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March 29, 2006

Seared Salmon in Creamy Dill Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, with skin
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 oz alfalfa sprouts (2 cups)

Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, scallions, lemon juice, and dill.

Season salmon with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon, flesh-side down, and sear 3 minutes, until brown. Flip and sear another 3 minutes, until salmon is just cooked through.

Place a dollop of sauce on serving plate; top with salmon and a small mound of sprouts.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving with 1 Tbsp of sauce: 406 calories, 35 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber,
28 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 106 mg cholesterol, 215 mg sodium

Fettuccine Primavera

8 oz uncooked fettuccine
1 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup frozen sweet peas, rinsed to separate
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 container (10 ounces) refrigerated Alfredo pasta sauce
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Cook and drain fettuccine as directed on package.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook broccoli, cauliflower, peas, carrots and onion in oil 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir Alfredo sauce into vegetable mixture; cook until hot. Stir in fettuccine; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese.

Four-Cheese Fettuccine

1 pkg (16 ounces) uncooked fettuccine
2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
4 medium green onions, chopped ( 1/4 cup)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 oz)
3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese (3 oz)
3/4 cup freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp pepper
chopped fresh parsley, if desired

Cook and drain fettuccine as directed on package.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Cook onions and 1 tablespoon parsley in oil mixture about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender.

Stir in ricotta and feta cheeses; reduce heat to low. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until cheeses are melted.

Add fettuccine, Asiago and Parmesan cheeses and pepper to mixture in skillet. Cook about 4 minutes, tossing gently, until cheeses are melted and fettuccine is evenly coated. Sprinkle with parsley.

March 26, 2006

Nutella Cupcakes

1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (13-oz) jar Nutella
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda

Beat the butter until creamy. Add sugar, vanilla extract and Nutella and mix until light. Add the eggs and beat well.

Mix the flour and baking soda. Gradually add to the creamy preparation until well mixed. Half-fill paper cake cups in muffin tins with the mix. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove from tin and let cool. Use Nutella for icing, if desired. Makes 15-18.

Nutella Frosted Cupcakes

10 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Nutella, approx. 1/3 cup

Preheat oven to 325F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.

Cream together butter and sugar until light, 2 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Don't worry if the batter doesn't look smooth. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder until batter is uniform and no flour remains.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin liner with batter. They should be 3/4 full, if you're not using a scoop. Top each cake with 1 1/2 tsp Nutella. Swirl Nutella in with a toothpick, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the nutella.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12.

March 11, 2006

Thai Curry Chicken Soup

3 cups chicken broth
16-oz bag frozen Oriental vegetables
13 1/2-oz can lite coconut milk
1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup 5-minute rice

Combine chicken broth, Oriental vegetables, coconut milk and curry powder in a large saucepan. Cover, bring to a gentle boil, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in cooked chicken and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 4-5 minutes until vegtables and rice are done.

Serves 4

Chickety-Split Pot Pie

2 refrigerated pie crusts (15-oz pkg)
19-oz can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 tsp thyme

Line a 9-inch pie plate with a refrigerated pie crust. Fill with can of ready-to-serve cream of mushroom soup, cooked chicken, frozen mixed vegetables, and thyme. Cover with other crust; fold edges under and crimp or flute. Cut 4 slits in center.

To make ahead: Wrap pie airtight; freeze up to 2 months. To serve bake uncovered in a 325°F oven for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours until crust is golden and filling is hot.

Serves 6.

March 10, 2006

Naan

2 Tbsp dehydrated onions (or use 1 cup fresh onions, chopped fine or grated, and cooked until translucent)
2 Tbsp water
3 cups all-purpose flour, approximately
1 pkg dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 Tbsp plain yogurt (set aside 1 Tbsp to brush)

In a small bowl, reconstitute the dehydrated onion in the water. Set aside for a moment.

In a large mixing or mixer bowl, measure 2 cups of flour and dry ingredients. Stir well to blend together. Pour in the milk, add the oil, yogurt and onions. Beat 100 storkes with a wooden spoon or mix 2 minutes under the flat beater blade. Stop the mixer and attach the dough hook. Gradually work in the remaining flour, sufficient to make a soft mass that cleans the sides of the bowl. The dough will form a soft ball around the hook and clean the bowl.

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead with a strong push-turn-fold motion for 6-8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add sprinkles of flour if the dough is wet and sticky.

Place the dough in a lighly greased bowl, cover and set aside to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450° or ready the broiler by placing the rack 8" from the flame.

Turn the dough onto the floured work surface, roll it into a uniform length, mark, and cut into 16 pieces. Roll each between the palms into tight, solid balls of dough, about the size of golf balls. Cover with waxed or parchment paper and allow them to rest for 20 minutes.

By hand and rolling pin, press and flatten each ball into a thin circle no more than 3/16" thick and about 6" to 8" in diameter.

Arrange the naans on two baking sheets, brush lightly with yogurt, and place in the middle shelf of the oven. Watch carefully. When the naans begin to puff in about 5 minutes, turn them over and bake until they are firm to the touch, about 8-10 minutes. Slide them under the broiler for a minute or so to brown the tops lightly.

This is a fast bake! The naans will be done in 3-5 minutes. When the tops of the naans are puffed, turn them over with care. They are quite crispy and have a tendency to slide off the bake sheet.

Serve the naans hot or at room temperature.

Cinnamon Breakfast Buns

Dough:
1 1/8 cups milk
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Filling:
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Make dough on the dough/manual cycle of the bread machine. About 5 minutes before the end of the dough cycle, melt butter or margarine. Upon completion of the dough cycle, roll dough into a 10- x 15-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Brush butter over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all the way around. Mix together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over butter-covered dough.

Roll dough jelly roll-style and cut into 16 slices. Place pieces about 1 inch apart on a buttered baking sheet, covered loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate to rise overnight. In the morning, remove pan from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350°. Bake for 15-18 minutes. If desired, drizzle glaze over buns while still warm.

Glaze:
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp milk or cream

Mix ingredients, adding milk or cream slowly until desired consistency is obtained. (Or make Glaze the night before and store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Remove it when you take out the dough in the morning and let it sit at room temperature until you use it.)

Cilantro Focaccia

Dough:
1 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp (2 cloves) minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger root (optional)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Topping:
2-3 cloves garlic, minced, or 1/4 cup finely slivered red onion
2-4 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
coarse salt to taste

Make dough on the dough/manual cycle of the bread machine. Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a pizza or cookie pan with olive oil or nonstick vegetable spray.

Upon completion of the dough cycle, remove dough and either roll or stretch and pat it into a 12-inch square or circle. Place dough on greased pan, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft-free location to rise for about 30 minutes.

Prepare topping and set aside. After dough has risen, press garlic or onion slivers and chopped cilantro deeply into dough with your fingers. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake on the bottom rack for 20 minutes.

Cut into 16 pie-shaped slices. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Traditional Garlic & Herb Focaccia

Dough:
1 1/8 cups water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Topping:
2-3 cloves garlic, minced, or 1/4 cup finely slivered red onion
2-4 Tbsp freshly chopped herbs (basil or rosemary are traditional; could also use mint, cilantro, rosemary or parsley)
1/4 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts (optional)
1-2 Tbsp olive ol
coarse salt to taste

Make dough on the dough/manual cycle of the bread machine. Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a pizza or cookie pan with olive oil or nonstick vegetable spray.

Upon completion of the dough cycle, remove dough and either roll or stretch and pat it into a 12-inch square or circle. Place dough on greased pan, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft-free location to rise for about 30 minutes.

After dough has risen, press small pieces of garlic, onions, nuts, herbs, etc., into dough with your fingers. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 20 minutes on the bottom rack. Cut into 16 slices.

March 8, 2006

Pita Pizzas

whole wheat pitas
cheese
olive oil
Italian seasoning
pizza toppings (see ideas below)

Split each pita in the middle, making 2 round sections. Add pizza toppings (or leave them off for cheese bread). Cover with cheese. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Place on cookie sheet in a 375° F oven for 5-10 minutes, until cheese melts.

Topping Ideas:
* Chicken Pesto: Spread pesto on pita. Add cooked chicken and sliced banana peppers (or roasted red bell peppers).
* Caesar: Spread homemade Caesar salad dressing on pita. Add cooked chicken and roasted red bell peppers.
* Pepperoni: Spread prepared spaghetti sauce on pita. Cover with pepperoni slices. Add jalapeno or roasted red bell peppers.

March 7, 2006

Virginian Frittata

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups cooked chopped kale or spinach
1 cup diced ham
8 large eggs
4 oz smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt

Turn on broiler. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add spinach and ham.

Whisk the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, reserving extra cheese to sprinkle on top). Pour into skillet, shaking pan gently to distribute evenly.

Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook, without stirring, until set on bottom and sides (eggs will be runny in center).

Scatter reserved cheese over top. Double-wrap skillet handle iwth foil. Broil 4 - 6 inches from heat source 2 minutes, or until frittata is firm in center

Serves 4.

Western Frittata

1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 cups sauteed sliced peppers and onions
8 large eggs
4 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (1 cup)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cnumin
1/2 tsp salt

Turn on broiler. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add sliced peppers and onions.

Whisk the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, reserving extra cheese to sprinkle on top). Pour into skillet, shaking pan gently to distribute evenly.

Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook, without stirring, until set on bottom and sides (eggs will be runny in center).

Scatter reserved cheese over top. Double-wrap skillet handle iwth foil. Broil 4 - 6 inches from heat source 2 minutes, or until frittata is firm in center

Serves 4.

March 5, 2006

Florentine Shrimp & Pasta

Active: 5 min; Total: 15 min

1 pkg (16 oz) frozen spinach
12 oz penne pasta (3 1/2 cups)
1 lb peeled, cleaned large shrimp
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook as pasta package directs.

Cook spinach according to package directions.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir. Add milk and stir until thoroughly combined. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Add spinach and shrimp. Cook 3 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from heat.

Drain pasta; return to pot. Add spinach and shrimp mixture; toss to mix.

Serves 4. Per serving: 636 cal, 38 g pro, 75 g car, 4 g fiber, 19 g fat (8 g sat fat), 198 mg chol, 684 mg sod

Corn & Leek Pudding

Active: 15 min; Total: 1 hr

2 Tbsp stick butter
2 leeks (about 1 cup) white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
4 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 can (15 1/4 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14.75 oz) cream style corn
1/4 cup (1 oz) shredded Gruyere cheese

Heat oven to 350°F. Coat a shallow 1 1/2-qt baking dish with non-stick spray.

Melt butter in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add leeks; saute 3 minutes or until soft.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, cornstarch, sugar, vanilla, salt, nutmeg and red pepper until blended. Stir in leeks, whole and cream-style corn. Pour into prepared bkaing dish. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes, or until top is golden and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8. Per serving: 231 cal, 7 g pro, 25 g car, 2 g fiber, 13 g fat (7 g sat fat), 138 mg chol, 454 mg sod

Fiesta Artichoke Dip

Preparation Time: 10 Minute(s), Cook Time: 25 Minute(s)

1 package (1 oz.) Lawry's ® Taco Spices & Seasonings
1 cup Hellmann's ® or Best Foods ® Real Mayonnaise
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 cans (14 oz. ea.) artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 oz.)
1/2 cup sliced green onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except 1/4 cup green onions. In 2-quart baking dish, spoon artichoke mixture.

Bake 25 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with remaining green onions and serve, if desired, with tortilla chips and/or assorted fresh vegetables.

Makes: 5 cups

March 2, 2006

Sausage Zucchini Frittata

8 oz fresh turkey sausage, sliced (or ground sausage)
2 cups unpeeled Zucchini, shredded
2 scallions, sliced
1 Tbsp fresh Basil, minced
1 tsp italian seasoning
4 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 oz cream cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray an 8 inch pan with cooking spray.

Brown sausage, drain well and spread over the bottom of the pan.

Top with zucchini, then scallions and seasonings.

Whisk eggs and cream slightly, then pour over sausage mixture.

Sprinkle cream cheese on top, then mozzarella and cheddar.

Bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 4g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 3g net carbs, 18g protein, 38g fat, 435 calories

March 1, 2006

Triple Chocolate Mousse Pyramids

Cookie Crust
1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup Dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Yolk from 1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mousse
1 1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag (11.5 oz) milk-chocolate chips
4 large eggs

Marbled Glaze
1/2 oz semisweet baking chocolate, very finely chopped
8 oz white baking chocolate
2 Tbsp solid vegetable shortening

Heat oven to 350° F. Line a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with non-stick foil, letting foil extend about 2 inch above ends of pan.

Crust: Whisk flour and cocoa in a small bowl to blend. In a large bowl, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, egg yolk and vanilla with mixer on medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, 1 to 2 minutes, until fluffy. On low speed, add flour mixture. Beat 1 minute or until moist clumps form. Scatter over bottom of prepared pan; press into an even layer. Bake 11 minutes or until crust puffs and looks dry and set. Place pan on a wire rack.

Mousse: While crust bakes, stir cream, sugar and vanilla in a 1 quart microwave safe measure or bowl to blend; add chocolate. Microwave on high 2 to 3 minutes until cream barely starts to simmer. Whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smoooth. Cool 8 minutes. Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended. Pour over hot crust.

Bake 30 to 32 minutes until edges have risen slightly higher than center (middle will be set, but soft).

Glaze: Seal semisweet chocolate in a small, sturdy zip-top bag. Place in a small bowl of hot tap water. Let sit. Squeezing bag a few times, until chocolate melts, adding hot water if needed. Melt white chocolate and shortening in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until smooth.

Pour white chocolate over hot mousse; spread evenly. Dry bag of chocolate, snip off tip of 1 corner and pipe thin lines and squiggles over white chocolate. Draw wooden pick through semisweet chocolate to marbelize. Refrigerate uncovered 2 hours until glaze hardens.

Holding foil ends, lift to a cutting board. With a knife dipped in water, and using a gentle sawing motion, carefully cut crosswise in 6 strips. Cut each in 7 triangles. Refrigerate.

Chocolate S'mores Refrigerator Cake

1 tub (22 oz) prepared chocolate pudding
21 whole chocolate graham crackers (2 squares each)
2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Decoration: small milk-chocolate candy bar, broken or cut in squares

Put dabs of pudding (to keep crackers from sliding) on a rectangular serving platter. Cake is 9 x 7 inches.

Arrange 3 crackers, side by side, long edges touching, on platter. Spread evenly with 1/3 cup pudding. Repeat for 5 more layers, ending with pudding. Arrange remaining 3 crackers side by side on a baking sheet; spread with remaining pudding.

Place oven or broiler rack in middle position. Heat broiler. Arrange marshmallows on top of crackers on baking sheet, cover crackers completely. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows start to turn golden and soften, turning baking sheet to ensure even browing (do not let the marshmallows burn). Cool 2 minutes, then with a large spatula transfer marshmallow topped crackers to top of cake. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or up to 2 days for crackers to soften.

Up to 1 hour before serving: Mix sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl. Add about half the cream and beat with mixer on high speed 1 minute until cocoa has completely blended. Add remaining cream; beat until mixture is thick as frosting and loses it shine. Using a small metal (icing) spatula, frost sides of cake with a thin coating of cream mixture, then spread remaining cream upward in short strokes, sloping cream inward toward marshmallow top. Leave top edge of frosting jagged. Decorate with chocolate.

To serve: Slice with a thin bladed knife using a gentle sawing motion, dipping knife in hot water between cuts.

Per serving: 277 cal, 4 g pro, 44 g car, 1 g fiber, 10 g far (5 g sat fat), 27 mg chol, 241 mg sod