Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sesame Chicken Drumettes

1/3 cup teryaki sauce
1 1/2 tbs dry sherry
1 1/2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
1 1/4 lbs chicken drumettes
1 1/2 tbs barbecue sauce
1 1/2 tbs honey
1/4 tsp oriental sesame oil

1. In a large reseable plastic bag , combine teriyaki sauce, sherry, and sesame seeds. Add chicken drumettes, turning to coat. Seal bag and refrigerate at least 30 mintues or up to a day.

2. Preheat oven to 400'. Line a cookie sheet with foil Using tongs, transfer drumettes to cookie sheet. Discard marinatde. Bake until drumettes are golden brown, about 15 mintues.

3. Mix barbecue sauce, honey and sesame oil in a small bowl. Brush drumettes with honey mixture and bake 5 mintues. Turn drumettes and brush with honey mixture and bake 5 minutes longer.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Double Chocolate Walnut Bars

1 1/2 cups unsifted flour
3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 plus 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 margarine or butter, melted
2 eggs
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 6-oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350'. In medium bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups flour, sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa and salt. Stir in margarine and 1 egg; mix well. spread on bottom of greased 13x9 inch baking pan. In mixer bowl, combine condensed milk, 1/4 cup four, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 egg, vanilla and baking powder; mix well. Spoon evenly over crust. Top with chips and wanuts. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars. Garnish as desired. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lemon Turkey Cutlets

1 1/2 lbs refrigerated boneless curkey cutlets
salt and pepper
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tbs lemon juice
1 cup italian style bread crumbs
2 tbs finely chopped onion
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1. Rinse cutlets with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle cutlets with salt and pepper.

2. Place flour in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, combine egg and lemon juice. In a third medium bowl, combine bread crumbs and onion.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dip cutlets into flour, then egg mixture, and then bread crumb mixture. Place cutlets in hot oil and cook until brown, about 3 mintues on each side.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Banana Grape-nuts Chews

nonstick vegetable cooking spray
6 tbs butter
1/3 cup packen golden brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups banana quick bread mix
1 cup grape-nuts cereal
2 bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed (about 1 cup)

1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Spray large cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in yolks one at a time. Add quick bread mix and cereal and beat until just blended. Add mashed bananas and beat just to incorporate.
3. Working in batches, sppon 2 tbs batter for each cookie onto prepared cookie sheet, spacing evenly and forming 6 mounds.
4. Bake until cookies are golden brown on bottom and set in the middle, about 12 mintues. Using a spatula, transfer cookies to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Caramel Popcorn

nonstick vegetable cookign spray
3 bags (2.85 oz each) microwave popcorn (no salt or butter)
1 stick butter
1 cup golden brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 300'. Spray 2 large cookie sheets with nonstick spray.
2. Microwave popcorn according to package instructions. Place the popcorn into a very large bowl or roasting pan. Set aside.
3. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stir butter, sugar, and corn syrup until butter is melted and sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook 4 mintues withou stirring. Remove from heat and add baking soda to caramel sauce (mixture will foam).
4. Drizzle caramel sauce evenly over popcorn. Using 2 wooden spoons, toss popcorn to coat evenly with caramel sauce(popcorn will defate somewhat).
5. Spread caramel corn in an even layer on each prepared cookie sheet. Bake until caramel corn is almost crisp, stirring every 15 minutes, for a total of 45 minutes. (rotate pans halfway through baking.)
6. using a metal spatula, loosen caramel corn from cookie sheets. Cool caramel corn completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Banana Cream Pie

1 9-inch baked pastry shell
3 tbs cornstarch
1 2/3 cups water
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tbs margarine or butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium bananas
lemon juice from concentrate
whipped cream

In a heavy saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in water; stir i sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; add margarine and vanilla. Cool slightly. Slice 2 bananas; dip in lemon juice and drain. Arrange on bottom of prepared crust. Pour filling over bananas; cover. Chill 4 hours or until set. Spread top with whipped cream. Slice remaining banana. Dip in lemon juice, drain and garnish top of pie.
Refrigerate leftovers.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Apple Slaw

3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tbs dry ranch salad dressing mix
1 package (8 oz) shredded cabbage and carrots
3 green apples, cored and diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper

1. Whisk sour cream, sugar, vinegar, and ranch seasoning in a large bowl to blend.

2. Add cabbage mixture, apples and green onions. Toss to coat.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepepr. Cover tightly and chill 20 mintues or up to 4 hours. Serve cold.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Old Time Molasses Pecan Pie

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tbs all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
5 eggs
1 1/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1 unbaked pie shell
pecan halves

In a mixin gbowl, beat sugar, flour, butter and eggs. Add corn syrup, molasses and vanilla; mix until smooth. Arrange pecan pieces in pie shell and pour liquid mixture over pecans (the nuts will rise to the top during baking. ) Bake for 50-60 minutes at 360' or until filling is completely set in the center. Cool on a rack for about an hour before serving. Garnish with pecan halves.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chicken with White Wine Sauce

24 pearl onions, peeled
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 strips thick sliced bacon
4 lbs meaty chicken pieces
salt and pepper
1 can (103/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 cup dr white wine
2 tsp italian seasoning
2 tsp bottled minced garlic

1. Add pearl onions and sliced mushrooms to to a 4-5 qt slow cooker.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until crispy. Reserve bacon for garnish. Discard all but 2 tbs of bacon fat. Season cut-up chicken with salt and pepepr. Over medium-high heat, brown chicken pieces on all sides in bacon fat. Place browned chicken into slow cooker.

3.In a medium bow, stir together cream of chicken soup, white wine, italian seasoning and garlic. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 hours or high-heat setting for 3-4 hours.

4. If desired, remove skin from chicken. Ladle with white wine sauce and garnish with crumbled bacon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dijon Chicken and Mushrooms

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 tbs butter
8 white button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup canned chicken broth
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 tbs deli style brown mustard
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup frozen cut corn kernels, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until just brown, about 4 mintues per side. transfer chicken to plate.

2. Add mushrooms to the same skillet and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Whisk in soup, broth and mustards. Bring sauce to a simmer.

3. Return chicken to skillet and submerge into sauce completely. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until soup bubbles thickly and chicken is cooked through, about 10 mintues.

4. Transfer chicken to plates and spooon sauce ove rthe top. Sprinkle with tomato, corn and chives. Serve hot.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Strawberry Nirvana Smoothie

1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 banana, peeled and cut in large chunks
1 cup strawerry-banana juice blend
3 tbs powdered nonfat dry milk
whey protein powder
fresh strawberries and banana slices for garnish

1. Add strawberries, banana, strawberry-banana juice, powdered ilk, ice, and why protein (if wanted) to blender. Cover and blend on high speed until well blended. Add enough ice to make mixture of smoothie consistency. Top each drink with strawberry and banana slices

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brownie Caramel Walnut Pie

1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
20 caramels, unwrapped
1 14-oz can low fat or fat free sweetened condensed milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tbs margarine
1 6-oz package semi sweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 325'. Sprinkle nuts into pastry shell. In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt caramels with 2/3 cup condensed milk. Spoon over walnuts. In a mixing bowl, combine egg, margarine and remaining condensed milk; mix well. Stir in chips. our chocolate mixture over caramel layer. Bake for 35 mintues or until center is set. Cool. Serve warm or chilled.

Garnish with whipped cream and whole walnuts.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Easy Key Lime Pie

1 10 inch baked pastry shell
6 egg yolks
2 14=oz cans sweetened condensed milk
1 8-oz bottle lime juice from concentrate
yellow or green food coloring
whipped cream or whipped topping

1. Preheat oven to 325'. In a large bmixer bowl, beat egg yolks with sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and food coloring if desired. pour into prepared pastry shell and bake 40 minutes. Cool. Chill. Top with whipped cream . Garnish with lime slices if desired.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Curried Bow Tie Salad

3/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp curry powder
2 cans (8 oz each) pineapple chunks, drained
1 ripe avacado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 medium red apple, cored and sliced
8 oz bow tie pasts

1. In a large bowl, mix sour cream and curry powder to blend. Fold in pineapple, avocado, and apple.

2. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 5 mintues. Drain. Rinse pasta under cold water to cool, then let drain well. Fold pasta into sour cream mixture. Refrigerate until cold, about 15 mintues. Season salad to taste with salt and serve.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Frequently Used Cooking Terms

A-La King - Food served in cream sauce to which green peppers, mushrooms and pimentos often are added. Sometimes it is flavored with sherry.
A-La Mode - Literally means "in the manner of". In common use it refers to a dessert served with ice cream on top.
Antipasto - Italian for assorted appetizers of cold cuts, vegetables, fish, etc.
Aspic - A dish (except desert) which has been thickened or coated with gelatin.
Au Jus - Meat served in its natural juice.
Bake - TO cook by dry heat, usually in an oven.
Baking - Cookin in the oven. The temperature at which foods are baked varies considerably and is usually stated in the recipe. Where no temperature is stated, the common temperatures used are: a slow oven - 300 degrees F, a moderate oven - should be at 350 degrees F, a hot oven is about 425 degrees F, and a very hot oven is about 500 degrees F.
Barbecue - Meat roasted on a rack or spit, over coals. The meat is usually basted with a highly seasoned sauce.
Bard - To cover a bird or roast with strips of fat inorder to automatically baste meat or to protect delicate parts.
Baste - To moisten food while cooking, to add flavor and prevent dryness. Generally used in connection with meat that is being roasted.
Batter - A mixture including flour and liquid to wich heat is to be applied.
Beat - To incorporate air through a mixture by using a brisk, regular motion or to smooth lumps out of a mixture.
Beat Eggs Slightly - TO mix with a fork until yolk is broken and partly mixed with whites.
Beat Eggs Until Thick - TO beat, usually with a rotary beater or electirc mixer, until eggs thicken and c olor becomes light yellow.
Beat Egg Whites Until Stiff - To beat, usually with a rotary beater, or electric mixer, until egg whites are stiff and very white.
Bind - TO use egg yolk, flour, cornstarch, etc., to thicken or smooth a liquid.
Bisque - A rich cream soup (often of vegetable or shell fish) or a frozen dessert, usually ice cream containing nuts.
Blanch - TO pour boiling water over a food, then rinse with cold water. Used to shrink vegetables for canning and freeing, to remove skins from almonds, peaches and tomatoes.
Blend _ TO mix two or more ingredients thoroughly.
Boiling - Cooking in water at a tempreature of 212 degrees F. At very high altitudes water boils at a temperature below this and it is necessary to increase the cookign time. WHen water is at the boiling temperature, it will bubble vigorously and steam will rise from the surface.
Bread - To coat with flour or bread crumbs before cooking.
Broiling - Cooking over, under, or in front of a fire of live coals or a gas or electric burner. As the term is now commonly used, it refers to cooking under a gas or electric burner with notheing between the source of the heat and the food.
Broth - Thin soup, usually the liquid in which meat or poultry has been boiled.
Caramelize - To heat sugar until it melts and becomes brown. Used as a flavoring in many dishes.
Chantilly - A dish in which one of the ingredients is whipped cream.
Chill - TO allow to become thoroughly cool, but not frozen.
Chop - TO cut into coarse pieces with a sharp knife or chopper.
Chowder - A soup made of fish, clams or vegetables.
Chutney - A spicy relish made from several fruts and vegetables.
Cobbler - A deep frut pie with or without a bottom crust.
Coddle - To cook slowly just under the boiling point.
Combine - TO blen two or more ingredients together.
Compote - A serving dish with a stem or a mixture of foods served in a stemmed dish.
Condiment - A substance with a pungent flavor, such as catsup, chutney, etc. that is used to give relish to food.
Confectiners Sugar - Sugar ground to a very fine consistency. Powdered sugar.
Consomme - A clear soup usually of meat or chicken.
Cool - TO allow to stand at room temperature until heat is reduced so that food does not feel hot to the touch.
Cream - To soften by rubbing against the bowl with a spoon or beating with an electric mixer until a food (usually a fat) is light and creamy.
Crealot - Any highly seasoned food such as that prepared by the Creoles who are descendents of the early French and ASpanish settlers of Louisiana.
Crepes - Thin desert pancakes.
Croquettes - FInely chopped food held together in shape of balls, cones or cubes and cooked in hot fat.
Croutons - Cubes of bread which have been toated or fried.
Cube - TO cut into solid pieces of six equal square sides.
Curry - A dish cooked or flavored with curry powder.
Cut in - To use knives or a pastry blender to distribute solid fat in dry ingredients.
Deep Fry - TO cover food with hot oil and cook.
Demitasse - The small cup of after dinner coffee.
Dice - To cut into very small cubes.
Dissolve - TO melt. To liquefy a solid food.
Dot - To scatter small bits (such as butter) on the top of a recipe.
Dredge - To cover with flour, sugar or some other fine substance. Used to coat fruit to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of cake.
Drippings - Fat and juice which has dropped from roasting meat or poultry.
Drizzle - To spinkle with small drops of a liquid.
Dust - To sprinkle or coat lightly with flour or sugar.
Enrich - To add eggs, cream or butter.
Entree - with an inormal meal the entree is the chief dish of the main course, often meat, poultry or fish.
Entremet - Vegetables served with the entree or a dish served between main courses at a meal.
Fat - Butter, margarine, cooking and salad oils, the fat from meat and poultry, or shortening.
Fillet - A piece of meat or fish containing no bones.
Flake - To break into small pieces.
Flambe - To flavor food with an alcoholic liquid which is lit an dburned away, leaving its flavor.
Fold In = TO blend a mixture, such as egg whites into cake batter, or vice versa, so that air already beaten into whites is not lost. This is done by cutting down with a mixing spoon or spatual, then bringing up the lower part of mixture and folding it over the uppper part, repeating until blended.
Frosting - A mixture similar to an icing, but thicker and mroe opaque. Used for cakes.
Fricassee - To cook meat, game or poultry cut up in small pieces in liquid or fat.
Frying - Cooking in hot fat at a temperature or around 375 degrees F. Te article to be cooked is immersed in the fat.
Garnish - TO add decorative color to a dish with other food or greens.
Glace - To coat fruits or pies with a sugar syrup that has been cooked to the cra ck stage. The fruits used for fruitcake are glaced or candied.
Goulash - A thick meat stew.
Grate - To tear food into bits or shreds of varying size by rubbing against a course surface. (a grater)
Gravy - Sauce made with juice of meat, poultry or fish as a base.
Grease - To apply a thin layer of butter or oil on food or utensils.
Grill - Cooking over, under or in front of a fire of live coals or a gas or electric burner.
Icing - A mixture of confectioner's sugar and liquid, thin enough to be spread with a pastry bursh.
Julienne - Cut into long narrow strips.
Knead - To work dough by pressing, folding, and stretching. Biscuits and yeast leavened products are handled in this manner.
Liquor - The liquid in which food is packed or that in which it has been boiled.
Marinate - To soak in an oil and acid mixture.
Melt - To heat (usually a fat) until the material becomes liquid. A recipe might suggest melting to effect better mixing.
Mince - To cut with scissors or a knife into very fine pieces.
Mix - To stir ingredients itno a uniform mass.
Mocha - A mixture of coffee and chocolate flavors.
Pan Broiling - Cooking ona hot griddle or pan greased only enough to protect the food from sticking.
Pan Fry - Cooking in a small quantity of fat, turning from time to time so that all comes in contact with the hot fat.
Parboil - To cook to near tenderness in boiling water. Cooking is then usually finished in some other way, such as cooked on a barbecue.
Pare - To cut off the outside covering with a knife, as from a potato or apple.
Peel - To remove the outside covering by stripping off, as from a tomato, peach or banana.
Petit Fours - Small iced cakes.
Pilaf - Dishes originally from the Orient, combining meat, vegetables and rice.
Pit - To remove the pit or pits from fruits.
Poach - To cook under water which si just below the boiling point.
Steaming - Cooking in the steam generated by boiling water withthe food in a container above the water, only the steam able to reach the food.
Steep - To soak in a liquid at a temperature below the boiling point.
Stew - To cook slowly in a small amount of liquid.
Stewing - Cooking in a small amount of liquid which may either boil or simmer, as per recipes instructions.
Stock - Liquid resulting from cooking meat, fish or vegetables.
Stir - TO mix with a rotary motion, using a for, spoon or spatula. Stirring does not serve as a mthod of aeration as beating does.
Toss - To mix with light strokes, usualy by lifting with a fork or spoon.
Truss - TO bind the wings or legs of fowl before cooking.
Until Set - Until a liquid (usually a gelatin) becomes firm.
Whip - To beat very rapidly to incorporate air into the mixture,
Yeast _ A substance composed of many living cells. When mixed into suitable foods they produce a gas which causes doughs to rise. Brewers yeast is composed of cells no longer able to cause this action and it is used as a food supplement, rich in some of the B-Vitamins.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Breakfast Ideas

1. Energy Bar Makes 24 Bars
Nonstick Cooking Spray1 cup quick cooking rolled oats1/2 cup all purpose flour1/2 cup grape nuts cereal1/2 tsp ground ginger1 beaten egg1/3 cup applesauce1/4 cup honey1/4 cup packed brown sugar2 tbsp cooking oil1 16-oz package mixed dried fruit bits1/4 cup sunflower nuts1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 325'. Line a 2 inch tall baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil with nonstick spray. Set pan aside. In a large bowl combine the oats, flour, cereal and ginger. Add the egg, applesauce, honey, brown sugar and oil; mix everything well. Stir in the fruit bits, sunflower nuts and walnuts. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until ightly browned around the edges. Cool on a wire rack. Use edges of the foil to lift from pan.

2. Applesauce Doughnuts Makes 5 dozen
3 tbs butter, softened3/4 cup sugar3 eggs1 cup applesauce1 tsp vanilla extract4 1/2 cups all purpose flour3 1/2 tsp baking powder1 tsp salt1/2 tsp ground cinnamon1/4 tsp ground nutmeg1/4 cup milkoil (for frying)granulated sugar or powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Beat in the applesauce and vanilla. In a seperate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. In a skillet heat the oil to 375'. Drop teaspoonfuls of batter, a few at a time, into the hot oil. Turn and fry until golden, about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels. Roll in either sugar or cinnamon/sugar combo while doughnuts are still warm.

3. Raisinets Oatmeal Bars Makes 24 Bars
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour1 tsp baking soda3/4 tsp ground cinnamon1/2 tsp salt1 cup firmly packed brown sugar3/4 cup butter, softened1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract1 large egg1 (14 oz package raisinets1 3/4 cups quick or old fashioned oats, divided
Preheat the oven to 350' Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Beat sugar, butter an vanilla extract in alarge mixing bowl unti lcreamy. beat in the egg. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the raisinets and 1 1/2 cups of the oats. Spread into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining oats. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars to serve.

4. Honey French Toast Serves 4-6
1/2 cup honey1 cup milk6 eggs1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon1/8 tsp salt12 slices french breadbutterhoneytoasted pecan pieces
In a large, shallow bowl, beat togethre the honey, milk, eggs, cinnamon, and salt. Dip the bread slices in the egg mixture and turn to coat. Heat some butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook the bread for 1-2 m inutes on each side until browned. Serve with more honey and spirnkled with pecans.

5. PPR Oatmeal Serves 2
1 pear, cored and chopped1 cup old fashioned oatmeal1/2 tsp ground cinnamon4 tbs brown sugar1/4 cup raisins2 cups water1/4 cup toasted pecans
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine everything but the pecans. Microwave on high for 7 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Serve in two bowls, and sprinkle the pecans on top before serving.

6. Pear Bran Muffins Makes 12 muffins
1 1/2 cups whole grain pastry flour1 cup wheat bran2 tbs sugar1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon1 1/4 tsp baking soda1/4 tsp salt1 1/4 cups buttermilk2 large eggs, lightly beaten3 tbs canola oil1 pear, cored and cut into 1/4 inch discs1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 325'. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or lightly coat with cooking spray. Combine the flour, bran, sugar substitute, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Combine buttermilk, eggs, oil, pear, and vanilla in anothe rmixing bowl. Make buttermilk, eggs, oil, pear, and vanilla in another mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add we ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just to combine; do not overmix. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups. bake for 20 minutes. Cool and serve.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


1 box manicotti noodles
1 lb ground beef
3 hot italian sausages
garlic salt, italian seasoning
1 jar prego spaghetti cauce
1 green bell pepper
1 med yellow onion
1 16 oz ricotta cheese
2 handfulls shredded mozarella cheese
2 handfulls colby jack cheese
crumbled feta cheese **optional

1. Boil manicotti noodles as directed on box.
2. In skillet, brown together the hamburger meat and sausage, adding spices to taste.
3. In a large pot, pour spaghetti sauce over medium heat. Add chopped bell pepper and onion. After meat is done, drain, and add to sauce. Lower to low heat and let simmer for 25-30 minutes.
4. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, 1 handful each of mozarella and colby jack. Add 2-2 tbs of spaghetti sauce.
5. In a large baking pan, spoon a little of the sauce over the bottom of the pan. (this will keep the noodles from sticking to it while cooking). Stuff the noodles with cheese mixture, place in pan, top with sauce and remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

** For a healthier option, or a lactose free option, mix the feta cheese with a handful of mozarella and stuff shells. This has a bit of a tang if you arent a big feta fan, but is a great option for those looking for something other than ricotta. I usually stuff half with feta and half with ricotta and bake in same pan. Just make sure you remember which ones are which!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Black Bean Quesadilla

2 10-inch flour tortillas
1 cup canned refried black beans
1 cup chunky salsa
1 cup mexican style shredded cheese
1/2 cup prepared quacamole
2 tbs sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 400'. Lay one tortilla on a clean work surface. Spread the beans evenl over the tortilla. Soon 3/4 cup of the salsa over the beans, then sprinkle with the cheese. TOp with the second tortilla

2. Place the quesadilla on a foil covered cookie sheet. Bake for approx 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the top is crisp and brown. Meanwhile swirl the quacamole and sour cream together in a small bowl.

3. Cut the quesadilla into 4 equal portions. Serve with the quacamole mixture and remaining salsa.

Leftovers: Cover tightly and refrigerate; store for up to 1 day. Redeat in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until hot.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pepper Peach Chicken Skewers

24 small (6 inch) wooden skewers
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp bottled minced garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp ground cumin
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut into 6 cubes
2 firm ripe fresh peaches, pitted, each cut into 12 cubes.

1. Soak wood skewers in water for 10 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and cumin for marinade. Toss chicken cubes in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
3. Preheat broiler. Place 1 chicken cube and 1 peach cube onto eash skewer. Sprinkle with salt. Place on a broiler pan. Broil until chicken is cooken through and beginning to brown. Turn skewers halfway through cooking to brown on all sides, about 12 mintues total.
Serve immediately.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Date Bran Carrot Muffins

Non stick vegetable cooking spray
1 16-oz package date muffin mix
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup chopped pitted dates

1. Preheat oven to 400'. Line 12 muffin tins with muffin papers or spray with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, stir muffin mix, bran, milk, and egg until just blended. Fold in carrots and dates (batter should be lumpy)
3. Divide batter equally among the muffin tins. Bake until a toothpick inserted into muffin centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
4. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pancakes

Pecan Syrup:

1 cup maple flavored pancake syrup
5 tbs chopped toasted pecans


1 cup buttermilk pancake mix
2/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
nonstick vegetable spray
butter, room temperature

1. Combine maple syrup and pecans in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave on high until hot. Set pecan syrup aside and keep warm

2. In a medium bowl, whisk pancake mix, water, pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger until just blended(dont overmix, batter should be lumpy)

3. Spray a heavy griddle with nonstick spray and heat griddle ovre medium heat. Spoon 2 tbs batter onto griddle to form each pancake. Cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles appear, then turn pancakes over and cook 2 minutes longer. Transfer pancakes to plates. Top with butter and warm syrup.