Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cornmeal-Almond Cake & Strawberries & Mascarpone

Prep: 30 minutes    Cook time : 1 hour   Makes 1 9-inch cake

3          cups sliced blanched almonds (about 10 ounces)
1/3       cup all-purpose flour
1          teaspoon baking powder
1/2       teaspoon salt
1          stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1          cup sugar
1          teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3          large eggs, at room temperature
1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1          cup fine yellow cornmeal
         **Finely zest of 2 lemons **
3/4           cup heavy cream
1/2           cup fresh mascarpone cheese
3              tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1              quart strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 .     Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Spread the almonds on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, stirring once, until golden. Let cool completely, then transfer the almonds to a food processor and process until finely ground but not pasty.
2 .     In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla, scraping down the bowl, until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at time, beating well between additions. Scrape down the bowl and beat the batter until fluffy, 1 minute. Beat in the lemon zest and juice. With a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the batter, then the cornmeal and the ground almonds.
3 .         Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the cake to a wire rack, still in the pan, and let cool to room temperature.
4 .         In a large stainless steel bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar and whip until barely firm peaks form.
5 .        Run a thin knife around the side of the cake pan and invert the cake onto the wire rack. Place a plate on top of the cake and turn the cake right side up. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the mascarpone cream and strawberries.

Make Ahead

The cake can be kept at room temperature overnight.

Chile-Brined Fresh Ham

Prep:30 minutes    Total time: 5 hours
4                    cup kosher salt
2                    cup sugar
6                    quart cold water
1                    cup black peppercorns, crushed
5                    ounces Thai or serrano chili, stemmed and finely chopped
8                    whole cloves
4                    cup ice cubes
1                    18-pound, bone-in fresh ham with skin
2                    cup low-sodium chicken broth

1. In a large saucepan, combine the salt and sugar with 2 quarts of the water. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the brine into a very large pot. Stir in the peppercorns, chilies and cloves. Add the remaining 4 quarts of water and the ice and stir until the ice has melted and the brine is at room temperature. Add the ham, skin side up; the skin does not have to be submerged. Brine the ham in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove the ham from the brine and brush off the peppercorns and cloves. Set the ham skin side up in a roasting pan and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.

3. Roast the ham for 1 hour; turn the pan and add 1 cup of water halfway through. Reduce the oven to 300° and roast the ham for 2 1/2 hours longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 150°. Transfer the ham to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes.

4. Strain the pan juices into a saucepan; skim off the fat. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cut the skin off of the ham and break it into pieces. Thinly slice the meat and serve with the jus and crisp skin.

Huevos Rancheros Verdes

Prep :30 minutes    Total Time:  30 minutes

1 1/2                    cup very thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1                          scallion, sliced
2                          tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
3                          teaspoon canola oil, divided
2                          teaspoon lime juice
1/4                       teaspoon salt, divided
1/4                       teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1                          15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
1/2                       cup prepared green salsa (see Tip)
8                          6-inch corn tortillas
                            canola oil cooking spray
3/4                       cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
4                          large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Combine lettuce, scallion, cilantro, 1 teaspoon oil, lime juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl; set aside. Combine beans and salsa in another bowl.

3. Coat both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray. Place tortillas on a large baking sheet in 4 sets of overlapping pairs. (Each pair should overlap by about 3 inches.) Spread about 1/3 cup of the bean mixture on top of each pair of tortillas and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons cheese each. Bake until the beans are hot and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack each egg into a small bowl and slip them one at a time into the pan, taking care not to break the yolks. Season the eggs with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook undisturbed for 5 to 7 minutes for soft-set yolks. (For hard-set yolks, cover the pan after 5 minutes and continue cooking until the yolks are cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes more.)

5. To assemble, place an egg on top of each pair of tortillas and top with a generous 1/4 cup of the lettuce mixture.

TIP: Green salsa (sometimes labeled salsa verde or tomatillo salsa) is made with tomatillos, green chilies and onions. Look for it near other prepared salsa in large supermarkets.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pistachio Cake with Walnuts

Prep : 20 minutes   Bake : 40 minutes +cooling    Makes 12 servings

1         package  white cake mix  (regular size)
1         package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
3         eggs
1         cup club soda
1         cup chopped walnuts
1          package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
1          cup 2% milk
1          carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping thawed

1 .     Preheat oven to 350* . Grease  and flour a 10-inch fluted  tube pan .
2 .      In a large bowl , combine  the first five ingredients  ; beat on low speed  30 seconds . Beat on medium speed 2 minutes  . Fold in walnuts  . Transfer to prepared pan . Bake 40 to 45 minutes  or until  a toothpick inserted  in center comes out clean . Cool in Pan  10 minutes  before removing  to a wire rack  to cool completely .
3 .      FOT FROSTING ; In a large bowl  , combine pudding mix  and milk ; beat on low speed 1 minute . Fold in whipped topping  . Spread over cake  . Refrigerate  leftovers .

It won't take long for this cake  from the 1970s  to become  the favorite birthday cake of your family .

Grilled Spicy Chicken Wings

Prep :30 minutes + marinating    Grill: 20 minutes    Makes 2 dozen

12          whole chicken wings (about 2-1/2 pounds)
2            cans (10 ounces each) green enchilada sauce
3            tablespoons  lime juice
1/2         cup mild green taco sauce
2            tablespoons butter , melted

1 .     Cut chicken wings  into three sections , discard the wing tip sections . In a large resealable plastic bag , combine  enchilada  sauce and lime juice . Add the wings  ; seal bag  and turn to coat . Refrigerate  for 6 hours or overnight .
2 .      In a small bowl , combine  taco  sauce  and butter . Drain  chicken  wings  and discard  marinade . Grill wings covered  over  indirect heat  for 10 minutes  . Turn grill  10 to 20 minutes  longer  or until  juices  run clear , turning  and basting occasionally  with sauce .

These Tex-Mex inspired  wings  make a fabulous  party  appetizer  , you can also  use them  for dinner . Just pair the rice with a spicy rice  and bean dish  plus a salad .

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Take Ten --- Emotional & Physical Hunger

We've all done it  -- reaching  for the chips  when we're bored , noshing at a party when we're nervous , dipping into the Ben & jerry's  when we're blue . Emotional  eating  equal unwanted calories  and extra pounds . Try these tips to identify  and avoid  emotional eating .

1 . Learn the difference  between emotional  and phyical hunger  . Emotional hunger  comes on suddenly  and involves  cravings for specific foods .
2 .  Identify your emotional  triggers  , anger , sadness  and negative  feelings aren't the only  triggers . Positive triggers  -- like using  food as a reward  -- are positive .
3 .  Keep an emotional  eating diary . Pinpoint  patterns  that emerge  over time  , then find  healthier  ways  to cope  with your feeling .
4 .  Think about how childhood  habits  and social routines  affect  your eating habits  , then figure  out how  to change  your responses to those influences.
5 .  If you are sad and lonely , reach for the phone  or computer  keyboard  instead of food . Look at photos  , play with a pet  or reach out in other ways .
6 .   Focus on your overall healthwith regular exercise adequate sleep and social schedules.
7 .   Give yourself premission to rest if you're exhausted instead of reaching for a snack . Allow 30 minutes a day away from responsibilites.
8 .    Bored :Get away , work on a hobby or home repair , practice a skill like playingthe guitar .
9 .    Put off eating for 30 minutes when an emotionally food binge craving hits .
10 .   Work off anxiety with a brisk walk to one of your favoriate places .   

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Brown Sugar-Salmon & Strawberries

Prep : 20 minutes + chilling    Grill: 10 minutes    
Makes 4 serving  (2 cups relish)

1/3          cup packed brown sugar
1             tablespoon  canola  oil
1             teaspoon ground mustard
1             teaspoon ground allspice
1/2          teaspoon salt
4             salmon fillets (5 ounces each)

1            tablespoon minced fresh  mint
1            tablespoon canola  oil
1            tablespoon lemon juice
2            tablespoons  grated  lemon peel
1/8         teaspoon sugar
1            cup finely  chopped fresh strawberries
1            small cucumber , finely chopped

1 .      In a small bowl , mix the first five ingredients  ; rub over  flesh side  of salmon  . Refrigerate  , cover 1 hour  .
2.       For Relish  , in another bowl  , mix mint  , oil , lemon peel  and sugar . Add strawberries  and cucumber  ; toss to coat .
3 .      Moisten a paper towel  with cooking oil  ; using long-handled  tongs  , rub the grill  rack to coat lightly  . Place salmon  on grill  rack  , skin side down  . Grill , covered , over medium  heat  8 to 10 minutes  or until fish flakes  easily  with a fork . Serve with relish .     

Monday, March 25, 2013

Glazed Onions & Glazed Beets

Prep : 20 minutes   Cook : 20 minutes   Makes 4 servings

1                quart water
1-1/2          pounds  small white onions  in their skins
3                tablespoon butter  or margarine
1/4             cup firmly packed light  brown sugar 
2                tablesoons  water 
1/2             teaspoon salt 
1/4             teaspoon black pepper 

1 .      In a 2-quart stockpot  over moderate heat, bring 1 quart water to a boil . Add onions  and cook until crisp-tender  - 9 to 10 minutes . Drain  in a colander  and plunge  into cold water  . Trim off root  ends  and gently  slip off skins .
2 .       In a large heavy skillet over moderate heat  - heat butter  , sugar  , water  , salt  and pepper . Cook , stirring  until syruoy  - 3 to 4 minutes . Add onions  and cook until glazed  -  4 to 5 minutes .
Prep : 10 minutes    Cook  1 hour   Makes 4 serving 

3/4              cup orange marmalade 
2                 tablespoons  lemon juice 
1/2              teaspoon grated lemon zest 
18               small beets  (about 1-1/2-inch in diameter) boiled and peeled 

1 .       In a large skillet over moderate  heat , cook and stir marmalade  , lemon juice and orange zest until marmalade  melts  and mixture is syrupy  about 3 minutes . 
2 .        Add beets  and turn in syrup mixture  until glazed and heated through  . 5 to 6 minutes .     

Cold Poached Salmon Fillets

Prep : 10 minutes     Cook : 10 minutes       Makes 4 servings

2             cups white wine
2             cups water
1/2          cup snipped fresh dill  or 2 teaspoons  dried dill crumbled
1             whole bay leaf
5             peppercorns
1/2          teaspoon dried thyme , crumbled
1/2          teaspoon salt
4             salmon fillets  (6 ounces each)
1/4          cup heavy cream
3             tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2          teaspoon  grated lemon zesr
2             tablespoons lemon juice
1/8          teaspoon ground white pepper

1 .      In a large skillet  over moderately high heat , bring wine , water , 1/4 cup of the dill , bay leaf  , peppercorns , thyme  and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt  to a boil . Reduce heat  to moderately low  , add fish , skin side  up  and cover  with a piece of wax paper  laid on top . Cook , turning  fish over at half time  , until fish  almost  flakes at  the touch of the fork  - about 7 minutes  total .
2 .       Remove  fish  from poaching  liquid  , cool to room temperature  and refrigerate  until chilled  - about 1 hour .
3 , Meanwhile  , in a small bowl , whisk together  all reaming ingredients  , including the 1/4 teaspoon salt  and 1/4 cup of dill .
4 .       To serve , remove  skin from fish  and spoon sauce  on top .

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sauteed Turkey Cutlets

Prep : 25 minutes   Cook : 30 minutes   Makes 4 servings

4               skinless  boneless  turkey cutlets (3 ounces each)
1-1/4         teaspoons salt
1/2            teaspoon blackpepper 
1/3            cup unsifted all-purpose flour 
2               eggs , lightly beaten
1                cup fine dry bread  crumbs 
6               tablespoons butter  or margarine 
12             medium size shallots , chopped 
1               cup reduced-sodium chicken broth 
1/4            cup chopped parsley

1 .         Pound cutlets  between 2 pieces  of plastic wrap  until uniformly thin . Season on both sides  with  salt and pepper . Dredge in flour , shaking  off excess . Dip into eggs  , then crumbs   to coat well .
2 .         In a large skillet over moderate  heat , melt 5 tablespoons  of the  butter  and saute cutlets  in batches  if necessary  until golden brown - about 2-1/2 minutes on each side . shake pan  occasionally  to allow  cutlets to brown evenly . Tranfer  to paper toweling to drain .
3 .         In a small saucepan over medium heat  , cook shallots  in the  remaining 1 tablespoon butter  until soft  -  about 5 minutes  . Blend 1 teaspoon  of the dredging  flour  with 2 tablespoons  of the stock  and stir into the shallots . Add remaining  stock  , bring to a boil  and cook  , stirring often  until sauce  reduces to 3/4 cuo  - about 5 minutes  . Remove from heat  and stir in parsley .
4 .         Arrange  cutlets  on individual serving plates  with sauce .                        

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Recipe by Lisa Carano
2                    EACH 2 ½ POUND LIVE MAINE LOBSTERS


3                   EACH GARLIC CLOVES- MINCED


4                  TABLESOONS  OLIVE OIL


8                  LEAFS FRESH BASIL CHOPPED

               **SALT + PEPPER TO TASTE**






Louisiana-Style BBQ Shrimp

 Gregg Carano of the Eldorado Casino in Reno/ Shreveport was featured in "The Dining Show" with his famous recipe for Louisiana-Style BBQ Shrimp. Eldorado is considered a premier destination during Reno travel for food connoisseurs from around the country. With nine award-winning Reno/ Shreveport restaurants, the choices are endless, the menu is superb and the service is flawless. From a romantic and intimate dinner for two, to group events in our catering facilities, the chefs of the Eldorado will make any dinner an event and any meal memorable.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Portobello Mushroom Burger ...meatless

                      Makes 1 servings
Ingredients :

1          portobello mushroom cap
1          teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2          teaspoons  olive oil , divided
1/4       teaspoon dried basil
1/4       teaspoon salt
1/8       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1          100% whole-wheat hamburger bun
1          teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4       cup baby spinach leaves
2          tablespoons  chopped roasted  red pepper

With  a paper towel , wipe mushroom cap clean and remove stem . Whisk  together  vinegar , olive oil , basil , salt and pepper . Brush olive oil  mixture on both sides  of mushroom cap . In a nonstick skillet , cook mushroom  on medium-high heat  on each side  for 4 to 5 minutes  until softened and browned . Remove  mushroom  and toast  hamburger  bun , cut side down  , in same skillet  for about  1 minute . To assemble  'burger' spresd  mustard  on inside  top of bun . Place mushroom on bottom half of bun  and top with spinach leaves  and chopped roasted red pepper . Serve Hot .

An antioxidant-rich mushroom cap  instead of ground beef  creates  a veggie-rich sandwich .

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic & Almonds

                      Makes 1 serving
Ingredients :

1             cup chopped fresh (not frozen) broccoli
2             teaspoons olive  oil , divided
1/8          teaspoons salt
1/8          teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1             small clove garlic  , minced
1             tablespoon garlic , minced
1             tablespoon  sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 450* F . In a small ovenproof  dish , toss  together  broccoli and 1 teaspoon  olive oil . Sprinkle with salt and pepper  . Bake in oven  for 10 minutes  . Meanwhile  , mix together  remaining  1 teaspoon olive oil  , garlic  and sliced almonds . Remove  broccoli  from oven  and drizzle with garlic , oil . Shake dish  to coat broccoli with oil  and return to oven . Continue  roasting  until broccoli  starts to brown  . About 8 to 10 minutes . Serve  hot .

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Thyme Chicken Stew ....slow cooker

Prep : 15 minutes     Cook : 7 hours   Makes 4 servings

1               pound small red potatoes  , halved
1               large onion , finely chopped
3/4            cup shredded carrots
3               tablespoons all-purpose flour
6               garlic cloves , minced
2               teaspoons  grated lemon peel
2               teaspoons  dried  thyme
1/2            teaspoon salt
1/4            teaspoon pepper
1-1/2         pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs , halved
2               cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2               bay leaves
2               tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 .     Place potatoes , onion and carrots  in a 3-quart slow cooker  . Sprinkle with flour , garlic , lemon peel , thyme  , salt and pepper  ; toss to coat . Place  chicken over top . Add broth and bay leaves .
2 .      Cook  covered  on low  6 to 7 hours  or until chicken  and vegetables  are tender . Remove Bay leaves  . Sprinkle with parsley .

The chicken and herbs in this stew  will fill your house  with an aroma  that reminds  me of homemade chicken soup .

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hot Dogs -2

Of course you mark every spring occasion with a bouquet of balloons  and a parade of irresistible food .(Well maybe  not balloons.) But your recipes  shared with family and friends  are alwayys worth a whoop!

Jersey Style Hot Dogs :
Prep: 20 minutes    Grill: 40 minutes   Makes 12 servings  
(10 cups potato mixture)

6           medium yukon gold potatoes (about  3 lbs) thinley sliced
3           large sweet red peppers , thinly sliced
3           large onions , peeled  , halved and thinly slice
1/3        cup olive oil
6           garlic cloves , minced
3           teaspoons salt
1-1/2     teaspoons pepper
12          bun length beef hot dogs
12          hot dogs buns split

1 .      In a large bowl , combime potatoes , red peppers and onions . In a small bowl mix oil , garlic , salt and pepper ; add to potato mixture  and toss to coat . Transfer  to a 13 x9-inch  disposable  foil pan ; cover with foil . Place pan  on grill  rack  over medium heat  ; cook covered  30 to 35 minutes  or until potatoes  are tender .Remove from heat .
2 .       Grill  hot dogs  covered over  medium heat  7 to 9 minutes  or until heated through , turning occasionally . Place buns on Grill  , cut side down ; grill until lightly tosted .
3 .       Serve hot dogs  in buns  , topping  each with 1/2 cup potato mixture . Serve  with remaining  potato mixture .

These dogs  was born in northern New Jersey  where hot dogs  grilled with potatoes  and onions  were born . It's a combo you'll love .

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cranberry Pear Stuffing

Makes  8 to 10 servings

1           cup chopped celery
1/2        cup butter
1           package (16 ounces) seasoned stuffing cubes
1-1/2     cups dried cranberries
1-1/2     cups chopped  ripe pears
1            cup chopped pecans
1/4        cup minced fresh parsley
3           teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/2        teaspoon pepper
2           cups chicken broth
3/4        cup egg substitute

1 .     In a small saucepan , saute  celery in butter  until tender ; set aside . In a large bowl , combine  the stuffing cubes , cranberries , pears , pecans , parsley , poultry seasoning and  pepper. Add the broth  , egg substitute  and celery mixture  , toss until combined .
2 .     Spoon into a greased  2-1/2-quart baking dish . Cover  and bake at 325* for 50 to 60 minutes  or until thermometer  inserted  near the center reads 160*.

This tasty dressing  will become  a family favorite.

Nutty Wild Rice

Makes 5 servings

2-1/4               cups water
1/2                   cup uncooked wild rice
1                      tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
6                       green onions sliced
1                      tablespoon butter
2/3                   cup sliced almonds , toasted
1/4                   cup sunflower kernels
3                      tablespoons sesame seeds , toasted
1/4                   teaspoon salt

1 .        In a large  saucepan  , bring the water  , rice and soy sauce  to a boil . Teduce heat ; cover and simmer  for 45 to 60 minutes  or until rice is tender .
2 .         Meanwhile  , in a small skillet  , saute  onions  in butter  until tender  . Stir in the remaining  ingredients  ; heat through . Remove  from the heat . Drain rice  if necessary . Stir onion into mixture .

Your family will go nuts  for this wild rice side dish  and it's hearty crunchy . Served warm , this rice packed  a zesty bite .

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Grapefruit Marmalade

Prep : 40 minutes  plus overnight     Cook time : 50 minutes  Makes 4 half pints

2              large thick-skinned grapefruits
1              large thick-skinned lemon
2              cups water
4              cups sugar

1 .        Peel grapefruit  and lemon ; cut away inner white part  leaving  rind and white pith  about 3/8-inch thick . Cut into slivers  3/4-inch thick and 1/8-inch wide . Discard  excess pith , fiber . Chop fruit coarsely .
2 .         In an nonreactive heavy kettle  over moderately high heat  , simmer rind  , chopped fruit  , reserved juice  and water  uncovered for 10 minutes  . Pour  into  a large heatproof  glass bowl  and let stand , covered , in a cool place overnight.
3 .        Return mixture  to kettle  ; add sugar  and set over moderate heat . Insert  a candy thermometer and bring to a boil  , stirring  until sugar dissolves  . Continue boiling  , stirring occasionally  until thermometer  registers 218* to 220* F.
4 . Remove from heat  , skim off form  and ladle into sterilized half-pint canning jars  leaving  1/4-inch head space . Label and store in cool dark place .
ORANGE MARMALADE :Prepare as directed above  , substituting 2 large navel oranges  or Valencia oranges  for  grapefruit . Do not didcard seeds  ; instead  , tie the seeds  in cheesecloth  and simmer  along  with rind and chopped fruit. Remove bag of seeds  before cooling  overnight  , then prepare ad directed . Makes 4 half-pints.
GINGER-IME MARMALADE : Prepare  as directed , subtituting 6 large limes  for grapefruit  and using 1-1/2 cups sugar to each 1 cup fruit mixture . Stir in 1/3 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger  after sugar dissolves in step 3 , then proceed as directed . Makes 4 half-pints .

The marmalades makes a tangy  breakfast  for English  muffins or toast .

Pear Chutney ___Preserves

Prep: 12 minutes   Cook time : 20 minutes    Makes 3 half pints

1           tablespoon olive oil
1           medium-size red onion , finely chopped
1           small sweet red pepper , core , seeded and finely chopped
1            cup sugar
1            cup cider vinegar
3/4         teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/4         teaspoon salt
3            large ripe pears , peeled , cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 .     In a large heavy nonreactive saucepan over moderate  heat , heat oil 1 minute . Add onion and pepper and cook , stirring frequently until soft --- about 5 minutes  . Stir in sugar  , vinegar , mustard seeds  and salt and bring to a boil . Add pears  and cook until tender  --- about 5 minutes  . Strain in a colander  and return liquids  to kettle .
2 .     Over high heat , bring liquids  to a boil and cook  uncovered until syrupy  --- about 12 minutes  . Return pears  to kettle  and stir to coat . Pour into sterilized half-pint canning jars , leaving 1/4-inch head space . Wipe rims  and seal jars . Label and store in a cool dark place .

APPLE CHUTNEY : Prepare as directed as pear chutney --- substituting  3 large sweet or tart apples for pears ...makes 3 half pints
PAPAYA-TOMATO CHUTNEY : Prepare as directed  above  --- substituting 3 cored  and finely chopped  large ripe tomatoes  for pears . Add 1 cup diced , peeled  and seeded papaya  during final 3 minutes  of cooking  --- makes 3 half pints .

These delicious condiments  are usually a little bit sweet  and a little bit tart , balancing  the flavors  of ingredients  as diverse  as tomatoes and papayas .

Monday, March 11, 2013

Vegetable Medley ---- slow cooker

Prep :  5 minutes     Cook: 5 hours      Makes 8 servings

4               cups diced peeled potatoes
1-1/2         cups frozen whole kernel corn or 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn , drained
4               medium tomatoes  , seeded and diced
1               cup sliced carrots
1/2            cup chopped onion
3/4            teaspoon salt
1/2            teaspoon sugar
1/2            teaspoon dill weed
1/8           teaspoon pepper

In a large 3-quart slow cooker  , commbine  and cook on low  for 5 to 6 hours  or until vegetables are tender .

This is a wonderful side dish  to make when  you want something to  look and taste good  . The  colorful combination ia a great complement  to any entree .

Au Gratin Garlic Potatoes --------slow cooker

Prep: 10 minutes     Cook : 6 hours    Makes 6 to 8 servings

1/2               cup milk
1                  can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed  chedder cheese soup , undiluted
1                  package (8 ounces) cream chesse , cubed
1                  garlic clove , minced
1/4               teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8               teaspoon pepper
2                  pounds potatoes , peeled and sliced
1                  small onion , chopped
          *Paprika , optional*

1 .      In a small saucepan , heat milk  over  medium  heat until bubbles  from around side of saucepan . Remove  from heat  . Add the soup  , cream cheese  , garlic , nutmeg and pepper ; stir until smooth .
2 .      Place the potatoes  and onion in a 3-quart  slow cooker  . Pour the milk  mixture  over the potato mixture  ; mix well . Cover  and cook  on low for 6 hours  ot until potatoes  are tender . Sprinkle with paprila  if desired .

Cream cheese  and a can of cheese soup turn ordinary sliced potatoes  into a rich  side dish that's the perfect extra  with any meal .

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bacon-Herb Cupcakes

Prep: 25 minutes     Bake: 26 to 28 minutes     Makes about 32 cupcakes

1-1/2               cups sour cream
1/2                   cup cooked finely crumble bacon
1/2                  cup melted butter
1/2                  cup finely chopped assorted fresh herbs
2                     green onions , chopped
1/2                  teaspoon  pepper
2                     cups all-purpose flour
6                     ounces  cream cheese  , softened
            *Garnishes : assorted  fresh herbs  , cooked and crumble bacon

1 .         Preheat oven to 375* . Stir together  first 6 ingredients . Stir in flour  until well blended . (misture will be thick). Spoon  batter into  lightly greased  miniature  muffin pans filling completely full .
2 .         Bake at 375* for 26 to 28 minutes  or until golden brown . Remove  cupcakes  from pans  to a wire rack  and cool  competely (about 30 minutes). Spread or pipe tops of cupcakes  with cream cheese . Garnish if desired .

Rustic Spiced Plum Tart

Prep : 40 minutes    Cook time: 1 hour     Makes 8 servings

Parchment paper
Vegetable cooking spray
1-1/2            pounds plums , sliced
1/2                cup sugar
1/2                cup plum preserves
1                   teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4                teaspoon ground allspice
1/2                (14.1 ounces) package refrigerated piecrusts
1                   tablespoons all-purpose flour
1                   large egg
1                   tablespoon sugar
       *Sweentened whipped cream , optional*

1 .         Line baking sheet with parchment paper  ; coat parchment paper  with cooking spray.
2 .         Preheat oven  to 350* . Stir  together plums  and next 4 ingredients  in a large bowl . Let stand 30 minutes  , stirring occasionally .
3 .         Meanwhile  , unroll  piecrusts on prepared  baking sheet . Roll into a 12-inch circle .
4 .         Drain plum mixture  , reserving  liquid  for later use . Tsoo plums in flour .
5 .         Mound plums in center  of piecrust , leaving a 2-1/2 to 3-inch border . Fold piecrust  border  up and over plums , pleating  as you go  , leaving an opening  about 5-innches  wide in center .
6 .         Stir together egg and 1 tablespoon  water . Brush piecrust  with egg mixture  and sprinkle  with 1 tablespoon sugar.
7 .          Bake at 350* for 45 minutes  or until filling is bubbly  and piecrust is golden bbrown . Carefully transfer  tart  on parchment paper  to wire rack  ; cool 20 minutes .
8 .          Meanwhile , bring  reserved plum liquid  to a boil in a small saucepan  over medium heat  . Boil 1 to 2 minutes  or until slightly  thickened  , stirring often . Let cool slightly  . Brush  or drizzle  1 to 2 tablespoons hot plum liquid over  exposed  fruit in center  of tart . Serve immediately with remaining  plum syrup  and if desired  , sweetened whipped cream.

TIP; If the plums  are very ripe  , their juices  may ooze out of the tart  and onto the parchment paper  , but this adds to the tarts charm.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Prep : 15 minutes+standing      Cook : 1 hour     Makes 8 servings

4             dried ancho chilies
4             dried guajillo or pasilla chilies
2             tablesoons vegetable oil , divided
1-1/2       cups boiling water
2             pounds boneless pork , cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2          cup chopped onion
4             garlic cloves , minced
3             cups chicken broth
2             cans (29 ounces each) hominy , rinsed  and drained
1-1/2       teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1             teaspoon salt
    *Lime wedges , sliced radishes , diced avocado and chopped onion , optional *

1 .      In a dutch oven , saute  chilies in 1 tablespoon oil for 1 to 2 minutes  or until heated through , pressing  with a spatula (do not brown) . Remove  from pan ; remove stems and seeds . Place chilies  in a bowl ; add boiling water  . Soak  for 20 minutes  or until softened .
2 .       Meanwhile  , in the Dutch oven , brown pork in remaining  oil in batches . Saute onion  and garlic  with the last batch of pork . Add broth  ; bring to a boil . Reduce heat  and cover and simmer  for 30 minutes  or until meat is tender .
3 .       Transfer chilies  and soaking  liquid  to a blender  ; cover  and process until smooth . Strain  through a fine strainer  , reserving pilp and discarding skins . Add pulp to pork moxture  . Stir  in the hominy , oregano and salt . Cover  and simmer  for 20 minutes  or until hominy  is heated through  and flavors blend . Serve  with lime , radishes , avocado and onion  if desired  .

This spicy stew like soup  is traditionally  served  in New Mexico  at holiday time  to celebrate  life's blessings , but it's good anytime .

Sunday Gumbo

Prep : 10 minutes    Cook ;  50  minutes   Makes  16 servings

1              pound Italian sausage links , cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1              pound bonelesss shinless chicken breasts  , cubed
1              pound  uncooked medium shrimp , peeled , devein shrimp , wash and drain.
3              tablespoons vegetable oil
1              medium sweet  red pepper , chopped 
1              mediun onion , chopped 
1              teaspoon dried marjoram
1              teaspoon dried thyme 
1/2          teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2          teaspoon cayenne pepper 
3             cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
2/3          cups uncooked brown rice 
1             can ( 14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , undrained 
2             cups frozen frozen slice okra   

1 .       In a dutch oven , brown sausage  and chicken in oil . Remove  with a slotted spoon  and keep warm . In the drippings , saute the red pepper , onion and celery  until tender . Stir in the seasongs ; cook for 5 minutes . Stir in the broth , rice and sausage mixture ; bring to a boil . Reduce heat ; cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes  or until rice is tender.
2 .       Stir in the tomatoes  , shrimp and orka ; cook 10 minutes  or until shrimp turns pink , stirring occasionally .

Sausage , chicken and shrimp , plus rice  , a medley of vegetables  and the heat of cayenne  , this warming soup ia a spectacular addition  to Sunday meals  or any  meals .