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Volume 17   Number 48

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> Article: Sweet Gifts From The Home

> Food Funnies: TV Spinoff Shows About Food

S E L E C T E D     R E C I P E S :

* Cracker Barrel Chicken Casserole

* Spiced Pork

* Black Pepper-Crusted Rib Roast

* Meat Loaf Au Gratin

* Oysters Rockefeller

* Holiday Chicken Salad

* Mushroom and Sun Dried Tomato Spread

* Fruitcake Cookies

Healthy Eating:

Low Carb: Bacon Cheese Ball

Diabetic: Eggnog

Low Fat: Scrambled Tofu


This Week's Cooking Tips

Tomato Techniques:

To peel: Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover tomatoes; bring
to a boil. Immerse tomatoes about 30 seconds; drain and
cool. Remove stem ends and slip off skins.

To seed: Cut tomatoes in half crosswise. Gently squeeze each half,
using your fingers to remove seeds. To reserve the juice for
use in dressings, sauces or soups, seed the tomato into a
strainer held over a bowl.

Tomato Shells: Cut a 1/2 inch slice off the stem end of each tomato.
Using a spoon, scoop out the pulp.

Roast: Preheat oven to 450° F. Halve tomatoes crosswise. Place
halves, cut side down, on a shallow baking pan; brush with
oil. Roast until lightly browned, about 20 minutes; cool.
Remove skins and stem ends.

Slow-Cook: Preheat oven to 300F. Remove stem ends; slice tomatoes.
Place slices on a shallow baking pan; brush with oil.
Cook until tomatoes soften and shrink, about 45 minutes.

Tomato Equivalents:
1 small tomato = 3 to 4 ounces
1 medium tomato = 5 to 6 ounces
1 large tomato = 7 or more ounces
1 pound of tomatoes = 2 1/2 cups chopped or 1 1/2 cups pulp

More Cooking Tips


This Week's Culinary Quiz (Answer at the bottom of page)

Tofu is an important part of traditional Japanese cuisine, but
the earliest known reference to it existing in Japan is in an
eleventh century document. From where did the Japanese learn the
technique for producing tofu from soy beans?


Quote of the Week:

"Honest bread is very well - it's the butter that makes the

- Douglas Jerrold (1803-1857)



November 29 - National Chocolates Day
November 30 - National Mousse Day
December 1 - National Pie Day
December 2 - National Fritters Day
December 3 - National Ice Cream Box Day
December 4 - National Cookie Day
December 5 - National Sacher Torte Day
December 6 - National Gazpacho Day


Sweet Gifts From The Home
by John Havel

Around this time of year most of us are gearing up our gift lists
for close family and friends. And then there are your acquaintances -
you know them well, but maybe not enough to actually buy them a gift.
Hard candy makes a creative and inexpensive gift idea that makes the
holidays even more special because it's homemade.

The idea of sweet treats was first invented by cavemen who ate honey
from bee hives. During ancient times the Egyptians, the Arabs and the
Chinese prepared confections of fruit and nuts candied in honey. In
Europe during the Middle Ages, the high cost of sugar made sugar
candy a delicacy available only to the wealthy. Boiled sugar candies
were enjoyed in the seventeenth century in England and in the
American colonies.

Candy making can be quite easy, but, most importantly, you'll need
the right tools. You’ll need a medium-size saucepan (3 or 4 quarts)
with a heavy bottom and straight sides. You'll also need an accurate
candy thermometer. Test your thermometer by placing it in a pan of
water and bringing it to the boiling point. It should now register
212F degrees at sea level. If it registers 214 degrees, you can
correct it by adding two degrees to those given in the recipe; if
210 degrees, by subtracting. If it's more than a few degrees off in
either direction, you need a new thermometer.

The weather can also determine your success. Did you know that
humidity has an enormous effect on the outcome of your hard candy?
Because sugar attracts water, rainy days can wreak havoc on even your
best attempts at homemade delicacies. Make it easier on yourself -
wait for a clear, dry day to try out this recipe.

Once your candies are cooked and have cooled, pack them in airtight
jars. Mason jars are inexpensive and give your gift that extra
"homemade" look. Tie an attractive bow around it and you're done. If
you have the time and energy to make these gifts, the impression you
leave with your friends will last long after the candy is gone.

Old Fashioned Hard Candy
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1/2 cup water

Stir over low heat until dissolved. Turn heat to high. Using a candy
thermometer cook until temperature reads 310 F. REMOVE IMMEDIATELY
and pour into an 8" square greased metal pan. After a few minutes
check for firmness. When you can cut and a top imprint holds, start
cutting with a knife one way in one inch sections; turn pan and make
one inch squares. Continuously cut squares, working fast, until
squares are almost cut through to the bottom. Turn out onto wax
paper, and finish breaking by hand.

Flavorings and Colors (a few drops of food coloring)

1/4 tsp. peppermint oil - green
1/4 tsp. clove oil - orange
1/4 tsp. cinnamon oil - red
1/4 tsp. lemon oil - yellow

Mix desired color and flavor in the beginning with sugar, syrup,
and water.


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FOOD FUNNIES: TV Spinoff Shows About Food

9. L.A. Slaw

8. Lost in Spice

7. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. B.E.N.’s

6. Everybody Loves Ramen

5. Peel or No Peel

4. The Soupranos

3. Bruschetta (starring Robert Bake)

2. The Rice Is Right

... and the #1 TV Spinoff Show About Food ...

1. Pork and Mindy

=+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

Cracker Barrel Chicken Casserole
1 cup yellow corn meal
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted

Chicken Filling:
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken breasts (cut into bite-size pieces)
1/4 cup yellow onion (chopped)
1/2 cup celery (thin chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter

Mix first nine ingredients together in mixing bowl until
smooth. Pour into greased 8" x 8" baking pan and bake at 375F
for 20 - 25 minutes until done. Remove from oven and let cool

When cool, crumble corn bread and place 3 cups of corn bread
crumbs in mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup melted butter to crumbs and
mix well, set aside.

In sauce pan on medium low heat place butter. Saute onions and
celery until transparent, stirring occasionally. Add chicken
broth, cream of chicken soup, salt, and pepper. Stir until well
blended and soup is desolved completely. Add chicken, stir and
blend until mixture reaches a low simmer. Cook for 5 minutes,
remove from heat. Place chicken mixture in buttered casserole
dish (2 1/2 qt.), or individual casserole dishes (about four).
Spoon cornbread crumb topping on top of chicken mixture (do not
stir in chicken filling) and place baking dish in preheated oven
at 350F for 35 - 40 minutes. The crumbs will turn a golden yellow.

=+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

Spiced Pork
2 tablespoons dried juniper berries
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 (6-lb) boneless pork shoulder, tied

Finely grind juniper berries, peppercorns, and allspice in an
electric coffee/spice grinder, then stir together with brown sugar
and salt in a small bowl. Rub spice mix all over pork and chill in a
sealed plastic bag 1 day.

Transfer pork to a 6-quart pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, adding more
water as needed to keep pork submerged, until meat is very tender,
3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Transfer pork to a cutting board and let stand 25 minutes before

=+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

Black Pepper-Crusted Rib Roast
1 (8 1/2 pound) standing rib roast (weight with bones), top fat
Vegetable oil
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons cracked or coarsely ground black pepper
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups low-salt beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine

Place roast, fat side up, in roasting pan. Brush exposed ends of
roast with vegetable oil. Sprinkle roast lightly all over with salt.
Mix 8 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons cracked pepper, minced
garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons
pepper butter for sauce. Spread remaining pepper butter all over top
(fat side) of roast.

Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350F. Roast rib
roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of
meat registers 125F for medium-rare, about 2 hours 45 minutes.
Transfer roast to platter and cover loosely with foil; let rest 30
minutes (temperature will rise slightly as roast stands).

Strain pan juices from roasting pan into measuring cup. Skim off any
fat from top of pan juices; discard fat. Return pan juices to
roasting pan; set pan over 2 burners. Add broth and wine to roasting
pan and boil over high heat until liquid is reduced to 1 1/4 cups,
scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan, about 6 minutes.
Whisk in reserved pepper butter and remaining 4 tablespoons plain
butter. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Slice roast and
serve with sauce.

=+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

Meat Loaf Au Gratin
2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg
2 cups soft breadcrumbs (4 slices bread)
1 small onion, grated
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup barbecue sauce or ketchup

Mix ground beef lightly with 3/4 cup of cheese, egg, bread crumbs,
onion and seasonings until well blended; shape into a loaf. Bake in
a 350F oven for 1 hour; pour off drippings. Pour barbecue sauce over
loaf; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake 30 minutes longer.

=+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

Oysters Rockefeller
18 Half Shell Oysters
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green onions and tops
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 package (10 oz.) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
2 teaspoons anisette
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon melted margarine or butter
rock salt

In a small saucepan, saute celery, onions and parsley in margarine
until tender. In blender, combine sauteed vegetables, spinach,
anisette and salt. Blend until almost pureed. When necessary, stop
blender and push vegetables into blades.

Place 1/2 inch of rock salt in a shallow, oven-proof serving dish.
Nestle half shell oysters in salt bed. (This rock salt holds the
shells in place and keeps oysters hot.) Top each oyster with spinach
mixture. Combine bread crumbs and melted margarine, then sprinkle
crumb mixture over oysters. Bake at 450F for 10 minutes. Serve

=+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

Holiday Chicken Salad
4 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup chopped celery
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
ground black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise with paprika and seasoned
salt. Blend in dried cranberries, celery, bell pepper, onion, and
nuts. Add chopped chicken, and mix well. Season with black pepper to
taste. Chill 1 hour before serving.

=+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

Mushroom and Sun Dried Tomato Spread
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms
1/2 lb. portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 loaves french bread, cut into diagonal slices

1. In food processor or blender puree first six ingredients.

2. Toast bread in oven until lightly browned. Place bread on
serving dish or bowl.

3. Place mushroom mixture into bowl. Spread mixture onto bread and
serve or have each person do their own.

=+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

Fruitcake Cookies
3 cups chopped dried figs
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup candied cherries, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pinch salt
2 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup super fine sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg

In a large bowl, combine fruits, honey, sherry, lemon juice, salt
and walnuts. Cover and marinate overnight.

Soften the butter or margarine to room temperature and cream
together with cloves, and white and dark sugars until smooth. Add egg
and mix well. Mix together the flour and salt and slowly add to
butter mixture. Do not overmix. Blend in the fruit and nut mixture.
Chill dough until stiff enough to handle. Lightly flour work surface
and divide dough into 2 equal portions. Roll into logs and cover.
Place dough in freezer for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut logs into thin rounds and place on cookie
sheet. Leave 1 inch between slices. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until
golden brown.


This Week's Culinary Quiz Answer: China

Almost 2,500 years ago, trade between Japan and the Asian continent
began. People from both Korea and China passed on ingredients and
food preparation techniques to the Japanese, and somewhere around
the end of the first millennium C.E. tofu arrived in Japan. It has
been one of the most important sources of protein for Japanese
people, especially for those living inland and for Buddhists who
adhere to a vegetarian diet. In 1782 a cookbook featuring 100 tofu
recipes was released in Japan, and it was so popular that the next
year a second volume containing a further 138 dishes followed.


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