Monthly Archives: October 2013

Candy Corn Quesadillas

Bear with me... it's not as bad as it sounds. Today's recipe just looks like candy corn, it doesn't taste like it. (Although dessert quesadillas might be pretty tasty...)   IMG_5150   Candy Corn Quesadillas are the perfect dinner to make with your kidd-os during the week of Halloween. Heck, even the non kidd-os (aka my husband & myself) enjoyed this meal quite a bit. Quesadillas are stuffed with your favorite filling, then topped with a candy corn topping and baked in the oven until crispy. The beauty of build-your-own-quesadilla night is that everyone gets to eat what they like. Veggie hater? Leave 'em out. Cheese lover? Load it on! We did a veggie version for these quesadillas, but you could certainly add your favorite meat to the mix. Or go crazy and make something fun like barbecue chicken! I love that these are baked, so you can prepare several quesadillas at once. Nobody has to eat alone because you can only cook one quesadilla at a time. The veggies - onion, red & yellow pepper, and black beans for protein. Saute everything up in a bit of olive oil, and season with salt & pepper, cumin, and chili powder.   IMG_5141   To build the quesadillas, start with a large flour tortilla. Then, you want a nice layer of cheese, topped with your filling. Then, another layer of cheese. (Gotta have glue on both sides!) Fold it up and place it on a baking sheet.   quesadilla builder   Then, you are ready for the candy corn fun. Take your favorite jarred cheese spread and spread it all over the top of the quesadilla. This is the yellow part of the candy corn. Pop your quesadillas in the oven until the cheese melts and the tortillas crisp up. Let them cool a bit, and then cut into wedges.   IMG_5149   For the orange stripe of the candy corn, crush up some Doritos and layer them on! (And feel free to dip the leftover Dortios into the leftover cheese dip. Because what could be better than cheese with more cheese?) For the white stripe of the candy corn, just place a small dollop of sour cream on the corner. How cute!  

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Candy Corn Quesadillas

Servings/Yield: 4 quesadillas
  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 8-oz shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers , green, yellow, or red, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • salt & pepper , to taste
  • 1 jar cheese dip
  • 2 cups crushed Doritos
  • ½ cup sour cream
Method Preheat oven to 425*F. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sliced peppers, onions, and black beans, along with seasonings. Cook 5-10 minutes until softened. To build quesadillas, layer cheese, veggies, and more cheese onto one side of a tortilla. Fold to close. Repeat with remaining tortillas and place on baking sheet. Spread cheese dip over the top of the tortilla. Bake in preheated oven 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas are crisp. Let cool slightly; cut into wedges. Sprinkle crushed Doritos over center of each quesadilla wedge. Place a spoonful of sour cream on the tip, to make the wedges look like candy corn. Serve warm with additional sour cream and salsa.

Mary’s Memo – October 28th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


This week the spotlight is on two vegan cookbooks. Although not a vegan, that is not to say that vegan recipes can’t be appealing to those of us who prefer more varied cuisine. Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats from Around the World by Allyson Kramer is proof of that! One of the most frustrating aspects of a restricted diet is the lack of options for eating out and take-out food. The obvious solution to this problem is also the healthiest …. learn to cook your favorite meals at home. Kramer, who has Celiac disease, shows how easy and fun it is to create delicious dishes from across the globe without animal products or gluten. All recipes are accompanied by full-color photographs so you can see exactly what you will get. Plantain and Potato Soup, a deliciously filling soup, is much like traditional potato soup with the tropical addition of cooked plantains which add a touch of sweetness.

PLANTAIN AND POTATO SOUP


• 2 medium-size yellow potatoes, cubed
• 1 large Vidalia onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, diced
• 2 large plantains, green with some brown spots and sliced into thick coins
• 2 dashes of turmeric
• 6 cups water
• 3 teaspoons sea salt

Place potatoes, onion, garlic, plantains, turmeric and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat slightly to a constant simmer. Add sea salt. Simmer for 10 minutes after boiling and then remove half of the soup and place in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and then return the pureed soup to the rest of the pot to combine. Let cool slightly before servings. Author’s favorite addition to the soup is a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats from Around the World (Fair Winds Press, June 2013, $21.99).

“Vegan” now means delicious, homemade pizza, thanks to Vegan Pizza: 50 Cheesy, Crispy, Healthy Recipes by Julie Hasson. Hasson is the author of seven cookbooks including Vegan Diner and The Complete Book of Pies. Pizza starts with a crust and the author’s Easy-Peasy Pizza Dough. No mixer is required and dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so you can make it ahead of time and bake a quick and delicious pizza for dinner.

EASY-PEASY PIZZA DOUGH


• 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 2 teaspoons instant yeast, at room temperature
• 1-1/4 cups warm water (110ºF - 120ºF)
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons agave syrup or light brown sugar, packed

In a large bowl combine flour and salt, mixing with a fork. Sprinkle yeast on top of the dry mixture and then add the warm water, olive oil and agave or sugar and stir until everything is combined well and there are no traces of flour left. If the dough seems dry, add a little more water as necessary to make a soft dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a fitted lid and set aside in a warm place to rise 2 to 3 hours (or up to 6 hours). At this point, you can also refrigerate it, covered, for up to 5 days or divide the dough into 2 or 4 pieces and freeze them in a sealed zip-top bag (with room for dough expansion) for up to two weeks. Thaw the frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator before shaping. Shape and bake the pizza according to recipe directions. Recipe makes2 large (14 to 15-inch) or 4 individual thin crust pizzas.
Source: Vegan Pizza: 50 Cheesy, Crispy, Healthy Recipes by Julie Hasson (Andrews McMeel Publishing, September 2013, $14.99/softback.

BUY OHIO GROWN BAUMAN APPLES


The closer my food is grown to me the better I like it so my preference is Chief’s Bauman apples from Rittman, OH. Most varieties have been larger than usual this year. Bryan Chief tasters gave a thumbs up to Caramelized Apples. Serve as an ice cream topping or on the side with pork chops or a pork roast. Many customers thought the Honey Crisp was for eating only but it’s an all-purpose apple and a good one!

CARAMELIZED APPLES


• 3 tablespoons butter
• 5 Honey Crisp Apples, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
• 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
• 1/3 cup Bauman’s apple cider

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples to the pan and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Saute the apples, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes, until they just start to turn tender. Sprinkle apples with remaining sugar, cinnamon and zest. Toss the mixture gently and cook over medium heat for an additional 2 minutes, until sugar begins to caramelize and the apples are crisp-tender. Transfer the apples from the skillet to a serving bowl. Turn the heat to high and add the apple cider to the skillet, scraping up any brown bits. Reduce heat slightly and allow the cider and the pan juices to simmer 1 to 3 minutes, until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Pour sauce over warm apples and serve immediately. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: Adapted from About.com French food recipe.

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Chief in Northland completes remodel

October 23. 2013 7:30PM LANCE MIHM 419-993-2091 • lmihm@civitasmedia.com LIMA — Chief Supermarket at 120 W. Northern Ave. recently completed major renovations and will hold grand opening events over the first three weekends in November. Chief Director of Marketing Annette Hoeffel said it was like getting a completely new store. “Ceiling tiles and floors have been replaced,” Hoeffel said. “The bathrooms have been redone, and it looks beautiful.” The store was designed to offer many new shopping experiences, Hoeffel said. "We will have a cheesemonger and fishmonger available to assist customers on selecting the right cheese or seafoods,” Hoeffel said. “They have expert knowledge and will be able to assist in special orders.” Also available will be a cheese shop, a celebrations area featuring floral bouquets and balloons, expansions of the produce and deli departments, and fresh sushi made daily in the deli area.FrontP1080408   10.7_P1080406   10.7_P1080401 Also located in the store will be a new restaurant, Boots BBQ, based out of Defiance. The store is owned privately and will feature ribs, brisket, pulled pork and other barbecue favorites with five sauces to choose from. The store will feature a savings zone with an entire wall in the store dedicated to the best deals. Price freezes will be available for 90 days on more than 600 store items most often used by customers. Hoeffel said special giveaways, food samples and cooking demonstrations will be available each weekend of the grand opening. There will be random prize drawings each weekend, and a 55-inch flat screen television will be given away on the final weekend as a grand prize. ~article reposted from The Lima News. www.limaohio.com

Browned Butter Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Bacon, & Balsamic Glaze

I was first introduced to gnocchi at a very popular Italian chain restaurant... with their Spinach & Gnocchi soup. It was love at first bite for this carb-lover. Gnocchi are little dumplings usually made out of potato, and taste like little pillows of heaven. A few months ago, I was out to eat and spotted Browned Butter Gnocchi on the menu, and I had to try it. Browned butter? With gnocchi? That has to be delicious! (And it was.) I decided to re-create that fabulous restaurant meal and put a fall spin on it - Browned Butter Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Bacon, & Balsamic Glaze. Yes, this recipe has lots of components, and yes, it's totally worth it.   IMG_4945   There's three basic parts: roasted butternut squash, the bacon/onions/sauce, and then the gnocchi. Oh, and the balsamic glaze. (But that's more of the final garnish.) You can purchase butternut squash pre-seasoned and pre-diced in the produce section at the Chief. (So convenient! Have you ever tried to cut through a  butternut squash? I swear I almost lose a finger every time.) Simply roast it at 450*F about 45 minutes. You could even do this a day ahead.  

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  For the gnocchi, just boil and drain them according to the package directions. For the bacon/onions/sauce, saute a few slices of diced bacon until crisp. Remove, add a sliced sweet onion and saute on low 15-20 minutes until soft and tender. Remove, and then add a small amount of butter and olive oil to the pan. Let the butter melt and cook over low heat until it turns brown and gives off a nutty aroma. THIS is browned butter, and it smells heavenly. To put it all together, add the squash, gnocchi, bacon, and onions to the pan of browned butter, along with a few handfuls of baby spinach. Stir occasionally and let cook over medium heat until the spinach heats and everything gets a bit toasted. Almost finished! You can actually purchase balsamic glaze by the bottle, but it's really easy to make your own. Just add a bit of balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and simmer 5-10 minutes until it thickens and becomes syrupy. Then it's ready!   IMG_4943   To serve, plate up the gnocchi, sprinkle with shredded Parmesan, and drizzle with the glaze. What a show stopper meal! _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Browned Butter Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Bacon, & Balsamic Glaze Servings/Yield: 4 servings
  • For the squash
    • 4 cups peeled & cubed butternut squash
    • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • salt & pepper
  • For the gnocchi
    • 1 package gnocchi
    • ½ lb. thick-cut pepper bacon, diced
    • 1 sweet onion, sliced
    • tablespoons unsalted butter
    • tablespoons olive oil
    • 4-6 cups baby spinach
    • fresh-grated parmesan cheese
  • For the balsamic glaze
    • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
Method For the squash, preheat oven to 450*F. Combine squash cubes with olive oil, garlic, and salt & pepper in a baking dish. Bake at 450*F for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Set aside. Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions; drain and set aside. Cook bacon until crisp in a skillet over medium heat. Set aside to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Remove all but 1-2 tablespoons bacon grease in pan. Add sliced onion; cook over medium heat until tender. Remove onion and set aside. Add 11/2 tablespoons butter and 11/2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Let butter melt and cook over medium heat until the butter browns and gives off a nutty aroma. Add gnocchi, squash, onion, and spinach to pan; cook, stirring until spinach wilts and gnocchi become a bit crispy on the bottom. For the balsamic glaze, simmer balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until thick & syrupy, 5-10 minutes. To serve, plate the gnocchi and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Top with parmesan cheese. Source: adapted from How Sweet It Is

Mary’s Memo – October 21st

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


My Kitchen Cure by Mee Tracy McCormick (LeeMee Publishing, 2013) is the author’s story about cooking her way out of her autoimmune hereditary Crohn’s disease using whole foods as her medicine. She wasn’t just cooking her way out of her own illness, she was creating a lifestyle, a movement to be shared with others. Taking her know-how on the road, Mee has created real food makeovers all over the country, cooking with small groups or hundreds of people at a time, teaching them how to prepare delicious, nutritious meals that will change their lives forever. The recipes in her cookbook incorporate raw, vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, omnivorous and healthfully modified recipes for French, classic American and Mexican favorites, all wonderful food choices for all kinds of eaters!

Because I had a wonderful vinaigrette dressing that included cooked butternut squash recently, why not include a vinaigrette from the cookbook that uses a fresh mango in the dressing.

MANGO-LIME VINAIGRETTE


• 1 cup chopped fresh mango
• 1/2 cup safflower or sunflower oil
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 1/4 cup lime juice
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
• 1-1/2 teaspoons grated ginger

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree. Recipe makes 1 cup. Author’s Note: This dressing is thick, so you may need to drizzle it on salads using a spoon.
Source: My Kitchen Cure by Mee Tracy McCormick (LeeMee Publishing, 2013).

VITAMIN D: KEY TO MUSCLE AND BONE STRENGTH


Up to 90% of older adults are vitamin D-deficient, leading to loss of mobility and inability to undertake activities of daily living (ADL), according to new research findings released in the Netherlands.

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include muscle weakness in the proximal muscle groups, those closest to the body’s midline and manifests with a feeling of heaviness in the legs, being easily fatigued, difficulty climbing stairs and getting up from a chair. This weakness is reversible with vitamin D supplementation. While many people get the majority of their vitamin D through exposure to the sun, the ability to synthesize grows weaker as people age. In addition, those who live in climates above latitude 35 lack sufficient sunlight to manufacture vitamin D, particularly in winter.

Insufficient dietary intake is a culprit as well. Vitamin D is derived from a limited number of food sources such as fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines, also beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light under controlled conditions. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in the American diet, for example, in milk, breakfast cereals, some orange juices and yogurt.
Source: DukeMedicine HealthNews, October 2013.

WOMEN ARE BETTER HANDWASHERS THAN MEN


And both genders are more likely to wash their hands early in the day than in the afternoon or evening, according to a study of the rest-room habits of almost 3,750 adults. Women washed their hands more often than men and were more likely to use soap. But only 5% of the participants overall scrubbed for more than 15 seconds. The CDC advises scrubbing for 20 seconds, about the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, October 2013.

SAY YES TO THIS APPLE RECIPE


Bryan Chief tasters gave this a “thumbs up” when I served it. If you are familiar with the Culinary SOS column, readers request recipes they’ve had in restaurants around the country such as Dutch Apple Walnut Loaf served at the 1881 Coffee Café in Bridgeport, CA.

DUTCH APPLE WALNUT CAKE


Topping:
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup flour
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

In medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

Loaf:
• 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon buttermilk
• 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups peeled and diced apples (I used Honey Crisp)
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x9x3-inch baking dish. Line the base of the dish with parchment paper, then grease the top of the parchment paper. In the bowl of a standard mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. With the mixer running, slowly beat in flour mixture just until fully combined. Stir in apples and chopped nuts by hand. Spoon the batter into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then unmold and completely cool before slicing. Loaf makes 10 servings.
Source: Culinary SOS: 1881 Coffee Café, Bridgeport, CA.

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Honeycrisp Sangria

In the fall, there's no better snack than a crisp, cool freshly sliced apple. Add some peanut butter or caramel dip and I am in heaven! My favorite apple variety, by far, is the Honeycrisp apple. It is the perfect combination of sweet and tart, and so crispy! I've never met a mushy Honeycrisp. Unfortunately, Honeycrisps tend to be in the more pricey range of apples (like $1.50/apple!), but the Chief has had them on special the last couple weekends for just $0.99/lb. What a steal! I have greedily stocked my produce bag to the brim the last few times I've been in the store.   IMG_5043   Sangria is one of my favorite 'special' drinks to make, so I knew a fall-esque Honeycrisp version would be fabulous. Today's recipe for Honeycrisp Sangria combines crisp fresh apples with Chardonnay, Triple Sec, and fall spices like cinnamon, citrus, and cloves. It's great to make ahead for a party because the flavor gets better with time. Here's the line-up of ingredients - Chardonnay, Triple Sec (or any other orange-flavored liqueur), Honeycrisp apples, lemon, lime, oranges, cinnamon, and cloves.  

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  Start by peeling and dicing one apple and placing it in a pitcher. Quarter the lemon, lime, and orange, and add them to the pitcher after squeezing out as much of the juice as you can (into the pitcher as well). Pour in the Chardonnay and about half a cup of Triple Sec (or more to your liking). Add a few cinnamon sticks and whole cloves and give it a stir. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to blend the flavors.   IMG_5035   If you want to get fancy when you serve the sangria, you can even make a cinnamon-sugar rim for the glass. (And I highly recommend this.) Simply mix up some cinnamon-sugar in a shallow bowl, wet the rim of your glass, and give it a dunk. It adds a little something-something to the drink.   IMG_5037   To serve, add some additional diced apple and orange to each glass, and pour the sangria over the top. (Make sure not to get any cloves or cinnamon sticks in the mix!) Top it off with some club soda or Fresca.   IMG_5039   I absolutely loved this drink. It would be perfect for your Halloween party or fall celebration. Mix up a double or triple batch if you will have more than 2-3 people; it will go fast! If you're interested in a lighter, summer variation of sangria, check out this Raspberry Mango Sangria! _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Honeycrisp Sangria

Servings/Yield: 2-3 servings
  • 2 honeycrisp apples
  • 1 750mL bottle unoaked Chardonnay
  • ½ cup Triple Sec or orange liqueur
  • ¼ cup orange blossom honey, (or regular honey)
  • 2 oranges, one quartered
  • 1 lemon , quartered
  • 1 lime , quartered
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ice
  • club soda
Method Peel, core and chop one of the apples. In a bowl, combine the Chardonnay, Cointreau, and honey. Add the quartered orange, lemon, lime, cinnamon sticks, chopped apple, ginger, and cloves and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Strain the sangria into a pitcher. Peel, core and finely chop the remaining apple. Peel, section and chop the remaining orange. Mix the apple and orange in a bowl. On a small plate, blend the sugar and cinnamon. Moisten the rims of wine glasses and dip in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Fill the glasses with ice. Pour in the sangria until three-quarters full. Top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a spoonful of the chopped apple and orange. Source: adapted from Nutmeg Nanny

Mary’s Memo – October 14th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


Here’s a new twist on an old favorite …. pretzels not from a street vendor but still warm from your very own oven. Pretzel Making at Home by Andrea Slonecker shows you how to make pretzels by hand that are soft, salt-flecked knots or densely crunchy, dark brown twists. Fifty illustrated recipes are divided into sections on soft and hard pretzels, plus mustards and spreads. You’ll find familiar favorites like Cheddar Pretzel Bites, Honey-Wheat Pretzels Twists and Spicy Whole-Grain Pub Mustard. Prepare to let your imagination run wild with dishes like Wild Mushroom and Chestnut Pretzel Stuffing, Pretzel Bread pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce and even Pretzel Ice Cream. Andrea Slonecker is a food writer, recipe developer and cooking teacher who bakes pretzels at home in Portland, Oregon.

Soft pretzels, sliced German sausages, pickled garden vegetables and roasted Brussels sprouts can all be dipped in this oozy cheese sauce for a fall or wintertime party.

BEER CHEESE FONDUE


• 1 cup pilsner-style beer
• 1 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 2 teaspoons store-bought Dijon mustard
• Dash of Worcestershire sauce
• Pinch of paprika
• Fine sea salt

Bring beer to a boil over medium-high heat in a fondue pot or medium heavy saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low so the beer is gently simmering. Toss the Gruyere with cornstarch in medium bowl. Add the cheese mixture to the beer one large handful at a time, stirring the cheese in a figure-eight pattern until completely melted before adding more. Stir in mustard, Worcestershire sauce and paprika. Season with salt. Serve immediately. The fondue can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days and then rewarmed over medium-low heat, stirring in a figure-eight pattern, until cheese is melted and hot. Recipe serves 6 to 8.
Source: Pretzel Making at Home by Andrea Slonecker (Chronicle Books 2013, $16.95/hardback). Order from Amazon. com.

RETIRE LATER, LOWER YOUR DEMENTIA RISK


The risk of being diagnosed with dementia goes down each year you continue to work, according to a new French study led by Carole Dufouil, director of research in neuroepidemiology at the Bordeaux (France) School of Public Health. The study confirms earlier findings that keeping mentally stimulated and socially engaged protects against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The study, which involved more than 429,000 people, found only 2.65 percent diagnosed dementia in the group. Those who retired at 65 had a 14 percent lower rate of Alzheimer’s diagnoses than those who retired at age 60. Study findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Boston in July 2013.
Source: DukeMedicine Health News, October 2013.

BOO TO GROTESQUE HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS!


It could be my age but I never did like graveyard yard scenes, skeletons hanging from trees, skulls and other ghoulish decorations. I enjoy decorating for all the holidays, Halloween included, but I prefer colorful gourds and smiling jack-o-lanterns. I’m fascinated with gourds and unusual looking squash; that a small seed can yield something so colorful and none exactly alike! Williams Sonoma went overboard this year with skull cookie cutters, pancake molds and cake pans. The news is gruesome enough; I don’t need my food to look that way nor my decorations! Get ready for Trick or Treaters by choosing from a variety of candy including Spangler Dum Dum suckers at Chief. Kids may prefer candy to apples but there isn’t anything wrong with offering one of each!

HEARTY FALL ENTREE HITS THE SPOT


You can make this easy-on-the-pocketbook casserole with either ham or chicken (I prefer Chief’s rotisserie chicken) or a combination of both. Whole wheat pasta hikes the food value.

MACARONI MAGIC CASSEROLE


• 8 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
• 3 cups cubed rotisserie chicken
• 1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
• 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
• 1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives
• 1 cup reduced fat sour cream (I use Daisy)
• 1 cup Hellmann’s Light mayonnaise
• 1/2 cup milk (whatever kind you use)
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
• Paprika

Combine cooked macaroni with remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon into 2-1/2-quart casserole sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 325ºF oven for about 35 minutes or until bubbly. Recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.

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Parmesan-Roasted Chicken

When I was growing up, my mom always cooked a big meal on Sunday evenings. We often had my grandparents over to join us, which meant even more food! One of my favorites was her 'Stinky' Chicken. (Yes, that's what we called it.) It's juicy baked chicken coated with Parmesan cheese, and roasted alongside potatoes and green beans. We called it 'Stinky' Chicken, because as the Parmesan cheese roasts & caramelizes, it gives off a quite unusual smell throughout the house. But it is SO good! The potatoes and green beans roast in the chicken juices, which gives them an extra layer of flavor. The chicken is always juicy and moist, with a crispy, cheesy skin. (The best part!)  

final chicken

  I've renamed the dish Parmesan-Roasted Chicken to make it a bit more appealing, but it will always be 'Stinky' Chicken to me. It does take a while to cook, but it's mostly hands-off cooking. Throw it in the oven, and you've got an hour to go work on something else while dinner cooks. Pick up a pack of fresh rolls from the Chief, and you've got the perfect autumn Sunday dinner. To prep the chicken, layer a baking dish with some sliced onions. Top with the chicken pieces, and nestle some diced potatoes all around. Depending on the size of your chicken pieces, you might have to use two pans. (I used a 13x9-inch and an 8x8-inch pan.) Spray everything with some cooking spray (or dot with butter), and then season with salt and pepper. Then, it's time for the cheese! Sprinkle on a thick layer of grated Parmesan. I fancied it up with the 'gourmet' Parmesan found in the deli section, but the good ole' stuff in the green can tastes great, too.   chicken potatoes   Roast the chicken at 375*F about 60-90 minutes total, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165*F. Add in the green beans in the last 20-30 minutes of cooking time. (If you add them at the beginning, they will turn to mush.)   IMG_4976   I hope to carry on my mom's tradition of a big Sunday family dinner... it is great to spend quality time with family to kick off the new week. It's also great to start the week with a fridge full of leftovers! _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Parmesan-Roasted Chicken & Potatoes

Servings/Yield: 6 servings
  • 1 whole chicken, cut up
  • 4-6 large potatoes, cubed
  • 1 lb. fresh grean beans, ends snapped
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • salt & pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  • cooking spray
Method Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. Place half of onions in pan. Place chicken on top of onions. Place potatoes in between chicken pieces. Top with remaining onion slices. Spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with copious amounts of Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375*F for 60-90 minutes, until chicken is brown and cooked to an internal temperature of 165*F. Add green beans to pan in the last 20 minutes of cooking. Source: Family favorite

Mary’s Memo – October 7th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


The Fresh Honey Cookbook by Laurey Masterton (Storey Publishing, 2013; $14.95/softback) was inspired by honeybees, the food they pollinate and the golden sweetener they produce. Highlighting a different honey varietal each month, Masterson offers honey-tasting tips and 84 vibrant recipes that deliver amazing dishes, both savory and sweet. The author is a beekeeper, café owner and chef/spokesperson for The National Honey Board. She teaches the benefits of eating local ingredients in her speaking engagements, cooking demonstrations and classes. She lives in North Carolina where she runs Laurey’s Café.

This applesauce recipe is a tiny bit more involved than a recipe for stewed apples, but the extra step of sautéing the apples is worth it. Use a tart, crisp area-grown apple.

ELSIE’S STEWED APPLES


• 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 lbs. of apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick slices
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/2 cup white wine
• Zest of 1 lemon
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1/2 cup water
• Fresh sage sprigs for garnish (optional)

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples, turn heat to high and sauté until they begin to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes. If some are getting too well done, remove them and place on a plate while the rest continue to cook, then return to skillet when all are done. Reduce heat to low and add the honey, wine, lemon zest, lemon juice and water. Cover and allow to cook until apples are tender but still firm; you don’t want them to turn into applesauce! Serve in a bowl and tuck in a couple sprigs of sage (recipe in cookbook was made with sage honey). Recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.
Source: The Fresh Honey Cookbook by Laurey Masterton (Storey Publishing, 2013; $14.95/softback).

A SEASONAL RECIPE


My food friend in Hilton Head, SC, Sally Kerr-Dineen, writes a monthly food article for the Hilton Head Monthly. For October she included Pumpkin Beer Bread and gave me permission to share the recipe with Mary’s Memo readers. Instead of regular beer pumpkin beer is used. The loaf was moist and flavorful but in my opinion didn’t take to refrigeration. My recommendation is to share with friends or neighbors and eat it while it’s fresh! Pumpkin beer is a seasonal item at Chief so make the recipe while it is available.

PUMPKIN BEER BREAD


• 1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup canned pumpkin
• 1 cup pumpkin beer

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with butter. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice until well blended. In the bowl of a standard mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Lower speed and add eggs, one at a time, vanilla, pumpkin and beer. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool thoroughly before serving. Note: Tastes better the next day.
Source: Sally Kerr-Dineen, Hilton Head SC.

EATING HEALTHY DOESN’T HAVE TO COST MORE


That’s the encouraging conclusion of a new study by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest. The group analyzed 20 snacks and 19 side dishes, including fruit and vegetables. It found that snack foods such as cookies and M&Ms actually cost twice as much on average as similar-sized servings of fresh fruits and vegetables (67 cents vs. 34 cents per serving, respectively). Processed side dishes such as ready-made stuffing cost more on average than better-for-you options such as summer squash.
Source: ConsumerReports on Health, October 2013.

JUMP-START A MEDITERRANEAN DIET


Oldways, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote healthy eating, suggests eight steps for getting started with a Mediterranean-style diet:

1. Eat lots of vegetables
2. Eat meat in small amounts
3. Eat a fiber-rich breakfast (fruit, whole grains)
4. Eat seafood twice a week (concentrate on fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, clams, oysters, mussels)
5. Eat vegetarian one night a week (beans, whole grains, vegetables)
6. Eat healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, nuts, olives, avocados)
7. Eat low-fat and fat-free dairy products
8. Eat fruit and bypass pastries or ice cream for dessert

Source: DukeMedicine Health News, October 2013

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