Tom’s Encore: Leftovers Make Classy Meals | Print |  E-mail
Friday, 27 November 2015 14:45

112615fLeftovers are as much a part of Thanksgiving as the main dinner itself. Of course, eating the same meal for the third day in a row could get boring, but there’s no need for that when there are so many ways to transform those prepared ingredients into new dishes.

Be sure to refrigerate leftovers as soon as dinner is over never allowing food to be at room temperature for mor than two hours. Carve meat from the bone before refrigerating. It will chill more quickly that way.

Stuffing and gravy should be used within one or two days.


4 slices bacon
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large head romaine lettuce, shredded
2 cups roasted turkey, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into chunks
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

In a medium skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Let cool, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. While continuing to whisk, drizzle in olive oil until thickened. Add lettuce, and toss to coat. Place on a large serving platter. Arrange remaining ingredients on lettuce as desired, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Yields 4 servings.


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons curry powder
Salt and pepper
6-1/2 cups broccoli florets
4 cups cooked turkey, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 cups day-old bread, diced

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium pot, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until slightly softened but not browned, about 7 minutes. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk 1 minute. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly until mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce comes to a simmer. Stir in curry powder and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add broccoli and cook just until beginning to soften, 5 minutes. Stir in cooked turkey. Transfer mixture to an 8-inch square baking dish.

In a small bowl, toss bread with remaining 2 tablespoons butter, melted, until coated.

Top turkey mixture with bread and bake until sauce is bubbling and bread is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serves 6.


For each sandwich:
2 teaspoons soft butter
2 slices rye bread
2 tablespoons Russian
1 ounce sliced Swiss cheese
4 thin slices cooked turkey
3 tablespoons tangy cole slaw or sauerkraut
2 dill-pickle sandwich slices

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Flip bread over, and spread Russian dressing on the other side of each slice. Place half of the cheese on top of dressing on 1 slice. Top with turkey, cabbage slaw, and pickles. Top with remaining cheese, then the second slice of bread, buttered side up.

Place on grill pan, and cook, pressing down occasionally with a spatula, until golden brown and cheese has melted, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (Cover with a heatproof lid to encourage cheese to melt; use caution when removing.) Cut sandwich in half, and serve immediately.


1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (2-ounce) jar pimiento strips
2-1/2 cups cooked cubed turkey
Dash onion powder
Dash pepper

Melt butter; add green pepper and mushrooms. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon. Add flour to butter, cooking and stirring until smooth. Add half-and-half and cream of mushroom soup, stirring until smooth and thickened. Add turkey, pimiento, mushrooms, green pepper, and seasonings. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve over hot cooked rice, biscuits, or noodles. Serves 6.


2 cups cooked, mashed yams
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
3 cups leftover turkey
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley

Stir the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and milk in a medium bowl. Spoon the sweet potato mixture around the inside edge of a 10-inch round casserole, forming a ring.

Heat the stock and onion in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook until the onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the soup, turkey and water. Cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Spoon the turkey mixture into the center of the sweet potato ring.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until the turkey mixture is hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with the walnuts and parsley, if desired. Yields 6 one-cup servings.


When it Comes to the Turkey, Timing is Everything | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 23 November 2015 22:07

111915fWhile there’s nothing complicated about roasting a turkey, it never hurts to have a refresher before showtime since it’s something most families only deal with once or twice a year.

Preparing the big bird is mostly a matter of timing.

If you haven’t yet purchased a frozen turkey, you should do that before the weekend. The general rule is to allow at least 1-1/2 pounds of turkey per person.

You can start thawing your turkey soon after you get it home by putting it – still in its wrapper and breast-side up – on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator (so it won’t drip on other food items). Figure thawing time at one day for every four pounds.

To prepare the turkey for roasting, remove the wrapper, release the  legs from the clamps and pull neck and giblets from cavities. Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water. Pat dry.

If you stuff your bird, do it just before putting it in the oven (never hours earlier). Stuff the neck cavity first, then turn the wings back to hold the neck skin in place or skewer if skin is too short. Fill the cavities lightly with the mixture; don’t press it in because the stuffing will expand as it cooks. Use 1/2 cup of stuffing per pound for turkey weighing up to 10 pounds; for turkeys weighing more, use 3/4 cup per pound. Stuffing should reach 165°F.

To save time and ensure safe, complete cooking without the risk of overcooking your turkey, consider baking your stuffing in a covered casserole, instead of inside the bird.

If you don’t stuff your turkey, the addition of 2 cups of coarsely chopped celery, onion and carrots to the cavity will enhance the fragrance and add to the flavor of the pan juices.

This recipe makes a good simple and basic stuffing.


1-1⁄2 pound loaf day-old bread 
3 cups chopped onion
2-1⁄2 cups chopped celery
1⁄2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
1-1⁄2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1⁄4 cup chopped parsley

Tear bread into 1⁄2-inch pieces, or use 3 quarts plain dry stuffing; set aside.

Sauté onion and celery in butter or margarine just until tender. Add to bread along with salt, poultry seasoning, and parsley. Toss lightly until well mixed.

Place in two buttered, covered casserole dishes or stuff loosely into neck and body cavities of turkey.

Skewer cavity openings to secure stuffing. Tie legs together and twist wing tips under the back.

Casserole Method

Bake stuffing covered at 325°F for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer. Drizzle with juices from the turkey roasting pan for additional flavor and moistness. Makes 8-10 cups stuffing after baking.

Roasting the Turkey

Place turkey, breast up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan 1 to 2 inches deep. Heat oven to 325°F.

Roast turkey until a meat thermometer (don’t depend on pop-up timers) indicates the internal temperature registers 180-185°F in the thigh and 170-175°F in the breast.

The drumstick should twist easily in its socket, and juices should run clear, with no traces of pink when pierced with a fork.

When the skin is light golden brown, about two-thirds cooked, shield the breast loosely with a tent of foil to prevent over-browning.

When done, let the turkey stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving.


Turkey drippings
Giblet broth
Cooked giblets, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste

Cover giblets and neck with 3 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for an hour or until giblets are tender. Drain, reserving broth and discarding neck. Chop giblets.

Pour turkey drippings from roasting pan into 4-cup measure. Remove 1/4 cup fat from the drippings and place in a pan. Skim off and discard remaining fat from drippings. Add giblet broth to drippings to make 4 cups.

Blend flour into the pan with the fat until smooth, then add drippings and broth mixture.

Cook and stir over medium heat until gravy comes to a boil and thickens. Stir in salt and pepper and add giblets.


The Winning Sides on Thanksgiving | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 12 November 2015 18:53

111215fThere’s a lot more to Thanksgiving dinner than the big bird. For many, the traditional side dishes are as important as the turkey itself.


2 (10-3/4 ounce) cans Campbell’s Cream of
     Mushroom Soup
1-1/2cups milk
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (9-ounce) packages frozen cut green beans,
     thawed 2-2/3 cups French fried onions

Stir soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 1-1/3 cups onions in 3-quart casserole.

Bake at 350°F 30 minutes or until hot. Stir. Top with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes more until onions are golden. Makes 12 servings.

To enhance this dish, cook 4 slices bacon until crisp and crumble. Add to green bean mixture.


1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
3 whole cloves
3 whole allspice
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
Zest of 1 orange

Combine sugar, water, cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks in 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until syrup is clear, about 3 minutes. Add cranberries and cook just until they begin to pop, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, add orange zest and cool. Keep in refrigerator at least 3 days before using. Makes 2-1/2 cups relish, about 10 servings.


3 yams, about 2-1/2 pounds
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Peel of 1/4 lemon
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Scrub yams and place in large pot. Cover with boiling water and cook, covered, over medium heat 25 to 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender but firm. Drain and cool potatoes. Peel and slice into thick pieces. Butter shallow baking dish and arrange yam slices in single layer in dish.

Heat sugar, water, nutmeg and lemon peel in saucepan. Add 1/4 cup butter and lemon juice. When butter melts, remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir syrup and pour over potatoes in dish. Bake at 425°F until bubbly, about 30 minutes.


6 medium yams, cooked, peeled and sliced
1 large orange, peeled, quartered and sliced
1/4 cup currant jelly
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup mini- marshmallows

Arrange yams and orange pieces in greased shallow baking dish. Top with jelly and dot with butter. Sprinkle marshmallows over the top.

Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes. Makes 6 servings.


4 pounds yams (about 7 medium)
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
Salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prick yams all over with a fork. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until very tender when pierced with a knife, 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, halve yams. With a spoon, scoop out flesh (discard skins); transfer to a food processor. Add butter and syrup; process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm. Yields 8 servings.


1 tablespoon butter
4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1-1/2 cups grated Mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside.

Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return the potatoes to the same pot and mash well. Mix in the milk and melted butter. Mix in the mozzarella and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish. Stir the bread crumbs and remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the mashed potatoes.

Bake, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.


Thanksgiving’s Favorite Pies | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 05 November 2015 18:46

110515fWith Thanksgiving just three weeks away, it’s time to start planning the dessert.

No festive dinner would be complete without one, and no matter how stuffed your dinner guests might be after the big meal, there’s always room for that piece of pie.


1 (20.5 oz.) jar ready-to-use mincemeat (2 cups)
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 Gala apple, peeled, chopped (1-1/2 cups)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped dried Calimyrna figs
1/3 cup brandy
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

In medium bowl, stir together mincemeat, pecans, apple, figs, brown sugar, brandy and lemon peel. Cover; refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Let pie filling stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for two-crust pie using 9-inch pie plate. Stir filling well; pour into crust-lined plate. Top with second crust and flute; cut slits in several places.

Bake on lowest oven rack 40 to 45 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 5 hours.


1 cup Karo corn syrup, light or dark
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans
1 (9-inch) unbaked deep-dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.

Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.

Pie is done when center reaches 200°F. Tap center surface of pie lightly – it should spring back when done. For easy clean up, spray pie pan with cooking spray before placing pie crust in pan. If pie crust is overbrowning, cover edges with foil.


3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can Libby’s Pumpkin
1 (12-fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Note: 1-3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice may be substituted for the cinnamon, ginger and cloves; however, the taste will be slightly different.


1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
4 teaspoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins, plumped in boiling water and drained
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
4 teaspoons melted butter
1 unbaked pie shell

Combine dry ingredients, nuts and raisins in mixing bowl. In a small bowl, beat eggs with fork; add milk and melted butter. Stir into dry ingredients, mixing well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake in a slow oven (315°F) for an hour and 15 minutes. During the long, slow baking, the nuts rise and turn golden brown on top of the rich, firmly jelled filling. Serve cold. (Cuts best after chilled overnight.)


1 cup cold whipping cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg

Pour chilled cream into medium-sized bowl. Beat cream 3 to 4 minutes until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add brown sugar, being careful not to overbeat. Fold in vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.


Parties Offer Best Halloween Treats | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 29 October 2015 10:09

102915fIf you’re expecting trick-or-treaters, remember that most of the candy you give out will get tossed anyway, so make Tootsie Rolls or Necco wafers you’re first line of defense, backstopped by miniature Snickers, which — if things work out right — you should have plenty left over for yourself on Sunday.

Probably the best idea for the kids is the Halloween party (at the neighbor’s house, of course). That way, the only thing you have to do is spend all day Saturday baking goodies.


1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chopped unsalted nuts
6 small apples

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and coat with cooking spray. Coat a tablespoon measure with cooking spray.

Combine brown sugar, agave, butter and salt in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat; as soon as the syrup starts to lightly bubble around the edges, cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more.

Add nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is melted and the mixture darkens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Working quickly, spoon about 1 tablespoon of caramel over each apple. Repeat, spooning another tablespoon of caramel over each apple, turning as you pour.

Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Insert popsicle/craft sticks into the tops. Press any stray strands of caramel back onto the apples. Let cool for at least 30 minutes.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 large eggs
1 can (1 pound) pumpkin
1/2 cup light molasses
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Whipped cream

In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar and spices. With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside 2/3 cup of the mixture.

In a small bowl, beat eggs, pumpkin, molasses, milk and baking soda to blend. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just evenly moistened. Pour into a greased 8- by 12-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with reserved flour mixture.

Bake in a 350°F oven until top is firm to touch, about 50 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve gingerbread warm, adding whipped cream to taste. Serves 8 to 10.


6 heaping cups popped corn
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
1/4 cup natural peanut butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons finely chopped dark chocolate-covered pretzels
2 tablespoons finely chopped dried cherries

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Prepare a medium bowl of ice water. Put popcorn in a large bowl.

Combine agave (or honey) and peanut butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently but constantly. As soon as the mixture starts to lightly bubble, cook, stirring constantly, for 15 seconds more.

Immediately pour the mixture evenly over the popcorn; gently mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well coated. Gently stir in dark chocolate-covered pretzels and finely chopped dried cherries.

Dip both hands in the ice water. Working quickly, press small handfuls (heaping 1/4 cup each) of the popcorn mixture firmly into 2-inch balls. (Make sure each ball gets a little bit of the pretzels and dried cherries.) Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. If they seem too fragile, rinse hands with cold water and press and squeeze each ball again to help keep it together.

Let cool completely before storing. To store, individually wrap in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. Makes a dozen 2-inch popcorn balls.


8 cups popped popcorn
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup lightly-salted peanuts

Place popcorn in large greased bowl. Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Continue cooking without stirring to hard ball stage. Pour over popcorn and stir to coat evenly. Toss in peanuts (optional), cool and serve. Yields 8 cups.


6 1-inch cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon whole allspice
2 pieces whole nutmeg
2 cups brown sugar
1 gallon apple cider
16 whole cinnamon sticks

Tie first four ingredients in a cloth bag. In a large pot, stir together the sugar and cider. Add the spice bag.

Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove the spice bag and serve hot with a whole cinnamon stick in each mug.

Serves about 16.


Pumpkin Treats Spice Up October | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 22 October 2015 14:59

102215f2Round, oval, tall, wide, or some endearing combination in between, pumpkin is an American tradition this time of year.

It adds moisture to an entire range of baked goods. It’s also a superb carrier for the flavors of subtle spices.

Canned pumpkin, such as Libby’s, can be used in any recipe calling for pumpkin puree with no difference in taste or texture.


1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
2 cups pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
2/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 12-cup bundt pan.

Combine cake mix, pumpkin, eggs and orange juice in large mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add poppy seeds; mix until blended. Pour into prepared bundt pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with Glaze.

To make Glaze, stir 1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar with 3 tablespoons orange juice until smooth.


1 stick butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1-3/4 cups gluten-free flour (spooned and leveled)
1-1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F. utter a 4-1/2 by 8-1/2-inch loaf pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add pumpkin and buttermilk and beat until just combined.

Transfer batter to pan, smooth top, and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 1 hour 15 minutes (cover with foil if overbrowning). Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 15 minutes. Turn out onto rack and let cool completely. Serves 8.


2 pounds cream cheese
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup whipping cream
2 (1-pound) cans pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Graham Cracker Crust (recipe below)
Sour Cream Topping (below)

Blend cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended. Add whipping cream, pumpkin, vanilla and spice, blending thoroughly.

Pour into Graham Cracker Crust. Bake at 300°F for 1-1/2 hours or until cake sets.

Remove and let rest 10 minutes, then pour Sour Cream Topping over cheesecake. Cool thoroughly before removing from pan. Chill. Makes 1 (10-inch) cheesecake.

Graham Cracker Crust

1 teaspoon soft butter
1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Brush 10-inch springform pan with soft butter. Mix crumbs, cinnamon, sugar and melted butter. Press onto bottom of pan.

Sour Cream Topping

1 pound sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla

Blend sour cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth.


2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 (15-ounce) can  pumpkin puree
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until smooth. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture in two parts and pumpkin puree in one, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined (do not overmix).

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto two baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and edges are golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheets once during baking. Immediately transfer cookies to wire racks, and cool completely.

When cookies have cooled, set them (still on rack) over a baking sheet or waxed paper. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water; stir until almost melted. Remove from heat; stir until completely melted. Pour chocolate into a resealable plastic bag. Snip off a corner with scissors or a knife to make an 1/8-inch hole; pipe chocolate over cookies.

Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 20 minutes. Yields about 42 cookies.


1 cup pumpkin puree
3-1/2 cups flour
1 cupsugar
2 eggs
1-1/4 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup soft butter or margarine
1 cup raisins
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°F and grease muffin tins.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin and eggs. Dredge raisins in 1/2 cup of flour.

Sift remaining flour and spices together. Pour milk into a mixing bowl. Mix in dry ingredients by hand until just mixed, then stir in raisins. Spoon mix into muffin tin.

Bake at 400°F for 20 - 25  minutes. Serve warm or cool.


Step Up to the Plate! | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 15 October 2015 16:14

101515fWhether you have a family of baseball fans or football fans, this time of year means more time in front of the TV — especially on weekends — with plenty of easy-to-eat food at the ready.

Unlike typical armchair munchies, these sandwiches aren’t loaded with the extra fat and salt found in party mixes, chips and fried foods.


A little imagination can turn a platter of sandwiches into a tasty assortment of unexpected combinations of meats and cheeses, lettuces and vegetables pictured above.

1 sesame roll
2 slices seeded rye bread
2 pieces baguette, cut on an angle and sliced in half
Challah roll
4 slices 8-grain bread
1/4 pound each of salami, pepperoni, roast beef, low-fat bologna, all thinly sliced
1/4 pound each pepperjack, American, Cheddar and Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1/4 cup deli coleslaw
Russian dressing
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 pound each sliced roast turkey and baked ham
Assortment of fresh lettuces, greens and basil
Red and yellow peppers

Building the sandwiches:

Layer sesame roll bottom with lettuce, add three slices pepper-jack cheese, folded turkey slices, pepper slices; cover with top half of sesame roll.

Cover baguette half with shredded lettuce, shingle with salami, add three slices American cheese, then shingle with pepperoni. Top with remaining baguette half.

Spread rye bread slice with coleslaw, add folded slices roast beef; drizzle with Russian dressing, top with two slices red onion. Cover with remaining rye bread slice.

Cover challah roll half with three slices American cheese. Fold and add bologna, cover with shredded lettuce and top with remaining roll half.

Place several basil leaves on bottom half of second baguette. Fold turkey and place on sandwich. Top turkey with three cheddar slices. Add several more basil leaves and cover with remaining baguette half.

Layer green leaf lettuce on slice of 8-grain bread. Add three slices Swiss cheese. Fold ham and layer on sandwich. Top with tomato slices and remaining slice of whole grain bread.

Garnish tops of sandwiches with olives, cherry tomatoes and pickles skewered with toothpicks. Serves 6, or...maybe 3.


1/4 cup fat-free thousand island dressing
8 slices dark rye bread
8 ounces thinly sliced cooked turkey
1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained
4 slices low-fat Swiss cheese
Vegetable oil spray

Spread salad dressing on one side of each slice of bread. Top 4 slices of bread with turkey, sauerkraut and cheese. Top with remaining bread slices, dressing side down, of course.

Spray a large skillet with vegetable oil. Cook 2 sandwiches over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes or until bread toasts and cheese melts, turning once. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serves 4.


1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 each, small eggplant, small squash, small zucchini, all sliced into thin rounds
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Salt, pepper and cayenne, to taste
Low-fat mayonnaise
8 slices multi-grain bread

Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the vinegar and oil. Add the basil and the vegetables and toss to coat. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet or shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.

Bake, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Spread the mayonnaise on four slices of bread and arrange the vegetables on the other four slices. Close, cut diagonally and serve. Makes 4 sandwiches.


4 slices bacon
2 slices sourdough bread
Balanced-style vegetable margarine
Low-fat mayonnaise
Thin slices of tomato
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
Salt, to taste
Lettuce or sprouts

For each, fry or microwave bacon until crispy; drain well on paper towels. Lightly toast the bread, spreading margarine on one slice and mayonnaise on the other.  Top mayonnaise slice with tomato slices and then layer on the bacon.

Slice or smash avocado and place on margarine slice of toast. Sprinkle with salt. Add lettuce or sprouts last. Sandwich it all together and cut in half. Makes 1 sandwich.


1 can water-packed tuna
1⁄2 stalk celery
1-1⁄2pickles (garlic and dill are best)
1 teaspoon pickle juice
2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise fat-reduced mayonnaise
1⁄4 cup onion (a little less)
Pinch pepper

Drain and put tuna and pepper in small bowl.

Chop onion, celery, and pickle into very small pieces and add to bowl.

Add just enough mayonnaise to cover ingredients when mixed.

Add a small amount of pickle juice to moisten.

Spread on bread with tomato and sprouts. Yields 2 to 3 sandwiches.


When in Genoa: Columbus’ Hometown Favorites | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 08 October 2015 14:20

100815fChristopher Columbus was born in the northwestern seaport of Genoa and while there is no record of what his favorite dishes might have been, the cuisine of the time – rich in ingredients and flavors, but often labor-intensive – was based on traditional Mediterranean cooking.

The foundation for nearly all Italian recipes is, of course, delicately-flavored olive oil for preparing those tasty sauces, the most famous of which is the Genoese favorite, pesto.

All pesto recipes use basically the same ingredients, but in differing amounts.


2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts,toasted
1/4 teaspoon salt

The traditional way of making pesto is with a mortar and pestle, but a food processor cuts the prep time. Wipe the fresh basil with a damp paper towel to clean, then remove the stems and crush with garlic, pine nuts and salt. Stir in cheese and add the olive oil a little at a time until a paste of desire consistency is formed. Yields 3 cups.

Serve with warm pasta, on top of pizzas, or plain with bread.


2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1⁄2 cup onion, chopped
3-1⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-1⁄2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried basil
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese
1⁄2 cup dry red wine
2-1⁄2 cups water

Add olive oil to a large stockpot over low-to-medium heat and saute onions for about 4 minutes, then add crushed garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add water and tomato products, mixing everything well. Add spices and cheese, and cook for 2-1/2 hours covered. Add in wine and cook 30 minutes longer. Yields 12 to 14 servings.

Sauce will be thin on first day.Also if you use meat it will alter thickness.The second day this turns into a nice thick sauce.


1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds veal shank
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (8ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 sprigs fresh parsley
1 bay leaf

In a shallow dish, stir together flour, salt, and black pepper. Dredge meat in seasoned flour. In a large skillet, melt butter with oil over medium heat. Brown meat. Remove meat from pan, and set aside.

Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to drippings in pan. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes.

Stir in tomato sauce, water, wine, basil, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Return meat to pan. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer. Cover, and cook for 2-1/2 hours. Yields 6 servings.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1-1/2 cups green beans, trimmed, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup uncooked elbow pasta
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green beans, dried oregano and basil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook 3 more minutes.

Add the diced and crushed tomatoes and the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the kidney beans and pasta and cook until the pasta and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Season with salt.

Ladle into bowls and top with the parmesan and chopped basil. Serves 6.


The Best of the Wurst | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 01 October 2015 13:33

100115fThis Sunday, thousands will head for San Leandro as the city hosts its entertainment event of the year – the Sausage and Suds Music Festival.

The annual festival, sponsored by the city’s Downtown Association features the Bay Area’s most popular bands, beers from dozens of breweries, and sausages from its world-famous hometown factories.

While most of us think of sausages as something to enjoy with fried eggs for breakfast or in a hot-dog bun, these Old World delicacies add a special touch to many dishes.


1 (16-ounce) package smoked sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 (3.5-ounce) bags quick-cooking brown rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Chopped fresh parsley

Cut sausage into 1/2-inch slices. Saute in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove sausage slices, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings in skillet.

Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic to skillet, and saute over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until tender. Add chicken broth, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet, and bring to a boil.

Remove rice from cooking bag; add rice, sausage, salt, and pepper to skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 5 minutes or until rice is tender. Garnish with parsley if desired. Serves 4 to 6.


4 bratwursts
1 to 2 tablespoons flour
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer
3 to 4 tablespoons gingersnap crumbs
1 tablespoon grated onion
Salt and pepper
Several tablespoons concentrated beef stock
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Prick bratwurst with a fork to keep them from bursting and dredge them in flour. Melt butter in skillet and fry wurst on both sides. Remove them from skillet and set aside.

Pour beer into skillet and scrape off the browned particles clinging to the side and bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle in the gingersnap crumbs and grated onion and cook together for about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, a little beef stock and lemon juice, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes more. Reduce heat, returning the bratwurst to the skillet and cook until heated through. Makes 2 to 4 servings.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 7-to-8 inch sweet sausage link
1 7-to-8 inch Italian hot and spicy sausage link
1 large (28 oz.) can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 (16 oz.) package spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

While onions cook, put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.

Remove onion and garlic from the pan and set aside. Remove sausage meat from the casings and add to the pan, breaking up the meat as you add it to the pan. Cook on medium to medium high heat until lightly browned.

Lightly purée the whole peeled canned tomatoes (and juices) in a blender, and add to the skillet with the sausage meat. Add the cooked onions and garlic.

Once the pasta water has come to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti pasta. Allow the water to return to a rolling boil. Cook, uncovered, with a vigorous boil, for as long as the directions on the pasta package say, usually about 9-12 minutes. When pasta is cooked but still a little firm, remove the pot from the heat. Drain the pasta and place it in a serving bowl.

Serve immediately. Toss with the sauce and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 3 or 4.


1 large onion, quartered and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 cups apple juice
1 tablespoon vinegar
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 pounds cold pack sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 pounds smoked sausage
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon of caraway seeds, or to taste, optional

Heat oven to 425°F.

In a large ovenproof sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the onion and sliced sausages in olive oil until onion is golden and sausage is lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the apples and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add apple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, sauerkraut, and pepper. Add caraway seeds, if using.

Cover and bake for 1 hour. Serve with crusty rolls or biscuits and a tossed salad. Serves 8 to 10.


One Dish Meals for Fall Dining | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 15:25

092415fThere was a time when the casserole was the heart and mainstay of home cooking. Easy to prepare, the one-dish meal — baked in the oven and served in the pot in which it was cooked — took only a few ingredients, but yielded a rich, deep and well-rounded collaboration of tastes.

Perhaps because it was simple to make and often used such common basics as Campbell’s Soup and Bisquick, more sophisticated ingredients with exotic names began assuming undue importance in the kitchen and casseroles began to disappear.

But today, with the realization that vegetables, potatoes and pasta are essential components of our diets, the casserole is being welcomed back to the supper table in style.


2 pounds beef chuck steak, cubed
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups red wine
2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Chopped parsley
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Add oil to a large skillet and cook bacon until brown and crispy; remove from pan then set aside.

Add garlic and onion to skillet and cook until onions are soft, remove onions and garlic mixture from pan then set aside.

Add beef cubes to pan then brown on all sides. Sprinkle the flour over the beef and cook for 1 more minute. Remove beef and set it aside. Note do not overcrowd the pan, if needed you can do it first with half the amount of beef then do this step twice.

Pour 1 cup of wine into the pan and bring it to a boil to deglaze. Return the beef, bacon, onion mixture to the pan.

Add the stock, remaining wine, tomatoes, carrots and tomato paste. Bring it to a boil then transfer it into a casserole.

Bake in a 320°F preheated oven for 2 hours.

Remove from oven then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, garnish with chopped parsley then serve. Yields 4 to 6 servings.


1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
1/2 pound fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 pound bacon slices
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs

Butter a 1-1/2 quart casserole. Sprinkle chopped onion in dish. Add corn, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and dash of pepper.

Mix eggs with milk and pour over the corn. In another bowl, add vinegar, salt and pepper to chopped spinach and toss until well-seasoned.

Place spinach mixture on top of corn. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with bacon slices.

Top with bread crumbs and bake in preheated 375°F oven for 45 minutes.


3/4 cup evaporated milk
2 cups soft bread cubes
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 pounds lean ground beef
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

Pour milk over bread cubes and let stand until milk is absorbed. Stir in onion, ground beef, salt, eggs, and dry mustard; blend well. Stir in vegetables. Mix and shape into a loaf. Bake in loaf pan at 350° for 1-1/2 hours.

Cool for 5 minutes before turning out of pan. Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Serves 6 to 8.


8 ounces wide egg noodles
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1-1/3 cups skim milk
1 (12-1/2-ounce) can water-pack tuna drained
Pepper to taste
2/3 cup grated part-skim Mozarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 7x11-inch baking dish with non- stick spray. Set aside.

Cook noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and set aside. Heat oil in large skillet. Add onions and sauté until limp. Remove from heat, stir in dill and soup, and gradually stir in milk until smooth. Add tuna chunks and pepper to taste. Stir in noodles and toss well to coat.

Pour into prepared baking dish, top with cheese and paprika and bake for 20 minutes. Serves 6.


Though Not Pretty, Spuds are Delicious, Nutritious | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 17 September 2015 14:24

091715fEach of us eats an average of 135 pounds of potatoes a year and though they have come to epitomize dull and boring – as in “couch potato,” they’re actually good for us!

A medium-size potato contains only about 110 calories (the same amount of pasta or rice has 400). It contains no fat, no cholesterol and is low in sodium and provides 50 percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C and  almost 3 grams of dietary fiber.

Most of the nutrients in potatoes are in or near the skin, so it makes sense to eat the skin of a baked potato or, if you’re boiling it, leave the skin on.


3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
5 cups thinly sliced peeled potatoes (about 6)
1/2 cup chopped onion

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Add potatoes and onion.

Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking dish. Cover and bake 1 hour. Uncover; bake 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Yield: 6-8 servings.


3 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup Sauterne or other white dinner wine
1/3 cup chicken or beef broth
1/2 teaspoon thyme or marjoram, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Melt butter in heavy skillet. Mix in flour. Brown quickly.

Add potatoes, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Fry, turning often, until slightly brown. Add wine, broth and thyme. Cover tightly. Simmer until potatoes are tender and liquid is absorbed. Add parsley. Mix well. Yields 4 servings.


1-1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Wash potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Dry each piece well. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil and rosemary. Arrange in a single layer in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until tender and slightly crispy. Serves 4 to 6.


4 large baking potatoes
2⁄3 cup butter
2⁄3 cup flour
8 cups milk (you may need more to thin)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup sour cream
6 green onions, chopped
14 slices bacon, cooked till crisp and crumbled
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

Heat oven to 350°F and bake the potatoes until fork tender, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. (This can be done beforehand).

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Slowly blend in flour with a wire whisk until thoroughly blended. Cook the roux (flour in butter) until a very pale golden. Gradually add milk to the roux, garlic and season to taste, whisking constantly.

Cut potatoes in half, scoop out the interior and set aside. Chop up half the potato peels and discard the remainder.

When milk mixture is very hot, whisk in potato. Add green onion and potato peels. Whisk well, add sour cream and crumbled bacon. Heat thoroughly. Add cheese a little at a time until all is melted in.

Set aside a bit of the bacon, green onions and cheese to sprinkle on top for a nice appearance. Yields 8 servings.


3-3/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
6 garlic cloves, halved
8 ounces reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

Place potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain.

In a large bowl, mash potatoes. Stir in the sour cream, thyme, salt, pepper and 1 cup cheese. Transfer to a 3-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through. Serves 12.


Rosh Hashanah – Sweet Expectations for the Jewish New Year | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 10 September 2015 14:31

091015fThe Jewish New Year begins at sundown this Sunday. Unlike Passover, where bitter foods are prepared in commemoration of hard times, the Rosh Hashanah table is laden with delicacies representing optimism for a sweet future.

No sour or bitter dishes have a place on this joyous table. Instead, dishes abound with honey, raisins and apples – all seasonal reminders of hope for the coming year.


3/4 cupwalnut halves
Butter for pan
1-1/2 cups flour, plus more
1-1/8 cups honey, divided use
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 large eggs, at room temp.
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in center.

Spread walnut halves in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, tossing occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer nuts to a plate, let cool, then pulse in a food processor until finely chopped, about 10 times. Set aside.

Butter and flour an 8-1/2 inch spring-form pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup honey and applesauce; whisk until honey is mostly dissolved. Add eggs, and whisk until fully combined.

Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger. Stir into honey mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in walnuts.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool until sides of cake begin to pull away from pan, about 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan, and place on a serving plate. While cake is still warm, use an offset spatula to gently spread remaining honey on top as a thin glaze. Serve warm. Yields about 10 servings.


4 to 5 green apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large or 2 small eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss apples, honey, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate and spices. Place the mixture in a 9x13-inch pan and set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the oil, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla and eggs to form a thick batter. Drop by spoonfuls onto apple mixture. Bake 45 minutes at 350°F, or until top is nicely browned.

Makes 8 servings.


1 cup grated carrots
1 cup peeled and shredded potatoes
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup white sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine carrots, potatoes, sugar, raisins, flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, allspice, and ground cloves.

Transfer mixture to a clean 1 pound coffee can. Secure wax paper over the top and place the filled can in a large pot with 2 to 3 inches of water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a simmer. Steam the cake for 2 hours. Serve warm.

To make the buttery sauce, combine butter or margarine, cream, sugar, and vanilla in a medium-size pot. Heat until the mixture is liquid. Spoon mixture over the warm carrot pudding to serve. Yields 7 servings.


1-1⁄2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil plus extra for greasing the pan
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces fine noodles, like vermicelli
6 ounces wide noodles, like fettuccine
4 large eggs, well beaten

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup oil in a heavy 6-quart saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let harden and cool for 15 minutes.

Pour 5-1/2 cups water into pan with the sugar mixture and bring to boil.

Add salt, pepper and remaining sugar. When water boils add noodles. Cook until water is almost evaporated.

Cool slightly and stir in eggs. Mix well and pour into a greased 10-inch round baking pan.

Bake kugel for 1 hour. Run a knife around kugel, turn out onto a plate and serve. Yields 12 servings.




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