Potato Salad – A Summer Staple PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Friday, 31 July 2015 10:43

073015fPotato salad is a summertime favorite, whether it is served at a picnic or for a Sunday night supper. And that big scoop of creamy, chunky goodness on your plate isn’t just “salad,” it’s a mound of emotion, reminding us of all the good times in our lives.

We think of it as an American original, so closely tied as it is to our red, white and blue celebrations. And in true American style, the variations are endless.

The best potatoes for salads are white, Yukon gold, fingerlings and red bliss. Russets can be used, but they are starchy and tend to fall apart.

Whether cooking whole potatoes or in quarters, make sure they are all about the same size so they cook evenly. Potatoes often cook faster than recipes say.


5 potatoes
3 eggs
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
Ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and chop.

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, relish, garlic salt, celery salt, mustard, pepper and mayonnaise. Mix together well and refrigerate until chilled. Serves 8.


1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
2 teaspoons water
4 cups cold, diced cooked potatoes
1/2 cup peeled, diced cucumber
1 tablespoon instant minced onion
1-1/2teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large hard-cooked eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Mix mustard with water and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, separate the egg yolks from the whites and dice the whites. Combine the egg whites with the potatoes, cucumber, onion, salt, celery seed and pepper.

Mash 3 of the egg yolks and blend with the mustard, sour cream, mayonnaise and vinegar.

Add egg yolk mixture to potato mixture, mix lightly. Put remaining egg yolk through a sieve to garnish salad.

Serve on lettuce. Serves 6.


2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon anchovy paste or 2 anchovies
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Romaine lettuce leaves

Place potatoes and enough water to cover in 2-quart pan over high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain.

In food processor or blender, blend lemon juice, anchovies, Parmesan, mustard, garlic and pepper. Gradually add olive oil until mixture is smooth. Toss potatoes with dressing and parsley.

To serve, arrange on lettuce leaves. Serves 6.


1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, divided use
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
Salt and pepper to taste
3 pounds small, red-skinned potatoes, quartered
12 Romaine lettuce leaves
8 bacon slices, cooked, drained and crumbled
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 hard-boiled egg, grated

Whisk oil, vinegar, shallots, parsley, 1 tablespoon chives, mustard, honey and lemon peel in large bowl until well blended. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; add warm potatoes to dressing and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate.

Arrange lettuce around edge of platter; mound potato salad in center. Sprinkle with bacon, blue cheese, egg and remaining 1/4 cup of chives. Serves 8.


Too Much Garlic? Don’t Say That in Gilroy! PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Tuesday, 28 July 2015 08:44

072315fYou have to wonder about people who don’t like garlic. What can be more tantalizing than the scent of sautéed garlic, or the buttery aroma of roasted garlic? Just ask the folks in Gilroy, who turned what was once a culinary outcast into a world famous celebration which has raised millions for local charities.

For details on the 37th Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, which starts this Friday, visit www.gilroygarlicfestival.com/.

Here is a sampling of the hundreds of recipes the festival has spawned.


15 (or so) chicken wings or drumettes
3 heads (bulbs) garlic
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
10-15 drops Tabasco sauce
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon black pepper
Chopped parsley

Disjoint chicken wings, discarding tips. Rinse and pat dry. Separate garlic cloves and peel. Place garlic, olive oil and Tabasco in blender or food processor and purée.

Combine cheese, bread crumbs and pepper in plastic  bag. Dip wings in garlic purée and roll in bread crumb mixture, 1 at a time, coating thoroughly. Coat shallow nonstick baking pan with oil and add wings in single layer. Drizzle with remaining purée and sprinkle with any remaining bread crumb mixture.

Bake at 375°F for 45 to 60 minutes or until brown and crisp. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serves 6.


1 pound boiling potatoes, scrubbed
6 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup milk
1⁄4 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of butter

Preheat oven to 380°F. Butter a 9-inch pie plate.

Slice potatoes thinly. Arrange a layer of potatoes, garlic slices, Parmesan and slices of butter.

Repeat using the rest of the ingredients (other than the milk), saving some of the cheese and the butter.

Heat the milk and pour over top of the potatoes. Top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese and butter.

Bake for 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender and top has turned golden brown. Makes 4 servings.


4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (28-ounce) can Italian tomatoes, seeded and chopped, juice reserved
1/2 bouillon cube (optional)
1 pound uncooked penne
Grated Parmesan cheese

Place olive oil and garlic cloves in a medium sauté pan. Cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is soft and a light golden-brown. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Add the tomatoes and their juices, salt and pepper and the bouillon cube (if using). Cook until a sauce forms.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in abundant salted, boiling water according to package directions. Drain well and place in a serving bowl. Add the sauce and toss well. Serve with grated cheese on the side. Serves 4.


1 pound frozen french fries
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
2 teaspoons finely minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

Prepare french fries according to package directions (bake or fry, your choice!). 2 Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. 3 Pour cooked french fries in a large bowl and pour garlic mixture over. Toss well; add additional salt if desired, and serve! Yields about 4 servings.


10 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
5 cups of beef broth
1 cup of dry Sherry
1⁄4 cup of olive oil
French bread, sliced and toasted
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Sauté garlic in the olive oil until golden. Heat the beef broth with Sherry. When the broth reaches the boiling point, add garlic and the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste; then simmer for about 30 minutes.

Strain out the garlic and reheat.

Sprinkle toasted French bread slices generously with Parmesan cheese, then place them in a 425°F oven for about 3-4 minutes.

Put hot toast in the bottom of soup dishes; then pour the soup over top.

Yields 4 servings.


26 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons salt
6 whole cloves, crushed
6 allspice berries, crushed
2 bay leaves, crumbled
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup water
1 lemon sliced
4 pounds thick country-style spareribs, cut in serving-size pieces

Crush 6 garlic cloves with salt in a mortar or with the flat of a knife on a board. Transfer paste to a bowl and work in cloves, allspice, bay leaves, paprika, cayenne, wine and water. Add lemon slices.

Place ribs in a shall dish and add marinade, turning ribs to coat them all. Marinate for at least 2 hours, and preferably longer.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove ribs from marinade and place in a shallow baking dish. Add the remaining 20 cloves of garlic and 1 cup of marinade to the pan.

Cover and bake for 1-1/2 hours or until tender, basting every 30 minutes. Bake uncovered for the final 30 minutes. Yields 4 to 6 servings.


Summer and Smoke PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 16 July 2015 14:23

071615fWhat other than barbecue sauce inspires such raw creativity, passionate de-

bate and celebration of regional differences?

There’s no limit to the variety. There are sweet sauces, mild sauces, thick sauces, raw sauces, ketchup-based sauces, sauces that burn the tongue...


1 cup ketchup
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark amber maple syrup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-1⁄2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper, or to taste

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. When it begins to steam, reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened and flavors are combined. Yields about 1 cup of sauce.


4 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
1/2 grated onion
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1-4 chipotle chiles in adobo (depending on how hot you want your sauce)
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
Salt to taste

Note: Use gloves, or a plastic bag to protect your hands when handling the hot chiles in adobo. Wash hands thoroughly after handling and avoid touching your face or eyes for several hours.

Heat the butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat until if froths (or heat vegetable oil until hot), then add the grated onion. Sprinkle a little salt over the onion. Sauté until the onion just begins to color, about 4-5 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, finely chop the chipotle chiles in adobo. They are hot, so start with one chile. You can add as many more as you want later.

Add the chipotle to the onions, then add the tomatoes, vinegar, molasses, sugar, liquid smoke, and chopped sage. Stir to combine and let this simmer for 5 minutes. Taste it and add salt and more chipotle if you want.

Simmer the sauce gently, uncovered, for 1 hour. Before serving, taste one more time for salt and chile. Yields 2 cups.


2 cups tomato sauce or ketchup
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon chipotle powder (optional)
4 finely chopped garlic cloves
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon liquid smoke, or to taste
Salt to taste
Cayenne to taste

Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.

Pour in the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Simmer slowly for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 hours. Adjust the heat and salt levels with the cayenne and salt right before you plan to use this sauce, which is great on ribs, chicken and pork shoulder.

Makes about 2-1/2 cups, enough for 4 racks of ribs.


1/4 cup butter
2 onions, finely chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
1 small green pepper, minced
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon salt
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon Tabasco
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
Juice of 1 lemon

Melt butter in heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, celery and green pepper. Cook until limp and tender, but not brown.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, dry mustard, salt, bay leaves, vinegar, molasses, Tabasco, liquid smoke and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove bay leaves. Process in a blender or food processor.

Store in refrigerator. Makes 1-1/2 quarts.


1 (14-ounce) bottle ketchup
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons molasses
2 teaspoons Creole or whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
Dash hot pepper sauce
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Pinch salt
Pinch cayenne
2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
Pinch ground black pepper

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine all of the ingredients. Process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Pulse 2 or 3 times. Refrigerate overnight before using. Yields 2 cups.


1 teaspoon crushed garlic
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup light molasses
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon liquid smoke

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except liquid smoke. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add liquid smoke and stir. Yields about 2 cups.


July is Peach Month PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 09 July 2015 11:28

070915fNothing compares to the first bite of a ripe, juicy peach. Except maybe the second bite.

While they’re great to eat out of hand, in summer desserts they are just spectacular.

Especially in pies.


3 pounds ripe peaches 
   (about 7 medium-sized), 
   peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Unbaked pastry for a double 9-inch pie crust

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In large bowl, gently toss the peach slices with the lemon juice. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon and mix well. Add to peaches. Mix well and pour into pie shell.

Place pastry for top crust over pie, trimming the edges of the shell and top crust to 3/4-inch beyond pie pan. Press edges together slightly, cold under and seal. Flute with fingers or crimp with a fork. Cut small slits near the center of the top crust for vents.

Place pie on cookie sheet and bake on center rack for 20 minutes. Remove pie from oven and cover edges of crust with foil Reduce heat to 350°F, return pie to oven and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until well-browned and bubbly. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.


1/4 pound butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy.

With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.

Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan. Top with half of the peaches, then sprinkle with two-thirds of the sugar mixture. Spread the remaining batter on top, arrange the remaining peaches on top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and the pecans.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yields 8 servings.


6 cups peeled, thinly-sliced fresh peaches
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup uncooked oatmeal

Place peach slices in 8-1/2 inch microwave-proof cake dish. Stir in lemon juice and lightly toss.

Cut better into flour in medium mixing bowl until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts and oats. Sprinkle mixture evenly over peaches. Microwave on high until fruit is tender, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating dish once, Makes 6 servings.


2 pounds of peaches, sliced
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
4 tablespoons minced candied ginger
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Mix peaches, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of the flour and the ginger in a large frying pan. Heat, stirring until juices start to thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour into a 9-inch square glass casserole 2 inches deep. Set aside.

Mix flour, sugar baking powder and baking soda together. Add butter and mix with a pastry knife until a granular texture about the size of small peas is formed. Add buttermilk and mix only long enough to incorporate the liquid. Overmixing will toughen the pastry. Turn onto a flour board and  gently press out to the shape of your casserole or baking pan. Lift carefully onto the sliced peaches and bake for 20-25 minutes until a golden brown color on top.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup blackberry jam
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
Garnish: fresh basil leaves

Stir together softened butter, blackberry preserves, and chopped fresh basil until blended. Makes 3/4 cup. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve with warm grilled peach halves.


Haute Dogs for the 4th PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 02 July 2015 10:38

070215fAs we Americans prepare to celebrate the 4th of July, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has released a survey revealing that (big surprise!) mustard will be the go-to topping.

Although the Council’s rules of etiquette say “no ketchup on a hot dog after the age of 18,” Americans defied the rules, naming ketchup as their second choice – news that has raised the eyebrows of Council leaders.

According to an online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the Council, nearly three quarters (71 percent) of Americans who eat hot dogs say they top their hot dogs with mustard, followed by ketchup (52 percent), onions (47 percent), chili (45 percent) and relish (41 percent).

A warning: Anything you stack in a teetering pile atop a hotdog, will end up on the floor as soon as you take a bite.


8 hot dogs
1/2 cup coarsely chopped bread and butter pickles
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill pickles
8 hot dog buns
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cucumber cut into wedges

Preheat broiler. Place hot dogs on baking sheet lined with foil. Broil 4 to 5 minutes, turning often, until heated through. Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir together pickles. Serve hot dogs in buns with pickles, onion, cucumber and mustard. Makes 8 servings.


8 all-beef wieners
8 poppyseed hot dog buns, (preferably local-bakery-made)
Yellow ballpark mustard
Chopped cucumber
Pepperoncini, chopped
Chopped onion
Chopped red ripe tomato
Celery salt
Dill pickle spears

Fire up the grill, bringing the temperature to high (1 to 2 seconds with the hand test).

Grill the wieners uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes over high heat until deeply browned, rolling to crisp all surfaces.

Toast the buns at the same time on the edge of the grill.

Place the dogs on the toasted buns and top each with a good squiggle of mustard. Then pile on, in approximately equal portions, generous spoonfuls of cucumber, peppers, onion and tomato.

Sprinkle celery salt over each bulging bun. Serve with dill pickle if desired. Serves 8.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
6 beef hot dogs
6 hot dog buns
Spicy brown mustard

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown in places, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking, 1 minute more. Stir in tomato paste, red wine vinegar, hot sauce, sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until onion relish is thick and glossy.

Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a deep-sided skillet. Add hot dogs, reduce heat, keeping water at a bare simmer, and heat through at least 10 minutes, or until ready to serve.

Line a steamer basket with three layers of cheesecloth and place inside a pot with 1/2 inch of boiling water. Place hot dog buns on cheesecloth, cover pot, and steam buns, 2 minutes.

Assemble by placing hot dogs inside buns, top with onion relish, spicy brown mustard, and sauerkraut and serve immediately. Yields 6.


6 all-beef hot dogs
6 hot dog buns
Mustard, for serving
Classic Creamy Coleslaw, for serving
Chili, for serving
Chopped onion, for serving

Preheat griddle to medium heat. Fill a medium saucepan three-quarters full of water; bring to a boil. Add hot dogs, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until hot dogs are plump and heated through, about 6 minutes.

Transfer hot dogs to griddle. Open buns and place interior-side down on griddle. Cook hot dogs and buns until lightly browned.

Serve hot dogs in buns with mustard, coleslaw, chili, and onions. Yields 6 servings.


12 flour tortillas
12 hot dogs
1 cup refried beans
1/2 cup feta or other cheese
1/2 cup your favorite salsa

Spread the heated beans on a warm tortilla. Place a frankfurter on top. Sprinkle with cheese and roll up the tortilla. Microwave for 2 minutes or place in preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.

Serve with salsa. Serves 12.


1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
4 tablespoons margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 pound hot dogs
8 hot dog buns

Cook onion and garlic over medium-low heat until onion is tender, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt, pepper, Worcestershire, mustard, sugar and chili sauce. Continue heating until flavors are well blended, about 5 minutes.

Split each hot dog lengthwise, and arrange split-side up in shallow pan. Spoon sauce over hot dogs and heat under broiler for 3-5 minutes, until sauce is bubbly.

Serve hot on buns, spoon on extra sauce.


A New Way to Enjoy Coconut PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 29 June 2015 08:19

062515fFlaked and shredded coconut, coconut milk, and coconut cream have been been around for years, used in everything from tropical drinks to macaroons and pie. And lately, coconut water has made its way to the endless row of bottled waters on supermarket shelves.

Now, add coconut flour. You may have seen it at your local grocers and thought it was just another novelty fad or “diet food” that will soon fade out of popularity.

But coconut flour deserves a second look and may soon become a staple in your pantry. It’s naturally sweet and rich textured and, unlike grain flours, it’s gluten-free. Low in calories, it is a good source of dietary fiber and contains healthy saturated fats.

Coconut flour is very absorbent. For this reason, it takes less flour when cooking with coconut flour than it does wheat. A recipe for pancakes using coconut flour will typically use only one-half cup of flour, maybe less, in a recipe that calls for a cup of wheat flour, and yet it will yield the same amount of pancakes.

Although coconut flour can be used to bake delicious cakes and breads, it requires some adjustments to wheat flour recipes, including adding extra liquid. So its best to use recipes, like these, that were designed especially for coconut flour.

Store the flour in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer, as it contains no preservatives or sulfites.


1 cup butter, softened
1-2/3 cups sugar
10 eggs (at room temperature) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2cups coconut flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups whole milk

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch layer pans with coconut oil and dust with cocoa powder.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar, and beat together for about 2 minutes. Add eggs in one at a time and beat high speed for about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla while beating the eggs and butter mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the milk to the butter mixture. Beat batter for about five minutes on high speed. Spoon batter into the two prepared cake pans and smoothen out tops.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Place pans on wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool cakes completely before frosting. Use your favorite frosting to frost the cake.

Cupcakes: Make recipe as directed but spoon batter into muffin cups and bake for about 26-30 minutes. Frost after cupcakes have cooled completely. Makes about 24 cupcakes.


3/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Whisk flaxseed meal, coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl. Stir peanut butter, applesauce, eggs, butter, and vanilla extract together in a separate bowl; mix into flaxseed meal mixture until dough is just mixed. Spoon dough onto a baking sheet, pressing a wet fork into each cookie to flatten.

Bake in the preheated oven until cookies are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Yields 12 servings.


1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup almond flour*
2 eggs
1 mashed ripe banana
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, plus more for pan
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl, be sure there are no lumps.

Coat griddle or pan with coconut oil on medium heat and drop in pancake mix (1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons).

Flip once slightly browned on bottom, approximately 3 minutes. They are ready when well-formed and easy to flip. Cook additional 2 minutes and remove from pan. Yields 4 servings.

These pancakes are delicious on their own but can be topped with honey, maple syrup, homemade jam or fresh fruit.


6 eggs, separated
3/4 cup applesauce
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat waffle iron to low heat.

Separate egg yolks from whites. Use a hand blender to whip egg whites until soft peaks begin to form. Set aside.

Combine applesauce, lemon zest and juice, vanilla and melted butter, mixing together with the egg yolks. Sift in coconut flour and baking soda.

Fold in egg whites with the rest of the waffle batter being careful to not completely flatten the egg whites. Gently mix in blueberries.

Generously grease waffle iron with coconut oil or butter and drop a large spoonful of batter into the center. Do not fill iron completely with batter. Carefully remove waffles when they are done and repeat with remaining batter. (These waffles are very light so remove them carefully with a flat spatula). Yields 4 servings.


6 strips bacon
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons coconut flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded/diced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tin or use paper inserts.

Fry bacon in a skillet until crispy. Set aside.

Blend eggs, 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add coconut flour and baking powder. Mix until there are no lumps.

Crumble bacon and add to batter along with cheese. Mix until incorporated.

Pour batter into muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes. Serves 6.

CAPTION: Coconut flour is made from dried coconut meat that has been finely ground to a powder. It is gluten-free, low in calories, and has other healthy attributes.

Father’s Day 2015 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 23:23

061815fLike everyone else in the family, the modern-day Dad is probably more concerned than ever before about staying trim and healthy. So it stands to reason that breakfast on his special day – whether at home or at his favorite restaurant – should not only be a treat, but it should be heart-healthy as well.

These recipes are designed to greatly reduce the amount of fat and in some cases completely eliminate cholesterol by using nonfat cooking sprays and egg substitutes.


1 frozen 9-inch pie crust, thawed
1 tablespoon margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper or pimento
1-1/3 cups fat free milk
1 cup (8 oz) egg substitute
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup drained canned whole kernel corn
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and  green chilies, drained

Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly prick side of pie crust with fork. Bake 5 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Melt vegetable margarine in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook and stir 6 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Beat milk, egg substitute, flour, salt and black pepper in medium bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add onion mixture, corn and hot pepper sauce; mix well.

Pour into prepared pie crust; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Cover edge of crust with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning.

Bake 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Meanwhile, combine drained tomatoes and the remaining cilantro in small bowl for the salsa. When quiche is done, let stand 10 minutes before cutting into 8 slices. Serve topped with the salsa.


1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) egg substitute
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1/4 cup skim milk
No-stick cooking spray
10 fresh asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium tomato, chopped

Preheat broiler. Mix egg substitute, cheese and milk in medium bowl until well blended; set aside.

Spray medium skillet with ovenproof handle with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add asparagus, onions, salt and pepper; cook and stir 3 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add tomatoes; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add egg-substitute mixture. Reduce heat to low; cover skillet with lid. Cook 12 minutes, or until bottom of frittata is set but top is still slightly moist. Remove lid from skillet.

Place skillet under broiler. Broil 2 minutes, or until top is set but not browned. Cut into 4 wedges to serve.


1 tablespoon vegetable margarine
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
4-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Olive oil no-stick cooking spray
1/4 cup arugula
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For onions: heat margarine and oil in medium saute pan over medium-low heat. When margarine has melted, add onions; stir to coat. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When onions have softened and start to brown, add vinegar.

Cook onions an additional 20 minutes or until very soft and dark brown in color. Reserve 1/3 cup of the onions for omelet. Cool and store remaining onions in an airtight container for another use.

For omelet: lightly spray 10-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add the reserved onions, arugula and garlic to skillet. Saute 1 minute or until arugula has wilted.

Combine egg substitute, cheese and pepper; pour mixture into skillet. Cook untouched 1 minute or until edges begin to set. Gently pull edges towards center to allow uncooked portion to run beneath. Repeat twice; cover with lid. Continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes more or until center is set.

Fold omelet in half. Cut in half; serve immediately. Serves 2.


Pasta, Plain and Simple PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 11 June 2015 14:45

061115fVersatile pasta is one of the best bets for a quick, informal supper. Pasta-centered meals are not only easy to prepare, they also help tip the nutritional balance in a healthful direction.

Pasta contains almost no fat and a plain cup of cooked pasta has about 5 grams of protein, but only 160 calories.

Cook pasta according to package directions in a large quantity of boiling water, leaving plenty of room for it to move around as it boils. To help prevent sticking, add a splash of olive oil to the boiling water, then drop the pasta in slowly. Do not cover or it will boil over.


2 (25-ounce) packages frozen cheese ravioli
4 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
4 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced

In a medium stock pot, combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chopped onion, Italian seasoning, salt and water. Stir in the minced garlic in quantity desired. Allow mixture to simmer for 2 hours. If sauce seems dry add additional water.

In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ravioli until done. Drain. In a 9x13-inch pan, layer sauce and cooked ravioli. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and grated mozzarella cheese.

Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Yields 6 to 8 servings.


8 ounces small-shaped pasta
5 cups bagged prewashed kale
2 slices bacon
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cook pasta in boiling water 8 minutes or until almost tender. Add kale, and cook 2 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

While pasta cooks, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; crumble and set aside.

Reduce skillet heat to medium-low. Add sun-dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper and garlic to bacon drippings, and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add pasta mixture, reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, black pepper and salt to pan; toss to combine.

Top pasta mixture evenly with bacon and cheese; drizzle evenly with lemon juice.

Yields 4 servings.


1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3-1/2 cups cooked tomatoes
1 green pepper, minced
Dash of red pepper
8 ounces spaghetti, cooked according to directions
Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Simmer all ingredients about 1 hour in a heavy skillet. Pour sauce over hot, drained spaghetti on a hot platter. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Serves 6 to 8.


1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound low-fat Italian turkey or chicken sausage
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoons crushed red pepper, optional
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup drained large black ripe pitted olives
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 dried bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon each dried rosemary and oregano
1 pound farfalle (butterflies), penne or other pasta
Finely shredded Parmesan

In large saucepan, cook onion in olive oil over medium-low heat until soft, stirring occasionally. Remove sausage from casings and crumble into pan. Add garlic and crushed red pepper.

Increase heat to medium-high; stir and cook until sausage is brown. Stir in tomatoes with liquid, olives, tomato paste and herbs. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer gently 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook pasta in 6 quarts boiling, salted water just until tender. Drain well. Turn pasta into serving bowl and toss with sauce. Top with cheese.

Yields about 6 servings.

Red Wine Sauce: If desired, add 1/2 cup red wine after browning sausage. Simmer 5 minutes, then proceed with recipe as directed.

Notes: If using regular sausage, drain off excess fat after browning.

Two teaspoons Italian herb seasoning can be used instead of basil, rosemary and oregano


Strawberry Shortcuts PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 04 June 2015 17:32

060415fJune means it’s peak season for  California strawberries.

Most come from the fields around Watsonville, just south of the Bay Area, so we’re getting them after a relatively short trip. That’s important because strawberries don’t  ripen after harvest and are best when eaten soon after picking.

Select dry berries that are plump and glossy, and bright red all the way around—with no “white shoulders.”

If you must store them before use, refrigerate the unwashed berries between layers of paper towels, never in plastic bags.

The green caps should be removed after washing to keep water from getting inside.

To boost the flavor of fresh berries, 20 to 30 minutes before serving, wash, hull and slice. Toss with sugar to taste, let sit for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar for every cup of sliced berries.


5 tablespoons margarine
1 quart strawberries
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

Run 1 tablespoon margarine on bottom sides of 2-quart baking dish. Rinse and stem berries and place in dish. Sprinkle orange juice and 2 tablespoons orange liqueur over berries. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar over berries. Smooth lightly with hands.

Melt remaining margarine and drizzle over top. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


For the strawberries:
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered
For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1--1/2 cups heavy cream
For the whipped cream:
1-1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

Place a metal bowl and beaters in the freezer during shortcake cooking time.

Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally.

Mix all whipped cream ingredients in the metal bowl with metal beaters about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.

Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve. Yields 6 servings.


1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 pound fresh rhubarb, chopped
2 pints fresh strawberries
1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons white sugar

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, mix flour and sugar. Add strawberries and chopped rhubarb. Toss with sugar and flour and let stand for 30 minutes.

Pour filling into pie crust. Dot top with butter, and cover with top crust. Seal edges of top and bottom crust with water. Apply yolk to top of pie, using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut small holes in top to let steam escape.

Bake at 400°F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and brown. Cool on rack.


4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 cups of sliced strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, and heat oven to 350°F.

Put butter in an 8-inch square or 9-inch round pan; set in oven to melt. When butter has melted, remove pan from oven.

Whisk flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Add milk; whisk to form a smooth batter. Pour batter into pan, then scatter strawberries or other fruit over batter. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Bake until batter browns and fruit bubbles, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired. Serves 4.


1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped prepared chutney
1 teaspoon each grated lime peel, salt and curry powder
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1-1/2 pints fresh strawberries, stemmed, divided
Lettuce leaves

In large bowl mix mayonnaise, chutney, lime peel, salt, curry powder and lime juice. Add chicken, celery and onion; toss, cover and chill. Just before serving, slice 1 pint of the strawberries; gently toss with chicken mixture. To assemble salad, line platter or individual serving plates with lettuce. Mound chicken mixture in center. Garnish with whole strawberries. Makes 4 servings.


If you’ve never tried a Lassi, this is a quick and easy treat you’ll want to make again and again.

8 ounces fresh strawberries, trimmed and halved
1 (8-ounce) container strawberry-flavored Greek yogurt (or plain Greek yogurt)
1 cup crushed ice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Tiny pinch salt
1-2 tablespoons agave syrup (if needed)

Put all ingredients except agave in a blender, put the lid on and blend on high speed until smooth and light pink.

Taste and add agave as needed; some strawberries are sweeter than others, so adjust sweetener to your taste. (Also, if you end up using plain unsweetened yogurt, you may find you need more sweetener.) Blend on high to combine.

Pour into pretty glasses and serve. This looks particularly beautiful and festive in stemmed or frosted glasses. Serves 3-4.


1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar, divided
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups halved strawberries
6 devil’s food cupcakes
6 tablespoons chocolate syrup or fudge topping

Ahead of time, bake your favorite chocolate devil’s food cake recipe as cupcakes.

In large mixer bowl, combine cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar, cocoa and vanilla; beat to form soft peaks. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine strawberries and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar; toss lightly. To assemble, cut cupcakes horizontally in half. Place bottom of each cupcake on individual serving plate; top with 1/2 cup strawberries and 1/3 cup cream mixture. Cover with cupcake top; garnish with remaining cream mixture and strawberries. Drizzle each serving with 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup. Makes 6 servings.


Feeling Your Oats PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 28 May 2015 16:27

052815fFor many of us, morning oatmeal is a passion, more for its great taste, than for its nutritional value. Cooked with raisins and served with brown sugar – and maybe a little cinnamon – well...it’s like a bowl of oatmeal cookies for breakfast.

Although third in popularity to wheat and corn, oats are the most nutritious of the cereal grasses, an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals.

And, if you don’t particularly like oatmeal, there are many ways of incorporating oats into all three meals each day.


1 to 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
3/4 cup quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup ketchup
1 egg (or equivalent egg substitute) lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in large bowl; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape meatloaf mixture into 10 x 6-inch loaf on rack of broiler pan.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until meatloaf is at medium doneness (160°F for beef, 170°F for turkey), not pink in center and juices show no pink color. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Cover and refrigerate leftovers promptly and use within 2 days, or wrap airtight and freeze up to 3 months. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


1/2 cup each chopped red and yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-3/4 cups oatmeal
2 egg whites
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves or 2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook peppers, mushrooms, green onions and garlic in oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. In large bowl, mix oats and egg whites until oats are evenly coated. Add oats to vegetable mixture in skillet.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until oats are dry and separated, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add broth, basil, salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Serve immediately. Serves 8.


1/4 cup butter
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups rolled oats (oatmeal)
3/4 cups brown sugar
6 ounces chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar and butter and beat until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla and baking soda and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and nuts.

Place teaspoonsful of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly brown around edges. Yields about 48 cookies.


6 cups (about) flour
2-1/2 cups quick oatmeal or rolled oats (uncooked)
1/4 cup sugar
2 (1/4-ounce) packages (about 4-1/2 teaspoons) quick-rising yeast
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/4 cups low-fat milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine or butter

In large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, oats, sugar, yeast and salt; mix well. In small saucepan, heat water, milk and margarine until very warm (120°F to 130°F). Add to flour mixture. Blend on low speed of electric mixer until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed; beat 3 minutes. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Shape dough into ball; place in greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Punch down dough. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half; shape to form loaves. Place in two greased 8 x 4 or 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Cover; let rise in warm place 15 minutes or until nearly doubled in size.

Heat oven to 375°F. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely before slicing. If desired, (and before baking), brush tops of loaves lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with additional oats. Makes 2 loaves.


1/2 cup soft butter or margarine
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons flour
1-1/4 cup rye flour
1 cup rolled oats (oatmeal)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1-1/4 cup milk
Coconut Frosting

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix. Combine dry ingredients. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk to creamed mixture (batter will be thin). Pour into greased 9×13-inch pan. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Coconut Frosting

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine (softened)
4-1/2 teaspoons light cream (or whole milk)
1 cup shredded coconut

Mix ingredients until well blended. Spread on warm cake. Broil until frosting is golden brown (approximately 5 minutes).

Makes enough to cover a 9x13-inch pan.


1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter or margarine, chilled, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 egg
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Heat oven to 400°F.

In large bowl, combine flour, oats, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda and salt; mix well.

Work butter into dry ingredients with fork or fingertips until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in cranberries. In small bowl, combine yogurt and egg; blend well. Add to dry ingredients all at once; stir with fork until soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead gently 8 to 10 times. Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Pat into 8-inch diameter circle; sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Cut into 8 wedges; separate wedges slightly.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until light golden brown. Separate wedges; transfer to cooling rack.

Serve warm. Makes 8 scones.

Chef’s Note: For biscuits and scones that are light, tender and flaky, cut chilled butter or margarine into dry ingredients until particles are the size of coarse crumbs. After adding liquids, handle dough as gently and as little as possible.

CAPTION: A delicious, more nutritious meatloaf made with rolled oats.

Prime Time for Artichokes PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 21 May 2015 13:41

052115fIf you’re lucky enough to have artichokes in your backyard garden (and they are easy to grow here), you’ve probably been enjoying them for the past couple of weeks. But if not, you’ll find plenty of them on local produce shelves or at the Farmers’ Market.

Real fans might want to drive down to the 56th Annual Artichoke Festival in Castroville over the May 30-31 weekend (visit artichokefestival.org). Most of the nation’s supply come from that part of California.

To cook artichokes, wash them under cold running water. Peel the stems at the base and remove the small bottom leaves. Stand artichokes upright in a deep saucepan large enough to hold them snugly. Add 1 teaspoon salt and two to three inches boiling water. (Add lemon juice, herbs, garlic powder or onion powder, if desired.)

Cover and boil gently 35 to 45 minutes or until base can be pierced easily with fork. (Add a little more boiling water, if needed.) Turn artichokes upside down to drain. Serve hot or cover and refrigerate to chill.

There are, of course, many way of serving artichokes—stuffing them or incorporating them into other dishes. But that often takes more fussing than true artichoke lovers have the patience for. The easiest way to serve them is with a favorite dipping sauce.

For the novice, here’s how to eat them. Pull off the outer petals one at a time, dip, and draw the end through your front teeth, scraping off the edible pulp from the inside of the leaf. When you reach the purple cone of light-colored leaves,  scrape away the fuzzy portion with a spoon to reveal the artichoke heart which extends down into the stem. Cut into bite-sized pieces, dip and enjoy.


1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon each chopped parsley and chives (or green onions, green part only)
1/4 teaspoon tarragon

Mix all ingredients well and serve with cooked artichokes.


1/4 cup prepared mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Makes about 3/4 cup.


1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1/3 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
3 tablespoons butter, chilled
1 tablespoon minced parsley

In small saucepan, heat wine and shallots over medium heat until mixture is reduced to about 3/4 cup. Add lemon juice and oregano. Cool slightly, return pan to low heat. Slowly add butter in small amounts, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Garnish with parsley and serve with hot or cold artichokes. Makes 4 servings.


1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup lowfat Ranch salad dressing

Combine ingredients and mix well. Makes 1/2 cup.


4 large artichokes
1-1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

Using a serrated knife, cut off the top third of each artichoke. Cut off the thorns from the remaining leaves with scissors. Cut off all but 1/2 inch of the stem.

Quarter each artichoke and place in a large pot with 1 tablespoon salt, the peppercorns, mustard seed, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, thyme, garlic, 2 tablespoons oil and the juice of the lemon. Add the lemon half, then cover with water.

Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until you can easily remove an inner leaf, about 25 minutes. (Err on the undercooked side, as the artichokes will be cooked further.) Drain the artichokes on several thicknesses of paper towels and let cool.

Preheat over to 375°F. Using a spoon, scoop out the fibrous choke and prickly inner leaves from each artichoke quarter.

Place quarters in bowl and toss gently with remaining oil, 1/2 tablespoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Spread the quarters heart-side up on a baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, until golden brown with crisp edges. Serves 4.


Awesome Asparagus PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 14 May 2015 15:14

051415fCalifornia asparagus, the aristocrat of spring vegetables, is at its peak right now. The fact that the harvest is right next door is a big plus.

The closer, the better, since the natural sugar in asparagus can disappear very quickly. So, cook asparagus as soon as possible to ensure peak flavor.

If you must store it, trim the bottom of the spears and stand the asparagus, covered in a plastic bag, in an inch of water in the refridgerator to keep for a few days.

Asparagus can be as thin as a pencil or thicker than your thumb. Everyone seems to  have a preference, although the spears come from the same plants and they all taste pretty much alike.

Asparagus can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, grilled, roasted or incorporated into casseroles and salads. The key is just to “cook it briefly.”

Devotees like its unadorned flavor, but it’s nice to have a few recipes that add a note or two.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons butter

Heat oil in a 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan over high heat until lightly smoking. Add asparagus in as close to a single layer as possible, season with salt and pepper, and cook without moving until lightly browned, about 1-1/2 minutes. Shake pan and cook until browned again, 1-1/2 minutes longer. Add stock and butter to pan and immediately cover.

Continue to cook until asparagus is completely tender and stock and butter have emulsified and reduced to a shiny glaze, 7 to 10 minutes. If stock completely evaporates and butter starts to burn before asparagus is cooked through, top up with a few tablespoons of water. Serve immediately. Yields 4 servings.


2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced onions
2 cups bias-sliced asparagus pieces about 1-inch long
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups cooked linguini
1 ripe tomato, chopped
2/3 cup shredded Swiss or Mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon grated
Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup vegetable broth, tomato juice or water

Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, asparagus, fennel and thyme; saute 2 minutes.

Place pasta in 2-1/2-quart ovenproof casserole. Top with sauteed vegetables, chopped tomatoes and cheeses. Pour broth, over all and bake uncovered in 350°F oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is golden and vegetables are heated through. Serves 4.


1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cups chicken stock
1 pint sour cream, room temperature
2 teaspoons Hungarian hot paprika, for garnish

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add asparagus and sauté another 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until asparagus is very tender.

Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. Release one corner of the lid to prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the blender, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Return to saucepan, stir in sour cream and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to serving bowls. Dust with paprika and serve. Yields 4 servings.


1 tablespoon butter
1 leek (white and light green parts only), halved, thinly sliced, then well washed
Salt and freshly, ground pepper
1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed, thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 large eggs
1-1/4 cups half-and-half
Ground nutmeg
Favorite pie crust, fitted into a 9-inch pie plate, well chilled
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350°F, with rack in lowest position. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add leek and asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Place pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese; top with asparagus mixture. Pour egg mixture on top.

Bake until center of quiche is just set, 50 to 60 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Yields 6 servings.


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