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Beverages, Elaine Walker

Iced Tea Lemonade

10 cups of water
8 packets of Sweet & Low
4 tea bags of mint tea
1 lemon

Instructions:
1) Add 4 packets Sweet & Low to 2 cups of water. Heat in microwave for 3.5 minutes or just until it boils.

2) Remove from heat. Add to water 2 tea bags of mint tea. Steep for 5 minutes.

3) Transfer tea to pitcher.

4) Repeat steps 1 through 3.

5) To pitcher, add the juice of one lemon.

6) Add 6 cups of tap water.

7) Chill.

Dawn Butler, Sandwiches

Hawaiian Grilled Cheese

4 tablespoons butter
8 slices white Hawaiian sweet bread
8 slices sharp cheddar
4 slices provolone
8 pineapple rings (from canned pineapple, drained)
1/4 to 3/4 cups teriyaki sauce

Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. In a large skillet over medium heat, place half the bread slices butter-side down. Top each slice of bread with 2 slices cheddar, 1 slice provolone, 2 pineapple rings, and some teriyaki sauce. Top with a second slice of bread, butter side up.

Cook until bottom bread slices are golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown and cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Debbie Allen, Desserts, Pie

Classic French Berry Tart with Chocolate Shortbread Crust

2 pints fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or strawberries, or an assortment of berries
1/3 cup red currant jelly mixed with 1 teaspoon water, for glazing
1-1/2 cups Pastry Cream (see below)
1-9 inch pie shell made from Chocolate Shortbread Crust (see below)

Pastry Cream
2 cups whole milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
3-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted

In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil.

Meanwhile in a medium saucepan (without turning on the heat), whisk the yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk — this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won’t curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk.

Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get into the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky.

Scrape the cream into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold.

Chocolate Shortbread Crust
1-1/4 cups flour
1 stick plus l tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, cocoa, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in — you should have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.

Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses—about 10 seconds each—until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms dumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly and sparingly knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

Butter a 9 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and press the foil, buttered side down, onto the crust. Place the tart pan onto a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust is puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 8 minutes or until the crust is firm and golden brown. Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.

Assembling the Tart

Smooth the pastry cream by giving it a couple of strong turns with a whisk. Spoon enough of the pastry cream into the tart crust to come almost to the rim, then even the surface with a rubber spatula.

Carefully lay the fruit on the cream, arranging them in any pattern that pleases you. If you are using strawberries, either halve them from top to bottom or slice them.

Bring the jelly and the water to a boil in a microwave oven or on the stovetop. Working with a pastry brush or pastry feather, dab each berry with a spot of jelly.

Or, if you like, you can glaze the entire surface of the tart, including the bit of pastry cream that peeks through the berries.

Cookies and Brownies, Dawn Butler, Desserts

Apple Dessert Bars

CRUST
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

FILLING
1-1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced 1/8 inch thick (3 large)
1-1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced 1/8 inch thick (3 large)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 375°.

For the crust, place the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and creamy. Sift the flour and salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter-sugar mixture, beating until combined.

Scatter two-thirds of the dough in clumps in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and press it lightly with floured hands on the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides (use a metal measuring cup to make the corners). Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, put the mixing bowl with the remaining dough back on the mixer, add the walnuts and cinnamon and mix on low speed to combine. Set aside.

Reduce the oven to 350°.

For the filling, combine the Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples and lemon juice in a very large bowl. Add the granulated sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. Melt the butter in a large (10-inch-diameter) pot, add the apples and simmer over medium to medium-low heat, stirring often, for 12 to 15 minutes, until the apples are tender and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Spread the apples evenly over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

Pinch medium pieces of the remaining dough with your fingers and drop them evenly on top of the apples (they will not be covered). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is browned. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Note: Be sure to use Granny Smith and Golden Delicious – don’t substitute other varieties. This is not a very sweet dessert – it could be eaten at breakfast like a coffee cake.

Dawn Butler, Eggs and Pasta and Legumes

Creamy Baked Ziti with Side Sauce

4 cups ziti pasta, uncooked
2 jars (12 ounces each) marinara sauce, divided
2 jars (12 ounces each) tomato puree, divided
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained, divided
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
3/4 cup sour cream
1 package (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. Remove pasta from pan; drain.

Mix together 1 jar or can of the marina sauce, tomato puree, diced tomatoes.

Stir in the cream cheese to same pan; cook on medium heat 5 min. or until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is blended, stirring frequently.

Return pasta to pan; mix well.

Layer half the pasta mixture in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; cover with layers of sour cream, 1 cup mozzarella and remaining pasta mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella; sprinkle with Parmesan.

Cover and bake 25 minutes; uncover and bake approximately 15 minutes more or until heated through.

Mix together the second jar or can of the marina sauce, tomato puree, diced tomatoes. Warm on the stove. Serve with the baked ziti but in a separate dish for those who like extra sauce.

Dad, Dorothy Lamalie, Liked by, Mom, Poultry

Mom’s Chicken and Herb Dumplings

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (about 2 pounds)
6 cups chicken broth (low fat, reduced sodium)
Bouquet garni (3 sprigs of parsley, 2 sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh, 6 black peppercorns, tied together in cheesecloth)
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 1/2 ounce), plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, preferably Vidalia, chopped
3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 cup peas
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

To poach the chicken, in a large saucepan, add the breasts and the chicken broth to cover. Add the bouquet garni. Bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to low. Simmer, skimming off the foam occasionally, until the chicken is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (If the stock is cloudy, don’t worry; it’s simply protein clarified from the stock. Just ignore it or strain it out.) Transfer the poached chicken to a warm plate; reserve the broth. Cover with a lid and set aside.

To prepare the dumplings, in a bowl, combine the flour, cheese, baking powder, parsley, and ¾ teaspoon of the salt. In a small saucepan, bring the milk and butter to a simmer over low heat; season with black pepper. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

In a second large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and peas. Cook until the onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the reserved broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low. Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop the dough, about 1 tablespoon at a time, into the simmering stock. Cover and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

To assemble, add the reserved chicken and cook just until heated through, about 5 minutes.

To serve, ladle into shallow bowls and garnish with additional cheese; serve immediately.

Elaine Walker, Vegetables

Baked Sweet Potato

Wash sweet potato.
Rub skin with olive oil (makes it easy to peel off when baked).
Pierce potato with fork in several places (ensures even cooking).
Bake at 425 F for 45 to 60 minutes.

Note: baked sweet potatoes taste better than boiled or microwaved potatoes.

Breakfast, Dawn Butler

Pumpkin Pancakes

1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup buttermilk (do not substitute regular milk)
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup pumpkin puree
mini chocolate chips (optional)

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs and butter. If desired, add the chocolate chips. Stir the pumpkin batter into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter may still be lumpy.

Heat a greased skillet or griddle over medium heat (325˚F for the griddle). Pour the batter on the griddle or skillet in 1/4 cup portions. Use the back of the spoon or measuring cup to smooth the batter into desired circle shape. When bubbles start forming on the top, carefully use a spatula to flip to the other side. Let cook for a few more minutes, until golden brown.

Transfer the pancakes to the baking sheet or oven-safe platter; place in the oven to keep warm until serving. Repeat with the rest of the batter until it has all been cooked, re-greasing the pan as needed.

Cookies and Brownies, Desserts, Elaine Walker

Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ sticks) salted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2¼ cups flour
6 ounces semi- or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 egg, beaten
Demerara* sugar, for rolling
flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen, for sprinkling

* Demerara is a type of raw cane sugar that has a large grain, crunchy texture, and pale brown color. It will give the cookies delicious crispy edges. If you don’t want to buy special sugar, you can substitute regular light brown sugar.

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer and a medium bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, both sugars, and vanilla on medium-high till it’s light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and, with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour, followed by the chocolate chunks, and beat just to blend.
  4. Divide the dough in half, placing each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic over so that it covers the dough to protect your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands (just like you’re playing with clay), form the dough into a log shape. Each half should form two logs, 2 inches in diameter.
  5. Chill until totally firm, about 2 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. Brush the outside of the logs with the beaten egg and roll them in the Demerara sugar.
  8. Slice each log into ½-inch-thick rounds, place them on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart, and sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
Cookies and Brownies, Desserts, Dorothy Lamalie

Outrageous Brownies

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
14 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (divided into 8 ounces & 6 ounces)
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon powdered instant espresso
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour a 13″X 9″ baking sheet.

Melt together the butter, 8 ounces of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from heat and let cool to almost room temperature.

In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, powdered espresso, vanilla, and sugar. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the walnuts and remaining 6 ounces of chocolate chips. Pour into the baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, then open the oven, lift the backing sheet and rap it against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Turn the pan around and rap the other side. (This stops the rising process and will give the brownies their deliciously dense texture.) Bake another 15 or so minutes, just until a toothpick comes out clean – do not overbake.

Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into squares.

Note: This recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook but her version was double in size and used a 12×18 jelly roll pan, which Mom did. So the baking time of 30 minutes for a halved recipe and 13×9 pan is approximate. Also note that these are very rich.