Thursday, November 30, 2006

Anna's Almond Roca

Anna's Almond Roca

2 Cups Sugar
1 Pound Butter -- (4 sticks)
1 Cup Water
1/2 tsp. Salt
3 Cups Almonds -- the "shaved" kind
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 bag milk chocolate chips

Reserve 1 cup of the almonds and set aside. Mix sugar, butter, water, and salt in large, heavy saucepan and heat to boiling over medium to medium high heat. Make sure there's room in the saucepan for the mixture to foam up and boil. Heat mixture over medium to medium high until it foams and reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (don't stir).

When temp reaches 240, stir in 2 cups of almonds. Stir mixture constantly and watch temp carefully until temp reaches 290.

Remove from heat, stir in soda and QUICKLY pour onto a cookie sheet covered with Reynold's Release Aluminum Foil.

Mixture should start to harden immediately. As mixture hardens, sprinkle chocolate chunks over hardening mixture and spread the chocolate chunks around until they melt. Sprinkle melted chocolate with reserved almonds. Let sit until toffee hardens and chocolate sets.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Sugar Cookie Cutouts

1 cup butter -- softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup colored sugar for decoration

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Sift together the flour and baking powder, stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the heavy cream. Cover dough, and chill for 2 to 3 hours, until firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottoms and edges of cookies are light brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cheddar Chicken Chowder

Cheddar Chicken Chowder
Recipe By :Cooking Light
Serving Size : 7

2 bacon slices
Cooking spray
1 pound skinned and boned chicken breast -- cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves -- minced
4 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 3/4 cups diced peeled red potatoes
2 1/4 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% low-fat milk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese -- (3 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Crumble; set aside. Add chicken, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to bacon fat in pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth and potatoes; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add corn; stir well.Place flour in a bowl. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended; add to soup. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Top with crumbled bacon.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 224 Calories; 7g Fat (26.8% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 57mg Cholesterol; 656mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat.
Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

White Chicken Enchiladas

White Chicken Enchiladas

Serving Size : 12

1/4 cup onion -- chopped
8 ounces mushroom -- sliced
4 ounces light cream cheese
1 Tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons milk
8 ounces light sour cream
2 cups chicken breast -- cooked and shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup, condensed
1 cup milk
12 flour tortilla
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese -- shredded
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Saute onions and mushrooms in butter. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese, milk, and cumin.
Place 3 Tablespoons in each tortilla, roll up and place in greased pan.
Mix soup, sour cream, and 1 c. milk, pour over the top.
Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes at 350.
Remove foil, sprinkle cheese on, and bake for 5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

**TO freeze enchiladas for later use: Roll up enchiladas and cover with the sauce. Do not sprinkle cheese on top and do not bake. Cover with a double layer of foil and place in the freezer. After frozen, seal with a vacuum sealer if you have one. To prepare, place in the oven in a frozen state in a 375ºF oven. Bake for about 50 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle cheese on top, and bake for another 5 minutes or so- until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot.

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili
Serving Size : 10

1 large Onion -- coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic -- minced
1 cup chicken -- cooked and shredded
2 4 oz. cans diced green chiles
2 Tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 cups chicken broth
2 cans white hominy, canned -- drained
2 cans white beans -- drained and rinsed
dash chili powder, tabasco, etc.
2 tablespoons olive oil

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent
Add chili's, cook for another minute or so.
Add chicken broth and remaining ingredients.
Simmer for 1 or 2 hours.

Serving Ideas : Best with diced tomato, cheese, and sour cream on top.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Autumn Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie

8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ( I used a combination of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg)
1 9- inch unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine cream cheese& condensed milk until smooth.
Stir in pureed pumpkin,spice& eggs,mix until well combined.
Pour into pie shell.
Bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted 1" from the edge comes out clean.
Serve warm and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Herb Roasted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy

Herb Roasted Turkey With Apple Cider Gravy
from Bon Appetit Magazine, November 2003

Brining the turkey in the refrigerator for two days ensures an incredibly moist result. We do not recommend stuffing brined turkeys because the brine can make the stuffing too salty. A do-ahead gravy base eliminates last-minute stirring and thickening. Look for fresh bay leaves in the produce section.

8 quarts cold water
2 cups coarse kosher salt
8 large fresh or dried bay leaves
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons whole allspice
1 16- to 17-pound turkey; giblets removed, neck reserved
Herb butter and gravy
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
3 tablespoons minced fresh sage
3 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups apple cider
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy) or other brandy
2 large Granny Smith apples, quartered, cored
2 large onions, quartered
1 cup apple cider

To brine the turkey: Line extra-large pot or bowl with two 13-gallon (or larger) plastic bags, 1 inside the other. Combine 1 quart water, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, and allspice in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until salt dissolves. Remove from heat. Add 1 quart cold water and cool to lukewarm. Pour into plastic bags; mix in remaining 6 quarts water. Wrap turkey neck and refrigerate. Submerge turkey in brine to cover completely, gathering bags tightly to eliminate any air; tie bags closed. Refrigerate turkey in brine in pot at least 18 hours and up to 20 hours.

Line large roasting pan with 4 layers of paper towels. Remove turkey from brine and drain well; discard brine. Place turkey in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For herb butter and gravy: Mix parsley, thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, and nutmeg in small bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup herb mixture to small bowl; mix in 1/2 cup butter.

Combine broth and apple cider in heavy large saucepan. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes. Pour broth reduction into bowl. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in same saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Whisk in broth reduction, then cream, Calvados, and remaining herb mixture. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until gravy base is thickened and reduced to 2 3/4 cups, whisking often, about 20 minutes. Cool gravy base slightly. (Gravy base and herb butter can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

To roast the turkey: Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Remove turkey from roasting pan; drain any accumulated juices from main cavity. Discard paper towels from roasting pan. Melt herb butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Brush bottom of roasting pan with some of herb butter. Return turkey to prepared pan. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place some apple quarters and onion quarters in main cavity. Brush remaining herb butter over turkey; sprinkle with pepper. Scatter remaining apples and onions around turkey in pan. Add reserved turkey neck to pan.

Roast turkey 1 hour. Baste with 1/2 cup apple cider. Roast turkey 30 minutes. Baste with remaining 1/2 cup cider. Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, basting turkey every 30 minutes with pan juices and covering breast loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 2 hours longer (3 1/2 hours total). Transfer turkey to platter; let stand at least 30 minutes before carving (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).

Discard apples, onions, and turkey neck from pan. Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup; spoon off fat from surface. Pour degreased juices into gravy base and bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Boil until gravy thickens enough to coat spoon and is reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Season gravy to taste with pepper.
Serve turkey with gravy.

Makes10 servings.

Bon AppétitNovember 2003

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cranberry Pecan Pie

Cranberry Pecan Pie

pie pastry
1 cup cranberries, fresh
3 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon mace
pinch salt
3/4-1 cup pecan halves

Roll out the pie crust until it 1/8" thick and press into a 9" pie pan. Flute the edges and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350*. (325* if using glass pan).
Process the cranberries until finely chopped; arrange over the bottom of pie shell and set aside.
In a large mixer bowl, beat the eggs till frothy.
Mix in the sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, mace and salt.
Pour the egg mixture over the cranberries.
Arrange the pecan halves on top of pie in circles, beginning with the outer edge and working your way to middle, covering completely.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown and almost set. it will still be a little shaky but will firm up as it cools.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fennel and Orange Salad

Fennel and Orange Salad
from Everyday Food, November 2006

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper (I used grey salt)
5 navel oranges
3 to 4 fennel bulbs (about 2 pounds total) ends trimmed and cored, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise, plus 1/4 cup roughly chopped fennel fronds

1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil; season with salt and pepper.

2, Using a sharp knife, slice off both ends of each orange. Following the curve of the fruit, cut away the peel and the pith. Halve orange from top to bottom; thinly slice crosswise. Transfer oranges, along with any juices that have accumulated on the work surface, to bowl with dressing. Add fennel and, if desired, fronds. Toss to combine.

Serves 8.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells

inspired by a Cooking Light recipe.

1 pound jumbo shell pasta (about 40 shells)
Cooking Spray
1 (12-ounce) carton low fat cottage cheese
1 (15-ounce) carton ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
8 cups marinara of your choice
1 1/2 cups shredded mozarella cheese

1.Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.

2.Preheat oven to 375ºF.

3.Coat 2 (9x13-inch) baking dishes with cooking spray; set aside.

4.Combine cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, Asiago, Parmesan, garlic, chives, parsley, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and drained spinach. Mix well.

5.Spoon 1 tablespoon cheese mixture into each shell. Put 1 cup of marinara in the bottom of each pan. Arrange half of stuffed shells, seam sides up, in each prepared dish. Pour 3 cups marinara over stuffed shells in both pans. Sprinkle each with 3/4 cup mozarella cheese.

6.Cover with foil. Bake at 375ºF for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

To freeze unbaked casserole, prepare through step 5. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy duty foil. Stor in freezer up to 6 months.

To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Remove foil and plastic wrap. Re-wrap with foil and bake at 375ºF for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the shells are thoroughly heated.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Overnight French Toast

Overnight French Toast

12 slices bread -- crusts removed
16 ounces cream cheese (low-fat works well too)
1 cup berries
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
Fruit Topping:
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup water
1 cup berries
1 tablespoon butter

Cut bread into 1 inch cubes, place half in a 13x9x2 inch pan. Cut cheese into cubes, spread over bread. Top with fruit, and then remaining bread.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, and syrup together. Pour over bread.
Cover and chill 8 hours, or overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 25-30 minutes more.

Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients and bring to a gentle boil in a saucepan. Cook until nicely thickened. Serve over french toast.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Gorgonzola Walnut Dip

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted in a skillet
pinch of grey salt
black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Chill until ready to serve. Serve on garlic crostini or with crackers. An excellent accompaniement would be pear or apple slices. This dip can be prepared a day in advance.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cranberry Macadamia Bars

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
1/2 cup finely chopped macafamia nuts, hazelnuts, or pecans
2 beaten eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, or pecans
1 cup finely chopped cranberries
1/2 cup coconut

Stir together flour and the 3/4 cup of sugar in a mixing bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry belnder tillm ixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup nuts. Press flour mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 10 to 15 minutes or till the crust is lightly browned around the edges.

Meanwhile, combine the eggs, the 1 1/4 cup sugat, milk, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat till combined. Pour over the hot crust. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup nuts, the cranberries, and coconut.

Bake in the 350ºF oven for 30 minutes or till golden. Cool slightly in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars while still warm. Cool completely in pan.

Makes 24.

Honey-Ginger Chicken Bites

Recipe By : Cooking Light Magazine

2/3 c honey
2 tbsps minced ginger
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
2 tbsps cider vinegar
2 tbsps low sodium soy sauce
2 tsps dark sesame oil
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
4 garlic cloves -- minced
1 1/4 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs -- cut into bite sized pieces, about 16 thighs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsps cornstarch
2 tsps water
2 tsps sesame seeds -- toasted

Combine first 9 ingredients in a ziplock bag. Seal and shake well. Add chicken, seal, and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 425.

Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade. Arrange chicken in a single layer on the rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, stirring once.

While chicken is cooking, strain marinade hrough sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Place marinade in saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes; skim solids from surface.

Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan, stirring with whisk; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; pour glaze into a large bowl.

Preheat broiler.

Add chicken to glaze; toss to coat. Place chicken mixture on a jelly roll pan; broil 5 minutes or until browned, stirring twice.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Source:"Cooking Light, March 2003"

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Baked Potato Soup

From Cooking Light Magazine

4 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Penzey's Fox Point Seasoning Blend
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400°.
Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash. Discard skins.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk and buttermilk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, Fox Point Seasoning and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.
Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Sprinkle each serving with cheese, onions, and bacon. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups soup, 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons onions)

NUTRITION PER SERVINGCALORIES 329(30% from fat); FAT 10.8g (sat 5.9g,mono 3.5g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 13.6g; CHOLESTEROL 38mg; CALCIUM 407mg; SODIUM 587mg; FIBER 2.8g; IRON 1.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 44.5g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2002

Frosted Banana Bars

3 dozen
40 min 15 min prep

1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed, ripe bananas(, , about 3 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
Beat in eggs, bananas, and vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Pour into a greased 15x10x1 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
For frosting cream butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl.
Gradually add confectioners' sugar and vanilla.
Beat well.
Spread over bars.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Blueberry and White Chocolate Chunk Ginger Cookies

recipe courtesy Eating Well Magazine
recipe author Anna Ginsberg

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large egg
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup oats, quick-cooking or old-fashioned (not instant)
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped

1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375ºF.
2. Whisk flour, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, and ground ginger in a small bowl. Whisk egg, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; stir to combine. Add oats, chocolate, blueberries, and crystallized ginger; stir just to combine. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto 2 ungreased baking sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart.
3. Bake the cookies until puffed and barely golden around the edges, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool in the pans for 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.