Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Green Beans and potatoes Tossed with Pesto

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves (I used a whole package from Trader Joe's)
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (I used the whole 1 lb. bag from Trader Joe's)
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
Combine first 8 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth.
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add green beans, and cook 4 minutes or until tender. Remove beans from pan with a slotted spoon, and place in a large bowl. Add potatoes to pan, and cook 6 minutes or until tender. Drain. Add pesto and potatoes to beans, and toss to coat.

Creamy Risotto with Asparagus and Peas

2 c. Arborio rice
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. diced onion
8 c. chicken stock
1 pound asparagus cut into 2" pieces (I par-cook this)
1 c. fresh or frozen green peas
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a deep pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Remove the onion leaving the oil in the pan; add the rice and saute 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until the rice is translucent. At the same time bring the chicken broth to a boil in a separate pan.

Add the hot broth to the rice about 1 cup at a time, stirring until it's absorbed by the rice each time. After 6 cups of the broth has been added, check the rice's texture; it should be soft, but still firm in the middle.

Stir in the remaining broth until the rice is creamy but still firm. Add the peas and asparagus along with the last cup o f broth; cover the pan and cook gently for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, uncover the pan, and stir in the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

Roasted Beets 'n Sweets


• 6 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks
• 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
• 1 large sweet onion, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. In a bowl, toss the beets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
3. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large resealable plastic bag. Place the sweet potatoes and onion in the bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat vegetables with the oil mixture.
4. Bake beets 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix sweet potato mixture with the beets on the baking sheet. Continue baking 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.

Monday, July 20, 2009


English Muffins

1 ½ Cups skim milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 large egg
4 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 ¼ tsp. yeast
1/3 cup yellow corn meal for sprinkling

1. PLACE ALL INGREDIENTS EXCEPT CORN MEAL IN A BREAD MACHINE PAN. PROCESS FOR DOUGH CYCLE (APPROX. 30 MINUTES OF MIXING – DO NOT LET RAISE). Dough will be soft and very slight moist. The softer you leave the dough, the lighter the muffins. You can always add a bit more flour when you remove dough from the machine.

2. Lightly sprinkle work surface with cornmeal. Turn dough onto work surface and with a rolling pin, roll out a rectangle about ½ inch thick. Sprinkle the tope with cornmeal to prevent sticking while rolling. Cut muffins with a 3" biscuit cutter. Cover with clean tea towel or place in the refrigerator if they are rising too fast while others are baking.

3. Preheat electric griddle to 350-375 until a drop of water dances across surface. Lightly grease griddle if recommended.

4. Immediately place several muffins on the hot griddle. Cook about 10 minutes on each side, turning when they are quite brown. English muffins take time to bake all the way through, and they will swell and be very puffy while baking. Remove muffins from griddle with a spatula and let cool on a rack.

5. I use a fork and poke in the middle and all around the edge while warm. Slice in half prior to freezing.

6. Also, after making this recipe, you may wish to experiment with adding other things such as, wheat bran or flax seed, or some whole wheat flour, etc.


Cinnamon Rolls
5 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 1/4 c. milk
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 to 2 tsp. yeast

Mix all ingredients. Knead until elastic, allow to rise until doublel; or program bread maker for dough cycle. Punch dough down. Cut in half. Roll each half into a large rectangle. Spread 1 Tbsp. softened butter over each half. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (1 Tbsp. cinnamon combined with 1/4 c. sugar). Roll up. Slice each half into 12 rolls. Put into jelly roll sized pan (10x15) cut side down. Allow to rise until double. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes.

1 lb. powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. margarine or butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients with a mixer adding enough milk to achieve spreading consistency.

Pumpkin Bread

4 beaten eggs
3 c. sugar
1 16 oz. can pumpkin
1 c canola oil
1/3 c. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
6 oz. mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Combine eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir in pumpkin, oil, water, and vanilla till blended. Stir together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Add to pumpkin mixture, stirring till just combined. Fold in chips and nuts.

Pour mixture into four greased 7x3x2 pans or two greased 9x5x3 baking pans. Bake in a 350 oven about 55 minutes for smaller loaves; about 65 minutes for larger loaves or till a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean.

Cool bread 10 minutes on wire racks. Loosen sides; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. Makes 4 small or 2 large loaves.

Blueberry Breakfast Bread

1/2 cup granola
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/8 tsp. salt

1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 c. lightly packed brown sugar (use 3/4 c. for a dessert bread)
2 large eggs
1/2 c. whole milk yogurt or sour cream
3/4 cup granola (the loose toasted oats kind, not the big glob kind)
1 1/2 c. frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2" loaf pan.

For the streusel: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

For the batter: Combine dry ingredients in a bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing wella fter each. Add the yogurt and mix well.

Add the yogurt mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined. The batter will be fairly stiff. Do not overmix. Fold in granola and blueberries.

Spoon batter into pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the streusel on top in an even layer.

Bake 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove pan from the oven and cool 10 minutes then turn out on a rack to cool completely.

Angel Biscuits

1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
5 cups all-purpose flour (about 22 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yeast mixture and buttermilk to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Cover and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured surface; knead lightly 5 times. Roll dough to a 1/2-inch thickness; cut with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush the melted butter over the biscuit tops. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until golden.

Rhubarb Muffins

1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. diced rhubarb
Nuts (optional)

Mix everything together. Stir in rhubarb. Before baking sprinkle with:
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. Makes 12-15 delicious muffins.

Steel Cut Oat Bread

1 c. steel-cut oats (I used Arrowhead Mills and this recipe is from the box)
1/4 c. sorghum syrup (I used molasses but you could probably use honey for a milder flavor)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
3/4 tsp. salt
2 c. boiling water
2 c. unbleached white flour
1 pkg. yeast
1/4 c. warm water (85 degrees)
1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour

Combine steel-cut oats, syrup, oil and salt. Pour boiling water over oats, and while this mixture is cooling, dissolve yeast in 1/4 c. water. (If using instant yeast, just combine it with flour.) After yeast mixture sits for 10 minutes, add the yeast mixture to the oat mixture. Work in whole wheat flour and white flour. Knead the mixture and place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down.

Place in oiled loaf pan. Let rise again to double in bulk.

Bake for about 40 minutes at 375.

Raspberry Streusel Muffins

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. milk
1 to 1/2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries (I used blueberries in the photo above)

1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. chopped pecans
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. In a small bowl, blend together the milk, melted butter and egg. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing just until moistened. Spoon about a tablespoon of the batter into each of 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Put 3-4 raspberries on top of the batter. Top with the remaining batter, then more raspberries. For the topping, combine the ingredients until the mixture resembles moist crumbs; sprinkle this over the muffins. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Let stand for 5 minutes before carefully removing from the pans.

Simply Super Crescent Cinnamon Rolls

2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
2/3 c. finely chopped nuts (optional)
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 4. cinnamon
1/4 c. softened margarine

(I find this is enough filling for 2 batches when I make them.)
Combine all filling ingredients. Preheat oven to 375. Separate the 2 cans of crescent roll dough into 4 rectangles each. Press perforations to seal. Spread filling mixture on 4 of the rectangles. To with remaining 4 rectangles. Cut each rectangle "sandwich" into 6 strips lengthwise. Twist each strip and form each one into a coil. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Immediately remove from cookie sheet and drizzle glaze over warm rolls.

1+ c. powdered sugar 1 1/2 Tbsp. softened margarine
1-2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla.

Maple-Walnut Oat Bread
(Note: I didn't use the maple flavor or the glaze.)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (1 3/8 ounces) maple syrup
4 tablespoons( 1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 1/2 cups (5 1/4 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor
3/4 cup (3 ounces) traditional whole wheat flour
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (1 ounce) maple sugar or brown sugar (1 3/8 ounces)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon maple flavor, to taste (optional)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted

Combine all the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them--by hand, mixer or bread machine--until you have a soft, smooth dough. Cover and allow the dough to rise until it's puffy and nearly doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a 9-inch log. Place it in the prepared pan. Cover it gently with lightly greased plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow it to rise till it's crowned about 1 1/2 inches over the rim of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Near the end of the bread's rising time, preheat the oven to 350.

Uncover and bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it with foil after 15 minutes. The bread is dome when it's golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 190. To make the glaze, stir together the maple syrup and melted butter. Remove the bread from the oven, and after a minute or so turn it out onto a rack. Brush it with the maple glaze. Cool the bread for 30 minutes before cutting it.

Whole Wheat Muffins

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans

1. In a large bowl with a mixer, beat butter and sugar until very well mixed and no lumps remain. Add milk, yogurt, egg, and vanilla; beat just until blended. Add flour, soda, and pecans; stir until mixture is evenly moistened.

2. Spoon batter equally into 12 buttered or paper-lined muffin cups (2 1/2 to 2 3/4 in. wide).

3. Bake in a 425° regular or convection oven until muffins just begin to pull from pan sides and spring back in the center when lightly pressed, about 15 minutes.

4. Cool muffins in pan about 5 minutes, then invert onto a rack and turn rounded side up. Serve hot, warm, or cool. If making up to 1 day ahead, wrap cool muffins airtight and store at room temperature; freeze to store longer. To reheat, seal in foil and bake in a 350° regular or convection oven about 10 minutes.

Double-Rhubarb Strawberry Bread

2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb (I'd use more next time)
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup stewed rhubarb and strawberry, cooled (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

In a medum-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir in the chopped rhubarb.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and melted butter. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring gently until almost all of the flour is mixed in. Add the stewed rhubarb/strawberry, and swirl it into the batter.

Pour into the pan.

Bake the bread for 50 to 60 minutes, until it's golden brown and the top stprings back when lightly touched. Remove it from theoven, and let it cool for 10 minutes before turning the bread out of the pan onto a rack. Allow it to cool completely before slicing.

Stewed Rhubarb and Strawberries

1 cup chopped or thinly sliced rhubarb
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, to taste

Place the rhubarb and strawberries in a medium-sized saucepan. Sprinkle with the sugar to get the juices flowing. Let the mixture sit until you can see some juice, then cook over low to medium heat, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb is very soft and is losing its shape. Remove from the heat, and sweeten to taste. cool. (It's supposed to make 1/2 cups, but I got barely 1 cup.)

Cinnamon Bread

(On the right in photo)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 large egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup cinnamon chips
Cinnamon-sugar for topping

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter or margarine, and egg. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, beating till smooth. let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour, covered, then stir in the baking powder and cinnamon chips.

Pour the batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon-sugar.

Bake the bread in a 350 oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until it tests done; a cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Banana Bread
(On the left in the photo above)
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas (about 3)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Up to 1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
Up to 1 c. mini chocoalte chips (optional)

(I do this all by hand--no mixer)
Cream butter and sugar. Stir in eggs, butter, bananas and vanilla until well combined. Combine dry ingredients. Gently stir into wet ingredients, just until mixed. Stir in nuts or chips if using.

Grease or spray pans. One 9 x 5 x 3 or four 3 x 5 pans. Heat oven to 350.
For 9 x 5 x 3 pan, bake one hour 15 minutes, covering with foil after 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes before removing from the pan. For smaller pans, bake 45 minutes. Cool 10-12 minutes before removing from the pan.

French Bread

7 to 7 1/4 cups all-purpose flour *
2 packages active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. shortening
1 Tbsp. salt
Yellow cornmeal
1 egg white (I omit this)

In large mixer bowl combine 3 cups of the flour and the yeast. Heat 2 1/2 cups water, sugar, salt and shortening just until warm (115 to 120 degrees), stirring constantly to melt shortening. Add to dry mixture. Beat at low speed with electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. (I mix for 2 minutes on 2 on my Kitchen Aid using the paddle attachment.) By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. (I mix in an additional 4 cups flour with the mixer, using the bread hook.)

Knead on floured surface till smooth (10 to 12 minutes). (I mix for 8 minutes on 2 speed with the mixer.) Shape into a ball. Place in greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise until double (1 to 1 1/2 hours). Punch down; divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Roll each half to 15x12-inch rectangle. Roll up tightly from long side; seal well. Taper ends. Place each diagonally, seam side down, on greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Gash tops diagonally every 2 1/2 inches, 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep.

Beat egg white just till foamy; add 1 tablespoon water. Brush tops and sides of loaves. (I omit this.) Cover; let rise till double (about 1 hour). Bake at 375 till light brown, about 10 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake 20 minutes longer. (I just bake them for 40 minutes). Remove from sheets; cool. Makes 2 loaves.

Banana Bran Muffins

1 egg
3/4 c. light brown sugar
1 1/3 c. mashed ripe banana
1/2 c. raisins or walnuts
1/3 c. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. whole-wheat flour
1/2 c. oat bran or unprocessed wheat bran
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 375. Grease muffin cups, or use foil or paper baking cups.

Beat egg and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. When smooth, beat in bananas, raisins or nuts, oil and vanilla. Let stand a minute.

Thoroughly mix flours, bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add banana mixture and fold in with a spatula just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Scoop batter into muffin cups. Bake 15 to 25 minutes or until brown and springy to the touch in the center. Turn out onto a rack to cool. (Note: Bake for 15 minutes if using mini muffin cups--makes 36-48, or about 22 minutes for regular muffins--makes 12).

Blueberry Almond Crunch Muffins

Makes 12 muffins.

Almond Crunch Topping
1/3 cup finely ground almonds
4 teaspoons turbinado sugar

2 cups fresh blueberries (about 10 ounces), picked over
1 1/8 cups sugar (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup finely ground almonds
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (see note)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

1. FOR THE TOPPING: Stir together almonds and sugar in small bowl until combined; set aside.
2. FOR THE MUFFINS: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and ground almonds together in large bowl. Whisk remaining 11/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk, vanilla, and almond extract until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)

4. Following photos below, use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle almond topping evenly over muffins.

5. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.


Raspberry Salad

4 Tbsp. frozen raspberry/apple juice concentrate (do not reconstitute)
2 Tbsp. canola or light tasting olive oil
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Combine all ingredients. Shake or stir well.

1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 c. cooked chicken, bite-sized pieces
1 c. raspberries
1 c. sugar snap peas cut in half diagonally
1/4 c. pecans, toasted
1/4 c. red onion, sliced thin
Combine all ingredients. Toss with dressing. Serve immediately.

Substitutions (when berries are not in season):
Substitute dried cherries for fresh raspberries. Substitute a cherry/apple flavored juice concentrate.
Substitute (canned) mandarin oranges or (fresh)clementines for fresh raspberries. Substitute orange juice concentrate.

Mixed Greens and Fruit Salad
Mixed greens
Toasted pecans
Thinly sliced red onion
Chunks of cooked chicken
Raspberries and/or blueberries and/or peaches and/or sliced fresh apricots
I like to add sugar snap peas too

1/4 c. apple/raspberry juice concentrate
2 Tbsp. light olive oil
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Combine and shake vigorously. Combine with other ingredients. Serve immediately.

Autumn Apple, Pear and Cheddar Salad with Pecans

1 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
5 oz. bag mixed salad greens
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1 medium apple, cored and cut into 18 wedges
1 medium pear, cored and cut into 18 wedges
1/4 cup (1 oz) finely shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp. chopped pecans, toasted

Place apple juice in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to about 3 Tbsp (about 10 minutes). Combine reduced apple juice, vinegar, oil, s/p, stirring with a whisk.

Combine greens and fruit in a large bowl. Drizzle with apple juice mixture; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and nuts.

Main Dishes

Overnight Oatmeal Pancakes

2 c. rolled oats
2 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Mix oats and buttermilk or yogurt in a large bowl and let sit overnight.
2. In the morning, mix eggs and butter with oat mixture.
3. Stir dry ingredients together and add to other ingredients.
4. Coat nonstick griddle with a small amount of oil. Preheat on low/med heat. (About 350.) When hot, add batter in 1/4 c. amounts. These pancakes take longer to cook ... about 3 minutes each side.

Asparagus-Pepper Frittata

3 slices bacon
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1/2 c. chopped ellow onion
6 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 c. shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 c. fat free half and half, light cream or milk
2 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat broiler. In a 10" broiler-proof skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon; crumble and set aside.

Cut asparagus into 1" pieces. In a saucepan, bring about 1" water to boiling. Add asparagus, pepper strips and onion; bring just to boiling. Reduce heat slightly; boil about 1 minute or until crisp-tender. Drain well.

Spread asparagus-pepper mixture evenly in skillet.

Combine eggs, cheese, half and half, parsley, bacon, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour over vegetables in skillet. Cook over medium heat. As mixture sets, run a spatula around edge of skillet, lifting egg mixture so the uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking and lifting the edges until the egg mixture is almost set.

Place skillet under the broiler. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until top is just set and begins to turn golden. Cut into squares to serve.

Wild Rice Cranberry Bake

1 cup uncooked wild rice
2 1/2 c. water
1 Tbsp. butter (I used olive oil, maybe a couple tsp.)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 oz. mushrooms, sliced (1 c.)
2 1/2 c. chicken broth, heated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 c. dried cranberries (Craisins; I used some chopped dried apricots in place of some of the Craisins; I also added some toasted pecans, freshly ground pepper and some chopped, cooked turkey)

Heat oven to 350; grease 8x8 square baking dish.

Rinse rice; heat rice and water to boiling in 2 quart saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Drain.

Melt margarine (or put olive oil in pan), cook onion and mushrooms until onion is tender. Stir as needed. Add garlic near end of cooking time so it doesn't burn. Mix wild rice and onion mixture in baking dish. Pour heated broth over the top.

Cover and bake 1 1/4 hours. Stir in cranberries (and apricots and chicken/turkey, if using); cover, and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absored.

Stir in toasted pecans, if using.

Renee's Egg Bake

4 slices bread, toasted and cut into cubes
2 c. seasoned croutons

1/2 box of frozen chopped spinach, excess liquid squeezed out of it

3 sweet peppers, chopped

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

3 scallions, chopped

1 1/2 c. shredded cheese (I use colby jack)

6 eggs, beaten

2 cups fat-free half and half

1 tsp. dry mustard

Freshly ground pepper

Spray a 9 x 13" pan with cooking spray. Put the bread cubes and croutons on the bottom of the pan. Saute the mushrooms and peppers in a little olive oil. Place on top of the bread/croutons along with the spinach and scallions. Top with shredded cheese. Mix the eggs, half and half, dry mustard and pepper. Pour over the contents of the pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until set and brown on top. (If you don't want it vegetarian, you could add cooked sausage or bacon.)

Spaghetti Sauce

1 c. chopped onion (1 large)
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/4 c. chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
4 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes (6 large), or two 14 1/2 oz cans tomatoes, cut up
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1/3 c. water
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley (I don't use this)
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
2 tsp. snipped fresh marjoram or 1.2 tsp. dried marjoram, crushed (I don't use this)
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. In large saucepan or pot cook onion, sweet pepper, celery and garlic in olive oil until brown.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, parsley, basil, oregano, marjoram, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Uncover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more or to desired consistency, stirring occasionally.

Calico Beans

1 lb. hamburger (I use 1/2 lb)
1/2 lb. bacon
1 med. onion
28 oz. can Bush's Baked Beans
2-1 lb. cans kidney beans (I use one can kidney beans and one can black beans)
1 lb. can butter beans (I use baby butter beans--they're smaller)Sauce: 1/4 c. vinegar
1 c. ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar

Fry hamburger with onion. Cut and fry bacon. Rinse kidney, butter and black beans. Mix everything together. Heat sauce ingredients in saucepan until warm. Pour over beans. Bake at 300 for 2 hours in the oven or on low in crock pot for 4-8 hours.

Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

Serves 6 to 8
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
8 sprigs fresh thyme leaves , divided into 2 bundles, each tied together with kitchen twine
1 cup wild rice , rinsed well and picked over
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 large carrot , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
table salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries , sweetened or unsweetened
3/4 cup pecans , toasted then chopped coarse
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Ground black pepper

1. Bring chicken broth, 1/4 cup water, bay leaves, and 1 bundle thyme to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add wild rice, cover, and reduce heat to low; simmer until rice is plump and tender and has absorbed most liquid, 35 to 45 minutes. Drain rice in mesh strainer to remove excess liquid. Return rice to now-empty saucepan; cover to keep warm and set aside.

2. While wild rice is cooking, place white rice in medium bowl and cover with 2 inches water; gently swish grains to release excess starch. Carefully pour off water, leaving rice in bowl. Repeat about 5 times, until water runs almost clear. Drain rice in mesh strainer.

3. Heat butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until foam subsides, about 2 minutes. Add onion, carrot, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add rinsed white rice and stir to coat grains with butter; cook, stirring frequently, until grains begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 2 1/4 cups water to boil in small saucepan or in microwave. Add boiling water and second thyme bundle to rice; return to boil, then reduce heat to low, sprinkle cranberries evenly over rice, and cover. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed, 16 to 18 minutes. Off heat, fluff rice with fork.

4. Combine wild rice, white rice mixture, pecans, and parsley in large bowl; toss with rubber spatula. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste; serve immediately.

Chicken in Sour Cream

2 c. sour cream (I use light)
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
4 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 5. celery salt
2 t. paprika
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 t. pepper
12 boneless chicken breasts
16 oz. box Italian bread crumbs (I use Pepperidge Farm stuffing and roll it with a rolling pin. It's not as fine textured as the bread crumbs)
1/2 stick butter or margarine (original recipe called for one stick)

Combine sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, paprika, garlic, and pepper in a large deep bowl with lid. Add thawed chicken breasts and coat the chicken well. Allow to marinate in the source cream mixture overnight in the refrigerator, covered. When ready to cook, remove pieces of chicken from the sour cream sauce and roll in the bread crumbs.

Arrange in a single layer in a 13x9" pan sprayed with vegetable spray and drizzle the butter over the chicken. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes or until done.

Wild Rice Soup

3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. minced onion
1/4 c. flour
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. cooked wild rice
1 c. chopped, cooked chicken (or 2/3 c. minced ham)
1/4 c. chopped celery
2 carrots, finely grated
1 1/2 c. fat-free half and half
2 Tbsp. sherry
3 Tbsp. sliced almonds

Melt butter in saucepan; saute onion until tender. Blend in flour and gradually add chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in rice, chicken or ham, celery and carrot; simmer about 10 minutes. Blend in half & half, sherry and almonds. Heat to serving temperature.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. Garnish with thin asparagus spears for a graceful presentation. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

3 cups (1/2-inch) sliced asparagus (about 1 pound)
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, divided (I used dried)
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (I used a little more than this)
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
Dash of ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Combine asparagus, broth, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, bay leaf, and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Place asparagus mixture in a blender; process until smooth.

Place flour in pan. Gradually add the milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add puréed asparagus and ground nutmeg; stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 teaspoon thyme, butter, salt, and lemon rind.

CALORIES 112 (28% from fat); FAT 3.5g (sat 2g, mono 0.8g, poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 6.7g; CARB 13.4g; FIBER 1.1g; CHOL 13mg; IRON 0.6mg; SODIUM 765mg; CALC 152mg

Creamy Asparagus Soup (from HyVee)
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 large russet potato (about 11 ounces), peeled and cubed
3 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon (I skipped this)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil, plus additional for garnish
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper (I used black)
1/2 c. fat free half and half
Sour cream (optional)
Chop asparagus into 2-inch pieces; place in a large saucepan. Add potato cubes, chicken broth, green onions, tarragon, basil and white pepper. Bring to boiling. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until potato cubes are very tender. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes (I didn't do this because I used an immersion blender instead of a regular blender in the next step.)

Carefully transfer asparagus mixture to a blender container. (Don't fill more than half full or you'll have a hot mess.) Cover and blend until smooth. Stir in half and half.

To serve, dollop each serving with sour cream, if desired, and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve soup warm or chilled. (I saved the asparagus tips and cooked them separately and added them back to the soup after blending.)

Creamy Tomato and Rice Soup

1 cup long-grain white rice (I used brown rice)
1 1/2 cups water (I used 2 cups)
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp dried basil (I used 1 tsp.)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 cup fat-free half and half

Heat oven to broil.
Cook rice in water according to package directions.

Meanwhile, drain the can of diced tomatoes by pouring them into a mesh striner set over a bowl. Use a spatula to press the tomatoes to extract as much juice as possible. Set the juice aside.

Transfer the diced tomatoes to a rimmed baking sheet. Add the onion, garlic, basil and olive oil. Strip the leaves from the rosemary sprigs and add them to the tomatoes and onions. Toss everything to coat well. Season with salt and pepper.

Broil the tomato mixture on the center rack for 4 minutes, then gently stir. Broil for another 4 minutes, or until the onions and tomatoes begin to brown.

Transfer the mixture to a blender, then add the reserved toamto juice. Puree until smooth.
Add the tomato mixture from the blender to the rice and heat over medium heat. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth and balsamic vinegar. Heat until warmed through, then stir in the half and half.

NUTRITION INFORMATION per 1/6 recipe: 252 calores (47 from fat); 5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol; 42g carbs; 6 g protein; 3g fiber; 731mg sodium.

Bean and Pasta Soup

from King Arthur Flour. It's VERY thick. You can almost eat it with a fork. Thin with more stock, or water, for a thinner soup. Also, I don't use the sausage called for in the recipe and use both oregano and basil. I used Ditalini shaped pasta by Barilla. No photo. I got home after 8:00 and didn't actually have a bowl ... but tomorrow I will.

2 cups of beans (a 1 pound bag); these can be whatever you want but a mixed soup blend is colorful and fun
Water to cover (2 to 2 1/2 quarts)
2 1/2 quarts stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 to 2 cups grated carrots
1 to 2 cups chopped celery
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced (or more or less depending on how you feel about garlic)
1 pound plum (or other) tomatoes, skinned and chopped (or use a l4-oz. can)
1 tablespoon fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried); or use a little oregano, marjoram, savory, etc., whatever smells and/or tastes good to you
1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 cup pasta of your choice, either small or broken in pieces
1 pound sausage, sweet, hot or a combination, crumbled, cooked and drained

The night before you want to serve your soup, cover the beans with fresh water and let them soak until about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before your meal.

Drain them, put them in a soup pot and add the stock. Stir in everything else except the pasta and sausage, bring to a boil and let simmer until the beans are almost tender.

Add the pasta and sausage and cook until the pasta is tender.

Baked Potato Soup

4 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces)
6 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extrasharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 8 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons onions, and about 1 tablespoon bacon. Garnish with cracked pepper, if desired.


12 sheets Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles
One container fat-free ricotta cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
Italian seasoning to taste
One jar pasta sauce
1 lb. ground turkey
Fennel seeds to taste

Brown turkey and fennel seeds. Spray a 9 x 13 pan. Combine beaten egg, 1/3 to 1/2 of the shredded mozzarella, italian seasoning and ricotta in a bowl. Spread a little (1/4 cup?) pasta sauce on the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. Lay 4 sheets of noodles on sauce. Spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture on the noodles. Spread 1/2 the browned turkey on the ricotta and then 1/3 the remaining sauce. Top with 1/2 the remaining mozzarella. Layer on 4 more sheets of noodles, the rest of the ricotta, the rest of the turkey and 1/2 the remaining sauce. Top with 4 sheets of noodles, the remaining sauce and the rest of the mozzarella and the Paremesan. Cover with foil (spray with cooking spray first) and bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes. Allow to stand about 5 minutes before serving.

Pulled Pork with Strawberry BBQ Sauce (from Better Homes & Gardens magazine, May 2009)

One 2 1/2 to 3-lb. boneless pork sirloin, shoulder, or butt roast
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
4 cups strawberries, halved or quartered
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
Bottled hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco, optional--but good!

1. Trim fat from pork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In large Dutch oven over medium heat brown pork in hot oil on all sides. Add half the strawberries, the ketchup, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, and several dashes hot pepper sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 2 hours or until pork is tender. Remove pork from Dutch oven; loosely cover with foil. Let stand 10 minutes.

2. For strawberry BBQ sauce, skim fat from cooking liquid. Return liquid to Dutch oven; bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 8 minutes or until reduced to about 2 cups.

3. Using 2 forks, shred pork;

discard fat. Stir 1 cup strawberry BBQ sauce into pork. Stir remaining strawberries into BBQ sauce.

4. Serve pork on buns. Top with addiional sauce and parsley. Pass remaining sauce.

Broccoli Soup

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 cups chicken broth
1 package broccoli florets (I used 2 heads, fresh)
2 1/2 cups 2% milk (I used mostly skim)
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp. black pepper
8 oz. light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light) (I used about 3/4 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese from Kraft)

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender (I added the garlic the last 30 seconds or so so it didn't burn). Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a which until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan. (I used an immersion blender and slightly chopped the broccoli.)

Pasta with Peppers, Garlic and Olive Oil

For the pasta:
4 quarts water
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
1 pound dry spaghetti noodles (I used Barilla Spaghetti Rigati--spaghetti with ridges)

Directions: Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in the salt, then add the noodles and cook at a medium boil while stirring often until al dente (about 6 to 8 minutes). Meanwhile, make the sauce.

For the sauce and to finish the dish:
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (I used about 5 Tbsp.)
8 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed flat (with the side of a chef's knife)
One red bell pepper, cored and seeded and cut into short julienne
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes (use more or less to taste)
1/4 c. finely shredded Italian parsley (I used fresh basil this time)
Cooked pasta from above
6 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Put a 12" skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, remove it from the heat and add the oil to the pan followed closely by the garlic. Let the garlic cook 1 minute until lightly golden in color. Add the bell peppers, salt and pepper flakes then return to high heat. Let cook 1 minute while stirring often, then remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. When the pasta is done, drain it well and toss with the sauce. Divide onto plates then top each with a sprinkling of Parmesan and serve.


Berry Cream Pie

9" pre-baked pie crust
1 package Dream Whip--Whip with 1/2 c. milk & 1/2 tsp. vanilla according to pkg directions

Beat 8 oz. cream cheese with 3/4 c. powdered sugar. Fold in Dream Whip. Put in pie shell.

Prepare one package raspberry or strawberry Junket (available at HyVee above the Jell-O and I only use 1/2 package with 7/8 c. water) with 1 3/4 c. water. Boil until thick. Let cool a bit and then fold in 1 pint berries. Spoon on top of pie.

Chill. Enjoy!

Rhubarb Cheesecake

1 c. flour
1/2 c. butter (use 1/4 - 1/3 c.)
1/4 c. sugar

Rhubarb layer:
3 c. rhubarb
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour

Cream layer:
1/2 c. sugar
12 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs

8 oz. sour cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

For crust: Mix flour, sugar and butter. Pat into sprayed 10" pie plate or 9" springform pan.
For rhubarb layer: Combine rhubarb, sugar and flour; toss lightly and spoon into crust. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.
For cream layer: With electric mixer, beat cream cheese with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, them pour over hot rhubarb layer. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until set. Combine topping ingredients; spread over hot cheesecake. Chill.

Pumpkin Cranberry Cake

Streusel (I added the flour and oatmeal as it was syrup without it)
1/2 c. light brown sugar
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. quick-cooking oatmeal

2 c. cranberries, fresh or thawed frozen
1 pkg. (18.25 oz.) plain yellow cake mix (not with pudding in the mix)
1 pkg. (i oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. water
3 large eggs
1 c. canned pumpkin
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Make the streusel topping: Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork. Set aside.
2. Make the cake: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 13 x 9 inch metal cake plan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set the pan aside.
3. If using frozen cranberries, drain them well in a colander. Coarsely chop the cranberries and pat them dry with paper towels. Set the cranberries aside.
4. Place the cake mix, cream cheese, oil, granulated sugar, milk, water, eggs, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and 1 tsp. cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the mixture is smooth, 1 1/2 minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed. Stir in 1 cup of the chopped cranberries.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top with the ruber spatula, and sprinkle the remaining chopped cranberries on top. Scatter the streusel topping over the cake.
6. Bake until it is golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 45 to 50 minutes.
Chocolate Caramel Candy

2 teaspoons butter
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups marshmallow creme
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups chopped salted peanuts

1 package (14 ounces) caramels
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Line a 13-in. x 9-in. pan with foil; butter the foil with 2 teaspoons butter and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and peanut butter; stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Spread into prepared pan. Refrigerate until set.
For filling, in a small heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar and milk; bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; boil and stir for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the marshmallow creme, peanut butter and vanilla. Add peanuts. Spread over first layer. Refrigerate until set.
For caramel layer, in a small heavy saucepan, combine the caramels and cream; stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Cook and stir 4 minutes longer. Spread over the filling. Refrigerate until set.
For icing, in another saucepan, combine chips and peanut butter; stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Pour over the caramel layer. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 20 minutes before cutting. Remove from pan and cut into 1-in. squares. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 8 dozen.

Oatmeal Cookie-Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
4.5 oz. all-purposed flour (about 1 cup)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

11 c. sliced peeled peaches (about 5 pounds)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I mixed in a little brown sugar for flavor)
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
(I added about 1/2 tsp. cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350.
To prepare topping, place first 3 ingredients in a largr bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Weight or lightly spon 1 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1 cup flour, oats, baking powder, and salt; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed until blended. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

To prepare filling, combine sliced peeled peaches, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 Tbsp. flour, and fresh lemon juice in a bowl; toss to coat.

Spoon mixture into a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Dollop 12 mounds of chilled dough over peach mixture at even intervals. (I spread it out more than that.)

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Yield: 12 servings.

Triple layer brownies

1/2 c. margarine
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 T. cocoa
1/4 c. nuts (optional)
1 jar marshmallow creme

Mix above ingredients together. Bake at 350 in a 9 x 13-inch greased pan for 15 minutes. (You can also prepare brownies from a mix, for a 9 x 13 pan, and bake as directed). Remove from oven; spread 1 jar marshmallow creme over brownie layer. Bake until melted (2-3 minutes). Spread marshmallow over brownies. Cool.

12 oz. milk-chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups Rice Krispies

Melt the chips and peanut butter over low heat; stir in Rice Krispies. Spread over marshmallow layer. Allow to cool and set (takes a long time to set--for faster cooling/setting, may be refrigerated).

Raspberry Cake

1 white cake mix (18 1/4 ounces)

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese (I used Light)
1 c. confectioners' sugar
1 c. whipping cream, whipped
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 package Raspberry Danish Dessert (Junket--available at HyVee)

2 to 3 c. raspberries (I used frozen, defrosted)

Prepare cake according to page directions. Bake in greased and floured 13x9-inch pan. Set aside to cool. Mix cream cheese and 1 cup confectioners' sugar; fold in whipped cream combined with 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar. Spread filling on cool cake and chill in refrigerator. Mix Danish Dessert with 1 1/2 cups cold water; cook as directed. Cool. Mix in berries; spread over filling layer on cake. Refrigerate overnight.

Rhubarb Sour Cream Crumb Cake

Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Butter, softened
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Sour Cream
3 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

Crumb Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter

Topping Ingredients:
Heavy Whipping Cream, whipped, sweetened (I used lite Cool Whip instead)

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine sugar and 3/4 cup butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Add eggs and vanilla; continue beating until creamy.

Combine 2 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, mixing well after each addition. Toss together rhubarb and remaining 1/4 cup flour in same medium bowl; gently stir into batter. Spread evenly into greased 13x9-inch baking pan.

Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour and cinnamon in small bowl; cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

To serve, dollop each serving with whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional ground cinnamon, if desired.