Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oriental Salad

***Susan's Note: A mom at my elementary school made this for a PTO teacher luncheon and I've made it for a baby shower - yum! Many people return for seconds. Easy. And cheap!

Oriental Salad
Serves 8-10

Dressing: (make before) 1 c. olive oil, ½ c. red wine vinegar, ½ c. sugar,
2 packets of oriental Ramen noodle seasoning (chicken flavor - from
noodle packet)

1. Take 8 oz. of slivered almonds and toast in a dry skillet (just until

2. Take 2 packages of oriental Ramen noodles and crush and fry in butter
until golden

Can make both ahead and combine and store in a Tupperware until
ready to serve.

When ready to serve take a 16 oz. bag of coleslaw, toss w/ noodle and
almond mixture and toss w/ dressing! ENJOY!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake (with Gingersnap Crust)

My very first cheesecake, this was a huge success after Thanksgiving dinner!! I made two "additions": I added a bag of dried cranberries into the batter before baking, and I used gingersnaps instead of graham crackers for the crust. Oh, also, I didn't have allspice so I left it out. This recipe is from the Nov/Dec '03 issue of Cook's Illustrated, which I found online here. The texture is light and "mousse"-y. Yum!!!

Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 12 to 16

Make sure to begin the recipe by removing the cream cheese and eggs from the refrigerator. Depending on the oven and the temperature of the ingredients, the cheesecake may bake about 15 minutes faster or slower than the directions indicate; it is therefore best to check the cake 1 1/4 hours into baking. Although the cheesecake can be made up to 3 days in advance, the crust will begin to lose its crispness after only 1 day. To make slicing the cheesecake easy and neat, use a knife with a narrow blade, such as a carving knife; between cuts, dip the blade into a pitcher of hot water and wipe it clean with paper towels. The cheesecake is good on its own, but the Brown Sugar and Bourbon Cream (recipe follows) is a grand addition.

5 ounces graham crackers (9 whole crackers), broken into large pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/3 cups (10 1/3 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks and left to soften at room temperature about 30 minutes
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
5 large eggs, left at room temperature about 30 minutes
1 cup heavy cream

1. For the crust: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Pulse crackers, sugar, and spices in food processor until evenly and finely ground, about fifteen 2-second pulses. Transfer crumbs to medium bowl, drizzle melted butter over, and mix with rubber spatula until evenly moistened. Turn crumbs into prepared springform pan and, using hand, spread crumbs into even layer. Using flat-bottomed ramekin or drinking glass, press crumbs evenly into pan bottom, then use soup spoon to press and smooth crust into edges of pan. Bake until fragrant and browned about the edges, about 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling.

2. For the filling: Bring about 4 quarts water to simmer in large saucepan or stockpot. Combine sugar, spices, and salt in small bowl and whisk to combine. Follow illustrations 00 through 00 to remove excess moisture from pumpkin. (Lay down about 4 paper towels, put pumpkin on top, press 4 or more paper towels on top to remove excess moisture.)

3. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat cream cheese at medium speed to break up and soften slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beater and bottom and sides of bowl well with rubber spatula. Add about a third of sugar mixture and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute; scrape bowl and add remaining sugar in two additions, scraping bowl after each addition. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat at medium speed until combined, about 45 seconds; scrape bowl. Add 3 eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 1 minute; scrape bowl. Add remaining 2 eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 45 seconds; scrape bowl. Add heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined, about 45 seconds. Using rubber spatula, scrape bottom and sides of bowl and give final stir by hand.

4. Set springform pan with cooled crust on 18-inch-square doubled layer heavy-duty foil and wrap bottom and sides with foil; set wrapped springform pan in roasting pan. Pour filling into springform pan and smooth surface; set roasting pan in oven and pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan. Bake until center of cake is slightly wobbly when pan is shaken, and center of cake registers 145 to 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 1/2 hours (see note). Set roasting pan on wire rack and cool until water is just warm, about 45 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath, discard foil, and set on wire rack; continue to cool until barely warm, about 3 hours. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

5. To serve: Run paring knife around cake to loosen; remove sides of pan. Slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, then slide cake onto serving platter. Let cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.

Best Regards,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Mustard, Grilled Potato Slices with Salt and Vinegar, Peach and Basil Crumbles

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Mustard, Grilled Potato Slices with Salt and Vinegar, Peach and Basil Crumbles

***Susan's Note: I made this for the family on Labor Day weekend, and it was delicious. I used Wegmans pre-marinated mustard chicken breasts for the chicken, patted them dry then put them in the marinade. I used Wegmans ciabatta bread instead of baguette. I used sour cream instead of creme fraiche. For dessert, I used 2 nectarines and 3 peaches and I peeled them, and I put everything into one baking dish, instead of 4 separate dishes. Yum.

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Mustard
Makes 4
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
2 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 chicken cutlets (6 ounces each)
1 large red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 ounces aged cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
1 baguette, cut crosswise into 4 pieces and halved horizontally
3 tablespoons creme fraiche
3 sour pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise

Mix 1/4 cup mustard, the oil, dill, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add chicken and onion, and toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill onion, turning often, 8 to 10 minutes. Grill chicken on 1 side for 3 minutes; flip, top with cheddar, and cook 3 minutes more. Cut cutlets in half. Grill baguette, cut sides down, until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.
Mix remaining 3 tablespoons mustard and the creme fraiche in a small bowl. Spread onto cut sides of baguette. Sandwich chicken, pickles, and onion between bread.

Grilled Potato Slices with Salt and Vinegar
Simmering potatoes in vinegar imparts a pleasant tang reminiscent of salt-and-vinegar potato chips. Grilling, a healthier technique than frying, gives the potatoes a nice charred flavor.
Serves 4
1 pound potatoes, preferably fingerling, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 cups white vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Bring potatoes and vinegar to a boil in a medium saucepan (vinegar should cover potatoes). Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer potatoes until just fork tender, about 5 minutes. Let potatoes cool in vinegar for 30 minutes. Drain well, and gently toss with oil, salt, and pepper.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill potatoes in a single layer until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Sprinkle with salt before serving.

Peach-and-Basil Crumbles
Makes 4

4 ripe peaches, pitted, peeled if desired, each sliced into 8 wedges
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh basil (3 to 4 leaves, torn if large)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

2 ounces chopped almonds (1/3 cup)
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
Heavy cream, for serving (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make the filling: Mix all ingredients to combine.
Make the topping: Combine all ingredients (except cream), rubbing in butter with your fingers until mixture is crumbly.
Divide filling among four 5 1/2-inch round baking dishes, and sprinkle with topping. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until bubbling and golden brown, 25 to 27 minutes. Let cool slightly. Drizzle with heavy cream if desired.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mango-and-Avocado Salsa

Mango-and-Avocado Salsa

***Susan's Note: I use 2 TBS of diced green chiles instead of the habanero. I used a canned sliced mango instead of a fresh one, and I didn't have cilantro so I used parsley. YUM on grilled chicken!

This salsa goes well with grilled or broiled chicken, pork, seafood, or beef.
Makes 3 cups

1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced medium
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced medium
1 small red onion, diced small
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 to 1 habanero chile (stem and seeds removed), minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt


In a bowl, combine all ingredients.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rice 'N Peach Salad

Rice 'n Peach Salad

****Susan's Note: Do not expect this to have a "peachy" flavor. It is yummy and sweet and perfect for grill-out suppers. Yum!

Prep Time: 20 min Total Time: 20 min Makes: 10 servings, about 1/2 cup each

1-1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 can (11 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained or 1-1/2 cups corn cut from the cob
1 cup PLANTERS Almonds, toasted and salted, chopped
1 cup fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
2 peaches (or nectarines), peeled, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup KRAFT CATALINA Dressing
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or fresh parsley
Make It

MIX all ingredients in large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Barbecue Chicken with Mustard Glaze AND Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

Barbecue Chicken with Mustard Glaze

****Susan's Note: Made this with boneless chicken thighs, and it was DELICIOUS. I would not hesitate to make it again. I served it with Rice N Peach Salad, Marinated Tomatoes in Balsamic Vinagrette, and cooked broccoli. Also, if you'd rather not grill, there is a similar excellent recipe called Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs.

An assortment of spices mixed with common condiments makes a thick, tangy-sweet glaze with a hint of smokiness. Grilled summer squash makes a light, fresh side. Cut 2 zucchini and 1 yellow squash lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Brush with 2 teaspoons olive oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until tender.

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
8 (6-ounce) skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
Cooking spray

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Combine ketchup and next 3 ingredients (through mustard) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

2. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Rub spice mixture evenly over chicken thighs. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 12 minutes. Turn chicken over. Brush with half of ketchup mixture; cook 12 minutes. Turn chicken over. Brush with remaining ketchup mixture; cook 2 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 chicken thighs)

CALORIES 226 ; FAT 5.5g (sat 1.4g,mono 1.7g,poly 1.4g); CHOLESTEROL 115mg; CALCIUM 28mg; CARBOHYDRATE 15.4g; SODIUM 651mg; PROTEIN 27.7g; FIBER 0.4g; IRON 1.9mg

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Emeril's Panzanella (Bread Salad)


***Susan's Note: I had some old rolls in the freezer so I decided to make this for dinner, along with grilled chicken and corn on the cob. I added some cucumbers and a little bit of leafy greens - YUM! I also like this recipe for Panzanella - if your bread isn't stale enough.

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003

4 large vine ripened tomatoes, cut into large cubes or wedges
1/2 pound stale country-style Italian bread, crusts removed and cubed (about 8 cups)
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced red onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Italian extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch fresh basil, stems removed, washed and spun dry, turn into pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, bread, and onions.

In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar and oil. Pour the dressing over the bread salad and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Add the basil and salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to combine. Serve.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Asian Salmon

Asian Salmon

***Susan's Note: I slightly modifed this recipe. My husband loved it and I thought it was really tasty. I served it with brown rice with dill and boiled asparagus with lemon zest, butter, salt, pepper. Yum!

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes

2 salmon filets
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced onion (I used chopped fresh scallions)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (I used walnut oil)

1. Make several shallow slashes in the skinless side of the salmon filets. Place filets skin-side down in a glass baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, pepper, onion and sesame oil. Pour the liquid over the salmon, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove cover from salmon, and bake in the marinating dish for about 15 minutes, then broil for about 5 minutes. (Fish should be flaked with a fork.)

Banana Pineapple Bread

Pineapple Banana Bread

***Susan's note: I made this because I had extra bananas in the house and we were going away, so I needed to get rid of them. My sister and her family loved this bread - I put it in a 9 x 13 pan because we didn't have 2 loaf pans and it cooked in about 45-50 min.

Ready In: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Servings: 32

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained (I used pineapple chunks, drained and pureed)
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil and vanilla; add pineapple and bananas. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans.
2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

2 tart apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pint fresh strawberries, chopped
2 medium Kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons apricot jam
dash of cinnamon
one large bag of cinnamon pita chips (or use this recipe to make your own)

In a large bowl, toss the chopped apples with the lemon juice to keep apples from browning. Add the chopped strawberries and kiwi. Mix thoroughly. Stir in the brown sugar, strawberry jelly and cinnamon. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Pour Apple Salsa into a serving bowl.

Serve with a big bowl of Cinnamon Pita Chips.

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro Lime Mayo

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro Lime Mayo

***Susan's Note: I made these last night for my husband and parents (and my dad is not a "spicy" guy) and we all loved it. I made a few changes - I used regular corn tortillas instead of baked, I used less hot sauce (about 1 TBSP or less of Frank's red hot), and I used Potato Rolls, not Kaiser. Also, I pounded the chicken breasts to flatten them a little bit and I only marinated them for 1/2 hour.

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro-Lime Mayo

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup egg substitute
3 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 1/2 ounces baked tortilla chips (about 6 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Remaining ingredients:
4 (2-ounce) Kaiser rolls, split
12 (1/8-inch-thick) red onion slices
4 lettuce leaves

1. To prepare mayo, combine the first 4 ingredients.

2. To prepare chicken, combine egg substitute, hot sauce, oregano, and salt in a large zip-top plastic bag. Cut chicken breast halves in half horizontally to form 4 cutlets. Add chicken to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours or up to 8 hours, turning bag occasionally.

3. Place tortilla chips in a food processor; process 1 minute or until ground. Place ground chips in a shallow dish.

4. Working with one cutlet at a time, remove chicken from marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Coat chicken completely in chips. Set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and chips.

5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned and done. Spread mayo evenly over cut sides of rolls. Layer bottom half of each roll with 3 onion slices, 1 lettuce leaf, and 1 chicken cutlet; top with top halves of rolls.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)

CALORIES 419 (28% from fat); FAT 13.2g (sat 1.7g,mono 6.1g,poly 3.4g); IRON 3.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 49mg; CALCIUM 101mg; CARBOHYDRATE 46.8g; SODIUM 759mg; PROTEIN 28.1g; FIBER 2.6g

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2008

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Avocado Feta Salsa

Avocado Feta Salsa

Make this salsa shortly before serving for best results. Avoid refrigerating it--the texture of the tomatoes will soften.

Makes 8 appetizer servings

* 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
* 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 avocados, chopped
* Assorted tortilla chips


Stir together first 9 ingredients. Gently stir in avocado just before serving. Serve with assorted tortilla chips.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash

Roasted Butternut Squash

***Susan's Note: My family LOVES this recipe. You can eat the squash all by itself and be satisfied. I buy the packaged, already sliced squash at Wegmans, available year round!****

From Woman's Day | December 4, 2007

* Active Time: 3 minutes
* Total Time: 30 minutes


o 2 Tbsp butter
o 2 lbs fresh butternut squash chunks
o 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
o 1/2 tsp salt
o 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


1. Heat oven to 400ºF. You’ll need a rimmed baking pan lined with nonstick foil.

2. Put butter in pan. Place in oven until melted. Remove pan from oven and add remaining ingredients. Toss to coat and spread into an even layer.

3. Roast 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once or twice, until squash is tender. Transfer to serving bowl.

* Print This

Roasted Butternut Squash

Photo: Laura Moss

* Nutrition Facts
* Yield 6 servings
* Amount Per Serving
* Calories 115
* Total Fat 4g
* Saturated Fat 3g
* Cholesterol 11mg
* Sodium 241mg
* Total Carbohydrates 21g
* Dietary Fiber 2g
* Protein 2g

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wild Mushroom Stuffed Turkey Breast with Cranberry Coulis

Wild Mushroom Stuffed Turkey Breast with Cranberry Coulis

Wild Mushroom Stuffed Turkey Breast with Cranberry Coulis
Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min

Serves: 8 to 10 servings

* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 leek, cleaned and sliced
* 1 rib celery, diced
* 2 cups sliced wild cultivated mushrooms (chanterelles, porcinis, creminis, etc.)
* 2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
* 2 tablespoon shallots, chopped
* 1 cup chicken stock
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups toasted bread crumbs
* 1/2 boneless turkey breast, about 2 1/2 pounds
* Cranberry Coulis, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a large saute pan, add butter, and add the leeks and celery. Saute for 3 minutes and add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes and add the herbs and shallots, cooking for 2 more minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, and pour over the bread crumbs in a mixing bowl. Mix well and cool.

Butterfly the turkey breast open with a sharp boning knife. Using a meat mallet, pound the meat to expand it and make it of an even thickness. Spoon the stuffing lengthwise across the breast and roll up, tucking in the meat at each end. Tie the roulade with butchers' twine.

Season with salt and pepper, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a thermometer reads 150 degrees in the center. Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes before removing the twine and slicing. Serve with Cranberry Coulis.
Cranberry Coulis:

* 1 (12 ounce) bag cranberries
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place the ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the cranberries have burst, about 20 minutes and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth, season, and reserve.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Kim's Turkey Chili - YUM

Turkey Chili

**Susan's note: This calls for cooked turkey (hello day after Thanksgiving!) but you can just cook up some ground turkey meat and use it.


* 2 cups chopped onion
* 4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
* 1 cup chopped green pepper
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 2 (35 oz) cans stewed tomatoes, crushed
* 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained
* 2 Tbsp tomato paste
* 3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock
* 2 Tbsp chili powder (or up to 4 Tbsp if you like it really hot)
* 1 Tbsp ground cumin
* 1 Tbsp dried hot red pepper flakes
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 Tbsp salt, plus more if desired to taste
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 3 to 4 cups of shredded, cooked turkey meat
* Sugar

* Shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream for optional garnish.


1 In a large, 8-quart, thick-bottom pot, cook the onion and green pepper over medium high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for a minute or two more. Add a bit more olive oil if needed.

2 Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock. beans, oregano, salt, pepper, and cooked turkey meat. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for an hour.

3 Salt to taste. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of sugar to take the edge of the acidity of the tomatoes if desired.

The chili may be made in advance and chilled for 2 days, or frozen for 2 months.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, and or sour cream. Serve alone, over rice, or with corn bread.

Makes about 12 cups. Serves 8.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Broccoli and Chicken Noodle Soup (Cooking Light)

Broccoli and Chicken Noodle Soup

****SUSAN's Note: Yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!****

f the broccoli florets are large, break into smaller pieces at the stalk instead of chopping them; they'll cook more quickly. Count on having dinner on the table in about 40 minutes, and serve this soup the moment it's done for the best results. In fact, if you wait, you'll find it gets thicker with time. If you have leftovers, you will want to thin the soup with a little chicken broth or milk to the desired consistency.

10 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

* Cooking spray
* 2 cups chopped onion
* 1 cup presliced mushrooms
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
* 4 cups 1% low-fat milk
* 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
* 4 ounces uncooked vermicelli, broken into 2-inch pieces
* 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded light processed cheese (such as Velveeta Light)
* 4 cups (1-inch) cubed cooked chicken breast
* 3 cups small broccoli florets (8 ounces)
* 1 cup half-and-half
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 3/4 teaspoon salt


1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; add butter to mushroom mixture, stirring until butter melts. Sprinkle mushroom mixture with flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gradually add milk and broth, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 10 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add pasta to pan; cook 10 minutes. Add cheese to pan, and stir until cheese melts. Add chicken and remaining ingredients to pan; cook 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender and soup is thoroughly heated.
Nutritional Information

12.3g (sat 6.8g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.9g)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Molten Chocolate Cakes

**Susan's Note: After eating at Kitchen 233 and having this for dessert, I tried making these for the first time. YUM. I would also like to try this yummy-looking chocolate chip version.

Prep Time:
15 min
Total Time:
30 min
8 servings, one half molten cake each
What You Need
4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (I used vanilla ice cream)

PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Butter four 3/4-cup custard cups or soufflé dishes. Place on baking sheet.

MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar until well blended. Blend in eggs and egg yolks with wire whisk. Stir in flour. Divide batter among prepared custard cups.

BAKE 13 to 14 min. or until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 1 min. Carefully run small knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto dessert dishes. Serve immediately, topped with whipped topping.

Total fat
19 g
Saturated fat
10 g
135 mg
105 mg
29 g
Dietary fiber
1 g
21 g
4 g
Vitamin A
10 %DV
Vitamin C
0 %DV
2 %DV
8 %DV

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chicken & White Bean Soup with Spinach & Parmesan (Thanks CZ!)

Rocco DiSpirito's Chicken & White Bean Soup with Spinach & Parmesan
"To make soups and stews low-fat, skip the sauteing step. Instead, bring all the ingredients to a simmer together -- and serve." Makes 4 servings. From Fitness Magazine, Oct. 2008

Shopping List
FRESH: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts; basil; baby spinach; Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
STAPLES: Crushed red pepper; low-sodium chicken broth; salt and pepper
PACKAGED: Pasta sauce; cannellini beans

3 14-ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons tomato-and-basil pasta sauce
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
6 ounces prewashed baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
In a Dutch oven, bring chicken broth, pasta sauce, cannellini beans, and crushed red pepper to a simmer. Turn heat to low.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper; add to broth. Gently poach chicken, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. (The broth should barely simmer.)
Stir in baby spinach. Continue cooking soup until spinach is wilted and chicken is just cooked through, about 2 minutes more.
Stir in basil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls, and top with grated cheese.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Parmesan Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Parmesan Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Serves 4

* 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
* 1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* Grated zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 4 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 3 pounds)


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, mix parsley, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and zest. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
2. Divide parsley mixture into four mounds. Carefully loosen chicken skin with fingers; tuck parsley mixture under skin. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place in a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan.
3. Bake until skin is crispy, chicken is cooked through, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees, about 30 minutes.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes

Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes
Recipe from: More From Magnolia
by Allysa Torey, Photographs Zeva Oelbaum
Cookbook Heaven at

Everyone is always asking us which is the most popular cupcake at the bakery. Most people are surprised that it is what we call the vanilla vanilla - the vanilla cupcake with the vanilla icing (and the most popular color for the icing is pink).

Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes (depending on the size of your cupcake papers and muffin tins)

* 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
* 2 cups sugar
* 4 large eggs, at room temperature
* 1 cup milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream Icing (recipe follows) or Chocolate Buttercream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
3. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
5. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing. At the bakery we ice the cupcakes with either Vanilla Buttercream or Chocolate Buttercream.

Note: If you would like to make a layer cake instead of cupcakes, divide the batter between two 9-inch round cake pans and bake the layers for 30-40 minutes.

Magnolia's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from: More From Magnolia
by Allysa Torey, Photographs Zeva Oelbaum
Cookbook Heaven at

The vanilla buttercream we use at the bakery is technically not a buttercream but actually an old-fashioned confectioners’ sugar and butter frosting. Be sure to beat the icing for the amount of time called for in the recipe to achieve the desired creamy texture.

Makes enough for one 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes*

* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
* 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
* 1/2 cup milk
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

If you are icing a 3-layer cake, use the following recipe proportions:
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
8 to 10 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Magnolia Bakery Peanut Butter Heath Bar Blondies

***Susan's Note: On Tuesday, I visited The Magnolia Bakery at 69th and Columbus in New York City. It was my first visit, and it was "out of this world" - I had heard of their cookbooks, and they were mentioned in the movie The Devil Wears Prada. I sampled their yellow cake with yellow icing (yum) and cupcakes, and the blondies below. Wow.

Magnolia Bakery Peanut Butter Heath Bar Blondies

1 1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 C. smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 C. granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 T. vanilla extract
3 C. self-rising flour

1 C. peanut butter chips
3 T. heavy cream
4 coarsely chopped Health bars or chocolate covered toffee bars (about 1 cup)
1/2 C. finely chopped unsalted peanuts

Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease and flour a 12 x 18-inch jellyroll pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the peanut butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract and mix well. Add the flour and beat until well incorporated. Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of pan comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool to room temperature.

To prepare the topping: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the peanut butter chips and the cream, stirring until smooth. Drizzle the peanut butter mixture decoratively over the cooled blondies. Sprinkle the Heath Bars and the peanuts on top.

Allow to cool to room temperature, or overnight, before cutting and serving. Makes 24 three-inch blondies.

Source: The Magnolia Bakery

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Orecchiette Pasta with Roasted Broccoli and Walnuts

Orecchiette with Roasted Broccoli and Walnuts

From Real Simple February 2009
See another good Orecchiette recipe here.

**Susan's note: A yummy weeknight dinner.

Serves 4
Total Time 25 minutes

12 oz orecchiette or other short pasta (3 cups)
1 bunch broccoli (1 1/2 lbs), cut into small florets
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 TBS unsalted butter
1/4 cup grated Parm (1 oz)

Heat oven to 400. Cook pasta according to package. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli, walnuts, oil, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Roast, tossing once, until the broccoli is tender, 18-20 minutes.

Toss pasta with broccoli mixture, butter, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water (Add more water if the pasta seems dry). Sprinkle with the Parm before serving.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Slow Cooker Sausage, Peppers, & Onions

***Susan's Note: I made this in the crock pot today with sweet turkey sausage instead of the "hot Italian sausage" that's listed - yum! I used red and orange peppers, potato rolls and topped with shredded mozzarella.

4-5 lbs hot italian sausages
1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce (I used Francesco Rinaldi Tomato Basil)
1 large onion, sliced thin (Vidalia preferred)
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, sliced
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar (I used light)
Rolls, split open
Provolone cheese, sliced (optional)

1. Combine ingredients (not rolls and cheese) in CrockPot. Cook on Low 8-10 hours or HIGH 4 to 6 hours.

2. Place mixture on rolls, top with cheese if desired.

Mary F's Caramel Pecan French Toast

Caramel Pecan French Toast

***Susan's Note: My boss made this for a brunch at her home and it was delicious! Looking on the website, it seems it was a "Food Network Challenge" winner. Yum! My boss used half and half in place of whipping cream.

Recipe courtesy Kathy Specht, Cambria, California
Show: Food Network ChallengeEpisode: Southern Living Cook-Off

* 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
* 1/2 cup butter
* 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
* 12 slices honey white bread
* 3/4 cup raisins
* 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted and divided
* 6 large eggs
* 1/2 cup milk
* 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided
* 1/4 cup powdered sugar
* Maple syrup
* Fully cooked bacon slices (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan; cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves.

Pour brown sugar mixture into an ungreased 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Arrange 6 bread slices in brown sugar mixture, cutting slices as necessary to fit in dish. Sprinkle raisins and 3/4 cup pecans evenly over bread. Top with remaining bread slices.

Whisk together eggs, next 4 ingredients, and 1 cup cream. Pour egg mixture over bread slices in baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Beat remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form.

Divide French toast evenly among individual serving plates. Top each serving with whipped cream; drizzle with maple syrup, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans. Serve with bacon, if desired.