Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reuben Party Spread

This makes a LOT so I would cut it in half and also make sure the ham is well chopped, my chunks were too big. Pretty fatty but tasty if you happen to like Reubens, which I do.

Reuben Party Spread

1 lbs. fully cooked ham, chopped
4 c. (1 lbs) shredded Swiss cheese
1 can (8 oz) sauerkraut, drained
½ c. Thousand Island salad dressing
Rye bread

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the ham, cheese, sauerkraut and salad dressing.
Cover and microwave on high for 1 to 1 ½ minutes or until cheese is melted, stirring once.
Serve on rye bread.

Yield: 6 cups

3 in 1 Italian Dip

This was fine. I think my standards are too high, I have a recipe for atrichoke dip that is REALLY good, and this just doesn't measure up. But like I said, it was fine.

3-in-1 Italian Dip

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
½ c. oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, drained, chopped
1 c. marinated artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 c. jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained, sliced

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix cream cheese, mozzarella, mayo and garlic in medium bowl until blended.
Spoon into 9” pie plate or casserole dish.
Bake 10 minutes. Stir. Arrange tomatoes, artichokes and peppers on top of cheese mixture in 3 separate sections. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve with crackers (Wheat Thins or Triscuits).

Yield: 12 servings

Tex Mex Won Tons

These were also, just okay. I think it's a good concept but a little bland upon execution.

Tex-Mex Won Tons

½ lbs. ground beef
¼ c. chopped onion
2 Tbsp. chopped green pepper
½ of a 15-ounce can refried beans
¼ c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. catsup
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. ground cumin
4 dozen won ton skins
Cooking oil or shortening for deep frying
Taco sauce

For filling: in a large skillet cook, ground beef, onion, and green pepper till meat is brown and vegetables are tender. Drain off fat. Stir beans, cheese, catsup, chili powder and cumin into meat mixture; mix well.
Place wonton skin with one point toward you. Spoon a generous teaspoon of meat mixture onto center of skin. Fold bottom point of skin over filling; tuck point under filling. Fold side corners over, forming an envelope shape. Roll up toward remaining corner; moisten point and press to seal. Repeat with remaining wonton skins and filling.
Fry, a few at a time in deep hot fat (375˚) about 1 minute per side. Use a slotted spoon to remove won tons. Drain. Serve warm with taco sauce.

Yield: 48 won tons

These can be frozen. To reheat: loosely cover the appetizers and heat in a 350˚ oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Spinach and Cheese Cups

These were okay, nothing to write a song about.

Spinach and Cheese Cups

2 (2.1 oz) packages frozen mini Fillo shells
1/3 c. frozen, chopped spinach (thawed, and squeezed dry and loosely packed)
½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ c. parmesan cheese
¼ c. ricotta cheese
¼ c. sun dried tomatoes, drained
2 Tbsp. chopped prosciutto
¼ tsp. garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 375˚ and place fillo shells on a large, flat baking sheet.
2. Stir together remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and spoon into the shells.
3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and tops are lightly browned.

Yield 30 cups

Crab Cakes with Lime Sauce

The Italian dressing made them a bit salty to me, so I would decrease that by half. Also, I had to add more crushed crackers since they were way to wet to hold together with just half the crushed crackers. The lime sauce was really very good.

Crab Cakes with Lime Sauce

1 medium lime
1 c. mayonnaise
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 cans (6 oz each) crabmeat, drained, flaked
24 finely crushed Ritz crackers, divided
2 Tbsp. chopped green onion
¼ c. sour cream

Grate the peel and squeeze the juice from the lime. Mix half of the lime juice, ½ c. of the mayo, salad dressing mix and mustard in medium bowl until well blended. Add crabmeat, ½ c. of the cracker crumbs and onion; mix lightly.
Shape into 16 (1/2 inch thick) patties; coat with remaining cracker crumbs.
Cook patties, in batches, in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 2 minutes on each side or until browned on both sides and heated through. Meanwhile, mix remaining ½ c. mayo, remaining lime juice, lime peel and sour cream until well blended.
Serve with crab cakes.

Yield: 16 servings

Apricot Glazed Coconut Chicken Bites

These were good, I think the bake time is a bit excessive as they turned out kind of dry. If I made them again I would only bake them 15 minutes initially then maybe 5-8 minutes on the last baking.

Apricot-Glazed Coconut-Chicken Bites

½ c. sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 ½ c. baking mix
2/3 c. flaked coconut
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. paprika
1 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1” pieces
¼ c. margarine or butter, melted

½ c. apricot spreadable fruit
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. white vinegar

Heat oven to 425˚. Mix milk and Dijon mustard. Mix baking mix, coconut, salt and paprika. Dip chicken into milk mixture, then coat with baking mix.
Pour 2 Tbsp. of the melted margarine in jelly roll pan (15 ½ X 10 ½ X 1 inch). Place coated chicken in pan. Drizzle remaining margarine over chicken.
Bake uncovered 20 minutes. Make Apricot glaze (mix all ingredients until blended). Turn chicken; brush with glaze. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink in center and glaze is bubbly. Serve with hot mustard if desired.

Yield: About 3 dozen appetizers

Appetizer Meatballs

I would decrease the amount of oats by half or use breadcrumbs instead, and I would increase the amount of sauce by half again. I also added more garlic powder, because I like garlic and a squirt of grainy mustard since I had it in the refrigerator, needing to be used, and a generous dose of cayenne. These were very tangy. 5 stars!

Appetizer Meatballs

2 lbs. ground beef
1 lbs. pork sausage
1 (5oz) can evaporated milk
½ tsp. ground pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
½ c. chopped onions
2 c. old-fashioned oats

2 c. catsup
1 ½ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. liquid smoke
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ c. chopped onions

1. Mix all meatball ingredients together; shape into small 1” diameter balls.
2. Place in baking pan in single layer.
3. Combine sauce ingredients and pour over meatballs.
4. Bake at 350˚ for 1 hour

Hot Cranberry Punch

Adam says this needs to become a Christmas staple at our house. It was yummy!

Hot Cranberry Punch

8 c. hot water
1 ½ c. sugar (I tend to use less, stir in about 1 cup then if need be ad the other 1/2 cup)
4 c. cranberry juice
¾ c. orange juice
¼ c. lemon juice
12 whole cloves, optional
½ c. red-hot candies

1. In a 5 quart slow cooker, combine water, sugar and juices; stir until sugar is dissolved. If desired, place cloves in a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag.
2. Add spice bag and red-hots to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through.
3. Before serving, discard spice bag and stir punch.

Yield: 3 ½ quarts

Baked Lemon Pudding

This came out a lot like a souffle. Not my favorite...

Baked Lemon Pudding

3 eggs, separated
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 ½ c. milk
¼ c. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 ½ c. sugar, divided
½ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
Whipped cream
Garnish: grated lemon zest, fresh blueberries

Beat egg yolks at medium speed with an electric mixer until thick and pale; add lemon rind and next 3 ingredients, beating well.
Combine 1 c. sugar and next 3 ingredients; add to lemon mixture, beating until smooth.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; add remaining ½ c. sugar and beat until blended. Fold into lemon mixture. Pour into greased 2-quart baking dish. Place baking dish in a large shallow pan. Add hot water to pan to depth of 1”.
Bake at 350˚ for 45 minutes or just until center is set. Remove baking dish from water bath; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Top with whipped cream, and garnish, if desired.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Warm Apple Buttermilk Custard Pie

Brent Horrocks said this was 'awesome!'

Warm Apple Buttermilk Custard Pie

1 9” pie shell
¼ c. butter
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced
½ c. white sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ c. butter, softened
1 1/3 c. white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. flour
¾ c. buttermilk
¼ c. white sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
½ c. flour
¼ tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 300°.
To make filling: Melt ¼ c. butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add apples, ½ c. white sugar, and ½ tsp. cinnamon. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
To make buttermilk custard: In a large mixing bowl combine ¼ c. softened butter with 1 1/3 c. white sugar. Beat until creamy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until yellow disappears. Mix in vanilla, then 2 Tbsp. flour. Combine thoroughly then pout in buttermilk, beating until smooth.
Fit pastry into pie pan and prick the bottom with a fork. Spoon apples over crust then pour buttermilk custard over it. Bake in preheated oven to 30 minutes.
To make streusel topping: While pie is baking, combine ¼ c. white sugar, brown sugar, ½ c. flour and ¼ tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine until crumbly.
Remove pie from oven after 30 minutes and sprinkle with the streusel toping. Return to oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 1 hour before serving.

Caramel Pecan Chocolate Dessert

This was my favorite of the desserts

Caramel-Pecan Chocolate Dessert

1 pkg. (1 lbs 3.8 oz) fudge brownie mix
¼ c. water
½ c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 c. chocolate chips
½ c. whipping (heavy) cream
20 caramels (from 14 oz bag), unwrapped
1 egg, beaten
1 c. broken pecans
¾ c. whipping (heavy) cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350°. Grease bottom and side of 10” springform pan. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, water, oil, and 2 eggs until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread in pan.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until puffed in center and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat ½ c. whipping cream and the caramels over medium heat, stirring frequently, until caramels are melted. Stir small amount of the hot mixture into beaten egg, then stir egg back into mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in pecans. Spread over brownie. Refrigerate uncovered at least 3 hours until chilled.
Run metal spatula around side of pan. Transfer dessert on pan base to serving plate. In chilled small bowl, beat ¾ c. whipping cream and the powdered sugar with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon whipped cream in 12 dollops around edge of dessert. Cut into wedges to serve. Store covered in refrigerator.

Yield: 12 servings

Peppermint Cheesecake

I would double the amount of chocolate wafer crumbs, or just use a store bought chocolate graham cracker crust. I also forgot to fold in the whipped cream, so I just whipped it up with some ground sweetened chocolate and spread it on top. They said it was fine, but I'm not sure how it could have been....

Peppermint Cheesecake

1 c. chocolate wafer crumbs
3 Tbsp. margarine, melted

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
¼ c. cold water
2 pkg. (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
½ c. sugar
½ c. milk
¼ c. crushed peppermint candy
1 c. whipping cream, whipped
2 (1.45 oz) milk chocolate candy bars, finely chopped

Combine crumbs and margarine; press onto bottom of 9” springform pan. Bake at 350˚, 10 minutes. Cool.
Soften gelatin in water; stir over low heat until dissolved. Combine cream cheese and sugar; mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Gradually add gelatin, milk and peppermint candy, mixing until blended; chill until thickened but not set. Fold in whipped cream and chocolate; pour over crust. Chill until firm. Garnish with additional whipping cream, whipped, combined with crushed peppermint candy, if desired.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Maple Sugar Frosting

Maple-Sugar Frosting

2 ¼ c. confectioners’ sugar
½ c. dark brown sugar
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/8 tsp. salt
½ c. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2-4 Tbsp. whole milk

In a medium bowl with a mixer set on medium speed, beat sugars, butter, and salt until combined. Continue beating and add the maple syrup in a slow stream. Add the vanilla. Increase the speed to medium high and continue to beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, add up to 4 Tbsp. of milk to achieve a smooth spreading consistency.

Maple Walnut Cake

Maple Walnut Cake

2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ c. unsalted butter, softened
½ c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ c. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ c. water
1 c. finely chopped walnuts
6 walnut halves
Maple-Sugar Frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease and flour two 9” round cake pans; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl using a mixer set on high speed, beat the butter and sugar for one minute. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Add 1 cup maple syrup and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to slow and add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the water and ending with the dry ingredients. Gently stir in the walnuts
2. Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans and spread evenly. Bake on the middle rack of oven until a tester inserted into the center of each cake layer comes out clean – about 30 minutes. Cool in the cake pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the layers onto the wire rack to cool completely.
3. Lightly coat a sheet pan with cooking spray and arrange the walnut halves about 3” to 4” inches apart. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining ½ c. maple syrup over medium-high heat. Cook the syrup until it reaches hard-crack stage (300˚). Remove from heat and carefully spoon boiled syrup over the walnuts, allowing it to run in streams around the sheet pan. Set aside to let cool completely.
4. Use a serrated knife to level the mounded sides of the cake layers, if necessary. Line the edges of cake plate with 3” wide strips of waxed or parchment paper and place a cake layer, trimmed side down, on top. Place 1 c. of maple sugar frosting on top of the layer and spread evenly. Place the second layer, trimmed side down, on the first and cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing. Decorate the top of the cake with candied walnuts and the hardened maple sugar. Remove paper strips and serve. Store at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup


Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

2 tsp. chicken soup base
3 c. chicken stock
2 c. chopped carrots
2 c. celery
¾ c. chopped onion
2 cans cream of chicken soup
¼ c. evaporated milk or ½ c. whole milk
2 c. cooked chicken
4 c. cooked noodles
Additional milk and flour for thickening

Heat base and stock in a large pot. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Simmer until veggies are semi-tender.
Add soup and milk. Thicken with a mixture of milk and flour.
Add chicken and noodles.

Jodi's Fabulous Bread

My Sister-in-Law Jodi gave me this recipe. She swears she didn't name it herself, that it was originally someone elses. Regardless, it's easy and yummy.

Jodi’s Fabulous Bread

2 tsp. yeast
2 ½ c. warm water
2 ½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
6 c. flour

Dissolve yeast in water. Add other ingredients and mix together.
Knead. Let rise 1 hour.
Divide into loaves and put on greased cookie sheets. Brush with egg white and let rise 30 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes

With all that free Sour Cream I got a couple of weeks ago, I'm having to learn how to use it. Here's a good way:

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes

½ c. sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 c. cold water
4 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

2 c. all-purpose flour
¼ c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 ½ c. milk
1 c. (8oz) sour cream
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

For topping, in a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and water until smooth. Add blueberries. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cover and keep warm.
For pancakes, combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs; stir in the milk, sour cream and butter. Stir into dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in blueberries.
Pour batter by ¼ cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with blueberry topping.

Yield: about 20 pancakes

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Crescent Cristo Sandwich Loaf

When I first tried this, I was very leary of the idea of meat and jam, but somehow, it works great. This is Adam's favorite meal, if asked what he wants for dinner I can bet this will be at the top of his list.

2 (8 oz each) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 Tbsp. margarine or butter, melted
2 Tbsp. honey
6 oz. thinly sliced smoked, cooked, turkey breast
6 oz. thinly sliced cooked ham
6 slices Muenster cheese
1/3 to 1/2 c. red raspbery preserves

2 Tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. sesame seed

Heat oven to 375. Separate dough into 4 long rectangles. Place rectangles crosswise on 1 large or 2 small ungreased cookie sheets (rectangles should not touch); frmrly press perforations to seal. In small bowl, combine margarine and 2 Tbsp. honey; mix well. Brush over dough.

Bake at 375 for 8 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown; cool 15 minutes.

Grease 15 X 10 X 1 inch baking pan. Carefully place 1 crust on pan. Top evenly with turkey and 3 slices cheese. Place second crust over cheese; top with ham and remaining 3 slices cheese. Place third crust over cheese; spread evenly with preserves. Top with fourth crust; brush top with 2 Tbsp. honey. Sprinkle with sesame seed.

Bake at 375 for 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown, loaf is hot, and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 slices.

Yield: 8 servings

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Becky's Broccoli Salad

2 heads broccoli
2 c. sliced purple grapes
3 green onions
½ c. crumbled bacon
¼ c. sliced almonds
1 c. craisons
1 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar

Cut broccoli to bite size pieces (I don’t usually us the stems, but you can if you want).
Mix together grapes, onions, bacon, almonds and craisons.
Mix mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar together until it becomes a smooth sauce.
Pour the sauce over all the other ingredients and mix well.

Honey Cream Filled Crescents

4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. honey, divided
¼ c. sliced almonds
1 package (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
Dash of ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375˚. Mix cream cheese and 2 Tbsp. of the honey. Stir in almonds.
Unroll crescent roll dough; separate into 8 triangles.
Spread 1 rounded Tbsp. cream cheese mixture onto each triangle; roll up each loosely, starting at shortest side of triangle, rolling to opposite point. Place rolls on ungreased baking sheet; curve each into crescent shape. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake 12 – 14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve rolls warms, drizzled with remaining honey.

Yield: 8 crescent rolls (1 serving each)

Pepper Biscuit Pull-Apart

I almost always serve this when we're having Orange Grove Chicken Avocado Salad.

¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt, if desired
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried basil leaves
4 ½ tsp olive oil
1 (12 oz) can refrigerated flaky biscuits
¼ c. chopped green bell pepper
¼ c. chopped red bell pepper
1 oz (1/4 c.) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oven to 400˚.
2. In small bowl, combine garlic powder, salt, basil and oregano; blend well. Set aside.
3. Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Place 1 biscuit in center of ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Arrange remaining biscuits in circle, edges slightly overlapping, around center biscuit. Gently press out to 10 inch circle.
5. Brush with olive oil; top with bell peppers and cheeses. Sprinkle garlic powder mixture over top.
6. Bake at 400˚ for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. To serve, pull apart warm biscuits

Orange Grove Chicken Avocado Salad

This is my favorite meal. I got this recipe from a grocery store's monthly news-letter, I am so glad I didn't just toss it into the trash, I love, love, love this salad!

1 (1.26 oz) package Lawry’s fajitas marinade
2/3 c. orange juice
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 (10 oz) bag washed and torn romaine lettuce
1 (2.2 oz) can sliced ripe olive, drained
2 large oranges, peeled and cubed
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
2/3 c. thinly sliced and quartered red onion
Chili Orange dressing
1 c. coarsely crushed tortilla chips

Stir together contents of marinade packet, orange juice and oil in a medium bowl. Add chicken and let marinate, refrigerated for several hours or overnight. Place on grill over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until lightly charred. Remove from grill and cut into bite-size strips.
Place lettuce in a large salad bowl and top with olives, oranges, avocado, onion and grilled chicken.
Toss with dressing and sprinkle with tortilla chips

Chili Orange Dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 c. orange juice, 2 Tbsp. lime juice, 1 Tbsp. honey, 1 tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. chili powder, ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash

2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 1/2 lbs of butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large bowl, combine the parsley, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add squash and toss to coat.
2. Transfer to an ungreased shallow 2-quart baking dish. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until squash is just tender.

I stirred mine halfway through cooking and sprinkled the cheese over the last 10 minutes of baking (since the recipe didn't specify when to include the cheese).

Note: The squash is hard to peel. I had to use a very sharp paring knife, a veggie peeler will not cut it. I've seend recommended to poke the squash a few times with a fork and cook in the microwave 8 minutes then peel and seed; but this makes it messier.
I also haven't tried this with frozen squash. I'm not sure how the consistency would turn out, I'm not sure if you have to cook frozen squash less or not.

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. water
2 tsp. sugar
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. salt

1. Combine yeast and water in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and let stand until bubbly.
2. Add sugar, 1 c. whole wheat flour, 1 cup all purpose flour and the salt. Mix well.
3. Continue to add all purpose flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and springy (if you pinch the dough, it should spring back to it's original shape).
5. Shape the dough into a ball and cover loosely with a towel. Let rise for 30 minutes.
6. Place a baking sheet or baking stone in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 500.
7. Divide dough into eight pieces. On a well floured surface, roll the dough out until it is approximately 1/2 inch thick. Repeat for all eight pieces. Cover rounds with a damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
8. Place rounds on baking sheet or stone. Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 6-8 minutes.
9. Immediately after removing from the oven, cover pitas with a damp kitchen towel, or place them in a paper bag to steam.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. unbleached, all purpose flour
2 packages (2 1/4 tsp. each) active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 c. lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. olive oil

1. Place flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. While mixer is running, gradually add water and knead on low speed until dough is frim and smooth, about ten minutes. Turn machine off.

2. Pour oil down inside of bowl. Turn on low once more for 15 seconds to coat inside of bowl and all surfaces of dough with the oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm spot until doubled in bulk, about two hours.

3. Preheat oven to highest setting (500 or 550). Punch dough down, cut in half. On generously floured work surface, place one half of dough.

4. By hand, form dough loosely into a ball, stretch into a circle. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into large circle until very thin. If you get a hole, just pinch edges back together.

5. To prevent dough from sticking to counter, turn dough over, add flour to dough, counter and rolling pin as needed. Transfer dough to a pizza stone or cookie sheet with no lip. Add toppings.

6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Spinach Pizza Pie

2 cans (13.8 oz each) refrigerated pizza crust dough
1 can (8 oz) pizza sauce
1 jar (4.5 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
¼ c. sliced ripe olives
1 ½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese (6 oz)
2 pkg. (9 oz each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1 tsp. olive or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400°. Lightly spray 9” glass pie plate with cooking spray.
Unroll 1 can of pizza crust dough. Place dough in pie plate; press against bottom and side of pie plate to form crust.
In small bowl, mix pizza sauce and mushrooms; spoon onto dough in plate. Layer with olives, ¾ c. of the mozzarella cheese, the spinach and remaining ¾ c. mozzarella cheese.
Unroll remaining can of dough. Press dough into 9” circle; place over filling. Pinch edges of dough together to seal; roll up edges of dough or flute to form rim. Cut several slits in dough. Brush with oil; sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cut into wedges.
Yield: 6 servings

Cheese Enchiladas with Green Chilies

1 ¼ c. Enchilada sauce
15 6” flour tortillas
1 lbs Monterey jack cheese, sliced into 15 strips
1 c. shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 c. salsa
1 can whole green chilies, sliced into 3 strips

1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
2. Combine enchilada sauce and salsa in medium bowl, mix well.
3. Pour 1 ½ c. sauce onto bottom of ungreased 9” x 13”baking pan.
4. Heat tortillas, one at a time in lightly greased medium skillet over medium heat for 20 seconds on each side or until soft.
5. Place 1 strip cheese and 1 strip Chili in center of each tortilla; roll up.
6. Place seam side down in baking pan.
7. Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese and chilies.
8. Ladle remaining sauce over enchiladas; sprinkle with shredded cheese.
9. Bake covered for 20 minutes.
10. Remove cover; bake for an additional 5 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Chicken Tortellini and Roasted Vegetable Salad

4 sun-dried tomato halves, not packed in oil
Boiling water
½ c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried basil leaves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. water
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

3 c. whole medium mushrooms
2 c. cubed zucchini
2 c. cubed eggplant
¾ c. red onion wedges (about 1 medium)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 ½ pkg. (9 oz size) cheese tortellini
6 c. bite-sized leaf lettuce and arugula
1 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces

For dressing: place tomatoes in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes or until soft. Drain well; chop. In small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine tomatoes and remaining dressing ingredients; shake well. Chill until ready to use; shake before using.
Heat oven to 425°.
Place mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant and onion on baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray; toss to coat. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are browned. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Cool to room temperature.
Combine vegetables, tortellini, lettuce and chicken in large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette; toss to coat.

Yield: 8 servings

Cheeseburger Soup

I've never made this one before, so I can't vouch for it yet. As I'm going pretty meatless, I'm going to take veggie "Meatballs" break them up and use them instead of the ground beef.

½ lbs. lean ground beef
½ c. chopped onion
¾ c. shredded carrots
¾ c. chopped celery
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
6 c. chicken broth
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
¼ c. all-purpose flour
¾ lbs. processed reduced-fat American cheese, cubed
1 ½ c. milk
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Cook ground beef in a large pot over medium-high heat about 3 minutes, stirring until meat crumbles. Add onion and next 4 ingredients, and sauté 4 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain well. Return beef mixture to pot.
Stir in chicken broth and potatoes. Bring to boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Gradually stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until flour is lightly browned.
Whisk flour mixture into simmering beef mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until thickened.
Whisk in cheese and next 3 ingredients just until cheese melts.

Yield: 12 cups