Monday, February 12, 2007

Oreo Cheesecake


Oreo Cheesecake

1 1/2 C. Oreo Cookie Crumbs (about 23 Oreo cookies finely chopped)
2 Tbsp. Melted Butter

Filling - all ingredients need to be at room temperature
1 1/2 lb. Cream Cheese
1 C. Sugar
5 Large Eggs
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 C Flour
8 oz Sour Cream
5 Oreo Cookies (coarsely chopped for the batter)
10 Coarsely Chopped Oreo Cookies for the Top of Cheese Cake

Crust Butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  Mix melted butter with Oreo crumbs and press into the pan, covering the bottom and 1 1/2" up the sides.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 325.

Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Keeping the mixer on low setting, gradually add sugar and continue beating cream cheese until mixed through. Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat until blended. Measure the vanilla, salt and flour; pour into cream cheese and egg mixture and beat until smooth. Add the sour cream and beat well. Turn off the mixer and stir in the coarsely chopped oreo cookies with a spoon.

Pour filling into the springform pan and sprinkle the coarsely chopped Oreo Cookies on top. Place pan on the top rack and in the middle of the preheated oven, and bake for one hour and 15 minutes. When time is up, prop the oven door open and let the cheese cake stay in the oven for one hour.

Remove from oven and let cool completely.  Refrigerate for 24 hours. It is worth the anticipation. A cheese cake should season. The flavor ripens and becomes enriched.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Recipe Index








Meat Substitutes





Snack Foods


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Tortellini & Peas with Garlic Cheese Sauce


Tortellini & Peas with Garlic Cheese Sauce

1 pkg fresh tortellini
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 small package garlic herb cheese spread, such as Alouette.

Bring a pot of water to boiling, add tortellini and cook per package directions.  Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the boiling water.  Return tortellini to hot pan, and add peas and 1/2 cup of the cheese spread.  Stir in 1/2 - 1 cup of the reserved water to melt the cheese and make a light sauce.  Add more cheese or water to achieve the amount of sauce and consistency you prefer.

Notes:  I use only about 1/2 cup of cheese spread, and 3/4 cup of water.  This makes enough sauce to lightly coat the pasta, but not overpower it.   You can also add some bacon bits or chunks of cooked chicken to make this a heartier meal, if desired.

Roast Beef

2 lbs Beef Chuck Roast
2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 cup beef stock
1 cup chicken stock
water, if necessary
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Tabasco Sauce
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste

Cut small slits all over the top of the roast, every few inches. Press the sliced garlic into the slits.

Season the roast on all sides with plenty of salt and pepper, and season to taste with a little cayenne pepper.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch Oven over high heat. When it looks like the oil is about to smoke, carefully add the roast cut side down. Brown very well on all sides, without burning it. Remove the roast and set aside.

Drain off all but 1 Tbsp of the oil and drippings in the pan, and return to the heat.  Add the onions and carrots, and cook until the onions just start to brown. Add the roast back to the pan, then add the stocks. If necessary, add enough water to bring the cooking liquid 3/4 of the way up the roast. Add the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil, then back down to a simmer. Simmer covered for 3-4 hours or until the meat is tender and almost falling apart. Really, just leave this alone and it will cook itself perfectly.


Bring the gravy to a full boil and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tortilla Pie

2 (15 ounce) cans refried beans
1 cup salsa, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
7 (8 inch) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine refried beans, 3/4 cup salsa and the garlic.

In a separate bowl, mix together 1/4 cup salsa, 1/4 cup sour cream, cilantro, black beans and tomatoes.

Place 1 tortilla in a pie plate or springform pan. Spread 3/4 cup refried bean mixture over tortilla to within 1/2 inch of edge. Top with 1/4 cup cheese, and cover with another tortilla. Spread with 2/3 cup black bean mixture, and top with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layering twice. Cover with remaining tortilla, and spread with remaining refried bean mixture and cheese.

Cover with foil, and bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Cut into wedges, and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Steam-Sauteed Green Beans with Almonds

1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 pound green beans, stem ends trimmed
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons butter, plus 2 teaspoons (or substitute olive oil)
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat a deep skillet over medium-low heat. When it is hot, add almonds and toast, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove almonds from skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet add green beans, 1/3 cup water, 2 teaspoons butter, and salt, and cover. Increase heat to medium-high, cover and cook until steam escapes around lid. Set timer for 5 minutes and continue to steam until beans are brightly colored and just tender. Remove lid and continue to cook until water evaporates and beans start to saute, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Turn off heat, and stir in toasted almonds, lemon zest, remaining 2 teaspoons butter, and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Mexican Beef over Polenta

4 1/2-5 lb. chuck roast
1 (8 oz.) can diced green chili
1 (16 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
2 cloves garlic
Salt & cayenne pepper to taste
Prepared polenta, heated

In a large dutch oven, pour all ingredients except polenta over roast; cover pan. Place in oven at 325 degrees for 4 hours.

Shred beef, and spoon beef and sauce over polenta to serve.

Bacon Crackers

1 (16 ounce) package Ritz or Club crackers
1 pound sliced bacon, cut into thirds
1 pound brown sugar

Preheat oven to 250.

Arrange the crackers in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Top each cracker with 1/3 slice bacon, and sprinkle desired amount of brown sugar over all.

Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until browned and crisp. Serve warm.


This takes about a month from start to finish, but it's worth the effort! Maximize your efforts and make a double or triple batch.

10 lemons
1 liter vodka
3 cups white sugar
4 cups water

Zest the lemons, and place zest into a large glass bottle or jar. Pour in vodka. Cover loosely and let infuse for one week at room temperature.

After one week, combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. DO NOT STIR. Boil for 15 minutes. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature.

Stir vodka mixture into syrup. Strain into glass bottles, and seal each bottle with a cork. Let mixture age for 2 weeks at room temperature.

Place bottled liqueur into the freezer. When icy cold, serve in chilled vodka glasses or shot glasses.

Mushroom Stroganoff

5 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
a bunch of fresh mushrooms -- I used 2 big portabellos, 8-10 shitakes, and a small pack of regular white button mushrooms
1 15-oz can fat-free beef broth
1 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
Cooked egg noodles or rice

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add onion, stirring and cooking until browned and soft/translucent. Remove onion from pan and set aside. Add mushrooms and cook several minutes, until soft and brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Pour beef broth into pan over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to get all the yummy cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil for several minutes, until broth has reduced by about one half.

Meanwhile, whisk together corn starch and water until no lumps remain. Return mushrooms and onion to pan, stirring until heated through. Push mushrooms and onions off to the sides of the pan, leaving the liquid in the center. While stirring constantly, pour the corn starch/water mixture into the boiling beef broth. It will very quickly thicken up. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in dijon mustard and sour cream. Serve over cooked egg noodles or rice.

Note: To make this recipe vegetarian, substitute vegetable stock for the beef broth, and add some soy sauce for color.

Baked Ziti

1 lb ziti, cooked and drained
4 cups pasta sauce (recipe follows)
1 large ball fresh mozzarella, half cubed, half sliced in thin slices
1/2 cup fresh parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 400. Combine pasta, sauce, cubed mozzarella and half of the parmesan. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Lay mozzarella slices over the top, and sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Bake 30 minutes, until browned and bubbling.

Pasta Sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb sweet italian sausages, casings removed and sausage crumbled (I used pre-cooked)
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, coarsley chopped
1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes, with juice
1 handful fresh basil, coarsley chopped
1 tsp dry thyme (or fresh if you can get it...we couldn't)
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook several minutes, until browned. Add onion and garlic. Cook andstir until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, herbs and water. Season to taste with salt, and black and red pepper. Simmer uncovered 10-15 minutes.

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb Italian sausage
2 large potatoes, cut in half, then in ¼-inch slices
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups kale or swiss chard, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy cream

Cook sausage in 300-degree oven. Bake approximately 30 minutes. Drain on paper towels and cut into slices.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Combine onion mixture, potatoes, chicken broth and water in a large pot and cook over medium heat, until potatoes are done, about 20 minutes. Add sausage, and salt and pepper to taste; simmer 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add kale and cream, and simmer until heated through, and kale is just tender. Serve hot.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 1/2 cups chicken broth
6 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips, divided
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
½ cup whole milk or half & half
Sour cream
Diced avocado

Combine chicken stock and half of the tortilla strips in a large pot. Cook over medium heat until strips soften and broth thickens slightly. Most of the tortilla strips will dissolve away. Stir in green and red enchilada sauces and cumin, and remaining tortilla strips. Stir in chicken and milk; heat through but do not boil.

Divide soup among four bowls and garnish with sour cream and avocado, if desired.

Butternut Apple Soup

2 onions, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups diced butternut squash
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-2 teaspoons curry powder
pinch of grated nutmeg
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
grated rind and juice of 1 orange (I used 1/2 cup orange juice)
salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar to taste chopped parsley and heavy cream for garnish (optional).

In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in butter about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the squash and apple. Sauté until he butter is absorbed, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour, curry powder and nutmeg. Cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, milk, and the orange rind and juice. Simmer slowly uncovered for 15-20 minutes until the veggies are tender.

Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Add salt, pepper and sugar. Serve hot, topped with a dollop of cream and a sprinkling of parley.

Note: This soup improves with keeping. Prepare a day or two in advance if time allows and keep refrigerated. I always make it a day or two ahead because it's easier that way and it tastes great. I also freeze and re-heat leftovers.

To make this recipe vegetarian, replace the chicken broth with vegetable stock.

Seafood Gumbo

Shrimp stock:
1 ½ lbs jumbo shrimp, with heads and shells
1 blue crab
1 onion, halved
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
2 lemons, halved and squeezed

½ c butter
½ c flour
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound okra, cut into ¼-inch slices
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained
3 bay leaves
3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped from the stem
2 quarts shrimp stock
1 ½ lbs peeled shrimp (reserved from stock)
3 c cooked long-grain white rice
chopped flat-leaf parsley and green onions, for garnish

To make the shrimp stock: Peel the shrimp and toss the heads and shells into a large stock pot; refrigerate the peeled shrimp until ready to cook in the gumbo. Add the crab, onion, bay leaves, thyme, cayenne, Old Bay, and lemons to the pot. Cover with 2 ½ quarts of cold water. Allow the liquid to slowly come to a boil, then lower the heat. Gently simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered, skimming any foam that rises to the top. Strain the stock into a heatproof container or another pot to remove the chunky solids; at this point you should have about 2 quarts of broth. Cool until needed.

To make the gumbo: Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a Dutch oven. Just as the foam subsides, add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk to prevent lumps. Cook the roux until it’s the color of walnut, about 15 minutes. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic and okra. Season with salt, cayenne and Old Bay. Mix in the tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring now and then, until the vegetables are soft. Pour in the cooled shrimp stock and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gumbo is dark and thick. Add the shrimp and cook another 15 minutes; adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve atop rice in bowls, and sprinkle with parsley and green onions.

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

1 quart chicken stock
1 stalk lemon grass, white part only, cracked open with the flat side of a knife
3 kaffir lime leaves, hand torn
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 small Thai chilies, halved lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 13-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 8-ounce can straw mushrooms, rinsed
4 limes, juiced
1 ½ c shredded cooked chicken
Salt & pepper
¼ c chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Bring the stock to a boil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, chilies and garlic. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and gently simmer for 10 minutes to let the spices infuse the broth.

Uncover and stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, mushrooms, lime juice and chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes to heat the chicken through; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro. Be careful to avoid chewing the lemongrass, ginger or lime leaves.

Split Pea Soup

1 pound dried split peas
1 ham hock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup diced ham
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons fresh thyme

Place the peas in a large pot or bowl, cover with water by 2 inches and soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain the peas and set aside. Score the ham hock. Place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until just soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the ham hock and ham and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown. Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 8 cups of water, the bay leaf and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, about 1 hour (add more water as needed, if the soup becomes too thick or dry). Remove the bay leaf and discard. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and serve immediately.

Brooke's Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can creamed corn
1 can hominy
1 can kidney beans
1 can chili beans
1 pkg dry ranch dressing
1 pkg taco seasoning
Shredded cheese
Frito corn chips

Put everything into a large crockpot, including all juices. Mix well. Set crock pot to low and simmer all day, stirring occasionally if you can. Serve with cheese and Fritos.

"Instant" Black Bean Soup

2 15-oz cans black beans, undrained
½ c bottled or fresh salsa
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 16-oz can chicken broth
½ c (2 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
5 Tbsp sour cream
5 Tbsp green onions, chopped
5 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

Place beans and liquid in a medium saucepan; partially mash beans with a potato masher. Place over high heat; stir in salsa, chili powder and broth. Bring to a boil. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with cheese, sour cream, onion and cilantro.

Note: To make this recipe vegetarian, replace chicken broth with vegetable stock. To make it vegan, omit the sour cream.

Susan's Cheddar Chowder

4 medium potatoes
½ c carrots, diced
½ c celery, diced
½ c onion, diced
2 cups chicken stock
¼ c butter
¼ c flour
2 c milk, warmed
2 c grated cheddar cheese
Crumbled bacon (optional)

Mix veggies in pan and add 2 cups of boiling water and 2 bouillon cubes. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. In another pan, melt ¼ c butter and add flour gradually. Slowly add the warmed milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add cheese. Pour cheese mixture to veggies and serve with crumbled bacon.

Note: To make this recipe vegetarian, replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock, and omit the bacon.

French Onion Soup

Parmesan Croutons (below)
2 c shredded Mozzarella cheese
¼ c butter
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 large onions, sliced
2 10 ½-oz cans condensed beef broth
2 soup cans water

Prepare Parmesan Croutons; set aside.

Set oven temperature to 325.

Heat butter in Dutch oven until melted. Stir in brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Toss onions in butter mixture.
Bake uncovered about 2 ½ hours (this is worth the wait), stirring every hour, until onions are deep, golden brown. Stir in beef broth and water. Heat to boiling over high heat.

Set oven to broil. Ladle soup into broiler-proof soup bowls, sprinkle each with a handful of Parmesan Croutons, and about ½ cup Mozzarella cheese. Place on a baking sheet and broil 2 to 3 inches from heat, until cheese is browned and bubbling. Serve immediately.

Parmesan Croutons
Heat oven to 400. Cut 3 slices bread into 1” cubes. Heat ¼ cup butter in 9 x 13 pan, in oven until melted. Toss bread cubes in butter until evenly coated. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Baked uncovered 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp. I usually double this recipe because they are so delicious that we end up eating half of them before the soup is ready.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 Tbsp butter
¾ cup chopped onion
6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt
2 pkgs (10 oz each) frozen chopped broccoli
1 pinch garlic powder
6 cups milk
1 pound velveeta, cut into cubes.
pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot, and add the chopped onion. Cook till the onion is soft and translucent. Add chicken broth. Heat to boiling and cook 3 minutes. Add salt, broccoli and garlic powder. Return to boiling and cook 4 minutes. Add milk and velveeta. Continue cooking until cheese melts, stirring constantly. DO NOT BOIL or the milk and cheese will curdle and you'll have a nasy mess. Add pepper to taste (doesn't usually need any salt).

Notes: To make this recipe vegetarian, replace chicken broth with vegetable stock.

Hollandaise Sauce

3 egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ c butter, cut into pieces

Whisk egg yolks, salt and red pepper in top of a double boiler; gradually add lemon juice, stirring constantly. Add about one-third of the butter to the egg mixture; cook over hot, not boiling, water, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until butter melts. Add another third of the butter, stirring constantly. As sauce begins to thicken, keep adding pieces of butter, whisking constantly until smooth. Serve immediately.

Sarah's Tomato Pesto

1 c. chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. toasted walnuts

First, toast the walnuts (5 minutes at 350 degrees). In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and salt for a few seconds, until it is smooth. Add the walnuts and process until an even-colored and somewhat lumpy paste is formed. If using fresh tomatoes, you might need to add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to the mixture.

Teriyaki Sauce

½ c soy sauce
¼ c honey
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and whisk together. Use to marinade steak or chicken.


1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
a few tablespoons of fresh grated parmesan
1/4 - 1/2 cup of olive oil (use your judgment).

Put all ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until the basil breaks down and it turns into a nice blend of chunky and smooth.

Basic White Sauce

Makes about 2 cups sauce

4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 c milk

Heat butter in 2-qt saucepan over medium heat until melted. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Thin White Sauce: Decrease butter and flour to 2 Tbsp each.
Thick White Sauce: Increase butter and flour to ¼ cup each.
Cheese Sauce: After boiling and stirring sauce 1 minute, stir in 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese until melted.

Spicy Lamb Burgers

1 pound ground lamb (can substitute ground beef if necessary)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon sherry
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 pita bread rounds
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat grill for medium heat.

Place the lamb in a large bowl, and mix with the mint, cilantro, oregano, garlic, sherry, vinegar, and molasses. Season with cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, and mix well. Shape into 4 patties.

Brush grill grate with oil. Grill burgers 5 minutes on each side, or until well done. Heat the pita pocket briefly on the grill. Serve burgers wrapped in pitas with feta cheese.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp chili powder
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp butter
½ c Tabasco Sauce
Lettuce leaves
4 crusty rolls, split
2 c sour cream
4 scallions, thinly sliced
½ lb blue cheese, crumbled

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder. Drizzle breasts with a little olive oil to coat. Pan grill chicken breasts 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and add hot sauce to the butter to combine. When the chicken breasts are done, remove from pan and add to the bowl and coat evenly with hot sauce mixture.

Combine sour cream, scallions and blue cheese, and spread on rolls. Top with chicken breasts and lettuce.

Blue Cheese Salad with Walnut Dressing

1 10-oz bag baby spinach
1/3 lb bleu cheese, crumbled
6 oz walnut halves, toasted
1/4 c maple syrup, warmed
1 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place spinach on a large platter. Top with blue cheese and walnuts.

For dressing, warm maple syrup in a small saucepan. Pour vinegar into a small bowl. Whisk oil into vinegar in a slow stream. Whisk maple syrup into dressing in a slow stream.

Drizzle dressing over the salad platter and serve. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

Layered Green Salad

In a large, glass salad bowl, layer:
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 c chopped green onions
1 c chopped celery
1 18-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
4 hard boiled eggs, diced
8 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
2 tomatoes, diced
1 10-ounce package frozen peas.

Mix together:
2 cups mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ c grated parmesan cheese.

Spread dressing on top of salad and sprinkle with 2 cups grated cheddar cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Toss just before serving.

Greek Salad

8 cups romaine lettuce, torn
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
¼ cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1 cucumber, sliced
1 handful pitted Kalamata olives
2 Tbsp fresh dill
Olive oil

Toss all ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.

Spinach Salad

1 bag fresh spinach, torn
1 pkg fresh mushrooms, sliced
6 slices bacon, fried, drained and crumbled
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
½ c slivered almonds

½ c vegetable oil
¼ c rice wine vinegar
¼ c sugar
1/8 c ketchup
dash of salt

Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Toss salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing just before serving.

BBQ Salad

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked as desired (grilled, broiled, poached, etc.)
4 c shredded romaine lettuce
½ medium red onion, diced
1 8.75-ounce can corn, drained
¼ c chopped cilantro
¼ c barbecue sauce
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 cup french fried onions

Chop chicken into bite-sized chunks. Toss together chicken, lettuce, onion, corn and cilantro. Whisk together barbecue sauce and mayonnaise; toss with salad. Sprinkle with french fried onions. Serve immediately.

Note: To make this recipe vegetarian, substitute one can black beans, rinsed and drained, for the chicken.

Chinese Chicken Salad

1 3-ounce pkg ramen noodles
¼ c slivered or sliced almonds
2 Tbsp sesame seed
3 c shredded Napa or green cabbage (about half of a ½-lb head)
2 c chopped cooked chicken
¼ c thinly sliced green onion
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp sesame oil

Preheat oven to 350.

Reserve seasoning packet from noodles for another use. Break up the noodles; place on a cookie sheet along with the almonds and sesame seeds. Bake at 350 for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven.

In a large salad bowl, combine cabbage, cooked chicken and green onions; toss to mix.

For dressing, in a screw-top jar, combine oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Cover and shake well. Pour over cabbage mixture. Add toasted noodle mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Note: To make this recipe vegetarian, replace chicken with fried cubes of tofu.

Taco Salad

1 lb ground beef
1 can chili beans, drained (reserve liquid)
½ c Miracle Whip
8 cups torn iceberg or romaine lettuce
1 tomato, diced
½ c black olives, sliced
1 avocado, diced
1 red onion, chopped
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
Crushed tortilla chips (original cheese Doritos are good for extra flavor)

Brown ground beef; drain fat. Stir in drained chili beans; cool.

Whisk together Miracle Whip and reserved chili bean liquid for dressing. Set aside.

Toss together remaining ingredients, gently stir in beef/bean mixture, and toss with dressing.

Note: This does not keep, so don’t toss it together until you’re ready to serve.

Cilantro Bean Salad

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
2 tomatoes, diced
2 avocados, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients together. Chill before serving.

Cranberry Rice Salad

1 16-oz package wild rice blend mix
1 cup dried cranberries
5-6 stalks celery, diced
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 bunch green onions, chopped

Cook rice as directed and add remaining ingredients.

1/4 cup wine vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar

Whisk dressing ingredients together. Mix into salad and chill.

Mandarin Pasta Salad

1 tsp finely chopped fresh gingerroot
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/3 c rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4 c orange juice
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 tsp sugar

Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

8 oz cooked bowtie pasta
1/2 cucumber, scored, seeded and sliced
1/2 c diced red bell pepper
1/2 c coarsely chopped red onion
1 package (6 oz) fresh baby spinach leaves
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 c sliced almonds, toasted

Combine all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl, drizzle with dressing, toss and serve.

Luna's Signature Salad

12 oz. mixed baby greens
3/4 c. Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 oz. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
4 ox. dried cranberries
4 oz. caramelized walnuts (recipe below)

Toss all ingredients together with Vinaigrette.

1 Tbsp. fresh ground garlic
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 c. white wine vinegar

In large bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly add oil, whisking constantly. Add lemon juice and vinegar; mix well. Yield: 1 cup.

Caramelized Walnuts
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. water
1/4 Tbsp. vanilla
1/4 lb. walnut halves

In medium saute pan, mix water, sugar and vanilla; stir to disolve sugar. Cook over medium heat without stirring until mixture turns light golden brown. Swirl pan slowly to mix ingredients and add water if too sticky. Add walnuts, coat evenly and stir until the sugar crystallizes. Remove to cookie sheet or cooling rack.

Champagne Punch

6 cups cranberry juice cocktail
2 cups orange juice
2 bottles champagne
1 bottle club soda

Combine all ingredients except champagne. Chill well, and pour into a punch bowl. Add champagne. Serves 20.

Curried Sunflower Brittle

Cooking spray
1 cup unsalted, untoasted sunflower seed kernels
½ tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp light corn syrup

Line a baking sheet with foil; coat foil with cooking spray. Coat the flat surface of a metal spatula with cooking spray; set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add kernels; cook until they release a toasted aroma (about 3 minutes), stirring frequently. Place in a bowl; wipe pan with a paper towel.

Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add curry powder; cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), stirring constantly. Add curry to kernels. Sprinkle with salt; stir to combine.

Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, without stirring, until first sign of caramel fragrance (about 3 minutes).

Remove from heat; stir in kernel mixture. Rapidly spread mixture to about 1/8-inch thickness onto prepared baking sheet using prepared spatula. Cool completely; break into small pieces.


1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup vodka
1 cup apple juice
1 cup apple liqueur (such as Sour Apple Pucker)
Crushed ice

Combine water and sugar in a glass measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring once; cool. Combine sugar mixture, vodka, juice and liqueur in a pitcher; stir to combine.

Place crushed ice in a martini shaker. Add vodka mixture to martini shaker in batches; shake well to chill. Strain about ½ cup vodka mixture in shaker into each of 10 glasses; repeat procedure with remaining vodka mixture, refilling ice as necessary. Serve immediately. Yield: 10 martinis.

Linzer Cookies

1 c sliced almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans
2 c flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 c (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2/3 c sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla
2 large egg yolks
Zest of 1 lemon
Powdered Sugar for dusting
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam (or other jam of your liking)

Preheat the oven to 350 and place rack in center of oven. Toast the almonds or pecans on a baking sheet for about 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Once the nuts have cooled, place in a food processor and process with 1/4 cup of the sugar from the recipe until finely ground. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract, egg yolks, and lemon zest. Beat in the ground nuts. Add the flour mixture beating just until incorporated. Divide the dough in half and shape into two rectangles about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap the two rectangles of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm – at least one hour and up to several days.

Preheat oven to 350 and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Remove one rectangle of dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2 to 3 inch cookie cutter (round, square, heart, etc.) cut out the dough. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared pan. Use a smaller cookie cutter (3/4 - 1 inch) to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. (You will be sandwiching two cookies together and there will be a small 'window or cut out' in the top cookie so you can see the jam that will be underneath.)

Re-roll any scraps and cut out the cookies. Remove the other half of the dough from the refrigerator and roll and cut out the rest of the cookies. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until they are very lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

While the cookies are cooling place the raspberry jam in a small saucepan and heat gently until it has thickened slightly. Strain if there are any lumps in the jam. Let cool.

To Assemble Cookies: Place the cookies with the cut-outs on a wire rack and lightly dust the tops with the confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar.

On the bottom surface of the full cookie (top of cookie will face out) spread a little (about 1/4 teaspoon) of the jam. Place the cut-out cookie on top and gently sandwich them together, making sure not to smudge the powdered sugar. Using a small spoon, fill the cut-out with a little more jam.

Makes about 15 3-inch sandwiched cookies.

Caramel Apple Cider

1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups apple cider
1/2 cup water

Caramel whipped cream"
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon brown sugar

First, bring the cream and brown sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cider and the water and raise
the heat to medium high, heating just until the cider begins to steam, about 4 minutes.

Divide among 4 mugs, top each one with 2 tablespoons of caramel whipped cream (recipe follows) and serve immediately.

Caramel Whipped Cream: In a small chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream with the brown sugar until soft peaks form.

Crab Rangoon

2 sprays cooking spray
2 tsp olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 medium scallions, minced
2 Tbsp snow peas, chopped
6 oz canned crabmeat, drained
4 oz light cream cheese
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
24 items wonton wrappers, half of a 12 oz package

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallions and snow peas and sauté until just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in crabmeat, cream cheese and soy sauce with a wooden spoon; mix gently to combine.

Place wonton wrappers on a flat surface. Drop crab mixture by teaspoonfuls onto the center of each wrapper. Dip a finger into water and use it to moisten edges of wrapper; fold over one corner of wrapper to make a triangle and press sides together to seal. Create decorative lines along the edges of the wontons by pressing the tines of a fork along the bottom edge of each wonton.

Transfer filled wontons to prepared baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Bake until wontons are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.



1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled until soft
1 onion, chopped
2 green chilies, very finely chopped
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon garlic, crushed
coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juice of
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

Mix together the flour, oil and salt. Add a little water, until mixture becomes crumbly. Keep adding water, kneading the mixture till it becomes a soft pliable dough. Cover with a moist cloth and set aside for 20 minutes. Beat dough on a work surface and knead again. Cover and set aside.

Heat 3 tbsp oil. Add ginger, garlic, green chillies and few corriander seeds. Stir fry for 1 minute, add onions and saute till light brown. Add cilantro (fresh coriander), lemon juice, turmeric, red chilli, salt and garam masala. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add potatoes. Stir fry for 2 minutes, mashing the potatoes. Set aside and allow to cool.

Divide dough into 10 equal portions. Use a rolling pin, roll a piece of dough into a 5" oval. Cut into 2 halves. Run a moist finger along the diameter.
Roll around finger to make a cone. Place a tablespoon of the filling into the cone. Seal the third side using a moist finger. Deep fry the samosas on low to medium heat until light brown.

Serve with tomato sauce or any chutney you love.