Sunday, November 30, 2008

Candied Yams

From Grandma Wayman.
4-5 long, thin yams (not sweet potatoes)
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
Dash cinnamon

Scrub yams and pierce the skin with a fork. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour at 450 F. Allow yams to cool enough to be peeled. (Yams can be baked but not peeled the night before.)

When you are ready to assemble the yams, bring the margarine, brown sugar, water, orange juice, and cinnamon to a boil in a skillet until thickened (2-6 minutes).

Cook baked, peeled yams in above mixture for 1 minute. (If skillet is not large enough to fit all the yams, cook them in more than one batch.)

Carefully lift yams out of syrup and place in greased baking dish (9x13 or 11x17). Pour remaining syrup over yams. Bake 15 minutes at 350 F.

Top yams with marshmallows and briefly broil until marshmallows are puffy and golden. (Watch them, as the marshmallows can quickly go from golden to burned.)

- Start a while in advance, as yams must cool before being peeled.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Death by Chocolate (Trifle)

From Sis. Luke.
1 9x13" pan of brownies, cooled and chopped or crumbled
1 large container of whipped topping
1 large Symphony bar with almonds and toffee, chopped finely
1 large + 1 small box chocolate pudding, prepared according to directions

Mix 3 small packages of chocolate pudding as directed. Let set in refrigerator.

Once the brownies are completely cool, layer in the following order:
1 layer brownies
1 layer chocolate pudding
1 layer whipped topping
1 layer finely cut Hershey’s Symphony or Hershey’s milk chocolate bar (5 oz.)

Repeat layers to fill trifle dish.

- Best if assembled the night before.
- I like to use Matt's Award-Winning Brownies.  Sis. Luke uses this brownie recipe in her trifle:

2 ½ sticks butter
¾ cup cocoa powder
3 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
6 eggs
2 cups flour
2 cups walnuts, chopped

Melt butter over medium heat. Mix in cocoa powder and remove from heat. Add sugar, salt, eggs, and walnuts (in that order). Pour into greased 9x13” baking dish. Bake at 300°F for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Tortellini Chicken Soup

From Mom Larsen.

Combine in a large pot and bring to a boil:
3 (10.75 oz) cans chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
½ cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp basil
½ tsp oregano

Add 7 oz. package cheese tortellini. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes.

Add 9 oz. fresh or frozen broccoli. Simmer additional 5-10 minute or until broccoli is tender.

Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

- Meatless Version: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.  Use cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken soup.  Omit chicken and add more vegetables and pasta.

Taco Soup

From Mom Larsen.

Serves: 4-6
1 lb. hamburger, browned and drained
1 onion, chopped and browned with hamburger
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 14½-oz. can cut-up tomatoes, undrained (Mexican style is best)
1 15½-oz. can whole-kernel corn, undrained
1 15½-oz. can kidney beans, undrained
1 package taco seasoning (try using Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix)

Shredded cheese, Fritos, sour cream or fat-free Greek yogurt

Put first 7 ingredients into a large saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes. You will probably want to add 1-2 cups of water for a mores soupy consistency. To serve, put soup in individual serving bowls and sprinkle with cheese and Fritos. Add a dab of sour cream.

- We recently used fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I think the brand was Dole).  So delicious!  The tomatoes were softer and added a sweeter flavor to the soup.
- Next time we make this, we're going to try it with black beans instead of kidney beans.

Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Mom Larsen.
White chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies (see Variations)
3 eggs
16 oz. (2 cups) dark brown sugar
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 Tbs. vanilla
1 lb. butter, softened (do not substitute margarine!!)
6 cups flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
18 ounces chocolate chips
2 cups chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Beat eggs until thickened—about 4-5 minutes. Add sugars; mix well. Add vanilla and butter; mix well.

Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to butter/sugar/egg mixture; mix well. Dough will be thick!

Add chocolate chips and nuts (if desired); mix.

Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, drop dough on cookie sheets covered with baker’s/parchment paper. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until tops begin to crack. Cookies will not look done in the center but will continue to cook after you take them out. Leave cookies on baking sheets for 10 minutes before removing to cooling racks.

Cocomac Cookies: Substitute coconut and macadamia nuts for chopped nuts and chocolate chips.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies: Substitute white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts for chocolate chips and nuts.

Larry's Chili

From Dad Larsen.

In a crock-pot or large pot, add the following ingredients and turn on to a medium setting:

3 15-oz. cans of small red beans
3 15-oz. cans of Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 15-oz. can of Beef Consommé (or beef bouillon or beef broth)
1 small can (about 3 or 4 oz.) diced, green chilies
3 Tbs. chili powder (2 Tbs. for a milder flavor)
1 Tbs. ground cumin
Salt & pepper to taste (suggested: 1 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp. black pepper)

Meanwhile, brown the following in a skillet:

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 Tbs. olive oil (omit if hamburger is not lean)

After hamburger is browned and onion is cooked, drain off excess fat. Add hamburger and onion to crock-pot.

Cook for 1 hour or more.

- When small red beans or poquito’s are not available, use kidney beans. May use a combination of kidney and small red beans, if desired.

Hot and Sour Soup

From Szechuan Garden in Mountain View, CA.

Makes a LOT!

Boil on high for 30 minutes:
10 cups water
4 packets low-salt chicken bouillon
1.25 oz. black (shiitake) mushrooms, crushed (but not into powder)
4 oz. bamboo shoots, cut in strips
1 Tbs. corn starch in ¼ cup cold water (mixed)

Meanwhile, cut 2 chicken breasts into small pieces and marinate in the following spices:
3/8 cup white vinegar
5/8 cup soy sauce
2 ½ Tbs. corn starch mixed with 3/8 cup Chablis (or water, if desired)
3 ½ tsp. sugar
1 tsp. white pepper (or black, if necessary)
¼ tsp. red pepper
2 tsp. sesame oil

1 14-oz. package of extra firm Tofu, cut into strips or chunks the size of sugar cubes
1 egg, scrambled (mix, don’t cook yet), hold in fridge
1 scallion (or green onion), cut into small rings

Stir tofu into soup and cook 15 minutes.
Add meat and marinade and cook only 2 minutes.
Add egg slowly in a stream while stirring the boiling mixture.
Add scallions.

Let stand 20 minutes. Serve.

Won Ton Soup

1 ½ quarts rich chicken broth
Approx. 2 dozen won ton wrappers
1 beaten egg
1 green onion, including top, minced

½ lb. lean ground pork
1 green onion, including top, minced
1 Tbs. dry Sherry, optional (possible substitutions: orange, apple, or pineapple juice)
1 tsp. sesame oil (important!)
½ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
Pinch of white pepper (use black if you have to)

Combine filling ingredients; mix well and set aside.

Pour broth in pot to reheat. Skim oil and fat, then season with salt and pepper if necessary. Cover and simmer over very low heat until ready to serve.

To assemble won tons:
Spoon about 1 tsp. filling into center of won ton wrapper. Brush edges with egg. Fold in half. Brush one of the folded corners with egg. Pinch other folded corner on top of it. (Will look a little like tortellini.)

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Drop in all won tons. When water begins to boil again, add 1 cup cold water to reduce temperature. When water reaches another boil (about 3 minutes) and won tons start to float, remove them with a strainer and add to broth when done.

Add optional/additional ingredients to broth while won tons are cooking. Once won tons are added, sprinkle with sesame oil and minced green onion.

Optional/additional soup ingredients:
Sliced BBQ pork (also called Yangtze pork), boiled prawns or shrimp, snow peas, black (shiitake) mushrooms, white mushrooms, sliced water chestnuts, pieces of Chinese cabbage (Bok Choy—white stem, dark green leaves) or fresh spinach, carrots, bamboo shoots, thinly sliced beef, sliced chicken

- To store, remove won tons with a slotted spoon and store in a separate bowl in the fridge to prevent sogginess.  May add a little sesame oil to prevent sticking together.
- Add soy sauce to taste at the table.

After Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

Adapted from Taste of Home's Holiday and Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2001, p. 140.

Prep: 30 min. / Cook: 40 min.
Yield: 8 servings

6 cups chicken broth*
3-4 cups cut up turkey
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery rib, diced
½ cup butter, cubed
½ cup flour
1 cup half-and-half cream (can use non-fat)
½ cup uncooked long grain rice
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp chicken bouillon
½ tsp pepper

In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in butter until tender. Reduce heat; stir in flour until blended. Gradually add 2 cups broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Add half-and-half, rice, salt, bouillon, pepper, remaining broth, and turkey. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender.

Great served in bread bowls.

- The original recipe calls for a leftover turkey carcass, which is brought to a boil, then covered and simmered for 1 hour. The subsequent broth is then used in the recipe, as well as the turkey meat.

Friendship Bread and Starter

Do not refrigerate!

1 1/4-oz. pkg. active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups white sugar, divided
2 cups milk

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart glass, plastic, or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly.

Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature.

Follow rest of directions listed above for days 2-10.

Day 1: Do nothing.
Day 2-5: Mush the closed bag 2 times a day.
Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.
Day 7-9: Mush the bag & release the air 2 times a day.
Day 10: Make the bread following the directions below.

Squeeze contents of bag into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Mix well. Measure three 1-cup starters into three large zip-lock bags (one gallon size). Mark with the date and day number and give to three friends with a copy of the instructions.

To make your two loaves of bread:
Preheat the oven to 325°F and spray loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Add the following into leftover starter in the bowl:
1 cup oil
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs

In another bowl, mix:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 large box of instant vanilla pudding

Combine wet and dry ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine ½ cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Put 1/8 cup of mixture in the bottom of each loaf pan. Pour batter into pans and top each with half of the remaining sugar mix.

Bake at 325°F for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on a cooling rack for 30 minutes and then turn out and enjoy!

Chocolate Truffle Pie

From Kraft Foods.

Prep: 10 min
 / Cook: 35 min
Makes: 10 servings

Picture from the Kraft Foods website.
10 oz. Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
½ cup whipping cream
4 eggs
½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour

Whipped cream
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Place chocolate in large microwaveable bowl. Add whipping cream. Microwave on high 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended; cool slightly.

Add eggs, sugar and flour; beat with wire whisk until well blended. Pour into lightly greased 9-inch pie plate.

Bake 35 min. or until outer half of pie is puffed and center is slightly soft; cool until slightly warm. Dust powdered sugar over top. Serve topped with the whipped topping.

Linguine with Clam Sauce

From Dad Larsen.

Bring to a good boil:
6 cups water
Juice from 2 small cans chopped clams

Add to above:
1 lb. linguine noodles

Prepare separately in frying pan, cooking slightly to blend flavors:
4 oz. butter
2 cans chopped clams
4 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley
3 Tbs. fresh chopped basil
1 tsp. fresh minced thyme
1 Tbs. minced garlic
Pepper to taste

Just before linguine is ready, bring to a boil and add to clam/herb mix:
1 cup heavy cream

Drain linguine noodles, place on large warm platter, and quickly pour clam/herb/cream sauce over it.

Add to linguine mix and toss:
4 oz. melted butter (in addition to above)
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Salt to taste, toss, and serve.

Rodgrot (Red Berry Pudding)

Yield: about 8 servings

1 pound fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries, strawberries or boysenberries
4 cups water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar (reduce the amount if the berries are sweetened)
Pinch of salt
1 cup whipping cream

Combine the berries and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Place a sieve over a medium bowl, pour berry mixture into sieve, press with the back of a spoon to remove as much pulp as possible. Discard the seeds. Measure the juice and pulp. If necessary, add water to make 5 cups.

In a small bowl combine cornstarch with 2/3 cup of juice (the juice should not be hot), making a thin paste. Pour remaining juice and pulp into saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Stir in sugar, salt and cornstarch paste. Stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon to keep pudding smooth, cook until thickened.

Cover pan, set aside to cool 20 to 30 minutes. Pour cooled pudding into a serving bowl.

Serve immediately or cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until served. Pour whipping cream into a small pitcher. Serve pudding warm or cold, with cream.


Riskrem (pronounced "rees-krehm") is basically what it sounds like: a rice cream dessert.  But's not rice pudding.  By custom, Norwegian families would take a bowl of riskrem to the barn on Christmas Eve and leave it out for the Fjøsnisse (sometimes referred to simply as nisse or nissen), the guardian of the home and farm.  It's wise to remember him because he can be kind of a trickster, and if you really anger him, you may find your crops have gone bad.

Traditionally in Norway, one whole almond is hidden in the batch of riskrem.  Whoever finds the almond in his or her dish receives a yummy prize of a marzipan candy shaped like a pig, though in my family the prize was typically some See's candy or Smil (a Norwegian candy similar to Rolos).  Sadly, I'm the only one who's crazy about marzipan, so the pig is never an option.

My family has had this dessert every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember.  My dad served in Norway as a missionary for our church, as did my grandpa and both of my dad's brothers (strange coincidence, as our missionaries do not choose where they'll go).  Plus, we are part Norwegian (and Danish and just about everything else in Europe, though more than any other single nationality, we are Icelandic--my great-grandmother was a full Icelander).  So this dessert is really part of our heritage.

My dad eats riskrem by the bowlful; he loves it that much.  While I was growing up, I'd slowly make my way through it until somebody found the almond, and then I'd stop.  But over the last few years, I've gained a new appreciation of it.  Could I eat a batch by myself?  No.  But I can safely say that I enjoy it now.
3/4 cup medium or short grained rice
4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 pint cream
Pinch of salt
Berry syrup (recommended: strawberry, boysenberry, or raspberry)
1 almond

Cook rice, milk, and salt covered in a double boiler over low heat, stirring occasionally, until nearly all the milk is absorbed (approximately 1 1/2 hrs).

Remove from heat and stir in sugar and almond extract, then cool in refrigerator until cold (overnight is best).

Gently fluff rice with a fork.  Whip the cream until soft peaks form and fold into rice mixture.

Serve with a little berry syrup poured over the top.

- In Norway an almond is placed into the Ris Krem just before it is served; the lucky person who finds the almond in his or her bowl gets a prize,  traditionally a piece of marzipan candy in the shape of a pig.
- This is a very rich dessert, so a little goes a long way.
- Don't allow your rice mixture to sit too long in the fridge before adding the whipped cream or it won't be a soft as it should be (the mistake I made for the batch pictured here--it was a couple days before I got around to whipping the cream).

Bread Bowls or French Bread

From Kim Herring.

Yield: 2 loaves French bread or 6 bread bowls
2 1/4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 packages or 2 T. active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons soft shortening or oil
6 cups flour, stirred and measured

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In large mixing bowl combine warm water and sugar. Sprinkle yeast over top; allow to soften. Add salt, shortening/oil and 3 cups flour; beat well.

Add remaining flour, stirring well with heavy spoon. Leave spoon in batter and allow dough to rest 10 minutes; stir down with spoon; allow dough to rest 10 minutes; stir down again. Repeat this process until dough has been stirred down five times.

Turn dough out onto floured board; knead two or three times to coat dough with flour so it can be handled.

For French Bread:
Divide into two parts. Roll each part of dough into rectangle 9 x 12 inches. Roll dough up, starting from long side; pinch edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that's been sprinkled with cornmeal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough.

For Bread Bowls:
Divide into six parts. Form into balls, smooth on top with the seam pinched together on the bottom. Arrange on a large baking sheet that's been generously sprinkled with cornmeal.

Cover lightly; allow to rise for 30 minutes. With a very sharp knife, cut three gashes at an angle in top of each loaf (I cut two gashes on each bread bowl); brush entire surface with egg wash (1 egg beaten slightly with 1 tablespoon water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

Bake for 30 minutes or until brown. Cool on racks.

- I used a bowl and wooden spoon the first time I made these, and then I switched to my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook. Works out just the same, except my arms don't feel like they're going to fall off.

Pepper Steak

From Mom Larsen.

1 1/4 lbs. flank steak, sliced thinly across the grain
2 Tbs. cornstarch, divided
2 Tbs. soy sauce, divided
2 tsp. sugar
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
3 slices ginger root or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 bell peppers, cut in strips
1/2 onion or 4 green onions, sliced
2 tsp. hoisin sauce
3-4 Tbs. oil, divided
Rice or noodles

Mix 1 Tbs. cornstarch, 1 Tbs. soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and 1 Tbs. oil in a large bowl.  Add steak and stir to coat.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together remaining cornstarch and soy sauce with sugar and broth.  Set aside.

Stir-fry peppers and onions in 1 Tbs. oil for 2-3 minutes or until tender-crisp.  Remove from pan.

Stir-fry beef in two batches in 1-2 Tbs. oil until meat is brown on the outside but still pink in the middle.

Add hoisin sauce and stir to coat.  Remove meat from pan.

Add gravy ingredients to pan and cook, stirring until it begins to thicken. Return meat and vegetables to pan and stir to combine.

Serve over rice or Chinese noodles.

- Consider using 1 ½ times the gravy ingredients.
- Other cuts of beef may be used instead of flank steak.
- Add extra sliced peppers or some sliced bamboo shoots and/or sliced water chestnuts for more vegetables.
- This recipe can also be used for Beef and Chinese Pea Pods, substituting 1/4-1/2 pound pea pods for sliced peppers.
- Can also substitute chicken for beef.

Sloppy Joes

From Mom Larsen.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 Tbs. flour
1 can tomato soup
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbs. vinegar
1 Tbs. brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground beef and onion. Mop up excess grease with paper towel. Stir in flour.

Add remaining ingredients. Simmer until heated through. Serve on hamburger buns.

Sweet Potato Casserole

From Kim Herring.

Yield: 8-10 servings

6 medium-sized sweet potatoes
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
½ cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. butter or margarine

Cook sweet potatoes in boiling water 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Let cool to touch; peel and mash.

Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk, and ½ cup butter; beat at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth. Spoon into a lightly greased 2 ½ quart baking dish.

Combine brown sugar, pecans, flour, and 2 Tbs. butter; sprinkle mixture over casserole.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Marsh Pie

From Dad Larsen.

1 pkg (10 oz) Frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 container (16 oz) sour cream
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 pkg Knorr Vegetable Soup, Dip and Recipe Mix
1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained and chopped
3 green onions, chopped

In medium bowl, stir spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, soup mix, water chestnuts and green onions until well mixed.

Cover; chill 2 hours to blend flavors.

Stir well, if desired, spoon into round bread bowl. Serve with cut up vegetable or chips (or pieces of the bread bowl).

Serve with pieces of sourdough bread.

Other Variations:
Spinach and Cheese Dip. Add 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese with spinach.
Yogurt Spinach Dip. Substitute 16 oz plain low fat yogurt for sour cream.

Chicken Pot Pie

From Mom Larsen (adapted from Laverne Hales).
3 cups cooked cubed chicken
1 ½ cups diced cooked carrots
1 ½-2 cups diced cooked potatoes
1 ½ cups frozen peas, thawed
½ cup chopped celery
6 Tbs. margarine or butter
1/3 cup flour
7 tsp. chicken bouillon or 7 chicken bouillon cubes
1/8-1/4 tsp. pepper
5 ½ cups milk (divided)
3 cups biscuit baking mix (like Bisquik)

Cook celery in margarine until tender. Stir in flour, bouillon, and pepper. Remove from heat and add 4 ½ cups milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Stir in chicken, carrots, potatoes, and peas. Remove from heat.

Combine biscuit mix and remaining 1 cup milk. Mix well. Turn 2/3 dough into well-greased 9x13” baking dish. Sprinkle with flour. With floured hands, pat dough evenly over bottom and up sides of dish.

Pour chicken mixture into prepared dish.

Knead remaining dough. Roll to 1/8 thickness. Cut into eight 3-inch rounds and arrange on casserole.

Bake at 350˚F for 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden.

- Always check the size of your bouillon cubes to make sure you're using the right amount.  I have cubes that are at least twice the size of the ones my mom uses, so I have to be really careful about measuring by the number of cubes.  In this recipe, you'll want to make sure you've got the equivalent of 7 tsp.

Cheesy Chicken Casserole

From Mom Larsen.

Serves 6.
2/3 cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (reserve ½ cup)
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 1/2 cup (4 oz.) rotini pasta (cook and drain)
2 cups mixed frozen vegetables
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients except 1/2 cup reserved cheese. Spoon into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with reserved cheese. Bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

- This is one of those recipes that I kind of just estimate.  Do you like more chicken?  Add some more.  Do you have extra vegetables that you really don't want to stick back in the freezer?  Use them all!  Want to finish up the ends of a couple different bags of pasta?  No problem!  Just make sure you've got enough sauce.  Oh, and I always like a little extra cheese.
- To make meatless, omit chicken and increase the amount vegetables.

Mexican Lasagna

From Simple and Delicious (Sept./Oct. 2007), page 56.

Prep: 25 min. / Bake: 40 min. + standing
Yield: 10-12 servings

1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
3 cans (10 ounces each) enchilada sauce
2 eggs
1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
½ cup minced fresh cilantro
12 no-cook lasagna noodles
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Mexican blend cheese

In a large skillet, cook onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until tender.

Stir in chicken and enchilada sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta cheese, and cilantro.

Spread ¾ cup chicken mixture into a greased 9x13” baking dish. Layer with three noodles, 2/3 cup ricotta mixture, ¾ cup mixture chicken mixture, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining noodles, sauce, and shredded cheese.

Cover and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts:
1 piece (1/12 lasagna), = 396 calories, 22 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 124 mg cholesterol, 757 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 30 g protein

Chicken and Rice Casserole

From Mom Herring.

Prep./Total Time: a little over 2 hours

2 cups rice
4 cups chicken broth or water
2 lbs. chicken breasts or fryer
1/2 (1.5 oz.) pkg. dehydrated onion soup
1 (10 oz.) can cream of chicken soup

Grease 9x13” pan and sprinkle rice evenly on bottom of pan. Add water or broth, then place chicken pieces on top of rice and water. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Sprinkle dehydrated onion soup over chicken, then spread on cream of chicken soup as evenly as possible.

Bake, covered, 1 1/2 hours at 350°F, then uncover and cook 1/2 hour more.

New England Clam Chowder

From Dave Lieberman.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into ¼-inch pieces
3 Tbs. flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
1 pound Idaho potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until softened, mixing often. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly. Add the stock, juice from cans of clams (reserve clams), cream, bay leaves, and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken), then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are nice and tender. Then add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.

Pan-Toasted Croutons:
2 to 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
½ baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbs. freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet and toss the bread cubes in the butter until browned and toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper.

- Really good served in bread bowls (without the croutons).

Cream Puffs

Adapted from, submitted by Shellie Wendel.

Prep.: 20 min. Cook: 25 min.
Yield: about 40 small cream puffs

2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix (or other flavor)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
½ cup butter
1 cup water
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbs. sugar

Mix together pudding mix, cream, and milk. Cover and refrigerate to set.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour, salt, and sugar until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or a stand mixer, beat in the vanilla and eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 18 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.

When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells through a small hole in the side or bottom.

- I use a small cookie scoop to drop my dough onto the cookie sheet, which typically yields about 40 small shells.
- Try using other pudding flavors instead of vanilla.
- I sometimes melt some chocolate chips and drizzle them over my cream puffs.

Nutrition Facts (using nonfat milk):
1 cream puff = 95 calories, 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 42 mg cholesterol, 111 mg sodium, 7.5 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein

Kung Pao Chicken

Adapted from Larry Larsen.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4" pieces
1/4-1/2 cup canola oil
3 Tbs. + 2 tsp. soy sauce, divided
1 Tbs. + 2 tsp. dry sherry, divided
2 Tbs. red rice vinegar (red vinegar or rice vinegar can be substituted)
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 Tbs. cornstarch paste (mix together water and cornstarch)
1/2 can water chestnuts, quartered (like a pie)
1/2 can julienned bamboo shoots
2 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
6-10 red chili pods
1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1/2-1 tsp. sesame oil
Hot cooked rice

Add 2 tsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. dry sherry, and 1 tsp. cornstarch to chicken in a medium-sized bowl; stir to coat and set aside.

Combine 3 Tbs. soy sauce, 1 Tbs. dry sherry, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch paste in a small bowl; set aside.  (You'll need to stir it up again before adding it later.)

Add oil to a hot wok.  Once oil is hot (sizzles when a drop of water is added), add chicken, stirring to separate pieces (takes about 1 min--the chicken will not be cooked all the way through).  Be careful; oil will spatter.  Remove and drain.

Remove all but 2 Tbs. oil from wok, reheat, swirling to coat sides.  Add 6 to 10 red chili pods, breaking only one in half.  Stir for about 45 seconds, until pods are browned but not burned.

Return chicken and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until browned.  Add vegetables, stir-frying for about 1 minute. Add seasonings, mixing thoroughly, and cook until thickened.

Sprinkle with sesame oil and 1/4 cup roasted peanuts. If desired, add a little hot chili oil.  Serve over rice.

- May use water, orange or pineapple juice, peach syrup, vanilla extract instead of dry sherry.
- You can find the chili pods in Asian or Mexican sections at the grocery store—sometimes they're called Japanese or Chinese red peppers.  Break more chili pods for a hotter dish.  Don’t break any for a milder dish.

Summertime Sweet Pickles

From Jenny Bond.

Prep time: 10 min. Ready in approx. 24 hours
Makes 1 quart

2 lbs. cucumbers
2 sweet onions
1 c. apple cider vinegar
1 c. white sugar
2 Tbs. salt
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. mustard seed

Combine cider vinegar, salt, sugar, turmeric, & mustard seed in saucepan over med-high heat. Bring to a boil; let cook for 5 more minutes.

Slice cucumbers & onion. Pack the vegetables in a 1-quart canning jar or other container. Pour hot liquid over vegetables in the container.

Refrigerate for 24 hours; enjoy! Keep refrigerated.

Turkey Tostadas

From Simple and Delicious (Sept./Oct. 2007), page 26.

Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
Yield: 6 servings

1 package (20 oz.) lean ground turkey
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green pepper
1 tsp. vegetable or canola oil
¾ cup water
1 envelope taco seasoning (or 3 1/2 Tbs. Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix)
1 can (15.5 oz.) hominy, rinsed and drained
12 tostada shells
3 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup cubed avocado

In a large skillet, cook the turkey, onion, and green pepper in oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water, taco seasoning, and hominy. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until heated through.

On each tostada shell, layer lettuce, turkey mixture, cheese, tomato, and avocado. Serve immediately.

Speedy Chicken Stirfry

From Kraft Foods.

Prep: 10 min. Total: 25 min
Makes 4 servings, 2 cups each

8 oz. angel hair pasta (capellini), uncooked
2 cups broccoli florets
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
½ cup Asian Toasted Sesame dressing (or similar)
2 Tbs. soy sauce
¼ tsp. each ground ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper
1/3 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the boiling water with pasta.

Meanwhile, spray a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 8 min. or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper; cook 1 min, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta mixture and add to skillet; toss. Sprinkle with the peanuts.

- Meatless Version: Omit chicken.  Increase broccoli or add other vegetables (carrots, peppers, snow peas).

Wild Rice Salad

Adapted from Taste of Home (Feb./March 1993), page 29.

Yield: 6 servings

1 cup uncooked wild rice
¾ tsp. salt or seasoned salt (optional, to taste)
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1½-2 cups halved green grapes (can use mixture of red and green)
1 cup sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 cup cashews
Lettuce leaves, if desired

Cook rice according to package directions, using ¾ tsp. salt or seasoned salt. Drain. Cool to room temperature.

Spoon rice into a large bowl. Add chicken, grapes, water chestnuts, and mayonnaise. Toss gently until mixed. Cover and chill.

Just before serving, add cashews. Serve on lettuce leaves, if desired.

- This is best if allowed to chill for several hours or overnight.
- Consider sprinkling cashews into individual servings instead of entire amount, as cashews become soft and rubbery if they are allowed to sit in the rice mixture for a while.
- This is my mom's version; the original uses 3/4 cup mayo.

Nutrition Facts (for original recipe):
1 serving (without cashews or optional salt) = 318 calories, 10 g fat, 40 mg carbohydrate, 229 mg sodium, 19 g protein.

Spicy Refrigerator Dills

From, submitted by FairyFahrenholz.

Prep: 15 min. / Total: 10 days 2 hours 15 minutes

4 (3 to 4 inch long) pickling cucumbers
2/3 cup water
½ cup + 1 Tbs + 1 tsp. white vinegar
½ cup chopped fresh dill weed
2 Tbs. + 2 tsp white sugar
2 ¾ cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. pickling spice
½ tsp. dill seed
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 1/3 sprig fresh dill weed

In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, water, vinegar, chopped dill, sugar, garlic, salt, pickling spice, dill seed, and red pepper flakes. Stir, and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, until the sugar and salt dissolve.
Remove the cucumbers to three 1 ½ pint wide mouth jars, placing 4 cucumbers into each jar. Ladle in the liquid from the bowl to cover the cucumbers. Place a sprig of fresh dill into each jar and seal with lids. Refrigerate for 10 days before eating. Use within 1 month.

Original recipe quantities:

12 (3 to 4 inch long) pickling cucumbers
2 cups water
1 ¾ cups white vinegar
1 ½ cups chopped fresh dill weed
½ cup white sugar
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ Tbs. coarse salt
1 Tbs. pickling spice
1 ½ tsp. dill seed
½ tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
4 sprigs fresh dill weed

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

From, submitted by Laura.

Prep: 25 min. Cook: 25 min.
Yield: About 18 muffins

6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup unsalted butter
¾ cup milk
½ white sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup sour cream

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate squares together with the butter. Let stand until cooled, about 10 minutes.

Lightly beat the egg. In a small bowl, stir together the chocolate-butter mixture with the milk, sugar, egg, vanilla, and sour cream until blended well.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add chocolate mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into muffin pan lined with cups.

Bake at 400˚F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool at least five minutes before removing from muffin pan.

- Substitution for chocolate squares: 6 Tbs. cocoa powder + ¼ cup butter + 7 Tbs. sugar

Double Cheese Pasta Primavera

From Kraft Foods.

Prep: 10 min. + optional marinating /  Cook: 20 min.
Serves 4.

1 pkg. (12 oz.) Shells and Cheese dinner
4 Tbs. Italian dressing, divided
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
1 cup frozen baby peas
1 chicken breast, diced or sliced
¼ tsp dried basil
2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

Marinate chicken in 2 Tbs. Italian dressing for 30 min (optional).

Cook over high heat until no longer pink. Prepare Shells and Cheese as directed on package. 

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbs. Italian dressing in a large skillet on medium heat with chicken. Add broccoli and peppers; cook and stir 5 min. or until crisp-tender. Stir in peas; cook until heated through.

Add Shells and Cheese and basil. Mix.

Top with Parmesan cheese.

- If you don't have time to marinate the chicken, it's okay to cook it up in the dressing instead.
- If you have fresh basil on hand, use 1 Tbs. instead of dried.
- Meatless Version: Omit chicken.  This recipe didn't originally call for it anyway!

Beef Noodle Bowl

From Kraft Foods.

Prep: 10 min. / Total: 30 min.
Yield: 4 servings, 2 cups each.

8 oz. linguine, uncooked
3 cups broccoli florets
3 medium carrots, peeled, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. beef sirloin steak, cut into strips
½ cup Italian dressing
½ cup teriyaki sauce
2 tsp. ground ginger

Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli and carrots to the cooking water for the last 5-6 minutes of the pasta cooking time. Pasta will take a little longer to cook than normal because of the vegetables. Drain pasta mixture.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Add meat; cook until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, teriyaki sauce, and ginger; cook until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

Toss pasta and meat mixtures in large serving bowl.

- Sometimes I use more pasta than the recipe calls for--there's enough sauce.
- Optional: For added crunch, sprinkle with ½ cup dry roasted peanuts just before serving.
- Variation: Instead of ginger and Italian dressing, use ¼ cup Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing and reduce teriyaki sauce to 1 Tbs.

Chocolate Banana Bread / Muffins

From Quick Cooking (Jan./Feb. 2001), page 53.

Yield: 1 loaf or 2 dozen muffins
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)—needs more banana flavor
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped nuts, optional
1 cup chocolate chips, optional

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, bananas, milk, and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; add to the banana mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in nuts if desired. Transfer to a greased 9x5x3” loaf pan.

Bake at 350°F for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

- For muffins: Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full. Check muffins at about 15 minutes for doneness.

Nutrition Facts:
1 slice (1/16 loaf) = 184 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 42 mg cholesterol, 294 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein

Cajun Chicken Strips

From Quick Cooking (May/June 1998), page 23.

Yield: 4-6 servings

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
¾ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon paprika
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch strips
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Italian parsley and chili peppers, optional

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first six ingredients. Add chicken, half at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet, cook chicken in butter for 8-10 minutes or until the juices run clear. Garnish with parsley and peppers if desired.

Nutrition Facts:
1 serving (4 oz) = 162 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 73 mg cholesterol, 320 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 23 g protein.

Turkey Sloppy Joes

From Quick Cooking (July/August 1998), page 44.

Yield: 6 servings

1 pound ground turkey breast
¼ cup chopped onion
½ cup ketchup
3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar
1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon celery seed
¼ teaspoon pepper
6 whole wheat hamburger buns

In a nonstick skillet, cook the turkey and onion for 5 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink. Add the next seven ingredients; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns.

Nutrition Facts:
1 serving = 236 calories, 3 g fat, 37 mg cholesterol, 364 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 23 g protein.

Sesame Chicken Bites

From Taste of Home (Dec./Jan. 2003), page 29.

Yield: 8-10 appetizer-sized servings
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup dry bread crumbs
¼ cup sesame seeds
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, sesame seeds, and parsley; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, onion powder, mustard, and pepper. Coat chicken in mayonnaise mixture, then add to crumb mixture, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.

In a large skillet, sauté chicken in oil in batches until juices run clear, adding additional oil as needed.

¾ cup mayonnaise
4½ teaspoons honey
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients. Serve with the chicken.

- Honestly, I never measure the ingredients for the honey mustard sauce.
- Sometimes I mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and roll the chicken pieces in it instead of shaking them in a bag.
- Baked version (I've started doing this instead of frying them): Place chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet, sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  (Easier, less fat, and no oil splatters to clean up!)

Nutrition Facts (fried):
1 serving (3 pieces) = 323 calories, 28 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 35 mg cholesterol, 239 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 11 g protein.

Tender Chicken for Two

From Simple and Delicious (May/June 2007), page 21.

Prep/Total Time: 30-40 min.
Yield: 2 servings

¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
½ cup chopped onions
½ cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup water
¼ cup sherry or chicken broth
Hot cooked rice

Place the flour, salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag; add chicken and shake to coat. In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil over medium heat for 3½-4 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, sauté the onion, mushrooms, and green pepper until crisp-tender. Stir in the ketchup, water, and sherry or broth. Add chicken; cook, uncovered over medium heat for 14-16 minutes or until juices run clear and sauce is thickened.

Mexican Manicotti

From Quick Cooking (March/April 2000), page 51.

Prep: 20 min + overnight refrigeration + 30 min / Cook: 1 hour 10 min
Yield: 8 servings

1 pound lean ground beef
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans (two cups)
3-4 teaspoons chili powder
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 package (8 oz.) manicotti shells
2½ cups water
1 jar (16 oz.) picante sauce or salsa (two cups)
2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican-blend cheese
¼ cup sliced green onions
Sliced black olives, optional

In a bowl, combine the uncooked beef, beans, chili powder, and oregano. Spoon into uncooked manicotti shells; arrange in a greased 9x13” baking dish. Combine water and picante sauce; pour over shells. Cover and refrigerate over night.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350°F for 1 hour. Uncover; spoon sour cream over the top. Sprinkle with the cheese, onions, and olives if desired. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.

Flavorful Beef Stirfry

From Quick Cooking (Jan./Feb. 2000), page 19.

Prep: 15-20 min / Cook: 10 min
Yield: 4 servings (or more)

2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup white wine, apple juice, or water
1 pound boneless beef round steak, cut into thin strips
3 cups broccoli florets
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 package (6 ounces) frozen pea pods, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
Hot cooked rice

In a bowl, combine cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce and wine, apple juice, or water until smooth. Add beef and toss to coat; set aside.

In a large skillet, stir-fry broccoli, carrots, pea pods, and onion in 1 tablespoon oil for 1 minute. Stir in water chestnuts. Cover and simmer for 4 minutes; remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, stir-fry beef in remaining oil until meat reaches desired doneness. Return vegetables to pan; toss. Serve over rice.

- Meatless Version: Omit the beef or replace it.  Substitution ideas: firm tofu, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, additional vegetables (carrots, broccoli, pea pods, water chestnuts).  After removing vegetables from pan, add sauce and cook, stirring, until bubbly.  Complete recipe as directed.
- Make it Healthier: Use low-sodium soy sauce, use water instead of wine or juice, increase vegetables, reduce meat, cut oil by half, and serve over brown rice.

Gravy Baked Pork Chops

Adapted from, submitted by Jennipoo.

Prep: 10 min. / Cook: 45 min.
Yield: 4 servings

4 (1 1/4 inch thick) pork chops
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
8 oz sliced mushrooms
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Season pork chops with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the pork chops in the oil for about 5 minutes per side.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the milk, water and soup. Place the pork chops in a 9x13 inch baking dish, scatter the mushrooms, and pour the soup mixture over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Serve with rice, potatoes, or possibly pasta.

- I've also sprinkled paprika over everything just before putting it in the oven.
- If your chops are thinner, you'll want to cut the sautéing time and the baking time.  Mine were about 1/2" thick, so I probably cooked them for about 3 minutes per side (enough to get a little golden) and then baked them for about 35 minutes.  They were cooked through but still very tender.

Creamy Chicken and Pasta

From Simple and Delicious (March/April 2006), page 29.

Prep/Total Time: 30 min
Yield: 5 servings

2 cups uncooked penne or medium tube pasta
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup white wine or chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 tablespoons capers, drained
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté mushrooms and onions in butter for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add wine or broth and garlic. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Combine flour and water until smooth; gradually add to mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until heated through.

Drain pasta. Add the pasta, chicken, capers, salt and pepper to cream sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

- Meatless Version: Omit chicken and double mushrooms.
- Make it Healthier: Replace the cream with fat-free half and half.

Nutrition Facts:
1 cup =  431 calories, 25 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 121 mg cholesterol, 420 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 23 g protein.

Summer Spinach Salad

Adapted from Quick Cooking (July/August 2000), page 27.

Yield: 14 dinner servings or 30 buffet servings

½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cider or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground mustard
½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons poppy seeds
16 cups torn fresh spinach
3 green onions, sliced
2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
3 large ripe bananas, cut in ½ inch slices
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

Place the first six ingredients in a blender or food processor; cover and process until sugar is dissolved

In a salad bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Advance preparation:
Up to a week ahead: Prepare dressing. Store in refrigerator. Toast almonds. Store in an airtight container.
Day of serving: Slice green onions and strawberries. Tear spinach leaves.
Just before serving: Slice bananas. Combine all salad ingredients. Toss with dressing.

- This is my mom's version of the salad; the original only calls for 8 cups spinach.

Nutrition Facts:
1 serving = 149 calories, 10 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 g cholesterol, 99 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Catalina Chicken Breasts

From Kraft Foods.

Prep: 10 min. Total: 55 min.
Makes 6 servings.

2 tsp. vegetable oil
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1½ pounds)
½ cup Catalina dressing
½ cup apricot jam
½ package dry onion soup mix (about 3 Tbs.)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 min. on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from skillet; place in 3-qt. baking dish.

Mix dressing, jam, and soup mix in small bowl. Pour over chicken.

Bake 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

- Karen of the 365 Days of Slow-Cooking blog turned this into a crock pot recipe.  She used 4 chicken breasts, 1 cup Catalina dressing, 1/2 pint (1 cup) apricot jam, and a whole package of dry onion soup mix.  Omit the oil.  Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

Pina Colada/Fuzzy Navel Punch

From Carole Larsen.

Serves: approx. 25

1 can frozen white grape juice concentrate (Welch’s)
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate (Minute Maid)
1 can frozen Fuzzy Navel or 1 can frozen Pina Colada concentrate
2 (2 liter) bottles Sprite
4 quarts ice

Combine. Allow concentrate to reach slushy consistency before mixing. Allow enough time for ice to melt slightly before serving.

Advance preparation:
Combine the three concentrates in a Ziploc bag. Squish together to mix. Lay flat in freezer to store until needed. Remove from freezer 15 minutes or so before mixing punch to allow it to become slushy.

- We had the Fuzzy Navel version at our wedding reception in California (yummy!).  However, we haven't been able to find the Fuzzy Navel frozen concentrate anywhere for a few years.  If you find something comparable, please let me know!

Grasshopper Pie

From Lindsey Eliason.

½ cup margarine, melted
2 packages chocolate wafers
1 pint marshmallow whip
¾ cup milk
2 packages Dream Whip
green food coloring (another color may be substituted)
½ teaspoon peppermint flavoring, more or less depending on your taste

Crush chocolate wafers in Ziploc bags into small crumbs. Mix margarine and chocolate wafers into a crumbly mixture using clean hands. Press about 3/4 of mixture into 9x13 greased glass dish or pan.

Melt marshmallow whip in microwave (watch it so it doesn’t burn). Mix milk and marshmallow whip. Put in freezer to cool – do not freeze at this point!

Whip Dream Whip according to directions on box. Add into marshmallow/milk mixture.

Add food coloring and peppermint flavoring. Pour on top of crust.

Sprinkle remaining half of wafer mixture on top. Freeze.

Dressed-up Steaks

From Quick Cooking (Jan./Feb. 2006), page 28.

Prep/Total Time: 20 min
Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless beef sirloin steaks (6 ounces each)
¾ cup Catalina salad dressing, divided

In a small bowl, combine the oil, garlic, oregano, and pepper. Rub over both sides of steaks. Brush with ¼ cup salad dressing. Place on a broiler pan.

Broil 4 in. from the heat for 5-6 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145˚; medium, 160˚; well-done, 170˚). Serve with remaining dressing.

Nutrition Facts:
1 steak = 268 calories, 21 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 24 mg cholesterol, 603 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 8 g protein

- You could definitely cook these on the grill.

Buttermilk Cinnamon Bread

From Quick Cooking (May/June 1998), page 19.
Yield: two 16-slice loaves

4 cups flour
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 Tbs. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1-2 Tbs. finely chopped walnuts, optional

Mix together buttermilk, eggs, oil, and 1 1/2 cups sugar; set aside.  In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir with a spoon until blended. Do not over mix. Mixture should still be very lumpy. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine remaining sugar and cinnamon.

Spoon some of the batter into two greased loaf pans. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the batter. Spoon the rest of the batter over the cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar over the top of the batter.

Use a knife to swirl the cinnamon sugar through the batter.  Top with nuts, if desired.

Bake for 45-60 minutes @ 350˚F. Cool slightly. Loosen loaves and turn out onto cooling racks. Turn loaves right side up to cool. When cool, wrap in waxed paper and then foil or plastic wrap. May be frozen.

- If desired, drizzle glaze over top of loaves when they are cooled. Make glaze by mixing about a tablespoon of softened butter or margarine, a teaspoon of vanilla, a cup of powdered sugar, and enough milk or water to make a glaze that can be drizzled from a spoon.

Nutrition Facts:
1 slice = 160 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 173 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Peanut Blossoms

From Carole Larsen

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 package Hershey Kisses

Cream together shortening, peanut butter, and sugars.

Add egg and vanilla; beat well.  Add flour, baking soda, and salt; beat well.

Shape dough in 1" balls. Roll in sugar. Bake on greased cookie sheet @ 350 till cookies start to crack (8-10 minutes). Remove from oven.

Top each cookie with a Hershey Kiss, pressing down firmly. Return to oven. Bake 2-3 minutes.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

From Carole Larsen.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
48 miniature peanut butter cups (two 14-oz bags), papers removed

Beat butter and sugars until smooth and creamy.  Add egg and vanilla; mix until blended.  Add flour, baking soda, and salt; mix on low speed 1 minute.

Spoon 1-inch mounds of dough into ungreased 1 ½-inch muffin cups that measure ¾-inch deep. Bake 8-10 minutes @ 350, or until lightly browned.

Press 1 peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie until only the top shows. This should be done while cookies are hot.

Cool cookies 10 minutes after adding peanut butter cups, then remove cookies from to cooling racks by inserting the tip of a sharp knife into the edge. Cool completely.

Indoor S'mores

From Carole Larsen.

2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbs. margarine
1 (12 oz.) package milk chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
8 cups Golden Grahams cereal
3 cups mini marshmallows

Heat corn syrup, margarine, and chocolate chips to boiling, stirring. Remove from heat. Add vanilla.

Pour chocolate mixture over cereal.

Fold in marshmallows, 1 cup at a time.

Drop by spoonfuls on wax paper to cool.

Sizzling Chicken Skewers

Prep: 10 min. + marinating / Cook: 5-7 min.
Makes 4 servings, 3 skewers each.

1/3 c. hot water
1/4 c. teriyaki barbecue sauce
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
2 T. honey Dijon mustard
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 12 thin strips

Mix all ingredients except chicken in medium bowl with a wire whisk.

Pour half the mixture into a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken; seal bag. Shake gently to coat chicken. Refrigerate 1-2 hours to marinate.

Refrigerate remaining sauce for dipping.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto 12 skewers in ribbon fashion. Discard any remaining marinade in bag.

Grill 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with reserved dipping sauce.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sesame Ginger Chicken

From Taste of Home (June/July 1996), page 31.

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
½ teaspoon ground ginger
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 green onions with tops, cut into thin strips

In a small bowl, combine the first four ingredients; set aside. Pound the chicken breasts to ¼ inch thickness. Grill over medium-hot coals, turning and basting frequently with soy sauce mixture, for 8 minutes or until juices run clear. Garnish with onions.

- Can be made on an indoor grill.
- Use reduced-sodium soy sauce to apply the "lower sodium" label.

Nutrition Facts:
1 serving = 173 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 63 mg cholesterol, 528 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 24 g protein.

Chicken Wellington

From Simple and Delicious (March/April 2006), page 9.

Prep: 30 min. / Bake: 20 min. + standing
Yield: 4 servings.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
½ teaspoon rubbed sage
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 packages (15 oz each) refrigerated pie pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

1 ¼ teaspoons chicken boullion granules
1 ¼ cups hot water
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white wine or chicken broth

Flatten chicken to ¼-inch thickness. In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil and 1 tablespoon butter for 4-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the rosemary, sage, salt, pepper, and remaining butter. Unroll pastry sheets; cut each into a 9-inch square (discard scraps). Place a chicken breast half on each square; spread chicken with butter mixture. Fold pastry over chicken. Trim off excess pastry; pinch seams to seal.

Place on a greased baking sheet; brush with egg. Bake at 450° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, dissolve boullion in hot water. In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in boullion and wine or broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with chicken.

Nutrition Facts:
1 serving = 697 calories, 45 g fat (20 g saturated fat), 127 mg cholesterol, 956 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 15 g protein

Maple Pecan Pork Chops

From Quick Cooking (Jan./Feb. 06), page 21.

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
Yield: 4 servings.

2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup maple syrup, divided
4 pork loin chops (3/4 inch thick)
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup unsweetened apple juice
1 cup pecan halves

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, pepper, and 2 teaspoons syrup. Brush over both sides of pork chops. In a large nonstick skillet, brown pork in butter over medium heat for 2-4 minutes on each side. Add apple juice. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until meat is tender. Remove chops and keep warm.

Add pecans and remaining syrup to the skillet; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until blended. Serve over the pork chops.

Chicken Ole

From Quick Cooking (July/August 1999), page 49.

Yield: 4 servings.
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 can (15 ¼ ounce) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (15 ounce) tomato sauce
1 can (4 ounce) chopped green chilies
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder (may use dehydrated onion instead)
Tortilla chips or hot cooked rice
Shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil for 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink. Add corn, tomato sauce, chilies, chili powder, and onion powder; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over tortilla chips or rice and sprinkle with cheese.

- Make it Healthier: Use no-salt-added or reduced sodium vegetables.  Use reduced fat cheese.

Nutrition Facts:
1 serving (without rice, chips, or cheese) = 274 calories, 7 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 63 mg cholesterol, 1024 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 27 g protein.

Honey Lime Grilled Chicken

From Quick Cooking (July/Aug. 2000), page 38.

Prep: 5 min. + marinating / Cook: 15 min.
Yield: 4 servings

½ cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ cup lime juice
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

In a resealable plastic bag or shallow glass container, combine the honey, soy sauce and lime juice; mix well. Add chicken and turn to coat. Seal or cover and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes. Drain and discard marinade.

Grill chicken, uncovered, over medium heat for 6-7 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

- I didn’t discard the marinade. Instead, I boiled it, using part to baste the chicken and served the other part with it.
- Use reduced-sodium soy sauce.

Apricot Chicken

From Simple and Delicious (March/April 2006), page 33.

Yield: 4 servings

½ cup apricot preserves (or jam)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chicken broth or sherry
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 medium green pepper, chopped
½ cup salted cashews
Hot cooked rice

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Add chicken and toss to coat. Transfer to a shallow microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring once.

Add green pepper and cashews. Cover and microwave on high for 2-4 minutes or until chicken juices run clear, stirring once. Let stand for 3 minutes.

Serve with rice.

Nutrition Facts:
1 cup = 391 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 63 mg cholesterol, 673 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 28 g protein

- I ended up having to microwave my chicken longer than it says, but that might be because my “shallow dish” was more of a not-so-shallow bowl.
- Unless you plan on not having leftovers, I would recommend adding the cashews just before eating. If they sit until the next meal, they’ll get soggy.

Shelby's Lasagna

Prep./Cook: 1 hour 20 min

1 lb. ground beef
12 oz. cottage cheese
1 (12 oz.) bag grated mozzarella
1 jar Newman’s marinara/pasta sauce
1 box wide lasagna noodles
1 cup water

Brown hamburger. Drain grease and add jar of marinara. Add water to the bottle and swish it around to get the rest of the sauce. Add to marinara and hamburger. Bring to a boil.

In ungreased 9x13 pan, layer meat, noodles, cottage cheese, and mozzarella. Repeat two more times. Finish with a layer of meat sauce on top.

Cover pan with tin foil and cook for 1 hour at 350 or 375˚F.

Caribbean Rice and Shrimp

From Simple and Delicious (March/April 2006), page 8.

Prep/Total Time: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings

1 package (8 oz) Caribbean rice mix
6 cups water
½ pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium tomato, chopped

Prepare rice mix according to package directions, omitting chicken. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add asparagus; cover and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in shrimp; cook for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain. Add asparagus, shrimp, and tomato to rice; toss gently.

Nutrition Facts:
1 1/2 cups = 352 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 183 mg cholesterol, 1278 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 23 g protein.

Chicken In a Hurry

From Simple and Delicious (March/April 2006), page 37.

Prep: 20 min. / Cook: 10 min.
Yield: 4 servings

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons sharp American cheese spread
2 tablespoons chopped green chilies
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter, melted
1 cup softened bread crumbs

Flatten chicken to ¼-inch thickness. In a small bowl, combine the butter, cheese spread, chilies, onion, and salt. Spread 2 tablespoons on each chicken breast half; roll up and secure with toothpicks. Place butter and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken rolls in butter, then coat with crumbs.

Place in a greased 8-in. square microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Discard toothpicks.

Nutrition Facts:
1 serving = 368 calories, 25 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 87 mg cholesterol, 1013 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 15 g protein.

Short Thyme Broccoli

From Simple and Delicious (March/April 2006), page 9.

Prep/Total Time: 15 min

1/2 pound fresh broccoli florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon salt

Place the broccoli and 1in. of water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, salt, and thyme. Drain broccoli; toss with oil mixture.

Nutrition Facts:
3/4 cup = 45 calories, 4 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 88 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Jell-O Cake / Cupcakes

From Sis. Judd.
1 cake mix (plus required ingredients)
1 small box Jell-O mix
1 small box pudding mix
1 envelope Dream Whip
¾ cup hot water
½ cup cold water
1 ½ cups cold milk

Make cake according to directions on box. Let cool for 20 minutes.

About 10 minutes before cake is done cooling, mix lime Jell-o with ¾ cup hot water. Once mix has dissolved, add ½ cup cold water. Let cool until cake has finished cooling.

Using a large fork, chopsticks, or something of the like. Pour Jell-O over cake.

Whip together Dream Whip, pudding mix, and cold milk for 5-8 minutes, or until fluffy. Frost cake.

Refrigerate for a couple hours.

- You can also make these as cupcakes, but it's a little harder.

Some possible combinations:
- Chocolate cake, raspberry Jell-O, cheesecake pudding
- White cake, strawberry Jell-O, chocolate pudding
- Orange cake, cherry Jell-O, vanilla or white chocolate pudding
- Lemon cake, lime Jell-O, lemon vanilla
- White cake, cherry Jell-O, vanilla pudding (pictured)
- Anything else that sounds good.

Peanut Butter Cream-Topped Brownies

From Carole Larsen.

½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons water
1½ cups chocolate chips
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Combine sugar, butter, and water in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until it boils. Remove from heat.

Add chocolate chips. Stir until melted. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat with a spoon until smooth.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture until well blended.

Spread batter into a well-greased 9x9-inch pan. Bake at 325 degrees until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan (about 25-30 minutes). Do not over bake! Cool completely.

Peanut Butter Cream:
¼ cup (½ stick) butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1½ cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons light cream or milk

Beat softened butter and peanut butter together until blended. Add sugar and cream alternately, beating till smooth and creamy. Spread over cooled brownies.

Drizzle Chocolate Glaze over Peanut Butter Cream. Refrigerate until Chocolate Glaze is set. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Chocolate Glaze:
2 tablespoons chocolate chips
2 to 3 teaspoons butter or margarine

Place chips and butter in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds.
Stir until chips are melted.

Chocolate Walnut Crumb Bars

From Carole Larsen.
1 cup butter (softened)
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
½ cup chocolate chips

Beat butter in bowl until creamy.

Add flour, sugar, and salt to butter. Beat until crumbly. With floured fingers, press 2 cups crumb mixture into bottom of greased 9x13 pan (reserve remaining mixture). Bake at 350˚F for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Warm chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in small, heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth.

Stir vanilla into chocolate mixture. Spread over hot crust.

Combine nuts and chips and stir into reserved crumb mixture. Sprinkle over chocolate filling. Bake at 350˚F for 24-30 minutes or until set. Cool in pan or wire rack

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

From Taste of Home (Aug./Sept. 1998), page 47.

Prep.: 15 min/Bake: 40 min. 
Yield: 12-15 servings.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 cups finely chopped zucchini (may use grated zucchini)
12 ounces chocolate chips (reserve 1/4 cup)

Cream together margarine, oil, and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and milk.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Add to other mixture and mix well.

Add zucchini and chocolate chips, except for reserved 1/4 cup of chips. Mix.

Spread in greased and floured 9x13 pan. Sprinkle reserved chocolate chips over top.

Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Nutrition Facts:
1 piece = 333 calories, 16 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 46 mg cholesterol, 173 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein

- You can sour milk by adding enough milk to about 1 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice to make 1/2 cup.
- This is my mom's version, which is way better (the original only calls for 1/2 cup chocolate chips--hello!).
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