recipes, food and cooking

June 2007

Summertime grilling is here! Much to my surprise I went back to a gas grill and put the Weber back in the garage for the time being. We got one of those new high BTU grills and is it ever great. I've been using it almost everyday. Over the weekend I smoked a turkey breast in it that I had brined for about 6 hours. I used about 2 cups of kosher salt, 1 cup of brown sugar and water to cover. It was so good and easy!

     Mary Ellen        

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RECIPES FOR JUNE - SUMMER SALADS

DELI MACARONI SALAD - This is one of my favorite summer salads.

8 oz. elbow macaroni

Brine:

2 C. cider vinegar
3 C. sugar

Salad:

2 medium tomatoes diced
1 green pepper diced
1 cucumber diced
1/2 C. red onion chopped
1 C. mayonnaise
1/8 t. basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta until ala dente. Drain and rinse well with cold water.

Bring vinegar and sugar to a simmer in a saucepan. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place macaroni in a bowl and pour the brine over it. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

To serve:

Drain the macaroni from the brine. Mix the mayonnaise, basil, salt and pepper together. Add pasta, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumber and red onion. Toss to combine. Serve.

Serves 6 - 8.

For more pasta salads: http://www.thatsmyhome.com/simplysalads/pasta.htm

SOUTHWESTERN CORN AND BARLEY SALAD

3 cups cooked barley
2 cups cooked corn
3/4 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup diced green pepper
3/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup minced red onions
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 teaspoons herbal salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

In a large bowl combine: cooked barley, cooked corn, red and green peppers, scallions, red onions, lemon juice, olive oil, cilantro and salt. Marinate for 1 hour prior to serving. Adjust seasonings as needed.

CUSABI PASTA SALAD

Salad:
1 pound sea shell pasta, cooked, rinsed with cold water and tossed with 1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
4 green onions, white bulb and 2 inches of green, sliced
2 large cloves fresh garlic, minced
Fresh ground black pepper
Salt
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Fresh fancy lettuce leaves
Chopped chives or red bell pepper, for garnish

Dressing:
1 package buttermilk ranch dressing
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon wasabi paste or horseradish

Whisk together dressing mix, buttermilk, mayonnaise and wasabi. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Combine pasta with cucumbers, green onions and garlic. Stir parmesan cheese into chilled ranch dressing. Gently fold dressing into pasta mixture. Add salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Add more parmesan, if desired.

Line a serving bowl or individual serving dishes with lettuce leaves. Spoon pasta into bowls or plates. Garnish with chopped red bell pepper and chives. Serves 8 to 10.

ROASTED POTATO SALAD

Salad:
1½ pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ yellow bell pepper, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
¼ chopped fresh parsley or chives, diced

Dressing:
¹⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar
½ shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
¹⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup olive oil

Preheat grill to medium high. Toss potatoes with oil in a baking pan. Place pan on grill grate and close grill lid. Roast potatoes until tender and brown, turning occasionally, about 40 minutes. Alternately, potatoes may be roasted in a 450-degree oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until brown.

While potatoes are roasting, place vinegar, shallot, garlic, salt and black pepper in blender container. Whip at low speed for 10 seconds. With blender motor running, slowly drizzle oil into dressing mixture. Turn blender off. Set dressing aside.

Remove potatoes from grill and cool for 10 minutes. Toss cooled potatoes with peppers and parsley or chives. Gently fold in dressing.

Garnish salad with more peppers and parsley or chives.

Serves 4.

TOASTED CUMIN POTATO SALAD

1 tablespoon cumin seeds (ground cumin won't work here)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 lbs small red new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into two-inch pieces
1 tbsp salt
4 large eggs, hard-boiled and chopped (optional)
2 scallions, sliced
3 tbsp red onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (substitute parsley if you're averse to cilantro)
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and chopped

Toast the cumin in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly. It takes about a minute to get perfectly toasted, and less than a minute more to char it beyond redemption, so watch it carefully. Transfer the toasted cumin into your grinding implement of choice. Coarsely crush the cumin and transfer it to a medium bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil to create the dressing.

Next, place the chopped potatoes into a medium saucepan with the salt and enough water to keep all the taters submerged. Bring it to a boil and simmer gently for about eight minutes. Keep a close eye on the potatoes and don't let them boil too long — if they get really soft you'll have toasted-cumin mashed potatoes instead of potato salad. When the potatoes are just done, drain them quickly, transfer them to a large bowl, and toss them gently with the cumin vinaigrette. Stir in the eggs, scallions, onion, cilantro and jalapeños when the potatoes have cooled down some.

Try to hold off on tasting (or serving) this salad until it's had at least six hours to chill out in the refrigerator.

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BBQ RECIPES

LIME CHICKEN

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1/3 cup olive oil
juice of 3 limes
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
red and yellow peppers, roasted

Pound chicken to flatten slightly. combine oil, lime juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons cilantro, salt and pepper in bowl. Pour over chicken and marinate for 1 hour. (I marinate for 2-3 hours). Grill 2 minutes each side. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve with roasted peppers.

GRILLED ITALIAN VEGETABLES WITH PASTA

1 (1 1/4-pound) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 pound zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
Cooking spray
4 plum tomatoes, halved
4 cups (3-inch) sliced green onions (about 2 bunches)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
6 cups hot cooked penne (about 12 ounces uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Place eggplant in a colander; sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Toss gently to coat. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant with cold water, and drain well.

Prepare grill.

Place eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 10 minutes, turning once. Add tomatoes and onions; cook 5 minutes, turning often. Remove the vegetables from grill; cut all into 1-inch pieces except tomato. Cut tomato halves in half lengthwise.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, oil, rind, and basil in a large bowl. Add vegetable mixture, pasta, and cheese; toss well.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

CALORIES 333 (20% from fat); FAT 7.3g (sat 1.6g,mono 3.9g,poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 12.2g; CHOLESTEROL 3mg; CALCIUM 138mg; SODIUM 295mg; FIBER 6.1g; IRON 4.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 57g

BARBECUED BACON SHRIMP

Notes: Hinged grill baskets are sold at barbecue supply stores; choose one with handles that will fit in your barbecue. You can also use a cooking grate (sold at barbecue supply stores as well) with small holes; watch closely and turn shrimp often to brown evenly. Soak wood toothpicks in water for at least 30 minutes before using to keep them from burning. Buy regular--not thick-sliced--bacon.

1 pound (32 to 36 per lb.) peeled, deveined shrimp, rinsed
16 to 18 slices bacon (16 to 18 oz.), cut in half crosswise
Cooking oil spray or salad oil
Mom's barbecue sauce

Count shrimp; for each, you need 1/2 slice bacon and 1 soaked wood toothpick.

Arrange bacon slices in single layers in 2 pans, each 10 by 15 inches.

Bake in a 450° oven until bacon begins to brown on the bottom (lift to check), 4 to 8 minutes. As bacon is browned, transfer to towels to drain. Discard fat in pans.

Wrap 1 bacon strip around each shrimp; secure with a toothpick. Spritz the inside of an 11- or 12-inch square hinged grill basket with cooking spray (or lightly brush with oil). Arrange wrapped shrimp in a single layer in basket; close basket. Cook in batches, if needed.

Prepare barbecue for direct heat (see below). When it is medium-hot (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds), lay basket on grill and turn as needed to brown bacon lightly, 2 to 3 minutes total. Remove basket from heat, open, and baste bacon-wrapped shrimp with about 1/4 of Mom's barbecue sauce (proportionately less if cooking in batches). Close basket, flip over, open basket, and baste shrimp with another 1/4 of the sauce (less if cooking in batches). Close basket, return to grill, and cook, turning once, until shrimp is opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test) and bacon is well browned, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Transfer bacon-wrapped shrimp to a platter. Pour remaining sauce into a bowl. Dip shrimp into sauce to eat.

To prepare grill for direct heat:

If using charcoal briquets, mound and ignite enough briquets to cover the firegrate in a single, solid layer (you'll need about 75). When the briquets are dotted with gray ash, after 15 to 20 minutes, spread them over the firegrate in a single layer. Let them burn down to the desired heat. Set grill in place.

If using a gas barbecue, turn all the burners to high and close the lid for 10 minutes. Adjust the burners to the desired heat.

Yield: Makes 8 appetizer servings

CALORIES 215 (37% from fat); FAT 8.9g (sat 3g); PROTEIN 17g; CHOLESTEROL 100mg; SODIUM 1240mg; FIBER 0.5g; CARBOHYDRATE 14g

Mom's Barbecue Sauce

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine 1 cup catsup; 1/4 cup each soy sauce and cream sherry; 2 tablespoons each lemon juice and firmly packed brown sugar; 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger; 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard; and 1 teaspoon each liquid smoke, minced garlic, and grated lemon peel. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes.

Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups

CALORIES 64 (1% from fat); FAT 0.1g (sat 0.0g); PROTEIN 1g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; SODIUM 903mg; FIBER 0.5g; CARBOHYDRATE 14g

CHICKEN SOUVLAKI SALAD

2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic, divided
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
3 cups cubed peeled cucumber (about 3 cucumbers)
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup grated peeled cucumber
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat grill or broiler.

Combine 1 teaspoon garlic and the next 6 ingredients (1 teaspoon garlic through chicken breast) in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake to coat. Remove chicken from the bag. Grill or broil chicken 5 minutes on each side or until done. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces.

Combine chicken, cubed cucumber, and the next 4 ingredients (cubed cucumber through tomatoes) in a large bowl. Combine yogurt and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over chicken mixture; toss well.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

CALORIES 259 (28% from fat); FAT 8.2g (sat 3g,mono 3.4g,poly 1g); PROTEIN 31.8g; CHOLESTEROL 79mg; CALCIUM 161mg; SODIUM 679mg; FIBER 2.9g; IRON 2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 15.3g

BOURBON PORK TENDERLOIN

2 1/2 pounds pork tenderloins
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs

Rinse tenderloins, and pat dry.

Combine soy sauce and next 9 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag or shallow dish; seal or cover, and chill at least 12 hours. Remove pork from marinade, discarding marinade. Sprinkle evenly with salt.

Grill, covered with grill lid, over high heat (400° to 500°) 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 155°, turning occasionally. Remove from heat; cover with aluminum foil, and let stand 10 minutes or until thermometer registers 160°. Garnish, if desired.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

GRILLED FRUIT KABOBS

3/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
16 fresh cherries (about 4 ounces)
2 peaches, cut into wedges
1 large banana, cut into chunks
Cream cheese, softened
Gingersnaps

Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish.

Thread fruit on skewers, and place in juice mixture. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Remove kabobs from marinade.

Grill, covered with grill lid, over low heat (under 300°) 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Serve with cream cheese and gingersnaps.

Yield: 4 servings

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SUMMER SLOW COOKER RECIPES

CREAM CHEESE CROCKPOT CHICKEN

4 to 6 chicken breasts
2 tbsp. melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 tbsp. dried Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup sherry
8 ounces cream cheese cut in cubes
1 tbsp. onion, minced

Brush chicken with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in slow cooker and add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Serve over rice or noodles. Serves 4 to 6.

SWEET N' SMOKY CROCKPOT BBQ CHICKEN

1 broiler-fryer chicken, cut in serving pieces
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon hickory smoked salt
1 large onion
sliced 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Barbecue Sauce (combine following ingredients):

1/2 cup catsup
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/4 cup vinegar

Rub chicken with hickory salt then place in slow cooker. Place onions on top of chicken. Combine barbecue and pour over top of chicken. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

SOUTH SEAS GREEN BEANS

4 cups frozen cut green beans -- thawed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup imitation bacon bits
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 (2 oz) jar chopped pimientos -- undrained
2 tablespoons Splenda or Sugar Twin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Spray a slow cooker container with butter flavored cooking spray. In the prepared container, combine the green beans, onion, and imitation bacon bits. Stir in the water, vinegar, and undrained pimientos. Add sugar substitute and the black pepper. Mix well to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 5 hours. Mix well before serving.

HINT: Thaw the green beans by placing them in a colander and rinsing them under hot water for one minute.

Source: A Potful of Recipes

RISOTTO WITH PARMESAN

1/4 cup olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1-1/4 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
3-3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1/2 or 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano 

Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat, and sauté the shallots until they have softened. Scrape them into the insert (or bowl) of the slow cooker. If your microwave oven is large enough to hold the slow-cooker insert, place the oil and shallots in the insert, cover with the lid or a flat plate, place in the microwave and cook on high for four to five minutes.

Return the insert to the slow cooker and toss in the rice to coat it with oil. Stir in wine, broth and salt. Cover and cook on high for about two hours or until all liquid is absorbed. Just before serving, stir in the cheese. Makes four generous servings.

Variations: Add a teaspoon of the dried herb of your choice, along with the rice.

CROCKPOT MARGARITA CHICKEN

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (3-1/2-pound) whole chicken, cut up
The juice of one lime
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup tequila*
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
Salt, to taste

Heat garlic in olive oil. Place chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour garlic oil into slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

*You may substitute flat 7UP or water for tequila.

CROCKPOT CHICKEN AND SHRIMP WITH ORZO

12 ounces chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
1 large onion — chopped
3 cloves garlic — minced
14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes — Italian style
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup port wine — (or chicken broth)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces frozen peeled shrimp — thawed and drained
9 ounces frozen artichoke hearts — thawed and coarsely chopped
2 cups orzo — cooked
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Cut chicken thighs into quarters. In a slow cooker, place the onion and garlic. Top with the chicken pieces. In a bowl combine the undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, port wine, lemon juice, bay leaves, salt, and crushed red pepper. Pour over all. Cover; cook on low heat setting for 6 to 7 hours. Turn to high heat setting. Remove bay leaves. Stir in shrimp and artichoke hearts. Cover; cook for 5 minutes more. Serve chicken and shrimp mixture over hot cooked orzo. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Yield: 4 servings.

PINEAPPLE GINGER PORK

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can pineapple chunks (juice pack)
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices (2 cups)
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 1/2 cups fresh snow pea pods OR 1 (6-ounce) package frozen pea pods
3 cups hot cooked rice

Trim fat from pork. Cut pork into 1-inch cubes. In a large skillet brown 1/2 of pork at a time in hot oil. Drain fat.

In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine chicken broth, tapioca, soy sauce, oyster sauce and ginger. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Stir juice into broth mixture; cover and chill pineapple chunks. Add carrots, onion and water chestnuts to cooker. Add pork.

Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 8 hours OR on high heat setting 3 to 4 hours.

If using low heat setting, turn to high heat setting. Stir pineapple chunks and snow peas into cooker. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes more on high heat setting or until peas are crisp-tender. Serve over rice. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

From "Better Homes and Gardens Crockery Cooking."

SLOW COOKER HOT FUDGE SUNDAE CAKE

It's magic! A rich hot fudge sauce forms while the cake bakes.

1 cup Gold Medal all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts (either pecans or walnuts, I like pecans best)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 cups hot water

Spray inside of 2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix flour, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, the baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Stir in milk, oil and vanilla until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread batter evenly in slow cooker.

Mix brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa in small bowl. Stir in hot water until smooth. Pour evenly over batter in slow cooker.

Cover and cook on high heat setting 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Turn off slow cooker. Let cake stand uncovered 30 to 40 minutes to cool slightly before serving. Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes. Spoon sauce over top.

Makes 6 servings

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ICE CREAM RECIPES

ICE CREAM TRUFFLES

1 pint vanilla ice cream
10 malt balls, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
2 Heath bars, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
2 PayDay bars, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
10 ounces white chocolate

Line 2 small baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. Freeze for 10 minutes. Remove 1 sheet. Using a melon baller, scoop the ice cream to form 1-inch balls and place on sheet. Return sheet to freezer. Repeat this process with second sheet. Freeze the balls for 30 minutes. Arrange the chopped malt balls, Heath bars, and PayDays on small plates. Working with 1 baking sheet at a time, roll the ice cream balls in the toppings, using your hands to gently press in the toppings. Freeze for 30 minutes. For the white chocolate truffles, melt the chocolate in a bowl in a microwave or in the top of a double boiler. Dip the chilled balls, one at a time, into the melted chocolate. Remove with a fork, letting the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Yield: Makes 30 truffles

CALORIES 100 (50% from fat); FAT 6g (sat 3g); PROTEIN 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 8mg; CALCIUM 28mg; SODIUM 34mg; FIBER 0g; CARBOHYDRATE 11g; IRON 0mg

BANANA PUDDING ICE CREAM CUPCAKES

Place muffin pans over ice in a roasting pan to keep the ice cream from melting when broiling the meringue.

12 vanilla wafers, coarsely crushed
2 medium-size ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 tablespoon meringue powder
1/4 cup cold water
6 tablespoons sugar

Place 12 foil baking cups into muffin pans; sprinkle crushed wafers evenly into cups.

Stir together banana and lemon juice; stir mixture into ice cream. Gently fold in whipped topping. (Do not blend completely.) Freeze for 1 hour or until almost firm.

Spoon ice cream mixture evenly into prepared baking cups. Freeze 8 hours.

Stir together meringue powder, 1/4 cup cold water, and 3 tablespoons sugar. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, beating mixture at high speed for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Spread 2 tablespoons meringue (working rapidly) over frozen cupcakes in pans, sealing to edge of foil liner. Fill a roasting pan with ice, and place muffin pans over ice.

Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 2 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove cupcakes from pans, and serve immediately, or refreeze, if desired.

Yield: Makes 12 cupcakes

WINE ICE CREAM

1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1 1/2 cups half-and-half (light cream)
3/4 cup sugar
Flavoring (choices follow)
3 large eggs
Wine (choices follow)

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, mix milk, half-and-half, and sugar. Stir often over medium heat until mixture just begins to steam and bubbles form at pan edge.

In a bowl, whisk about 1/3 of the hot milk mixture into eggs, then return mixture to pan. Cook, stirring, until custard is thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a smooth, velvety layer, about 20 minutes. Immediately, set pan in ice water and stir often until custard is slightly cool, about 10 minutes, or until cold, about 30 minutes. Or cover and chill cool custard at least 3 or up to 24 hours.

Mix wine with custard and pour into a 1-quart or larger ice cream freezer container (self-refrigerated or frozen cylinder, or use 8 parts crushed ice to 1 part salt).

Freeze according to manufacturer's directions or until dasher is difficult to turn. Serve ice cream soft-frozen. Or, if making ahead, pack ice cream in a freezer container and freeze airtight up to 1 week.

Flavoring and Wine Choices:

Orange Muscat ice cream with bittersweet chocolate: Add 2 teaspoons grated orange peel to milk mixture before heating. To chilled custard, add 1 cup Orange Muscat wine. When mixture is partially frozen, add 4 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, then continue as directed. Makes about 6 cups.

Per 1/2-cup serving: 198 cal., 39% (77 cal.) from fat; 4.1g protein; 8.6g fat (4.6g sat.); 27g carbo (0g fiber); 45mg sodium; 67mg chol.

Port ice cream with cinnamon and vanilla: Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 split vanilla bean (about 4 in. long) to milk mixture before heating. Remove vanilla bean from chilled custard; scrape seeds free and return them to custard along with 1 cup port. Freeze as directed. Makes 4 cups.

Per 1/2-serving: 230 cal.; 31% (71 cal.) from fat; 5.2g protein; 7.9g fat (4.3g sat.); 27g carbo (0g fiber); 68mg sodium; 100mg chol.

Cream sherry ice cream with double ginger: Add 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger to milk mixture before heating. Pour chilled custard through a fine strainer into a bowl; discard ginger. Stir in 1/2 cup cream sherry and 1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger. Freeze as directed. Makes 4 cups.

Per 1/2-cup serving: 241 cal., 29% (71 cal.) from fat; 5.2g protein; 7.9g fat (4.3g sat.); 34g carbo (0g fiber); 73mg sodium; 100mg chol.

Yield: Makes 4 or 6 cups

BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE ICE CREAM

2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
4 large egg yolks
3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup half-and-half
3 cups fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup water

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Combine milk and half-and-half in a medium, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to cheese mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°, stirring constantly. Place pan in an ice-filled bowl. Cool completely, stirring occasionally.

Combine blueberries, powdered sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and cool completely.

Stir blueberry mixture into milk mixture. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup)

CALORIES 268 (26% from fat); FAT 7.8g (sat 4.4g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 5.4g; CHOLESTEROL 90mg; CALCIUM 49mg; SODIUM 100mg; FIBER 0.9g; IRON 0.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.8g

KEY LIME PIE ICE CREAM

1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup bottled Key lime juice (such as Nellie and Joe's)
1/2 cup whipping cream
Dash of salt
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
6 graham crackers (1 1/2 cookie sheets), coarsely crushed, divided
Key lime wedges (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture into freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Stir 1/3 cup graham crackers into ice cream. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon graham crackers. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

CALORIES 317 (27% from fat); FAT 9.5g (sat 5.3g,mono 2.7g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 8.8g; CHOLESTEROL 36mg; CALCIUM 275mg; SODIUM 190mg; FIBER 0.1g; IRON 0.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 50.3g

LEMONADE PIE

10-inch graham cracker pie shell
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade, thawed
1 quart whipped topping

Mix together sweetened condensed milk and lemonade. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into pie shell and freeze at least 4 hours.

Makes 8 servings.

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INTERNATIONAL RECIPES

LETTUCE WRAPS

1/4 cup Asian fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 pound thin rice stick noodles
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 carrots, grated
1/4 head purple cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 pickling cucumbers, very thinly sliced
2 scallions, finely chopped Juice of 1 lime Salt, to taste
2 heads Boston lettuce

In a large bowl, combine the fish sauce, sugar, and garlic. Add the shrimp and toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or as long as overnight.

In a bowl, combine the noodles and enough hot water to cover them; set aside for 30 minutes. Drain the noodles into a colander.

Heat a large skillet. Add the peanut oil and when it is hot, remove the shrimp from the marinade and cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and sprinkle with cilantro.

In a bowl, mix together the carrots, cabbage, and cucumbers. Sprinkle with scallions, lime juice, and salt.

Core the lettuce and separate the leaves. Select the largest leaves and place 3 of them on each of 4 dinner plates.

Place noodles on the center each leaf. Top with the vegetables. Divide the shrimp mixture among the leaves. Let guests roll up their own. Serve with peanut sauce.

PEANUT SAUCE

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons boiling water, or more if necessary
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste Salt, to taste

In a bowl mix together the peanut butter and boiling water until smooth. Stir in the garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper, and salt.

If the sauce seems too thick, add more boiling water, a teaspoon at a time.

Taste for seasoning and add more red pepper or salt. Serve at once or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Serves 4

ASIAN NOODLE SALAD WITH PEANUT DRESSING

Dressing

¼ cup Riesling or other medium-bodied, high-acid, semi-sweet white wine
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted (Asian) sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Salad

6 ounces thin Asian wheat-flour noodles
12 snow peas, strings removed, blanched (see Tip), and halved lengthwise
½ cup sliced white mushrooms
½ red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch x ¼-inch strips
2 scallions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 carrot, coarsely shredded
Mandarin orange segments and black sesame seeds or toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat.

To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl.

To make the salad, cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Add the dressing to the hot noodles and toss. Let stand until completely cool.

Toss in the remaining ingredients, except the garnish. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish the servings with orange segments and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

STEAMED COD WITH GINGER AND SCALLIONS

White fish (halibut, pollock) or shellfish (shrimp, scallops) can be steamed in the foil packet, as can a rich fish such as salmon. All can be served with the ginger-scallion sauce in this recipe. Or saute two pints of halved cherry tomatoes in olive oil with salt and pepper and spoon the tomatoes over the fish before steaming. Either topping goes well with the fish and long-grain white rice.

Peanut oil (for the foil)
2 pounds skinless boneless cod, cut into
4 pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1-inch piece ginger, cut into fine matchsticks
6 scallions, cut on the diagonal into
1/2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 cup long-grain white rice, cooked until tender

Set the oven at 450 degrees. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet.

Set 4 12-by-12-inch pieces of heavy-duty foil, shiny side up, on a counter. Rub the center of each piece of foil with peanut oil.

Place a piece of cod, skinned side up, on each piece of foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. With your fingers, spread 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil to coat the top of all the fish. Seal the packets and set them on the baking sheet.

Transfer the sheet to the hot oven and cook the packets for 15 minutes.

When the cod is almost cooked, set a small skillet on a burner. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. When it is very hot, add the ginger and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until it is fragrant.

Add the scallions, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Swirl the mixture over very low heat just to warm it through.

Place a helping of rice in each of 4 large shallow bowls and, using a spatula to transfer the fish from the foil packet, set the fish on the rice and spoon the juices from the foil over the fillets. Spoon the warm ginger mixture on top of the fillets and serve at once.

Serves 4

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DESSERT RECIPES

LEMON UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

4 small lemons (about 4 ounces each)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Preliminaries: Heat oven to 350º

Slice, grate lemons: Cut 3 of the lemons into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Remove seeds and set aside. You will have about 30 lemon slices. Grate 1 teaspoon lemon peel from the remaining lemon. Set aside the grated peel; save the lemon for another use.

Prepare the skillet: Heat 4 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or an ovenproof 10-inch saute pan until melted. Brush the sides of skillet with a little of the melted butter. Add the brown sugar, stir until it is moistened with the butter and spread it into an even layer. Arrange the lemon slices, slightly overlapping, to cover the bottom of the skillet. Set aside.

Make the cake batter: Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. Cut the remaining 6 tablespoons butter into a mixing bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean with the point of a knife onto the butter. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until creamy. Add the sugar and grated lemon peel and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add half the flour mixture and beat until blended. Add milk and beat until combined, then add the remaining flour mixture and beat until blended.

Assemble, bake the cake: Spread the batter over the lemons in the skillet to cover evenly. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden and the center tests done. Let the cake stand 5 minutes, then invert the skillet onto a platter.

Makes 8 servings

Presentation: To serve, slice into wedges with a sharp knife. Serve this cake with a lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

DUTCH BABY

BATTER
1 cup whole milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a blender, thoroughly combine the milk and eggs.

Add the flour, salt, sugar, vanilla, and butter. Work again until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the batter to a container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

FILLING

Butter (for the pan)
2 tablespoons butter
3 cooking apples or peaches, peeled, cored, and thickly sliced
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Confectioners' sugar (for sprinkling)

Set the oven at 450 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square or round baking dish.

Whisk the batter thoroughly.

In a skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and add the apples. Cook over medium heat for 1 minutes, turning the apples carefully with a spoon. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Continue cooking for 2 minutes more or until the apples soften slightly.

Transfer the apple mixture to the dish. Pour the batter on top.

Bake the dish, without opening the oven door, for 25 to 30 minutes or until it is puffed and golden brown.

Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve at once.

Serves 4

TRES LECHES BANANA CAKE

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

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

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

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

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

Spread frosting over cake. Garnish each serving with banana slices and/or toasted coconut, if desired. Store covered in refrigerator.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 35 to 40 minutes.

Makes: 16 servings

FROZEN MILKY WAY MOUSSE

10 1/4 ounces Milky Way bars, divided (5 regular bars)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
whipped cream (optional)

Chop candy bars, yielding about 1 1/3 cups. Combine with 1/2 cup of  the cream and chocolate chips in a large bowl over a pot of simmering  water. Stir occasionally until mixture is melted and combined. Set bowl aside to cool.

In another bowl combine vanilla extract with remaining 2 cups of cream; beat until stiff peaks form.

Fold cream into chocolate mixture then pour 1/2 of mixture into a 1 1/2-quart freezer-proof bowl.

Coarsely chop more candy bars, yielding about 1/3 cup. Sprinkle over mousse. Top with remaining mousse. Freeze until firm, 6 hours or overnight.

Thaw slightly at room temperature before serving, about 10 minutes. Chop remaining candy bars, yielding about 1/3 cup. Garnish with whipped cream and chopped candy.

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BARBECUE TIPS

Have fresh platters and utensils ready for cooked foods; don't put cooked foods back on the same platters that were used for raw.

Don't let food sit out for more than an hour on days over 90 degrees F (or two hours when it's cooler).

If you want to reuse a marinade as a sauce or glaze, boil it for 2 minutes first, or set some aside before adding raw meat.

The only flammable liquid to use on a charcoal grill is lighter fluid; never use paint thinner or gasoline. Don't add lighter fluid to coals that are already burning.

If you're cooking with barbecue sauce, brush it on at the end of the cooking process, so the meat can cook through without the sugars in the sauce burning.

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QUICK AND EASY RECIPES

CHICKEN CHEDDAR SKILLET

1 box (6.9 oz) rice-a-roni chicken flavor
2 c water
1 t basil
1 c chopped tomato
1 lb chicken tenders
1/4 c chopped green onions
1/2 c cheddar cheese

Saute rice-a-roni as package directs. Stir in water, seasoning packet and basil. Add chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Top with tomatoes, green onions and cheese. Cover again and let sit until cheese melts (about 3-5 minutes)

BOURSIN GRILLED PORK CHOPS

6 pork chops - 1" thick
3 Granny Smith apples, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Boursin Cheese Spread
1 Vidalia Onion, sliced 1/8" thick

Prepare a double layer of aluminum foil. Spray the foil with Pam.

Arrange apple slices in a single layer over the foil. Place pork chops on top of apples. Salt and pepper chops to taste. Spread about 2-3 tsp. boursin cheese on each chop. Top chops with onion slices.

Bring foil up around chops and seal into a nice foil packet.

Place on grill over medium heat. Check after about 30 - 45 minutes.

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RESTAURANT RECIPES

PAPPAS FAMOUS GREEK SALAD

This recipe comes from Louis Pappas Restaurant, family-owned and operated on Tarpon Springs' sponge docks since 1925.

Potato Salad
6 boiling potatoes
4 whole green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup whole green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt to taste

Greek Salad
1 medium head iceberg lettuce
3 cups potato salad
12 roka (Greek vegetable) leaves or 12 sprigs watercress
2 ripe tomatoes cut into 6 wedges each
1 cucumber, peeled and cut lengthwise into 8 fingers
1 avocado, peeled and cut in wedges
Juice from 1/2 lemon
4 (3-inch-square) portions feta cheese
1 green bell pepper, cut into 8 rings each
4 canned beet slices
4 large shrimp, cooked and peeled
4 anchovy filets
12 Greek olives
12 Greek Salonika peppers (from a jar)
4 to 8 radishes, cut into flowers
4 to 8 whole green onions
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Oregano

Make potato salad (makes 3 cups): Cook unpeeled potatoes in unsalted water until tender, about 20 minutes; cool until you can handle them. Peel potatoes; cut into chunks in large bowl. Sprinkle with vinegar and salt; add chopped green onions; toss. In small bowl combine parsley, sliced green onions, mayonnaise and salt. Add to potatoes; mix well.

Line large platter with outside lettuce leaves; mound potato salad in center. Shred remaining lettuce; place on top of potato salad; top with roka or watercress. Place tomatoes around the outer edge, with a few on top. Place cucumber wedges between tomatoes. Sprinkle lemon juice on avocado to prevent browning. Add avocado. Arrange feta on top of salad; place green pepper rings, beets, shrimp and anchovies on top of feta. Place olives, Salonika peppers, radishes and green onions around the edge. Sprinkle with vinegar, then oil. Sprinkle oregano on top; serve at once. Serve with toasted garlic bread.

Serves four.

From: Tampa Treasures Cookbook by The Junior League of Tampa

LING'S CHINESE RESTAURANT OLD FASHIONED CHOP SUEY

1/2 pound cubed pork
1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus oil to cook pork
1 pound celery, chopped
1/2 onion
Salt to taste (optional)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
Dash of white pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce
Dash of sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

In saute pan cook pork in 1 tablespoon oil. When it is three-fourths done, add celery and onion and cook until tender. Add salt if desired.

Heat wok until water sizzles when sprinkled into pan. When wok is hot, carefully add vegetable oil. Add cooked pork-vegetable mixture and stir a few seconds.

Add water, cover and cook over high heat, checking every few minutes until water begins to boil.

While mixture cooks, in small dish combine sugar, pepper, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil.

When water begins to boil, gradually add cornstarch and water mixture, stirring to combine well. Reduce heat to medium and add soy sauce mixture. Heat through, then remove from heat and serve. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Note: If desired, serve chop suey over hot cooked rice.

RESTAURANT TOKYO BEEF TERIYAKI

2 1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon white wine
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Hon-dashi (Japanese fish soup stock, available at Asian food stores)
1/2 cup hot water mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil to stir-fry
8 cups thinly sliced fresh napa cabbage
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
1/2 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced zucchini, unpeeled
1 to 2 pounds grilled beef such as sirloin, cut in cubes
Cooked rice

To make sauce, combine warm water, sugars, soy sauce, wine, garlic powder and Hon-dashi. Mix well. Bring to boil and boil 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup hot water that has been mixed with cornstarch. Return to boil, then boil another 30 seconds. Set aside but keep warm.

Heat oil in wok or large skillet. Combine vegetables and add to wok. Stir-fry over high heat until just tender, 5 to 10 minutes. When done, drain off any excess liquid.

Immediately add cooked beef and heat through, stirring frequently. Add reserved sauce and heat through, if needed. Serve immediately with rice.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

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