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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 209

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).

ARUGULA SALAD

BAKED FISH WITH FENNEL AND GARLIC

BEET CAKE

BREAKFAST POCKETS

CHEESECAKE DIPPING SAUCE

CHICKEN IN A WATERMELON

CHOCOLATE BIRTHDAY CAKE

CHOCOLATE CHIP POLVORONES

CHOCOLATE COVERED ORANGE PEELS

CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

CINNAMON SWIRL LOAVES

COWBOY BURGERS

CRAB AND ASPARAGUS BISQUE

CREAM CHEESE POUNDCAKE

CREAMY GARLIC AND GREEN OLIVE SALAD

DOUBLE DEVILED EGGS

EGG CUSTARD

FRIED MACARONI AND CHEESE

GETTING CREATIVE WITH SINGLE SERVING

HAM PANCAKE PIE

HOT MUSTARD

HUMAN PUPPY CHOW

HUNGARIAN MUSHROOM SOUP

ICE CREAM SQUARES

ITALIAN MEAT MIX

ITALIAN STUFFED BURGERS

LEMON ICE CREAM

LIGHT CHEDDAR CHEESE STRAWS

MARZIPAN BARS

MASHED POTATO TRUFFLES

MEAT MIX

NO COOK SUMMER SALAD

ORANGE CANDY CAKE

PAN GLAZED TOFU

PASTA CON LE SARDE

PASTEL DE PECANA

PEACH CREPES

PEPPER CRUSTED STEAKS WITH GARLIC MA

PEPPERED TUNA STEAKS

PLANTAINS WITH BASALMIC GLAZE

PORK CHOPS WITH BLUEBERRY SAUCE

PORTUGUESE SWEET BREAD

POWDERED SUGAR COOKIES

PUERQUITOS

REFRIED BEAN TOSTADAS

ROSEMARY SKEWERED GRILLED SEA SCALLO

SAVORY VEGETABLE MINI QUICHES

SEAFOOD STEW

SLOPPY LENTILS

SOME FOOD TIPS

SOUTHWEST COBB SALAD

SPANISH STYLE GREEN BEANS

SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE GALETTE

STEAK AU POIVRE for one

STEAMED MUSSELS

SWEET SALAD DRESSING

TACO CORNBREAD PIZZA

TARTAR SAUCE

THREE LAYERED CASSEROLE

TUNA POUCHES PROVIDE FRESHNESS

TUNA RICE PIE

WHEAT FREE BROWNIES

 

 

 

 

ARUGULA SALAD

WITH PEPPERED CHICKEN AND FOCACCIA CROUTONS

 

Croutons:

1 cup focaccia (or crusty French bread) cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon minced garlic

 

Salad:

4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

11/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons celery seed

Salt to taste

1 bunch arugula

 

Chicken:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 to 11/2 pounds), patted dry

1/3 cup coarsely ground Sarawak or other peppercorns

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

 

To make croutons: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine focaccia cubes, 1/4 cup olive oil, parsley and garlic, and toss well. Toast in oven until browned, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove, and allow to cool to room temperature.

 

To make dressing: Saute bacon in a small pan over medium high heat until crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Drain bacon fat from pan, add vinegar, return to heat and bring just to a boil, scraping pan to dissolve any bacon drippings. Remove from heat, add1/2cup olive oil, sugar and celery seeds, and mix well. Season to taste with salt and set aside. Trim, wash and dry arugula.

 

To make chicken: Rub chicken all over with ground peppercorns and 1 tablespoon salt. In a large saute pan, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Add chicken, and saute until well-browned and opaque throughout, about 3 minutes per side.

 

Place arugula in a large bowl. Stir dressing well, and add just enough to moisten arugula (you will have some dressing left over), tossing to coat. Place dressed arugula on 4 serving plates. Top each portion with 1 chicken breast, a quarter of the focaccia cubes and a quarter of the bacon.

 

BAKED FISH WITH FENNEL AND GARLIC

Makes 2 servings

1 pound trimmed fennel (weighed with 2-inch stalks, rest of stalks and leaves

reserved)

11/4 to 11/2 pounds whole fish or3/4to 1 pound steaks or fillets

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium clove garlic, slivered

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup water

Lime wedges or slices

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

 

Mince enough fennel leaves to equal 3 tablespoons. Cut deep diagonal slashes in each side of whole fish, if using. Sprinkle both sides of fish (and the inside of the whole fish) with salt and pepper. Heat oil on low heat in a small saucepan with garlic; cook until garlic is golden, not browned. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons minced fennel leaves and the lime juice. Cool 10 minutes or longer.

 

Set fish in a baking dish just large enough to hold it comfortably. Pour oil mixture over (and inside, if whole) fish. Let marinate about 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

 

Trim fennel base; cut off stalks and peel them. Cut bulb and stalks into strips about1/2inch wide and 11/2 inches long. Melt butter in skillet and toss fennel to coat. Add the water and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over moderately low heat, covered, until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and stir over moderate heat for a few minutes to evaporate liquid.

 

Meanwhile, bake fish in center of oven until opaque in center, gauging 10 minutes per inch of thickness at the thickest part (or about 10 minutes for fillets and steaks, 15 minutes for whole fish).

 

Arrange fish and fennel together on plate and sprinkle with remaining minced tops. Place lime on platter and serve at once.

 

BEET CAKE

3 cups all purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

5 tbl. cocoa

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 cup oil

2 cups pureed cooked red beets

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

Stir dry ingredients together. Mix oil and beets together and add to dry ingredients. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured

9x13-inch pan and bake at 325 degrees until toothpick in center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Frost with a simple butter cream or cream cheese frosting.

 

BREAKFAST POCKETS

2 packages Active Dry Yeast -- (1 1/2 Tbs.)

1/2 cup Warm Water -- 110-115 degrees

3/4 cup Evaporated Milk -- warm 110-115 degrees

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

1/4 cup Sugar

1 large Egg

1 teaspoon Salt

3 1/2 cups Flour

Filling

1 pound Sausage -- or bacon

1/2 cup Onion -- chopped

2 1/2 cups Hash Browns, frozen -- shredded, thawed

1/2 cup Mushroom pieces -- drained

7 large Eggs -- lightly beaten

3 tablespoons Milk, skim

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt

1 pinch Cayenne Pepper

3 cups Cheddar Cheese -- shredded

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add evaporated milk, oil,

sugar, egg, salt and 2 cups flour, then beat until smooth. Add enough

flour to make a soft dough (do not knead) Cover and let rise 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook the sausage and onion over medium heat until

sausage is no longer pink. Add mushrooms to mixture, then drain any excess

moisture/grease from mixture. Add the hash browns, eggs, milk and

seasonings. Cook and stir until the eggs are completely set. Sprinkle

with cheese and keep warm. Punch dough down, then divide into 16 pieces.

On a floured surface, roll each piece into a 6 or 7-inch circle. Top each

with about 1/3 cup filling, then fold dough over filling and pinch the edges

to seal. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for

15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

To freeze: Place cooled, baked pockets onto a baking sheet and freeze for

about one hour, or until hard. Transfer to labeled zip baggies, and freeze

for 3 - 6 months. To re-heat, thaw in refrigerator overnight, and bake at

350 degrees F for 5 - 10 minutes or until warmed through, OR place

individual pockets, wrapped in paper towels in the microwave, and cook on

high heat for 2 - 3 minutes or until warmed through.

 

CHEESECAKE DIPPING SAUCE

8 oz. Cream cheese softened

2/3 c. Sour cream

6 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 tsp. Almond extract

2 pints fresh strawberries

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs -- some prefer the chocolate crumbs

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream,

sugar, milk, and extract, mix until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Place the strawberries and crumbs in separate serving bowls. Dip

strawberries into cheesecake mixture, then into crumbs. Yields 2 cups of

dip.

 

CHICKEN IN A WATERMELON

1 watermelon -- very large

6 pound roaster chicken

1 tablespoon five-spice powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut a 1/4-inch thick horizontal slice off one long side of the watermelon

and discard it. Cut off the top third of the watermelon horizontally. Core

and seed both parts of the melon, making room for the chicken. Season the

cavity with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rub the skin of the

chicken with the five spice powder.

Place the chicken in the larger portion of the melon and then place the

other piece of melon on top, securing it with long skewers. Put a baking

pan on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any juices. Bake the watermelon

directly on the rack above for 2 hours at 400 degrees F. and then 2 1/2

hours at 300 degrees F.

Very carefully place the watermelon on a tray and present it to your

guests. Return to the kitchen to remove the chicken from the watermelon and carve it. Remove the juices from the watermelon and reduce them in a skillet

until thickened (whisking in some butter if desired). Yield: 6 servings.

 

CHOCOLATE BIRTHDAY CAKE

For people with severe food allergies

2 cups barley flour

1 cup rice flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

6 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 cups cold water

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients and blend well. Place batter into two 9-inch layer pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool, then frost.

 

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

 

1/4 cup dairy-free/soy-free margarine, softened

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup water

 

Beat margarine until fluffy. Beat in cocoa powder and vanilla. Gradually beat in sugar, alternating with water, until desired thickness is achieved. If you want thinner frosting, add more water; thicker, decrease water.

 

Note: For vanilla frosting, omit cocoa powder and increase sugar to 2 1/2 cups.

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP POLVORONES

Makes 12 large cookies

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup shortening

1 egg

1/4 cup chocolate mini-chips

 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, sugar and baking soda. Add shortening and egg, using an electric mixer or kneading and scraping by hand until all of the flour has been worked in. The dough may seem too dry at first, but eventually it will become soft and pliable. Mix in the chips and roll the dough into a cylinder about 2 inches in diameter. Slice into cookies about 3/4 inch thick. Place on two ungreased baking sheets, 6 to a sheet, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light brown on top.

 

CHOCOLATE COVERED ORANGE PEELS

 

ORANGETTES

Makes about 50 pieces

 

Chocolate-covered orange peel is a common candy throughout France. To make it yourself, use only fresh, blemish-free oranges.

 

Butter or margarine for greasing the cookie sheet

4 large, thick-skinned oranges

6 cups water (divided)

2 cups granulated sugar

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 12 ounces semisweet

chocolate chips (divided)

 

Butter a cookie sheet and line it with wax paper. Set aside.

 

Using a sharp paring knife, cut the rinds off the oranges in the largest pieces possible. Remove as much of the white pith as you can, leaving the orange rind 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.

 

Fill a heavy, medium pan with 4 cups of water. Add the orange rinds and bring the water to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove the rinds with a slotted spoon and discard the water.

 

Combine the sugar and remaining 2 cups water in the same pan. Place the pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a simmer. Add the orange rinds and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the rinds to cool in the syrup for at least 1/2 hour. You can leave the rinds in the syrup longer, up to 12 hours, giving them a more candied taste.

 

Remove the rinds from the syrup and place them on a cooling rack to dry, about1/2hour. Discard the syrup. When the rinds are dry (they may be a little sticky), slice them lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips. Set aside while you melt the chocolate.

 

Melt 6 ounces of the semisweet chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over hot water. If you don't have a double boiler, simply place the chocolate in a bowl that fits snugly over a pot of hot water.

 

When the chocolate has melted completely, remove the top part of the double boiler or the bowl from the hot water. Add the remaining 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth.

 

Insert a candy thermometer or chocolate thermometer into the melted chocolate. Its temperature should be 88 to 90 degrees F. If the chocolate is too cold, place it back over the hot water until the temperature reaches 88 to 90 degrees. If it is too hot, let it cool until the desired temperature is reached.

 

Using a pair of clean tweezers, dip each slice of rind into the melted chocolate. Place the dipped rind onto the prepared cookie sheet and let the candy cool until the chocolate is set and hard, about 4 hours. The cooler your room's temperature, the faster the chocolate will harden. You can speed up the process by placing the candy in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, but no longer. Store the candy in an airtight container in layers, separated by wax paper, at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

 

Variations:

 

Milk Chocolate Orangettes: Substitute 12 ounces milk chocolate for the semisweet chocolate.

 

White Chocolate Orangettes: Substitute 12 ounces white chocolate for the semisweet chocolate.

 

The following variations work with the base recipe or with the preceding chocolate variations.

 

Chocolate Grapefruit Rind: Substitute 2 to 3 medium grapefruit for the oranges.

 

Chocolate Lemon Rind: Substitute 6 to 8 lemons for the oranges.

 

Chocolate Tangerine Rind: Substitute 6 to 8 tangerines for the oranges.

>From "The Ultimate Candy Book" by Bruce Weinstein

 

CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

 

6 ounces semisweet chocolate

1/3 cup butter or margarine (see note)

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk chocolate chips (6 ounces)

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 large (3-by-11/4-inch or 31/2- to 4-ounce) muffin cups.

 

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate with butter over low heat. Let stand 10 minutes or until cooled.

 

In a small bowl, stir chocolate mixture with buttermilk, sugar, egg and vanilla until blended.

 

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add chocolate mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in chips.

 

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups; bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean.

 

Remove muffin tin to wire rack. Cool 5 minutes before removing muffins from cups; finish cooling on rack. Serve warm, or cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

These muffins freeze well.

 

Note: Use real butter or stick margarine that's at least 80 percent fat. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.

 

CINNAMON SWIRL LOAVES

Dough:

2 packages active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1/3 cup shortening

1/3 cup honey

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups scalded milk

5 1/2 to 6 cups flour

2 cups dry oatmeal

Dissolve yeast in warm water. In large bowl combine shortening, honey and salt. Pour scalded milk over mixture and cool to lukewarm. Stir in 1 cup flour; add dissolved yeast mixture and oatmeal. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead about 10 minutes or until smooth and satiny. Shape dough into a ball and place in greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch down dough and divide in half. Roll halves into rectangles about 7 by 14 inches. Grease 2 9-inch loaf pans.

Filling:

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/3 cup melted butter

Combine dry ingredients; stir in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle each dough rectangle with half of filling mixture. Beginning with short end of rectangle, roll up jelly roll fashion. Place in prepared pan; repeat. Cover and let rise 45 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees and bake loaves 40 to 45 minutes, shielding with foil if necessary to prevent over-browning. Remove loaves from pans and cool.

 

COWBOY BURGERS

1/2 lb. spicy/hot breakfast sausage (or omit and use 1 lb ground beef)

1/2 lb. lean ground beef

1/4 c. salsa

2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

black pepper to taste

crusty Kaiser or hard rolls

4-8 slices smoked cheddar (or your preference)

1 large red onion, sliced into thick rounds

In a large bowl, combine sausage, ground beef, salsa and seasonings. Form

into 4 or 5 patties, depending on your desired size. Heat grill. Over medium

heat, cook burgers 5-7 minutes each side, depending on size and desired

doneness. Place cheese on burgers to melt before serving. Serve with onion

slices and salsa on rolls.

 

CRAB AND ASPARAGUS BISQUE

 

1 medium bunch of asparagus (about 11/2 pounds)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup sliced onion

5 cloves garlic (divided)

5 cups water

8 sprigs parsley (divided)

2 teaspoons dried thyme (divided)

1 teaspoon fennel seed

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper (divided)

1/4 cup plus 7 tablespoons butter (divided)

1/2 cup minced shallots

11/2 cups white wine

2 cups whipping cream

1 bay leaf

Salt and white pepper to taste

Freshly ground nutmeg to taste

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 to 8 ounces fresh crab meat

 

Trim the top 3 inches off of each stalk of asparagus and set aside. Coarsely chop the bottom portion of the stalks.

 

Heat the oil in a medium stock pot. Gently cook the onion, 3 cloves sliced garlic and the chopped asparagus stalks for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the 5 cups water. On a square of cheesecloth place 4 sprigs of parsley, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, the fennel seed and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Tie corners of cheesecloth together to create a bag (bouquet garni) and add to the stock pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 40 to 50 minutes. Strain and cool if not proceeding immediately.

 

In a medium stock pot, heat1/4cup butter. Saute the shallots until they are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Boil until the wine is reduced by half.

 

Add the reserved asparagus stock and cream. Make another bouquet garni with another square of cheesecloth and the remaining 4 sprigs parsley, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon black pepper and 2 cloves garlic. Add bouquet garni to soup. Simmer for 1 hour.

 

Remove bouquet garni. Taste and season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg.

 

Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a small skillet and stir in the flour. Cook over medium heat until the flour is cooked, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add this roux, a little at a time, to the soup. Cook and stir over medium-high heat, adding roux as necessary, until the soup is the consistency of a thin chowder.

 

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet. Saute the reserved asparagus tips in the butter until they are just tender, about 4 minutes.

 

Ladle soup into heated bowls and top with sauteed asparagus and crab meat.

 

 

 

CREAM CHEESE POUNDCAKE

 

3/4 cup butter, softened (11/2 sticks)

3/4 cup light corn syrup

8 ounces 1/3-less-fat neufchatel cheese (or light cream cheese)

2 cups granulated sugar

3 eggs

3/4 cup egg substitute

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 cups cake flour

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 10-inch tube pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

 

Combine butter, corn syrup and cream cheese in mixing bowl, beating well with mixer. Gradually add sugar, and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.

 

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add egg substitute, 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla in with the last 1/4 cup of egg substitute.

 

Add cake flour to the creamed mixture, beating on lowest speed until just combined.

 

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until cake tests done in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely

 

CREAMY GARLIC AND GREEN OLIVE SALAD DRESSING

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1 cup mayonnaise (works with reduced fat mayo as well)

4 cloves garlic (or more)

1/4 cup sugar

dash of crushed red pepper

1 cup green olives, pitted and drained, or pimiento stuffed olives, drained

Combine all except olives in blender or food processor and blend until

smooth. Add olives all at once, and process just until chopped. It should be

a bit chunky. Makes about 12 servings.

 

 

 

 

 

DOUBLE DEVILED EGGS

Makes 24 servings

 

12 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and finely diced (see note) WEAR GLOVES

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Salt and pepper (optional)

Halve the eggs lengthwise. Remove the yolks. In a small bowl, mash yolks with the mayonnaise and mustard. Stir in the white pepper, jalapenos and relish. Taste for seasoning; add salt or pepper if desired.

 

Transfer yolk mixture to a quart-sized self-sealing plastic bag. Snip off a small part of one corner and use the bag like a pastry bag to pipe the filling into the egg-white halves. Place eggs on a serving tray, cover and refrigerate until serving time (up to 1 day). Garnish eggs with fresh cilantro sprigs.

 

Note: Wear gloves when handling fresh chilies; the oils can cause a burning sensation on your skin.

 

EGG CUSTARD

6 Eggs

2 C. Milk or buttermilk

1 stick Butter (1/4 c.)

2 C Sugar

1/3 C. Flour

1 tsp. Vanilla

Dash of Nutmeg

Directions: Preheat oven to 400

Mix all ingredients. Pour into a 9" pie pan. Sprinkle the top with more Nutmeg and bake until golden brown....usually about 45 minutes.

This make its own fine crust. It you prefer a thicker crust, pour into frozen pie shell. serves 6

 

FRIED MACARONI AND CHEESE

2 cups uncooked macaroni, elbows or shells

3 eggs

1 cup cheese

Cook macaroni according to directions on box. Drain cooked macaroni, mix

with eggs and cheese.

Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet and add macaroni mixture and fry the

same as you would potatoes. It will get crisp and brown. But it is done

when the cheese is melted and the egg is cooked and you can make it as crisp

or as uncrisp as you like it.

 

GETTING CREATIVE WITH SINGLE SERVINGS

THOUGHTS ON COOKING FOR 1

BY SAM GUGINO

Special to the Mercury News

 

Ever walk into a restaurant alone and hear the maitre d' ask, almost disapprovingly, ``Just one?'' A quick, satisfying dinner at home can be equally nettlesome because most recipes serve four. But singles can treat themselves to good meals.

 

Chicken breasts and lamb or pork chops don't normally come individually packaged. So break up larger packages, wrap each serving in plastic wrap and freeze them in freezer bags. Portions of steaks, chops, chicken breasts and fish fillets should be 4-6 ounces. Figure on 8-12 clams or mussels, depending on size and how they are to be used. For example, use fewer if combined with pasta.

 

One-pound packages of pasta can easily be doled out into 3- or 4-ounce portions. Consider new ideas of what goes with pasta too, whether it's a simple combination of garlic, olive oil, hot pepper flakes and parsley or a more elaborate mix of meat and vegetables. It's even easier to make a single meal of couscous by steaming this pasta, then tossing it with vegetables, beans, herbs, olive oil and lemon juice.

 

Some produce items, such as snap peas, string beans and potatoes, are more easily purchased in individual portions than others. Staples such as onions and bell peppers are not always small enough for one. But the salad bar contains onions, peppers, celery and more, all nicely cut up. Yes, it costs more per pound than a sack of onions, but you aren't going to use that much. And don't dismiss frozen vegetables. One-pound bags reseal easily with a twist tie.

 

As for equipment, onions, garlic and other vegetables for one are more easily chopped in a mini-chopper than a food processor. And just because you're cooking for one doesn't mean you shouldn't have good-quality skillets, pots and knives.

 

 

 

HAM PANCAKE PIE

2 medium sweet potatoes -- peeled and thinly sliced

3 cups cooked ham -- diced

3 medium apples, peeled -- cored and sliced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon curry powder

1/3 cup apple juice

1 cup pancake mix

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

2 tablespoons melted butter

In 2-quart greased baking dish, layer half the potatoes, half the ham, and

half the apples. Combine salt, pepper, brown sugar, and curry powder;

sprinkle half the mixture over layers in dish. Repeat the process; pour

apple juice over all. Cover dish and bake at 375 degrees F. until sweet

potatoes are tender -- about 40 minutes.

Beat together the pancake mix, milk, mustard and butter. Take casserole from

oven when potatoes are done and pour pancake batter over top. Bake 20

minutes more, uncovered, or until pancake is puffed and golden. Yield: 6

servings.

 

HOT MUSTARD

2 heaping tablespoons flour

3 heaping tablespoons dry mustard

2 heaping tablespoons brown sugar

pinch of salt

1 heaping teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar. Add boiling water, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached. I keep it refrigerated, but it may be ok on a shelf. (Boiling water takes the harshness out of dry mustard.)

 

HUMAN PUPPY CHOW

1 stick margarine

12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips

1 C. peanut butter

12 oz. pkg. Crispix cereal

3 C. powdered sugar

3 Tbsp. Cocoa

Melt margarine, chocolate chips and peanut butter and pour into large pan.

Fold in the box of Crispix cereal gently. Mix thoroughly. Put powdered sugar

& cocoa in a paper bag. Pour Crispix mix into the bag and shake to coat

thoroughly. Pour onto waxed paper and let cool & dry.

*Note: don't substitute other cereals--these have the chow shape!!

 

HUNGARIAN MUSHROOM SOUP

Makes 8 cups

 

6 tablespoons butter

11/2 cups chopped onion

4 teaspoons Hungarian paprika

4 teaspoons dried dill weed

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 2/3 cups milk

2 2/3 cups water

4 cups sliced mushrooms (about 12 ounces)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

 

In large saucepan, melt butter and saute the onion along with paprika, dill weed, salt and pepper until the onion is tender. Whisk in the flour and then the milk and the water. Add the mushrooms and bring almost to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce, lemon juice, sour cream and parsley. Serve immediately.

 

ICE CREAM SQUARES

Bottom:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker or chocolate crumbs

1/2 cup melted butter or marg.

Mix together and press into a greased 8 or 9 inch pan.

Topping:

dissolve 1 package of any flavored jello

1 cup boiling water

1 pint of vanilla ice cream

Blend well and pour over the crust. Sprinkle with a scattering of crumbs.

Freeze for a couple of hours. Serve frozen.

 

ITALIAN MEAT MIX

 

1 lb. Italian ground sausage (or add Italian spices)

2 lb. Lean ground beef

2 tsp. chopped garlic

2 large onions, chopped fine

Basil, thyme, chili powder, pepper, salt to taste

1 Lg. Carrot, chopped fine

One pound pkgs each of frozen cauliflower and broccoli

29. oz. can of tomato puree

12 oz. can tomato paste

1 Can of chopped tomatoes

Water

Brown sausage and ground beef in a large kettle, then add garlic, onions and carrot, and cook to the point of translucence. Stir in spices, tomatoes, frozen veggies and water to almost fill pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat, cover pan and simmer for an hour. At this point, put it into a crock pot, and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Permit it to cool enough to put into the fridge for further cooling, to skim off the fat.

 

Put into pint containers, or into freezer bags. Use within six months. For veggies, you can also buy a mix at Costco called Florentine I think with several different frozen veggies in it and add 2-3 lbs. to mix instead of broccoli and cauliflower--it cooks down to where you can't tell there are veggies in it anyway) This is just fantastic in lasagna and spaghetti.

 

ITALIAN STUFFED BURGERS

 

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)

1 41/4-ounce can chopped ripe olives

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

11/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, crushed

11/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Salt

4 crusty rolls or hamburger buns, split, toasted

4 large tomato slices

Prepared pizza sauce, mayonnaise, thinly sliced lettuce (optional toppings)

 

In small bowl, combine cheese, olives and onion. Shape ground beef into 8 patties, approximately 41/2 inches in diameter. Divide the cheese mixture among 4 patties, mounding it in the centers; top with remaining 4 patties. Press edges firmly together to seal; gently pat to 3/4-inch thickness.

 

In small bowl, combine Italian seasoning, garlic powder and pepper. Press evenly into both sides of each patty.

 

Heat grill to medium, until coals are ash-covered. Place patties on grid and cook, uncovered, 22 to 24 minutes to medium doneness (160 degrees F) or until centers of patties are no longer pink and juices show no pink color, turning occasionally. Season burgers with salt as desired.

 

Line bottom of each roll with 1 tomato slice; top with burger. Add choice of toppings. Close sandwiches.

 

LEMON ICE CREAM

Makes 4 cups

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup whole milk

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 11/2 lemons)

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Fresh mint leaves, lemon slices for garnish

 

Mix sugar, milk and lemon juice.

 

Whip cream until stiff.

 

Fold cream into milk mixture.

 

Add vanilla and pour mixture into shallow 9-by-9-inch pan to freeze.

 

Stir at least once when partially frozen.

 

Garnish with fresh mint leaves or paper-thin lemon slices.

 

LIGHT CHEDDAR CHEESE STRAWS

12 won-ton wrappers

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese -- sharp, finely shredded

1/8 teaspoon poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stack the won-ton wrappers. Cut the stack

lengthwise into fourths, making 48 strips.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. Then spray the paper or

foil with no-stick spray. Add the won-ton strips in a single layer so the

edges are not touching. Brush the won-ton strips with the Worcestershire

sauce. Sprinkle each strip with 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese. Then sprinkle

with the poppy seeds. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and

crisp. Yield: 48 straws (4 per serving).

 

MARZIPAN BARS

Makes 48 bars

 

First layer:

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature (1 stick, see note)

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup red raspberry jelly, heated

 

Second layer:

7 to 8 ounces almond paste

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Third layer:

2 tablespoons butter (see note)

11/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds (see note)

 

To make first layer: Beat butter; gradually add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt; gradually add flour. Pat dough evenly over bottom of 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan; spread with jelly.

 

To make second layer: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat almond paste and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time; then add vanilla. Spread over first layer.

 

Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

 

To make third layer: In small bowl, cream butter with electric mixer; add sugar, milk, vanilla and chocolate and mix well. Spread over second layer. Sprinkle with almonds.

 

Store tightly covered. Also freezes well.

 

Note: Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content gives less-satisfactory results.

 

Note: To toast nuts, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to brown. Stir occasionally. Be careful not to scorch them.

 

MASHED POTATO TRUFFLES

 

3/4 cup cold mashed potatoes

4 cups powdered sugar

4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

11/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate

 

Combine mashed potatoes and powdered sugar. Add coconut, vanilla and salt. Blend well.

 

Grease a 9-inch square pan. Press mixture firmly into pan.

 

Melt chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. Pour in a thin layer over the surface of the candy. When firm, cut into squares.

 

MEAT MIX

10 lbs of inexpensive beef roast

Olive Oil or cooking oil

3-4 large onions, quartered

2 large carrots, halved

1 tablespoon cumin (or Italian seasonings with basil and bay leaf)

Chili powder to taste (omit if Italian seasonings are used)

2 tsp. chopped garlic

 

Using a large kettle or fry pan with oil covering the bottom, sear roasts on all sides . Put into crock pot with carrots and onions on the bottom. Add one cup beef bouillon and suggested herbs and spices.

 

Cool, remove fat from the top, shred meat, and put into freezer containers. This will make about 6 one quart containers

 

Seasoned with cumin and Chili powder, this is wonderful in enchiladas, chimichangas, tacos, enchiladas, etc.

 

NO COOK SUMMER SALAD

 

4 cups romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces

1 large can salmon, no skin or bones, chilled, well drained

1 can asparagus spears, chilled, well drained, cut into thirds

3 small to medium tomatoes cut into slices or 4 quartered Roma tomatoes

Layer the greens in a flat glass serving bowl or tray. Make rows of the other ingredients on top in this order: asparagus spears, salmon, tomatoes. Chill until cold. Serve with your favorite vinaigrette drizzled over top and an herb bread from the local bakery. Easily serves 4.

 

ORANGE CANDY CAKE

 

1 cup butter (2 sticks; see note)

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup buttermilk

4 cups all-purpose flour (divided)

1 14-ounce package dates, cut in small pieces, or 2 cups raisins

1 pound orange candy slices, cut into small pieces

2 cups chopped nuts

1 cup flaked coconut

1 cup orange juice

1 cup powdered sugar, unsifted

 

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 10-inch tube pan.

 

Beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating mixture well after each addition.

 

Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk. Alternately add to mixture with 31/2 cups of the flour.

 

Mix remaining1/2cup flour with dates, candy pieces and chopped nuts. Add to batter with coconut.

 

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 3 hours or until cake springs back when lightly pressed.

 

Meanwhile, combine orange juice and powdered sugar. Mix well. Immediately pour over hot cake when it comes out of the oven.

 

Let stand at least 6 hours, or overnight, in pan. Remove from pan. Slice to serve.

 

Note: Use real butter or stick margarine that's at least 80 percent fat. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.

 

Note: Cake may be wrapped in foil or plastic wrap. It will be good stored in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

 

PAN GLAZED TOFU

WITH THAI RED CURRY SAUCE

Makes 2 to 4 servings

1 one-pound package firm or extra-firm tofu

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup chicken broth or stock

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon peanut oil

Minced fresh cilantro for garnish

 

Cut tofu widthwise into eight 1/2-inch-thick slices. Blot tofu dry between layers of paper towels.

 

Combine coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, lime juice, curry paste and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

 

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Add tofu and cook over medium heat until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn and cook about 5 minutes more.

 

Add coconut milk mixture to pan and simmer, turning tofu once, until liquid reduces to thick syrup and tofu is glazed, about 2 minutes. Transfer tofu to serving platter and scrape the glaze left in pan over the tofu. Garnish with minced cilantro and serve immediately.

 

PASTA CON LE SARDE

 

1 teaspoon salt plus more to cook pasta

1 pound fresh fennel leaves, from herb fennel, or the tops of fennel bulbs

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

2 ounces anchovy fillets, drained and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon saffron threads soaked in 3 tablespoons water

1/3 cup dried currants

1/4 cup pine nuts

3 pounds fresh whole sardines, beheaded, gutted and boned

1 pound bucatini or perciatelli pasta (similar to spaghetti)

 

Bring 6 cups water to a boil; add 1 teaspoon salt and simmer the fennel leaves for 20 minutes. Save 1 cup of this cooking liquid before draining the fennel. When the fennel has cooled sufficiently, chop it finely with a knife or a food processor.

 

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet for 1 minute; add the onion. Lower the heat and cook the onion for 4 to 6 minutes, until translucent. Add the anchovy fillets and allow them to cook for a moment before adding the tomato paste, saffron with water, currants and pine nuts. Add the sardines and finely chopped fennel and stir to blend. Cook for several minutes before adding1/2cup of the reserved fennel water; simmer for 20 minutes, adding additional fennel water if the sauce becomes too dry. Keep warm.

 

Bring 6 to 8 quarts of water to boil, salt it, and cook the pasta until tender but firm. Drain and combine with half the sardine sauce. Top each dish with additional sauce and serve.

 

PASTEL DE PECANA

(Pecan Cake)

Makes 6 to 8 servings

4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (1 stick; use butter only)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup granulated sugar (divided)

Pinch salt

2/3 cup finely ground pecans (use blender to grind)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

 

Honey glaze:

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup honey

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for glass or dark metal pans). Lightly butter and flour an 8-inch cake pan.

 

In a small bowl, beat egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Add 1/3 cup of the sugar; beat until thick and creamy.

 

In a large bowl, beat egg whites with salt until frothy. Continue to beat, adding the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the stiff whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it. Gently fold the yolk mixture into the remaining whites until fully incorporated.

 

Combine nuts and flour and sift a third at a time over egg mixture, folding gently after each addition. Any nut pieces too large to sift may be folded in at the end or reground in the blender and sifted in. Pour batter into prepared cake pan.

 

Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then turn cake out onto a wire rack, top side up, and cool for 1 hour.

 

To make glaze: In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, stir in honey and bring to a frothy boil. Reduce heat and boil 3 minutes. Cool slightly. While still warm, pour over cake. Allow glaze to drip down sides of cake.

 

To cut neatly through the sticky glaze, use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to warm it and dried.

 

PEACH CREPES

Serves 4

1cup all-purpose flour

1 egg

3 tablespoons Amaretto

1/4 cup skim milk

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling:

2 cups orange juice

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Triple Sec

8 peaches, peeled and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest

 

Place flour in mixing bowl and make a well in center. Break egg into well. While whisking egg into flour, gradually add Amaretto and milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk in nutmeg and vanilla, refrigerate 1 hour.

 

Preheat an 8-inch, nonstick crepe pan or skillet over medium-high heat and spray or film with thin coat of vegetable oil. Spoon in just enough batter (about 1/8 of total) to film bottom of pan, tilting and rotating pan to distribute evenly. Cook 1 minute, or until edges look dry. Flip crepe and cook another minute. Remove to a sheet of waxed paper. Repeat, stacking finished crepes on waxed paper, until you have 8.

 

Combine orange juice, Grand Marnier, peaches and sugar in medium frying pan. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, until liquid turns thick and syrupy.

 

To assemble, place crepe on individual serving plate. Mound 1/3 cup of peach slices on bottom half of each crepe and flip top half over. Spoon a tablespoon of peach syrup over each, dust with cinnamon and orange zest. Serve immediately.

 

PEPPER CRUSTED STEAKS WITH GARLIC MASH

Makes 4 servings

2 whole heads garlic, top1/4inch sliced off

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/3 cup coarsely ground Tellicherry or other peppercorns

4 8- to 10-ounce top loin, rib-eye or other high-quality steaks, 11/2 to 2 inches

thick

2 tablespoons fresh thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried)

4 slices toasted crusty bread

 

Place heads of garlic in middle of a foot-long sheet of aluminum foil. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil over garlic, then wrap foil tightly around. Place in a 300-degree oven, and roast the garlic for about 1 hour, or until cloves are soft.

 

Preheat broiler (to high, if you have that option). Blend salt and pepper, and rub mixture over all sides of steaks. Place steaks on a greased broiler pan and broil until as done as you like them, about 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove from broiler, cover loosely with a foil tent and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

 

While steaks are resting, squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and into a small bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Spread garlic mash over toast, top each piece of toast with a steak, and serve right away.

 

PEPPERED TUNA STEAKS

WITH KOREAN-STYLE SALAD

Makes 4 servings

 

Salad:

 

1/2 cup shredded napa cabbage

1/4 cup fresh bean sprouts (see note)

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 fresh chili pepper of your choice, minced (see note) WEAR GLOVES

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Tuna:

4 8-ounce fresh tuna or ahi steaks, about 2 inches thick

1/4 cup coarsely ground Lampong or other peppercorns

Kosher salt to taste

 

To make salad: In a medium bowl, combine cabbage, bean sprouts and cucumber.

 

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, sugar, basil, and salt and pepper, and whisk together well. Add just enough to cabbage-cucumber mixture to moisten ingredients; toss well, cover and refrigerate.

 

To make tuna: Preheat broiler (to high, if you have that option). Rub tuna all over with ground peppercorns, and sprinkle with salt to taste. Place on a lightly greased broiler pan, and broil until done to your liking, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. To check for doneness, cut into 1 steak. When it is just translucent at the center, remove tuna from heat.

 

Distribute the salad among 4 plates, top each with a tuna steak and serve at once.

 

Note: Raw sprouts have been linked to food-borne illnesses because of bacterial contamination of the seeds. Some health officials recommend not eating any kind of raw sprouts.

 

Note: Wear gloves when handling fresh chilies; the oils can cause a burning sensation on your skin.

 

PLANTAINS WITH BASALMIC GLAZE

Serves 8

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon salt

4 sweet yellow firm plantains (pinton ), unpeeled

 

Prepare a medium fire in the grill.

 

In a small saucepan over high heat, boil vinegar to reduce volume to 1/4 cup.

 

In a small bowl, combine reduced vinegar with butter, honey, basil and salt. Vigorously whip butter with a whisk until smooth and all ingredients are blended.

 

Make a shallow cut with a paring knife into curved side of each plantain, lengthwise, from end to end. Repeat process, making second cut 1/2 inch away from the first. Remove 1/2-inch piece of peel, then, using your fingers, gently pry away peel from sides of each plantain. Next, take some balsamic butter and spread generously over entire inside of each plantain, leaving peel on outside intact.

 

Place plantains on perimeter of grill to receive indirect heat. Grill for about 1 hour, basting with remaining balsamic butter.

 

To serve, place whole plantains on a serving plate. Using a soup spoon, scoop out spoonfuls of plantain flesh to serve individual portions.

 

PORK CHOPS WITH BLUEBERRY SAUCE

Makes 4 servings

 

Serve with new potatoes and cooked carrots; garnish with bouquet of herbs.

 

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 lean boneless pork loin chops, 3 to 4 ounces each

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 

Combine pepper, garlic powder, salt and cayenne; mix well. Sprinkle pork chops with mixture and press into surface. Heat oil in an oven-safe nonstick skillet and brown chops in the oil.

 

Roast chops for 15 minutes, until they are cooked but still moist (160 degrees F on a meat thermometer). Remove pork chops from skillet. Combine drippings, blueberries, sugar, vinegar, parsley, thyme and sage in skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture begins to thicken. Serve sauce over chops.

 

 

PORTUGUESE SWEET BREAD

(Pao doce) Makes 2 loaves or 1 dozen buns

 

1/4 cup instant mashed-potato granules or flakes

2/3 cup boiling water

2/3 cup granulated sugar plus extra for sprinkling (optional)

1/4 cup nonfat dry milk

1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick; see note)

2 packages active dry yeast (41/2 teaspoons)

1/3 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)

41/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour (divided)

4 eggs (divided)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

 

In a small pan, beat instant potatoes into the boiling water; stir in sugar, dry milk and butter. Let cool to 110 degrees F.

 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. Blend in cooled potato mixture. Add 2 cups flour and beat to blend. Stir in 3 eggs, salt, vanilla and lemon extract until smoothly blended. Then beat in 11/2 cups more flour.

 

With a heavy mixer or by hand, mix in more flour, 1 to 11/2 cups, to make a stiff dough. Turn dough onto a floured board and knead 15 to 20 minutes until smooth and satiny, adding more flour as needed. Turn dough over in a greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

 

Punch dough down and knead briefly on a lightly floured board to release air. Let rest 10 minutes. Shape in one of the following ways:

 

Coiled loaves: Divide dough in half. Roll each piece into a 30-inch-long rope. For each loaf, coil 1 rope in a greased 9-inch pie pan, starting at the outside edge of pan and ending in the center. Twist rope slightly as you lay it in the pan.

 

Coiled buns: Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each into a 12-inch-long rope. On greased baking sheets, coil and twist each rope as described for coiled loaves to make 21/2- to 3-inch buns. Space buns at least 2 inches apart.

 

Braided loaves: Divide dough into 6 equal portions and roll each into a 14-inch-long rope. For each loaf, arrange 3 ropes side by side on a greased baking sheet and loosely braid. Pinch both ends together and turn under loaf.

 

Round loaves: Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a flattened round, about 8 inches across, and place each round in a greased 9-inch pie pan.

 

To bake: Cover loaves or buns lightly and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, 35 to 45 minutes for loaves, 20 to 30 minutes for buns.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Beat remaining egg and brush on loaves or buns. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, if desired. Bake until browned, 25 to 30 minutes for loaves, up to 25 minutes for buns. Cool on racks. Serve warm or cooled.

 

To freeze: Cool completely, wrap tightly in foil and place in freezer. To reheat, unwrap and thaw at room temperature. Place on a baking sheet and loosely cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until warm, 10 to 15 minutes for buns, 25 minutes to 30 minutes for loaves.

 

Note: Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.

 

POWDERED SUGAR COOKIES

 

11/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter (2 sticks; do not substitute margarine or spread)

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

21/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Thin Powdered Sugar Icing (recipe follows)

 

With an electric mixer or wooden spoon, combine sugar and butter together until creamy. Add egg, vanilla, almond extract, flour, soda and cream of tartar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

 

Chill dough at least 3 hours.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick and cut cookies into shapes, then bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool the cookies and coat with icing.

 

Thin Powdered Sugar Icing: Mix 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, water or cream, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth. Makes about 1/2 cup.

 

 

 

 

 

PUERQUITOS

Makes 18 large cookies

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 tablespoons dark coffee

3 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 cup molasses

1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water, for glaze

 

Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until fluffy, adding the brown sugar, egg, vanilla and coffee. The mixture will look curdled.

 

Stir together the flour, salt, ginger and cinnamon until well-blended. Stir the baking soda into the molasses, which will become a bit foamy. This technique gives the cookies their distinctive texture.

 

Using an electric mixer, beat the molasses into the sugar mixture. Add the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is well blended. Divide the dough in half, flatten into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours to make dough easier to handle.

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out a portion of the dough to 1/2 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut into piglets or use any large animal cutter, at least 4 by 3 1/2 inches. Remove the dough scraps and chill before rerolling. Carefully place the cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush with the egg glaze. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake -- puerquitos are meant to be soft. Cool on racks.

 

REFRIED BEAN TOSTADAS

1 3/4 cups (1-pound can) ORTEGA(r) Refried Beans

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 package (1.25 ounces) ORTEGA(r) Taco Seasoning Mix

1 package (10) ORTEGA(r) Tostada Shells , warmed

2 cups shredded lettuce

1/2 cup (2 ounces) SARGENTO(r) Fancy Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese

1/3 cup sliced ripe olives

2 medium ripe avocados, , cut into 20 slices

3/4 cup ORTEGA(r) Thick & Smooth Taco Sauce

COMBINE beans, onion and seasoning mix in medium saucepan. Cook, stirring

frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes or until heated through.

SPREAD 1/4 cup bean mixture over each shell. Top with lettuce, cheese,

olives, avocado and taco sauce.

 

ROSEMARY SKEWERED GRILLED SEA SCALLOPS

Serves 6

18 sea scallops

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 cup raisins

1 cup sweet sherry

6 large sprigs rosemary, 6 to 8 inches in length

 

Remove small tough muscle from side of each scallop. Rinse scallops under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a bowl, add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss scallops to coat and let marinate for 20 minutes.

 

Prepare a hot fire in the grill.

 

Place pine nuts in a saute pan and set it on the hot grate. Toast pine nuts, continuously moving and shaking pan to evenly coat them, until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside. In same warm pan, combine raisins and sherry. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until raisins are plump and sherry is reduced to a thick, glossy, sticky compote, or when sauce coats back of a spoon. Stir in toasted pine nuts and reserve until later.

 

Remove scallops from marinade and reserve marinade. With a scallop in one hand and a rosemary sprig in the other hand, begin to thread the scallop sideways onto the rosemary. Arrange 3 scallops on each skewer.

 

Oil the grill grate. Arrange skewers on grate, brush with reserved marinade and grill for 1-2 minutes per side. Scallops are done when they are firm and no longer translucent.

 

Transfer to a serving dish, spoon compote over scallops and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

SAVORY VEGETABLE MINI QUICHES

1 Pkg. (15 0z.) refrigerated ready to bake pie crust, such as Pillsbury,

or your own homemade dough.

1/4 cup cooked bacon, chopped; or store bought soft bacon bits.

1 pressed garlic clove or minced garlic.

1/2 cup milk.

2 eggs.

1/4 cup scallions, chopped medium (also called green onions).

1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, or cheese of choice.

dash of pepper.

Preheat oven to 375. Roll dough out to 12" x 10" rectangle. Cut 12, 3"

diameter circles from dough. Place dough circle over a tin hole and press

into mini muffin pan using mini tart shaper or it's equivalent. You will

notice the edges are fluted. Repeat with remaining crust.

Whisk milk and eggs together. Add rest of ingredients. Fill each muffin cup

with mixture. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until mixture is puffed and crust is

lightly brown. Don't overcook or it will become crumbly. Otherwise, it is

not a messy appetizer.

*TIP: When filling, the cheese has a tendency to settle at the bottom. You

should stir each time you fill a tin and make sure equal parts are

distributed in each "cup".

 

SLOPPY LENTILS

2 cups dried lentils

1 large chopped onion

1 carrot -- chopped

1 green pepper -- chopped

4 cups water

4 cups tomato sauce

1 tb parsley flakes

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp bail

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tb salt-reduced tamari or lite soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

Combine in crock pot, cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours. Use immediately, or freeze.

To freeze, after cooking, let cool, and put into gallon size freezer bag.

Label and freeze. To prepare: thaw mixture, and over stove, on medium,

heat until heated through. Serve over buns, corn bread, or rice. A

favorite for kids!

SOME FOOD TIPS

 

Bread stays fresher, longer, at room temperature. Do NOT store in refrigerator.

Leftover vegetables go nicely in salad. Or make a chef's salad with leftover meats, cheese, and cold cuts cut in strips and tossed with leftover vegetables, greens, and salad dressing.

Shred Cheddar or Swiss cheese and freeze; whenever you need some for

cooking, just measure.

When cutting thin slices of raw meat, place meat in freezer for half an hour to make slicing easier.

Keep herbs and spices in alphabetical order for convenience.

For ingredients listed in recipes: If the direction comes before the ingredient--for example, sifted flour--first sift the flour, then measure. If the direction comes after the ingredient--for example, pecans, chopped--first measure pecans, then chop.

If a recipe calls for butter or margarine, especially in baking, NEVER use

vegetable oil spread thinking it is margarine.

To reheat pasta or rice, place it in a strainer over a pan of boiling water.

Cover and steam 10 to 15 minutes.

When food boils over in the oven, sprinkle the burned surface with a little salt. This will stop smoke and odor from forming and make the spot easier to clean.

 

SOUTHWEST COBB SALAD

4 cups salad greens, torn

1/4 cup cold cooked corn

1/4 cup diced red pepper

1 4 oz. can whole mild green chilies, or 1 4 oz can diced green chilies drained

4 hard boiled eggs, sliced

2 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or cubes

8 oz block Monterey jack cheese or pepper jack cheese cut into bite size pieces

1/4 cup diced jicama

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1/4 cup well rinsed and drained small black beans

chipotle dressing to taste , or 1/4 cup Ortega chilies, drained well,

blended well with 1/2 cup ranch dressing

Layer the greens in a flat glass serving bowl or tray, make rows of the

other ingredients on top in this order: corn, red pepper, chilies, eggs,

chicken, cheese, jicama, onions, black beans. Chill until cold. Serve

with salad dressing drizzled over top and either corn muffins or blue

tortilla corn chips. Easily serves four hungry people. You can leave any

of the ingredients out or add others to suit your individual taste, for

instance...jalapeno peppers for the mild green chilies.

 

 

SPANISH STYLE GREEN BEANS

1 pound green beans -- fresh

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium tomatoes -- peeled and chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried whole basil

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Wash beans, trim ends, and remove strings. Cut beans into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

Cook beans in boiling water 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain

Saute green pepper and onion in hot oil until tender. Add tomatoes, basil,

rosemary, salt, pepper, and beans; mix well. Heat thoroughly. 6 servings.

 

SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE GALETTE

Makes 8 to 12 servings

Filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, diced (half of an 8-ounce package)

10 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled

2 pounds frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (2 ounces)

1/4 cup minced marinated artichoke hearts

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground (see note)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped roasted shallots (see note)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon whipping cream

 

Topping:

1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, cut into eighths

2 tablespoons halved pimiento-stuffed green olives

2 tablespoons halved, pitted Kalamata olives

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel (orange part only)

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground (see note)

1/8 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

1/8 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons currants

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts (see note)

 

Crust:

13/4 cups all-purpose flour

 

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick)

1/3 cup cold water

1 egg

1 tablespoon whipping cream

1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

 

To make filling: Combine the cream cheese, goat cheese, spinach, parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts, fennel seeds, garlic, thyme, rosemary, olive oil, shallots, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Mix until well-combined. Set aside. (Reserve cream for assembly.)

 

To make topping: Toss together the artichoke hearts, green and Kalamata olives, orange peel, fennel seeds, thyme, rosemary, currants, garlic and olive oil. Set aside until ready to use.

 

To make crust: Combine the flour, salt, shortening and butter in a medium bowl. Using the tips of your fingers, quickly blend the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

 

(Alternately, combine the flour, salt, shortening and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the processor several times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger crumbs. Remove mixture to a medium bowl and proceed as follows.)

 

Drizzle the cold water over the flour mixture and toss with a fork until the mixture begins to hold together. Gather into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 30 minutes.

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 

On a lightly floured board, roll pastry dough into a 14-inch circle. Place on a baking sheet. Pile the filling into the center of the dough, leaving a 3-inch edge all around the circle. Fold up the 3 inches of dough so it partially covers the filling, leaving the center of the filling exposed.

 

Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon cream. Brush the folded crust with the egg mixture and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Pour the reserved 1 tablespoon of cream over the exposed filling, spreading it gently with your fingers (this keeps the filling from drying out).

 

Bake about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cover the exposed filling with the olive-artichoke topping mixture. Garnish with toasted walnuts. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Note: To toast seeds, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to brown. Stir occasionally. Be careful not to burn.

 

Note: To roast shallots, place shallots on a square of foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Wrap foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

 

Note: To toast nuts, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to brown. Stir occasionally. Be careful not to scorch them.

From Gourmet Productions, Lake Oswego, Oregon

 

STEAMED MUSSELS

WITH SHAVED FENNEL IN SAFFRON-AND-WHITE-WINE BROTH

Makes 2 servings

 

24 good-sized fresh mussels, still closed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon finely chopped shallot

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Pinch of saffron (or turmeric)

1/2 bulb fennel, white part only, extremely finely shaved

1/2 tablespoon finely diced red and yellow bell peppers

1 teaspoon fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano or thyme, finely chopped (opt)

1/4 cup white wine

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Clean mussels and remove all traces of beard. Set aside. In a 4-quart saucepan, add oil and briefly saute shallot, crushed red pepper, saffron, fennel, bell peppers and herbs. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add mussels. Cover and simmer 4 to 8 minutes, until all mussels are opened. (If a mussel does not open, discard it immediately.) Remove pan from heat and using a slotted spoon (to leave liquid in the pan), divide mussels into 2 large, shallow bowls. Swirl butter into liquid in pan and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the mussels. Serve with good bread to sop up juices.

 

SWEET SALAD DRESSING

4 oz corn or olive oil

2 oz vinegar

2 tsp Poupon mustard (no substitutes)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

4 Tbs sugar

2 Tbs chives (dried)

8-10 shakes of salt and pepper

Mix all together in a glass bowl, transfer to an empty dressing bottle, chill for an hour before using. Shake well before each use. This dressing will keep nicely for over a week or two.

 

TACO CORNBREAD PIZZA

8 1/2 oz. pkg corn muffin mix

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 bottle (3/4 cup) Taco Seasoning sauce OR 1 envelope taco seasoning mix

(with added water called for in directions)

8 oz. pkg. shredded cheddar cheese

Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions. Spread batter

in greased 12-inch pizza pan. Bake in 400degree oven for 8-10 minutes,

until lightly browned.

Brown meat in skillet until no pink remains; drain. Add taco seasoning

(if using dry mix, add water as directed--2/3 cup, I think). Cook meat

mixture 2 to 4 minutes more. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over crust. Top with

meat mixture. Sprinkle rest of cheese over meat. (OR--put meat on crust &

sprinkle all the cheese over the meat!)

Bake 4 to 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream,

salsa, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives.

 

 

 

 

 

TARTAR SAUCE

 

1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise

1/2 tablespoon mustard

1/2 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon sweet pickle juice or relish

dash of cayenne (red) pepper

 

Mix together well; chill for a few hours before serving.

 

THREE LAYERED CASSEROLE

3 lb. Ground beef

3 chopped onions

3 tsp. chopped garlic

2 c. chopped celery

1 c. chopped carrot

6 cups mashed potatoes

6 cups cooked peas, French green beans, or broccoli

3 . c. grated

cheese

Fry ground beef, then add onions, garlic, celery and carrot; cook until slightly soft. Use three disposable cake pans and layer first the beef mix, green vegetables, then mashed potatoes. Sprinkle cheese over top. If desired, use some parmesan. You may also mix the cheese in with the potatoes and then sprinkle just a bit on top. Wrap well with foil. For immediate use, bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.

 

Chill without baking, and freeze for future use. If thawed, remove foil and it will be 25-30 minutes.. If not thawed, put it in a 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes, then take foil off, and turn temp up to 350 for about 1/2 hour.

 

TUNA POUCHES PROVIDE FRESHNESS

VARIETY AND CONVENIENCE

 

Tuna is one canned food that is in almost everyone's pantry. If you've bought tuna lately, you've probably seen that it's now available in 3- and 7-ounce pouches -- at a higher price.

 

Why pay more for tuna fish in pouches? Several reasons.

 

For one, this new packaging lets you add variety to menus for backpacking and wilderness trips -- without having to pack out cans. Just add the tuna to a noodle mix or eat with crackers. All you'll have to bring back home is a flat foil pouch.

 

I knew I was really sold on the new pouch after I took it to my office and used the tuna to top a green salad that I purchased in the lunchroom. The flavor of the tuna is fresher than canned, and the convenient pouch eliminates the mess of the juices and the can.

 

StarKist claims its pouch-pack tuna has a firmer texture than canned, with less liquid to drain. CeCe Sullivan, home economist at the The Seattle Times, decided to put those claims to the test, and according to Sullivan, the results were impressive.

 

A 7.06-ounce pouch of StarKist Premium Chunk White Albacore Tuna in Water yielded 1 cup of tuna and only 1 tablespoon of liquid. The tuna remained firm and chunky when mixed for a sandwich, although it was a bit dryer and needed an extra tablespoon of mayonnaise. This style of tuna would be great for a salad or casserole. It sells for $2.99.

 

By comparison, a 6-ounce can of StarKist Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, although less expensive at $1.79, provided only3/4cup of tuna, but 3 tablespoons of water. The tuna's texture was softer and the flavor much blander than the pouch variety, and the taste and smell were not as fresh.

 

There was a clear difference in the quality of the chunk light tunas. A 7.06-ounce pouch of StarKist Premium Chunk Light Tuna in Water contained 1 cup tuna and only 1 teaspoon liquid, although it was very moist and mixed well for sandwiches. A 6-ounce can of StarKist Chunk Light Tuna in Water provided about 2/3 cup of tuna and 3 tablespoons of liquid. Its texture was mushy, the flavor nonexistent. Even though the pouch was $1.99 and the can about $1, the pouch was a better buy in terms of quality.

 

Bumble Bee also sells tuna in 3-ounce and 7-ounce pouches of both Chunk Light Tuna in Water and Chunk White Albacore Tuna in Water. As with StarKist, the pouch tuna was firm, fresh tasting and had almost no liquid to drain.

 

Uses for tuna

Tuna is great for making salads. Add it to pasta or greens, or make a main-dish salade nicoise by arranging it on a plate with some imported olives, chilled fresh-cooked beans, onion, wedges of hard-cooked egg and a sprinkle of herbs.

 

Add the tuna to a pasta sauce, or use it as a base for fish chowder.

 

Use the tuna as a filling for tacos or enchiladas.

 

Make a sandwich by blending the tuna with ricotta cheese, chopped parsley or dill and a little mayonnaise.

 

Make the filling with chutney, curry powder and mayonnaise.

 

Once you've discovered the flavor and convenience of pouch-pack tuna, you may never go back to canned.

 

TUNA RICE PIE

1 cup rice -- uncooked

10 ounces frozen chopped broccoli

1 egg -- beaten

10 ounces condensed cheese soup -- undiluted

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 1/2 ounces (1 jar) sliced mushrooms -- drained

6 1/2 ounces tuna in water, canned -- drained and flaked

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt; set aside.

Cook broccoli according to package directions; drain well and set aside.

Combine rice and egg; mix well. Press firmly on bottom and sides of a

buttered 10- x 6- x 2-inch baking dish; set aside.

Combine soup and Worcestershire sauce in a large saucepan; bring to a boil,

stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in broccoli, mushrooms, and

tuna. Pour into rice shell; cover and bake at 375 degrees F. for 20 to 25

minutes. Yield: 6 servings.

 

WHEAT FREE BROWNIES

1/2 cup brown rice flour

2 tablespoons tapioca flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons canola oil

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

cooking spray

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. Stir together flours, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat together oil and brown sugar until well-combined. Blend in eggs and vanilla, then dry ingredients. Mix until just blended. Stir in nuts.

 

Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean. Cool before cutting into 16 squares.

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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