend. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the remaining flour mixture, mixing just until smooth.

Spoon batter into pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake is light golden brown, the sides are beginning to pull away from sides of pan, and the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center. Remove pan from oven. Place on a wire rack to cool. When completely cool, proceed to assemble the dessert.

Assembly: Press a sheet of aluminum foil to cover outside bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch rectangular pan. Invert pan and gently press foil form into the pan to fit the contours; set aside.

Using a serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally to yield two thin layers. Place one layer in the bottom of the pan. Place the vanilla ice cream in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, preferably with the paddle attachment, and beat on low speed just until ice cream is smooth and malleable (not thin or melted). Spread the ice cream evenly over the cake with an offset metal spatula. Place a piece of foil over the top of the pan and put it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, until the ice cream is set.

Remove the cake from freezer. Spread a thin layer of jam over the ice cream; top with the second layer of cake.

Put chocolate ice cream in the mixer and beat on low speed just until smooth and malleable. Spread ice cream evenly over cake layer. Cover and return to freezer. When the ice cream is almost firm, wrap the cake securely in plastic wrap and overwrap with aluminum foil; return to the freezer until completely firm, about 4 hours. Cake may be frozen successfully for up to 1 week.

Approximately 15-30 minutes before you plan to serve the cake, transfer it to the refrigerator to make slicing it easier.

For the final flourish, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla just until it's stiff enough to form mounds with an ice cream scoop; refrigerate the cream until serving.

To cut the cake, pull up on the foil overhangs, gently lift these flaps and transfer the cake to a cutting board. Using a long-bladed knife, cut about 1/4-inch off each of the four edges. Cut the dessert into 2 1/2- to 3-inch squares (dip knife blade into hot water and wipe it clean after each cut). Center each portion on a plate.

Remove bowl of whipped cream from the refrigerator, briefly whisk mixture to make it cohesive, and center a scoop of whipped cream on top (to look like a scoop of ice cream). Put a cherry on top of the whipped cream.

At the table, pass the Red Fruit Sauce for spooning on the plate next to the cake square, and the chocolate and caramel sauces for drizzling over the top. Nuts may be sprinkled over the dessert, if desired.

Serves 10 to 16, depending on the size of the squares.

NEW JERSEY STYLE LEMON AND ORANGE ADE

2 cups (16 ounces) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup (8 ounces) freshly squeezed orange juice
1 quart (approximately) cold water
1/2 cup (4 ounces) of simple syrup (see note)

Place fresh juices and water in a 2-quart pitcher. Add a scant ½ cup of sugar syrup, stir and taste. Add more syrup, ¼ cup at a time, to find the sweetness level that is most pleasing for you.

To make simple syrup: In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of water with 2 cups granulated sugar. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, cool and store in a glass bottle.

VODKA CHERRIES

1 large jar maraschino cherries
1⁄2 jar good-quality vodka

Pour out half of the cherry juice. Fill the rest of the jar with vodka. Let stand overnight and serve.

For more red, white and blue recipes for the 4th of July visit Razzle Dazzle Recipes

BARBECUE RECIPES

MARGARITA FAJITAS

2 lbs. beef skirt steak
juice of 3 small limes
3 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. tequila
2 large poblano peppers, seeded and halved
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and halved
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and halved
2 medium white onions, cut into wedges
12 flour tortillas

Combine lime juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and tequila. Add sliced peppers, onion, and skirt steak. Marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight.

Wrap tortillas in foil and place on outer edge of grill to warm, turning once.

Place marinated steaks, peppers and onions on grill 4-6 inches over medium-hot coals. Cook for 10-12 minutes uncovered or 8 minutes with grill covered turning once.

Remove steak from grill and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing at an angle, across the grain, into 1/4-inch thick strips. Cut the peppers into strips.

Arrange carved steak, peppers and onion on a platter. Serve with warm tortillas.

Servings: 6-8
Source: Texas Beef Council

GRILLED SIRLOINS AND RED ONIONS WITH BLUE CHEESE BUTTER

For blue cheese butter:
4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) creamy blue cheese, at room temperature (see note)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 tablespoons chopped chives, divided

For steaks and onions:
2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
3 (1-inch thick) boneless sirloin steaks, each about 1 1/4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat
3 large red onions (about 2 1/4 pounds total)
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil for brushing on onions plus extra for greasing grill rack
4 to 6 metal skewers or wooden skewers (soaked for 30 minutes in water)

For the blue cheese butter, break cheese into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl along with butter and 3 tablespoons of the chives. Using a fork or spoon, blend the ingredients together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. (Blue cheese butter can be prepared a day ahead; bring to room temperature 30 minutes before using.)

For steaks and onions, mix together thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Use half of the seasoning mixture to rub on both sides of each steak. Peel onions, then halve lengthwise and cut each half into 3/4-inch thick wedges going through the root ends. Divide wedges and place on skewers.

Place olive oil in a small bowl, then brush onion wedges on all sides with it. Sprinkle remaining seasoning mixture over both sides of onions.

When ready to cook, oil a grill rack and arrange 4 to 5 inches from heat source.

Prepare grill for a hot (high-temperature) fire.

When grill is ready, grill skewered onions, turning often, until charred around the edges and tender. Onions will take about 20 minutes.

When done, remove from grill and cover loosely with foil.

After onions have been on grill 10 minutes, add steaks. Grill steaks until lightly charred outside and pink inside, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare. (Internal temperature should be about 145° F.)

Halve each steak and arrange on a serving platter surrounded by onions. Top each steak with a generous dollop of blue cheese butter and sprinkle with remaining chives. Serve warm.

Serves six.

COUNTRY STYLE RIBS WITH JALAPENO PEACH SAUCE

4 pounds pork country-style ribs
1 29-ounce can peach slices in heavy syrup, undrained
3 tablespoons chili sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons steak sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced

In blender container, or food processor, place peaches, chili sauce, sugar, vinegar, steak sauce, oil, cumin, salt and pepper; blend until smooth.

Pour into a medium saucepan, stir in jalapeno and heat through, stirring, over low heat.

Prepare a banked medium-hot fire in kettle-style grill. Grill ribs over indirect heat for 2 hours, brushing with peach sauce several times during last 30 minutes of grilling.

Bring remaining sauce to a boil, boil 2 minutes and serve on side with ribs.

Note: Always wear rubber gloves when handling hot chiles.

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional information per serving: 600 cal., 26 g fat (8 g sat.), 165 mg chol., 41 g carb., 590 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 51 g pro.

National Pork Board

GRILLED LOBSTER

4 (1 1/2 pound) lobsters, freshly killed
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Build a hot charcoal fire in an outdoor grill and allow the coals to burn down until they are medium-hot. Lightly oil the grill. Using a heavy, sharp knife carefully cut each of the lobsters in half lengthwise and remove the sacs found in both sides of the head. Using the back of the knife, crack the claw shells, but do not remove them. Brush the lobsters all over with olive oil and season with salt and cayenne pepper.

Grill the lobsters, shell sides up and covered with the grill lid, for 5 minutes. Turn the lobsters and spoon some of the melted butter over the top. Grill until the flesh is just firm when pressed with a finger, 5 to 7 more minutes. Place the cooked lobsters, with their cut sides up, on 4 dinner plates. Pour the remaining melted butter over the lobsters and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

POTATOES, ONIONS AND CARROTS

1 to 2 potatoes per person
2 to 3 carrots per person
1/2 onion per person
Chicken bouillon granules
Water
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste (or any spice you like, such as curry, Italian seasoning, cumin, cayenne)
Butter, optional

Peel potatoes; cut in half and slice about 1/4-inch thick.

Peel carrots; cut into chunks about 1 to 2 inches, cutting the thicker sections in half lengthwise.

Peel onion; cut in half, then in slices 1/4-inch thick and separate into rings.

Layer vegetables in foil packet, one packet for each person. Sprinkle lightly with chicken bouillon granules. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon water and with your favorite seasonings. Add a dab of butter if you wish. Cover packet, toss onto camp stove or over coals for about 10 minutes to start, checking periodically until done.

You can add other vegetables, such as zucchini and bell pepper.

POTATOES ON THE GRILL

Wash and slice potatoes 1/4-1/2" thick. Blend 1 stick butter and a package of onion soup mix together. Spread between each layer of potatoes. Wrap in heavy foil. Seal well. Grill for 1 hour. Turn occasionally.

SALAD RECIPES

LAYERED NOODLE SALAD

2 cartons (8-ounces each) dairy sour cream
1 cup bottled peanut sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 (6- to 7-ounce) package rice sticks, broken
2 cups fresh snow pea pods, trimmed
8 cups shredded napa cabbage
1/2 of a medium daikon, cut into thin bite-size strips (1 cup)
4 cups packaged shredded broccoli (broccoli slaw mix)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts

In a medium bowl combine the sour cream, peanut sauce and, if desired, cayenne pepper; set aside.

Prepare rice sticks according to package directions. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Set aside.

Cook pea pods, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water for 2 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Set aside.

In a 4-1/2- to 6-quart clear glass bowl or two 3-quart rectangular baking dishes layer the napa cabbage, rice sticks, pea pods, daikon, shredded broccoli, and cilantro. Carefully spread the sour cream mixture over the cilantro. Sprinkle the peanuts over the sour cream mixture. Cover and chill until ready to serve or up to 8 hours.

If serving in a large bowl, toss before serving. If serving in baking dishes, cut through mixture with knife into serving-size portions.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Tip: To make this into a main dish salad, add a layer of cooked shrimp or chicken.

VEGETABLE CHICKEN STACK-UP SALAD

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 quart Iceberg lettuce
2 cups carrot slices
1 cup zucchini slices
1 cup red or green pepper rings
1 (10 oz.) package frozen peas, thawed
1 1/2 cups salad dressing
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Combine chicken and seasonings. Mix lightly. Layer lettuce, carrots, zucchini, chicken. red pepper, and peas in a 2 1/2 quart salad bowl.

Combine dressing and chives, mixing well. Spread over salad to seal. Cover and chill several hours or overnight.

CHINESE SALAD

1 bag broccoli slaw
5 green onions, chopped
1 cup sunflower kernels
1 cup toasted almonds
2 packages chicken-flavored Ramen noodles, crushed
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 seasoning packets from the Ramen noodles

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix oil, sugar, vinegar and seasoning packets. Dressing can be boiled for smoother consistency. Refrigerate dressing and toss with salad right before serving.

PASTA SALAD WITH HAM AND CHEESE

Salad:
8 ounces macaroni, cooked and drained
8 ounces ham, cubed, about 2 cups
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
10-ounce package frozen peas, cooked,& drained

Dressing:
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl combine salad ingredients.

In a smaller bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over macaroni mix and toss to blend well. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. (More mayonnaise or sour cream may be needed.)

EASY POTATO SALAD

8 hard cooked eggs
3 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 tsp. salt
6 medium potatoes, (4 1/2 cups) cooked and peeled
2 tablespoons chopped onion (or more to taste)

Cut eggs in half and remove yolks. Mash yolks, blend with vinegar and mustard. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, and salts. Mix well. Chop egg whites. Combine with potatoes and onion. Fold in egg mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

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DESSERT RECIPES

S'MORE SQUARES

Vegetable oil, for brushing
4 packages (3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) unflavored gelatin
3 cups plus 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted; plus 8 tablespoons (1 stick), room
temperature; plus more for pan
18 graham crackers, crushed to yield 1 1/2 cups crumbs
1 pound semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Brush a 9x13 inch glass baking dish with vegetable oil. Cut a piece of parchment or waxed paper large enough to cover the bottom of the dish and overhang the longer sides. Place parchment in dish, brush with oil, and set dish aside.

Pour 3/4 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer, and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Place 3 cups granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Set saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Insert a candy thermometer, and cook until mixture reaches soft-ball stage (238°F., about 9 minutes.

In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, on low speed, beat the hot syrup into gelatin. Gradually increasing speed to high, beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, and smooth the surface with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until marshmallow becomes firm, at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

Place 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in a fine strainer, and sift onto a clean work surface. Invert large marshmallow onto sugar-coated surface, and peel off parchment paper. Lightly brush a sharp knife with vegetable oil, and cut marshmallow into twelve 2 inch squares. Sift the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl, and roll the marshmallows in the sugar to coat. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350°. Brush a 9x13 inch glass baking dish with melted butter. In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, 9 tablespoons melted butter, and remaining 5 tablespoons granulated sugar. Using the back of a spoon, press mixture firmly into the prepared dish. Transfer to oven, and bake until the crust has set, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a simmer. Place chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl, and set it over simmering water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from heat, and stir in butter, one piece at a time, until melted and thoroughly combined with chocolate. Pour over cooled graham cracker crust. Using an offset spatula, spread into an even layer. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Heat broiler. Cut the chocolate crust into twelve 3 inch squares. Top each square with a marshmallow, and place the assembled s'mores under the broiler just until the marshmallows turn golden brown, about 20 seconds. Serve immediately.

Makes 12

GERMAN CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

1 quart light cream
3 cups milk
4 eggs, separated
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sugar
dash of salt
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 stick cinnamon
6 ounce sweet chocolate, grated

Scald 2 cups of milk, cinnamon and chocolate in top of double boiler. Meanwhile, beat egg whites until frothy. Gradually, beat in 1/2 cup sugar; set aside. Beat egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, condensed milk and salt until light. Slowly, stir egg yolk mixture into scalded milk mixture. Cook until mixture coats the spoon (about 10-15 minutes); stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon stick.

Add egg whites; mix well. Add vanilla, cream and 1 cup milk. Mix well; cool. Fill ice cream freezer 2/3 full; freeze.

Makes 1 gallon.

Note: Look for pasteurized eggs for this recipe.

SOFT DATE PINWHEEL COOKIES

1 pound dates, cut up
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water

Cook 15 minutes until thick. Let cool and add chopped nuts to taste.

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
4 1/2 cups flour

Divide dough in half. Spread half of filling mixture on it.

Repeat with rest of dough and other half of filling. Roll them up and chill for 24 hours.

Cut 1/2 inch thick. Dip one side in granulated sugar and bake for 8 minutes at 450° F.

FOOD SENSE
Part 1 by Terri Cheney

Food should satisfy our dietary needs. And in order to do this, it should stimulate our appetites in such a way that we eat to fill the first need.

Consider the aroma of food. Long before your family appears at the table to see or taste the food, they smell it cooking. Learning to combine ingredients in a pleasing way to stimulate the sense of smell is the first step in becoming a great cook. Even those who proclaim themselves "plain" or "country" cooks add their own combinations of spices and herbs to enhance the over all aroma and taste of a meal.

One of the simplest, yet most aromatic combinations is garlic and onion. Whether you use powdered or fresh garlic, you may compliment nearly all of the dishes you'll cook. This combination flavors well all soups and stews, casseroles and sauces, and roasts.

Experiment with herbs and spices. I began with four basic herbs: oregano, parsley, bay leaf and sage. Each has its own unique aroma, and is best combined with certain foods.

Oregano is very versatile. It is a necessary ingredient in any Italian or Greek dish , as much so as garlic. And it appears in a surprising number of Mexican dishes as well! Oregano has a special affinity for tomato based dishes. It is delicious combined with garlic and rubbed over a pork loin prior to roasting.

Parsley has a very mild flavor. It is best used to garnish dishes. I like to sprinkle a bit over rice or potatoes, use it to garnish garlic toast, and usually add it to any dish that I want to subtly enhance the flavor of. Fresh parsley is used a good deal as a garnish in restaurants. Eating a few sprigs will freshen your breath.

Bay leaf is useful in flavoring soups, stews, long simmering pot roasts and broths, and spaghetti sauce. Remove before serving, and use only one leaf per recipe, as the flavor can be overwhelming and bitter if more is used.

The final herb I love is sage. Sage is wonderful mixed with sausage, used when roasting chicken or pork, and is the herb of choice for dressing (that's stuffing for you non-Southerners).

One other herb I've come to appreciate, is rosemary. My daughter has fresh rosemary growing in her yard year round. It is very aromatic, and she uses it not only in cooking but hangs it above her doorways to freshen the air in her home. When I visit, I always bring home several sprigs. The car smells wonderful for several days afterwards. I use the rosemary in many recipes, but am especially fond of it mixed with garlic and rubbed on beef and pork roasts, or whole hens. It makes a nice addition to oven fries and reveals a light lemony flavor when mixed in with plain muffin batter and is baked.

Paprika, chili powder and cayenne are all peppers that have been smoked and dried and rubbed into a powder. While paprika is sweet, the chili and cayenne are progressively hotter. Paprika is wonderful in goulash and stroganoff, garnishes deviled eggs and potato salad very prettily.

Cinnamon is perhaps the most commonly used spice. I add cinnamon to my flour mixture when I make oven fried chicken. Cinnamon and sugar are a wonderful topper for buttered bread that is to be toasted or to roll balls of sugar cookie dough in. It's a great topping for muffins too. It is a natural enhancement for apples, peaches, and chocolate. If you buy whole cinnamon sticks you may use them to flavor jellies, stir apple cider, hot cocoa, and coffee or use them in decorative wreaths and potpourri.

Whole allspice is another nice addition to ciders. Warm cider or tea with orange slices, cinnamon sticks and few whole allspice, sweeten if necessary with a little brown sugar and you have mulled cider. Whole allspice is wonderful added to chicken broths or pot roasts. Powdered allspice mixed with flour and used to dust cubed pork or beef steaks is sublime.

Whole nutmegs are my next choice. Nutmeg may be grate on either a micro grated, or on the smallest side of a box grater. Nutmeg is best suited to flavor creamy dishes. Most cheese sauces, rice puddings, egg custards and banana breads are wonderful with the addition of nutmeg. Spinach, broccoli rabe, or kale are wonderfully enhanced by braising in a little oil and broth and topped off with a sprinkling of nutmeg.

Ginger comes in a powdered form that is great form perfect for making gingerbread or to use in oriental sauces. I like to buy fresh ginger root as well. It is a bit spicier than the powdered form of ginger. I grate mine without peeling on the finer side of the box grater. It is wonderfully aromatic and provides an almost spicy hot kick of flavor, perfect for bumping up the flavor of stir fries or fried rice. A quarter sized piece steeped in hot water makes a wonderful tea, a natural cure for nausea.

Experiment with a few herbs and spices over the next few weeks. You will find there are a few you simply don't care for. I myself am allergic to marjoram and don't care for anise. Buy the smallest possible bottles and if you do purchase one that you find unpalatable, give it to a friend.

(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

RECIPES FROM

- THE RECIPE CAFE

BACON RANCH PASTA SALAD

1 package (16 ounces) small shell pasta
3/4 cup ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup bacon bits*
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain under cold water.
In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, dressing, bacon bits, onions and garlic powder. Toss to mix well. Chill until ready to serve.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

MARGARITA PARTY PIE

1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
1/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup butter, melted

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
4 tablespoons orange liqueur
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 drops red food coloring
2 drops yellow food coloring
2 cups whipped cream, divided

In a large bowl, combine crushed pretzels, sugar and butter. Mix well and press onto the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan.

In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, tequila and orange liqueur. Pour half of the mixture into another bowl. Add strawberries and a few drops of red food coloring to one half. To other half, add only a drop or two of yellow food coloring. Fold one cup of whipped cream into each half.

Spoon into crust, alternating colors. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

Makes 1 - 9 inch pie

CALYPSO CHOCOLATE CAKE

1 (18 1/4-ounce) package devil's food cake mix with "pudding in"
1 cup Coco Lopez® Cream of Coconut
4 eggs
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon dark rum*
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350°. In large mixer bowl, combine cake mix, ¾ cup cream of coconut, eggs, l/3 cup rum, oil and coffee. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in 3/4 cup chips and nuts. Pour into well and floured 10-inch fluted tube pan.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, over low heat, melt remaining ¼ cup chips. Gradually add remaining ¼ cup cream of coconut; mix well. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon rum; set aside. Cool cake 20 minutes. Remove from pan; cool to room temperature. Slowly spoon glaze over cake; garnish as desired. Store covered at room temperature.

*Non-alcoholic variation: Omit rum. In cake batter, use l/3 cup water and 2 teaspoons rum flavoring instead of rum. In glaze, add 1 tablespoon water and ¼ teaspoon rum flavoring after cooking.

Makes one 10-inch cake

Posted by Macklinda

LEMON BREAD
 
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 small eggs
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lowfat milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Combine next 4 ingredients in a large bowl.

Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Stir in walnuts. Stir in half the dry ingredients and half the milk. Mix thoroughly.

Add remaining dry ingredients and remaining milk. Mix thoroughly. Transfer batter into a buttered and floured 8x4 inch loaf pan.

Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tester comes out clean when inserted in center. While cake is baking, combine lemon juice and remaining sugar in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved.

When cake is done, brush glaze over hot lemon bread. Cool before turning loaf out of pan.

Posted by Marla

WATERMELON RIBBON BASKET SALAD

1 large oval shaped watermelon, weighing about 15 pounds
2 cantaloupe melons
2 honeydew melons
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
2 cups green or red seedless grapes, washed and dried

For Garnish, (optional)
Whipped cream or frozen whipped topping, thawed
Ice Cream (vanilla flavor goes well with this melon salad)
Mint sprigs

PREPARING THE WATERMELON RIBBON BASKET:
Select an oval-shaped watermelon. If necessary, cut a thin slice from the bottom of the watermelon so it sits level.

Draw a straight line (just above the middle) lengthwise around the watermelon for the baskets edge.

Draw a handle diagonally across the top.

Cut and remove the top sections leaving the handle intact.

Scoop out the flesh from inside the watermelon with a melon baller leaving a trace of red on the inside of the watermelon. Drain the watermelon before filling.

PREPARING THE FRUIT SALAD:
Slice the melons in half, and scoop out seeds. With a melon baller, scoop out flesh from cantaloupes and honeydews (or other melon types, if using.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, lime juice, lemon juice, vanilla extract, orange liqueur (optional) and lime zest. Stir well.

Add all melon balls (including the watermelon balls), strawberries and grapes and toss to combine.

Allow fruit to chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Just before serving, transfer fruit salad to watermelon basket.

Serve the watermelon fruit salad in dessert cups or glass goblets as a refreshing and colorful summer dessert, or as a special dish for a mid-day brunch or an afternoon picnic or early evening barbeque.

Top each serving with a scoop of whipped cream, or ice cream, and garnish each with a mint sprig.

Tip: It is important to purchase watermelons that are fully ripe, since they don't continue to ripen once they have been picked. A ripe melon feels heavy for its size and has a sweet, fresh fragrance.

Makes 12-15 servings.

Posted by Jen

4th of JULY TWINKIES

I box of twinkies
1 qt of blue berries
1 qt of strawberries
1 tub cool Whip

Slice twinkies lengthwise parallel to bottom of pan. Chop strawberries.

Spread cool whip on bottom layer. Add blueberries and strawberries on top of that, and stickin out on edges.

Put top of twinkie back on.

Serve on plate surrounded by berries and cool whip

Posted by Jack

There are almost 3,000 recipes now at the That's My Home Recipe Cafe Message Board. Don't forget to look in the archive. You will have to Set Preferences to see all of the recipes to at least 6 months... otherwise you will only see a portion of the recipes there. There is also a search feature if there is something in particular you are looking for.

KITCHEN TIPS

To test baking powder for staleness, add 1 teaspoon of the baking powder to 1/3 cup almost boiling water. If it does not fizz, it is too old to use.

If you like whipped cream sweetened, it will be fluffier and less likely to separate when made ahead if you use confectioners sugar instead of granulated sugar.

Before returning an opened carton of ice cream to the freezer, press plastic wrap onto the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming.

When a recipe calls for a quantity of melted butter, measure it after melting, not before.

To make long "curled" chocolate shavings for cakes, pies or puddings, use the vegetable peeler to shave the chocolate. This also works well for frozen butter.

RESTAURANT RECIPES

KASHMIR INDIAN RESTAURANT'S CHICKEN KORMA

2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
1/3 cup ginger-garlic paste (see below)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch squares
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
6-ounce container plain yogurt, stirred
1 cup water
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (see below)
1 tablespoon minced fresh green chili pepper
1 sprig fresh cilantro, minced
1 sprig fresh mint, minced

Stir together salt, turmeric powder, garam masala, ground coriander, ground pepper and ginger-garlic paste in a large bowl. Add chicken pieces. Stir to coat. Let sit 10 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and a golden brown.

Add chicken to onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Add yogurt and water. Stir well. Bring to a boil, and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes.

Add unsweetened coconut, green chili pepper, cilantro and mint. Cover partially and allow to cook 15 minutes, or until liquid is reduced and mixture is a saucy, gravy like texture. Serve hot, with rice. Serves 8.

Ginger-garlic paste: is available in Louisville at Bombay International, 1591 Bardstown Road.

Unsweetened coconut flakes: are generally not sold with the baking products. The flakes are sometimes called "desiccated coconut."

Nutritional information per serving: 168 calories, 8 grams fat, 15 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 607 milligrams sodium.

J.T. FARNHAM'S COLESLAW

3/4 cup mayonnaise (Farnham's uses Cains brand)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
3/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
1 can (4 oz.) chunk pineapple, partially drained
1 medium head (1 1/2 lbs.) shredded cabbage, about 8 cups
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and celery seed. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine the carrot and pineapple. Pulse lightly to make a coarsely textured mixture. Add the pineapple mixture to the bowl, along with the cabbage, and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Spoon off excess liquid before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.

The New England Clam Shack Cookbook' by Brooke Dojny

 
HENRIETTA'S TABLE GRILLED CHICKEN WITH SUN-DRIED CRANBERRY SAUCE

6 meaty boneless chicken breast halves, skin on
Salt and pepper
2
teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2
tablespoons vegetable oil
2
teaspoons shallots, chopped
1
teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1
cup dry red wine
1/2
cup sun-dried cranberries
2
cups beef stock or bouillon

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and marinate with the garlic and vegetable oil, refrigerated, for 6 hours. In a saucepan, saute the shallots in the olive oil until lightly browned; add the red wine, raise the heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Lower the heat, add the cranberries and the beef stock, and slowly simmer for 1/2 hour. Season with salt and pepper, cover and set aside. Bring back to a simmer when ready to serve the chicken.

Grill the chicken over medium heat until done. Top with the sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

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