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January 17, 2016

Slow Cooker Hot Vanilla


* 1/2 gal whole milk
* 2 4-inch cinnamon sticks
* 3 Tbsp sugar
* 3 Tbsp Splenda
* 2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 1/8 tsp nutmeg
* Garnish (optional): whipped cream, cinnamon

# Combine all your ingredients in your crock pot except for the garnish.
# Stir them all together until your sugar is dissolved.
# Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours until warmed through.
# Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon, if desired. Also good with spiced rum.

January 3, 2016

Buttermilk Pie

* 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
* 1/2 cup cake flour
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 3/4 cup butter, cut into cubes and frozen
* 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

* 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
* 1 Tbsp cornstarch
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 4 eggs plus one egg separated so that one yolk can be used for pastry egg wash
* 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
* 1/4 cup melted butter
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 2 tsp lemon zest
* 2 tsp orange zest
* 2 Tbsp each fresh squeezed lemon and orange juice
* nutmeg for sprinkling on top of filling

# Freeze butter. Prepare ice water. Place flours and salt in work bowl of food processor and distribute frozen butter pieces over top of flour. Pulse processor 20 to 30 times to cut butter into flour. You should have a variety of butter pieces evenly distributed into butter.
# With processor pulsing on and off begin slowly adding ice water to the flour and butter mixture just until mixture begins to come together cohesively. Transfer mixture to plastic wrap and form into a ball. Flatten into a disc and refrigerate for at least a half-hour to allow dough to rest.
# After resting, roll out dough on lightly floured surface, turning dough so that it remains even in thickness of about 1/8 to 3/16 inch thick. Transfer dough to 9-inch baking dish or pie pan and trim, leaving 1/2 inch of dough to tuck under edges. Form edge of pie, using tines of fork or fingers.

Make egg wash:
# Beat one egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water together and brush over edge of crust. Place crust in freezer, adjust oven racks so that pie can bake on lower middle rack and preheat oven to 425° while making filling.

# Melt butter and set aside. Combine flour, cornstarch and sugar, mixing well. Set aside. Prepare zest and juices. Beat eggs and remaining egg white. Add buttermilk, vanilla, zest and juices. Mix well and combine with flour and sugar mixture. Whisk in melted butter.
# Pour mixture into partially frozen prepared pastry.
# Sprinkle filling lightly with nutmeg. Place pie in oven for 15 minutes at 425°. Then turn oven down to 350° for an additional 30 to 35 minutes. If needed, place a foil collar around pie edge to keep pastry from becoming too brown while filling cooks. Filling will puff up as it cooks. Cool pie on rack.

Lobster Bisque

* 1 (10.75-oz) can cream of mushroom soup
* 1 (10.75-oz) can cream of asparagus soup
* 2 cups milk
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 1 tsp salt
* 8 oz pre-cooked lobster tail meat, sliced or diced
* 1/3 cup dry white wine
* 1/4 teaspoon dill weed

In a heavy kettle over medium heat, combine mushroom soup, asparagus soup, milk, cream and salt. Cook and stir until mixed, about 5 minutes. Add lobster. Bring almost to a boil; remove immediately. Add white wine and stir gently. Garnish with dill.

Serves 6.

Apple Loaf

* 4 cups diced, peeled McIntosh apples
* 2 cups + 2 tsp sugar
* 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 tsp baking soda
* 2 tsp cinnamon
* 2 large eggs
* 1 tsp vanilla

# Mix apples and 2 cups of sugar in a large bowl. Leave at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
# Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pans.
# Melt butter, let cool.
# Mix flour, baking soda and cinnamon; stir into apples. Stir in butter, eggs and vanilla. Pour half into each pan; sprinkle each with 1 tsp of sugar.
# Bake 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours until a toothpick inserted in centers of loaves comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing loaves to rack to cool completely.
# Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Hearty Artichoke Penne

Add a good grind of freshly ground black pepper. This sauce is great over rigatoni too. No beef? Just add an extra tablespoon of tomato paste instead.

* 2 jars (6-oz each) artichoke hearts, marinated in oil
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
* 1 tsp dried basil
* 1/2 tsp dried oregano
* 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
* 1 lb ground beef
* 2 cans (28-oz each) plum tomatoes, crushed, with their juices
* 2 Tbsp tomato paste
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
* cooked penne pasta for 6 to 8 people

# Drain the artichokes and halve them lengthwise, reserving the artichokes and the oil marinade separately.
# Place 3 tablespoons of the artichoke oil in a heavy pot. Add the onion and wilt, stirring, over low heat for 10 minutes; add the garlic during the last 2 minutes. Stir in the basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.
# Add the beef and brown over medium heat, breaking up the clumps. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and salt. Stir and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
# Add the reserved artichokes and remaining oil marinade and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring. Stir in the parsley and adjust the seasonings. Serve over cooked penne.

Serves 6 to 8. Per serving (based on 8): 472 calories, 57g carbohydrates, 21g protein, 18g fat, 38mg cholesterol.

Pumpkin Bread

* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 1/2 tsp ground clover
* 1 cup pumpkin puree
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup flour
* 2 tsp cinnamon
* 2-1/3 cups Bisquick
* pinch nutmeg

# Preheat to 350°. Grease 9x5 loaf pan.
# Mix all ingredients with wooden spoon. Pour in pan.
# Bake 45 minutes. If not done (knife test), bake 10 more.

Skillet Broccoli Chicken

* 2 cups rice
* 4 chicken breasts
* 1 Tbsp oil
* 10-3/4 oz cream of chicken soup
* 1 cup broccoli, chopped
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/8 tsp pepper

# Cook rice according to package directions
# In a skillet over medium heat, cook boneless chicken breasts in hot oil until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
# Drain the skillet; then add cream of chicken soup, chopped broccoli, milk and pepper. Bring to a boil; return chicken to the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over the cooked rice.

Creamy Penne with Smoked Ham and Peas

* 8 oz penne pasta
* 2 Tbsp butter
* 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
* 1 cup milk
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella
* 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
* 1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
* 1 cup diced smoked ham

# Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain.
# Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until blended; cook about 3 minutes, just until mixture starts to turn golden.
# Whisk in milk. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 7 minutes. Add mozzarella, nutmeg, salt and pepper; let cheese melt and whisk together. Add peas, ham and penne; toss to coat and cook to heat through. Serve with freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Mediterranean Chicken with Pasta and Peppers


* 1 lb penne or elbow macaroni
* 4 tsp olive oil
* 1 each large yellow and green peppers, cut into thin strips and halved crosswise
* 1 lb chicken tenders, each cut into 2-3 pieces
* 2 14-oz cans diced Italian-style tomatoes

# Boil a large covered pot of water. Cook pasta according to directions until al dente and drain. Return to cooking pot and cover to keep warm.
# Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell pepper strips and cook about 7 minutes, tossing frequently, until nearly tender.
# Add chicken and cook 2 minutes, tossing. Add half a can of diced tomatoes to chicken and cook 3 minutes longer, stirring often, until chicken in no longer pink in the center.
# Stir in remaining tomatoes. Simmer 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until heated through. Pour over the pasta and toss to mix.

Nutritional info per serving: 583 calories; 17 g fat; 33 mg cholesterol; 749 mg sodium; 73 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 31 g protein.

Banana Nut Bread Machine Bread

* 1/2 cup water
* 2 medium ripe bananas
* 4 tsp butter
* 3-1/2 cups bread flour
* 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
* 1 tsp salt
* 3 Tbsp dry milk
* 1/2 cup chopped nuts
* 2 tsp yeast

Place all ingredients in your machine's fully assembled pan, in the order specified by your machine's manufacturer. Select the basic or white cycle and press start.

Makes 1-1/2 lb loaf

Chicken Piccata Supreme

* 2 Tbsp butter
* 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/8 tsp paprika
* 1/8 tsp pepper
* 4 (6-oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 1/3 cup butter
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 1/2 cup sour cream

# Melt 2 Tbsp butter in 10-inch skillet until sizzling; add mushrooms. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender (4-5 minutes). Remove mushrooms from skillet; set aside.

# Stir together flour, salt, paprika, and pepper in a 9-inch pie pan. Coat chicken breasts in flour mixture. Reserve remaining flour mixture.

# Melt 1/3 cup butter in same skillet; add chicken. Cook over medium heat, turning once, 5 minutes. Place chicken to one side of skillet. Add 1 Tbsp reserved flour mixture to butter. Stir until smooth and bubbly (1 minute). Add chicken broth and lemon juice. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes.

# Cover; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink (10-15 minutes). Remove chicken breasts; keep warm. Stir in mushrooms. Continue cooking until heated through (2-3 minutes). Stir in sour cream until smooth.

# To serve, place chicken breast on hot cooked rice, if desired. Spoon sauce over chicken. Garnish with lemon and parsley, if desired.


1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 ripe banana
1/2 cup pineapple or orange juice
3 crushed ice cubes
3 strawberries

Mix in a blender until smooth.

Grilled Bananas

* 4 large bananas, unpeeled
* 2/3 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup lime juice
* 1/4 cup dark rum
* 1/4 tsp allspice
* 1/4 tsp nutmeg

# Grill bananas for 6 minutes (or 10-11 on grill), turning occasionally, or until blackened. When cool enough to handle, split banana skins with paring knife and carefully peel off. Cut banana on diagonal into 1/2-inch slices.
# Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, lime juice and rum. Bring to gentle boil over medium heat. Stir in allspice and nutmeg.
# Add the sliced bananas to the rum sauce and cook, spooning sauce over bananas, until piping hot and well-coated, about 3 minutes. Spoon onto 4 plates and serve.

Serves 4.

Transparent Apple Slices

4 tart apples, thickly sliced
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp water
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar

Pare, core, and cut 4 tart apples in thick slices. Melt butter; add apples slices and water. Cover and allow to steam gently over a low heat until apple slices are almost tender -- about 4-5 minutes. Remove cover and add sugar; sprinkle generously with cinnamon, to taste, and cook, stirring gently, until apple slices are transparent and glazed with thick syrup. Cool and serve.