recipes, food and cooking

June 14, 2005

Hello Everyone,

We're having a heat wave here in Boston! I thought it was bad a few weeks ago in Tampa but think we are all in about the same boat right now. I've added some new ethnic sections at Razzle Dazzle Recipes over the past month, one for Mexican Recipes and the other is Chinese Recipes. I also added a new Salad Recipes section with over 300 new recipes. The Camping Recipes Section was also updated. There are Ice Cream Recipes to help you cool down at That's My Home. So come on in and look around. Enjoy!

     Mary Ellen        

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RECIPES FOR JUNE - MEXICAN RECIPES

CHATEAU CHANG'S MOJAVE WINGS

6 chicken wings, defrosted
1/2 of a jalapeno, finely chopped
10 sprigs finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped and peeled ginger root
5-6 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
White pepper to taste

Season wings with a little salt and pepper and deep fry until golden brown.

In a large wok, saute the rest of the ingredients for a few minutes. Add chicken wings and toss to coat. Serve hot.

Chef James Chien, Chateau Chang, Victorville

TEXAS EGG ROLLS

8 ounces cream cheese
12 jalapenos, chopped
1 pound egg roll wrappers or large wonton skins
Oil for frying
Small amount of water mixed with 1 tablespoon flour

Mix jalapenos with cream cheese.

Place small amount on wrapper, roll up eggroll style and seal the tip with a drop of the water-flour mixture. Continue until mixture is all gone.

Place in refrigerator for 2 hours. Heat oil to 350-375 and cook about 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Filling will be hot. Serve with jalapeno jelly.

CHEESY CORN DIP

1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3 cans (11-oz.) Mexicorn, drained
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (7-oz.) ORTEGA® Diced Green Chiles
2/3 cup sliced green onions

Combine sour cream, mayonnaise and cumin in medium bowl; stir in Mexicorn, cheese, green chiles and onions.

Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

CHICKEN AND BLACK BEAN SALAD with a SPICY TOMATO SALSA

1 jalapeno chilies, ends trimmed and seeds removed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup minced scallion greens
1 pound vine-ripened tomatoes, rinsed, drained, cored and cut into large chunks
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
3 poached or grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pounds)
5 ears shucked sweet corn, fresh or frozen, or 2 to 3 cups leftover cooked corm
head romaine lettuce, outer leaves and core removed, rinsed and spun dry
15-ounce can black or pinto beans, blanched briefly in boiling water, refreshed in cold water, and drained
2 ripe but firm avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into -inch cubes

To prepare the salsa, drop the jalapeno chilies and garlic down the feed tube of a food processor fitted with a steel blade while the machine is running, or into a blender, and chop finely. Add the scallion greens and pulse to mix. Drop in the tomatoes and pulse until coarsely chopped. Stir in the lemon juice, cilantro and salt. Pour into a serving bowl and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cook the corn about 10 minutes, drain, let cool, and cut the kernels from the cobs. (You should have about 2 to 3 cups.) Cut the poached or grilled chicken meat across the grain into thin slices. Cut the lettuce leaves into -inch julienne strips.

Sprinkle the lettuce on the bottom of a round serving bowl or platter. Arrange the ingredients in separate concentric circles, starting with the corn, then the black beans, the avocado, and the chicken in the center. Serve the salsa on the side, spooning some on top of each portion.

Makes 6 servings.

HONGOS CON QUESO (Mushrooms with Melted Cheese)

Hot, melted cheese is served for botanas throughout Mexico. You eat it by scooping or spooning up bits of the cheese onto warm tortillas. This recipe goes a little further, adding sauteed mushrooms. For ease, assemble it a few hours ahead but don't bake. Cover and refrigerate until needed. For a crowd, you'll want to make two.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 pound thinly sliced white button or exotic mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a shallow 9-inch gratin or ovenproof dish or pie plate with oil (don't use cooking spray).

In medium skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms, oregano, salt and pepper; mix well. Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are tender and all moisture has evaporated, 4 minutes.

Spread mushrooms evenly in prepared dish. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve at once with warm tortillas or chips.

Makes 4 appetizer servings.

GRILLED SHRIMP RELLENOS

8 to 12 large fresh Poblano chiles
1 pound small, cooked shrimp
3/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced (including tops)
Sour cream
Tomatillo Salsa

Place chiles on grill 4 to 6 inches over hot coals. Cook until chiles are blistered and somewhat charred on one side. Remove and peel any skin that removes easily. Slit lengthwise down the cooked side and remove seeds.

Mix shrimp and onions and fill chiles with mixture. Place over medium fire and cover grill with lid. Cook without turning until shrimp mixture is hot to touch (5-7 minutes). Serve with salsa and sour cream.

ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA

1 1/2 lb fresh tomatillos or 3 (11-oz) cans tomatillos
5 fresh serrano chiles
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons coarse salt

Preheat broiler.

If using fresh tomatillos, remove husks and rinse under warm water to remove stickiness. If using canned tomatillos, drain and measure out 2 cups. Broil chiles, garlic, and fresh tomatillos (do not broil canned) on rack of a broiler pan 1 to 2 inches from heat, turning once, until tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 7 minutes.

Peel garlic and pull off tops of chiles. Purée all ingredients in a blender.

Salsa can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Makes about 3 cups.

FAJITAS ON A STICK

1 (1 1/4 pound) top sirloin steak, cut 1-inch thick
1/3 cup bottled Italian dressing
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 green or red bell peppers, each cut into quarters
2 medium onions, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
8 medium flour tortillas, warmed
Prepared salsa
8 bamboo skewers
8 medium flour tortillas, warmed

Soak 8 (9-inch) bamboo skewers in water for 10 minutes; drain. Trim fat from steak. Cut steak crosswise into 1/2-inch thick strips. Thread an equal amount of beef, weaving back and forth onto each skewer.

In a small bowl, combine dressing and lime juice, mixing well. Brush onto beef, peppers and onions.

Place vegetables on grid over medium ash-covered coals. Grill peppers uncovered 12 to 15 minutes and onions 15 to 20 minutes or until tender, turning both once. Approximately 10 minutes before vegetables are done, move vegetables to outer edge of grid.

Place beef in center of grid and grill 8 to 12 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning once. Season beef with salt as desired. Remove beef from skewers. Serve beef and vegetables in tortillas with salsa.

GRILLED MEXICAN CHICKEN SANDWICHES 

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 teaspoon bottle minced garlic, or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Mexican Blend cheese (Cheddar, Monterey jack, Asadero, queso quesadilla) divided
1/3 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise
4 slices sourdough bread
1/2 cup chunky salsa (optional)

In a small bowl, combine oil, garlic, chili powder and pepper. Using a rubber spatula, spread mixture evenly over both sides of chicken.

Prepare medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat gas grill to medium-high.

Grill chicken on oiled rack 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Combine 1 cup of the cheese mixture and the mayonnaise; mix well. Toast bread on edge of grill, turn. Spread toasted side of bread evenly with cheese/mayonnaise mixture. Grill, cheese side up, 2 more minutes, or until cheese begins to melt.

To serve, place chicken on toasted bread, top with salsa. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Serves 4.

TACO LASAGNA

2 pounds ground beef
2 packages (1.25 oz ea) taco seasoning mix
4 cloves garlic -- pressed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 packages corn tortillas (10-12 each)
1 jar (24 oz) salsa
1 cup green onions -- sliced
16 ounces sour cream mixed with 1 TBS chili powder
3 cups Monterey jack cheese, divided -- shredded
3 cups Cheddar cheese, divided -- shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large saucepan, cook beef until brown and drain well. Add taco seasoning, garlic, cayenne pepper and water. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Set aside. Sprinkle cornmeal in bottom of 9" x 13" baker. Place 6 tortillas in bottom of pan overlapping and extending up edges slightly.

Layer in the following order:

I cup salsa
1/2 of meat mixtures (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup green onions
1 cup sour cream mixture
2 cups combined cheeses

Repeat starting again with 6 tortillas, salsa, meat, green onions, sour cream and 2 cups of cheese. Place 6 tortillas and remaining salsa on top. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 10-12 servings.

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RESTAURANT RECIPES

BUCA DI BEPPO'S MACARONI ROSA

1 3/4 pounds cooked macaroni
3 ounces olive oil
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
6 ounces cooked chicken tenders
3 ounces peas
16 ounces marinara sauce
6 ounces heavy cream
6 ounces broccoli florets
2/3 cup grated romano cheese

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add mushrooms and chicken tenders. Saute until chicken tenders start to brown along the edges.

Add marinara and cream and reduce by a third. Add peas. Cook for 3 minutes. Drop macaroni and broccoli buds in boiling water for 3 seconds.

Drain and toss in sauce along with romano cheese and serve on platter.

Serves 4-6

Executive Chef Vittorio 'Vito' Renda/Buca di Beppo

OLIVE GARDEN'S TUSCAN GARLIC CHICKEN

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups flour (plus 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
3 ounces vegetable oil, divided
1 pound penne pasta
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 red pepper, julienne cut
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 pound whole leaf spinach, stemmed
12 fluid ounces heavy cream
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preparing the chicken:

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, black pepper and Italian herb seasoning in a shallow dish.

Dredge chicken in the mixture, shaking off any excess.

Saute the chicken in batches, in a large, nonstick, ovenproof skillet — with enough oil to coat — over medium-high heat for about two to three minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crisp.

When finished, transfer the skillet to a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Preparing the pasta:

Cook pasta al dente (or according to package instructions). Drain and set aside.

Preparing the sauce:

While the pasta is cooking, heat 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce of oil in a sauce pan. Add the garlic and the red pepper and cook for approximately one minute.

Slowly add remaining one tablespoon of flour and stir to combine.

Next, add the white wine and bring to a boil for about one minute. Add the spinach and the cream and bring to a boil. The sauce is done cooking when the spinach becomes wilted. Complete by stirring in the parmesan cheese.

Preparing Tuscan Garlic Chicken entree:

Partly coat the pasta with the sauce, transfer to a large bowl (or individual dishes) and then top with the chicken, the remaining sauce and the extra parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy.

Serves 6

TGI FRIDAY'S LEMON CHICKEN SCALLOPINE

Chicken:
2 1/2 pounds chicken breast, pounded thin
2 ounces olive oil
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 lemons, halved
4 ounces heavy whipping cream
4 cooked artichoke hearts
4 teaspoons parsley
12 ounces lemon sauce
20 ounces angel hair pasta
8 tablespoons fried pancetta
4 tablespoons fried capers

Lemon Sauce:
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 quart Chablis wine
3 teaspoons butter
1 quart whipping cream
1 tablespoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Chicken: Heat saute pan over medium heat. Add oil and heat. Add chicken pieces to saute pan and saute on each side for one minute (or until no longer pink). Add sliced mushrooms to pan and saute with chicken for an additional minute.

When mushrooms are cooked, squeeze juice from lemons into saute pan and coat the chicken with juice (ensure there are no seeds). Add cream to pan and stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil.

Cut artichoke halves in half again lengthwise, add to pan and cook for 15 seconds. Remove pan from heat. Add parsley and stir to incorporate. Add lemon sauce and stir to incorporate. DO NOT RETURN PAN TO HEAT/FLAME.

Lemon Sauce: Boil Chablis to reduce to 2 cups. Add lemon juice, butter and melt slowly. Add whipping cream and simmer on low heat until thickened. Add spices and cool to room temperatures.

In large bowl, twirl pasta into a nest. Sprinkle chicken pieces against pasta and pour remaining contents of pan on and around the chicken. Sprinkle pancetta and capers over the entire dish. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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DESSERT RECIPES

CAPTAIN MORGAN'S CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH SPICED RUM SAUCE

1 box chocolate cake mix, minus a tablespoon for dusting the cake pan
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
4 large eggs
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening, for greasing the pan

Spiced Rum Sauce:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 tablespoons Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Combine all of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips and nuts, in a bowl. Mix well and then fold in the chocolate chips and nuts. Grease a bundt pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening and then coat the shortening with 1 tablespoon of the cake mix. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes.

For the sauce: Stir the brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the cream, rum and cinnamon and bring to simmer. Simmer until the sauce thickens and is reduced to 1-/2 cups, about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

SUMMER BERRY PUDDING

1 angel food cake cut in ½-inch-thick slices
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups fresh strawberries, cut in ½-inch pieces
Fresh berries for garnish, optional

Line a 1-quart bowl, preferably round-bottomed, with plastic wrap, letting it extend over the edges. Fit cake slices into bottom of bowl. Line sides of bowl with cake slices, trimming slices to fit the bowl, if necessary. Cake edges should touch so there are no spaces. Set aside.

In medium saucepan, combine blueberries and sugar with 3 tablespoons water. Cook, covered, over medium heat just to dissolve the sugar and soften the blueberries, about 5 minutes. Uncover and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add raspberries and bring just to a simmer again without stirring, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add strawberries. Drain berries, reserving the juice. You will have about ¾ cup of juice. Pour 2 tablespoons juice into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate. This will be used when the pudding is unmolded.

Pour ¼ cup juice into cake-lined bowl. Spoon half of berry mixture into bowl. Cover with a layer of cake slices. Pour ¼ cup juice over and spoon in remaining berries. Pour any remaining juice over. Place cake slices over top. Cover with plastic wrap, then with a plate or saucer that fits just inside the bowl. Put bowl on a large plate to catch any drips and put a weight on top plate. (An unopened medium-size can works well.) Refrigerate overnight.

To serve, invert pudding onto dish that has a rim or low sides to catch any juices. Pull on ends of the plastic wrap to release pudding. Brush reserved 2 tablespoons juice over any spots where juice has not soaked into cake. Scatter fresh berries over top, if desired. Cut cold pudding into wedges.

Serves 8.

Notes: Feel free to use more or less of each berry, as long as there are 6 cups of berries.

The golden edges of the cake add an interesting pattern of thin lines to the outside of the pudding, but if you want to omit the pattern of lines, trim the golden edges.

Although the pudding can be served one day after unmolding, additional fruit juice will drain from it onto the serving plate.

STRAWBERRY KEY LIME PIE

This can also be made with papaya or mango

2 cans Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk (low fat may be used)
1/2 cup Key Lime juice
9 inch Keebler brand graham cracker crust (or make your own)
2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 teaspoon each tequila and Grand Marnier, or to taste
6 egg yolks
1 cup whipping cream
1/8 cup sugar
additional sugar for the cream

Place the condensed milk into a bowl. Add the sic egg yolks and mix thoroughly. Add the Key lime juice slowly. Blend well, but don't overmix. In a blender, put one pint of the sliced strawberries and blend to a puree. Add 1/2 cup of the puree to the milk and egg mixture.

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool. Then chill for a couple of hours.

To the remaining puree, add 1/8 cup of sugar. Add half of the remaining sliced strawberries. Cut the pie into individual slices. Top the pie portions with the sauce. Whip the cream, add the tequila and the Grand Marnier to taste. Sweeten just to taste. Top the pie with the cream, add the remaining strawberry slices as a garnish.

TRES LECHES CAKE (made with cake mix)

1 (18.25-oz.) pkg. white cake mix with pudding (made according to pkg. directions)
1 cup whipping cream
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
2 tbls. white cacao-flavored liqueur, if desired

Chocolate Mousse:
1/2 cup milk
1 (2.8-oz.) pkg. chocolate mousse mix
1 tbl. white cacao-flavored liqueur, if desired

Meringue:
3/4 cup white Karo syrup
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour into prepared pan. Bake as directed on package until toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan.

Meanwhile combine whipping cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk and liqueur in large bowl of electric mixer. Beat at medium speed until well mixed.

Poke holes with fork all over surface of cake. Slowly pour milk mixture over cake until completely soaked in. Cover, refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Mousse Topping:

Combine 1/2 cup milk, mousse mix and 1 tablespoon liqueur in medium bowl; mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Stir mousse mixture before serving. Pipe or spoon a dollop of mousse over each serving of cake. Store in refrigerate.

Meringue Topping:

In a saucepan, melt the Karo syrup and sugar. In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Continue beating as you slowly pour in the warm syrup. Beat until meringue reaches a thick consistency. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cover cake with meringue and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 24 servings. The recipe came from Land O Lakes, but instead of the Chocolate Mousse for the topping, you can also add a meringue. You can do either.

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED STRAWBERRY TART

16 graham cracker squares, finely crushed (about 1 1/4 cups crumbs)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsps. vegetable oil
4 to 5 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) stemmed and halved fresh strawberries

To Prepare: In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and pecans until combined; press firmly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring cream over medium heat just to a boil; remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and vanilla; whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Spread evenly onto bottom of crust.

In a small microwave-safe dish, microwave remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and oil on high power 45 seconds; stir. Microwave at 10-second intervals, stirring until smooth.

To Assemble: Dip small end of each strawberry half into chocolate to cover by one-third, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Starting from the outside edge, arrange strawberry halves, cut sides down and chocolate ends up, in tight concentric circles to fill crust. Refrigerate tart 2 hours or until chocolate is firm. For best chocolate flavor, allow tart to stand at room temperature 10 minutes before cutting.

Makes 8 servings.

NOTE: For easy removal of tart, dip bottom of chilled pie dish into warm water for 10 seconds before cutting.

MINT BROWNIE BUTTONS

1 package brownie mix, or a batch of your favorite chocolate brownies
1 6-oz. package white chocolate chips
1 1/2 tbsps. canola oil
A few drops peppermint extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
Water
Red food coloring

Bake brownies according to package or recipe specifications, using a pan lined with foil so brownies can be lifted out cleanly. Allow to cool completely.

Using a 1-inch circle cookie cutter or canape maker, cut out rounds (you should get about 18 out of an 8-by-8-inch pan of brownies).

Place each round on a baker's wire rack, set over a jellyroll pan lined with wax paper. Chill brownie rounds at least half an hour before dipping in chocolate.

Melt white chocolate and canola oil over a water bath until smooth. Add enough peppermint extract to add flavor, but not be overwhelming. Leave chocolate over water bath as you work, to ensure it stays melted.

Take a long wooden skewer, and pierce a brownie round. Place round in melted chocolate, and swirl around until it is well coated. Gently shake off excess, and place round on wire rack. Using a spoon, carefully dislodge chocolate covered brownie round from skewer, and smooth top.

Repeat with remaining rounds, stirring chocolate occasionally to ensure it is smooth.

Chill dipped brownies for 30 minutes, or until chocolate has hardened.

Sift confectioners sugar into a bowl. Add enough water to make a smooth, runny, but not too thin icing. Color with food coloring until it is bright pink.

Place icing in a sandwich baggie, and squeeze until it collects into one corner. Snip edge off corner with scissors, and swirl each brownie with icing.

Chill about 15 minutes or longer.

Makes about 18.

CANDY-KISSED TWISTS

1 bag of mini pretzels or waffle pretzels (1 pound bag)
1 bag Hershey's Kisses (14 ounces)
1 bag M&M's (17.6 ounces)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place pretzels on a nonstick cookie sheet. Remove foil wrappers from Hershey's Kisses. Place one Kiss on top of each pretzel. Bake 2 to 3 minutes or until the chocolate is soft but not melting. Remove from oven and gently press a few M&Ms into the softened chocolate.

Cool and serve.

BROWNIE PEANUT BUTTER BITES 

1 Package brownie mix -- (15 oz)
1/3 Cup hot water
1/4 Cup oil
1 egg
48 Mini Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cups -- (Miniature)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine brownie mix, water, oil and egg. Beat well with spoon. Fill paper-lined mini-muffin cups about 1/2 full.

Press one peanut butter cup into batter in each cup.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until brownie is set. Cool completely.

Yield: 40-48 pieces.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE BROWNIE DESSERT

1 package Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1 bag (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
Chocolate Whipped Cream, if desired (below)

Heat oven to 350?F. Grease bottom only of rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches, or springform pan, 10x3 inches.

Stir brownie mix, chocolate syrup, water, oil and 2 eggs in medium bowl until well blended. Spread batter in pan.

Heat whipping cream and chocolate chips in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth; cool slightly. Beat 3 eggs and the sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until foamy; stir into cream-chocolate mixture. Pour evenly over batter.

Bake rectangular pan about 45 minutes, springform pan about 1 hour 5 minutes, or until topping is set. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Serve at room temperature, or cover tightly and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with Chocolate Whipped Cream. Store any remaining dessert tightly covered.

Makes 12 servings

Chocolate Whipped Cream

3/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa

Beat all ingredients in chilled small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.

Nutritional Info Per 1 Serving:
Calories 425 (Calories from Fat 180); Fat 20g (Saturated 8g); Cholesterol 105mg; Sodium 210mg; Potassium 90mg; Carbohydrate 57g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 5g

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QUICK BREADS and MUFFINS

STRAWBERRY SCONES

2 large eggs
1 tbsp. plus 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon cream in a small bowl. Set aside. Whisk remaining egg, remaining 1/4 cup cream, buttermilk and vanilla together in a medium bowl.

Pulse flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in food processor until blended. Add butter and pulse into flour until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 10 (1-second) pulses. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and make well in center. Add buttermilk mixture and stir until batter forms moist clumps. Carefully stir in strawberries.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead gently until dough comes together and is smooth, about 10 seconds. Pat dough into a 7-inch circle about 1-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut circle into 8 wedges. With a pastry brush, remove excess flour from wedges. Transfer wedges to a prepared baking sheet, brush tops with egg and cream glaze, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven about 15 minutes, until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center of scones comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Transfer scones to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cooled scones can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 days.)

Makes 8 scones.

MIMI'S CAFE CARROT RAISIN BREAD

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, with juice, drained
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup finely shredded carrots

Sift first five ingredients into a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and eggs.

Stir the liquid mixture into the flour; mix well.

Add the next four ingredients; stir again.

Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan or four mini-loaf pans. (Fill the pans 2/3 full with batter)

Bake at 350* for about 40 minutes. (Mini loaves take about 30 minutes.)

Yield: one 9-inch square, or four 3" x 6" mini-loaves.

MIMI'S CAFE BUTTERMILK SPICE MUFFINS

Muffin Batter:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter or unsalted margarine
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 fluid ounces buttermilk
1 tablespoon buttermilk, additional

Nut Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 F.

In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter together with an electric mixer. When they are thoroughly mixed, add the eggs and beat for 1 more minute.

Sift the flour into a separate bowl, together with the baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Add the flour and buttermilk to the first mixture, and mix at low speed until smooth. To avoid lumps in the batter, add the wet and dry ingredients alternately, in small amounts.

Make the nut topping by combining all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Grease muffin tins with additional butter or margarine, or use paper or foil baking cups. Fill each cup 3/4 full of batter. Add a full rounded tablespoon of the nut topping on top of the batter in each cup.

Bake immediately, or the topping will sink to the bottom.

Bake at 375*F for 20 to 25 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out dry. If you are using jumbo muffin tins, reduce the oven temperature by 25* and increase the baking time by 5 to 10 minutes.

Makes 12 standard-size muffins or 6 jumbo-size muffins.

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KITCHEN TIPS

Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh- if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.

Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips

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SALAD RECIPES

VIETNAMESE CHICKEN SALAD

1 whole chicken
1 lime
1 thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup of finely chopped mint
1 cup crushed peanuts
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cilantro
1 teaspoon sugar

Boil the chicken. Let the chicken cool, then shred meat by hand into a bowl.

In a separate bowl, squeeze juice from the lime and mix in onion, mint, crushed peanuts, crushed red pepper, black pepper, salt, cilantro, and sugar.

Add the shredded chicken meat and toss ingredients together until well mixed. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe courtesy of V&L Restaurant - Rosemead, CA.

ANTIPASTO SALAD
A facsimile of the type of salads you'll find in supermarket delis, this makes ideal picnic fare.

1 (3-ounce) package Italian dry salami, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 (4-ounce) package cooked ham, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 (4-ounce) package Swiss cheese OR Provolone, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 cup halved pickled sweet cherry peppers
1 cup halved peperoncini
1 (6-ounce) can pitted ripe olives, drained
1 cup 1-inch-length julienned carrots
1/2 EACH medium green and red pepper, cut into julienned strips
3 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Seasoned salt and pepper to taste

In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing well. Refrigerate until serving time. Serve on greens, if desired. Makes 4 to 6 appetizer servings; about 2 1/2 pounds.

ASIAN SALAD

2 packages of ramen noodles, chicken flavored seasoning
2 tablespoons creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon dried chopped chives (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Diced carrots, if you have them
Finely chopped peanuts or sesame seeds for garnish

Note: The seasoning is extra salty, but in this recipe would be diluted with other ingredients. You can add only half the package for flavor if you prefer.

Pour boiling water over noodles and add seasoning packages. Drain when noodles are tender. Stir in peanut butter, chives, sesame oil, diced carrots and top with chopped peanuts. Eat at room temperature, or put in ice chest for cold salad.

Makes 2-4 servings.

GREEK POTATO SALAD

2 pounds red potatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 medium cucumber
1/2 cup pitted, sliced kalamata olives or other black olives
1/2 cup diced red or green bell pepper
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced into quarter-rings
4 or 5 pepperoncini peppers, cores and stems discarded, chopped coarsely; optional
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)

Cook potatoes until tender. While the potatoes are cooking, combine oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl; whisk well.

Slice cucumber into 4 lengthwise quarters; scrape away and discard seeds and pulpy seed core.

Cut cucumbers into 1/4-inch dice; set aside. When potatoes are tender, drain and refresh with cold water until cool. Cut into 3/4-inch cubes.

Add to the mixing bowl with the dressing (give the dressing another quick whisk if it has separated); stir gently to coat potatoes with dressing. Add diced cucumber and remaining ingredients; toss gently to combine.

Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled; serve cold.

Serves 8.

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