recipes, food and cooking

October 2008

Hello Everyone,

Fall is coming even though we are still having 80° days. Our nights are dropping into the 50's and in our house so I got my soup pot out. I love making soups and breads! Nothing is better to me on a cool evening. I'll be sending out a special Halloween newsletter later this month.

     Mary Ellen        

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RECIPES FOR OCTOBER - SOUP AND SANDWICHES

BEEF, WILD RICE AND MUSHROOM SOUP 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or nonstick cooking spray
1 pound stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups water
1 6-ounce package long grain and wild rice mix
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
2 12-ounce cans evaporated skim milk
1 tablespoon sherry (optional)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the hot pot. Sear on one side without stirring, about 2 minutes. Stir or turn beef pieces with tongs and sear on other side 2 minutes. Add flour, stir and cook 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the water, stirring well to dissolve the flour. Add remaining 2 cups water, rice mix with its seasoning packet and sliced mushrooms. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, until rice is tender.

Stir in evaporated milk and continue cooking on low until heated through; do not boil. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and pepper. Stir in sherry, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

CHICKEN CACCIATORE SOUP

1 cup dry pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound chicken tenderloin filets, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1 26-ounce jar spaghetti sauce with diced tomatoes, olive oil and garlic
2 14-ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with oregano, basil and garlic
1 medium yellow squash, washed and sliced
1 medium zucchini, washed and sliced

Heat the oil in a large saute pan or Dutch oven. Add the chicken and Italian seasonings and saute until the chicken is almost cooked. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, until squash is tender. Add the cooked pasta and heat through.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 347 calories, 25 grams protein, 44 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 8.8 grams fat, 1.8 grams saturated fat, 46 milligrams cholesterol and 1,103 grams sodium

SHORTCUT GREEK LEMON RICE SOUP

6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 8.8-ounce package cooked "ready rice" or 2 cups cooked white rice
1 7-ounce package 98 percent fat free premium chunk white chicken
3 eggs
Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2.0 cup)
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Combine the chicken broth, rice and chicken in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Combine the eggs and lemon juice in a medium bowl and beat together well. Whisk into the simmering soup and cook for 5 minutes more. Serve immediately, garnishing each bowl with a bit of chopped parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 319 calories, 10 grams fat, 3 grams saturated, 184 milligrams cholesterol, 27 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fiber, 1,584 milligrams sodium.

CHERRY TOMATO AND GARLIC BREAD SOUP

8 ounces sourdough bread, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 10 to 12 slices)
Olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced garlic cloves, plus 1 whole clove
4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
2½ quarts chicken stock
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 pints cherry, grape and currant tomatoes, halved
1/4 pound grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, plus thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Heat the oven to 350.

Brush the slices of bread with olive oil on both sides, then arrange the slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven, flipping the slices halfway through, until golden brown on both sides, about 15 to 20 minutes. Maintain the oven temperature.

Cut the 1 whole clove of garlic in half. Rub the cut sides of the garlic halves over the toasted bread slices. Set the bread aside.

While the bread toasts, in a large skillet over medium, heat ¼ cup of olive oil. Add the onions and saute until slightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the ½ cup of sliced garlic and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Season the chicken stock with salt and pepper.

Lightly coat a 2½-quart baking dish with olive oil. Layer half of the bread slices over the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon half of the onion mixture over the bread, then top with half of the tomatoes, a third of the grated Parmesan cheese and the chopped basil.

Layer the remaining toast over the onions and tomatoes, then top with the remaining onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle half of the remaining cheese over the dish.

Add 3 cups of the stock and wait 5 minutes for the bread to absorb it. Add another cup of stock and wait another few minutes. Continue adding stock (up to 6 cups total) until the liquid comes to within ¼ inch of the top of the dish. Reserve remaining stock.

Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the ingredients, then cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove the foil, increase heat to 400 and bake until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Once cooled, cut into 8 servings and arrange each in a shallow serving bowl.

Heat the reserved chicken stock, then ladle some around (not over) each serving. Garnish with basil and parsley.

Serves 8.

Source: Adapted from Amy Goldman's "The Heirloom Tomato," Bloomsbury, 2008

CHICKEN TURNOVERS

1½ cups cooked, diced chicken breast meat
4 ounces (½ of an 8-ounce package) reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup cooked, diced fresh asparagus
¼ cup crumbled real bacon bits
½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 8-ounce tube reduced-fat crescent roll dough

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine chicken, cream cheese, asparagus, bacon bits and cheese in a bowl. Season to taste with the salt and pepper and set aside.

Open the tube of roll dough and separate into four squares and press the perforations together.

Spoon about ½ cup of the chicken mixture in the center of one of the squares of dough, pull in the four corners and twist to create a "turnover." Press the seams to seal tightly. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Makes 4 turnovers.

Nutritional information per serving: 408 calories, 15 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 27 grams carbohydrates, 35.5 grams protein, 79 milligrams cholesterol, 2,305 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

REUBEN-STUFFED RYE

1 1-pound loaf unsliced rye bread
1 8-ounce bottle Thousand Island dressing
3/4-pound corned beef, chopped
1 pound sauerkraut, drained well
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Swiss cheese
Additional Thousand Island dressing, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the top 1/3 off the rye loaf. Remove all but 1-inch of the bread from the bottom and top of the loaf. Discard or reserve for another use. Spread 1/4 cup dressing on the bottom and up the sides of the hollowed-out loaf.

Spread 1/2 of the corned beef over the bottom of the bread. Top with half of the sauerkraut. Spread 1/4 cup Thousand Island dressing over the sauerkraut and sprinkle with 1/2 the Swiss cheese. Repeat layers, making sure to spread them all the way to the outer edge of the bread, packing tightly. Spread 2 tablespoons of the dressing inside the bread top and place bread top in its original position.

Wrap the stuffed bread tightly in aluminum foil, place on a cookie sheet and bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven, unwrap and allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with additional Thousand Island dressing, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

CHICKEN SPANAKOPITA PACKETS

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 green onions, chopped
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess liquid
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill weed
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint leaves
4 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
1 sheet puff pastry from one 16-ounce package frozen puff pastry sheets, defrosted according to package directions
1 egg, beaten
1 package Hollandaise Sauce Mix, prepared according to package directions using skim milk and 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and saute until chicken is golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the green onions and the spinach and saute 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and add the fresh parsley, dill weed and mint. Let cool a few minutes and fold in the crumbled feta cheese.

Place the defrosted puff pastry sheet on a flat surface. Use a rolling pin to smooth out the seams and roll into a 14-inch square. Cut into four squares. Place 1/4 of the chicken and spinach mixture on one corner of a pastry square 1/2-inch from the edge. Brush edge with beaten egg and fold other half of pastry over the top creating a triangle. Use the tines of a fork to make a decorative edge around the outside of the pastry and to seal it closed. Repeat with remaining pastry squares and filling.

Place the filled pastry rectangles on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet, brush tops of pastry with remaining beaten egg and bake 30 to 35 minutes, until pastry is puffed and golden and filling is hot. Place pastries on dinner plates and top drizzle with the Hollandaise sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 618 calories, 25.1 grams protein, 32.3 grams carbohydrates, 2.7 gram fiber, 41.1 gram fat, 17.4 gram saturated fat, 151 milligrams cholesterol, 1141 milligrams sodium.

ASIAN LETTUCE ROLLS

2 heads Boston lettuce
1 box Thai Kitchen Lemongrass and Ginger jasmine rice mix or 1 cup plain jasmine rice
Cooking oil spray
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon minced gingerroot
1 chopped hot red pepper, optional
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 pound sliced oriental mushrooms
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced
2 tablespoons reduced salt soy sauce
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
Plum sauce
Chopped fresh cilantro

Rinse and core lettuce, separating leaves, and allow to drain. Place leaves when drained on a serving platter.

Prepare the jasmine rice mix or plain rice according to package directions, being careful not to overcook the rice. Set aside, covered. When ready to serve, fluff rice and place in a serving bowl.

While rice is cooking, in a large skillet sprayed with oil, cook turkey and gingerroot (and hot pepper if used) over medium heat. Stir to crumble the meat and cook until no pink color remains. Stir in carrots, cabbage, mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Drain off liquid if necessary. Stir in the scallions, soy and hoisin sauces, mixing well.

Place meat mixture into large serving bowl. Place plum sauce and cilantro into small serving bowls.

Set all platters, bowls and hot sauce on table. Guests assemble their own lettuce rolls, using the above ingredients. Rice may be added to rolls or served on the side.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

SMOKED TURKEY BLUE CHEESE AND RED ONION SANDWICHES

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (8 to 10-ounce) red onions, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 cups trimmed arugula leaves, divided
3/4 cup mayonnaise
8 1/2 inch thick slices seeded wheat bread
12 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey
3/4 cup coarsely crumbled blue cheese

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft and lightly browned, breaking up onion rings, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chop enough arugula to measure 1 cup; place in medium bowl. Mix in mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper. Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons arugula mayonnaise over each cut side of bread. Divide turkey slices among 4 bread slices. Top with crumbled blue cheese, dividing equally. Top with red onions, then whole arugula leaves and bread.

BAY SCALLOP PO' BOY WITH SPICY MAYO 

1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
3/4 teaspoon paprika, divided
Hot sauce, to taste
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 pound bay scallops, patted dry
1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower
4 hot dog buns
4 lettuce leaves

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon paprika and hot sauce; season with salt and pepper. Set spicy mayo aside.

In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, flour and remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika; season with salt and pepper. Add scallops and toss to coat.

In a medium nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, fry scallops, tossing occasionally, until golden and cooked through, about 2 minutes to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer scallops to a paper-towel-lined plate; season with salt.

Dividing evenly, spread inside of buns with spicy mayo. Top with a lettuce leaf, then scallops. Serve po' boys immediately with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 438 calories; 24 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 49 percent calories from fat); 32 g carbohydrates; 43 mg cholesterol; 963 mg sodium; 24 g protein; 2 g fiber.

More Soup Recipes can be found at That's My Home

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PASTA, RICE AND POTATOES

FARMSTAND PASTA

Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound penne
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 pound small green beans, trimmed at stem ends
2 cups corn kernels (cut from 4 ears)
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite. Drain into a colander. Transfer to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and toss gently.

In a large deep skillet over medium low heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until the onion softens.

Add the tomatoes, green beans, and corn. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until the green beans are tender but still bright green and the tomatoes are beginning to burst.

Add the pasta to the skillet and toss well.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the basil, Parmesan, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper.

4 servings

PASTA A LA LO MEIN

1 pound linguine, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 carrots, sliced diagonally
2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons minced garlic
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
1 cup onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup sliced mushrooms
4 green onions, with tops, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 (6-ounce) package frozen snow pea pods, thawed and drained
about 12 ounces leftover smoked pork or purchased smoked pork chops
1 (¾-ounce) package fried rice seasoning
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
about ½ cup water

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet or wok. Add carrots and celery. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes.

Add garlic, crushed red pepper, onion and green pepper. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes more.

Add mushrooms and green onions; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add snow peas and pork; heat through. Add noodles.

Combine fried rice seasoning and remaining ingredients. Add to lo mein mixture, and heat through. Serve immediately.

8 servings

PIZZA PASTA CASSEROLE

8 ounces dried spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
1 6-ounce package turkey pepperoni, divided
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1 26.5-ounce jar prepared spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

Set aside 15 slices of the pepperoni, and chop the remaining pepperoni coarsely. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, Italian seasonings and pepperoni and saute until pepperoni begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in spaghetti sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir cooked spaghetti into the sauce and pour all into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and place the remaining pepperoni over the top. Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 462 calories, 24.4 grams protein, 54.8 grams carbohydrates, 3.1 grams fiber, 16.8 grams fat, 6.1 grams saturated fat, 46 milligrams cholesterol, 1488 milligrams sodium.

TWICE-BAKED POTATO CASSEROLE

4 cups prepared mashed potatoes*
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
dash Cayenne pepper, optional
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare potatoes according to package directions and place in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the green onions and saute until wilted. Pour over the potatoes. Add the garlic salt, paprika, Cayenne, sour cream and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. Stir well to blend ingredients.

Taste for seasonings and add more garlic salt or cayenne accordingly. Pour into a baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and potatoes are heated through.

Makes 6 servings.

* Ore Ida frozen mashed potatoes, prepared according to package directions with skim milk, were used.

Nutritional information per serving
194 calories, 9.9 grams protein, 21.8 grams carbohydrates, 1.4 gram fiber, 8 grams fat, 4.9 grams saturated Fat, 28 mg cholesterol and 371 mg sodium.

Are you into Stamping and Scrapbooking?

I am an Independent Stampin Up! demonstrator.  If you are looking for Stampin Up! products I can help! Stampin' Up now has Online Ordering! Be sure to check out my Frequent Stamper Program.

I will be adding cute ways to package foods as gifts as we get closer to the holiday season. There are lots of Halloween projects there now.

WHAT'S FOR DINNER?

TURKEY TETRAZZINI

8 ounces vermicelli, broken into thirds
1 container (10 ounces) refrigerated Alfredo-style pasta sauce
1 can (10.75 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
3 cups shredded or chopped leftover cooked turkey
1 cup pre-shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup drained pre-sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives
2 tablespoons golden or dry sherry
1/4 cup pre-chopped pecans

Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt, if desired, and stir in vermicelli. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook vermicelli, uncovered, until al dente, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring once or twice. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain vermicelli well in a colander.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Transfer pasta to a large mixing bowl. Add Alfredo sauce, mushroom soup, reserved cooking water, turkey, Parmesan cheese, olives and sherry and stir until well combined. Scoop mixture into a 13-by-9 (3-quart) glass or ceramic baking dish. Scatter pecans over top.

Bake casserole in preheated oven until it is bubbling throughout, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove casserole from oven and serve at once or cover with aluminum foil. Serve within 30 minutes.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Note: If you do not have leftover turkey, you can buy 1 lb. at the deli in a chunk and cut it into cubes.

BASQUE CHICKEN

2 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
2 ounces low-fat ham ( 1/4 cup), cut into 1/4-inch strips
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
3/4 cup drained, canned roasted red peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
Several drops hot pepper sauce

Remove fat from chicken breasts and flatten to 1/2-inch thick with a meat bat or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet on medium high. Brown chicken 2 minutes, turn and brown another 2 minutes. Salt and pepper cooked sides, remove to a plate and cover with foil or another plate to keep warm.

Add onion, ham and tomatoes to skillet. Sauté 5 minutes. Add roasted peppers and hot pepper sauce to the skillet. Return chicken to skillet. Sauté 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve chicken over rice and spoon sauce on top.

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 434 calories, 66 grams protein, 12.3 grams carbohydrate, 14.2 grams fat, 3.9 grams saturated fat, 30 percent of calories as fat, no fiber, 174 milligrams cholesterol, 558 milligrams sodium.

PIEROGY LASAGNA

1 medium onion, chopped -- saute in butter and cool butter
4 medium potatoes -- peeled, boiled, mashed and cooled
36 oz. small curd cottage cheese
4 oz. Jack cheese -- shredded (reserve 2 oz.)
4 oz. mild or med. Cheddar cheese -- shredded (reserve 2 oz.)
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp sugar
12 oven ready lasagna noodles

Combine ingredients. Butter a 9 x 13 pan.

Place 4 noodles on bottom of pan.

Spoon on 1/2 of mixture, layer with 4 more noodles, add rest of mixture. Top with remaining noodles. Sprinkle with reserved cheese.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Serves 6

MEXI-BEEF CHILI MAC

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Mexican-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
3/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons Spicy Seasoning Mix (recipe follows)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Brown ground beef with bell pepper, onion and garlic in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is not pink, breaking beef up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings.

Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Spicy Seasoning Mix

3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container. Shake before using.

Makes 1/4 cup.

CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

2 cup medium egg noodles
1 package frozen broccoli
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp prepared mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups milk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup slivered almonds, buttered
Paprika

Cook noodles and broccoli as directed on packages (separately), drain.

Melt butter in saucepan and blend in flour, salt, mustard, pepper and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until melted.

Arrange noodles, broccoli and chicken in a casserole dish and pour cheese sauce over all. Sprinkle buttered almonds on top and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bubbling hot.

Serves 6

20-MINUTE CHICKEN PARMESAN

8 each Chicken breast halves
1 Egg
1/2 cup Bread crumbs
2 tbsp Butter
1 3/4 cup Spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Parsley

Remove the skin from chicken breasts. Slightly beat the eggs. Shred the mozzarella cheese. Grate the Parmesan cheese. Chop the parsley

Using palm of hand flatten chicken to even thickness. Dip chicken into egg then into crumbs to coat. In skillet over medium heat, in hot margarine, brown chicken on both sides. Add spaghetti sauce.

Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheeses and parsley.

Cover, simmer for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Serves 4-6

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COOKING LIGHT

CREAMY CHICKEN AND SPINACH LASAGNA

Spinach layer:
2 10-ounce packages frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
15 ounces fat-free cottage cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
dash nutmeg
dash cayenne

Chicken layer:
3 cups cooked, cubed chicken
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 10 3/4-ounce cans Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Other ingredients:
1 28-ounce or 2 14.5-ounce cans Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained
12 uncooked Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded, Italian-style 6-cheese blend or shredded part-skim Mozzarella

Combine spinach layer ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine chicken layer ingredients in another medium bowl and set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Spread 1/2 cup of the diced tomatoes (with juice) on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with 4 noodles. Layer 1/2 of the spinach mixture, 1/2 of the chicken mixture and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.

Top with 4 more noodles. Spread with 1/2 cup of the diced tomatoes, the remaining spinach, the remaining chicken and 1/2 cup of the cheese.

Top with 4 more noodles. Spread with the remaining diced tomatoes and juices. (Refrigerate the remaining cheese.) Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven, remove foil and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return to oven for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Makes 8-12 servings.

8 Servings

Calories: 489 Fat: 14 g Saturated Fat: 7 g Protein: 43 g Fiber: 3.5 g Carbohydrates: 47 g Sodium: 1,210 mg Cholesterol: 101 mg

WW VEGETABLE FRIED RICE

4 teaspoons peanut oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon ginger root - pared and minced
2 medium garlic cloves - minced
2 cups Chinese cabbage - coarsely chopped
1/2 cup carrot - julienned
1/2 cup red bell pepper - julienned
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice - cooked
1 packet vegetable broth - dissolved in
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/4 pound firm tofu - cubed
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen egg substitute - thawed
2 tablespoons scallion - sliced (green onion)

Heat peanut oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet or wok. Add onions, ginger root and garlic. Cook over high heat, stirring quickly and frequently, about 1 minute until onions are translucent.

Add cabbage, carrot and bell pepper. Cook, stirring quickly and frequently, about 5 minutes until cabbage softens.

Add rice, dissolved broth mix, soy sauce and sherry, and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil.

Add tofu and peas and cook about 2 minutes until thoroughly heated.

Drizzle egg substitute over vegetable-rice mixture, stirring well to combine. Cook until egg substitute is set. Sprinkle with scallion.

Servings: 4

Each Serving Provides: 1 Fat, 1 Protein, 2 Vegetables, 1 Bread, 10 optional calories Per Serving: 258 calories, 12 g protein, 7 g fat, 35 g carbohydrate, 131 mg calcium, 568 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g dietary fiber (does not include tofu).

TINGA POBLANO (SMOKY PORK STEW)

1 teaspoon corn oil
9 ounces boneless pork loin, cut into 1" cubes
1 3/4 ounces cooked chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4" slices
1 cup chopped onions
1 large garlic clove, crushed
15 ounces red potatoes, pared and cut into 1" dice
2 cups stewed tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon pureed canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 medium avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 ounces queso fresco, soft-textured pot cheese or soaked and drained feta cheese, crumbled

In large nonstick skillet, heat oil; add pork, sausage and chopped onions. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes, until pork and onions are lightly browned. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes longer. Add potatoes, tomatoes, broth, bay leaves, peppers, sugar, salt, thyme, oregano and marjoram to pork mixture; bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Stir dissolved cornstarch into pork mixture; simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, 5 minutes, until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove and discard bay leaves.

Serve each portion of stew with one fourth of the red onion, avocado and cheese.

Makes 4 servings

EACH SERVING PROVIDES: 3/4 Fat, 1 3/4 Vegetables, 2 1/2 Proteins, 3/4 Bread, 30 Optional Calories PER SERVING: 362 Calories, 15 g Total Fat, 5 g Saturated Fat, 55 mg Cholesterol, 927 mg Sodium, 37 g Total Carbohydrate, 6 g Dietary Fiber, 23 g Protein, 145 mg Calcium

Weight Watchers Slim Ways Mexican

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COOKIES

LEMON-GLAZED SHORTBREAD WEDGES

White rice flour results in an especially tender shortbread; cornstarch can be substituted with good results.

For the shortbread:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white rice flour* or cornstarch
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus additional for the pie plate
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For the glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

For the shortbread: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9- or 10-inch pie plate or a 9-inch tart pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and rice flour or cornstarch. Set aside.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest until lightened and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing until the dough becomes smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute.

Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top becomes a very pale golden. Glaze and cut the shortbread while it is warm.

For the glaze: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and zest until smooth. The glaze should be syrupy.

Pour the glaze over the warm shortbread when it comes out of the oven and, using the back of a spoon, spread it evenly. Use a sharp knife to cut the warm shortbread into 12 wedges. Cool the shortbread in the pan to room temperature. The shortbread can be stored between layers of wax paper in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

*NOTE: White rice flour is available at some supermarkets and most health food stores.

Makes 12 cookies

Per wedge: 200 calories, 2 gm protein, 22 gm carbohydrates, 12 gm fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 7 gm saturated fat, 2 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber

S'MORE GRANOLA BARS

Adapted from "The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion," The Countryman Press, 2004. These took less than 20 minutes to make.

4 cups (14 ounces) rolled oats
4 cups (4 1/2 ounces) Rice Krispies cereal
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup (2 ounces) water
1/2 cup (5 1/2 ounces) corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups (6 ounces) miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a half-sheet (18x13-inch) pan, or two 9x13-inch pans.

Place the oats on the prepared pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the edges from burning. They won't brown, but should begin to smell toasty. Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the oats to a bowl and add the cereal.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, water, corn syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, or until the temperature reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove the syrup from the heat and pour it over the oats and cereal, tossing to combine. Add 1 1/2 cups of the marshmallows and stir again until well combined.

Place the mixture on the prepared pan, patting it flat. Press the mixture into the pan using wet hands. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups marshmallows and the chocolate chips.

Bake the bars for 4 to 5 minutes, until the marshmallows have puffed and are slightly brown. Remove the bars from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes on a rack. Cut into squares while still warm.

Makes 48 bars.

PUMPKIN PIE BISCOTTI

3 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (Do Not use pumpkin pie filling)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Combine pumpkin, eggs and vanilla; stirring well with a wire whisk. Slowly add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Mixture will be very crumbly; it will gradually become moist after stirring.) Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add macadamia nuts. Cook, stirring constantly, until nuts are browned. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Knead or gently stir cooled nuts into dough.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface, and divide into 4 portions. Lightly flour hands, and shape each portion into a 1” x 15” slightly flattened log. Place logs 3” apart on lightly greased large cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 F for 23 minutes; cool logs 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F. Cut each log crosswise into ½” slices, using a serrated knife. Place slices on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 300 for 15 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.

BLACK BOTTOM COCONUT MACAROONS

These cookies get their richness from sweetened condensed milk. To make jumbo cookies, use 1/4 cup of batter for each cookie and bake about 17 minutes.

For the cookies:
Butter for the baking sheet
14 ounces (3 1/3 cups) shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the glaze:
18 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted with
2 tablespoons canola or corn oil

For the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper and butter the paper.

In a large bowl using a fork, combine the coconut, condensed milk, salt, vanilla and almond extracts. Set aside.

In a medium bowl using a whisk or electric mixer on low speed, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy and the cream of tartar dissolves. Whisk vigorously or increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and mix until completely incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg white mixture into the coconut mixture.

Drop rounded tablespoons of the coconut batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the macaroons about 1 inch apart. (The cookies do not spread a lot during baking.) Press any loose coconut shreds back onto the mound of dough.

Bake until the bottoms of the cookies and the tips of the coconut shreds are lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Slide a metal spatula under the macaroons to loosen them from the liner and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the glaze: Dip the bottom of each macaroon into the chocolate, allowing any excess to drip off or using a knife to scrape off any excess. Place each cookie on a wire rack with the chocolate side facing up or to the side. (You will have some chocolate coating left over for another use or to pour over ice cream.) Set the macaroons aside until the chocolate coating is firm, about 1 hour.

Serve cold or at room temperature. The macaroons can be stored between layers of wax paper in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Makes about 36 cookies

Per cookie: 146 calories, 2 gm protein, 16 gm carbohydrates, 9 gm fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 6 gm saturated fat, 33 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber

TOFFEE CRUNCH COOKIE BRITTLE

In this recipe, one large sheet of cookie dough is baked until almost crisp, then broken into pieces that resemble brittle but taste like a cookie. I rely on bits of broken chocolate-covered toffee bars for a rich, buttery flavor. (Leave the candy bars in their wrappers when crushing the candy with a hammer or meat pounder to avoid pieces of toffee flying around the kitchen.)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (about 7 ounces) coarsely crushed chocolate-covered toffee, such as Skor or Heath bars
1 cup (about 4 ounces) walnuts, broken into large pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown and granulated sugars and vanilla until smooth, about 30 seconds. Using a large spoon, slowly add the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. The dough should appear to be smooth. Stir in the crushed toffee and walnuts. (You may need to use your hands if the dough is thick.)

Spoon the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch of empty space on all sides. Use the palms of your hands to pat the dough into an even layer about 1/2 inch thick and 13 by 9 inches. The dough should be patted out slightly thinner at the edges.

Bake the brittle until it turns golden and the edges turn light brown, about 19 minutes. The brittle may be fairly soft when warm but will crisp as it cools. Let the brittle cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.

Using a large metal spatula to guide it, slide the large cookie onto a wire rack to cool completely. Don't worry if the cookie breaks; it will be broken into irregular pieces, anyway. Break the cooled cookie into 2-to-3 inch pieces. The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Makes about 40 irregularly shaped cookies

Adapted from "Big Fat Cookies" (Chronicle, 2004)

Per cookie: 108 calories, 1 gm protein, 11 gm carbohydrates, 7 gm fat, 12 mg cholesterol, 3 gm saturated fat, 59 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber

CRANBERRY, ORANGE AND ALMOND BISCOTTI

2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
4 tablespoons orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/3 cups sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar with mixer. Add water, orange flavoring, orange rind, baking powder and salt; mix well. Mix in flour. Fold in cranberries and almonds.

Shape dough into loaves approximately 3 inches wide and 3/4 inch high. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes; slice into 1/2-inch slices with a serrated bread knife. Place slices back on cookie sheets, on bottom edges, leaving a space between slices. Return to oven for 10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Cool and store in an airtight container. Makes about 4 dozen biscotti.

Variations: Substitute other flavors for orange extract and other mix-ins instead of grated orange rind, cranberries and almonds. For example, try vanilla extract and mini chocolate chips, then dunk the cookies in melted chocolate after they have cooled. Other ideas: almond extract, lemon extract, peppermint extract, grated lemon peel, cinnamon, walnuts, hazelnuts, currants, raisins, crushed candy canes. etc. Can also drizzle icing on top.

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY COOKIES

1 package plain devil's food cake mix
1/3 cup raspberry pie filling
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg
1/2 cup raspberry chocolate chips
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place cake mix, pie filling, melted butter and egg in a large mixer bowl; blend with electric mixer for 1 minute on low speed. Increase to medium speed for 1 minute. Cookie dough will be thick. Fold in raspberry and semisweet chocolate chips. Drop heaping teaspoons of the dough onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies for about 10 to 12 minutes. They will be a little soft in the center.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE BARS

1 package butter or yellow cake mix
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup melted butter

Topping:
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coconut (optional)

Mix together cake mix, peanut butter, eggs and 1/2 cup melted butter; mix until well combined and smooth. Press 2/3 of the dough into ungreased 9- by 13-inch pan. Reserve remainder of dough.

Prepare topping: In a large saucepan, combine chocolate chips, condensed milk, butter and vanilla. Stir over medium heat until chocolate is melted. Remove pan from heat and stir in coconut (if using) and nuts; mix well. Spread topping over dough in pan. Press the reserved dough in "blotches" over the topping.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven, or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

Makes about 3 dozen bars.

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PRESERVING AND CANNING

VANILLA BOURBON PICKLED PEACHES

10 firm-ripe peaches
2 cups orange juice
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Grated rind of 1/2 orange
1/2 cup bourbon

Fill a large saucepan with water and let it come to a boil. Set a bowl of ice water next to the stove. Have on hand 2 clean 1-quart mason jars.

With the tip of a paring knife, score an "x" at the bottom of each peach. Working in batches, use a slotted spoon to ease the peaches into the boiling water. Let them sit for 1 minute. Transfer them to the ice water. Use a paring knife to peel off the peach skins. Quarter the peaches, discard the pits, and place them in the jars.

In a large saucepan, combine the orange juice, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Use a paring knife to scrape the seeds from the inside of the vanilla bean; add the seeds and the bean to the liquid. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add the allspice, red pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and orange rind. Simmer gently for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the bourbon.

Ladle the liquid over the peaches. Screw on the lids; refrigerate.

Makes about 2 quarts

HONEY GINGER PICKLED APPLES

1 quart water
1 1/2 cups honey
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sherry vinegar
2-inch piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
3 whole star anise
1/2 cinnamon stick
Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
10 medium, sweet-tart apples, such as Gala or Jonathan, peeled, cored, cut into wedges

Have on hand 4 clean 1-quart mason jars.

In a large saucepan, combine the water, honey, sugar, salt, vinegar, ginger, anise, cinnamon, and lemon rind. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Divide the apple wedges among the jars. Carefully ladle the hot liquid over them. Set aside for 15 minutes. Screw on the lids. Refrigerate for up to 3 months.

Makes about 4 quarts

Evoo chef and owner Peter McCarthy says that if you have the patience, let these pickled apples mellow for at least two weeks in the fridge to develop the flavors.

HOT HONEY PICKLES

1 quart of Hamburger Pickles, sliced dills
1/2 cup vinegar
3 cups sugar
1/4 cut honey
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
2-10 whole cloves (depending on taste for cloves)
2-3 toes of garlic, sliced
2-3 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Pour juice from pickles, saving one cup. Add the vinegar and sugar and honey to the saved pickle juice and stir until all sugar is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients to the pickle jar and pour in the sugar mixture until the jar is full. Put the lid back on and invert several times to mix contents.

Refrigerate for four days - Invert the jar at least once a day to mix ingredients. Pickles can then be placed in smaller jars for gifts. They will keep refrigerated for at least a month.

Recipe note: Red pepper can be adjusted based on individual taste and tolerance for "heat."

DESSERTS

PISTACHIO HARVEST CAKE

This spice cake combines all the flavors we associate with the fall season. The recipe is from the Western Pistachio Association in Fresno, Calif.

Cake:
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups brown sugar (packed)
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup natural pistachios, finely chopped
2 8-ounce containers pineapple yogurt

Icing:
1 cup softened butter or margarine
5 cups unsifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice

Cake: Mix oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and carrots in large bowl. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and 3/4 cup pistachios. Mix portions of dry mixture (about 1/3 at a time) into egg mixture alternately with yogurt.

Turn into greased and floured 14-cup bundt pan or crown ring mold. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a pick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in pan, then loosen top edges and gently invert from pan onto wire rack. When cake is completely cool, spread icing on top and decorate with remaining 1/4 cup pistachios.

Icing: Beat butter with powdered sugar, grated orange peel and orange juice (use enough juice to make a good spreadable consistency).

STRAWBERRY PUDDING

1 box vanilla wafers (You will not use an entire box.)
1 (3.4-ounce) box instant cheesecake pudding
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup Cool Whip
1 quart fresh strawberries, washed and sliced

In large mixing bowl, mix pudding, milk and sour cream with a whisk or spoon.

Add Cool Whip and mix well.

In a 9-by-13-inch glass dish or large, deep bowl, place a single layer of vanilla wafers.

Place half the strawberries on top of wafers. Spread half of the pudding mixture on top of the berries. Repeat layers.  Crumble some vanilla wafers on top.  Serve chilled.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING: Calories, 218.22; protein, 2.44 grams; carbohydrates, 30.68 grams; total fat, 9.38 grams; cholesterol, 9.67 milligrams; saturated fat, 4.81 grams; dietary fiber, 1.47 grams; sodium, 231.43 milligrams; sugar, 18.36 grams; vitamin A, 48.73 retinol equivalents; vitamin C, 34.04 milligrams; calcium, 60.52 milligrams; iron, 0.71 milligrams; alcohol, 0 grams.

CREAMY, SPICED PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

Cold cream cheese does not whip well. It is best to leave it at room temperature for at least 45 minutes before starting this recipe.

1 cup gingersnap crumbs, from about 18-20 cookies 1 3/4 inches in diameter, crushed in a zipper lock bag with a rolling pin
1 tablespoon melted butter plus additional butter for coating the inside of the pan
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1 15 ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Remove bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and cover with an 18-inch wide sheet of aluminum foil. Insert bottom into pan and fold foil up around sides of pan. Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with melted butter.

Add1/4 cup gingersnap crumbs to the pan and tilt pan to coat the sides. Place the remaining3/4 cup crumbs in a small bowl. Add the 1 tablespoon melted butter and, using a fork, mix well. Place the crumb mixture in the bottom of the pan, distribute evenly and press using a flat bottom glass. Cover the bottom and sides with an additional piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and place inside a large roasting pan. Bring a kettle of water to a boil for water bath.

Beat the cream cheese in bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape bowl frequently. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just incorporated. Add the vanilla, sour cream, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and mix on low until well combined. Finish mixing with a rubber spatula, being careful to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Pour batter into the prepared springform pan and set roasting pan on oven rack. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform. Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until the cheesecake is puffy and the center is still a bit wobbly. Turn off the oven and prop the door open with the handle of a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove springform pan from the oven; discard the outer layer of foil and set on a wire rack, cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight until completely chilled.

Can be made 2 to 3 days ahead. Slice and serve.

Serves 12.

CHOCOLATE BUTTER GOOEY BARS

1 18.5-ounce Devil's food cake mix
1 stick (8 tablespoons) melted butter or margarine
3 eggs, in all
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1-pound box confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup chocolate morsels

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, melted butter and 1 egg in a bowl, mixing well. Press into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch glass-baking dish.

Beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in a bowl until light. Add the 2 remaining eggs and mix well. Spread over the chocolate cake mix layer. Sprinkle with the chocolate morsels and bake for 40 minutes. Cool, then cut into squares.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 525 calories, 21 grams fat (12 grams saturated fat), 95 milligrams cholesterol, 5 grams protein, 79 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber and 470 milligrams sodium

LIGHT POPPY-SEED CAKE

1 (18.25-oz.) yellow cake mix
1/2 cup sherry
1/2 cup water
1 egg
3 egg whites
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 package (4-serving size) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, sprinkle with flour, knock out the excess and set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the cake mix, sherry, water, egg and egg whites, oil, pudding mix and sour cream. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the poppy seeds and beat for another minute.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a serving platter to cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve.

Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains about: 249 calories, 9 grams fat, 2 milligrams cholesterol, 356 milligrams sodium, 37 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 1 gram fiber.

BLONDIES WITH PECANS AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (about 4 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup chopped pecans (about 3 ounces)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in medium bowl.

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Remove saucepan from heat. Add brown sugar and whisk to blend. Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually stir in flour mixture (batter will be thick).

Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans. Bake blondies until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.) Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 24 brownies
 
From Bon Appetit, July 1998

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RESTAURANT RECIPES

JOEY'S RESTAURANT PASTA CON BROCCOLI

1 pound uncooked mostaccioli
1 pound broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 pound cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/4 to 1/2 cup Romano cheese

Boil pasta, drain but reserve 2 tablespoons of the pasta water to use later. Set pasta and pasta water aside and keep hot.

Boil broccoli and cauliflower until tender, about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain and keep warm.

In large saute pan, saute onion with oil and butter until golden; adding salt and pepper to taste.

Add broccoli and cauliflower to sauteed onions. Add garlic, wine, reserved pasta water and cheese. Add pasta and toss to combine.

Makes 6 servings.

PANDA'S EXPRESS ORANGE CHICKEN

2 pounds boned and skinned chicken breasts -- cut into bite-size
1 each egg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
white pepper -- to taste
vegetable oil -- for frying
1/2 cup cornstarch -- + 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root -- minced
1 teaspoon garlic -- minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon rice wine
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Orange Sauce for Stir Fry:
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons white vinegar
1 large orange -- zest of
1 batch jasmine rice -- cook as directed

Place chicken pieces in large bowl. Stir in egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil and mix well. Stir cornstarch and flour together. Add chicken pieces, stirring to coat.

Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees.

 Add chicken, small batches at a time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp. (Do not overcook chicken). Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; set aside.

Clean wok and heat 15 seconds over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant; about 10 seconds. Add and stir-fry crushed chiles and green onions. Add rice wine and stir 3 seconds.

Add Orange Sauce and bring to boil. Add cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed.

 Stir water into remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth and add to chicken. Heat until sauce is thickened. Stir in sesame oil and orange zest if desired.

Serve over jasmine rice.

PAPPASITO'S POBLANO SOUP

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whipping cream
3 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup purple onion, finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2/3 cup finely diced carrots
3/4 cup finely diced poblano pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pinch white pepper
3/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded

In a 4-quart stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and simmer, whisking constantly until thickened to a roux. Whisk in cream, milk and chicken bouillon and cook, stirring frequently or whisking, over medium-low heat until smooth.

Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and carrots. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add poblanos and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add vegetable mixture to milk mixture, stir to combine. Stir in salt and black, white and cayenne peppers. Simmer over medium-low heat a few minutes. Add red bell pepper. Simmer 15 or 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add cheese and stir until melted. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve hot or refrigerate immediately. Reheat before serving.

KAHUNAVILLE'S CAJUN CHICKEN FETTUCINI

2 oz. olive oil
12 oz. boneless chicken breast
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, steeped in water
1/4 cup red peppers cut in strips
1/4 cup green peppers cut in strips
1/4 yellow peppers cut in strips
1/2 cup of Spanish onions cut thin strips
1 cup mushrooms, washed and quartered
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp. fresh basil leaf, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
salt and white pepper
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
16 oz. of cooked linguini
4 ea. bread sticks

Heat medium sauté pan up, add olive oil and lightly brown chicken strips and season with Cajun spice.

Add minced garlic, cut peppers, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and onions and cook until vegetables are soft and onions translucent.

Add white wine, heavy cream and chicken stock and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper and add fresh herbs.

Add cooked and heated pasta and toss with parmesan cheese and serve in large pasta bowls garnished with bread sticks and fresh grated parmesan cheese.

For more Restaurant Recipes visit Razzle Dazzle Recipes.

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