Spike's & Jamie's Recipe Collection & a Whole Lot More!

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 69

How to use these pages:  Below is a list of the recipes on this page.  You can either scroll down the page and look at all of the recipes, or look at the titles.  When you find one that seems interesting, use your web browsers FIND function to take you directly to that recipe (on my IE browser it's Edit/Find (on this page)   or Ctrl - F on your keyboard).





































































8 medium apples, cored, peeled and finely chopped (about 8 cups)

Juice of 1 lemon (optional)

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup walnuts or almonds, chopped


cup butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add lemon juice to chopped apples to prevent discoloration. Set aside. Sift together sugar, flour, soda and cinnamon. Cut in butter or margarine with pastry blender or your fingertips. Stir in eggs. Add apples and mix into lumpy cake batter. Lightly grease 9-by-13-inch baking pan and pour in batter.

Bake 25 minutes, until cake pulls away from sides of pan. Remove and let cool several minutes before turning out onto a cake rack.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve as coffee cake or cover with brown sugar topping.

For topping

Melt butter or margarine in saucepan. Remove from heat and add sugar. Mix cornstarch in water and add to sugar mixture. Bring to low boil, stirring constantly until thick. Spread on cake.


A taste of the past



Mercury News

Nestled into the bottom of a shallow notch in the earth is an almost secret place where the air is cooled by Pacific fogs and the hillsides are warmed by a soft Santa Cruz County sun. Here is a place truly named. It is Pleasant Valley.

At this time of the year there is a bit more traffic than usual turning off two-lane Freedom Boulevard onto twisty Hames and Pleasant Valley roads. The drivers are following signs to the Apple Barn.

People come because it's apple picking time in the valley, and the 30-acre property produces 18 varieties of the nation's second most popular in-hand fruit, after bananas. Green ones, golden ones, red ones and hues in between. Some blush. Others glow. Three are simply Delicious.

All go snap. Biting into a picked-when-it-is-ripe apple makes a sound like stepping on a dry stick in the woods. Juice bubbles out like champagne when the cork is popped.

Apples have wonderful names, and the Apple Barn land grows some seldom-seen antique kinds, such as the giant King, considered a classic; a strong dark red Southerner named Blacktwig that dates from 1868 in Arkansas; and the Spartan, a red one with snowy-white flesh that cooks up soft.

It also has the Winter Banana, a bright yellow fellow first grown in Indiana that, when perfect, has a faint aroma of banana. A cooking apple, it has fine-grained, white flesh.

People think ``the only apple in the country is a red one,'' said Ed Silva, who knows his apples because his family has grown them in Pleasant Valley for more than 100 years.

Ed and his wife, Maybelle, like to meet their customers in the shade of the barn where the crop is sorted, graded, stored and sold.

See, there really is a old barn at the Apple Barn. It dates from 1882, when Manuel Joaquin Silva bought the land. His grandson, Ed, now 81, hopes his grandson, Nicholas, 8, will keep farming, even though the odds may be against it.

Despite ideal conditions and a 150-year history in the Watsonville area, apples are a fading crop in the county. Last year's total acreage was down to 3,182. A decade ago there were 4,800 acres of apple orchards, according to figures from the county's agriculture commissioner.

In the 1950s, there were 20 or more companies in the area that dried or packed apples. They are all gone, leaving premium juice maker S. Martinelli & Co. the only major buyer of apples in the Watsonville area.

``Martinelli is the last game in town,'' said Michael Theriot, president of the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau. He is owner of Bear Valley Ranch where, like his dad, Fred, before him, he grows apples on 70 acres.

``Apples were big here,'' Theriot said. ``At one time, every single little clearing had an orchard on it.''

Martinelli's recipe for its various juice products calls for a specific apple, the Newtown pippin. Grown by the Silvas and Theriot, the Newtown pippin is known as ``the prince of apples.''

Green skinned and yellow fleshed, it is both sweet and tart, nicely tangy but not too tart, with lots of juice. It has a heavenly, cidery flavor. Bite into a Newtown pippin and you'll never go back to Granny Smith.

The Newtown pippin first grew on Newtown Creek in Queens, N.Y., in the early 1700s. It spread south to Virginia and was planted at Monticello by Thomas Jefferson. Ben Franklin is said to have first taken them to England in 1759, where they became the rage of the age.

In 1838, two barrels of them were presented to newly crowned Queen Victoria. She was so won over she lifted a tax on imported apples. Thus the Newtown pippin earned its princely title because it was ``eaten and praised by royal lips and swallowed by many aristocratic throats,'' according to records from the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Monticello.

Although the Newton pippins are great eaten out of hand, most bought at the Apple Barn are used for pies and applesauce, the Silvas say.

The Silvas have regular customers for the various varieties who come year after year for apples for specific uses. Folks leave phone numbers or e-mail addresses, and the Silvas notify them when their favorites are ready.

In October, representatives from Saratoga's Yamagami Nursery came in to buy several bags of the more unusual varieties. The fruit was used in an apple taste-test at the nursery. Nurseries all over the country are stocking heirloom apples trees and holding apple tastings.

The idea is that customers may taste one, fall in love and buy the tree to plant at home.

Growers prefer to sell apples retail, as the Silvas do at the Apple Barn, for a much higher profit. Farm bureau president Theriot said a 40-pound box of apples may bring him $4.20 for juice. The retail price at a farm stand may be $1 a pound -- or $40.

Yet retail sales are iffy, not to be counted on.

``These days, people want a product, not the raw material. They'd rather buy the pie than buy the apple to make it,'' he said. ``People don't take the time anymore,'' added Ed Silva.

That's where the Silvas come in, serving as unpaid ambassadors from appledom. They give tours to school groups. The have a Web site with photos and apple information. They ship apples all over. Even the family's pet bulldog, Dakota, gets into it. Her favorite food is, yep, apples.

Spend an afternoon with Ed, and you learn there are more than 1,000 varieties of apples, with fans for each one. Not only do they have delightful names -- such as Northern Spy, Maiden's Blush, Blue Pearman, Fameuse (from Quebec), Blenheim Orange and the Duchess of Oldenburg (from 1800s Russia) -- but fascinating histories as well.

Jefferson planted pippins but had high praise for the spicy yellow-fleshed Spitzenberg with its orangish-red skin.

More varieties keep being developed. ``They come out every year with so many different varieties,'' said Maybelle Silva. Horticulturalists keep trying to come up with the next ``perfect'' apple to challenge the current No. 1 U.S. variety, the Red Delicious, which some say is falling from favor. Call it ripe for a fall.

One being talked about it a variety developed in Oregon. It's called the Hidden Rose, and it has yellowish skin and red flesh. Growers there claim it will do for the apple what the pink grapefruit did for that citrus.

It saddens growers such as the Silvas to know that consumers accept less, such as the mild and boring Red Delicious, when so much variety is possible.

``Most stores want to carry one red, one green and one yellow, and that's it,'' said Jim Rider, a Santa Cruz County specialist in heirloom varieties. The stores also want to carry an apple that is large, can be harvested in one picking, that doesn't show bruising and stores well, he said.

Most apples are stored after harvest and can linger in cold storage warehouses for up to a year. Next time you bite into an apple that lacks pop, has skin that wrinkles when you rub it and tastes mealy and arid, stop to consider you may be eating last year's apple. Talk about antique. It happens more than most people realize, growers say.

That's when you should jump in your car and drive over the hill to the Apple Barn. These days the old wooden barn, which has withstood a pair of killer earthquakes (1906 and 1989), is filled to the rafters with royalty in waiting, from Kings to princes.


Use tart apples to contrast with the sweet flavor of the yams.

4 large yams

4 tart apples, pared, cored but not peeled, cut into slices

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 ounces butter, unsalted

Bake yams until just tender. Remove, cool and peel. Cut into slices about 1/2-inch thick. Arrange sliced yams and apples in alternate layers in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle each layer with sugar and dash of nutmeg. Dot with butter. Cover dish and bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Serve with ham, game or smoked turkey.






3 large Globe artichokes, cleaned and steamed till tender

3 tablespoons cottage cheese

1 egg

1 teaspoon finely cut chervil leaves (or substitute parsley)

Dash of lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper


2 tablespoons cottage cheese

1/2 cup low-fat natural yogurt

2 teaspoons finely cut chervil leaves (or substitute parsley)

Pinch of cayenne pepper


Parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Scrape artichoke flesh from bottoms of leaves of cooked artichokes and chop with cooked artichoke bottoms, discarding choke. Puree artichoke meat with 3 tablespoons cottage cheese and the egg. Stir in chervil and season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Spoon mixture into 4 individual nonstick molds or small, greased ramekins. Cover molds with foil and put in larger pan. Add water to come halfway up sides of molds. Bake 20-25 minutes, until mousse is just firm to touch. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare sauce.

To prepare sauce: Mix together sauce ingredients in a small pan and bring just to boil. Adjust seasoning. Spoon sauce onto 4 plates, unmold a mousse in center of each plate and garnish with parsley.


The ABCs of cooking autumn's veggie trio


Special to the Mercury News

Prickly, clumpy and ugly are hardly adjectives to stimulate the appetite.

Yet they describe perfectly three of our area's cool-weather products: artichokes, Brussels sprouts and celeriac, an ABC of fall flavor.

The artichoke, a member of the thistle family, was once considered exotic. Today, it's as common as string beans. Vast fields of the silvery, fern-like foliage mark stretches of coastal Highway 1.

Rich in iodine and potassium, the artichoke's nutrients account for its intriguing flavor. Subtly bitter at first, it leaves a lingering sweetness.

To prepare the large Green Globe variety, pull off the coarsest outer leaves and cut away the stem, leaving about 2 inches to be scraped with a vegetable peeler. Kitchen scissors should be used to snip off the sharp tips. Next, cut across the top, discarding the top third. Keep artichokes in water mixed with lemon juice until ready to cook.

Alternatively, cut the artichoke in half through the stem, exposing the choke (fuzzy center) for removal with a spoon. With tough leaves removed and the heart trimmed, thin slices can be marinated and used raw in salads.

Brussels sprouts

Moss Landing's fields of Brussels sprouts sport lush, oval-leafed greenery and stalks 2 to 3 feet high. Around the central stalk hide the mini crucifers, clustered in the ``armpits'' of the leaves. Warning: Fields of sprouts may offend your olfactory sense, particularly during harvest.

Choose the smallest sprouts you can find and use them quickly. They provide a mysterious flavor and texture when thinly sliced and tossed raw with mixed greens.


The phrase ``beauty is only skin deep'' certainly applies to celeriac (se LARE ee ak), or celery root. The stalks of the Verona and Alabaster strains are inedible; the plants are grown only for the size and texture of their roots.

Celeriac may seem an exotic vegetable today, but Frank Ratto, a third-generation grower in Modesto, says that wasn't always so: ``The crops my grandfather, Antone Lawrence Ratto Sr., first planted in Oakland in 1905 weren't considered unusual. Then, they were part of the everyday diet, garden staples that appeared on many European family dinner tables: celery root, kohlrabi, cardone [cardoons], anise and arugula, roots and greens, all as common as potatoes.''

To cook celeriac, remove any ribs or stalks and scrub the grapefruit-sized root well. Peel with a short, sharp knife. Then slice, grate or julienne the fragrant root (or keep it in acidulated water until ready for final preparation). Serve raw, grate celeriac in a mustardy vinaigrette or cook enjoy it cooked in soup. TV chef Graham Kerr suggests adding 1 tablespoon grated celery root to a 6-ounce portion of mashed potatoes.


12- 16 baby artichokes, trimmed (do not halve)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup fresh snow peas or sugar snap peas (or thawed frozen)

1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked until soft in hot water, drained and sliced

(tough stems discarded)

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon dry sherry

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger


Boil artichokes about 10 minutes, or until just tender with a hint of crunch. Drain and cool. Cut in half.

Add oil to hot skillet. Stir-fry artichokes, snow or sugar snap peas and mushrooms for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and simmer, covered, about 1 minute or until vegetables are tender. Combine cornstarch with sherry, soy sauce and ginger. Add to vegetables. Cook and stir until liquid is clear. Salt to taste.

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp

(Red Lobster)

It's shrimp, it's bacon, it's cheese; what's not to like? It's one of the latest tasty appetizers on the Red Lobster menu, and now you can dupe it at home. Find some large shrimp, a wooden skewer, and cook the bacon about halfway to done before you begin. Mix up a clone of Red Lobster's top secret seasoning and the cilantro-ranch dipping sauce, and you're minutes away from scarfing down a delectable dish that's meant to be a teaser for what's to come. Looks like you'd better make the main coarse a real doozy. From Top Secret Recipes:


1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

dash ground black pepper

dash cayenne pepper

dash allspice

Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup ranch dressing

1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro

(or 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced cilantro)

5 pieces bacon

5 large shrimp

3 slices fresh jalapeno

1 ounce pepper jack cheese

Open the shrimp, put a jalapeno slice in there, a chunk of cheese on top, and wrap it all up with bacon.

When skewering, be sure to face all the shrimp the right direction -- like a tight little Rockettes kick line.

1. Preheat oven to broil.

2. Make the seasoning blend by combining the ingredients in a small bowl. Set this aside.

3. Make the dipping sauce by combining the ranch dressing with cilantro in a medium bowl.

4. Cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium/high heat, but don't cook it all the way to crispy. You want undercooked bacon that, when cool, will easily wrap around the shrimp. Cook the bacon about 3 minutes per side, and don't let it brown. When the bacon is done lay it on paper towels to drain and cool.

5. Shell the shrimp, leaving the last segment of the shell and the tail. Remove the dark vein from the back of the shrimp, and then cut down into the back of the shrimp, without cutting all the way through, so that the shrimp is nearly butterflied open. This will make a pocket for the pepper and cheese.

6. Pour 1 cup of water into a small bowl. Add the shrimp and jalapeno peppers and microwave for 60 to 90 seconds. Shrimp should be starting to firm up and change color. Immediately pour the water out of the bowl, remove the jalapeno slices and pour cold water over the shrimp. Place the the shrimp and jalapeno pepper slices onto paper towels to drain off excess water.

7. Build the appetizer by cutting the jalapeno slices in half and removing the seeds. You should now have 6 jalapeno slices -- you'll need 5 of these. Place one slice into the slit on the back of a shrimp. Cut an inch-long chunk of cheese (about 1/4-inch thick), and place it on the jalapeno slice. Wrap a piece of bacon around the shrimp, starting where the cheese is. Start wrapping with the thinnest end of the bacon. Go 1 1/2 times around the shrimp and then cut of the excess bacon and slide a skewer through the shrimp, starting with the end where the cheese is and piercing the cut end of the bacon on the other side. Repeat with the remaining shrimp and slide them onto the skewer with the tails facing the same direction.

8. Put the skewer onto a baking sheet or broiler pan and sprinkle a very light coating of the seasoning blend over the shrimp, then broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown and the cheese begins to ooze. Serve over a bed of rice if desired. Feed the left over bacon pieces to the dog while you scarf out on the shrimp. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) Serves 2 as an appetizer.


4 1/2 Cups sugar

1 12 oz can of evaporated milk

1/2 olb butter

2 12 oz pkgs of milk chocolate chips

1 12 oz pkg semisweet chocolate chips

2 7 oz jars marshmallow cream

2 tsp vanilla

2/3 Cup Bailey Irish Cream

2 Cups chopped nuts

Follow directions EXACTLY. Set chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, vanilla, Bailey's and nuts in a VERY large bowl. Set aside for later. Bring butter, sugar and milk to a boil and then cook slowly for exactly 11 minutes (don't ask why - just works), stirring CONSTANTLY. Pour milk mixtures over the other ingredients and stir slowly to blend. DO NOT USE MIXER Pour into a buttered 9x13 inch pan and chill very well. Cut cold.

I used a 9x13 pan AND a 8x8 pan and it was still good sized. I also lined the pan with foil and removed from pan to cut. I had a hard time getting it out of the pan. It stays kind of soft. Will never get very hard.


1 tb Fruity olive oil

1 sm Yellow onion, chopped

2 lg Garlic cloves, minced

1 md Red sweet pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1/2 lb Mild Italian sausage,

1/2 lb Fresh mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 1/2 c Milk, broth or water

3/4 c Yellow cornmeal

1 tb Chopped fresh sage

1 tb Chopped Italian parsley

1/4 ts Ground cayenne pepper

1 c Ricotta cheese

1/2 c Shredded gruyere cheese, or other swiss cheese


Freshly ground black pepper

4 tb Butter or margarine; melted

4 tb Grated parmesan cheese

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet; saute onion, garlic, and sweet pepper until hot through. Add crumbled sausage and continue cooking just until meat changes color. Stir in mushrooms and cook until hot through. Drain excess fat and set mixture aside. Place milk or other liquid in a large, heavy saucepan over moderately high heat; slowly add cornmeal, stirring briskly with a wire whisk to prevent lumping. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes, or until mixture is very thick and smooth; stir constantly to prevent scorching. Remove pan from heat and stir in herbs, cayenne pepper, and ricotta and

gruyere cheeses. Add sausage and sweet pepper mixture, combine well, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into two 9-inch pie plates lined with plastic wrap. Cool on a wire rack, then cover and refrigerate at least an hour, or as long as three days. When ready to serve dish, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut polenta in wedges and place on an oiled shallow baking pan large enough to hold polenta in one layer without crowding. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until polenta is lightly browned and very hot when tested with a small knife in center of wedge. Serve with Fresh Tomato Sauce, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley and sprigs of herbs.




1 package fresh cranberries

1-1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup orange juice

1 Tablespoon orange rind

1/4 cup Brandy

Combine all ingredients except the brandy in a 3 quart casserole. Mix well, cover with waxed paper and microwave on HIGH for five minutes. Stir well. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 to 7n minutes longer, until cranberries pop and sauce has thickened. Add brandy during last minute of cooking. Let stand covered until cool. Refrigerate. Can also be made in advance and frozen. Makes about two cups


2 cups peeled chestnuts, parboiled and peeled (see Note)

1 cup chicken broth

4 tablespoons butter, divided use

1 pound Brussels sprouts

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Braise chestnuts by bringing 1 cup of chicken broth and 2 tablespoons of butter to a boil in a saucepan with the chestnuts. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until chestnuts are tender but not mushy.

Trim and wash Brussels sprouts and steam or blanch until tender. Melt remaining butter in a large saucepan, add sprouts and chestnuts, and heat through. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Note: To peel chestnuts, cut an X in the flat side of each one, being sure to pierce the inner skin as well as the shell. Boil in large pot of salted water 5 to 10 minutes. Keep in warm water while peeling. Peel away outer shells and inner skin, using a small paring knife if necessary.


1 1/2 cups toasted pecans

1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

2 Tbs. water

1/2 cup sweet butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. baking soda

6 oz. semisweet chocolate, in pieces or chopped

In a food processor pulse the pecans until they are finely chopped. Sprinkle half the pecans on a 7 by 10 inch area on a buttered cookie sheet. Have the sheet, the vanilla and baking soda near the range.

In a heavy, medium sized saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, and butter, and stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Stir often to prevent burning until the mixture reaches 285 degrees. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. Pour the toffee mixture evenly over the 7 by 10 rectangle on top of the nuts.

Immediately scatter the chocolate pieces over the hot toffee. After about 5 minutes, spread the chocolate with a long metal spatula in an even layer. Dust the chocolate with the remaining chopped pecans.

Cool completely and break into irregular pieces. Stores in an airtight container for one month.


1 1/2 c. powdered creamer

1/2 c. sugar

3/4 c. instant coffee

1c. instant hot chocolate mix

Blend all ingredients in a blender until the coffee is powdered and mixed. The better the quality of the products used, the closer the flavor to General Foods International Coffees! Use 1 Tb. in 6 oz. hot water. Keep stored in an airtight container.


3 1/2 c. dry milk

1/2 c. cocoa

2 1/2 c. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 c. instant coffee

Blend all ingredients together until powdered consistency. Use 1 Tb. in 6 oz hot water. Keep stored in an airtight container.


3 1/2 cups flour

2 cups raw carrots, grated and loosely packed

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups salad oil

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained (save juice)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (optional)

Sift first six ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add pineapple to dry mixture Add eggs, oil and vanilla. Beat altogether for 3 minutes. Stir in grated carrots and

pineapple. Pour into 9x13 or 14x10 pan and bake at 350 degrees about 40 minutes. Test to make sure it is done.


4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese

2 tablespoons vanilla

Beat together until smooth. Spread on cold cake.


1/2 pound cooked meat (beef, lamb, pork or ham)

2 carrots

2 pounds whole celeriac

1 cup mayonnaise

1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Lemon juice

1/4 cup heavy or sour cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Capers (optional)

Julienne meat. Peel and julienne carrots and celeriac. Soak celeriac in lemon water while preparing dressing.

Season mayonnaise with enough mustard and lemon juice to give a sharp, tangy taste, then dilute with cream and season with salt and pepper. (Sauce should thickly coat a spoon.) Mix meat, carrots and drained celeriac. Gently toss in mayonnaise dressing. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Before serving, sprinkle capers on top. Salad will keep two to three days in refrigerator.


2 cups shredded potatoes (about 2 large)

2 green onions, minced

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided use

6 eggs, divided use

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 bunches green or red chard or spinach, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) crumbled feta cheese, divided use

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.

Place potatoes and green onions in a colander and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drain for 5 minutes, gently squeezing out any excess liquid.

Place in a medium bowl and add 1 egg, flour and pepper. Stir until well-blended. Press into prepared pie plate to form a crust. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is browned.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add red onion and cook for 4 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic and chard or spinach and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes, or until chard or spinach is wilted. Remove from heat, drain off excess liquid, and cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine remaining 5 eggs, 1 cup cheese, milk, oregano, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and chard mixture. Pour into baked crust. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs and remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve slivers of this pie as an alternative to potatoes with meat or fish. Or, for a light supper, serve a larger slice with a salad and warm bread.


4 boneless chicken breast - cut into stripes or bite size chucks

1 can condensed chicken broth

1 10 oz bag small shell pasta

5 large ripe tomatoes, diced

1 lb broccoli, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

oregano and basil to taste

2 cups half & half

Parmesan cheese to taste

olive oil

In separate pan cook pasta until done and drain water. Steam broccoli until tender. Cut chicken into stripes or bite size pieces and brown in olive oil in large skillet. Add oregano & basil, chicken broth and tomatoes, sauté for a few minutes. Add in half & half, stir. Add cooked broccoli and pasta. Stir well.


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup white sugar

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Combine flour, baking soda, white sugar and chocolate chips. Place half of mixture in wide-mouth, quart glass jar and pack firmly. Top with brown sugar, again packing firmly. Add remaining flour mixture. Cover with lid.

Attach an index card with the following directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Empty jar contents into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup butter, 1 1/2 eggs (whisk the second egg in a cup and measure out 2 tablespoons for 1/2 egg) and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add to dry mixture. Mix. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 2 dozen cookies.


2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick margarine

2 cans of crescent rolls

sugar and cinnamon for topping

Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Unroll one can of the crescent rolls and press into a 9" x 13" glass baking dish (ungreased). Spread cream cheese mixture over dough. Unroll second can of crescent roll dough and place on top of cream cheese mixture. Melt margarine and pour over top of dough. Sprinkle generous amount of sugar and cinnamon mixture over top of melted margarine. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. (DO NOT OVERBAKE)







2 tablespoons instant coffee granules

1 cup butter or margarine -- softened

1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup pecans -- finely chopped

Sifted powdered sugar

Crush coffee granules into fine powder, using mortar and pestle or back of spoon; set coffee powder aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1/3 cup powdered sugar, beating well. Add coffee powder, vanilla, flour, and pecans, mixing until well blended. Cover and chill at least 1 hour .

Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks; cool 10 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar; cool completely on wire racks. Roll in powdered sugar again, if desired. Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen


9 slices bacon -- chopped

2 cups chopped onion

2-1/2 pounds butternut squash -- peeled, seeded, cut into 1/3-inch pieces

18 ounces baby spinach leaves

16 ounces frozen corn kernels -- thawed

6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Sauté bacon in large pot over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Add onions and squash. Sauté until squash is almost tender, about 12 minutes. Add spinach and corn. Toss until spinach wilts and corn is heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve. Yield: 12 servings.


3/4 lb. ground beef

1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's(r) Tomato Soup

1 Italian bread shell (12")

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

PREHEAT oven to 450°F. COOK beef in skillet until browned. Pour off fat. ADD soup and heat through. Spread beef mixture over shell to within 1/4" of edge. Top with cheese. Bake 12 min. or until cheese is melted. Serves 4.


(Devil's Food)

Former U.S. President James Madison's wife did not create this baking company, despite the fact that her name is on every carrot cake, crumb cake and Zinger that comes off the production line. It was instead company founder Roy Nafziger's brainstorm to use the former first lady's name, since she was notorious for throwing huge shindigs at the nation's Capitol featuring a fine selection of desserts and baked goods. Nafziger said his company would create cakes "fine enough to serve at the White House." While I don't expect you'll be treated to a tray of Zingers on your next stay in the Lincoln Bedroom, I will agree that these little snack cakes are a tasty way to appease a sweet tooth. You can craft a version at home by making little cake pans out of aluminum foil that is wrapped around an empty prescription pill bottle. The cake batter is easy, since you just use any instant devil's food cake mix. I like Duncan Hines, but you can use whatever you want. As for the frosting, it may not come out as dark brown as the original since the recipe here doesn't include brown food coloring (caramel coloring). But the taste will be right on. And I think President Clinton would agree that as long as the sweet little treats taste good, appearance is secondary. From Top Secret Recipes:


Duncan Hines devil's food cake mix

1 1/3 cups water

1/2 cup oil

3 large eggs


2 teaspoons hot water

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups marshmallow creme (one 7-ounce jar)

1/2 cup shortening

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup Hershey's chocolate syrup

2 tablespoons shortening

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

dash salt

Tear off a bunch of foil pieces large enough to accomplish the following: Make your mini cake pans by folding the foil two times and wrapping around a pill bottle. Empty prescription medicine bottles are actually good for something. Use a toothpick or skewer to dig three caverns in the cakes where the filling will live. Later you will cleverly hide these holes with frosting.

1. Prepare the cake batter following the directions on the box. If you use Duncan Hines brand, you will need 1 1/3 cups of water, 1/2 cup of oil and three eggs. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. To prepare the cake pans that will make cakes the size of Zingers, tear off 20 pieces of aluminum foil that are each about 8 inches wide. Fold the foil in half and then in half once more so that you have a rectangular piece of foil. Wrap this piece of foil around a small prescription medicine bottle. Tuck in the ends and take the bottle out, leaving the foil open at the top. This will form a little pan. Flatten the bottom so that the mini pan stand up straight. Place this into a baking pan and repeat with the remaining pieces of foil. When you have arranged all of the foil pans in a baking pan, spray the inside of all the pans with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each little pan about halfway with cake batter. Bake cakes for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

3. To make the filling, combine the hot water with the salt in a small bowl and stir until the salt is dissolved. Let this mixture cool.

4. Combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Add the salt mixture to the bowl and mix.

5. To make the chocolate frosting, combine all the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer until smooth.

6. To assemble your snack cakes first poke three holes with a toothpick or skewer in the top of a cake and swirl around inside the holes making little caverns for your filling.

7. Use a pastry bag with a small tip to squeeze some filling into each hole. Careful not to overfill, or your cake will burst open. Sure, it's exciting, but this mess won't make for a good clone.

8. Once the cake is filled, use a butter knife to spread frosting on top of the cake over the holes. Drag a fork lengthwise over the frosting making groves, just like the real thing. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) Makes 20 snack cakes.


preheat oven to 375 degrees.

5 eggs

3/4 c. butter

2 lbs. br. sugar

12 cups flour

3 t. baking powder

2 t. salt

2 c. milk

2 t. vanilla

approx. 1 1/2 c. FINELY chopped walnuts

In one very large bowl mix brown sugar and butter and then add eggs and vanilla and mix again. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Then begin to alternately add the flour and the milk to the brown sugar mixture, continually mixing. Be sure to use a self-mixing mixer, this is a very thick dough (don't use the little hand mixers, they are not strong enough.) After you have combined it all together then stir

in the crushed walnuts. Bake for 10 minutes. Frost them with 7-minute frosting.


1 cup hot water

1 (3-ounce) package lime gelatin

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 cup cottage cheese

1/2 cup minced celery

1 tablespoon chopped pimento

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 teaspoon fresh or bottled lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Pour hot water over gelatin in a medium bowl, stirring until dissolved. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until consistency of an unbeaten egg white. Add pineapple, cottage cheese, celery, pimento and pecans or walnuts.

Pour into an 8-inch square pan. Refrigerate overnight.

To make frosting, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice and peel. Mix until smooth. Frost the firm salad.

To serve, cut salad into squares and place each square on a lettuce leaf and top with a pecan or walnut half.


1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter -- melted

11 ounces cream cheese -- (1 8-oz plus 1 3-oz pkg)

1 quart chocolate ice cream

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Combine cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter; mix well. Press on bottom and 1-3/4 inches up sides of an 8-inch spring form pan. Chill. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Set aside. Stir ice cream just to soften; gradually add to cream cheese, beating with mixer until smooth. Fold in chocolate; pour into crust. Cover; freeze for 8 hours or overnight. To serve, let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. 10 servings.


1 box Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1/2 cup walnuts, optional

Powdered sugar

In a large bowl combine cake mix, oil, eggs and walnuts, if using. Mix well. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Coat each ball in powdered sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until set.


1 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream

1 1/2-2 pounds small Brussels sprouts

Salt to taste

3 ounces slab bacon, sliced into 1/2-inch by 1/4-inch strips

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly butter a medium-size gratin dish. In a small saucepan, simmer cream over medium heat until it is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Trim base of sprouts, discard tough outer leaves, and rinse well. Place sprouts in medium-size saucepan with salt to taste and water to cover. Bring to boil and continue boiling for 1 minute. Drain and refresh sprouts under cold running water.

Saute bacon in small skillet until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and coarsely chop.

Combine sprouts and bacon in buttered gratin dish and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour cream over sprouts and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until nicely browned and crispy on top, about 15 minutes. Serve at once.


2-1/4 pounds green beans -- ends trimmed

5 tablespoons butter

3 large red bell peppers -- thinly sliced

1 large onion -- thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh marjoram

3/4 cup sliced almonds -- toasted

Cook green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain well; set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onion and sauté until peppers are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in marjoram. (Beans and bell pepper mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)

Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beans and pepper mixture and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with almonds. Yield 10 servings.



4 Cups Water

1/4 lb butter

1 cup polenta

2 tsp ground white pepper

1 Tbs. minced fresh parsley

1 tsp fresh thyme

1/2 cup green onions, minced

Shiitake mushrooms

1/2 cup mushrooms, minced

Sun-dried tomatoes for garnish

1/4 lb fontina cheese, sliced thin

1/2 cup dry white wine

Pinch of salt & pepper

Bring water, salt, pepper, and thyme to a boil in large saucepan. Slowly beat polenta with a whisk to avoid lumps. Reduce heat to low and stir to prevent sticking. Cook slowly for 10 minutes. In a separate pan, saute mushrooms and green onions in 2 tbsp of butter until cooked through and just beginning to brown. Season with a little salt and pepper, add wine and reduce until most of the wine cooks away. Add to polenta mixture with remaining butter and parsley.

Off heat, spread polenta mixture on buttered cake pan or cookie sheet so that it is approx. 1/2" thick. Cool, cover with plastic and refrigerate up to a day in advance. To

complete the dish, cut polenta into diamonds or other interesting shapes.

Grill over mesquite until surface is slightly toasted. Turn, place a slice of Fontina cheese on top and allow to just melt. Serve warm, garnished with grilled shiitake mushrooms and slivers of sun-dried tomatoes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.






3 cups Flour

3 1/3 tablespoons Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Parsley -- flakes

1/4 teaspoon Paprika

3 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast

Place yeast into a small zip baggie and set aside, or set aside a prepackaged envelope of yeast. Mix and place remaining ingredients into a quart sized jar. Lay baggie of yeast on top of mix and apply lid. To make the bagels later, you will need the following additional ingredient:

1 1/8 cups Water

Place all ingredients into bread pan of your bread maker, in the order recommended by manufacturer. Insert the bread pan into the bread maker, and select "Dough" and loaf size (1 1/2 lb. loaf) Select desired delay option, and press Start.

When dough cycle has completed, remove dough from bread maker, and set aside

two 1/4 inch balls of dough. You will use these later to determine if it is time to boil your bagels. If the dough pops to the top of the boiling water right away, you are ready! Place dough on a floured surface and divide into 8 equal portions. Form balls, and gently press your thumb through the middle of each ball, and slowly stretch dough into a bagel shape. Leave bagels to rise on same floured surface, lightly covered with a towel. While

bagels are rising, bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 Tbsp. sugar to boiling water and stir to dissolve sugar. Drop first dough ball (you set these aside earlier) into boiling water, using a slotted spoon. When dough balls pass the test, you are ready to boil your bagels by dropping them carefully into the boiling water, 2 or 3 at a time. Boil on each side for 1 1/2 minutes, then remove from water and cool on a wire cooling rack for 1 minute.

Brush each bagel with an egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbsp. water) and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. (Non stick cooking spray may be substituted for egg wash).

Bake at 400 degrees F on baking sheet which has been sprinkled with cornmeal can use greased baking sheet), for 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown. Variation: Try sprinkling with Parmesan cheese and garlic bread seasoning for a more pronounced Italian flavor.






2 ounces unsalted butter

3 pounds heirloom apples, peeled, cored and sliced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

1/3 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger

Zest of 1 orange

1 cup heavy cream, plus additional to brush crust

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Gently melt 2 ounces butter in sauté pan over medium heat. Stir in apples, lemon juice, sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons flour. Partially cover and cook gently until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Transfer to buttered 10-inch pie dish.

Combine remaining flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in ginger.

Stir orange zest into cream; then, using a fork, stir cream into flour until it holds together. Gather dough into a ball; knead briefly then roll out until it is a little larger than the top of the pie dish. Transfer to top of dish and trim off excess. Cut hole in center of dough. Brush with cream.

Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.


10 C (2 1/2L) Dry Milk Powder (can use low fat)

4 3/4 C (~500g) Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1 3/4 C (~200g) Unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 jar (6 oz 1 1/2dL)Powdered Non-Dairy Creamer, sifted

Optional Whipped cream or Marshmallows

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk powder, confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and creamer. Stir till thoroughly combined. Store cocoa mixture in an airtight container. Makes enough for about 45 servings. For a serving: Place 1/3 cup cocoa mixture in a mug Add 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve. If desired, top with dollop of whipped cream or a few marshmallows



1 cup Cottage Cheese, dry curd

1 cup Lowfat Ricotta Cheese

1 Egg

1 tablespoon Sugar

1 cup Flour

1 cup Milk, skim

3 Eggs

Vegetable Oil

2 tablespoons Margarine

Yogurt, skim milk -- plain

Make the cheese filling by beating cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, 1 egg and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Make the batter by combining the flour and milk with the 3 eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat to make a smooth batter.

Heat a 6- or 8-inch skillet. Coat with vegetable oil and pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the batter. Tilt the pan to distribute the batter over the bottom of the skillet. Cook until the dough is firm and browned. Remove from the pan and place on a lightly-oiled plate with browned side up. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling onto the edge of the pancake. Roll up by bringing the edge with the filling to the center of the pancake, fold in each side, and fold over once more to make a sealed pouch. Continue with the rest of the batter. When ready to serve, heat the margarine in a skillet. Fry the blintzes until golden brown on all sides. Serve with yogurt.


1) Crumble stuffing/dressing and toss in chopped turkey. (Can freeze and then defrost when ready to use.) Cut small acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Stuff with turkey mixture and bake, covered, at 375 degrees until squash is fork tender (about 45-60 min.). Remove cover and allow to brown or sprinkle with your favorite cheese and allow to melt (10-15 min.). The same idea works with small pumpkins or bell peppers. Mushrooms, zucchini squash, and eggplant will also work. Scoop out raw

centers, dice, and saute. Toss cooked veggies with stuffing and then assemble and bake as above. Just be sure to adjust cooking times according to size of vegetable.

2) Instead of the usual fruit salad, serve a Waldorf salad for Thanksgiving. After the meal, stir in chopped turkey, black pepper, and a little mayo. Stuff pitas or croissants with the salad mixture and leafy lettuce or sprouts.

3) Roughly mash deviled eggs with a fork and use as a sandwich spread or celery stuffer.

4) Roll up a dab of cranberry sauce and a small piece of turkey in each triangle of refrigerated crescent roll dough. Tuck tips underneath and bake according to package. Makes a nice light lunch or supper.

5) Add a little sour cream, crumbled bacon, and black pepper to mashed potatoes. Spoon into casserole dish, sprinkle generously with chopped green onion or chives, and top with cheddar cheese. Bake in moderate oven until heated through.

6) Instead of the usual tossed salad or pickle platter, consider serving the following for Thanksgiving. Later, saute or roast leftover veggies with juices until tender, then toss with chopped turkey (opt.) and cooked pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if you wish.


3/4 cup butter or margarine -- softened

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, lemon peel, and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating after each addition. Fill paper bake cups in muffin pans half full with batter. Combine coconut and pecans; sprinkle atop cupcakes, pressing lightly into batter. Bake in 375 degrees F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen

cupcakes (1 per serving).



Why waste time chopping up the lettuce when you can just hack a head into four chunks, dress it up and serve? This unique presentation is not only easy to make, but also a deliciously different way to serve your next salad. The creamy bleu cheese dressing is a cinch to make from scratch and tastes much better than anything you'll buy in a store. Add a bit of extra crumbled bleu over the top, some freshly diced tomatoes, and you're well on your way to a fancy-pants side salad that'll surely impress. From

Top Secret Recipes:

Bleu Cheese Dressing

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 head iceberg lettuce

1 cup crumbled bleu cheese

1 cup diced tomato (1 large tomato)

Do the wedge.

1. Use an electric mixer to combine all ingredients for bleu cheese dressing in a medium bowl.

2. Slice a head of iceberg lettuce into quarters through the stem end. Cut the stem off of the wedges and arrange each one on a plate.

3. Spoon about 1/4 cup of bleu cheese dressing over each lettuce wedge.

4. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of crumbled bleu cheese over the dressing.

5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced tomato over the top and serve. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) Makes 4 servings.


When the weather gets cold it's time to fire up the stovetop. This chain makes a tasty chili that warms the bones on a nippy fall day. This clone recipe is easy-to-make, low-fat and delicious. And if it's super brisk outside, you might want to add an additional tablespoon of diced jalapeno to aggressively stoke those internal flames. From Top

Secret Recipes:

1 pound ground beef

1 diced onion

1 tablespoon diced fresh jalapeno pepper

1 15-ounce can kidney beans with liquid

1 14.5-ounce can peeled diced tomatoes

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 cup water

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 bay leaf


grated cheddar cheese

diced onion

canned whole jalapeno chili peppers

Hot enough for you?

1. Brown ground beef in a large saucepan over medium heat. Drain fat.

2. Add onion and pepper and sauté for about two minutes.

3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve one cup in a bowl with the optional cheese, diced onion and whole jalapeno garnish on top. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) Makes 4 servings.


1 cup macaroni (I like twist trio noodles)

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

1/4 pound American cheese (sliced, unless you want to spend lots of time

cubing or shredding)

Cook macaroni 5 minutes, drain and rinse. Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour, salt and pepper, blend. Add milk, stir. Slowly add cheese to hot mixture, stirring constantly. Mix with macaroni in greased casserole dish or crock pot. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Or for crockpot:

4-6 hours on low

2-3 hours on high

I multiply this recipe by 4 when I use the crock pot.


8 oz. fresh mushrooms, halved or quartered

1 bunch fresh broccoli, cut into florets

1 bell pepper, sliced thinly

1 small onion, sliced thinly

1 pint cherry tomatoes (opt.)

1 can artichoke hearts, drained (opt.)

1 bottle Italian or Greek salad dressing,


Toss all together and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.




3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup water

12 oz milk chocolate morsels

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1 tsp. Vinegar

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar and salt. Bring to full boil, stirring constantly. Boil 3 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. Add chocolate morsels; stir quickly until melted. Stir in pecans. Quickly drop by measuring tablespoonfuls onto foil lined cookie sheets (work as rapidly as possible as mixture tend to set up quickly). Garnish with pecan halves, if desired. Refrigerate until set (about 20 minutes). Peel candies off to serve. Store in refrigerator.


5 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken stock

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each) or 18 oz chicken tenders

1 medium onion, about 8 ounces

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tsp hot paprika or harissa (or 3/4 tsp sweet paprika mixed with 1/4 tsp cayenne

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 medium zucchini, about 12 ounces

1/2 cup instant couscous

1 16-ounce can chickpeas

8 sprigs cilantro

Put chicken stock in large saucepan over high heat. Cover and bring to boil.

Meanwhile, put oil in a 12-inch saute pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cut chicken into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes. Add to pan, raise heat to high, stir once or twice.

While chicken browns, peel and quarter onion and put it in food processor. Pulse just until chopped or chop by hand. Add onion, cumin, ginger and paprika to pan with chicken. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, stir and cook 2 minutes. Add stock to saute pan, scraping any bits from bottom with wide wooden spoon. Cover and bring to boil, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, trim zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide half moons. Add zucchini and the couscous to saute pan, stir and cover.

Open can of chickpeas into small colander, rinse and drain briefly. Add to saute pan. Cover and let soup return to boil, then lower heat slightly so soup simmers briskly for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. While the soup simmers, chop cilantro leaves. Stir into soup and serve.


Organic movement stresses flavor over shelf life


Today, many of us health-conscious eaters desire, even demand, that foods from supermarkets and restaurants be as good and pure as foods enjoyed by families who lived three generations ago. Our voices are being heard.

Look around you. Signs of this retro food evolution are everywhere. Even as recently as the 1980s, supermarkets separated tomatoes strictly by type -- plum or beefsteak, for instance. Now, they are distinguished by variety, color and how they are grown.

Instead of being grown for flavor and ripened by the sun, the majority of supermarket tomatoes usually spend their infancy inside huge greenhouses. They are nursed with synthetic fertilizers and engineered for shelf life and visual appeal.

After their stay in the greenhouse, they are transplanted to mile-stretching fields saturated with 400 to 600 pounds per square acre of fertilizer and fumigated with methyl bromide, a toxic gas. Weekly, crop planes unleash fungicides and insecticides that destroy plant pests and diseases -- and, unfortunately, some migrating birds. But the public has been led to believe that these are the best kinds of tomatoes because they are uniform and perfect-looking.

Today, in many stores, there are more choices. Look for the smaller tomato section, the one that is vibrant with an array of colors and shapes, and yes, the one that typically costs a little more per pound. There is a good chance that you will spot the ``certified organic'' label -- a signal to health-conscious shoppers that each and every one of these red, gold, purple and green beauties enjoyed a splendid beginning. They developed from strains that inherently have unique flavors, have not been genetically modified, and are grown in nutrient-rich soil on small, local organic farms free of artificial chemicals, pesticides and commercial fertilizers.

This organic return stretches beyond your local supermarket. Many restaurant owners now proudly highlight their menus with dishes made from organic ingredients, showcasing farms' names and indicating their preference for organically raised foods.

Whom should we thank for starting the organic food movement? Perhaps the better question is, who rescued it and brought it back?

Before 1900, all food was organically grown. Of course, farmers and shoppers didn't call it by that phrase. They didn't need to. They knew that what they ate came from a local farmer they probably knew, who had grown it with care. There was no need to be concerned about safety or pollution.

Then the age of mass production arrived, intermingled with a couple of world wars. America had many more mouths to feed. We needed to grow lots of food in a hurry.

Scientists discovered that chemicals sprayed on crops could kill pests and plant diseases instantly. They also developed artificial flavorings to perk up people's palates and preservatives to make foods last longer and maintain eye-catching appearance. Produce grown in South Florida began to be loaded into large trucks and train cars to be delivered 3,000 miles away to supermarkets all over the country.

As we hastened to produce food more quickly, a few visionaries began questioning the price that our bodies and our planet were paying for this technology. In the 1930s, Sir Albert Howard, a British agricultural scientist, was the first to consciously reject modern ``agri-chemical'' methods. He argued that artificial fertilizers and insecticides had no place in farming. He figured out a way to turn town wastes -- animal manure, compost, grass turf and straw -- into usable nutrient materials that were tilled into the soil to nourish plants in a safe way. He called this recycling system the ``Wheel of Life.''

In the United States, J.I. Rodale embraced Sir Albert's views. It was Rodale who in 1940 popularized the term ``organic.'' Rodale left New York City and purchased a 65-acre farm in rural eastern Pennsylvania. He grew all his crops without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Rodale strongly believed that healthy soil produces healthy foods, which in turn, help keep people healthy. He began sharing his philosophy in 1942, when he founded Organic Gardening magazine, a publication continued by his grandchildren. He remains one of my first heroes in the organic farming movement. (Rodale Press, which he also founded, is publisher of my new book, from which this article is excerpted.)

Even back in the 1940s, Rodale warned that using pesticides and artificial fertilizers would pollute our farmlands, lakes, rivers and air. An excerpt from his book, ``Pay Dirt'' reads: ``People felt they could afford -- with a continent to develop -- to wear out a farm and move to another. That day has passed. Badly eroded, worn-out soil will not recover overnight, but fertility can be restored. Land still fertile can be kept so, with composts, and be constantly improved.''

There are many modern-day heroes carrying forth these beliefs. They range from the founders of organic food companies to the small local farmers doing their bit one acre at a time. Behind the scenes are researchers studying the health advantages of organic foods and many non-profit organizations supporting the environment and sustainable politics.

I salute all those working for this great goal.

Excerpted and adapted with permission from ``Your Organic Kitchen'' (Rodale Press,

$30) by Jesse Ziff Cool.




4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 leeks (white part only), thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 small celery stalk, thinly sliced

1 pound parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

6 cups vegetable stock or canned low-salt vegetable broth or chicken broth

1 tablespoon kosher salt

3/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

For curried apples:

2 small, tart apples such as Pippin or Granny Smith, peeled, cored and diced

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 tablespoons clarified unsalted butter

2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic chives for garnish

In a soup pot, melt butter over medium heat and saute leeks and onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add celery, parsnips and carrot, and saute for about 5 minutes. Add stock or broth and salt. Turn heat to high and stir until soup simmers. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Add coconut milk, orange zest, cayenne and vinegar. Return to a simmer, then remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in a blender. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and keep warm.

To make curried apples: Toss diced apples with curry powder to coat evenly. In medium skillet over high heat, heat clarified butter and saute apples just long enough to infuse curry, about 30 seconds.

Divide curried apples among warmed soup bowls. Ladle soup over apples. Sprinkle with garlic chives and serve.


1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened

3 ounces cream cheese -- softened

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter or margarine -- softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream together the 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese. Stir in flour; mix well. Cover; chill about an hour.

Stir together egg, sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, vanilla, and a dash of salt just until smooth; set aside. Shape pastry dough into 2 dozen 1-inch balls; place each in ungreased 1-3/4-inch muffin cup. Press dough onto bottom and sides. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the chopped pecans into each muffin cup; fill with egg mixture. Bake in 325 degree F. oven about 25 minutes or until set. Cool; remove from pans. Yield: 2 dozen (2 per serving).


1 cup water

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

12 ounces cranberries

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Pinch of salt

Combine 1 cup water and brown sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries. Simmer until berries burst, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in thyme, mustard, and salt. Cool completely. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) about 8 servings.


1 lb. ground beef

2 tbsp. water

1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

1 jar (28 oz.) Prego(r) Traditional Pasta Sauce

4 cups hot cooked spaghetti

MIX ground beef, water, bread crumbs and egg. Shape into 12 (2") meatballs. Arrange in 2-qt. microwave-safe baking dish. MICROWAVE on HIGH 5 min. or until done. Pour off fat. Add pasta sauce. Cover. Microwave 3 min. or until hot. Serve over spaghetti.


Dry Ingredients:

4 C flour

3 C sugar

2 t baking soda

1 1/2 t cinnamon

1 t allspice

1/2 t cloves

1 1/2 C chopped walnuts, pecans, raisins

Wet Ingredients:

1 C oil

2 C pumpkin

4 eggs

2/3 C water

Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl and mix. Combine all wet ingredients in separate bowl and mix. Now combine wet & dry ingredients together. Pour mixture into greased loaf pans and bake at 350º F 1 hr. Makes 2 loaves.


1 large (30 oz.) can pumpkin pie mix, (this already has the spices and sugar in it)

4 eggs

12 oz. can evaporated milk

1 yellow cake mix

1 c. butter, melted

1 c. nuts

Mix pumpkin pie mix, eggs and milk together and pour in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Drizzle butter over cake mix, sprinkle nuts over butter. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Serve with whipped cream or Cool Whip.



2 Cups Canned Pumpkin

1 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup Flour

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 teaspoon Salt

a pinch of Baking Soda

1/2 stick Butter or Margarine

1 can (12 oz) Evaporated Milk (NOT sweetened condensed)


1/4 Cup Sugar

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Mix all pudding ingredients except butter. Melt butter in a casserole dish, add pumpkin mixture. Mix together 1/4 Cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on top. (If desired, you may also sprinkle 1/4 Cup of chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans on top before baking). Bake at 450 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until firm.


2 tablespoons butter

2 medium onions, sliced

2 largish celeriac (2 pounds trimmed)

1 pound all-purpose or Russet-type potatoes, peeled, quartered

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Scant 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

3 cups water

2-3 cups milk

White pepper to taste

Heat butter in heavy, flame-proof casserole; stir in onions and toss. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes.

Scrub and peel celeriac and cut into rough slices. Add to onions. Add potatoes, salt and celery seed and toss. Add water and 2 cups milk; simmer gently, covered, until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.

Purée in blender or processor in batches, keeping soup chunky. Return to the pot. Add milk to desired consistency. Season with white pepper and more salt if needed.


Give yourself some time to make a tough decision because there are nearly two dozen gourmet burgers on the Red Robin menu to pick from, not to mention scores of other fantastic food choices. Red Robin claims its steak fries are world-famous, and when you get a burger your fries are served up on the side in a "bottomless" portion. Want some more fries? Just ask and you can have as many as your belly can pack in. But we found out that the burgers and fries have a very special secret ingredient in common that makes them taste so good: It's the Red Robin seasoning that's sprinkled on the food. Next time you make a burger, sprinkle some our version of the seasoning blend over the patty. Cook up some frozen steak fries or french fries and sprinkle a little of this blend over the top. You'll all sorts of uses for this versatile spice. And the recipe makes a portion that should fit nicely in an empty spice bottle. From Top Secret Recipes:

3 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon instant tomato soup mix (Knorr tomato with basil works great)

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Store in a covered container. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) Makes 1/3 cup.





12 medium to large cipollini onions OR 24 to 32 pearl onions

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

8 garlic cloves

1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup water

1 fresh rosemary sprig

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel cipollini; if using pearl onions, blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes, then slip off the peels. In a saute pan or skillet large enough to hold onions in one layer, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer onions to small roasting pan or gratin dish and add remaining ingredients. Cover with foil and bake until onions are tender when pierced with knife, 20 to 35 minutes.


Layer in wide-mouth quart canning jar:

1/3 cup cocoa

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

Seal jar tightly.

Use a computer to print sticker with the following directions, or hand-print and attach to jar.

Mix with jar ingredients:

3 eggs

2/3 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place in greased 8-inch or 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


1 fresh turkey, 14 pounds

1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 lemons, halved

8 bay leaves

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup dry white wine or water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove neck and giblets from turkey cavity. Season cavity with salt and pepper. Squeeze 2 lemon halves into cavity. Put squeezed and unsqueezed lemon halves into turkey cavity.

Carefully slip your fingers between skin and the meat on breast and legs of turkey. Slip bay leaves between skin and meat. Rub turkey all over with olive oil and place in roasting pan.

Create tent of aluminum foil over turkey. Place turkey in oven. Cook 30 minutes per pound. Remove foil from turkey about an hour before turkey is finished cooking, so skin will turn golden brown. When turkey is done, the leg will move easily in socket. Remove turkey from oven and carefully turn turkey on its breast, so juices will run back into meat. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before transferring to serving platter.

Add dry white wine or water to cooking juices in pan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring and scraping bottom of pan, until liquid has reduced by about a third. Season to taste and serve with turkey.


1 cup Uncle Ben's converted rice

1 medium onion, chopped

1 stick butter (can use margarine if watching fat gram intake)

1 - 10&1/2 oz. can Beef Broth

1 - 10&1/2 oz. can Beef Consomme'

1 - 4 oz. can mushroom slices, drained

Saute' the onion in the melted butter. When it starts to turn golden, add the uncooked rice and saute'. Watch this very closely, stirring constantly, as it turns golden all of a sudden and can get too brown very quickly. When onion & rice are golden, remove from stove. Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Add the drained mushrooms, then add both the Broth and Consomme'. Stir slightly. Place in oven, covered, and bake at 325 degrees for about 1&1/2 hours, or till rice has absorbed soups. (This can easily be

warmed up for a second meal, IF there are any leftovers, by adding a bit of water or broth before heating.)


1 lb. ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1 can (10 1/2 oz) tomato soup

1 tbsp. or to taste chili powder

Hamburger buns

Brown ground beef, onion and green pepper in skillet until beef is browned and vegetables are soft. Add tomato soup and chili powder. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve on hamburger buns. This is also good on baked potatoes, rice, any kind of starch. It can also be simmered longer, but if a hurry 10 minutes will do.


1 spaghetti squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 can (2 ounces) anchovies, drained and chopped

2 tablespoons capers

1 tablespoon lemon zest

36 clams (such as littleneck, manilla or cherrystone), scrubbed

1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice

1/2 cup dry vermouth

1-2 teaspoons red-pepper flakes (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Asiago, Romano or Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out and discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a heavy baking dish and add 1 cup water. Bake for 35 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly.

When cool, using a fork, scrape crosswise to pull strands of squash away from shell. Place in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, anchovies, capers and lemon zest. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

While squash is cooling, add clams, clam juice, and vermouth to skillet with garlic mixture. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until clams open. Discard any unopened clams. Add red-pepper flakes, if using, and parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with cheese.








2 packages Jello Raspberry Sugar-Free Gelatin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups boiling water

1 can WHOLE BERRY cranberry sauce

1/2 cup cold water

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 orange, sectioned and diced (I sometimes use a can of Mandarin Oranges)

Dissolve gelatin and salt in boiling water. Add cranberry sauce, cold water, lemon juice, cinnamon and cloves. Refrigerate until thickened, about 1-1/2 hours. Stir in orange. Spoon into 5-cup mold. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

Unmold onto moistened serving plate. Garnish as desired. Makes 10 servings.



(Makes 1 gallon)

1/3 cup olive oil

3 medium onions, minced

3 carrots, minced

3 celery stalks, minced

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 cup minced fresh parsley

1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, including juice

2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/4 cup dry red wine

2 teaspoons dried oregano or 2 tablespoons fresh

2 teaspoons dried marjoram or 2 tablespoons fresh

4 teaspoons dried basil or 1/4 cup chopped fresh

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large kettle, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and parsley. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Break up the Italian plum tomatoes and add along with the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Then add the wine, dried herbs and pepper. (If you are using fresh herbs, add during the last half hour of cooking.)

Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Serve over hot pasta or use in a baked pasta dish.


1/2 lb sliced bacon

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

12 eggs

1 cup milk

1 16 oz pkg of frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dill weed

In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon; crumble and set aside. In the drippings, saute onion and green pepper until tender; remove with a slotted spoon. Beat eggs and milk in a large bowl. Stir in hash browns, cheese, salt and pepper, dill, onion, green pepper and bacon. Transfer to a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

You can cook the bacon in the microwave on a bacon rack and then use just a spoonful or two of the drippings to cook the green pepper and onion. Serve with a fruit salad,

if desired.



2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

2 cups buttermilk, plus more as needed

1/2 cup unsalted all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Canola oil for cooking

1 pear, cored, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 cup sliced almonds

In a large bowl, combine oats and 2 cups buttermilk. Soak at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.

In a medium bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda together. Stir dry ingredients into oat mixture. Stir in eggs and melted butter. Batter should be thick, but add 1 or 2 tablespoons more buttermilk if it seems too thick to pour.

Heat a non-stick or well-seasoned griddle over medium heat. Coat lightly with oil. Pour out batter by 1/4-cup portions. Distribute 3 or 4 slices of pear and about 1 teaspoon sliced almonds over each pancake. Cook until browned on bottom, 2 or 3 minutes. Flip and cook on other side until evenly browned, 2 or 3 minutes (these need to cook a little longer than regular pancakes, to allow oats to cook thoroughly). Keep warm in a low oven. Serve with butter and maple syrup.


Mix together:

1 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Milk

2 eggs

1 tsp. Vanilla

Add to 3 Cups Sweet Potatoes (1 large can) mashed by hand so they're still kind of chunky. Spoon into greased baking dish and spread on topping.

Topping: (mix together ingredients)

1/2 Cup Melted Butter

1 Cup Coconut

1 Cup Chopped Pecans

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1/3 Cup Flour

Bake at 375 for 25 min.



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