Archive | September, 2010

Martha Stewart’s Savory Pumpkin Puffs

15 Sep

Makes 18 to 24
  • All-purpose flour, for parchment
  • 1 standard package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously flour two pieces of parchment paper; on each, roll out an unfolded pastry sheet to form a 15-by-13-inch rectangle, about 1/16 inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the paprika into the melted butter.
  • Remove pastry from the refrigerator, and brush off excess flour. Spread a rectangle of pastry with mustard; sprinkle with both cheeses. Season with pepper. Lay a second pastry rectangle on top.
  • Place a sheet of parchment on top of the stacked pastry; using a rolling pin, roll until smooth and pastry layers are sealed together. Remove parchment, and brush top of pastry with butter mixture. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
  • With a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, cut into 18 to 24 shapes. Immediately place the shapes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a sharp paring knife, score each shape four or five times to make pumpkin ridges. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer puffs to a wire rack; let cool slightly before serving.

  • White Chicken Chili

    14 Sep

    A delicious chicken chili for the slow cooker, made with chicken, beans, and other ingredients.


    1 lb chicken, cut up into small chunks (I like to use boneless breasts for their “ease” and lower fat content)
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 can (or the equivalent) chicken broth
    2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
    2 tsp Cumin seed (ground will not withstand long cooking as well)
    1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
    3 -15oz cans white beans (great northern or cannellini), drained and rinsed
    1 or 2 chopped red, green or yellow bell peppers, or combination
    jalapeno chili peppers, fresh, jarred or canned, optional or ‘to taste’ (depending on how much heat you like!)


    In a 4 or 6 quart crockery cooker combine the chicken, onions, chicken broth, garlic, cumin and oregano.
    Let cook awhile on low (approx. 3-5 hours, depending on your schedule)
    Add drained beans.

    Now here is the important part if you don’t want mushy chili.. Add the bell peppers and jalapeno peppers (if using) no earlier than the last hour or hour and a half before serving.

    Top each serving with shredded Monterey jack cheese and or broken tortilla chips if desired.

    Zucchini Cookies

    14 Sep

    Zucchini, walnuts, raisins, chocolate chips, and coconut pack in an amazingly sweet flavor and contribute many beneficial nutrients. The recipe makes 60 cookies so feel free to either half the recipe or freeze extras in an airtight container for up to a month.

    You can’t taste the zucchini in these cookies, but it adds vitamins, fiber, and a nice moist texture.

    Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour.

    Yield: Makes 5 dozen cookies


    • 1  cup  butter, at room temperature
    • 1 1/2  cups  sugar
    • 2  large eggs
    • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
    • 2  cups  grated zucchini
    • 2 3/4  cups  all-purpose flour
    • 2  teaspoons  baking powder
    • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
    • 1  teaspoon  salt
    • 1  cup  walnuts, chopped
    • 1  cup  semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2  cup  raisins
    • 1  cup  sweetened flaked coconut


    Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add to zucchini mixture. Stir in nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, and coconut. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto buttered cookie sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes, and transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

    Sloppy Joes

    13 Sep

    Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)


    • 3/4  cup  chopped onion
    • 1/2  cup  chopped green bell pepper
    • 3/4  pound  ground round
    • 2  cups  no-salt-added tomato sauce
    • 2  tablespoons  tomato paste
    • 1  tablespoon  prepared mustard
    • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
    • 2  teaspoons  Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
    • 1/2  teaspoon  sugar
    • 1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano
    • 1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
    • 12  (1 1/2-ounce) rolls, split


    Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add first 3 ingredients; cook until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in tomato sauce and next 8 ingredients (tomato sauce through black pepper); reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon 1/4 cup beef mixture over bottom half of each bun. Cover with top halves.

    Nutritional Information

    202 (27% from fat)
    6.2g (sat 2g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.7g)


    11 Sep

    Mix 1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing and 1 1 /2 tsp Italian seasoning. Spread cut surfaces of bread with mayo mixture. Layer evenly 1 thinly sliced tomato, 1 thinly sliced red onion, 1 pkg ( 8 oz ) each of folded cotto salami and deli style smoked ham, 10 mild pepperocini peppers and 4 cheese slices cut in half diagonally on bottom half of bread. Cover with top half of bread. Wrap in aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cut into 4 pieces. Makes 4 sandwiches.

    Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts

    10 Sep


    Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 stuffed chicken breast half)


    1 large red bell pepper
    1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
    2 tablespoons finely chopped pitted kalamata olives
    1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
    8 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts


    Preheat broiler. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and finely chop. Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Combine bell pepper, cheese, olives, and basil. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff 2 tablespoons bell pepper mixture into each pocket; close opening with a wooden pick. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from grill; cover loosely with foil, and let stand 10 minutes.

    Maple Pecan Cake

    9 Sep


    1  cup  all-purpose flour

    1  cup  pecan flour (see notes)

    2  teaspoons  baking powder

    1/4  teaspoon  salt

    3  large egg yolks, beaten to blend

    2/3  cup  maple syrup

    1/3  cup  pecan or vegetable oil

    1  tablespoon  brandy

    6  large egg whites

    1/3  cup  sugar

    Maple-cream cheese frosting

    1/2  cup  chopped toasted pecans


    1. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan with a removable rim. In a bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, pecan flour, baking powder, and salt.

    2. In a small bowl, mix egg yolks, maple syrup, pecan oil, and brandy. Pour into flour mixture; stir to combine.

    3. In a large bowl, with a mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until glossy, about 2 minutes. Stir a quarter of the egg-white mixture into yolk mixture. Scrape into remaining egg-white mixture and fold in gently.

    4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in a 350° oven until cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer in pan to a rack and let cool about 1 hour.

    5. Remove pan rim. Cut cake in half horizontally and place bottom layer on a cake plate. Spread half the maple-cream cheese frosting on bottom layer; top with remaining layer. Spread remaining frosting over top (leave sides bare). Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

    Notes: If the nut flour is not available, use 1 cup pecans: bake in a 350° oven until golden under skins, about 10 minutes, then whirl in a food processor until finely ground.

    Pecan Tasties

    9 Sep

    Yield: Makes 4 dozen


    • 1  cup  butter, softened
    • 1  (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
    • 2 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2  cups  firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 1/2  cups  chopped pecans
    • 2  large eggs
    • 2  tablespoons  butter, melted
    • 2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
    • 1/8  teaspoon  salt


    1. Beat 1 cup butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, beating at low speed. Shape mixture into 48 balls, and place on a baking sheet; cover and chill 1 hour.
    2. Place 1 dough ball into each lightly greased muffin cup in mini muffin pans, shaping each into a shell.
    3. Whisk together brown sugar and next 5 ingredients. Spoon into tart shells.
    4. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until filling is set. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks 20 minutes or until completely cool.

    Kitchen Notes

    Prep: 45 min., Chill: 1 hr., Bake: 20 min., Cool: 30 min. If you don’t have four mini muffin pans, you can bake these in batches. Keep the extra dough chilled until you’re ready to use it.

    Chicken Soft Tacos

    9 Sep

    Prep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 5 minutesYield: Serves 4Cost per Serving: $2.32


    • 1  small red onion
    • 1  large tomato
    • 1  avocado
    • 1  pound  precooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
    • 1/4  teaspoon  chili powder
    • 1/4  teaspoon  garlic powder
    • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
    • 4  6- to 8-inch flour tortillas
    • 1/4  cup  low-fat shredded Cheddar
    • 1/2  cup  salsa


    Dice onion, tomato and avocado; toss together in a bowl. Cut chicken into strips. Sprinkle chicken with chili powder and garlic powder. Warm olive oil in a large skillet and sauté chicken until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and divide among tortillas. Top chicken with onion mixture, Cheddar and salsa. Serve immediately.

    Snack Mix

    9 Sep

    Prep: 15 min., Cool: 30 min. Use a glass bowl when you zap this in the microwave. 
    Yield: Makes 13 cups


    • 2  (1-oz.) envelopes Ranch dressing mix
    • 1/2  cup  vegetable oil
    • 3  cups  crisp oatmeal cereal squares
    • 3  cups  corn-and-rice cereal
    • 3  cups  crisp wheat cereal squares
    • 2  cups  pretzel sticks
    • 1  cup  dried cherries
    • 1  cup  candy-coated chocolate pieces


    1. Whisk together Ranch dressing mix and 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a large microwave-safe glass bowl. Stir in oatmeal cereal squares and next 3 ingredients.
    2. Microwave mixture at HIGH 2 minutes, and stir well. Microwave at HIGH 2 more minutes, and stir well. Spread mixture in a single layer on wax paper, and let cool 30 minutes. Add cherries and candy pieces. Store in an airtight container up to 5 days.
    Note:  I used Quaker Essentials Oatmeal Squares for crisp oatmeal cereal squares, Crispix for corn-and-rice cereal, and Wheat Chex for wheat cereal squares.

    %d bloggers like this: