Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chocolate Shortbread

A crisp and semi-bitter cookie, perfect to go with a cup of tea. Not too sweet, so great for those who don't like chocolate because it's "too rich."

yield: 24 servings

1 cup flour
3 Tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
5 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil

1. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
2. Place sugar, butter, and oil in a medium bowl; mix with hands until combined. Add flour mixture and mix with hands until combined; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 325°.
4. Place dough on baking sheet coated with cooking spray; press dough into an 8x5-inch rectangle about 3/8-inch thick. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes or just until set. Cut shortbread into 24 pieces. Cool completely.

Pumpkin Bread

Warm, moist pumpkin bread is the ideal treat on chilly fall days!

yield: 2 loaves, 12 slices each

3 1/3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 15-oz can (2 cups) pumpkin

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine flour through allspice in a bowl; stir with a whisk.
3. Place sugar, oil, buttermilk, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add 2/3 cup water and pumpkin, beating at low speed until blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Spoon batter into 2 9x5-inch load pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack; remove from pans and cool completely.

Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars

Sweet, tangy, and chewy, these bars get the balance just right!

yield: 24 servings

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
6 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp orange juice

1 1/3 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1 egg white, lightly beaten.

1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. To prepare crust, combine flours through allspice in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle butter and juice over flour mixture, stirring until moistened and crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup oat mixture. Press remaining mixture into the bottom an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. To prepare filling, combine cranberries through egg white in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spread cranberry mixture over prepared crust; sprinkle reserved oat mixture evenly over filling. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sausage Lentil Stew

A thick, slightly spicy, hearty stew, perfect for chilly days.

yield: 6 servings

1 lb turkey kielbasa, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp canola oil
3 cups water
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 14.5-oz can chicken broth
1 cup dry lentils
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
4-oz can chopped green chilies

1. Heat canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; sauté kielbasa, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic until vegetables are almost tender (about 5 minutes).
2. Stir in the water, potatoes, chicken broth, lentils, salt, cumin, and red pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and chilies; heat thoroughly.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cocoa Fudge Cookies

A moist, chewy, chocolaty cookie perfect to satisfy any chocolate craving.

yield: 2 dozen cookies

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
5 Tbsp butter
7 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; stir in cocoa and sugars. Add yogurt and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture, stirring until moist. Drop by level tablespoons onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pans 2 to 3 minutes or until firm.

Chicken Vegetable Stew

Thick, spicy, and hearty, this is the perfect easy dinner for cold winter nights.

yield: 7 servings

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cups (1-inch cubes) red potato (about 1-1/4 lbs)
3 cups (1/2-inch slices) carrots (about 1 lb)
1 1/2 cups (1-inch pieces) onion
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt
7 cups chicken broth
16 oz frozen green peas

1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Add potato through salt; stir well. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until chicken is done.
2. Add peas to the chicken mixture. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pot; cool slightly. Cut or shred chicken into bite-sized pieces. Return chicken to pot; stir to combine.