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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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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).















































































Serves 6


For vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce

1 teaspoon Chinese chile paste with garlic

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup peanut oil

For beans:

1 pound Chinese long beans (left whole or cut into 3-inch lengths) or green

beans, ends trimmed

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

To make vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine vinegar, shallots, lemon

juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, chile-garlic paste, sugar and garlic. Whisk in

peanut oil until well emulsified. Set vinaigrette aside.

To cook beans: Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a

boil. Add long beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain beans and

immediately plunge them into a container of ice water. When beans are

chilled, drain and pat off excess water on kitchen towels. In a large bowl,

toss beans with vinaigrette. Season to taste with kosher salt.

To serve: If using whole long beans, you can gather a few together and tie

them into a knot. Long beans look nice stacked lengthwise in little bundles.

If there's any extra vinaigrette, drizzle it over beans and sprinkle them

with toasted sesame seeds.

A step ahead: Vinaigrette can be made a few days ahead and stored

refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap. You can blanch the beans a few

hours before needed and keep them, covered, in the refrigerator.



Sinker: You can't make decent gravy


Lifesaver: Robert L. Wolke is your man. Wolke is professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and author of the Food 101 column that runs periodically in the Mercury News.

Wolke explains: When your turkey is done, you have two kinds of liquid in the pan: an oily liquid (the melted fat) and a watery liquid (the meat and vegetable juices). You want to incorporate both into your gravy. The trick is to get them to meld into a smooth, homogeneous mixture -- no lumps, no puddles of grease.


Flour contains certain proteins that form a sticky substance -- gluten -- when the proteins get wet. If you just dump flour into the pan, these proteins will get together with the water to form a glutinous goop that the oil can't penetrate. Then you'll wind up with little lumps of dough swimming in pools of grease.


Make sure to mix the flour first with some of the fat, which you have previously separated from the watery juices. That way, the individual, microscopic particles of flour become coated with oil, which the watery juices can't penetrate to gum things up. Result? Later, when you add the juices, supplemented as needed with broth or other watery liquids, these individual, oil-coated flour particles become widely scattered. And that's just what you want, because the thickening agent and the fat it carries are uniformly dispersed throughout the watery juices, giving you a smooth consistency.


You must keep the amounts of flour and fat just about equal. Use one part flour and one part fat to every eight parts of liquid or stock.


Sinker: Try as you might, your gravy remains horrible.


Lifesaver: Try these tips from ``Cook It Right'' by cooking school founder Anne Willan (Reader's Digest, $29.95):

Gravy too thin? Simmer until reduced. Or thicken it by dissolving a little arrowroot or cornstarch in cold water and whisking that into the boiling sauce.


Too thick? Thin with water or stock.


Lumpy? Put it through a fine strainer.


No taste? Use salt and pepper, soy sauce, more pan drippings, chicken stock, or port, Madeira or bourbon.


Looks muddy, not glossy? Add cold stock or water, simmer, then skim often.



Makes about 21/2 cups

1/2 pound light brown sugar (half of a 1-pound box; 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup cider vinegar

3 green onions (white and green parts), minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 whole cloves

1/2 bay leaf

2 tablespoons dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon ground or crumbled dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Few drops liquid smoke

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice


In a medium saucepan, mix together brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, honey, vinegar, green onions, garlic, cloves, bay leaf, dry mustard, rosemary, oregano, pepper and cayenne.


Over medium heat, heat through, then simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes; add liquid smoke, butter and lemon juice, simmer gently 5 more minutes.


Strain and throw out solids. Serve warm. From "The Hard-Core BBQ Book/Legendary American Recipes" by Patricia Colarco



Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

Salt and pepper

1 cup uncooked white rice

1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; use the juice), optional

1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Put butter or oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion turns translucent, 5-10 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is glossy and begins to brown, 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add tomatoes, if desired, and stir 1 minute; add stock (the smaller amount if you use canned tomatoes) and stir. Bring to a boil, cook 1-2 minutes, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook about 15 minutes, or until most liquid is absorbed. Turn heat to absolute minimum and cook another 15-30 minutes; or, if stove is electric, turn heat off and let pan sit on burner for same amount of time. Stir in parsley and lemon juice and serve.


Seafood: Just before adding stock, stir in 1 cup scallops, cut into 1/2-inch

dice, or 1 cup shrimp.

Currants and pine nuts: With rice, add 1/4 cup currants (or raisins), 2

tablespoons pine nuts and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Peas: Just before stock, stir in 1 cup cooked chickpeas or raw green peas

(frozen are all right, too).

Bulgur: Substitute coarse-grained bulgur for rice and cook only 10 minutes

after stock comes to a boil.



Makes 6 servings


8 ounces shrimp, shelled and deveined

8 ounces scallops (cut in quarters or halves, if large)

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (23/4 cups)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar or lemon juice

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

3/4 cup pearl barley, uncooked

2 cups bottled clam juice

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (see note)


Place shrimp, scallops and mushrooms in bowl. Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and red pepper sauce. Pour over seafood and toss well. Cover and refrigerate while cooking barley.


Spray a large deep skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, carrot and garlic; saute until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add barley and clam juice. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in broccoli and seafood with marinade. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until barley is tender and seafood is cooked. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve.


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



1 (16 oz) can sliced beets

1 (15 oz) can pineapple chunks in juice -- undrained

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Drain beets, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Combine beets, reserved beet liquid, pineapple, and vinegar in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir together sugar and cornstarch; add to beet mixture. Cook over medium heat until clear and thickened. Serve hot, or chill and serve cold. Yield: 8 servings



Serves 6

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup minced zucchini

1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground beef

1/3 pound ground turkey breast

1/3 pound ground pork tenderloin

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup plain non-fat yogurt

3 tablespoons ketchup plus 5 tablespoons for glazing

1/4 cup fine bread crumbs

1 egg and 2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Saute onion in oil in a non-stick pan until quite soft and golden. Stir in zucchini and cook a couple of minutes longer, until zucchini is soft. With your hands, gently mix onion and zucchini with all remaining ingredients (except ketchup for glazing), and spoon into 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Pat gently, and spread the 5 tablespoons ketchup over top. Bake immediately or refrigerate or freeze.

To serve, defrost if frozen. Return to room temperature, and heat oven to

350 degrees. Bake meatloaf for 45 to 60 minutes. Slice and serve warm.



Makes 5 dozen cookies

1 181/4-ounce package devil's food cake mix with pudding

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened (1 stick; no substitutes)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Beat half of the dry cake mix and the butter, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl set on medium speed until smooth, or mix with spoon. Stir in remaining cake mix, nuts and chocolate chips.


Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are set; center will be soft. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.



Makes 4 dozen cookies


If you like tart lemon flavor, try the variation for Double Lemon Cookies.

1 181/4-ounce lemon cake mix with pudding

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 16-ounce container ready-to-spread lemon frosting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet.


Mix dry cake mix, oil and eggs in large bowl with spoon until dough forms.


Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake about 8 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.


Double Lemon Cookies: Measure 2 tablespoons lemon juice plus enough vegetable oil to equal 1/2 cup. Substitute this mixture for the 1/2 cup oil and continue as directed above.



Makes 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies

4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon powdered ginger

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of fine sea salt

1/4 cup finely diced crystallized ginger ( 1/8-inch bits)


Cream butter and brown sugar until smooth with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add fresh and powdered ginger, vanilla, flour, baking soda, and salt; mix on low speed until blended.


Gather dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Cover work surface with large piece of parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Place dough in center, and with a rolling pin, roll out 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. If dough sticks, sprinkle lightly with more flour. Slide rolled-out dough on its paper onto a large baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.


Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and slide off baking sheet. Line that baking sheet and another one with fresh sheets of parchment. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter or a cookie cutter shaped like a crescent moon (or another shape), cut out as many cookies as possible, dipping cutter into flour only if dough sticks. Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Press a tiny cube of crystallized ginger near point of moon. Bake cookies one sheet at a time, refrigerating filled baking sheets until baking time. Bake until edges are light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool, undisturbed, on baking sheet placed on wire rack. Cookies will crisp as they cool. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.


China Moon made the cookies tiny, with a 1 1/2-inch cutter, which yields double the amount.



8 ounces Dipping Chocolate -- or Almond Bark

24 large Maraschino Cherries -- with stems

24 roasted Peanuts -- un-broken

24 Hershey's Kisses candies -- un-wrapped

Round Candy Sprinkles


Line two baking sheets with waxed paper, then set aside.

Remove cherries from jar/juice, and drain well on paper towels, making sure

stem stays firmly attached to each cherry. Set aside.

Carefully separate peanut halves from each other, making sure not to break

the individual halves- place these in a small bowl and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt dipping chocolate or almond bark in microwave

oven, on low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve lumps. Place bowl of melted chocolate on your work surface (I prefer the kitchen table for this), and arrange other ingredients, and baking sheets on work surface so they are all within easy reach.

Now you are ready to dip your mouse bodies! Take a cherry by the stem, and

dip into melted chocolate, covering entire cherry and stem. Carefully lay dipped cherry onto waxed paper lined baking sheet, so stem (tail) turns upward. Place one unwrapped Hershey's Kiss, flat side next to the 'body' so it forms a head for your mouse. Hold it in place until chocolate is set enough to hold by itself. Add two peanut halve 'ears' by cementing them on with small dots of melted chocolate- then using tweezers and round candy sprinkles, add a tiny nose to the pointed end of the head, and place eyes in appropriate area, also cementing with melted chocolate. (A toothpick is handy to use for adding chocolate 'cement'). You now have one Christmas Mouse completed! Repeat process until all 24 mice are assembled.

Store mice in re-shaped paper cup cake liners, in a cool, dry place - do not

refrigerate because this will cause the mice to get white streaks.



1 egg white

1 teaspoon water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups pecans

Beat egg white and water until frothy. Mix sugar, cinnamon and salt together. Stir into egg white mixture. Toss with pecans. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 200 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.




Serves 4

2 jalapeño chilies, cut in half and seeded

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 ounces pancetta, diced ( 1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 pounds clams, scrubbed and rinsed

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 pound fresh or dried linguine

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter

4 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

4 lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and start a pot of salted water boiling to cook

pasta later. Wearing rubber gloves to keep chili oil from skin, brush jalapeño halves with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, dice finely.

Put a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Heat olive oil, add pancetta

and cook, stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes. Add jalapeño, garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Turn heat to high. Add clams and wine, and cover. Cook until clams open, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Add butter, chopped parsley, lemon juice and zest to clams in pan and toss until butter melts into sauce. Drain pasta. In a large serving bowl, toss pasta with clam sauce and whole parsley leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve: Divide pasta among 4 shallow bowls or plates and top with shaved

Parmesan. Make sure clams end up mostly on top of pasta, facing up. Discard

any unopened clams. Garnish with lemon wedges.



Serves 6-8

4 cups water

1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mint sprigs for garnish


In a large, non-reactive sauce pan, bring 4 cups water, cranberries and sugar to boil over high heat, stirring often to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 10 minutes or until all cranberries have burst. Pour into wire sieve placed over a bowl and drain well. Press gently on berries to extract as much juice as possible, but don't force solids through the sieve. Stir lemon juice into cranberry liquid. Refrigerate, uncovered, until completely cooled, about 2 hours.


Meanwhile, place metal 9-by-13-inch baking pan in freezer to chill. Pour cranberry liquid onto chilled pan. Freeze until mixture freezes around edges, about 1 hour. Using a large metal spoon, mix frozen edges into center.


Freeze again, repeating stirring procedure about every 30 minutes until mixture is a slushy consistency, 2-3 hours total freezing time. Serve immediately in well-chilled glasses, garnished with mint.



Makes 4 servings


You could say that the croque-monsieur is nothing more than a grilled ham and cheese, but that would be like saying truffles are candy. You must, however, use the very best ingredients or, alors, your croque-monsieur will taste like its American counterpart. These are rich, so two, made on small rounds of bread, are generally enough for one serving. Serve with a bowl of soup.


1 small loaf country French or Italian bread (I use Grand Central's seeded Pico)

1/3 pound paper-thin, air-dried imported ham, such as French-style ham, or

Italian prosciutto (see note)

1/2 pound of the best gruyere cheese

Butter (not margarine)


Cut the bread into 16 3/8-inch slices. Cover 8 of them with a layer of the ham and thin slices of the gruyere. Top with the remaining bread slices. For those who want their sandwiches even cheesier, grate the remaining cheese on the large side of a hand grater and set aside.


Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat the broiler. Butter 1 side of the sandwiches and place them, butter side down, in a heavy skillet, weighted down with a heavy plate. When the sandwiches are almost brown, butter the face-up side and flip to brown the other side. If you are planning to use the reserved cheese, brown the second side only slightly, sprinkle with the shredded cheese, and heat under broiler until the cheese melts and browns.


Note: French-style ham and prosciutto are available at most specialty markets.




safflower oil -- for coating pan

1 cup ground almonds

1 cup ground walnuts

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

8 sheets filo

1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups date sugar

2 tablespoons grated lemon rind

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons honey


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a deep 9- by 12-inch baking pan.


2. In a small bowl combine almonds, walnuts, and cinnamon. Set aside.


3. Cut each sheet of filo in half. Stack cut sheets on counter. With a large pastry brush, dot top sheet with about 1 teaspoon butter, then spread evenly to coat as much of sheet as possible (see Preparing Filo). Lay evenly in baking pan. Sprinkle lightly with nut mixture. Repeat with remaining sheets, stacking evenly.


4. To cut baklava make 4 evenly spaced vertical cuts through the entire stack of filo. Then cut diagonally to form diamond shapes. (Four evenly spaced diagonal cuts will yield 15 to 20 pastries.) Bake for 20 minutes, then lower heat to 300 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes more.


5. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer date sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice, and honey until thickened. Pour over cooked baklava as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let cool and then serve.


NOTES : This traditional Greek dessert alternates sheets of thin filo pastry with a mixture of ground almonds, walnuts, and cinnamon. When the pastry comes out of the oven, it soaks in a lemon-flavored honey glaze.



Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups chopped onion

2/3 cup cashews

1/2 cup raisins, or dried cherries or dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

3/4 cup pearl barley, uncooked

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

33/4 cups beef broth or water (or 3 beef bouillon cubes and 33/4 cups water)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion until limp and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cashews, raisins and apricots and sauté until coated with butter and fruits are slightly softened, about 3 minutes.


Add the barley and sauté until it starts to turn golden and begins to smell nice, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cumin and coriander and cook for 30 seconds.


Meanwhile bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add barley mixture and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the barley is tender.


Remove from the heat, uncover and drape a clean dish towel over the pan to prevent the steam from condensing and dropping back onto the pilaf. Put the cover back on and let the pilaf stand 5 to 10 minutes, or until pilaf is dried out a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.



Guests at your holiday gatherings will love Festive Cheese Spread not only for its incredible herb and garlic flavor, but for its very festive candy cane look on your holiday table.

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 tablespoons McCormick Freeze-Dried Chives

2 tablespoons McCormick Parsley Flakes

1 teaspoon McCormick California Style Blend Garlic Pepper

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Dill Weed

1/4 teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves

1/2 red bell pepper (about 1/2 cup), chopped

1. Beat together cream cheese and butter until fluffy with an electric mixer. Add remaining ingredients except red bell pepper; beat well.

2. Place a piece of plastic wrap on a baking sheet. Spoon cheese mixture onto plastic wrap to form a candy cane shape, log, or ball. Fold up plastic wrap over cheese to encase. Refrigerate until cheese is firm, about 4 hours or overnight.

3. Unwrap cheese mixture. Place on serving plate. Smooth entire shape with spatula or knife. Decorate with bell pepper. May be covered and refrigerated overnight.




Serves 4

For the garniture:

1 shallot, peeled and finely minced

1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Juice of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 freshly grated nutmeg

4 beef filet steaks, about 6 ounces each

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

Small (about 4.5-ounce) tin of foie gras (optional)

Combine ingredients for garniture and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

Bring steaks to room temperature, brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Cook as you usually would to desired temperature over grill or in a skillet, using a small amount of butter and olive oil.

Eugenie is a health spa as well as a three-star restaurant. For those who wish, steaks are cooked brushed with olive oil, but without oil and butter in the skillet. To do this: Completely cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet with a thin layer of coarse salt. Put the pan in a 500 degree oven until salt crackles. Carefully remove skillet from oven. Put steaks in skillet (they will not stick) and cook on stove, turning once.

When meat is ready, spoon half of garniture over steaks, place a slice of foie gras, if using, over garniture so it melts slightly, and spoon remaining garniture over that. Serve immediately.



Makes 10 to 12 servings




1 3/4 cups walnuts

2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons butter, softened (see note)



1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick; no substitutes)

1 tablespoon honey

2 eggs

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts



3 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped

3/8 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup

3/8 teaspoon vanilla


To make crust: Butter and flour 9-inch tart pan. Place nuts and sugar in food processor; process until mixture is not too coarse but not too fine. Put in medium bowl. Add softened butter and mix with fingers. Empty into tart pan. Using a tablespoon, spread out to uniform thickness on bottom of pan and press down to compact. Put foil underneath pan to prevent batter from dripping


To make filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, pepper and salt. Set aside.


Melt chopped chocolate and butter in double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth. Add honey.


In mixer bowl using whip attachments, beat eggs until very foamy. Add granulated sugar in 4 parts, then beat in brown sugar. Add vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.


Reduce mixer to low. Pour in chocolate mixture and mix. Add flour mixture all at once. Mix until incorporated.

Empty batter into shell. Smooth top. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.


Bake about 25 minutes. Cool, then remove from pan.


To make ganache: Put chocolate in a food processor and finely chop. Combine cream and corn syrup in saucepan. Heat to a gentle boil. Pour over chocolate; let set 1 minute. Pulse 3 to 4 times; let set 1 minute. Add vanilla, pulse 3 to 4 times; empty into bowl. Let thicken slightly, but make sure mixture is still pourable. Drizzle over top of finished tart.



Serves 8-10

Turkey neck and giblets

3 cups water

2 celery tops

2 green onions

Pan juices from roasted turkey

4 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place neck and giblets, except liver, in a saucepan with water, celery tops and green onions. Chop liver and reserve. Bring water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for about 40 minutes or until giblets are tender. Strain broth and reserve.


Chop cooked giblets and combine with chopped liver.


In the same saucepan, bring 2 cups combined pan juices and giblet broth to a boil. Stir in chopped giblets and cornstarch-water mixture. Cook gravy over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



Serves 8-12

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 pounds baby carrots

1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium canned beef broth

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper

1/2 cup toasted, coarsely chopped pecans


In a 12-inch, non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add carrots and stir to coat with butter. Add stock, syrup, salt and pepper. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Cover and cook 6 minutes.


Uncover and cook, stirring often, until carrots are tender and liquid reduces to a glaze, 12-15 minutes. Stir in pecans. Serve immediately.



2 cups cooked rice

2 cups Cheddar cheese -- shredded

3 cups grated carrots

2 eggs -- beaten

2/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients, stirring well. Spoon into a greased 1 1/2-quart

casserole. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour or until set. Serves 6



Serves 6

3 medium baking potatoes, each cut into 6 lengthwise wedges

1 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place potato wedges in a single layer on their cut sides in gratin dish large enough to just hold them. Warm chicken stock and pour over potatoes. Dot with butter, season and cover loosely with foil. Bake 15 minutes.


Flip potatoes to other cut side and bake under foil for 15 minutes. Remove foil and carefully flip potatoes back to the first side. Bake uncovered 10 more minutes. Flip potatoes carefully and repeat. When braising liquid is very thick and syrupy, stand potato upright (skin sides down) and turn oven to broil. Broil 6 inches under flame just until potatoes brown.



How to save money and make your own liquid hand soap in your blender:


1 bar of your favorite soap

1 cup boiling water

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp glycerin

Grate the bar of soap. Place soap shavings and 1-cup boiling water into your blender. Whip for about 1-minute. Add 1-Tablespoon honey and 1-teaspoon glycerin; stir. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Add cold water to mixture and whip again. Add it slowly - whatever amount it makes to get the texture as you like it. Put mixture into an open bowl to cool completely. Do not cover. Fill pump dispensers with soap. Shake before using.



Serves 8-10

1 small turkey, 10-12 pounds

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1/2 teaspoon ground sage

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 small bunch green onions

3 to 4 tablespoons honey

String of cranberries and bay or sage leaves for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Remove giblets from turkey and reserve for gravy. Rinse turkey and pat dry. Rub inside and out with oil. Season with sage, allspice, salt and pepper. Stuff neck and body cavities with onions and truss, if desired. Place turkey in roasting pan. Roast, allowing about 18-20 minutes per pound, until juices run clear with no hint of pink when thigh is pierced.


During the last hour of cooking, baste turkey 2 to 3 times with honey.


Serve with pan gravy and garnish with cranberries and bay leaves or sage leaves, if desired.



Serves 6


A delicious spin on the day-after turkey sandwich is a Hot Brown, named for the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky. The signature sandwich was created in the 1920s by the hotel's chef as a snack for late-night Kentucky Derby revelers.


1 stick butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

Tabasco sauce (5 dashes or more to taste)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

2 beaten egg yolks

1 cup Colby cheese, grated

6 slices bread

1 pound sliced turkey (approximately)

12 slices country ham or baked ham

12 tomato slices

12 slices bacon, fried crisp



In a 4-quart, heavy saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until mixture is smooth. Slowly add milk while stirring; cook until sauce is thick. Add Tabasco and Parmesan cheese; mix thoroughly. Remove from heat. Take out 1/2 cup sauce and add the egg yolks. Mix well and return pan to heat, stirring constantly. Add Colby cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat.


Toast six slices of bread. Slice each piece in half and place on a heat-resistant plate. Layer with sliced turkey, ham, tomato, and bacon. Top with sauce and a sprinkle of paprika. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.




Freezing fruits and vegetables results in some loss of quality, but they will be fine in pies, casseroles, soups and smoothies. Try these tips from ``The Best Freezer Cookbook,'' by Jan Main. Freeze produce in freezer containers or bags.


Many fruits need to be packed in cold syrup. To make syrup, dissolve sugar

in hot water; allow to cool before adding fruit.

Blueberries: Do not wash. First, freeze on wax paper-lined trays. Once

frozen, store in freezer bags.

Cherries (sweet): Choose firm, ripe cherries, preferably black varieties.

Wash, stem and pit. Pack in sugar, using 1/2 cup sugar to 4 cups fruit.

Grapes: Wash and detach from stems. Freeze on wax paper-lined trays. Once

frozen, store in freezer bags.

Melon: Choose fully ripened, firm, well-colored melons. Wash, cut in half, remove seeds and rind. Cut into cubes, slices or balls. Pack in cold syrup,

dissolving 1 cup sugar to 2 1/2 cups water.

Pears: Not recommended for freezing.

Peaches: Choose firm, ripe peaches with no green color. Peel, pit and slice.

Pack in cold syrup, 2 cups sugar to 3 cups water. Or pack in sugar, 2/3 cup

sugar to 4 cups fruit.

Plums: Choose firm, mature fruit. Wash, halve and pit. Pack in cold syrup, 2

cups sugar to 3 cups water. Or pack in sugar, 3/4 cup sugar to 4 cups fruit.

Raspberries: Choose firm fruit. Do not wash. Freeze on wax paper-lined

trays; once frozen, store in freezer bags.

Rhubarb: Choose tender, well-colored stalks. Wash, trim and cut into 1-inch

lengths. Freeze on wax paper-lined trays; once frozen, store in freezer bags.

Strawberries: Choose firm, fully ripe, red berries. Wash in cold water (do

not soak); hull and slice (slicing improves texture and flavor). Freeze on

wax paper-lined trays; once frozen, store in freezer bags.




Vegetables benefit when they are blanched before freezing. To blanch, cook

in boiling water 30 seconds to 1 minute; drain well.

Asparagus: Choose young, tender stalks with compact tips. Wash thoroughly in

cold water. Blanch small stalks 2 minutes; medium, 3 minutes; large, 4

minutes. Chill quickly in cold water. Drain. Package spears alternating tip

and stem ends. Freeze.

Corn: Remove husk and silk. Cook 4 minutes in boiling water. Chill quickly

in cold water. Drain. Cut kernels from cob. Freeze at once.

Herbs: Freeze on trays; pack in freezer bags. Do not blanch.

Peppers: Select firm peppers. Wash, stem, halve or slice and seed. Freeze.

Summer squash: Select young squash with small seeds and tender skin. Wash,

drain, slice. Freeze.

Tomatoes: Select fully ripened fruit. Cut a small X in the bottom of the

tomato. Plunge into boiling water for 10 seconds. Peel and core. Freeze.



6 quarts popped popcorn

3 ounces Jell-O -- (any flavor)

1 cup sugar

1 cup white corn syrup

Mix well and slowly bring to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook until sugar

is dissolved. Pour over 6 quarts popped popcorn & form into balls or spread

our on waxed paper for loose flavored popcorn.




Versatile rice pilaf invites innovation.

Pilaf, a rice dish that appears in cuisines from the Balkans to the Eastern

Mediterranean to the Indian subcontinent, was one of my earliest ``exotic''

food triumphs. I cooked meat-laced pilafs, plain pilafs and pilafs with

aromatic flavors. But eventually the dish was overshadowed by my discovery

of risotto, which became overwhelmingly trendy for a while despite its

relative difficulty.

A few months ago, I rediscovered pilaf, and found that it compares favorably

with risotto in every way: It is far easier to make, is equally delicious,

can produce scores of spin-offs and can also serve as a starter, side dish

or main course.

One note of caution: it is so easy to add things to pilaf that you might

wind up with a muddy-tasting one-pot dish that isn't half bad but isn't

exactly pilaf either. Better to keep the dish simple, with a couple of clear

flavors that won't battle it out on your palate.

Which rice is best? Pilafs made with short-grain rice, such as arborio, have

better texture. But that quality is fleeting, and if you overcook the pilaf

or let it rest too long, that texture becomes gummy. Long-grain rice --

basmati is the rice of choice -- is more flexible in its cooking time, and

the grains remain separate long after the cooking is done.





4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 tablespoon chicken bouillon

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup chopped onion

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chili peppers

1 small can chopped green chilies, drained

1 (15-ounce) can black beans or pinto beans, drained

12 (8-inch) corn tortillas, torn into strips

3 cups shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, or combination


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring large saucepan of water to boil. Add chicken and bouillon; boil 12-15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Reserve 1 cup liquid. Remove chicken from pan and dice; set aside.


In large saucepan, combine reserved liquid, onion, soups, bell pepper, diced tomatoes, chilies and beans. Mix and heat through, stirring often.


In a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish, layer casserole as follows: 4 torn tortillas, half diced chicken, 1/3 soup mixture, 4 more tortillas, remaining chicken, 1/3 soup mixture, remaining tortillas and remaining soup mixture. Cover with cheese.


Bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is bubbly.




Serves 4

5 cups cold water

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons molasses

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 thick cut (about 1 1/2 inches) pork chops (about 12 ounces each)

2 apples (Braeburn or Granny Smith)

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sprigs fresh thyme

In a non-reactive pan or bowl, combine water, brown sugar, salt, maple syrup, molasses and spices. Add pork chops, cover, and refrigerate for 1 to 3 days.

Fire up the grill. Remove pork from refrigerator. Remove pork chops from brine and allow them to come to room temperature for 20 minutes before grilling. Grill over direct heat, covered, with vents open. Smoke should be flowing from vents, which means the fire is hot, and you should hear the pork sizzling. Brown both sides of chops. If surface is burning, move pork chops to an area of indirect heat on grill. Pull pork from grill when it reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees on an instant-read meat thermometer. It should take approximately 25 minutes total. Let pork chops rest about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, core apples, leaving peel on, and slice into rings about 1/4-inch thick. In a small bowl, combine honey and lemon juice. Brush this mixture on apple rings and grill them over direct heat, with lid off, until caramelized, about 4 minutes. Don't cook them so much that they fall apart; the goal is simply to caramelize them.

To serve: Serve with grits or polenta or mashed potatoes if you wish. Serve each pork chop with some of the apple rings and a sprig of fresh thyme.



Serves 6-8

7 fluid ounces lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 (3-ounce package) lime-flavored gelatin

8 ounces cream cheese

1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon mayonnaise

1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a saucepan, combine the carbonated beverage and marshmallows. Stir over

medium heat until marshmallows melt. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Add gelatin and cream cheese and mix until gelatin is dissolved. Add

pineapple and juice, pecans, mayonnaise and whipped topping. Mix well and

pour into a 7-inch by 11-inch dish and chill until set. Makes six to eight




Serves 6

2 pounds thin-skinned potatoes (Yukon golds, if possible), sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 to 2 cups low-fat or non-fat buttermilk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Scrub potatoes but do not peel. Cook in water to cover till tender, about 10


Do not peel but mash in a food mill or with another mashing tool. Don't

worry about the skin that goes through. Stir in enough buttermilk to make

creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Variations: Cook potatoes with 3 cloves of garlic. Mash with the garlic and

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil. Or cook 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels with

the potatoes, drain potatoes and stir corn back into them with the




Serves 2

Olive oil spray

1 cup coarsely chopped onion, divided use

1 cup coarsely chopped carrots, divided use

1/2 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

3/4 pound ground white meat turkey

1 egg white

12 pitted, sliced black olives (Kalamata if possible)

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

1/4 cup diced low-fat ham

1 cup canned, crushed tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a non-stick skillet with olive oil spray and add onion and carrots. Saute 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove half of onion-carrot mixture and set aside. Add mushrooms to skillet and sauté 2 minutes.


Mix vegetables with bread crumbs, ground turkey and egg white.


Line a baking sheet with foil. Shape turkey mixture into 2 loaves about 6 inches by 3 inches. Bake 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, spray skillet with olive oil spray and return reserved onion and carrots to skillet. Add olives, pepper flakes, ham and tomatoes. Cover and sauté 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Remove meatloaf from oven and serve with tomato mixture on top. Makes 2 servings.



2 egg whites

2 cups pecan halves

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

Dash of cinnamon or other desired spice

Press lumps out of brown sugar. In medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff,

then fold in the brown sugar. Add vanilla and spice and mix well. Pour nuts in prepared meringue and, using wooden spoon, mix well until all are covered with the meringue. Spray cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray. Place nuts individually on cookie sheet(s) and bake in preheated 250 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.



(sugarless, eggless)


This cake is not very sweet, but it's really good, and satisfying.


3 tbs butter (can be replaced w/applesauce or soy yogurt)

1 cup (or more if needed to moisten) soy or rice milk

3/4 of a grated carrot

3/4 of a banana

1 grated apple (peel optional)

20 drops of Stevia (an herb used for sweetening -- can buy in healthfood stores!

1 cup flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tbs baking powder

3/4 tsp each cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg

1 tbsp vanilla

(add anything else you like, nuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, etc)


In a small mixing bowl, mash banana. Mix in butter (or it's noted substitute above), grated carrot and apple, spices, soy milk, Stevia, and vanilla.


In a big mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, and sift if possible to get some air into it since their are no eggs to make it rise.


Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and fold it in. if it's too dry, add more soy milk, and too wet add more flour, but just remember not to mix it very much, just fold and don't fold much.


Line a square baking pan and line with parchment paper so there's no mess and the cake lifts right out. Spread the batter across the bottom, it won't be very high, but that's the trick of making it cook evenly and without having a snack cake

that's gummy in the middle when you're not using eggs.


Bake for 20-25 minutes in pre-heated 350-degree oven.



Serves 8-10


This is a Christmas tradition at my in-laws' home in El Paso. Local high schools sell luminarias as a fundraiser. On Christmas Eve, everyone goes out into the cold night to light the luminarias lining the drive and walkway. And from the kitchen emanates the warming smell of this dish.


12 corn tortillas

Vegetable oil for deep frying

1 large onion, grated

2 (14 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes (do not drain)

1 (7 ounce) can diced green chilies

2 cups cooked turkey

4 cups grated cheddar cheese


Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip tortillas in hot oil, just to soften. Drain on paper towels and cut each into 6 pieces. Set aside.


In a large bowl, mix grated onion, tomatoes and their juice, and chilies. Set aside.


Cover bottom of a large, 6-8 quart, oven-safe casserole with about 1 cup of tomato mixture, then layer 1/3 of tortilla pieces, 1/3 of turkey and 1 cup of grated cheese; repeat. Top with last cup of grated cheese.


At this point, dish may be covered and refrigerated overnight. To finish, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered for 1 hour.




2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch dice

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 apricots, pitted, poached, in 1/2 inch dice OR use canned unsweetened


2 artichoke bottoms, cooked, cut into 1/2 inch dice

For custard:

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch of pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a heavy saucepan, cook apples in olive oil for 4 minutes, still a little firm. Add apricots and artichoke; cook 2 more minutes.

To prepare custard: In a bowl, beat eggs. Add remaining ingredients.

Put cooked fruit and artichokes in bottom of 4 individual baking dishes with an inside diameter of 6 inches. Cover with custard mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. The gratin resembles clafouti, a fruit and custard dessert, but is savory, not sweet.


(Sweetened with Stevia)

Makes 12 Muffins


1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 tsp. salt

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. Stevia Extract Powder

1 egg or 1 heaping Tbsp. soy flour plus 1 level Tbsp. water

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup oil (1/4 cup applesauce)*

1 medium apple cored and medium chopped

3/4 cup raisins


Preheat oven 400 degrees. Mix first seven ingredients thoroughly. In separate bowl mix remaining ingredients. Gradually mix dry ingredients into moist ingredients. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.


*you can use applesauce in place of oil.



2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1/4 cup ground almonds (or slivered almonds ground finely in a blender or food


Finely grated zest of 1 orange

1 tablespoon strained freshly squeezed orange juice

1-2 tablespoons brandy


Put butter and confectioners' sugar in a large bowl and beat until creamy. Add ground almonds and beat again. Stir in orange zest and juice, then brandy.


Brandy butter will keep for several weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It is very rich, so it is better to package it in several small containers for gifts rather than one large one, unless it is for a family. The orange brandy butter is perfect with plum puddings, mince pies or on muffins, scones or brioche.



1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg white

1 pound pecan halves

Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat egg white. Add pecans and stir until coated. Sprinkle sugar mixture over pecans; mix well. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove nuts from baking sheet while warm to cool on waxed paper. Yield: About 6 cups.




8 ounces Penne, Mostaccioli, or Rotini -- uncooked

1 16-ounce can black beans -- rinsed and drained

1 16-ounce can cannellini beans -- rinsed and drained

1 11-ounce can yellow corn kernels -- drained

1 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (1/4 to 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley OR 2 tablespoons dried parsley

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic -- minced

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper -- (optional)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil


Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large bowl,

combine pasta, beans, corn, onion, bell pepper, cilantro and parsley. In a

separate bowl, combine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, cumin, cayenne and

black pepper. Slowly whisk oil into vinegar mixture. Add vinegar mixture to

pasta and stir well. Serve well-chilled. Yield: 8 servings.




8 ounces Penne, Mostaccioli, or Rotini -- uncooked

1 16-ounce can black beans -- rinsed and drained

1 16-ounce can cannellini beans -- rinsed and drained

1 11-ounce can yellow corn kernels -- drained

1 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (1/4 to 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley OR 2 tablespoons dried parsley

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic -- minced

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper -- (optional)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil


Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large bowl,

combine pasta, beans, corn, onion, bell pepper, cilantro and parsley. In a

separate bowl, combine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, cumin, cayenne and

black pepper. Slowly whisk oil into vinegar mixture. Add vinegar mixture to

pasta and stir well. Serve well-chilled. Yield: 8 servings.



When dessert deserts you

Sour: You dropped the pie or burned the pie.

Sweet: Always have packaged cookies and tubs of ice cream around for an emergency dessert.


If it's an apple pie that's been burned or gone kerplunk, scrape out as much filling as possible, put it into a baking dish, whip up some streusel topping with bits of butter, brown sugar, oats, flour or even some granola, and bake at 400 degrees until warm and golden on top. Serve with ice cream.


If it's a pumpkin pie or cheesecake that's slipped off the counter, scrape up as much of the filling as you can that hasn't touched the floor. Layer it in parfait or wine glasses with whipped cream, and top with toasted nuts, crystallized ginger, or crushed amaretti cookies or gingersnaps. Julia Child would be proud.


Avalanche of salt


Overloaded: You tossed too much salt into the soup or gravy.

Under control: If you have a potato, peel it and throw it into the soup or gravy. Let it simmer for a while, then remove the potato and discard. The potato should absorb some of the salt. If the soup is still too salty, try adding some mushrooms or tomatoes or a little milk or cream to neutralize the flavor. Or squirt in a little lemon juice or add a pinch of sugar to balance.


Mountains of mush

Dig out: You're up to your knees in overcooked broccoli, cauliflower, peas, sweet potatoes, parsnips or another vegetable.

Dig in: Fix it with cheese and cream. Put the offending overcooked vegetable in a casserole dish, spoon on tomato sauce or a cream sauce, top with grated cheese and bake. Serve as a fancy gratin.


Or puree the vegetable with some chopped herbs, stir in a little butter and heavy cream, season with salt and pepper and serve as a trendy side dish worthy of a four-star restaurant.


Or add the overcooked veggie to a pot with chicken or vegetable stock, some sautéed onions or garlic, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cool a bit and puree. Return to pot to reheat, adding a little cream or butter. Serve as an elegant soup.

Lucky substitution cards

Sure, some stores are open on Thanksgiving, but when you're down to the wire and you don't have a particular ingredient, here's how to make do.

No baking powder? For every 1 teaspoon needed, use 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar (or 1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt).


No buttermilk? Use plain yogurt, thinned sour cream or crème frâiche instead. Or add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup milk and let stand 5 minutes.


No whole milk? For every 1 cup needed, use 1/2 cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup water, and reduce sugar in recipe slightly. Or use 1 cup skim milk plus 1 tablespoon cream or melted butter.


No whipping cream? Use whipped dessert topping, well-chilled evaporated milk that's been whipped, 1 cup non-fat dry milk powder whipped with 1 cup ice water, or 1/2 cup non-fat yogurt plus 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese plus 2 tablespoons honey all mixed together.


No dry bread crumbs? Just get some bread, tear it up into small chunks, saute in a skillet with a little butter until browned.


No dried cranberries? Substitute an equal amount of raisins or dried cherries.


No dry mustard? For every teaspoon needed, use 1 tablespoon prepared mustard.


No cornstarch? For every tablespoon needed, use 1 tablespoon arrowroot or 1 tablespoon potato flour or potato starch or 2 1/2 tablespoons flour.


No eggs? If you need them for baking, substitute 1/4 cup applesauce for 1 egg.


No cake flour? For 1 cup of cake flour, sift together 7/8 cup all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons cornstarch.


No pastry flour? For every 1 cup needed, use 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.


No whole wheat flour? For every 1 cup needed, use 2 tablespoons wheat germ mixed with all-purpose flour to make 1 cup.


No honey? For every 1 cup needed, use 1 cup molasses or 1 cup light or dark corn syrup or 1 cup maple syrup or 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid (use liquid called for in recipe).


No confectioners' sugar? For every 1 cup needed, use 7/8 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch and whirl in blender for a few seconds.


No granulated sugar? For every 1 cup needed, use 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar or 3/4 cup honey.


No brown sugar? For every 1 cup needed, use 1 cup granulated sugar combined with 2 tablespoons light or dark molasses.


No pumpkin pie spice? For every teaspoon needed, use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and allspice plus 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.


No sesame seeds? Use an equal amount of finely chopped almonds or pumpkin seeds.


No parchment paper? Use brown paper or waxed paper (not over high heat), or just grease and flour the pan.


No kitchen twine to truss the turkey? Use unwaxed, unflavored dental floss



1- 20 ounce Crushed Pineapple (in it's own juice) -undrained

1 cup Cool Whip Free

1 sm. pkg. sugar free Pistachio Pudding mix

Empty pineapple into a mixing bowl, with the juice. Mix dry pudding mix into

pineapple. Fold Cool Whip Free into pineapple/pudding mixture.

Spoon mixture into 4 fruit bowls and refrigerate until well chilled. Serves: 4



Makes 5 servings

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup pearl barley, uncooked

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 green onions, chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced (about 11/3 cups)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Add barley; reduce heat to simmer, cover pot and cook until the barley is tender, about 50 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl.


In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the green onions and celery and cook until the celery is tender-crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are soft and most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 5 minutes.


Stir the cooked vegetables into the barley and mix well. Serve immediately.




Makes 6 servings


Ginger dressing:

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, chopped finely

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or a generous 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil



1 medium pomegranate

2 heads endive, separated into leaves

1 medium papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 quarts baby lettuce or other torn lettuce leaves (12 cups)

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green part of green onion


To make dressing: Mix lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sugar, salt and pepper; whisk in oil. Reserve.


To make salad: Separate seeds from skin and pulp of pomegranate; reserve seeds (about 3/4 cup).


On a large serving platter, arrange endive leaves like spokes with tips pointing out. Toss papaya with 1 tablespoon dressing; reserve. Toss lettuce with remaining dressing; mound over endive leaves. Top with reserved papaya; sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, then with green onions.



Serves 4

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons flour

2 green onions, sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup grated cheese (any kind -- optional)

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil


In a medium bowl, combine potatoes, egg and flour. Mix well. Add green onions, salt and pepper and cheese, if using. Stir until combined.


Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Using a serving-sized spoon, form croquettes with potato mixture, using heaping spoonfuls and rounding against the side of the bowl. With another spoon, if necessary, carefully drop croquettes in hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve alone or add to an omelet with turkey and avocado.




1 (3-ounce) package raspberry gelatin

1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries, partially thawed

1 cup applesauce

1 cup sour cream

1 cup miniature marshmallows

Dissolve gelatin in 1 cup boiling water. Add raspberries; stir until thawed. Stir in applesauce. Pour into 10-by-6-by-1 3/4-inch baking dish; chill until set. Combine sour cream and marshmallows. Spread atop gelatin. Cover and chill 1-2 hours more. Cut into squares and serve on lettuce leaves, if desired.



1 1/2 cup Sweet butter

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Light brown sugar

2 Eggs

1 tsp Lemon juice

1 tsp Vanilla

2 tbsp Vinegar

3 cup Flour

1/2 tsp Salt

2 cups Chopped, toasted, blanched almonds, or you could use pecans

Cream butter. Add sugars and eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined. Mix in the lemon juice, vanilla, vinegar, flour, salt and nuts. Form into long rolls 1" in diameter and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 375F. Grease cookie sheets. Cut dough into slices 1/4" thick and bake for about 10 minutes. Lift from cookie sheet carefully. When cooled, store in covered tins.



(Yield: approx. 2 dozen)

(You will need either a deep fryer or, a deep fat thermometer if using a

Dutch oven.)

1 cup sifted all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs slightly beaten

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon oil

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Combine eggs, milk and oil. Stir into flour mixture with wire whisk. Strain if batter is lumpy. Refrigerate batter at least one hour. Place sufficient amount of oil or shortening (can use Crisco) into fryer so that iron does not strike bottom. (should be about 2 to 3 inches deep). Heat to 375 degrees. Put rosette iron into shortening to preheat. Tap off excess shortening on paper towels. Dip hot iron into batter until 3/4 covered. (Make sure top of iron is not covered or you will not be able to remove batter.) Quickly immerse batter covered iron into hot shortening, making sure entire rosette is covered by shortening. Fry to a delicate golden brown. Remove from shortening. Sometimes rosettes will drop off by themselves. Do not worry, just remove when browned with a slotted spoon or long handled fork. Place cookie on paper towel lined tray to drain.

Repeat, heating iron each time*. You should also stir batter again before dipping. When all cookies have cooled, store in a tightly covered can until ready to serve. Immediately before serving sprinkle with powdered sugar. * (It is possible to start repeat procedure before removing cookie, if it falls off into shortening, but it is best not to have more than about 3 frying at once, because it will cause the oil temperature to fall.) After you have finished it is best to clean off rosette iron by rubbing with a paper towel. If you wash them it can cause them to





To prepare:

Prepare desired batter & place in shallow dish or bowl. For crisper Rosette

cookies cover batter & refrigerate for 2 hours before using.

Fill deep fryer or saucepan with 2" of oil. Heat deep fryer to 375 F (190C)

or saucepan to medium high heat. The molds must be hot before using. Attach

your desired molds to the iron & immerse in hot oil until thoroughly heated.

Lift iron out of fryer or saucepan, shake off excess oil & blot on paper towels. Dip iron into batter only to depth of the molds, avoiding getting batter on top of molds. Immerse moulds into hot oil, covering completely. When rosettes are golden brown (about 30 seconds), lift iron out. Allow excess oil to drip back into fryer or saucepan. Gently tap on top of mold with a wooden spoon to remove the cookie. Sprinkle cookies with confectioner's sugar. Before making additional cookies, always reheat molds and repeat above steps.


2 Eggs

1 tbsp White Sugar

1 Cup Sifted All Purpose Flour

1 Cup Milk

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp Salt

Combine eggs, sugar & salt & beat well. Add remaining ingredients & beat

until smooth.

Rosette Crackers

2 Eggs

1/4 tsp Salt

1 Cup Milk

1 Cup Sifted All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Your favorite seasoning (garlic, Italian seasoning, etc.)

Add seasoning, milk & flour to slightly beaten eggs. Beat until smooth.

Shell Cups

2 eggs

1 tbsp white sugar

1 1/3 cups evaporated milk

1 Cup Sifted all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor & mix well. Allow batter to stand in refrigerator 1-2 hours before using. Fill with salads, deserts, seafood, fresh fruit, ice-cream, etc.


2 cups raw pecan halves

Spice Mix:

2 T. sugar

3/4 teas. kosher salt

1/2 teas. ground cinnamon

1/8 teas. ground cloves

1/8 teas. ground allspice

Rum Glaze:

1 T. dark rum

2 teas. vanilla extract

1 teas. brown sugar

1 T. butter

Preheat oven to 350. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper

and spread pecans in an even layer; toast 4 minutes, rotate pan, and continue to roast 4 minutes longer. Transfer sheet to a wire rack. While the nuts are roasting, put spice mix ingredients in a bowl and mix. Bring glaze ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking constantly. Stir in pecans and cook, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until nuts are shiny and almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer glazed nuts to bowl with spice mix; toss well to coat. Return nuts to parchment-lined sheet to cool.



1 Small onion, sliced

1 Tbs. margarine

1 cup V-8 juice (I use the spicy)

2 Tbs. snipped parsley ( Tbs. dried)

1 Tbs. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. marjoram, crushed

1/4 tsp. dried basil, crushed

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese

Cook onion in margarine in a saucepan over medium-low heat until tender, but

not brown. Combine V-8 and seasonings and stir into onion. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly (not REAL thick). Put chicken in 8x8x2" dish, pour sauce over and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake uncovered 5-10 minutes more. Serve with spaghetti seasoned with garlic powder, butter, and parsley.





2 lb sugar

3 c cream

Put into an enameled saucepan two pounds of granulated sugar and three teacupfuls of thin cream or milk. Bring it gradually to the boiling point, stirring all the time. Let it boil a few minutes. Test as for toffee, but do not boil it so high. When it has reached the consistency of soft putty when dropped in cold water (about 245 F.), remove the pan from the fire. Add flavorings as below. Now put the pan into a basin of cold water and stir rapidly with a spoon. It soon begins to solidify round the edge, and this must be scraped off repeatedly. Keep stirring until the mass is sufficiently grained, andthen pour it immediately on to a buttered slab. If too highly grained, it will not pour out flat; if too thin, it will be sticky. Only practice makes perfection.


When sufficiently firm, mark into bars with a knife, or cut into rounds with the lid of a circular tin.




Cinnamon: Add a few drops of oil of cinnamon.


Coconut: Add four ounces of coconut and boil for two minutes, then add a pinch of cream of tartar and remove from the fire. It should be vigorously stirred till quite creamy.


Fig: Add a pinch of cream of tartar just before removing from the fire. Then stir in four ounces of finely chopped figs, previously washed and dried.


Ginger : Add Two teaspoonfuls of ground ginger, dissolved in a little cold water, and (if liked) some chopped preserved ginger.


Lemon: Add a small teaspoonful of essence of lemon Orange. Add the grated rind and juice of an orange.


Peppermint: Add a few drops of oil of peppermint.

Vanilla Add a small tsp. of essence of vanilla.


Walnut: Add half a tsp. of essence of vanilla, and four ounces of shelled and chopped walnuts.



Makes 8 dozen


2 cups butter or stick margarine, softened (4 sticks; no substitutes)

11/2 cups granulated sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sesame seeds (see note)

2 cups shredded coconut

1/2 cup finely chopped blanched almonds


In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add flour and mix until just combined. Stir in sesame seeds, coconut and almonds until well-mixed.


Divide dough into thirds. Place 1 third on a long sheet of wax paper. Shape into a roll 2 inches in diameter. Repeat with remaining dough. Wrap the 3 rolls with wax paper and refrigerate until firm.


To bake, preheat oven to 300 degrees.


Cut rolls into 1/4-inch slices. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges begin to turn brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.


Note: Sesame seeds are available in bulk at some supermarkets and at natural foods stores.



1/4 c. butter

2 c. Pecan halves

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 T. ground cloves

1 T. nutmeg

1 T. cinnamon

Melt butter. Add pecans. Stir and cook over low to medium heat for 20 minutes. Add rest of ingredients in Ziploc bag. Add pecans to bag and shake. Let dry on waxed paper.


Makes 2 cups

2 cups white wine vinegar

4 sprigs fresh mint, 4-5 inches each

1 fresh bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

3 dried red chilies

1 (2-cup) bottle, sterilized


Put vinegar in a stainless steel saucepan and warm over low heat. Wash and dry mint and bay leaf and coarsely crush peppercorns. Put peppercorns into prepared bottle, then add chilies. Using a funnel, fill bottle with warmed vinegar. Let cool before sealing with a screw-top lid, stopper or cork.


Put bottle in a warm sunny position for 2-3 weeks to draw out flavors. When flavor is fully developed, remove solids, strain, and re-bottle. Store vinegar in a cool dark place. Use within 6-8 weeks. When giving as a gift, add a fresh sprig of mint.



Servings: 16 (1/2 cup = 1 Serving)

2 packages (3.4 oz. each) sugar free instant vanilla pudding

4 cups skim milk

20 vanilla wafer cookies

2 pints (12 oz.) strawberries (hulled and sliced)

1. Combine pudding mix and milk and beat. Pour half of pudding into 2 quart bowl or trifle dish. Top with vanilla wafers, then sprinkle with sprinkle with strawberries. Top with remaining pudding.

2. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.



1-1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. sour cream

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 lb. walnuts

Combine sugar, sour cream and vanilla in saucepan and simmer for 5 - 6 minutes. Add walnuts and spread on oiled cookie sheet until dry. Store in

airtight cans. Makes 1 lb.



Makes about 1 cup

1/3 cup mustard seeds

2 tablespoons dry mustard powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

10 -12 cardamom pods

5-6 green peppercorns

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 small ( 1/2-cup) preserving jars, sterilized


Coarsely grind mustard seeds with mortar and pestle or clean coffee grinder. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in mustard powder, salt, turmeric and nutmeg.


Remove seeds from cardamom pods and crush with peppercorns, using back of a spoon, a rolling pin or a mortar and pestle. Add to mustard and stir well.


Stir in wine, vinegar and honey until well blended and thick. If too thick, add a little more wine or vinegar.


Cover bowl and let stand for about 12 hours before spooning into small glass jars. Seal tightly and store for 3-4 weeks before using. After opening, keep covered in refrigerator and use within 1 month. The mustard is quite spicy, but sweeter than most and will mellow with age.



Makes 6 servings


1 cup pearl barley, uncooked

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

3 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tomatoes, chopped

11/2 cups canned corn, drained

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley


Bring barley and chicken broth to a boil. Cover and simmer until barley is tender but firm to the bite, about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.


Drain and cool.


Whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Add green onions, tomatoes and corn. Fold in barley and parsley.



Serves 4

1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 cups broccoli florets

2 cups cooked turkey, chopped

1 cup Red Flame or other seedless grapes, halved lengthwise

1 cup light mayonnaise

2 teaspoons dried tarragon

Salt and pepper to taste


In a small skillet over medium-high heat, toast almonds until golden. Set aside to cool.


Fill a medium bowl with ice and water. Set aside. Bring 4 cups water to boil in medium sauce pan over high heat. Break broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces and blanch in boiling water until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and immediately place broccoli in ice bath to stop cooking.


In a large bowl, combine toasted almonds, broccoli, turkey, grapes, mayonnaise and tarragon. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.




Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely, according to the USDA's Food Safety

and Inspection Service. The quality of frozen foods does break down, though.

Here are the USDA's suggested maximum freezing times for some common foods held at 0 degrees:

Bacon and sausage: 1-2 months

Casseroles: 1-2 months

Fruit, uncooked or cooked: 2-3 months

Game, uncooked: 8-12 months

Ham, hot dogs and lunch meats: 1-2 months

Meat, uncooked ground: 3-4 months

Meat, cooked: 2-3 months

Poultry, uncooked whole: 12 months

Poultry, uncooked parts: 9 months

Poultry, cooked: 3-4 months

Roast, uncooked: 9 months

Steaks and chops, uncooked: 4-6 months

Soups and stews: 2-3 months

Vegetables, cooked: 2-3 months





3 cups Apple pulp, some skins

1/2 lg Lemon with peel, ground

1 md Orange with peel, ground

1 cup Seedless raisins, ground

1 cup Seedless raisins whole

1 cup Currants (or more raisins)

2 tsp Cinnamon

3/4 tsp Nutmeg

3/4 tsp Cloves

3/4 tsp Allspice (optional)

1/2 tsp Salt (optional)

2 tbsp Flour (or 1 tb arrowroot)

1/4 cups date sugar (optional)

1 1/2 tsp Rum flavoring (optional)


Quarter and core apples, but do not peel. Grind in old-fashioned meat grinder (food processor makes them too fine), using medium-coarse blade. Remove seeds from lemon and orange, grind and add to apples. Grind 1 cup raisins.


Mix all ingredients except rum flavoring in large bowl, stirring in spices and flour, then date sugar if desired. Add flavoring and mix again. Place in covered bowl or other container with tight lid; refrigerate at least one week before using or canning. (1/2 inch head space, boiling water bath 20 min for pints after water returns to boil, longer for altitudes over 1000 ft.) If any jars fail to seal, freeze for later use.


To freeze after refrigerating for the recommended week, place in clean freezer containers or jars, leaving 1/2 inch at top. Cover with clean lids and place in sharp-freeze section of freezer until frozen. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. Makes 1 quart, enough for 2 8-inch pies.


1/4 cup 116 calories, 2 diabetic fruit exchanges Protein 1, fat 0, carbohydrate 28 grams, 0 cholesterol If salt omitted, 1/4 cup contains 7 mg sodium.









In trying times, we often seek the foods that made us feel secure as children. For most of us brought up on the 20th-century American diet, that means thick juicy slices of meatloaf dressed with ketchup, creamy mashed potatoes, golden roast chicken, crisp French fries and spaghetti slathered in a rich ragout with a side of buttery garlic bread.

For years, many of us have deliberately steered clear of these satisfying rich dishes, heeding dire warnings about their possible harmful effects. And in the wake of Sept. 11, even the thin have thrown caution to the wind in search of the familiar and the comfortable. But there's no reason to teeter between unsatisfying deprivation and guilty indulgence. I don't deprive myself. Instead, I've found ways around the fat so that I have not had to give up my comfort foods.


While the increased demand for comfort food is hard to measure -- particularly since fall and winter are traditionally comfort food season -- there is more than anecdotal evidence that people are eating differently. A recent A.C. Nielsen survey of grocery store sales showed a spike in comfort food purchases. Snack food sales increased nearly 12.4 percent in September over the previous year; the sale of instant potatoes alone jumped almost 13 percent, according to Information Resources. The coming holidays won't help. Already, nutritionists are tearing their hair out. Weight Watchers groups have reported an unusual number of members saying the Sept. 11 attacks have added an element of stress in maintaining their diets. And diet counselors are papering the media with releases filled with advice on how to stop craving the creaminess of the béchamel sauce and mozzarella in lasagna, the crispy fattiness of the chicken's skin, the sweet

silkiness of a soothing pudding. It's a hard sell. But it doesn't have to mean a Spartan diet of thin gruel.

I have accumulated a number of techniques that have kept spaghetti and meat

sauce on the menu, that allow for an occasional meatloaf dinner and that have made my lower-calorie, lower-fat version of mashed potatoes the standard for company as well as for family. I don't necessarily tell my secrets. But when someone says they would love more mashed potatoes, but better not, I confess that the creaminess comes from buttermilk, not butter. I've taken the meatloaf recipe from my old friend Bob Jamieson, an ABC News correspondent who loves good food and wine, and has worked on it over the years, using lean beef and pork. Once the fat is gone, something has to keep the meatloaf moist and I have experimented with a number of alternatives. I think I've got it right now: a few bits of vegetable and a little yogurt. And it's just as good cold as it is hot.



I suppose my mother would not recognize what I have done to the meat sauce

she made every Wednesday for dinner. The biggest change was the substitution of extra-lean ground beef, which is 10 percent fat, for ground chuck, which is 30 percent fat. I grind the beef myself so I know what I'm getting. More vegetables and herbs have been added. And the longer it cooks, the better it is.

My favorite comfort dessert does not earn the same universal adulation as the mashed potatoes, but I find it so soothing that I spent years perfecting the less-caloric version. My mother's tapioca pudding used whole milk, canned pineapple and lots of whipped cream. Mine uses skim milk and dried fruit soaked in apple cider. There's still some whipped cream, but it has been folded into a lot of

non-fat yogurt. My tapioca pudding fixation has some good company: Jane and Michael Stern, who have spent a lifetime observing the peculiar culinary habits of

Americans, call it ``the teddy bear of desserts, an edible security blanket.''

Let me tell you, Linus, it's better than a blankie.



3 1/2 cups flour

1 cup icing sugar

1 cup butter

(this recipe is better if doubled)

Maraschino cherries, halved

Beat butter until creamy. Stir together flour and icing sugar. Add dry ingredients a bit at a time and continue beating until well mixed. Roll into ball about the size of walnuts, placed on an ungreased cookie sheet and press down with a fork. Top with 1/2 a cherry. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 350 degrees F. Watch carefully to prevent burning.

You can eat and enjoy them right away or you can store them in an airtight

container for about 3 weeks. They actually get better as they age.



Makes one 10- to 11-inch tart or nine to ten 3-inch tarts Crust:

3/4 cup softened butter (11/2 sticks; no substitutes)

1/2 cup powdered sugar

11/2 cups all-purpose flour



1 10-ounce package good-quality white chocolate chips, melted

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges,drained

Strawberries, sliced, or other fruit

2 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced, or other fruit



1/2 cup pineapple juice

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice


To make crust: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream butter and powdered sugar. Slowly add flour. Press into 10- to 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom.


Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool.


To make filling: Beat melted white chocolate chips and cream. Add cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Spread over crust. Chill for 1 hour.


Arrange fruit on top in pattern.


To make glaze: Combine in saucepan pineapple juice, 3 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly.


Cool. Brush over fruit. Chill 1 hour. Keep refrigerated.



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