Thursday, February 24, 2011

Butternut Squash and Apple Casserole

This butternut squash casserole includes apples and is topped with a buttery spiced crumb topping with brown sugar. This is a tasty side dish for any fall meal, and it would be a perfect holiday dinner casserole.
Ingredients:

* 1 small butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 lbs)
* 2 tart apples
* 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
* 4 tablespoons butter, cold
* 1 tablespoon flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preparation:
Butter a 2- to 2 1/2-quart baking dish. Heat oven to 350°. Peel, seed, and cut squash into small slices. Core the apples, peel, and cut into thin slices. Toss squash and apples together. Transfer squash and apple slices to the prepared baking dish.

Combine brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; cut in butter with fork or pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over sliced squash and apples. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes, or until squash is tender.
Blueberry Jello Salad

Ingredients:

* 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice
* 2 packages (3 ounces each) blackberry or black raspberry Jello
* 3 cups boiling water
* 1 can (15 ounces) blueberries, drained
* 8 ounces sour cream (1 cup)
* 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup sugar
* chopped nuts

Preparation:
Blueberry Jello Salad Directions
Drain pineapple; reserve juice. Dissolve Jello in boiling water; stir in reserved pineapple juice. Chill until slightly set, about the consistency of unbeaten egg white. Stir in pineapple and blueberries. Pour into a 9 1/2 x 6 x 2-inch pan; chill until firm. Combine sour cream, cream cheese, and sugar; mix well until smooth and well blended. Spread over blueberry Jello salad and top with chopped pecans or walnuts.
Blueberry Jello gelatin salad serves 6 to 8.
Millionaire Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

* 1 small package (3 ounces) cream cheese
* 3 tablespoons half-and-half
* 1/4 cup mayonnaise
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* dash salt
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 cup diced pineapple
* 1 can (about 11 ounces) mandarin orange sections, drained
* 1/2 cup halved maraschino cherries
* 1/2 cup green or red seedless grapes, halved
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans
* 1 cup miniature marshmallows
* 1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Preparation:
Direction for fruit salad
Combine cream cheese and 3 tablespoons whipping cream; add mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and sugar. Combine cream cheese mixture with fruit, pecans, and marshmallows. Fold whipped cream into fruit salad. Freeze this fruit salad in an 8-inch square pan.
Fruit salad serves 8.
Orange Sherbet Salad

Ingredients:

* 2 packages orange flavored gelatin
* 1 cup boiling water
* 1 cup orange juice
* 1 pint orange sherbet
* 1 can Mandarin oranges, drained and cut up
* 1 can (8 to 9 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
* 2 bananas, peeled and sliced
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup miniature marshmallows

Preparation:
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water; add fruit juice and sherbet. Stir until sherbet is melted. Add fruit and chill until firm. Combine sour cream and marshmallows; spread over top of salad just before serving.
Orange sherbet salad serves 10.
Ginger Ale Salad Recipe

This is a congealed salad with gelatin, fruit and ginger ale.
Ingredients:

* 1 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
* 1/4 cup cold water
* 1/2 cup hot pineapple juice
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup ginger ale
* 1/2 cup seedless grapes
* 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
* 1/2 cup chopped apple
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger*

Preparation:
Soften gelatin in cold water; dissolve in the hot pineapple juice then add lemon juice, sugar, salt, and ginger ale. Chill thoroughly until mixture is partially set. Fold in the grapes, pineapple, apple, and ginger. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart mold. Unmold on a bed of greens and serve with whipped cream or salad dressing.

To make candied or crystallized ginger:
Boil 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water; add 1/2 cup peeled and chopped ginger pieces. Reduce heat to a simmer; simmer for 20 minutes. Drain well and let dry, then sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Pretzel Salad

This pretzel salad is always a hit. Take this salad to a potluck supper or serve at a special family meal or holiday dinner.
Ingredients:

* 2 cups crushed hard pretzels
* 3/4 cup melted butter or margarine
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
* 2 cups whipped cream or whipped topping
* 1 package (6 oz) strawberry gelatin
* 1 package (10 oz) frozen strawberries, thawed
* 2 cups boiling water
* 1 cup sugar

Preparation:
Mix together the crushed pretzels, butter or margarine, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Put into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish; bake at 400° for 8 to 10 minutes. Mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and whipped topping. Mix gelatin into boiling water, then add frozen strawberries. Spoon over cream cheese mixture. Garnish with fresh strawberries.
Serves 10 to 12.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sushi CALIFORNIA ROLL

Originally "California" rolls referred to the use of avocados in sushi makis. Today, the inside/out [rice on the outside] categorizes a California roll more than its contents. Garnishing the outside rice covering of California rolls offers the opportunity to add wonderful color and texture to your sushi presentation.

Make The Rice
Follow our rice recipe for makizushi, making sure to roll your sushi while rice is still warm.

Sushi Recipe For Making California RollMiyamoto's California Rolls
Ingredients for 5 California Rolls [40 pieces]:

1 English Cucumber - remove seeds and cut into strip - 10 cm long and 1/2 cm thick [leave the skin on... looks great in your roll]
200g Imitation Crab Sticks - Oosaki brand is our preferred choice - North American product should be squeezed to remove excess water
2 Avocados - Haas is the best - not to ripe [buy them green/hard and wrap in newspaper for 24 hours] peel and cut into wedges
5 Half sheets of Nori - Takaokaya Gold and Yamamotoyama Gold are excellent - Full sheets are to be halved width-wise by folding and then carefully pulling the sheet apart
50g Toasted Sesame Seeds - Buy Black and White for a decorative touch
50g Tobiko [flying fish roe] - You may use Masago but tobiko is a superior product - pick a color... a good Japanese food store will offer many colors. Our shop has red, orange, green wasabi, black, and gold.
Tezu Prepare a small bowl of water mixed with a small amount of unsweetened Rice Vinegar for moistening your finger tips [not your whole hands... we try to only use our fingertips!]
Wasabi and Japanese Mayonnaise [Optional Ingredients - QP is the best]

Let's Get Started
Place a sheet of cellophane wrap - same size as your rolling mat on your sudare [bamboo rolling mat]. Cool your hands down under a cold running water tap and dry your hands [cold hands will sweat less and stick less to your rice].

Dip your fingers in your Tezu and wave your hands to remove excess water. Take some rice with your finger tips [10 cm round ball]. Place the rice ball in the center of the wrap and gently distribute the rice the width of your nori sheet and 5 cm longer then then your sheet of seaweed. Don't work your rice too much [if you smash your rice grains you are pressing too hard].

Center your nori sheet on the sheet of rice. You may now fill your roll.

Almost Ready
Sushi Recipe For Making California RollPlace a row of avocado wedges length-wise in the center of your nori sheet. Your nori should cover the entire rice sheet side to side and towards you. The extra 5 cm rice should be open along width-wise away from you [leave some room on the sides of your nori so the filling doesn't get squeezed out].

Put the cucumber strips alongside your avocado and do likewise with your crab sticks. Lay a strip of Japanese mayonnaise and/or wasabi.

Start To Roll
Roll the side nearest you to form a center core of ingredients surrounded by nori [there should be that 5 cm band of rice left after your nori].

Pull out you wrap at the end of your roll and overlap your ingredients roll over the last band of rice. By pulling and lightly squeezing your mat, form your roll circular or triangular-wise [gently hold your ingredient in on the ends while manipulating your roll].

Gently set your roll to the side and spread sesame seeds and/or tobiko on your cellophane wrap with your mat underneath. Re-position your roll on the cellophane and gently re-form your roll to embed slightly your outside ingredients. Carefully move your mat to one end of your roll to shape the end of your roll [a small amount of your ingredients squeezed out is normal... too much means your squeezing too much].

Cut & Serve
Cut your roll into 8 pieces. Your knife must be very sharp.

Place the tip of your knife into your bowl of Tezu. Invert your knife to a vertical position and tap the butt end of your knife and let the water flow along the blade to the tip. This will insure that your rice does not stick to your knife. Place your roll on a cutting board and cut your roll in half [leave the cellophane on!].

Halve your pieces again and once more and remove the cellophane wrap and voila! 8 delicious California roll
Deep Fried Candy Bars

To make deep-fried candy bars, you will need:

* Up to 8 full-size candy bars
* 2 quarts of vegetable oil
* 1.5 cups flour
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 cup milk
* 2 tbsp white vinegar
* You will also need a candy/deep fry thermometer

Freeze Candy Bars
Before you fry the candy bars you want them really cold, so unwrap them and place them on a baking sheet and freeze them for at least 3 hours.
Prepare the Oil for Frying
When you're ready to fry, get the oil ready. Pour it into a heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat and insert your candy thermometer. You want the oil to come to 375, which takes a while. Keep one eye on the oil while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
Mix Ingredients for Batter
Place ½ cup of the flour on a plate or in a pie tin, and set it aside. Place the remaining cup of flour in a medium bowl, and stir in the baking soda and salt.

Combine the milk, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and mix it together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk them until it's really smooth and there aren't any lumps.
Dip Candy Bars
Once the oil is at 375, it's time to start dipping. If you have a huge pan you can probably do several at once, but it's easiest to just fry one at a time.
Frying the Candy Bars
Roll a candy bar in the flour then dip it in the batter, making sure that it’s completely covered. Carefully lower it into the hot oil--you don't want to get too close and burn your fingers, but be carefully not to throw it in and cause oil to splatter. Use a slotted spoon to push down on the candy bar and keep it submerged in the oil so it cooks evenly.

Once it's a beautiful, golden brown color, remove the candy bar from the oil and place it on a plate covered with paper towel to soak up the excess grease. Repeat the battering and frying process with the remaining candy bars.
Serving Deep-Fried Candy Bars
After your candy bars are fried, let them cool slightly, then dust them lightly with powdered sugar and serve while still slightly warm. The outside is crisp but the insides liquefy and become this awesome gooey, chocolatey, caramel heaven. They are outrageous!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lasagna

Ingredients

* 1 lb lean ground beef
* 1/2 medium sweet white onion, diced
* 1/2 large bell pepper (green, red, or yellow), seeds and veins removed, diced
* 1/2 lb dry lasagna noodles (requires 9 lasagna noodles - unbroken)
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 28 oz can tomato sauce
* 1/2 28 oz can (16 oz) stewed tomatoes
* 1/2 6 oz can (3 oz) tomato paste
* 1 lb Ricotta cheese
* 1 1/2 lb Mozzarella cheese (large flat square slices)
* 3/4 lb freshly grated parmesan cheese
* Garlic Powder
* Oregano
* Italian Spice
* Salt
* Garlic Salt
* Parsley diced (fresh flat leaf preferred)
* 1 Garlic Cloves, minced
* White wine vinegar


1 Brown lean ground beef in skillet until lightly browned and cooked through. Put a few layers of paper towels in large bowl. With slotted spoon, remove browned beef from skillet draining off excess beef fat and put on top of blotting towels. After all the browned beef has been removed from the skillet, drain off and dispose of excess beef fat. Wipe skillet clean with paper towel. (If your ground beef is sufficiently lean, there won't be any excess fat to drain.)

Add diced green pepper and onion to skillet. Brown for a few minutes on medium high heat, add browned beef back to the skillet, lower the heat to low and continue to cook for 5 more minutes stirring frequently.

2 Transfer browned beef, green pepper and onions to 3 Qt. pot. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste. Open stewed tomatoes and dice, then add to 3 Qt. pot. Add oregano, parsley, Italian Spice Mix to taste, probably 2 teaspoons of each. Add a pinch of garlic powder and a pinch of garlic salt, to taste. Add a dash of white wine vinegar. Add sugar a tablespoon at a time, until desired level of sweetness, no more than 1/4 cup of sugar. Note that it is hard to follow a pure recipe when it comes to pasta sauce. One Italian spice mix is not like the other, nor is one can of tomato sauce not like the other. So you really do need to taste the sauce as you are adding the spices, sugar and vinegar.

Stir and allow sauce to simmer 15-45 minutes to thicken (do not scorch bottom, stir frequently). Remove from heat.

3 Cook lasagna noodles in 6 Qt. Pot per cooking directions (al dente). (Note noodles may be cooked in advance.) Stir often to prevent from sticking and be sure that water remains at a boil during the entire cooking to prevent noodles from sticking. I add Tbsp of salt to the water so the noodles are more flavorful. Drain in colander and place in a cool water filled pan to keep from drying out and sticking together.

4 In dry lasagna pan, ladle one cup of sauce and spread along the bottom of the pan. Apply a layer noodles 3 length wise (edges overlapping). Ladle in sauce sparingly into center trough of 3 noodles. Apply a layer of mozzarella cheese slices on top of lasagna sauce. Place ricotta cheese dollops every 2 inches in center of noodles on top of mozzarella cheese slices, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese in thin even layer on top of ricotta cheese. Apply second layer of noodles, topping again with sauce and cheese. Finish with another layer of noodles. If you have extra sauce and cheese you can spread that over the top. Tent lasagna pan with aluminum foil (not touching noodles or sauce). Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

Note - Flavor improves for second service and may be reheated in convention or microwave. Leave aluminum tent on for storage (Do not allow aluminum to touch the sauce.)

Serves 8.
Banana Cream Pie
By Diana Rattray, About.com Guide

Ingredients:

* 1 cup whole milk
* 4 egg yolks
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 3 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 cups heavy cream divided
* 2 bananas, thinly sliced and tossed with 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
* 1 baked 9-inch pie shell

Preparation:
In a heavy saucepan, bring milk to the boiling point.
Place egg yolks in mixing bowl and beat on medium speed of electric mixer, gradually adding sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until mixture is thick and lemon-colored. Beat in flour. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the hot milk.

Transfer mixture to heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let mixture come to a boil and boil for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and continue to beat until mixture is smooth. Beat in butter a little at a time; then blend in cinnamon. Stir in vanilla extract; let mixture cool.

Beat 1 cup of the cream until firm but not stiff. Mix about 1/2 cup of the whipped cream into the egg mixture to lighten it. Fold remaining whipped cream into egg mixture then fold in sliced bananas.

Transfer filling to the pastry shell. Whip remaining cream and spoon or pipe onto the pie. Refrigerate until serving time.
Individual Strawberry Trifles
Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients
Marinated strawberries:

* 1 quart fresh strawberries, halved
* 1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar

Whipped cream:

* 3 cups heavy cream
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 (1 pound) fresh pound cake
* 1/3 cup amaretto liqueur
* 2 amaretto cookies, for garnish
* Demerara sugar, for garnish

Directions

In a small shallow casserole dish, toss the strawberries with vinegar and let stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. After the strawberries have marinated, check for sweetness, adding sugar if desired.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, whisk the cream to soft peaks. Add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar. Whip until stiff peaks. Set aside.

Using a serrated knife, slice pound cake lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. You will only need 4 slices. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out circles from each cake slice. Line up 2 high ball glasses and place 1 cake circle in the bottom of each. Brush cakes with amaretto liqueur. Add 2 tablespoons of marinated strawberries and spread evenly. Using a different tablespoon, add a large dollop of whipped cream and spread evenly. Add a second layer of cake, pressing down lightly. Brush with amaretto liqueur. Add 2 tablespoons of marinated strawberries and spread evenly. Top with a large dollop of whipped cream, spreading evenly. Use remaining cake, cream and strawberries to create a more humble trifle dish.

Cover trifles with plastic wrap and refrigerate for impromptu indulgence, Keeping in mind that it will store for up to 2 days.

To serve, remove and discard plastic wrap. Grate amaretto cookie on top and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Parisian Steak and Cheese Croissant Sandwiches
Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

* 4 (4-ounce) beef fillet steaks
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 4 croissants
* 6 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 1/2-inch slices, at room temperature
* 2 cups arugula
* 1 cup (about 4 ounces) jarred roasted red bell peppers, thinly sliced

Directions

Season the steaks with salt and pepper. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Cook the steaks for about 5 minutes each side for medium-rare. Set aside for 5 minutes before slicing. Slice the steak, across the grain, into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Using a serrated knife, slice the croissants in half lengthwise. In 2 batches, place the croissant halves, cut side down in the skillet and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until lightly toasted. Lay the Brie slices over the toasted croissant halves. Place about 1/4 cup of the arugula on the bottom halves of the croissants. Add the sliced steak. Arrange the red bell pepper on top of the steak. Top with the remaining arugula and add the top of the croissant. Serve immediately.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Deceptively Delicious Creamy Potato Soup

Ingredients

2 tsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, cut in half
2 (14 ounce) cans low sodium chicken broth
2 pounds potatoes, any kind, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup cauliflower puree
1 1/2 cup butternut squash puree
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt

optional:
shredded cheddar cheese and croutons



Directions
1. Coat a large pot with cooking spray and set it over medium heat. When the pot is hot, add the oil, onion, and then garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft but not brown, 5 to 6 minutes. (Be careful not to burn the garlic!)

2. Add the broth and potatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Carefully spoon the mixture into a blender or food processor and add the vegetable purees, milk, and salt; puree until smooth. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese if you like.


Serves: 8
Deceptively Delicious French Toast

Ingredients

4 large eggs
2 Tbsp. banana puree (or substitute your choice)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 slices whole-wheat bread
non stick cooking spray
2 tsp. trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread
(optional)
- Serve with maple syrup, confectioners sugar, or fresh fruit
- For a healthier version add flax seed meal



Directions
1. In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs, puree, and cinnamon. Add the bread slices and turn them in the mixture to soak for 30 seconds to 1 minute ( any longer and the bread will get soggy.)

2. Coat a nonstick griddle or large nonstick with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the margarine sizzles, add the soaked bread slices (sprinkle with flax seed if you like) and cook until golden brown on the outside, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve warm with syrup, confectioners' sugar, or fruit.

Number of Servings: 4
Deceptively Delicious Banana Bread

Ingredients

nonstick cooking spray
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c canola oil
1 1/2 c well mashed banana
1/2 c cauliflower puree
1 tsp vanilla extract



Directions
Steam cauliflower and puree 1/2 c, set aside.
Preheat oven to 350.
Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In a zip lock, mix flours with baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In lg bowl, mix the sugar and oil with a wooden spoon til well combined. Mix in egg whites if using, then banana, cauliflower puree, and vanilla. And flour mixture and mix til just combined.
Pour batter into pan, bake til a toothpick comes out clean...55-60 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes then turn out onto rack to cool before serving.
Enjoy!
From Jessica Seinfeld's book, Deceptively Delicious, a MUST HAVE if you love to cook and have children or picky eaters in the house!

Number of Servings: 20
Deceptively Delicious chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

Ingredients

1 can pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chocolate chips



Directions
Mix it all up and bake in 12 pre-sprayed muffin tins at 350 for 23 minutes
Deceptively Delicious Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

Ingredients:

* Winter Squash, 1/2 cup, cubes (puree)
* *Pasta, Barilla small shells(or any small pasta), 8 oz
* Cheddar or Colby Cheese, Low Fat, 1 cup, shredded
* Evaporated Milk, 5 oz
Water 3 oz
* Flour, whole grain, 1 TBSP
* Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
* Cauliflower, frozen, cooked, 1/2 cup (puree)
Breadcrumbs about 1/2 cup (optional )
Parmesan cheese 1 TBSP(optional)
Salt & Black pepper to taste . Paprika works well too.



Directions
Cook Pasta according to directions till al dente.
While cooking pasta, coat a pan with non stick spray. Add oil and flour stir until a thick paste ( roux)
Do not brown. about 1-2 minutes.
Add the milk cook stirring until mixture thickens about 3-4 minutes.
Add the veggie purees,cheese and seasonings and stir until the cheese is well melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in the macaroni .Pour into a pan and spread breadcrumbs &Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes.
Serves 6 ( or serves 8 as a side dish calories for 8 servings Cal: 194 Fat : 4 g {sat fat1.2g} Sodium: 247 Chol:4.1 Fiber: 2.5 Carbs:31 Protein:9.5)

Number of Servings: 6
Deceptively Delicious Recipes - Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Ingredients

* Nonstick cooking spray
* 1/2 cup firmly packed light/dark brown sugar
* 4 tbsp margarine, chilled
* 1 cup lemon low fat yogurt
* 1 cup blueberries
* 1/2 cup yellow squash puree
* 1/4 cup egg substitute
* 2 tsp pure lemon extract
* 1 tsp grated lemon zest
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp salt



Directions
* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.
* In a large bowl, beat the sugar and the margarine with a wooden spoon. Stir in the yogurt, blueberries, yellow squash puree, egg, lemon extract, and lemon zest.
* Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir just to combine, but do not over mix - the batter is supposed to be lumpy.
* Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, 13 to 16 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.
* Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze up to 1 month.

Number of Servings: 12
Deceptively Delicious Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

Ingredients

non stick cooking spray
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (creamy)
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
2 tbsp trans fat-free soft tub margarine spread
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 large egg white
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup strawberry preserves



Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with baking cups.
2. In large bowl, beat the peanut butter, carrot puree, sugar, and margarine with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in the yogurt and egg white.
3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined, but do not over mix - there should be lumps in the batter.
4 .Divide the batter among the muffin cups and drop a spoonful of preserves on top of each.
5. Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, 20 - 25 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool. (Don't flip them over or the jelly will fall out! I learned this the hard way)
6. Store in an airtight container at room temp for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month.

Number of Servings: 12
Deceptively Delicious Turkey Chili

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp chili powder, or to taste
1 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 (26 oz) carton reduced fat, low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup red pepper puree
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp flax-seed meal
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed



Directions
1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with cooking spray and set it over medium heat. When the pot is hot, add the oil. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sprinkle the turkey with the garlic, chili powder, salt, paprika, and pepper. Add the turkey to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is no longer pink, 5 - 6 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomatoes. Add the broth, red pepper puree, carrot puree, cornmeal, and flax-seed meal, and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered 15 - 20 minutes, or until the flavors have blended. Stir in the beans and cook a little longer, just to heat them through.

Note: If your children freak out when they see beans, puree them before adding them to the chili. You can also finely chop raw carrot and pepper in the food processor to save time.

Number of Servings: 8
Deceptively Delicious Sloppy Joes

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground turkey or sirloin
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/2 cup butternut squash or red pepper puree
raw, finely chopped carrots (optional)
1/2 cup reduced-fat low-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 whole-grain hamburger or hot-dog buns



Directions
1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil. Add the onion, celery, and garlic, and cook until the onion starts to soften (not brown), 3 - 4 minutes.

2. Add the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until no longer pink, 4 - 5 minutes.

3. Add the vegetable purees, raw chopped carrots (if using), beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by about one-half, 15 - 20 minutes.

4. Spoon the mixture over buns and serve.

Serves 8
Deceptively Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

nonstick cooking spray
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c trans fat-free soft tub margarine
2 large egg whites
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt



Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla, then the chickpeas and chocolate chips. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed until a thick dough forms.
3. Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork to flatten. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11 - 13 minutes; do not overbake. Transfer to a rack to cool.
4. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Note: Serving size calculate for 3 dozen cookies.

Number of Servings: 36

Friday, February 11, 2011

Banana Coconut Cream Pie

Serves 8

1 (6-ounce) pie crust
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/3 cups water
1 (14-ounce) can Eagle® Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted
2 medium bananas
Lemon juice from concentrate
Whipped cream, whipped

In heavy saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in water; stir in Eagle® Brand and egg yolks. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; add margarine and vanilla. Cool slightly.

Fold in coconut. Slice bananas; dip in lemon juice and drain. Arrange on bottom of pie crust. Pour filling over bananas; cover.

Chill 4 hours or until set. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with toasted coconut and sliced bananas if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

© 2001 Eagle Family Foods
Sour Cream Apple Pie
serves 10

Flaky Pie Crust Dough:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup and 2 Tbs. butter
1 large egg
2 Tbs. ice water

Filling:
2 cups apple, chopped finely
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sour cream
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Topping:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup nuts
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

Flaky Pie Crust:
Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and begin working it into the flour with a pastry cutter. Work with the dough until each piece of butter is the size of a raisin. Make sure to do this quickly.

Mix together the egg and water in a small bowl, then add that to the flour/butter mixture. Smear this mixture and knead through it with the heal of your hand until it barely holds together. Don't over-work the dough. Flatten the dough into a disc shape, wrap it in plastic, and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough for the pie shell and place in a 10-inch pie pan shaping the dough to the pan.

Pie Filling:
Peel fruit. Slice and dice apples so they are very fine. Arrange fruit in the bottom of the pie shell. Mix together egg, sour cream, salt, sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg; Pour over the fruit in the pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to about 350 degrees.

Topping:
Mix ingredients together until crumbly. Sprinkle top with crumbled topping and bake for about 30 more minutes. Let cool. Serve.
Apple Coffeecake Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Filling:
1 Small unpeeled apple, finely chopped
1/4 c Chopped walnuts
2 T Butter or margarine, melted
1 T Granulated sugar
1 t Cinnamon

Batter:
1 1/2 c 100% bran cereal
1 1/2 c Milk
1 Egg
1/2 c Packed brown sugar
1/3 c Vegetable oil
2 c All-purpose flour
1 T Baking powder
1 t Allspice
1/2 t Salt

Grease large muffin tins or line with paper baking cups. Combine all filling ingredients; set aside.
Combine cereal and milk; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in egg, brown sugar and oil. Mix remaining ingredients in large bowl. Stir cereal mixture into dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
Spoon half of batter into muffin cups. Top each with 1 T apple filling, pressing gently into batter. Spoon remaining batter on top.
Bake at 400F (200C) for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Cool in pans 5 minutes; remove muffins and cool on rack. Store in airtight container.
Glazed Strawberry Lemon Streusel Muffins

Yield: 12 Servings

MUFFINS
1 1/2 c Flour
1/2 c Sugar
2 ts Baking Powder
1 ts Cinnamon
1/4 ts Salt
1/2 c Milk
1/2 c Melted Butter Or Margarine
1 Egg
1 1/2 c Quartered Fresh Strawberries
1 ts Grated Lemon Peel

LEMON STREUSEL TOPPING
1/2 c Chopped Pecans
1/2 c Brown Sugar
1/4 c Flour
1 ts Cinnamon
1 ts Grated Lemon Peel
2 tb Melted Butter Or Margarine

LEMON GLAZE
1/2 c Confectioners' Sugar
1 tb Fresh Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 375øF, prepare pans. Prepare Lemon Streusel Topping and set aside. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl combine milk, butter and egg. Stir dry mix into wet mix until just combined. Fold in strawberries and lemon peel. Spoon into pans. Sprinkle with Lemon Streusel Topping and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until done.
Remove from pans, prepare Lemon Glaze and drizzle over warm muffins.
LEMON STREUSEL TOPPING: In a medium bowl, combine chopped pecans, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, grated lemon peel and melted butter or margarine. Stir this mixture until crumbly.
LEMON GLAZE: In a small bowl, combine Confectioners' sugar and lemon juice, stir until smooth.
Olive Garden Breadsticks

1 Loaf unfrozen bread dough - (if frozen, thaw in bowl at room temp)
Pam or oil
Garlic powder
Dry oregano leaf -- rub between fingers

When dough is soft enough to knead, spray your fingers with Pam or oil and knead just until you can shape into cigar-sized pieces (about 8 to 10). Place these 3" apart on Pam-sprayed cookie sheets. Let rise in warm place until doubled - about 1-1/2 hours. Then holding Pam about 8" from sticks, lightly spray top of each and then dust with garlic powder and oregano. Bake at 375~ about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on rack to serve within a day or two.

Olive Garden Breadsticks are just brown and serve soft breadsticks. Brown in the oven and spread liquid margarine over them, then sprinkle with garlic salt.
Boston Chicken & KFC Rotisserie Style Chicken

Serving Size : 4

1/4 c Oil
1 tb Honey
1 tb Lime juice
1/4 ts Paprika
Season salt
4 Chicken breast halves with skin

Mix all ingredients well in saucepan and warm just to melt honey. Arrange 4 chicken breast halves, skin-side-up in a square baking dish or pan, sprayed with Pam.
Bake uncovered at 400~ about 35 to 40 minutes, basting chicken without turning them, 3 or 4 times during baking or until nicely browned.
Immediately upon removing from oven, seal baking dish tightly in foil and let stand 15 to 20 minutes before
serving.
Source: Gloria Pitzer's Secret Recipe Newsletter
McDonald's Copycat Big Mac Sauce
Categories: Sauces, Beef, secret recipe
Yield: 2 Cups

1 c Miracle Whip
1/3 c sweet relish
1/4 c French dressing (orange not red)
1 T sugar
1/4 t black pepper
1 t minced onion

Mix Ingredients Well.
Cream Cheese Danish Heart

Yield 1 heart - 12 servings
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 / 4 cup sugar
1 envelope (1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 tsp) Fleischmann's RapidRise Yeast
1 / 2 teaspoon salt
1 / 4 cup water
1 / 2 cup sour cream
1 / 4 cup butter or margarine
1 large egg

Cream Cheese Filling:
1 (8-ounce) pack cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Powdered Sugar Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 drops red food coloring

In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. Heat water, sour cream, and butter until very warm (120 to 130 F). Gradually add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg and 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

Remove dough from refrigerator; roll to 16- x 8-inch rectangle. Spread evenly with Cream Cheese Filling. Beginning at long end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam to seal. Form a large heart; pinch ends together. Place on greased baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut 1/3 through heart at 1-inch intervals, alternating from side to side to resemble a heart. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Bake at 375 F for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from sheet; cool on wire rack. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze.

Cream Cheese Filling: In a bowl, combine 1 (8-ounce) pack cream cheese, softened; 1 / 3 cup sugar; and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.

Powdered Sugar Glaze: In a bowl, combine 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted; 2 to 3 tablespoons milk; and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir until smooth. Add 2 drops red food coloring; stir until well blended.

Nutrition Information Per Serving, Serving size : 1 / 12 of recipe (86 g)
Calories : 280, Total fat : 13 g, Saturated fat : 8 g, Cholesterol : 55 mg, Sodium : 210 mg, Carbohydrates : 36 g, Dietary fiber : <1 g, Sugars : 18 g, Protein : 5 g
Source: Fleischmann's Yeast, a division of Burns Philp Food, Inc.
Olive Garden Salad Mix - CopyCat

1 bag American Blend Dole Salad
4-5 slices Red Onion
4-6 Black Olives
2-4 Banana Peppers
1/2 cup Croutons
1 small Tomato quartered
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Olive Garden Salad Dressing

Chill one salad bowl in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Place bag of salad in bowl. Place on top of lettuce red onion, black olives, banana peppers, tomatoes, and croutons. Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese if you like, and add plenty of Olive Garden Salad Dressing on top.
Olive Garden Salad Dressing - CopyCat

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup White Vinegar
1 tsp. Vegetable Oil
2 Tbsp. Corn Syrup
2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp. Romano Cheese
1/4 tsp. Garlic Salt - or one clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Parsley Flakes
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
Sugar (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a blender until well mixed. If this is a little to tart for your own personal tastes please add a little extra sugar.
Pineapple-Orange Ice Cream - Frozen Custard

Yield: about 2 quarts
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 cups fresh pineapple puree* (about 1.5 lb.)
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate (about 1.5 oz.)
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla

In medium saucepan, beat together eggs, milk and sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 160 F and coats a metal spoon with a thin film. Cool quickly by setting pan in ice or cold water and stirring for a few minutes. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

When ready to freeze, pour chilled custard, puree, whipping cream, juice concentrate, peel and vanilla into 1-gallon ice cream freezer container. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to freezer and freeze until firm.

*To puree, peel and core pineapple. Cut into chunks and place in 5-cup blender or food processor container. Cover. Blend at medium speed until smooth.
Source: American Egg Board
Pinwheel Peach Cobbler
Whimsical pinwheel-shaped biscuits swirled with brown sugar, cinnamon, and crystallized ginger top a layer of fresh peach filling.



Yield: 12 servings.
Biscuits
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
4 pounds peaches, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Powdered sugar (optional)

For biscuits:
Mix first 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Set spiced sugar aside. Mix flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Using fingertips, rub in chilled butter until coarse meal forms. Add cream and vanilla; stir until moist clumps form. Gently knead dough on lightly floured surface just until smooth.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 9x15-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with spiced sugar. Starting at 1 long side, roll up dough jelly-roll style. Transfer to baking sheet. Cover log with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

For filling:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Blend sugar, vanilla bean, and flour in processor until vanilla is finely chopped; place in large bowl. Add peaches and lemon juice; toss to coat. Transfer peach mixture to 10-inch-diameter cake pan with 3-inch-high sides. Bake until filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Cut dough log crosswise into 1-inch-thick biscuits. Place biscuits atop filling. Bake until biscuits are golden, about 45 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Watermelon Lemonade
Lately, the news from the health circles is that watermelons have extra-good stuff in them. Combining two of summer’s favorites, watermelon and lemonade, seems only natural.

Yield: about 1 1/2 quarts
8 cups seeded watermelon cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup hulled and quartered fresh strawberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
2 cups water (approximately)
Thin watermelon wedges with the rind (optional)

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse the watermelon, strawberries, and sugar until blended and smooth.

Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a 2-quart container, pushing down on the solids to get all the juice. Add the lemon juice and enough of the water to make 1 1/2 quarts.

Chill until very cold. Serve over ice with a wedge of watermelon, if desired.

Source:
Lemonade by Fred Thompson:
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Nothing is more delicious than a warm, chewy chocolate chip cookie. Using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose makes this a contender for the best-tasting cookie ever!


Yield: 3 dozen cookies

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups Gold Medal whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

Heat oven to 375 F.

Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in chocolate chips. Feeling a little nutty? Go ahead and add 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts with the chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft). Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Did You Know?
The word cookie comes from the Dutch word for cake, "koekje". The first cookies were actually tiny cakes baked as a test to make sure that the oven temperature was right for baking a larger cake.
Source: Gold Medal Flour, a Reg. TM of General Mills, Inc.
Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake
Yield: One 10-inch cheesecake

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon margarine or butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup un-sifted flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can Eagle® Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
3 eggs
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
2 medium all-purpose apples, cored and sliced
Cinnamon Apple Glaze

Preheat oven to 300 F. In small mixer bowl, beat 1/2 cup margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add flour, oats, nuts and cinnamon; mix well. Press firmly on bottom and halfway up side of 10-inch cheesecake pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in Eagle Brand until smooth. Add eggs and juice concentrate; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 45 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched. Cool.

In large skillet, cook apples in remaining 1 tablespoon margarine until tender-crisp. Arrange on top of cheesecake; drizzle with Cinnamon Apple Glaze. Chill. Refrigerate leftovers.

Cinnamon Apple Glaze:
In small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed, 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon; mix well. Over low heat, cook and stir until thickened. (Makes about 1/4 cup.)
Ham and Cheese Strata

A classic brunch dish, this strata is a snap to prepare, smells heavenly when cooking, and tastes equally divine. It’s a substantial dish, so don’t hesitate to make it for dinner, too!

Yield: 6 servings

1 tablespoon butter
8 slices low-carb white bread, crusts removed and saved, and square centers divided into 16 triangles, staled (cut up and leave out overnight, or toast briefly in a 250-degree oven)
6 ounces sliced deli ham, roughly chopped
8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
2 tablespoons dried minced onions, divided
6 eggs
3-1/4 cups half-and-half cream (1/2 milk, 1/2 cream)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (about 2 shakes)

Grease the slow cooker crock with the butter (leave excess in the crock). Place 8 of the bread triangles into the bottom of the slow cooker; sprinkle in the trimmed-off crusts so that the bottom of the slow cooker is covered with bread.

Add the ham, sprinkling it over the bread to make a thick layer, then add all but 1/2 cup of the cheese. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the onions over the cheese; top with remaining 8 bread triangles and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, cream, salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce; whisk until blended. Pour the egg mixture over the bread triangles, then sprinkle with remaining onions. Let mixture sit 15 minutes, then sprinkle on reserved 1/2 cup of cheese.

Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Remove the slow cooker lid and let the strata rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Approximate nutritional content:
Calories: 552, Protein: 34g, Net Carbs: 13g, Fat: 39g, Cholesterol: 316mg, Sodium: 914mg

Cook’s Tip: This recipe is easily adjusted to suit your tastes. Try using cooked chicken, smoked turkey, crabmeat, or salad shrimp instead of the ham. You could also include chopped vegetables such as a little blanched broccoli.
Italian Sausage and Peppers

This classic combination doesn’t get much easier! For crisp vegetables, add the peppers and onions halfway through cooking, being sure to stir them in with the sausages.

Yield: 6 servings

2 pounds Italian sausage, cut in half crosswise
3 bell peppers, sliced into 1/2-inch strips
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
Sour cream, optional garnish

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker crock and toss well to coat vegetables and sausage pieces with the oil and spices.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

NOTE: The sausages will NOT brown in the slow cooker. If you want them browned, sear them in a hot pan before adding to the slow cooker.
Honey Bunnies
Yield: 6 bunnies

Dough
1 / 3 cup evaporated milk
1 / 4 cup water
1 / 4 cup honey
1 / 4 cup butter or margarine
1 large egg
1 / 2 teaspoon salt
2-1 / 3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons (1/2 ounce or 4 1/2 tsp) Fleischmann's Bread Machine Yeast

Raisins for eyes

Honey Glaze
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Add dough ingredients to bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough/manual cycle.
Or, combine ingredients, as usual, beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes

When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine to a lightly floured surface. If necessary, knead in enough flour to make dough easy to handle. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each to 20-inch rope. Divide each rope into 1 (12-inch), 1 (5-inch), and 3 (1-inch) strips. Coil 12-inch strip to make body; coil 5-inch strip to make head. Attach head to body; pinch to seal. Shape remaining 3 strips into ears and tail; attach to head and body. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 F for 12 to 15 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet to wire rack. Brush with Honey Glaze while warm. Insert raisins for eyes. If desired, brush again with Honey Glaze before serving.

Honey Glaze:
In a small saucepan, combine honey and butter. Cook over low heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Serving size: 1 bunny (4.5 ounces)
Calories 410; Total fat 14 g; Saturated fat 8g; Cholesterol 70 mg; Sodium 340 mg; Carbohydrates 63 g; Dietary fiber 1g; Sugars 24 g; Protein 9g
Chocolate Heart Layer Cake with Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse
Yield: 4 servings, 1 eight-inch cake

Cake:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar

Mousse Base:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

Mousse, Cake Assembly, and Glaze:
2/3 cup cherry jam
2 tablespoons kirsch (clear cherry brandy)
4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon chai-spiced tea leaves or Lapsang souchong smoked black tea leaves (from 1 tea bag)
5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Buy Chocolate

For Cake:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Place 8x2-inch heart-shaped cake ring on sheet of foil. Wrap foil up sides of ring. Brush foil and inside of ring with 1 tablespoon butter; dust with flour. Place on baking sheet. You could also use a buttered and floured 8-inch round cake pan with 2-inch-high sides.

Sift flour, cocoa, and salt into medium bowl. Combine eggs and sugar in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from over water. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until thick and billowy and heavy ribbon falls when beaters are lifted, about 5 minutes. Sift half of dry ingredients over; fold in gently. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients. Transfer 1/4 cup batter to small bowl; fold in 3 tablespoons butter. Gently fold butter mixture into batter; do not overmix or batter will deflate. Transfer batter to ring.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cake with foil to rack; cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.)

For Mousse Base:
Bring whipping cream and cinnamon sticks just to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat; let steep 1 hour at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate cinnamon cream overnight.

For Mousse, Cake Assembly, and Glaze:
Blend jam and kirsch in small bowl. Cut around sides of cake; lift off ring. Using metal spatula, loosen cake from foil and transfer to rack. Using serrated knife, cut cake horizontally in half. Using tart pan bottom, transfer top cake layer to work surface; turn cut side up. Spread half of jam on cut side of both cake layers.

Strain cinnamon cream into large bowl; beat until soft peaks form. Stir finely chopped chocolate in heavy small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Quickly fold warm chocolate into whipped cream (chocolate must be warm to blend smoothly). Immediately drop mousse by dollops over bottom cake layer; spread to within 3/4 inch of edge. Gently press second layer, jam side down, atop mousse. Smooth sides of cake with offset spatula. Chill assembled cake on rack while preparing glaze.

Bring cream, 1/4 cup water, corn syrup, and tea to boil in small saucepan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; steep 5 minutes. Strain into another small saucepan; return to boil.

Remove from heat. Add coarsely chopped chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool glaze until thickened, but still pourable, about 30 minutes. Place rack with cake over baking sheet. Slowly pour glaze over cake to cover, using spatula if necessary to spread evenly. Chill until glaze is firm, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Place cake on platter and serve.

Source: Bon Appetit -
Fresh Strawberry Buttermilk Shortcake
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 eggs, divided
2 pint baskets fresh California strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1 cup whipping cream, whipped and sweetened

Directions:
In large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. In small bowl blend buttermilk, lemon peel, 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk. Stir into flour mixture to make a soft dough. Divide dough into 6 equal portions. On floured board pat each into a 3-inch circle. Place on greased baking sheet. Brush generously with remaining egg whites, beaten. Sprinkle generously with additional sugar. Bake in 450-degree oven 10 to 12 minutes until golden. Remove from pan; cool on rack. Sweeten strawberries, to taste. Slice each shortcake in half horizontally with a sharp knife. Fill and garnish with strawberries and whipped cream.

Nutritional Information per serving:
450 calories; 8g protein; 25g fat; 50g carbohydrate; 102mg cholesterol

Copyright California Strawberry Commission.
Strawberry Corn Meal Muffin Cakes

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Generous pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup corn meal
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon sugar
2 pint baskets fresh California strawberries, stemmed and halved
Yield: Makes 12 medium or 6 large desserts

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 12 muffin cups or 6, 6-ounce custard cups. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In mixer bowl cream butter. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, scraping bowl as needed, until mixture is fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in dry ingredients and milk alternately, to blend thoroughly. Blend in corn meal. Spoon batter into prepared cups. Bake in 350-degree oven about 30 minutes until springy to the touch and pick inserted into center comes out clean; cool 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely. Beat cream and sugar to form soft peaks. Serve muffincakes topped with cream and strawberries. Arrange in serving bowl; spoon into individual dishes.

Copyright California Strawberry Commission
Strawberry Puffs with Whipped Cream
Strawberry PuffsYield: 6 servings

2 pint baskets California strawberries, stemmed and sliced
Sugar to taste
1/2 cup water
1 /4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup prepared fudge sauce
Powdered sugar

In bowl toss strawberries with sugar, to taste; cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In 1-quart saucepan bring water, butter and salt to boil. Remove from heat; stir in flour all at once to blend thoroughly. Set over medium heat. Cook and stir until mixture pulls away from side of pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Thoroughly beat in eggs one at a time. Spoon batter in 6 equal mounds, spaced apart, onto lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake in center of oven 20 to 25 minutes until puffs are evenly browned. Turn off oven. Remove from oven and with thin knife cut a slit in each puff. Return to oven for 10 minutes, then cool completely on rack.

In bowl whip cream to form soft peaks; sweeten with sugar, to taste, and flavor with vanilla. To assemble, halve puffs horizontally with serrated knife. Fill puffs with whipped cream and some of the strawberries. Drizzle with fudge sauce, thinning with a little water, if needed. Cover with puff tops. Dust lightly with powdered sugar. Serve with remaining strawberries, and accompany with additional fudge sauce, if desired.

Lowfat Variation:
Substitute 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix made with 2 cups nonfat milk, as package directs, for the whipped cream. Substitute light fudge sauce for the fudge sauce.

Nutritional Information per Serving:
370 calories; 27 g fat; 150 mg cholesterol; 300 mg sodium; 28 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 6 g protein. Low Fat Variation Per Serving: 240 calories; 10 g fat; 90 mg cholesterol; 510 mg sodium; 35 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 4 g protein.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bacon Jack and Jalapeno Quesadillas
By: Food Network Kitchens

Ingredients
Guacamole:

* 1 ripe Hass avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
* 1 small tomato, diced
* 2 scallions, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
* 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
* 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
* 1 small garlic clove, minced
* Salt, to taste
*

Quesadillas:

* 4 strips turkey bacon (about 3 ounces)
* 6 scallions,(white and green parts) thinly sliced
* 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
* 3 (8-inch) multi-grain tortillas
* 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey jack cheese
* 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream, optional
* Cilantro, for garnish

Directions
Guacamole: Coarsely mash the avocado in a large bowl. Add the tomato, scallions, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, and garlic until blended. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Lightly spray a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Crumble and set aside.

To the same skillet, add the scallions, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, and coriander. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat, until the scallions are soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Place the tortillas on the baking sheet; sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese, 1/3 of the scallion mixture, and 1/3 of the bacon over half of each tortilla. Fold the unfilled half of each tortilla over the filling. Lightly spray the quesadillas with cooking spray. Bake until lightly browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges and serve with the guacamole and sour cream, if using. Garnish with cilantro.

Copyright 2009 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

Nutritional analysis per serving: 3 wedges with 1/4 cup guacamole and 1 tablespoon sour cream

Calories 320; Total Fat 18 g; (Sat Fat 6 g, Mono Fat 6 g, Poly Fat 2 g) ; Protein 18 g; Carb 26 g; Fiber 7 g; Cholesterol 32 mg; Sodium 630 mg
Low-Fat Scalloped Potatoes

Ingredients

* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
* Kosher salt
* 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 cup low-fat milk (1%), at room temperature
* 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
* Freshly ground pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 3-quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the potatoes and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon to make a paste. Cook, stirring, until the paste puffs slightly, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in both milks and simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the nutmeg. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and gently toss to coat.

Transfer the potato mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the gruyere. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Switch the oven to the broiler setting and broil the potatoes until browned on top, about 5 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving: Calories 290; Fat 7 g (Saturated 4 g); Cholesterol 22 mg; Sodium 546 mg; Carbohydrate 46 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 10 g
Shrimp Scampi with Linguini
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Ingredients

* 1 pound linguini
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
* 2 shallots, finely diced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
* 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* Juice of 1 lemon
* 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

Directions

For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to the boil, add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the linguini. Stir to make sure the pasta separates; cover. When the water returns to a boil, cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the pasta is not quite done. Drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.
Chili Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

* 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
* 3 tablespoons heavy cream
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1/8 teaspoon ground pure chili powder, such as ancho
* 10 large strawberries with long stems

Directions

In a heat-proof mixing bowl, add the chocolate, cream, and butter. Place over a smaller pot of simmering water. Be sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in the chili powder and mix until fully incorporated.

Hold each strawberry by the long stem and dip into the chocolate allowing the excess to drizzle back into the pan. Place chocolate covered strawberries on a parchment or waxed paper lined sheet tray. Once chocolate is cool, chill until fully set, about 30 minutes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spinach Cheese Ball

Ingredients

* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
* 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
* 1 (4 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
* 1 (.4 ounce) packet dry vegetable soup mix
* 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 1 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1. In a large bowl, mix together the spinach, cream cheese, water chestnuts, vegetable soup mix, mayonnaise and Cheddar cheese until well blended. Form into a ball, and roll in chopped walnuts. If the mixture is too soft to form a ball, refrigerate for about 30 minutes to set. Wrap the cheese ball in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight to blend the flavors before serving with your favorite crackers.
Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball

Ingredients

* 6 slices bacon
* 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
* 1 (1 ounce) package buttermilk Ranch dressing mix
* 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
* 4 green onions, chopped
* 3 tablespoons chopped black olives
* 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)

Directions

1. Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Chop the cooled bacon into small pieces.
2. Stir together the cream cheese and ranch dressing mix in a bowl until smooth. Add the bacon, Cheddar cheese, green onions, and olives; stir until well combined. Shape the mixture into a ball and roll in the chopped pecans. Refrigerate overnight.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
By: pinkspoonula

Ingredients

* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1 fluid ounce red food coloring
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 20 paper baking cups.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter and frost with desired frosting.
White Chocolate Pound Cake
Care of: Debbie Rowe

Ingredients

* 2 tablespoons white sugar
* 8 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate
* 1 cup butter
* 2 cups white sugar
* 5 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate
* 4 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate, melted

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Grease one 10 inch bundt pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of white sugar in the bundt pan.
2. Chop four squares of the white chocolate and melted 4 of the others. Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and 2 cups of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in extracts and the melted white chocolate.
4. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream. Beat just until combined.
5. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with 1/2 of the chopped white chocolate. Repeat. Pour remaining batter on top.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Melt chocolate in the top of two double boilers or in bowls in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
7. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack completely. Once cool place cake on a serving dish and drizzle with melted white and semisweet chocolate. Garnish with strawberries, if desired.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Ingredients

* 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
* 1-1/3 cups water
* 1/2 cup canola oil
* 3 eggs
* 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
* 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

Directions

* In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil and eggs; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
* Spoon batter by 1/4 cupfuls into paper-lined muffin cups. Spoon a rounded teaspoon of pie filling onto the center of each cupcake. Set remaining pie filling aside.
* Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted on an angle toward the center comes out clean. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
* Frost cupcakes; top with one cherry from pie filling. Serve additional pie filling with cupcakes or refrigerate for another use. Yield: 2 dozen.


Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 252 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 187 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients

* 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
* 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
* 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 3 eggs
* 1 tablespoon water

Directions

1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a blender or food processor, combine strawberries and cornstarch; cover and process until smooth. Pour into a saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Set aside 1/3 cup strawberry sauce; cool. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce for serving. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in milk. Add lemon juice; mix well. Add eggs, beat on low just until combined. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over crust. Drop half of the reserved strawberry mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto cream cheese layer. Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over sauce. Drop remaining strawberry sauce by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on top. With a knife, cut through top layer only to swirl strawberry sauce. Bake at 300 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove side of pan. Thin chilled strawberry sauce with water if desired; serve with cheesecake. Store in the refrigerator.
Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcakes

Makes 1 dozen

* 2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
* 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 large egg, room temperature
* 2 large egg whites, room temperature
* Sprinkles' Strawberry Frosting

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

From The Martha Stewart Show, February 2008
PARTY PITA WEDGES

Read more about it at www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,171,131191-250192,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com - All rights reserved.

2 regular sized pita pockets (6 inch)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
16 slices pepperoni
4 round slices provolone cheese
1/3 cup medium chunky salsa

In a heatproof cup or bowl heat olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper in microwave on high for 40 seconds. Remove and add butter. Stir and set aside.

Using kitchen scissors, cut pita pockets into 4 pizza slice shaped wedges (slice in half, then slice each half again to make the wedges). Cut again along curved outer edge to separate into 2. Brush both sides of the pita wedges with warm olive oil mixture, coating well.

Place wedges crust side down on a baking sheet. Spread 1 teaspoon of salsa to top each wedge. Cut provolone slices into 4 wedge shapes and place one on top of each. Top with a slice of pepperoni, if desired. Drizzle with any remaining olive oil and sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Serve while still warm.

Makes 16 wedges.

Variation: Cut pita into 4 wedge shaped pockets. Fill the same way as above (but only half as much cheese wedges and pepperoni slices will be needed if making pockets instead of crusts)