recipes, food and cooking

November 1, 2004

Hello everyone and welcome to all of our new subscribers! If you're like me you're gearing up for the holidays. Don't forget Razzle Dazzle Recipes for finding new and maybe a few old favorite recipes. For Thanksgiving Recipes (click here) and for Christmas Recipes (click here) I will also be sending out a few additional holiday newsletters during the next holiday season. Don't forget we also have a message board that new recipes are posted daily on and it would be great if you would join in. Message Board There are about 7,000 recipes posted there now. I am also in the process of adding a new Jewish Recipes section at Razzle Dazzle Recipes, it should be finished this week, but you can see it here first.

     Mary Ellen        

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12-13 lb. turkey, fresh or thawed
1 medium onion, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Remove giblets and neck. Rinse turkey and pat dry. Place onion and lemon quarters in the neck and body cavities. In a small bowl, mix oil with seasonings. With your finger tips, gently loosen skin from the breast without pulling it off. Place 1 Tbsp. herb mixture under skin, replace skin. Rub the cavities and the outside of turkey with remaining herb mixture.

Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large shallow roasting pan. Insert an oven-safe thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Cover loosely with foil.

Roast in a preheated 325F. oven for 2-1/2 hours. Remove the foil. Baste with pan juices. Continue cooking, uncovered, for about another hour or until the meat thermometer registers 180F. in the thigh. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Serves 8


6-7 lb. turkey breast
1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Place the turkey breast, skin down, in a microwave-safe baking dish. Cook, uncovered, on HIGH for 40 minutes. Turn the breast skin side up. Rub it with half lemon and sprinkle it with paprika.

Cook the breast, uncovered, on medium for 15-20 minutes, or until done. The juices should run clear, not red, from the meatiest area of the breast, and that area should reach 170 degrees F. before standing time.

Let the turkey stand tented with foil, for 10-20 minutes.

Serves 9


1 (1-oz.) envelope onion soup mix
1 1/2 cups Burgundy wine
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (4-lb.) brisket of beef, fat trimmed
1 lb. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

Preheat oven to 300F.

In a roasting pan, combine dry soup mix, wine, marmalade, water, flour, basil, thyme, sugar, garlic and pepper. Add brisket. Spoon some of the sauce over the top of the brisket. Cover and bake for 3 hours, basting with sauce once each hour.

Stir in mushrooms and bake for 30 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Slice meat. Spoon fat from sauce and serve sauce with meat.

To make ahead: Prepare roast as directed above; do not add mushrooms. Remove roast from pan; place on a piece of heavy-duty foil. Let roast stand 30 minutes to cool. Wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight. Pour sauce into a bowl; cover and refrigerate.

To serve, preheat oven to 325F. Return meat and sauce to pan; stir in mushrooms. Cover and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until meat is heated through (160F) and mushrooms are tender.

Serves 8


1 whole garlic head
olive oil
5-lb. russet potatoes
8-oz. neufchatel reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
salt and pepper to taste

To roast garlic: Preheat oven to 375:F. Remove outer paper, leaving bulb whole. Slice off top of bulb to expose cloves. Place in baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Cover and roast 30 minutes. Remove soft garlic from cloves while warm and put through a garlic press to add to potatoes.

While garlic is roasting, prepare mashed potatoes: Peel and quarter potatoes. Cook covered in boiling water 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Drain. Mash with a potato masher. Add remaining ingredients including roasted garlic. Beat with hand mixer until smooth. Serve immediately or transfer to greased baking dish and refrigerate. Reheat for 30 minutes in 350: oven.

Serves 9


2 cups fresh cranberries
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup diced apple (1 medium apple)
1/2 cup diced walnuts, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen whipped topping

Combine chopped cranberries, marshmallows and sugar. Cover and chill overnight. Add apples, nuts and salt and fold in whipped topping the next day. Chill.

Serves 8


1 (32-ounce) bottle light cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries in syrup, partially thawed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 pint pineapple sherbet (optional)
1 liter diet ginger ale (1/2 of a 2 liter bottle), chilled


1 cup softened butter, plus additional for greasing pan
2-1/2 cups flour, plus additional for dusting pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch ground allspice
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin pulp
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coarsely chopped candied orange slices (recipe follows)

1/4 cup walnut halves
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup candied orange syrup (recipe follows)

2 tablespoons black peppercorns
10 whole allspice berries
3 cups sugar
2 seedless oranges (such as valencias), thinly sliced

For cake, preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 7 1/4" (7-cup) angel food cake pan. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice into a large bowl and set aside.

In another large bowl, beat remaining 1 cup butter until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, then beat in eggs, one at a time, and fold in pumpkin. Slowly add dry ingredients to butter mixture, mixing just until smooth. Stir in walnuts and candied orange.

Spoon batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then unmold and cool on rack.

For garnish, toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in butter, remove from heat, and toss walnuts with sugar. Transfer cake to a platter, drizzle with candied orange syrup, and garnish top with walnuts and candied orange slices.

CANDIED ORANGE SLICES WITH SYRUP: Wrap peppercorns and allspice berries in a small square of cheesecloth, tie into a bundle, then put in a medium saucepan with sugar and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and add oranges. Place the lid of a smaller saucepan on orange slices to keep them submerged. Simmer until the rinds become very soft and the syrup begins to foam, about 1-1/2 hours. Remove slices from syrup and allow to cool on wax paper. Discard spices and reserve syrup. Makes about 12 orange slices and 1-1/2 cups syrup.

Serves 8


For the pastry:
1 cup water
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 - 6 eggs

For the cranberry compote:
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups fresh cranberries

For the filling:
3 egg yolks
1/2 heaping cup sugar
a pinch of salt
2/3 cup milk
3 sheets gelatin or 2-1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1-3/4 cups dry or well-drained Quark or Ricotta
3-1/4 cups stiffly whipped cream
confectioner's sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 450F. Use the first set of ingredients to prepare a Basic Recipe as described on . Pipe out five 10-inch bases on baking sheets lightly dusted with flour, and bake until crisp and light brown. Choose the three nicest bases for filing, and cut or break the two remaining bases into small pieces for the flakes. (basic recipe)

To make the cranberry compote, bring the honey, sugar, orange juice, and wine to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool.

To make the filling, prepare a cream mixture as shown in the picture sequence on the opposite page [see below]. Stir about half of the whipped cream into the cheese mixture. Spread half of the cheese-cream mixture onto the first base and top with half the cranberry compote, arranged in little mounds. Cover with the second base, press down firmly, and top with the remaining cheese mixture and cranberry compote, reserving a little of each for decoration. Finally, place the third base on top and press down firmly. Spread some of the remaining whipped cream on top and cover generously with the choux pastry flakes. Dust the top with confectioner's sugar, pipe on rosettes with the remaining whipped cream, and decorate with cranberry compote.

Preparing the cheese filling:
Beat the egg yolks, sugar, lemon rind, and salt with the milk. Heat slowly over medium heat, stirring. The custard should be heated to just below boiling point, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.

Soften the gelatin in cold water, squeeze out well, and dissolve in the hot custard, or follow package directions for powdered gelatin.

Strain the cheese into a bowl and pour the slightly cooled custard over it, then mix. Stir until you have a smooth cream, and let it cool to lukewarm. Stir the whipped cream into the cheese mixture. A whisk is faster, but a wooden spatula does the job more gently.

Pile the filling on the pastry base encircled by a ring, and smooth the top with a spatula. Chill the torte. Remove the ring. Using the ring to keep the cut pieces together, slide the second shortcrust base on top.

Makes one 10-inch cake

In medium punch bowl, combine cranberry juice, raspberries and lemon juice. Just before serving, scoop sherbet into punch bowl; add ginger ale.

Serves 10


4 medium sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled, and mashed (3 cups)
4 egg whites or 2 whole eggs
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons margarine
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 frozen deep-dish piecrust, thawed

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the piecrust. Mix well, and pour into unbaked piecrust. Bake for 1 hour or until center is firm but not sticky to the touch. Cool 30 minutes.

Makes 10 - 12 servings

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1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil and parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 minced garlic cloves (or more if you want)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chopped sun dried tomatoes

Mix all of the above and let sit for one to two hours so that all the flavors meld together.


2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 lb gorgonzola or blue cheese
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup almonds chopped
a sprig of basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lay pear slices on a baking sheet and place a lump of cheese on each. Sprinkle with lemon, almonds and basil. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and nuts are browned.


2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup (4-ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons dill weed
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (1-pound) loaf unsliced round bread
Raw vegetables

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and mayonnaise. Stir in the next nine ingredients.

Cut a 1-1/2-in. slice off top of bread; set aside. Carefully hollow out bottom, leaving a 1/2-in. shell. Cube removed bread and set aside. Fill the shell with spinach dip; replace top. Wrap in heavy-duty foil; place on a baking sheet.

Bake at 375F. for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until the dip is heated through. Open the foil carefully. Serve warm with bread cubes and raw vegetables.


12 whole chicken wings (about 2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup butter or margarine, divided
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup taco sauce
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup French salad dressing
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Cut chicken wings into three sections; discard wing tips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a skillet over medium heat, combine 2 tablespoons butter and oil. Fry chicken until brown, about 6-8 minutes on each side. Place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.

In a saucepan, combine taco sauce, barbecue sauce, French dressing, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and remaining butter; cook and stir over medium heat until the butter is melted and sauce is blended. Pour 1/2 cup over the chicken wings.

Bake, uncovered, at 300 F. for 15-20 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Serve with the remaining sauce.

Servings: 6


1/3 cup whipped cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon dill weed, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 8-ounce can refrigerated crescent rolls
3/4 cup chopped precooked shrimp

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cream cheese, 1/4 teaspoon dill and ginger in a small bowl. Stir in green onions. Set aside.

Unroll crescent dough; separate into 8 triangles. Cut each triangle in half to make 16 triangles. Stretch dough slightly and place crescent triangles into standard-size muffin pans so that the bottom of the muffin cup is covered and crescent corners are lying outside the cup.

Divide shrimp evenly into cups (about 1 heaping teaspoon per cup). Top each cup with 1/2 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture. Loosely fold dough corners into center; pinch corners together and twist to seal tightly. Lightly sprinkle tops with remaining 1/4 teaspoon dill. Bake, uncovered, 15-17 minutes or until crisp and golden-brown.

Makes 16 appetizers.

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4 cinnamon sticks, crushed
2 tablespoons cloves, crushed
1 cup raw rice

Mix crushed cinnamon sticks and cloves with uncooked rice. Place in a cloth bag, about 7 inches square. Sew up the open end. Use as a hot pad. The scent will come out when a hot dish is placed on the mat. You can substitute herbs (herbal tea works well) for the spices. If you want to be more fancy, carefully sew seams across the pad, so you end up with a crisscross or chessboard pattern. This will make the pad less floppy and easier to use.


Calico material (seasonal print or regular)
Scented oil

Fold the material in half, then cut any shape you desire - such as a heart. With right sides together, sew the shape, leaving an opening for stuffing. Mix birdseed and scented oil. Put mixture through the opening. Sew the opening closed.

To use, microwave for 30 seconds. It keeps your tea or coffee warm, and the heat releases the fragrance.


1/8 yard each of 7 different fabrics (colors of choice)
Jute twine
Raffia or 3/8-inch ribbon
3 apples
3 cups lemon juice or white vinegar
12 teaspoons salt
Paper towels
Wire cookie cooling rack
12 tablespoons applesauce
15 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Small cookie cutters of choice (gingerbread men, diamonds, leaves, stars, hearts, etc. - use cutters to match a holiday)
Cookie sheet

To dry apples: Pour lemon juice (or mixture of vinegar/water) and salt into bowl, stir. Cut apples into 1/4-inch rings; remove seeds. Place in bowl to soak 15 minutes, turning often.

Remove from bowl and pat dry with paper towels, absorbing as much moisture as possible. Using a double layer of cheesecloth on wire rack, arrange apple slices in single layer. Lay an additional double layer of cheesecloth over top of apples. Place in cold oven; set temperature to 150 degrees F. Bake for 4 to 5 hours or until apples are soft and a pliable (no water visible when squeezed).

Make cinnamon cutouts: Blend 12 tablespoons of applesauce with 15 tablespoons cinnamon; mix. Dough will be stiff. Sprinkle work area with cinnamon. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out desired designs. Place on cookie sheet. Make a hole in "cookie" with a drinking straw. Bake at 150 F. for 3 to 4 hours, until dry.

Tear each fabric piece into 1 x 8-inch strips. Tape a 42-inch piece of jute twine to table; tape opposite end of twine. Beginning 4" from one end of twine, tie on one strip of each fabric. Tie one strand of raffia or ribbon onto the twine. Thread apple slice, cinnamon cutout, and another apple slice onto twine. Add raffia or ribbon and follow the "pattern" until all fabric is used.


Fill a large pot about three-quarters full of water. When it begins to boil, add a few cinnamon sticks - about 4 cinnamon sticks for every 20 medium size cones you plan to scent.

Let the cinnamon gently boil in the water for 5 minutes, then add pine cones. They are done when each petal is completely saturated. They will become a very dark color, and their grain will show up. Lay cones on a wire rack to dry completely.

Recipes from Darlene's Kitchen Pantry - posted by Pooh

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It is quite possibly, one of the busiest areas of your home.  It is the place where you spend as much if not more time than in any other part of your home, and you must get good value for your money consistently, because the product produced here is continually being stocked, prepared and consumed.  If we are to follow business principles here, then we've got to figure out a few things. Number one, what is the primary purpose of your kitchen?

 Generally speaking a kitchen is the main food storage and preparation area of the home. It may be the one area where guests continually congregate. If you have an eat-in kitchen, you may find that your family, like mine, continually pay bills there, do homework, and if the computer is also in this area, where they work and entertain themselves.  All of these purposes must be taken into account and planned for.  A counter top at a  lower height might serve as your desk, with a deep drawer nearby used for files. A shallow shelf above would be perfect for storing cookbooks so the area might serve a dual purpose of meal planning center as well as computer area.  A long window seat might be the answer for company that wants to sit in the kitchen. And incidentally provide much needed seating for mealtimes.  Make your kitchen fit your needs.

Roughly 15% of your household income goes into foodstuffs. That's a large chunk of money for most businesses.  Number one priority of any business is to know what you spend in a given department and then to make sure that it comes in at or below budget. Start by determining how much money you spend. Yes, you should include fast food sources and restaurants and lunches purchased at school, unless you have a separate category for entertainment and eat out only occasionally. Otherwise, it's food, so count it. Once you determine what you spend, and if it's a  reasonable budget for your family, the next step is to determine how to prevent spoilage of our inventory of foods. The single greatest detriment to any budget is to lose your investment.  
Proper storage for fresh and non-perishables alike is imperative. Follow directions on pre-packaged foods for proper storage and use proper precautions when handling, refrigerating and/or freezing fresh foods. Good guidelines for food storage may be found at your local library, online, or in comprehensive cookbooks.

Don't buy more fresh foods than you can reasonably prepare in a one or two week period. This of course, depends on three things. Your budget (are you buying food weekly, biweekly, or once a month) and the size of your storage areas (including freezer and refrigerator) and your family size. No need to buy enough lettuce for three weeks, if you don't have the room to properly store it, and you can't afford the hearty kinds that will withstand that long time period unused.

Plan ahead.  Start by making a complete inventory of the items you have on hand.  In this way you will be able to use foods that are nearing their expiration date.  Then make out a menu.  Making out menus serves three purposes. #1You can plan to use the food you already have on hand; #2 It saves that day's end panic stricken cry, "I don't know what to cook!" You can look at your menu each morning (or even the night before) and take food from the freezer to thaw in plenty of time for supper. #3 And lastly, you'll know exactly how many meals you can prepare and how much food you will need to purchase to prepare any further meals required.  Because I cook 99% of all our meals at home, I know that I must plan for and prepare 42 meals every two weeks (based on how our income is paid).

Determine your needs each week by using your calendar to plan appropriate menus. If you've determined to cut out most of your fast food expenses, it's best to plan for some convenience on days that are filled with appointments or other activities. If you're too tired and frazzled to cook, then you're not going to want to prepare a lengthy and tedious meal. Plan to use crock pots and microwaves, as well some convenience products, to lighten your load on those days. Save meals that require lengthy prep for days when you can do the work with leisure or spread the work over two or three days.  And do try to have a few frozen entrees tucked away that will ease your load on those days when everything goes differently than planned.  What a luxury to have a reserve of lasagna, or pre-formed burgers, or a casserole you can pop in the oven and serve with a salad.

Make your kitchen convenient for you. I find the larger the kitchen, the more you will likely require to make it work for you. If you always end up carrying baking supplies across the room to the one counter that is uncluttered, then that's where your baking supplies should be. If you have to cross the kitchen to get seasonings, then move them. Or do as one good cook did, and keep two sets of the more common seasonings. She had one set near her food preparation center where she did her baking, and one set near the stove. If you use dish washing liquid at the sink, as well as at your laundry area to treat stains, get two bottles, one for each station.
Can't reach high shelves? A sturdy folding stepladder that may also be used as a seat when you must stir a recipe for a long while or wash dishes, might be the best answer. An island in the middle of a kitchen may be handy to move items from fridge to counter tops where food prep goes on. Your arrangement doesn't have to make sense to anyone else, but should help you be as efficient and at ease as possible.

Have good equipment to work with. A fridge that routinely goes on the blitz, faulty burners and leaky faucets are a few of the problems you might face.  It requires only a little money to keep these things running smoothly.  
Maintain your equipment. Burner pans and vent filters may be bought for under $10 at the home store. Most appliances will benefit from routine cleanings with a simple baking soda and water solution. Read operation manuals for appliances and follow their suggestions for keeping products in top working order. Most good sets of pots and pans, dishes and glasses, as well as small appliances come with suggestions that will vastly prolong the life of the item(s).
Have enough equipment to do your work properly and efficiently. Insufficient pots and pans or dishes and glasses might be another. I can easily manage to use my dishwasher only every other day, if only I didn't have to wash glasses and silverware for the next day! I find I am continually reaching for a spatula (the type you scrape a bowl with and coming up empty. I have to stop what I am doing to wash and rinse one when I need it. I must buy more.  
Always buy the best you can afford. Consumer research or word of mouth advertising are great sources to go by.  We bought Corelle dishes after the children broke set after set while on dish duty and have found them to be sturdy, reliable and, while not unbreakable, tougher than the average stoneware or china plate.  I have the convenience of being able to buy these dishes by the piece if needed, rather than complete sets, so I can easily replace any that do meet with an accident.  
Running your kitchen as a business may be a new idea to you, but I believe you'll find it a more pleasant place to be if you do understand the purposes and rewards of doing so.  Our only return on our investment may be family health and happiness, as well as freedom from hunger, but in the end isn't that the best return of all?

(C)2005 Terri Cheney
No portion of this article may be reproduced or republished without express permission of the author.

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6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 envelope dry Italian dressing
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
One 8 ounce container cream cheese with chives and onions
One 8 ounce package cream cheese

Place chicken breasts in a sprayed 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with dry Italian seasoning. Stir cream soups and cheeses until smooth. Pour over chicken.

Bake uncovered, at 350 F. for 1 hour. Serve over rice.


1/4 cup butter melted
3 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
4 (4 ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 F. In a small bowl, stir together butter, mustard and honey. Set aside. In another bowl mix together bread crumbs, pecans and parsley.

Brush each salmon fillet lightly with honey-mustard mixture, and sprinkle top of fillets with bread crumb mixture. Bake salmon in preheated oven until it flakes easily with a fork, about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with a wedge of lemon.

Makes 4 servings.


2 cups Potato Cream Sauce (recipe follows)
3 medium potatoes (about 6 ounces each), scrubbed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 green or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
14 1/2-ounce can stewed tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 cup fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 small zucchini (about 6 ounces each), cut into 1-inch chunks
6 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 pound bay scallops, shrimp and/or firm-fleshed fish such as swordfish, salmon or tuna

Prepare Potato Cream Sauce; set aside.

Slice one of the potatoes very thinly. In large skillet filled with 1 inch of boiling water, cook sliced potato until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and reserve potato.

Meanwhile, cut remaining 2 potatoes into 3/4-inch chunks. Wipe skillet dry and in same pan combine potato chunks, garlic, onion, bell pepper, stewed tomato liquid, bay leaf, basil and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

Stir in mushrooms, zucchini, stewed tomatoes and 4 teaspoons of the chopped parsley. Cover again and simmer for an additional 6 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon mixture into a 3-quart shallow casserole dish. Stir in scallops, shrimp and/or fish, then the potato Cream Sauce. Arrange sliced potatoes near rim of dish. Loosely cover with foil and bake 20 minutes or until fish is tender and sauce is bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining parsley on potato slices. Serve warm with crusty bread.

Serves 4.

Potato Cream Sauce

1 small potato (about 4 ounces), peeled and diced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup to 1 cup skimmed evaporated milk
1 teaspoon butter-flavored granules
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1/8 teaspoon pepper (white or black)

In a small saucepan, combine potato and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until potato is tender, about 10 minutes.

Using an electric hand mixer; blend potato until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of the milk along with the remaining ingredients, blending until smooth and, if needed, add more milk to reach a creamier consistency.


6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
1 teaspoon sugar
Two 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed of excess moisture
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds lemon or gray sole fillets
1 lemon, 1/2 juiced and 1/2 cut into
4 wedges
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat broiler. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until just starting to brown. Sprinkle the flour over the shallot and butter and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to medium.

Add the half-and-half slowly, whisking into a smooth sauce. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until thickened, whisking as needed. Add the sugar and stir, then add the spinach, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until hot. Reduce heat to low, so the spinach stays warm. Place the fillets on a broiler pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Pour the lemon juice over the fillets, then sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly on top. Dot with the remaining butter. Broil 5 to 6 minutes or until the fillets are opaque and the bread crumbs golden. Spoon some creamed spinach onto each of 4 plates, then place a fillet on top. Serve with the lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings.

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4 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 8-10 apples)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 pound butter (one stick)

Peel, core and dice apples in 1/2-inch pieces. Mix apples and lemon juice, and set aside. In a saute pan, melt butter. Add fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and salt. When spices are released, add brown sugar. Stir until blended. Add apples with lemon juice. Saute until apples are thoroughly coated and beginning to soften (about five minutes) set aside.

Have ready a 10-inch, partially baked pie shell. Roll out enough dough to cover the pie and a little extra for decorative top. Add apple mixture to pie shell. Cover with the top and fold under so there is no flute. Crimp with a fork. Cut a small hole in center of pie. Brush with beaten egg white and add decorative leaves, fruit or whatever you want for a theme (made from extra dough). Decorative additions should be brushed with egg whites so that they will stick to the crust.

Bake at 350 F. for about 30 minutes (until fruit is bubbly). Serve warm.

Recipe courtesy Joan Delfino, Kids Inc., Apple Hill

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3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries *
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. In large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, margarine, sour cream, vanilla and eggs; blend well.

Add flour, baking soda and baking powder; blend well. Gently stir in cranberries and nuts. (Do not overmix.) Drop by teaspoonsful, 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets; cool.

Makes approximately 5 dozen.

* If using frozen cranberries, thaw and drain first.


2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1 teaspoon grated orange peel, if desired
2 to 3 tablespoons of orange juice
Blend and spread on cooled cookies.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar

In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and eggs on medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until well-blended. Cover; refrigerate dough until firm enough to handle.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness; cut with star-shaped cookie cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until no imprint remains when touched lightly in center. Cook for 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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