Weather Forecasts | Weather Maps | Weather Radar
Friday, January 12, 2007
Friday, December 15, 2006
Christmas cookies - Chewy Chocolate Peanut Bars
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or spray with cooking spray a 9-inch pan.
With electric mixer, mix butter, peanut butter, sugars, and egg until smooth.
Stir together flour and baking powder and mix into peanut butter mixture.
Spread in prepared pan. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips and chopped peanuts. Let stand a few minutes, then spread chocolate over the baked cookie. (All chips do not have to melt.)
When cool, cut into 20 bars.
Christmas Desserts - Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Pie Crust (diabetic recipe)
INGREDIENTSCrust for 2 crust pie
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt (scant)
1/2 cup cold shortening
1/2 cup cold margarine
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 - 8 Tablespoons cold water
6 cups Rome apples
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut in pea sized pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender, or blend with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal. Cut in margarine until mixture is a little finer. Stir in grated cheese.
Sprinkle water onto the dough, one tablespoon at a time. Mix well with a fork after each sprinkling. If dough can be formed into a ball, you do not need the extra tablespoon of water. If it does not form a dough, add more water one TEASPOON at a time.
Divide dough in two equal pieces. Wrap in waxed paper and let rest in refrigerator for fifteen minutes. Do not let dough get hard.
Preheat oven to 450° F.
While dough is resting, mix together cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. Core, peel and slice apples. Sprinkle on flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and toss lightly.
Remove dough from refrigerator. On a floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll first ball of dough until it is 1 inch larger than upside down pie plate. Loosen dough from surface with a spatula. Put rolling pin in the middle of dough. Fold half the dough over the rolling pin, and lift to place evenly over pie plate. Push dough gently to fit snugly in the plate.
Dot apple mixture with butter pieces, and toss to combine. Pour into pie shell.
Roll second half of dough the same way as the first, and cover pie. Pinch edges together in a fluted pattern and trim excess dough from edges. Make four 1 inch slits around the top center of the crust or pierce at one inch intervals with a fork. Bake for 40 minutes lightly covered with foil in preheated 450° F oven. Remove foil and bake for 10 to 20 minutes more or until crust is brown.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serves: 6 - 8
Italian Christmas Day Menu Suggestions -
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
6 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed - black or brown
1/2 cup parsley - crudely chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil6 slices good Italian bread3 ounces Gorgonzola (or similar) cheese
4-8 anchovy fillets (optional)
Put sun dried tomatoes in a pot with about 2 cups of water. Bring water to a boil and let tomatoes plump for about 3-4 minutes. Drain immediately and let cool.
Place cooled tomatoes in a blender. Add all ingredients except for 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Blend on high speed until mixture forms a fine paste. If paste is very thick, like canned tomato paste, add the rest of the olive oil and blend again for 20 seconds or so. The resultant topping should be like whipped cream: spreadable but not stiff.
Put topping in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. This will allow garlic flavor to permeate entire topping. When ready to use, spread mixture on bread which has been placed under broiler until lightly toasted. Add an anchovy or two to the topping, and set under the broiler for about 1-1/2 minutes.
Remove from broiler and place a piece of Gorgonzola or similar cheese over anchovies. Broil for 20-25 seconds.
Eat while hot with a good Merlot or Chianti.
Hanukkah recipes - CLASSIC POTATO PANCAKES
This is the classic latke, made with little more than grated potatoes and onions, with egg and flour for binding.
1 medium onion peeled
4 large russet or Idaho potatoes (about 3 1/2 pounds) peeled
2 large egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Applesauce and/or sour cream
Preheat oven to 200°F. Place 2 nonstick baking sheets in oven.Using box grater or food processor fitted with grating disc, coarsely grate onion and place in colander set in sink. Coarsely grate potatoes, add to colander, and set aside to drain.In large mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs, then whisk in flour.Press potatoes and onion to extract as much liquid as possible, then add to egg/flour mixture. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using wooden spoon or hands, mix well, but do not overwork.In heavy-bottomed, 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter until hot but not smoking. Drop 4 scant 1/4-cup portions of potato mixture into pan and flatten with spatula to form four 3-inch pancakes.Fry until bottoms are golden-brown, 4 to 5 minutes, then turn over and fry until golden-brown and crisp, an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; season immediately with salt and pepper. Keep warm on baking sheets in oven while making remaining pancakes.Using paper towels, carefully wipe out pan. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter and fry 4 more pancakes. Repeat with remaining batter, wiping out pan and adding 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter before each batch.Serve pancakes hot with applesauce and/or sour cream.
Makes about 24 pancakes.
Swedish Christmas Recipes - Jansson's Temptation
I kg (2 1/4 pounds) potatoes
2-3 yellow onions
2 dl (1 cup) cream and 1 dl (1/2 cup) milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 225°C (425°F). Peel potatoes and onions and slice thinly. Soften onion in some butter, add a tablespoon of water.
Clean anchovies but do not remove skin. Alternate potatoes, anchovies and onions in a baking pan, beginning and ending with a layer of potatoes. Pour half of the cream and milk, some liquid from the anchovies, the bread crumbs and some butter over the dish.
Bake in preheated oven 40-50 minutes. Pour other half of the cream and milk at the end of the baking time.
Southern Christmas Menu - Southern Baked Turkey
1 (14 to 18 Lb.) turkey, thawed completely
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in 1/2 inch pieces, chilled
Prepared stuffing of choice
3/4 cup oil
1 large roasting pan with cover
1 basting tool
1 clean, new, linen dishcloth (large enough to cover the turkey breast)
Oil or melted fat
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Before stuffing, work fingers under skin next to the cavity of bird. Working carefully, to not tear skin, loosen all breast skin.
Distribute pieces of butter under skin all over breast area. Stuff turkey, filling well, but not packed, or stuffing will not reach internal temperature for safe eating. Stuffing expands when cooked. Truss turkey
(Put leftover dressing in a pan, saturate with chicken or turkey broth, cover. When turkey has finished cooking and is resting, bake dressing for 35 minutes, removing cover for the last 10 minutes if you desire a crunchy top.)
Put turkey, breast up, in roaster pan with a lid.
Pour about 1/2 cup oil, soak a linen cloth in oil until saturated. (Note: terry cloth or other will not work because it will leave woolly fabric on the bird and/or will come apart. You must use linen.)
Meanwhile, pour remaining oil over turkey breast to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Salt will make skin crunchy.
Wring out linen cloth, and place over turkey, covering breast area. Cover pan with lid and place in a preheated 325° F oven. Note: if the lid of your roaster is unable to fit tightly down on the roaster, take two or three sheets of foil and make a tent, sealing the mid-seam tightly, and sealing the edges tightly around the pan.
Baste turkey once an hour, being sure to saturate linen towel on breast area. Remove cloth 45 minutes before end of cooking. (Remove slowly to not tear skin.) Discard cloth and cook, uncovered 45 minutes.
A stuffed bird of this size will take about 5 3/4 hours to cook.
When done, remove from oven, loosely cover with lid or foil and let stand, undisturbed, for 15 minutes before slicing. Doing this will help insure a juicier bird because as the surface of the bird slowly cools, the juices will retreat back into the meat. Cutting too soon, releases the juices into the pan.
Variation: Cliff's Bacon-basted TurkeyPrepare turkey as above, but omit butter and linen cloth. Instead, after skin has been loosened, take rashers of bacon, and insert carefully under skin covering entire breast area. Cook turkey, covered, as above, basting each hour, and uncovering for the last 45 minutes. Let stand, as above, before cutting.
Prior to making your gravy, you may wish to skim off the excess bacon fat from the pan drippings.
Serves: 8 - 10
German Christmas Menu Suggestions - Roast Goose with Wild Rice Stuffing
1 goose, 9-12 pounds
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 1/2 cups wild rice, cooked
2/3 cup pignolia nuts
2 large Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 teaspoons marjoram
1 bay leaf
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 - 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup applesauce
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Remove gizzard, neck and heart from cavity of goose. Put in a small saucepan with 4 cups boiling water. Reduce heat and let simmer, partially covered, about two hours or until reduced to 2 cups.
While stock is cooking, prepare stuffing. Mix together rice, pignolia, apples, scallions, marjoram and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff into cavity of goose. Close with laced skewers and truss the legs.
Put goose, breast side down, on a rack in baking pan. Pour boiling water in pan. Put cloves and bay leaf in water, and bake for 1 1/2 hours in preheated 325°F oven. Turn breast side up, and roast another 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Juices will run clear when thigh is pricked when the goose is done.
Remove goose from pan and pour off all but 1 1/2 tablespoons fat. Put pan on stove top over low heat. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon flour in the bottom of the pan. Using a whisk, scrape up browned bits on bottom of pan, and pour in reserved stock. Whisk to combine and add applesauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serves: 6 - 8
English Christmas Day Menu Suggestions - Leek and Smoked Salmon Tart
Short Crust Pastry
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick) cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup cream cheese, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons ice-cold water
1 cup heavy cream
1 bay leaf
Grated rind of 1 large lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
3 medium leeks, white only
I tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound smoked salmon, thickly sliced
Liberal sprinkling freshly milled pepper
Pastry: Put flour and salt in large bowl. Blend in butter and cream cheese by rubbing rapidly between fingertips until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.
Sprinkle flour with 1 1/2 tablespoons water, gathering the dough with the fingers of one hand. If dough adheres in a mass, you don't need extra 1/2 tablespoon. If still not solid, sprinkle on extra water.
Working on a floured surface, press heel of hand into edge of dough and push away. With a scraper save that dough to the side, and continue to press out the main piece in small increments. This is to completely blend the fats and the flour. When finished, gather dough into one mass, and let rest in refrigerator until ready to use. Dough should firm, but not harden. If it hardens, bring to room temperature before rolling.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Filling: Pour cream into small saucepan. Stir in grated lemon rind and bay leaf. Heat until just lukewarm over low heat. Remove from heat. Set aside for one hour to infuse. (This step can be done ahead for a long infusion.)
Slice leeks in 1/2 inch slices. Pull apart slices, rinse in a colander to clean out sand, and drain well. Heat butter and oil in small frying pan. Stir in leeks. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until leeks are softened. Set aside to cool.
Remove bay leaf from cream. Cut salmon in 1 inch squares.
Beat eggs in medium bowl. Stir in cooled cream, salt and salmon.
Roll out pastry dough and line flan tin, pushing pastry into edges with the knuckles. Pour in filling. Grate fresh pepper to taste over top.
Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°F and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove flan ring by setting over an inverted coffee can. When ring is removed, slide shell from the bottom tin with a spatula to place on serving dish.
Italian Christmas Eve Menu Suggestions - Crostini with Smoked Salmon & Capers
6 slices smoked salmon
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
2 teaspoons capers in vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly milled
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
4 slices Italian bread
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced (optional)
Put salmon in mini-blender or food processor. Add mayonnaise, olive oil, capers and black pepper. Blend on high until all ingredients are well mixed and chopped very fine. Add lemon or lime juice and blend again for 10 seconds.
Remove from machine and place, covered, in the refrigerator. Chill for twenty minutes.
Preheat oven to 475°F.
Toast bread on both sides in 475°F oven, or under broiler. Brush olive oil into toast. Heap salmon mixture on toast and serve.
When fresh tomatoes are available, top salmon mixture with thin tomato slices, and cook under broiler for 2-4 minutes. Top with a thin drizzle of olive oil, and serve.