Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Choco Cherry Cookies

2 cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1-6 oz Package Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Nuts, chopped
1/2 cup Maraschino Cherries, drained and chopped

Combine Flour, Salt, and Baking Soda and set aside.  In separate bowl, beat sugar and butter until creamy. Blend in Vanilla. Add flour mixture.  Stir in Chocolate Chips, Nuts and Cherries. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. 

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Makes approximately 7 dozen, unless you eat the dough. :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chili and Corn Bread

1 lb. Ground beef or turkey
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 cans (small or 1 large) red beans
1 green pepper
1 onion
1 tbs. Chili powder
1 tsp. Garlic salt
1 box of corn bread mix

Brown meat, onions and pepper. Add seasonings. Heat tomatoes and beans, add meat mixture, simmer for one hour.

Make corn bread as per box instructions. Spread on top of chili and bake 20 minutes @375 or until browned.

Toffee Bark

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1T Vanilla
1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
Heath toffee bits

Preheat oven at 375.

Line jelly roll baking sheet with tin foil and cover with saltines salt side up.  Line the crackers as close together as possible.

In sauce pan melt butter and sugar – bring to a rolling boil and boil for 3 minutes stirring continuously so it doesn’t bubble over.  Take off heat and add vanilla. Spoon all over the crackers and spread so crackers are evenly coated and let soak in.  Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes until bubbly and lightly brown.

Take out of oven and sprinkle the package of chocolate chips over the crackers. Put back in oven for 1-2 minutes to melt the chips.  Take out of oven and spread chocolate with knife to smooth.  Sprinkle with toffee bits.  Refrigerate immediately for 4-5 hours or overnight if you can resist sampling.

Take out and peel off foil and break toffee into chucks to serve.

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Salad

12 oz box of Farfalle
1lb baby spinach (bagged is easiest)
1 rotisserie chicken
½ lb red seedless grapes

Dressing: (I always make double)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
6 T. olive oil
4 T red wine vinegar
½ t. black pepper
½ t. salt

Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Rinse with cold water and drain well.
Cut spinach into reasonable size, if needed.
Debone chicken and cut into bite sized pieces.
Cut grapes in ½.
Combine dressing ingredients in a covered container and shake well.
Mix pasta, spinach, chicken and grapes in a LARGE bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat ingredients.
Refrigerate for 4-6 hours to blend flavors.

Makes a huge bowl…maybe 12 to 15 good sized servings.  After first day you may want to add a little olive oil to the leftovers if most of the dressing has been absorbed.

Serve with crunchy bread…or any bread.

Cheesy Potatoes

2 lb. Frozen Hash Browns
½ c. Butter, melted
1 t. Salt
¼ t. Pepper
½ c. Milk
1 can Cream of Potato Soup
2 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 c. Sour Cream
2 c. Corn Flakes, crushed

Mix all ingredients except corn flakes and ¼ cup of melted butter.
Spread in (sprayed) 9x13 casserole pan.
Melt remaining butter and mix with Corn Flakes.  Spread over potato mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes @ 350 (or until hot throughout and potatoes are done).

Artichoke and Broccoli Pasta Salad

2 T champagne (or white wine) vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 (12-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets and cooked in boiling water for 2 minutes
1/2 cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup sliced basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or 1 cup crumbled feta
1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente

In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil and continue whisking until dressing thickens. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients. Add dressing and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings. 

Apple Chips

4 c. Water
2 c. Sugar
Juice of 2 Lemons (or equivalent of "Realemon")
5 Pounds of Apples

Bring water, sugar and lemon juice to a boil.
Cool completely.
Slice apples very thin (about 1/8 inch) and place in water mixture for 10 minutes.
Place on parchment paper on a cookie tray in a single layer.
One large apple (like a rome) will fill the cookie sheet.

It's ok to put more than one cookie sheet in the oven.
Bake at 200 for 2 1/2 hours or until crisp.
Peel up and break apart.

(It's ok to re-use the paper more than one time but it becomes very brittle.)

A New (Lower Fat) Guacamole

8 oz. Cream Cheese
2 c. Non-Fat Plain Yogurt (drained)
4 Avocados
1 c. Green Chili Salsa (Red is okay, but makes a blah color)
2 t. Lemon Juice

In a food processor, or electic mixer, mix softened cream cheese and yogurt.
Add four mashed, peeled and seeded avocados, salsa and lemon juice.
Mix well.
Season to taste with salt and lemon or lime juice.
Makes about 4 cups.