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Monday, August 30, 2010

Smoked Salmon Cucumbers

* 1 large English cucumber
* 1 carton (8 ounces) spreadable chive and onion cream cheese
* 7 to 8 ounces smoked salmon or lox, chopped
* Minced chives

* With a fork, score cucumber peel lengthwise; cut into 1/4-in. slices. Pipe or spread cream cheese onto each slice; top with salmon. Sprinkle with chives. Refrigerate until serving.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

~~Quick Cooking November/December 2004~~

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Strawberries with Chocolate Cream Filling

* 1-1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated, divided
* 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup whipped topping
* 18 large fresh strawberries, halved

* Set aside 2 tablespoons chocolate. In a microwave, melt remaining chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
* In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Beat in melted chocolate. Fold in whipped topping and 1 tablespoon reserved chocolate. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert #21 star pastry tip. Fill the bag with cream cheese mixture.
* Place strawberries cut side up on a serving platter. Pipe cream cheese mixture onto strawberries. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 3 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 2 strawberry halves equals 81 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 38 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.

~~Simple & Delicious May/June 2009~~

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tiny Shortbread Tarts

* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 can (21 ounces) raspberry, cherry or strawberry pie filling

* In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and mix well.
* Shape into 1-in. balls; press onto the bottom and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups.
* Bake at 300° for 17-22 minutes or until set. Cool for 15 minutes before carefully removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Spoon 1 teaspoon of pie filling into each tart.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

~~Taste of Home February/March 1999~~

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nasturtium Nibbles

* 3 dozen nasturtium blossoms, washed and drained
* 1 jar (5 ounces) cream cheese and pineapple spread
* 1/4 cup whipped cream cheese with chives
* 1/4 cup ham salad spread
* Nasturtium leaves, optional

* With a small spoon, carefully stuff each blossom with a small amount of one of the three fillings. Line serving tray with nasturtium leaves if desired and top with filled blossoms. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Yield: 3 dozen.

Note: Verify that flowers are edible and have not been treated with chemicals.

~~Birds & Blooms April/May 1995~~

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mock Devonshire Cream

* 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
* 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 cup sour cream

* In a small bowl, beat whipping cream for 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until stiff. Place the sour cream in a bowl; stir in a small amount of whipped cream. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Yield: about 1 cup.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 tablespoon) equals 44 calories, 4 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 7 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, trace protein.

~~Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2005~~

Friday, August 20, 2010

Special Stuffed Strawberries

* 24 large fresh strawberries
* 1/2 cup spreadable strawberry cream cheese
* 3 tablespoons sour cream

* Remove stems from the strawberries. Place point side up on a cutting board. Cut a deep "x" in the top of each berry. Carefully spread berries apart.
* In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Pipe or spoon filling into each berry. Refrigerate until serving.

Yield: 2 dozen.

Nutritional Analysis: One strawberry (prepared with reduced-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat sour cream) equals 17 calories, 1 g fat (trace saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 20 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.
Diabetic Exchange: Free food.

~~Taste of Home February/March 2004~~

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

* 1 cup halved green seedless grapes
* 1 cup quartered strawberries
* 1/2 cup blueberries
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
* 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
* 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted

Toss grapes, strawberries and blueberries with sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in lime juice, and poppy seeds. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1/2 an hour. Garnish with pistachios and serve.

Yields 4 servings.

~~Sunny Anderson~~

Monday, August 16, 2010

Asparagus in Puff Pastry

* 2 cups water
* 24 fresh asparagus spears (about 1 pound), trimmed
* 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 package (17-1/4 ounces) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
* 1/4 cup egg substitute

* In a large nonstick skillet, bring water to a boil. Add asparagus; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain asparagus and immediately place in ice water; drain and pat dry. In a bowl, beat cream cheese and salt until smooth; set aside.
* Unfold the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet in half widthwise. For each rectangle, spread cream cheese mixture lengthwise over half of the dough to within 1/2 in. of edges. Arrange two rows of three asparagus spears lengthwise in a single layer over cream cheese.
* Brush edges of dough with some of the egg substitute; fold dough over filling and press edges together to seal. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
* Cut widthwise into 1-1/4-in. pieces. Place 1 in. apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush with remaining egg substitute. Bake at 425° for 8-12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Yield: 28 servings.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving (2 pieces) equals 87 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 9 mg cholesterol, 156 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

~~Light & Tasty April/May 2001~~

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Peach Crisp

* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter, cubed

* 2 cans (15-1/4 ounces each) sliced peaches
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup cornstarch

* 1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 5 tablespoons butter, cubed

* In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Pat into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
* Meanwhile, drain the peaches and reserve juice in a small saucepan. Stir in the sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in peaches.
* Pour into crust. For topping, combine the oats, brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes

* 8 ounces mascarpone cheese (about 1 cup), softened
* 2 egg whites
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1 box white cake mix
* 1 cup water
* 1/3 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and drained
* 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Special equipment: 4 mini muffin tins and 48 mini muffin paper cupcake liners

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the mini tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl combine the mascarpone cheese, egg whites and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, beat the ingredients until combined and creamy. Add the cake mix and water and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Fill the mini cups to just below the rim and bake until puffed and golden, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly in the tin then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack.

Meanwhile, puree the strawberries in a blender or small food processor. Place the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Pour in the strawberry puree and whisk until smooth. Top the cooled cupcakes with the strawberry glaze. Let the cupcakes sit for a few minutes for the glaze to firm up, then serve.

Yields 48 mini-muffins.

~~Giada De Laurentiis~~

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Berry Mint Salad

* 1 cup fresh strawberries
* 1 cup fresh raspberries
* 1 cup fresh blueberries
* 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
* 1 teaspoon orange juice
* 1 banana, sliced
* 1/4 cup maple syrup
* 1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in a medium glass bowl. Add mint leaves and orange juice and toss. Place fruits in serving bowls and place bananas slices on top.

Yields 4 servings.

~~Ingrid Hoffman~~

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Black Forest Cupcakes

* 1 (18.25-ounce) box devil's food cake mix
* 1 1/3 cups black cherry soda
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 3 eggs
* 1 container vanilla frosting
* 2 teaspoons cherry extract
* 1 to 2 drops pink food coloring
* 24 whole maraschino cherries with stems

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl combine cake mix, soda, vegetable oil and eggs. Using a hand mixer combine all ingredients, batter will still be somewhat lumpy. Pour batter into muffin cups. Bake 19 to 22 minutes, turning the pans halfway through baking. Remove to a rack and allow to cool completely.

In a large bowl combine frosting, extract and pink food coloring. When cupcakes are cool ice with pink cherry frosting and top each with maraschino cherry.

Yields 24 cupcakes.

~~Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee, 2008~~

Friday, August 6, 2010

Herb Cheese Spread

* 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
* 4 tablespoons sour cream
* 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
* 2 tablespoon chives, chopped
* 1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl add butter, sour cream, and cream cheese. Add the garlic and herbs and mix together well. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Place in refrigerator and allow to chill.

Yields 4 to 6 servings.

~~The Neelys~~

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

East Hampton Clam Chowder

* 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
* 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
* 2 cups medium-diced celery (4 stalks)
* 2 cups medium-diced carrots (6 carrots)
* 4 cups peeled medium-diced boiling potatoes (8 potatoes)
* 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 quart (4 cups) clam juice
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 cups milk
* 3 cups chopped fresh chowder clams (1 1/2 pounds shucked clams)

Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the celery, carrots, potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 more minutes. Add the clam juice, bring to a boil, and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

In a small pot, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the flour. Cook over very low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in a cup of the hot broth and then pour this mixture back into the cooked vegetables. Simmer for a few minutes until the broth is thickened.

Add the milk and clams and heat gently for a few minutes to cook the clams. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Serves 6 to 8.

~~Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, 2002~~

Monday, August 2, 2010

Old Fashioned Cupcakes

* 1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
* 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes
* 4 large eggs
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* Old Fashioned Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.

Combine in a bowl both flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed until combined for about 3 minutes. Add in cubed butter, mixing until just coated with flour.

Add eggs 1 at a time until combined. Slowly add milk and vanilla to batter until completely mixed scraping down the bowl as you mix.

Scoop batter into baking cups filling about 2/3 full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.

Cool and decorate with Old Fashioned Frosting.

Old-Fashioned Frosting:
* 2 sticks butter, room temperature
* 8 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 cup milk
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or other flavoring

Cream softened butter and add 4 cups sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat with paddle attachment until smooth gradually add the rest of sugar to reach frosting consistency*.

*Cook's Note: Add more sugar to get this consistency.

Yields 24 cupcakes.

~~Paula's Best Dishes~~