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June 21, 2007

Macadamia Nut Pina Colada Bars

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 1 hr 55 min

1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp rum extract

Pineapple Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tsp reserved pineapple juice

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of square pan, 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 inches, with shortening. Drain pineapple well, reserving 3 teaspoons juice for Pineapple Glaze. In medium bowl, mix 1 cup flour, the butter and 3 tablespoons powdered sugar with spoon until flour is moistened. Press in pan. Bake 10 minutes.

In medium bowl, beat eggs with wire whisk until blended. Stir in pineapple and all remaining Bar ingredients. Spread over partially baked crust.

Bake bars 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In small bowl, mix all Pineapple Glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle glaze over bars. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

Makes 2 dozen bars. Per Serving: Calories 160 (Calories from Fat 70); Total Fat 8g (Saturated Fat 3g, Trans Fat ncg); Cholesterol 30mg; Sodium 70mg; Total Carbohydrate 20g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars ncg); Protein 2g

Backpacker Bars

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 1 hr 50 min

1 1/2 cups Golden Grahams cereal
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

Heat oven to 350ºF. Crush cereal. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, cereal, 3/4 cup oats, the baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in 3/4 cup of the peanuts and 2/3 cup of the chocolate chips.

Spread in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup peanuts, remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons oats.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For 24 bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

Makes 24 bars. Per Serving: Calories 235 (Calories from Fat 110 ); Total Fat 12 g (Saturated Fat 3 g); Cholesterol 15 mg; Sodium 240 mg; Total Carbohydrate 29 g (Dietary Fiber 2 g); Protein 4 g

June 20, 2007

Salted Oatmeal Cookies

12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
Sea salt, for sprinkling

Beat the butter for a few minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the sugars, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon, beating until the mixture is well blended. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs and vanilla extract, mixing until well incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour and oats, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary and mixing just until they are incorporated.

Cover dough and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Form the dough into golf ball-size balls and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle sea salt generously on top of each ball of dough, as you would sugar. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 15 minutes or until the cookies are puffed and beginning to turn golden, being careful not to overbake. (The cookies should have a tender interior.) Transfer the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 18 cookies

Pita Crisps

1 1/2 whole-wheat pita rounds
1 medium garlic clove, smashed
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

In small cup, stir smashed garlic into oil. Cut 1 pita into 8 even double-layer triangles. Separate each triangle into 2 wedges. Repeat with half of another pita, for a total of 24 wedges. Place pitas, split-side up in a single layer, on a baking sheet. Brush with garlic oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 7 minutes, until crisp and golden. Cool.

Pita crisps can be made 1 day ahead. Store crisps, tightly covered, at room temperature.

Nutritional Information: 22 calories, 1.3 g total fat (0.4 g sat), 180 mg cholesterol, 2 g carbohydrate, 0.7 g protein, 0.3 g fiber, 49.5 mg sodium

June 13, 2007

Chilled Espresso Custard

1 1/2 cups 1 percent milk
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons sugar substitute
2 teaspoons espresso powder or instant decaffeinated coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon, for garnish
Lemon twists, for garnish

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar substitute, espresso powder or coffee, and vanilla extract until well-blended. Pour into four 6-ounce custard cups or ramekins and place in a 10-inch skillet.

Fill the skillet with water to 1/2 inch from the tops of the custard cups. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the cups from the skillet, cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pudding, and refrigerate for 3 hours, or until chilled. Garnish with the cinnamon and lemon twists.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 110 calories, 3.5 total fat (1.5 g sat), 110 mg cholesterol, 13 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 0 g fiber, 80 mg sodium

June 10, 2007

Apple Dumplings

2 packages crescent rolls
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled
2 sticks butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 can (12 oz) Mountain Dew soft drink

Melt butter, sugar and vanilla. Cut each peeled apple into 8 pieces. Roll apple pieces into crescent rolls and place in a greased 9" x 13" pan. Pour butter mixture over rolls. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of pan. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

June 4, 2007

Grilled Pesto-Stuffed Steaks

2 beef rib-eye steaks, 1 1/2 inches thick (about 2 lbs)
1/4 cup basil pesto
2 Tbsp finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Make horizontal cut in side of each steak, forming a pocket (do not cut through to opposite side).

Mix pesto and cheese; spread evenly on insides of pockets; press pockets closed. Drizzle oil over beef.

Cover and grill beef 4 to 5 inches from medium heat 12 to 14 minutes for medium doneness, turning once. To serve, cut beef into thick strips.

Nutrition information per serving: Calories 410 (Calories from Fat 235); Total Fat 26g (Saturated Fat 8g, Trans Fat ncg); Cholesterol 110mg; Sodium 380mg; Total Carbohydrate 1g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars ncg); Protein 43g