November 2005

Hello Everyone,

It's almost that time of year again...Later in the month I'll send out a newsletter full of Thanksgiving recipes but if you are already looking there are many Thanksgiving recipes at Razzle Dazzle Recipes.

On a technical note, I get several emails after each newsletter goes out that wants to know how you can print just one recipe instead of the whole newsletter. In Internet Explorer, you highlight the recipe, and then go to File> Print> and then Print Selection in the Printer box. Another thing is several times a month I get requests or someone needing info and after I reply I find out that I am blocked because I'm not on your "buddy list". Please, if you want a reply, add me to it so that you will get the response. If you need to change your e-mail address to keep receiving this newsletter, login into your account at Zinester and change it there. Thanks!

Mary Ellen        

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RECIPES FOR NOVEMBER - CROCKPOT RECIPES

SLOW COOKER ITALIAN POT ROAST

1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 2 1/2 pound bottom round roast
Italian seasonings, to taste
Garlic salt, to taste
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 of a 26-ounce jar "chunky" spaghetti sauce, about 1½ cups
Optional: 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Spray the inside of the ceramic vessel of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the onions over the bottom, top with the roast and sprinkle to taste with the Italian seasonings and garlic salt.

Pour the wine and spaghetti sauce over the top, cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.

Remove meat to a serving platter. Stir the sauce and pour over the meat. (For a thicker sauce, whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch with ¼ cup of the sauce in a small bowl. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the slow cooker and cook, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes.)

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 449 calories, 25 grams fat, 9 grams saturated, 121 milligrams cholesterol, 381 milligrams sodium, 11 grams carbohydrates, 37 grams protein, 1 gram dietary fiber.

CRANBERRY CHICKEN

4 to 6 chicken breast halves, skinless and boned
1 can whole cranberry sauce
2/3 cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 package dry (Lipton) golden onion soup mix

Place chicken breasts in the crockpot. Combine remaining ingredients; add to the crockpot, coating chicken well. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

Serves 4 to 6.

APPLE GLAZED ROAST PORK

4 pound pork loin roast, trimmed
1/4 cup apple juice
salt to taste
3 tablespoons brown sugar
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 apples, quartered

Rub roast with salt and pepper. Brown pork roast under broiler to remove excess fat; drain well. Place apple quarters in bottom of crockpot. Place roast on top of Apples. Combine apple juice, brown sugar, and ginger. Spoon over top surface of roast, moistening well. Cover and cook on low setting for 10 to 12 hours or until done. 

FRENCH ONION SOUP

3 Tbl butter, melted
6 medium onions, sliced in half and then run through the 2 CM processor blade
2 Tbl crushed fresh garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth
4 cups canned beef broth
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
dash of worcestershire sauce

8 slices Artisan Bread, toasted
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (or more)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (or more)

Add butter, onions and garlic to crock pot in the evening before bed. Stir well, and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5 hours. If you can or you think about it, stir a couple of times while cooking. They will be very golden brown and caramelized when finished. In the morning while getting ready for work, turn crock pot to high and add the wine and cook with lid off for about an hour. Turn crock pot to low and add everything except the cheeses and the bread. add cooking) cook for 4 - 8 hours on low. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into broiler proof bowls. Top each with slice of toast and grated cheeses. Broil until cheeses melt and bubble.

Makes 8 generous servings

TRADITIONAL CROCKPOT STUFFING

1 cup butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 (8 ounce) cans sliced mushrooms, drained
12 cups day-old bread cubes
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 1/2 cups chicken or turkey broth

In a heavy skillet, melt butter over low heat. Add onion, celery, parsley and mushrooms and cook and stir for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, place bread cubes in a large bowl.

Pour the onion mixture over bread cubes, then add all seasonings and toss well. Pour in enough broth to moisten, tossing with fork.

Add eggs and mix well.

Spoon lightly into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

 Serves 12.

CHILE AND CORN CHIP MEAT LOAF

1 cup corn chips
1 small green chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 lb. lean ground beef

Crush corn chips until they are coarse crumbs. In a large bowl, combine corn chips, green chile, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir in egg, half of the tomato sauce, and the ground beef.

Form mixture into an 8 inch loaf. Place loaf on a trivet in your crockpot. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over loaf. Cover and cook on Low about 4 hrs or until done.

CROCKPOT CREAMY RANCH POTATOES 

2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 envelope buttermilk ranch dry salad dressing mix
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can condensed cream of potato soup

Place potatoes in crockpot.

In a small bowl combine cream cheese and salad dressing mix. Stir in soup. Add to potatoes.

Cover; cook on low 7 to 9 hours. Stir to blend before serving.

SWEET AND SOUR MEATBALLS

1 1/2 pounds ground smoked ham
3/4 pound seasoned ground pork sausage
3/4 pound ground lean beef
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2 cups soft bread crumbs (about)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, depending on saltiness of ham
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Sauce (see recipe)
Chopped green bell pepper (optional)
Chopped pimiento (optional)

In large bowl, mix together meats until well blended. Add eggs, milk, bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and mix well. If mixture is too sticky to work with, up to 1/2 cup more bread crumbs may be needed. Shape into walnut-sized balls and place in single layer in 1 large baking pan or two smaller pans. (Do not stack.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare sauce and pour over meatballs. Bake uncovered in preheated oven 30 to 40 minutes. If desired, add green pepper and pimento and bake another 10 minutes. Meatballs may be kept hot in crockpot until serving. Makes about 60 meatballs, 20 appetizer servings.

Sauce

2 cans (15 ounces each) pineapple tidbits, drained
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water

Prepare sauce in large saucepan over medium heat. Combine pineapple, brown sugar, dry mustard, vinegar, marmalade, molasses and ketchup or chili sauce, and bring to boil.

In small bowl, mix together cornstarch and water, then add to boiling sauce and boil an additional minute, until thickened.

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JUST A FEW THANKSGIVING RECIPES

CRANBERRY PRALINE DIP

1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. butter (and ONLY butter!!)
8-oz. pkg. mascarpone cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a heavy skillet, cook almonds, sugar and butter over medium heat until the sugar begins to melt. Do not stir during this time, but shake the skillet occasionally. When the sugar starts to melt (it will look syrupy around the edges), turn heat to low and cook until sugar and almonds are golden, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

Immediately spread mixture onto the parchment paper and let cool. Break into chunks (here's where it's candy!). For the recipe, process in a food processor or place in plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin until crushed.

Beat together the cheese and orange juice in a small bowl until fluffy and well blended. Stir in the crushed toffee and cranberries. Chill, covered, up to 3 days.

MASHED SWEET POTATOES

2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, scrubbed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pierce the sweet potatoes 2 or 3 times with a fork. Bake in a roasting pan for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender. Cut the potatoes in half, lengthwise. Hold the sweet potatoes with a potholder or towel and scoop out the potato flesh into a food mill or ricer.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, syrup, zest, and vinegar over medium heat. Remove from the heat and mash the sweet potatoes in the pan. Stir to combine evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

STUFFED TURKEY BREAST

8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
5 ounces prosciutto, finely diced
1 cup chopped boiled chestnuts
1/2 cup diced green olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (4-pound) boneless turkey breast
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine the sausage, prosciutto, chestnuts, olives and sage. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a small skillet and add a teaspoon of the stuffing. Saute until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust seasoning in the stuffing mix, if necessary.

Place the turkey breast on the cutting board with skin side down. Flatten with your hands, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil to moisten. Spread stuffing on top and roll the turkey around the stuffing. Wrap kitchen twine around breast and tie tightly.

Place turkey in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until internal temperature of the turkey breast is 165 degrees F, about 1 hour or 12 to 15 minutes per pound.

Let rest 10 minutes, then snip off kitchen twine. Slice the turkey and arrange decoratively on serving platter. Pour pan juices over the slices and serve.

SWEET BERRY TURKEY LOAF

2 large onions
2-1/2 pounds fresh ground turkey
1 package (6 ounces) prepared cornbread stuffing
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Egg Beaters® Egg Product, or 2 large eggs
1 cup vegetable juice
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
4 15-ounce cans mashed sweet potatoes

Preheat oven 350°F.

Dice half of one onion (to equal 1-1/2 cups). Slice remaining onions 1/4-inch thick; set aside.

In large bowl, combine turkey, diced onion, 2 cups stuffing mix, 1/2 cup of the cranberries, eggs, vegetable juice, poultry seasoning and salt to taste. Form mixture into loaf and place in center of 13x9x2-inch baking pan or ovenproof baking dish.

Bake one hour or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, melt margarine and saute sliced onions until golden brown. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup cranberries and salt to taste; cover. Remove from heat.

When meat loaf reaches internal temperature of 160°F, spoon sweet potatoes and onion/cranberry marmalade around meat loaf. Top sweet potatoes evenly with remaining 1/2 cup stuffing mix. Continue to bake until internal temperature of meat loaf reaches 170°F and vegetables are hot, about 30 minutes.

Let stand 5 minutes before slicing meatloaf.

Makes: 8 servings

CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS

1 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (dust with 2 T. - flour)
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line muffin pan with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In mixing bowl, beat together butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each.

In separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mix gradually; fold in cranberries and nuts. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let muffins stand on cooling rack for about 3 minutes before removing from the pans.

Makes 24 muffins.

PUMPKIN GOOEY BUTTER CAKE

Cake:
1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Variations: For a Pineapple Gooey Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

For a Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

For a Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

CRANBERRY STREUSEL COFFEE CAKE
 
Streusel

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup white flour (all-purpose or cake flour)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 Tbsp. canola oil
 
Cake
1 16-oz. can pears packed in light syrup, drained
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour (unsifted)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt or nonfat sour cream
1 12-oz. pkg. fresh cranberries (3 cups)
 
To make streusel:
In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Sprinkle in apple juice concentrate and oil and blend with a fork or your fingers until crumbly.
 
To make cake:
In a food processor or blender, puree pears. Transfer to a wide saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly, until reduced to 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or coat with nonstick cooking spray.
 
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan, until the butter turns a light nutty brown, about 60 seconds. Whisk into the pear puree. Add sugar, egg, egg white, oil and vanilla, whisking until smooth.
 
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the pear mixture alternately with yogurt or sour cream.
 
Spread half of the batter in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with cranberries, then the remaining batter. Sprinkle streusel over the top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.
 
Makes 12 servings.
284 calories per serving: 5 g protein, 4 g fat, 59 g carbohydrate; 225 mg sodium; 21 mg cholesterol.

MAPLE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 16-ounce can pumpkin
3 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Maple Pecan Glaze (below)

Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter.

In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter; mix until well moistened. Press firmly on the bottom of prepared springform pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg; mix well. Pour into prepared crust.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until edge springs back when lightly touched. Cool. Chill 2 to 4 hours.

TO SERVE: Drizzle slices of cheesecake with Maple Pecan Glaze.

Maple Pecan Glaze
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In medium saucepan, combine maple syrup and cream. Bring to a boil; boil rapidly 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in pecans.

Yield: 10 servings

CRANBERRY CHEESECAKE WITH WALNUT CRUST

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 16-ounce can whole cranberry sauce
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 8-ounce carton sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter.

In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, walnuts, and butter; mix well. Press firmly in the bottom of prepared springform pan.

Bake 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; spread with cranberry sauce. Set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and flour; beat until smooth. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla, beating until well blended. Spread evenly over the cranberry sauce.

Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted 1-1/2 inches from the edge comes out clean. Turn the oven off; prop the door open. Let cheesecake stand in the oven for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Loosen sides of pan; remove cheesecake to a serving plate. Decorate with sugared cranberries, kiwi slices, and mint leaves, if desired.

NOTE: To make sugared cranberries: In a small bowl place a small amount of white corn syrup. Add fresh cranberries, a few at a time, turning to coat; then place in a bowl of granulated sugar. Using a fork, remove cranberries from sugar and place on a plate until ready to use.

Yield: 10 servings

CANDY APPLE PIE

For the Crust

1 1/2-cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3-cup butter (melted)
3/4-cup caramel ice cream topping
1 cup chopped pecans

For the Apple Filling
5 granny smith apples (remove peel and core and slice very thin)
5 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

For the Cream Cheese Topping
8 oz. package of cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

For the Topping
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup caramel topping
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Make the Crust
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium size bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Mix well and press into a 10-inc pie plate, and up the sides. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until golden in color. Remove pie shell from oven and cool completely. Pour caramel into pie shell and sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped pecans. Refrigerate pie shell while making apple filling.

Make the Apple Filling
In a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir with a wooden spoon. Add apples and stir. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes until apples are softened and tender. Let cool for 10 minutes and pour into pie shell. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.

Make the Cream Cheese Topping
In a medium bowl, using a hand held mixer on low speed, combine cream cheese and sugar for about 1 minute until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla and beat from 1 more minutes until bully blended. Pour over apple filling in pie shell. Bake for 30 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Let stand outside the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

Make the Topping
Top with whipped cream, caramel and pecans and swirl with a knife. Slice and serve.

Source: Mimi Hodge winner of The Pie of Emeril's Eye

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SOUPS ON!

MINESTRONE

1⁄2 Cup dried kidney beans (or 15 oz. can)
1⁄2 Cup dried white beans (or 15 oz. can cannellini beans)
5 slices bacon (+ olive oil, if necessary)
1 medium onion, diced
1⁄4 small head of cabbage, shredded
2 medium carrots, diced
1 clove garlic
3 small yellow squash or zucchini, sliced
1 1⁄2 Cups brown stock
1⁄2 tsp. parsley flakes
1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. basil
1⁄4 tsp. thyme
1⁄4 tsp. oregano
1⁄2 Cup green beans, cut in bite-sized pieces
1⁄2 Cup macaroni noodles, uncooked
1 14 1⁄2 oz. can tomatoes, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
8 leaves Swiss chard
Parmesan cheese, grated, for topping

If you are using dried beans, soak the beans, separately, overnight and cook until tender. Drain and rinse the kidney beans. Puree the white beans. Set the beans aside.

Chop the bacon into small pieces and fry gently to release the fat and crisp it up. Remove the bacon from the pan and set on paper toweling, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.

Fry the onion in the bacon drippings, adding olive oil if necessary.

When the onion is tender, add the cabbage, carrots, celery, garlic, and squash. Fry gently for 20 minutes until the vegetables are softened, then add all the other ingredients except the chard and kidney beans.

Simmer for another 20 minutes, then add the kidney beans and chard. Adjust the seasoning.

This soup can be left to develop flavors overnight in the fridge or served immediately. To serve, spoon into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bacon bits.

Serves: 8-10

POTATO SOUP

4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium white onion, diced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely diced
1 16 oz. can chicken stock
1 Cup water
2 Cups milk
1 Cup diced ham
1 tsp. dill weed

Place the vegetables into a deep saucepan and add the stock and water. Simmer until the potatoes are soft—about 30 minutes.

Puree the vegetables in a blender or food processor, then add the milk, ham and dill weed.

Reheat gently on low but do not boil. Add more milk if the soup is a little thick.

Serves: 6-8.

RIBOLLITA

5 c. chicken stock
1 lb. chicken breasts, skinned
2 bay leaves
1 T. olive oil (divided use), plus more for garnish
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 c. cabbage, chopped
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried rosemary
2 14 1/2-oz. cans chopped tomatoes, undrained
1/4 t. pepper
1 package frozen chopped spinach
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
8 slices stale French or Italian bread
1 c. grated parmesan cheese (divided use), plus more for garnish

In a large saucepan, bring chicken stock, chicken breasts and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken and discard bay leaves. Dice meat and set aside. Keep stock warm.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of oil over medium heat; cook chopped onion, garlic, celery and diced carrots for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining oil, diced green pepper, chopped cabbage, thyme and rosemary. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Add vegetables to stock in saucepan along with tomatoes and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add spinach, parsley, zucchini, white beans and reserved diced chicken. Cook for 5 minutes to heat through. Remove 1 cup of soup and set aside.

Ladle half of the remaining soup into a large Dutch oven or casserole; cover with 4 of the bread slices and ½ cup of the cheese. Cover with remaining soup; layer with remaining bread. Drizzle reserved soup over top; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake covered in a 350° oven for 20 minutes; uncover and bake for another 20 minutes. Ladle into deep bowls. Garnish with drizzle of olive oil; sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.

Serves 8.

Per serving: 535 calories; 36 grams protein; 10 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 75 grams carbohydrate; 11 grams fiber; 45 milligrams cholesterol; 1,071 milligrams sodium

STUFFED GREEN PEPPER SOUP

2 lb. ground round
1/2 medium onion, chopped
6 cups water
8 low sodium beef bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 - 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups cooked rice
3 green, yellow or sweet red peppers seeded and chopped

In a soup kettle, cook the beef until brown and the onion is tender. Drain. Add the water, bouillon, pepper, paprika, tomatoes and rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for one hour. Then add peppers and cook uncovered 10-15 minutes until peppers are tender.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND ROASTED GARLIC BISQUE

2 heads garlic, halved crosswise
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 stick butter
3 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 bags frozen cubed butternut squash (or fresh - 3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
6 cups canned chicken broth
3 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

Roast the garlic. Preheat oven to 350. Rub cut surfaces of garlic with oil, put heads back together and wrap tightly in foil. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool in foil.

Melt butter in large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery, you can chop these messily because this soup gets pureed. Saute until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add broth, squash, and 2 Tbsp sage. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered until squash is tender (approx. 25 minutes). 

While the soup is simmering, unwrap the garlic. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins and into a small bowl. Discard skins. Mash garlic with a fork until smooth.

Stir garlic into soup. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to pot. (If you want to make this a day ahead, stop here and refrigerate. Next day, heat and follow next instructions.) Stir 1/2 cup cream into soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining cream into individual servings of soup in bowls and top with remaining sage if desired.

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If you enjoy this newsletter, help That's My Home grow by forwarding it to your friends. Sign up to receive our newsletter at That's My Home.

I got an email the other day from Christine, I hope you can help. Here's what she had to say. Several years ago I had recipes for a number of holiday cookies (or at least that's when I used them)...These were, what I considered to be, bakery type recipes.

We had a fire not long after the last time I made them...not too much lost (thank GOD!) but I have not seen the recipes since.

The one I have am having the most difficulty locating is a "Potato Chip" like cookie. It does NOT have potato chips in it. If I could remember it's real name I'm sure I could find it. It's more like a butter cookie, very thin. When removed from the over the cookies are placed on a rolling pin or cup in order to get that potato chip shape. Once they have cooled the cookies are dipped along the rim into melted chocolate. They are VERY fragile, but were very good.

Have you ever heard of anything like this? I am about to give up and I KNOW I didn't dream this cookie up!

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BREADS AND MUFFINS

PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS

Filling
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar

S
treusel Topping
4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped pecans

Muffins
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
1/3 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 18 muffin cups, or use paper liners.

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth, then set aside.

For the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.

For the muffin batter: In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, oil and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.

Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 1/2 full. Then add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter. Try to keep cream cheese from touching the paper cup. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.

Bake at 375 degrees F (195 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 18 muffins

REFRIGERATOR ROLLS

1 pkg. or 1 cake yeast
1 1⁄2 Cups lukewarm water
1⁄2 Cup evaporated milk
1⁄4 Cup sugar
8 Cups plain flour, sifted and divided
1 tsp. salt
3 TB shortening
1 large egg

Soften yeast in a small amount of the lukewarm water. Add yeast and remaining water to evaporated milk. Stir in the sugar.

In a roomy bowl, sift 3 Cups flour and salt together. Cut in the shortening until blended to a pebbly consistency.

Beat egg slightly and add to yeast/milk/sugar mixture. Add this to flour mixture and beat well.

Add the remaining 5 Cups of flour, 1 Cup at a time, to make a soft dough. You may not need the full 5 Cups to get the right consistency—you don’t want the dough too hard or dry. Knead by hand on a well-floured board for about 10 minutes. Put into a large greased bowl.

Cover and place in the refrigerator and use within 8 hours. When wanted, shape the dough into rolls and let stand in a warm room for 1 hour before baking.

If you want to use the dough right away, keep at room temperature, shape into rolls, and let rise for 1 hour before baking. We brushed the rolls with a beaten egg for a glossy finish. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 20 minutes.

Yield: about 4 dozen rolls

SOUR CREAM CHERRY COFFEE CAKE

1/2 c Unsalted butter
1 c Granulated sugar
2 lg Eggs
1 c Fat-free sour cream
2 c All-purpose flour
1 ts Baking powder
1 ts Baking soda
1/4 ts Salt
1 ts Pure vanilla extract
1 tb Lemon zest; finely chopped
1/2 c Cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch-square cake pans. In a large mixer bowl, beat butter with sugar until well combined. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add sour cream and mix thoroughly.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Batter will be stiff. Stir in the vanilla, zest, and cherry preserves. Spread batter in pans.

Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 2 cakes.

CLOVERLEAF DINNER ROLLS

1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons butter
3/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Nonfat dry milk 

In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the milk, 1/4 cup of the butter, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm before proceeding.

In a large mixing bowl dissolve the yeast and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in 1/4 cup of warm water (110 degrees F). Add the eggs and stir to combine. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Using a wooden spoon, add the flour 1 cup at a time. The dough will be quite stiff and somewhat sticky. If the dough gets too stiff to stir with a spoon, use your hands to mix.

Lightly grease the inside of a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the remaining butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat. Lightly grease a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap with the remaining teaspoon of butter and use it to cover the bowl. Set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, at least 2 hours.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup of butter and transfer to a small bowl to cool. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/2-inch. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 36 equal pieces. Tuck the cut edges of each piece under so as to form a smooth round ball of dough. Place 3 balls of dough side by side into each well of a muffin tin. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of each roll with some of the melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake the dinner rolls in the center of the oven until golden brown and puffed, about 18 to 20 minutes. Be sure to serve the rolls while they are still warm.

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COOKIES and COOKIE BARS

GINGER SPICE COOKIES

1-inch knob peeled fresh ginger or 2 tablespoons
prepared ginger juice
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly and finely ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature cut into pieces
1 cup superfine sugar
2/3 cup molasses, preferably sorghum

Icing:
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons egg white powder
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Food coloring, sprinkles, candies, or colored sugars as desired

Puree the ginger in a mini food processor with 2 tablespoons water. Squeeze and strain juice through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. Discard the ginger pulp. Reserve the juice.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and spices into a medium bowl, then whisk in the pepper; set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the molasses and ginger juice and beat until evenly incorporated, about 2 minutes. (Stir together with a spatula if needed.) Gradually blend the dry ingredients on low speed into the butter mixture until you have a crumbly mixture. Bring the dough together by hand pressing and kneading lightly until moist, but not tacky. Divide into 2 equal portions, press into disks about 1/2-inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Position racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Dust the dough and a work surface with flour. Roll the dough about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies into desired shapes. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are a rich tawny brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.

For decorating: Whisk the water and egg white powder in a medium bowl until foamy and smooth. Gradually whisk in the confectioners' sugar to make a smooth icing. For multiple colors divide the icing into batches and add a food coloring as desired. Spread or pipe the icing onto the cookies. Finish with sprinkles, or candies. Let rest on a rack until the icing sets, about 30 minutes.

Cook's Notes
For a chewier cookie, roll them 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick and bake for 16 to 20 minutes.

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies, depending upon shape

Source: Paula Deen

PUMPKIN PIE SQUARES

3/4 cup self-rising flour
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 16-ounce can pumpkin
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 3-ounce package butterscotch pudding mix
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with non-stick vegetable spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, oats, pumpkin, walnuts, condensed milk, butter, eggs and butterscotch pudding mix; beat until well blended. Pour the batter into prepared baking pan; smooth the top.

In a small bowl, combine coconut and butter, mixing until blended. Spread evenly over the top of the batter.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Yield: 2 dozen

CARAMEL APPLE BARS

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped peeled tart apples (3 medium)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 bag (14 ounces) caramels

Heat oven to 400ºF.

Mix brown sugar, butter and shortening in large bowl. Stir in 1 3/4 cups flour, the oats, salt and baking soda. Reserve 2 cups oat mixture; press remaining oat mixture in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.

Toss apples and 3 tablespoons flour; spread over mixture in pan. Heat caramels over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted; pour evenly over apples. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture; press lightly.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender.

For 36 bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows while warm. Store covered in refrigerator.

AMARETTO BARS

1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons amaretto
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with non-stick vegetable spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into prepared baking pan.

Bake for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and amaretto, stirring until smooth; stir in condensed milk. Pour over baked crust. Top with chocolate morsels, coconut, and almonds; press down firmly.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.

Yield: 2 dozen

ALMOND SLICES

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups self-rising flour
Ice water
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
Almond Filling (below)

Grease a 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with waxed paper. Spray with non-stick vegetable spray.

In a small bowl, cut butter into flour. Add ice water until mixture holds together in a ball. On a lightly floured board, roll dough to fit prepared jelly-roll pan. Carefully place in pan. Spread raspberry preserves over the pastry.

Almond Filling
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form; gradually beat in sugar until stiff. Fold in almond extract and ground almonds. Carefully spread over the pastry. Sprinkle with chopped almonds.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until delicately browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen

CHOCOLATE-PRALINE MUD SQUARES

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 12-ounce jar caramel-flavored topping
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup butter or margarine
4 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Frosting (below)
Confectioners’ sugar
Pecan halves
Candied cherries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x9-inch baking pan with non-stick vegetable spray.

In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter; stir to mix well. Press onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until firm. Cool slightly.

In a small bowl, combine caramel topping and flour, stirring well to blend. Spread over the crust to within 1/4-inch from the edge of the pan. Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, combine butter and chocolate; cook over low heat until melted. Stir in sugar, flour, eggs, and vanilla; pour over caramel mixture.

Bake for 50 minutes. Cool slightly; spread with Chocolate Frosting. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Decorate with pecan halves and candied cherries.

Chocolate Frosting
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons water
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, combine butter, cocoa powder, and water; cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.

Yield: 16 squares

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KITCHEN TIPS - MAKING SOLUTIONS

The following chart lists several common gravy problems and ways to eliminate them so the grand feast will be complete.

Gravy Problems Gravy Solutions
Gravy is lumpy With a whisk rotary beater, beat the gravy until smooth. If all other attempts fail, use a food processor, strainer or blender. Reheat, stirring constantly. Serve.
Gravy is too salty If the over salting is slight:

A. Add several raw potato slices and cook until the potato slices are translucent. Remove and discard the potato prior to serving.

B. Add a few pinches of light brown sugar. DON'T ADD TOO MUCH or your gravy will turn sweet.

If the over salting is severe, the gravy must be repaired by increasing the quantity. Prepare another batch of gravy, omitting all salt. Blend the two batches together.
Gravy is too light in color Add 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee or Kitchen Bouquet.
Gravy is not thick If time permits, allow the gravy to continue to simmer on the stovetop. If time does not allow, mix the following thickening agents as indicated:

A. Cornstarch - Blend 1 teaspoon per cup of liquid in cold water. Stir until dissolved then mix into gravy. Continue to cook and stir to eliminate the cornstarch flavor.
B. Make a thin paste of flour and cold water, stir into gravy and continue to cook to eliminate the raw flour flavor.
C. Arrowroot - Blend 1 tablespoon per cup liquid in cold water. Stir until dissolved, then mix into gravy. Can be served as soon as the gravy thickens due to arrowroot's lack of taste.

NOTE: Mixing starch with cold water before adding it to a hot mixture prevents lumping.
Gravy is too thick Slowly whisk in more broth until the desired thickness is achieved.
Gravy is  greasy/fatty For an immediate fix, the fat can be skimmed off the top or soaked up with a fresh bread slice. If more time allows, chill the gravy, skim off the fat and reheat the gravy until it bubbles.

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CASSEROLE RECIPES

CHICKEN AND DUMPLING CASSEROLE

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cup chicken broth
1 10 ounce package green peas, frozen
4 cup chicken, cooked and cubed
2 cup prepackaged buttermilk biscuit mix
2 teaspoons dried basil
2/3 cup milk

In a large saucepan, saute onion, celery and garlic in butter until tender. Add flour, sugar, salt, basil, pepper and broth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for one minute; reduce heat. Add peas and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in cubed chicken. Pour into a greased 13 inch by 9 inch by 2 inch baking dish.

Dumplings:
Combine biscuit mix and basil in a bowl. Stir in milk with a fork until moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto casserole. Bake uncovered at 350F for 30 minutes. Cover and bake 10 minutes more or until dumplings are done.

CREAMY SPINACH AND BEEF LAYERED CASSEROLE

8 oz (4 cups) uncooked mini lasagna noodles or medium egg noodles
1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup garlic, minced
1 cup (10 oz.) cream mushroom soup
1 (4 oz.) can mushroom pcs. and stems
1 lb green giant frozen cut leaf spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain.
1 (24 oz.) container or 3 cups cottage cheese
3 eggs
1 pk (8 oz.) soft cream cheese with chives
1 cup (2.8 oz.) french fried onions

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Cook noodles to desired doneness as directed, drain.

In medium skillet, cook, ground beef, onions, and garlic. over medium-high heat until beef is browned; drain if needed. Add soup and mushrooms; mix well.

In large bowl, combine spinach, 2 cups cottage cheese, cream cheese and 2 eggs; mix well.

In another large bowl, combine cooked noodles remaining 1 cup cottage cheese and remaining egg, toss gently.

In greased dish layer half of the noodle mixture, spinach and beef mixture, repeat layering. Cover with foil.

Bake 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle fried onions over top. Return to oven cook additional 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

CREAMY POTATO PORK CHOP BAKE

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 pork chops
1 10.5 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 24 ounce package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups canned French fried onions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add pork chops and saute until browned. Remove from skillet and drain on paper toweling. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl mix together soup, milk, sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in potatoes, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 cup onions. Mix together and spread mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Arrange pork chops over potato mixture.

Cover dish and bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until internal temperature of pork has reached 160F/70C. Remove cover; top with remaining cheese and onions and bake uncovered for 5 more minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

CRAB DELUXE CASSEROLE

4 oz. small macaroni shells or bows (1 1/4 c.)
1 1/4 c. crab meat (6 1/2 oz. can)
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
Liquid drained from crab meat plus milk to make 2/3 cup liquid
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. blanched almonds, slivered
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 tbsp. melted butter or margarine

Add 2 tsp. salt and macaroni to 3 cups boiling water. Boil rapidly, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.

Drain liquid from crab meat into measuring cup. There will be about 1/4 cup. Remove cartilage from crab and cut with scissors into bite size pieces.

Empty soup into large bowl and stir until smooth. Blend in crab meat liquid and milk. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Fold in almonds, egg, parsley and crab meat.

Drain and rinse macaroni with warm water and turn into greased casserole. Pour soup and crab meat mixture over macaroni. Mix lightly.

Blend crumbs with butter or margarine. Sprinkle cheese and crumbs over top.

Bake at 375 until mixture is bubbly and crumbs are lightly browned, about 30 min.

Serves 4.

APRICOT BLEU CHEESE STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS

4 ounces dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
2 boneless chicken breasts, halved
8 slices bacon

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix apricots, parsley, garlic and cheese in a small bowl. Loosen the skin of chicken breasts and stuff cheese mixture underneath. Press the skin down.

Wrap each breast half with 2 slices of bacon. Place breasts in a greased baking dish.

Bake about 40 minutes or until done.

KIELBASA PIEROGIE CASSEROLE

2 (14-ounce) cans sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
1 pound kielbasa, any brand, cut into serving-size chunks
2 cans water or enough to cover meat, see note
12 frozen pierogies, any brand
1 onion, cut in rings or half rings
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

In a large frying pan, add all ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer till heated through. (Don't overcook or the pierogies will turn to mush.) Dish out with a slotted spoon. Serve with mustard and crusty buns or rolls.

Note: A can of beer can take the place of an equal quantity of water. Use just enough liquid to barely surround the kielbasa; the pierogies will steam in very little liquid.

CHICKEN ALFREDO CASSEROLE

6 ounces fettuccine or medium noodles, cooked and drained
10 ounce package frozen broccoli cuts
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 1/4 cups milk
2 1/4 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, for sauce
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, for top

Cook pasta according to package directions: drain and set aside. Run water over broccoli to thaw. Sauce: In large saucepan, melt butter or margarine. Stir in flour, basil, salt, and pepper. Add milk all at once. cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Cook and stir one minute more. Remove from heat; Stir in chicken, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and well drained broccoli. Add pasta and toss to coat. Place chicken mixture in greased 7 x 12 x 2 inch baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes more or until heated through.

CORDON BLEU CASSEROLE

4 cups cubed cooked chicken
3 cups cubed fully cooked ham
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 cups light cream
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Topping:
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, combine chicken, ham and cheese; set aside.

In a saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Add flour; stir to form a paste. Gradually add cream, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil; boil 1 minute or until thick. Add dill, mustard and nutmeg; mix well. Remove from the heat and pour over meat mixture.

Spoon into a greased 13 X 9 X 2 baking dish. Toss bread crumbs, butter and dill; stir in cheese. Sprinkle over the casserole.

Bake uncovered, at 350F for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Serves 8 to 10.

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RESTAURANT RECIPESS

CALDITO DE POLLO

1 gallon water
1 whole chicken breast with rib cage and skin on (rinse with water)
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 onion, peeled
1/2 head garlic
1-2 medium tomatoes, to taste
1/2 green bell pepper
1-2 celery ribs, chopped, plus leaves (divided use)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 onion
1 large potato, cut in eighths
2-3 carrots, chopped
Cooked rice (white or Spanish)
Homemade corn tortillas, for serving

Garnish: Your choice of fresh avocado, cilantro, diced serrano peppers and lime.

In saucepan, bring water to boil, add chicken breast, salt, 1/2 onion and garlic. It will take 25 minutes for the breast to cook; during that time, remove frequently all gray foam that forms as water continues to boil.

After meat has cooked, remove it and let it cool. As soon as temperature allows, remove meat from bones; discard skin and bones. Cut chicken into cubes.

In the meantime, strain the broth two to three times to capture all gray residue and remove any grease from the top. Once you have a clear broth, you are ready to add the vegetables.

Liquefy the tomatoes, bell pepper, celery leaves, tomato paste and 1/4 onion in blender or food processor. Add to boiling broth. Add celery ribs, potato and carrots. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cook until potatoes are done.

Place rice and meat in bowls. Add broth. Accompany with fresh homemade corn tortillas.

For Garnish: Top with your choice of fresh avocado, cilantro, diced serrano peppers and lime.

To make Caldito Tlalpeño: Strain the broth. Liquify canned chipotle peppers (about 1 per serving or to taste) and stir into broth a few minutes before serving.

Makes 8 bowls

Source: Blanca Aldaco: Aldaco's, San Antonio, TX.

CASARITA'S PESCADO DEL RIO

Marinade:
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 (8-ounce) salmon fillets, with skin
1 poblano chile, steamed, peeled and cut into thin strips

Caper Butter Sauce
1 pound salted butter, cut into small pieces, divided use
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups diced onion
2 serrano peppers, finely diced (or to taste)
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
4 tablespoons capers

For Marinade: Combine oil, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Place salmon fillets in flat glass dish and pour marinade over top. Make sure all surfaces of salmon are coated with marinade; cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Reserve chile for garnish.

To prepare salmon: Place salmon on grill; cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until fish is just cooked through. (The length of time will depend on the thickness of the fillets — the center will be opaque when cooked through. If you prefer the fish more rare, remove from the grill while the center is still somewhat translucent.) Set aside on a warm platter.

For Caper Butter Sauce: Meanwhile, in saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderate heat, add the tomatoes, onion, serranos and cilantro leaves and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. Lower the heat and gradually add the remaining butter, whisking it in until it has melted and the sauce has thickened slightly. Place salmon fillets on four warm plates, pour the sauce over the salmon, and lay two poblano strips in a cross over top and sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon capers. Serve if desired, as the restaurant does, with white rice and borracho beans.

Makes 4 servings.

San Antonio, TX.

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SIDE DISH RECIPES

TWICE BAKED POTATOES

12 large Idaho potatoes
2 green onions, tops and all, cut fine with scissors
1 to 11/2 cups scalded milk (more if necessary)
1/2 pound sliced Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 (2-ounce) jar drained and chopped pimiento

Preheat oven to 425 F. Scrub, grease and bake potatoes until done, about 1 hour for large potatoes, less time for smaller ones. To save time, put the green onions and the milk in the blender or food processor; give them a whirl for just a second or two at high speed.

Scald milk and add cheese. Stir until all the cheese has melted. Cut a lengthwise slit in each potato; scoop out all the potato pulp with a spoon, leaving shells intact. Mash potato pulp, using electric mixer. When it is smooth, gradually add milk mixture, butter and seasonings, being careful not to add too much milk.

Add egg and whip until fluffy. Fold in pimientos. Fill potato shells with mixture, using a pastry tube. (This really isn't necessary, but they are more attractive that way.)

Put any potatoes you're going to serve the same day into the refrigerator until half an hour before serving. Preheat oven to 350 F and bake potatoes for 30 to 40 minutes. These don't need to be wrapped in foil, and the tops will be just delicately browned.

Makes 12 servings.

To freeze: Set the filled shells on a cookie sheet or platter, and freeze. Wrap individually in foil and return to the freezer. It's a good idea to put all the foil-wrapped potatoes in a large plastic bag so that you won't lose them in the dark corners of your freezer.

To defrost: You don't have to defrost. But you can place the potatoes in the refrigerator to thaw and shorten their cooking time.

To cook: Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake 1 1/4 hours. Remove foil, arrange potatoes on a serving platter and garnish each one with a sprig of parsley.

Per serving: Cal 377 (38% fat) Fat 16 g (10 g sat) Fiber 5 g Chol 64 mg Sodium 626 mg Carbs 48 g Calcium 192 mg

Source: "The Freezer Cookbook"

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PECAN GRATIN

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
3/4 cup pecans
3 pounds butternut squash
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces fresh, mild goat cheese
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 2-quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon butter and set aside. Spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast in oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until fragrant and deepened in color. Set aside to cool, then chop coarsely.

To make a whole squash easier to cut, pierce in several places with a paring knife. Microwave at 100 percent power 2 minutes, then rotate and repeat. Remove from the oven and set aside 5 minutes. Cut the ends off of the squash, then cut into large chunks. Seed, peel and slice 1/4-inch thick.

Heat remaining tablespoon butter with 2 teaspoons oil in deep, 12-inch saute pan or Dutch oven on medium heat. When sizzling, add onion and saute 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add cream, milk, salt and pepper; bring to simmer. Add squash and simmer gently 5 minutes. Stir in pecans.

Transfer half of squash mixture to prepared pan and dot with half the goat cheese. Spoon remaining squash mixture on top and dot with remaining cheese. Place on sturdy baking sheet and bake 45 minutes or until squash is very tender and cream is almost absorbed. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

APPLE AND SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

4 apples, sliced
1/3 cup of pecans
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
6 sweet potatoes
1/4 cup of butter
2 cups of miniature marshmallows

Toss apples, nuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

Partly cook sweet potatoes; slice and layer with the apple mix.

Pour butter and marshmallows over top.

Cover with foil and bake at 350ºF. for 30-40 minutes.

MEXICAN CORN STUFFING CASSEROLE
Perfect with chicken or turkey but also goes great with beef or pork.

5 cups crumbled corn bread
1 can (15-oz.) creamed corn
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1 can (4-oz.) Diced Green Chiles
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2-quart baking dish.

Bake cornbread crumbs on baking sheet, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Combine corn, onion, bell pepper, chiles, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, egg, cilantro and hot pepper sauce in large bowl. Add cornbread; toss to evenly mix. Do not overmix. Transfer to prepared baking dish; cover.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes; uncover. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown.

Servings: 8

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