Monthly Archives: April 2012

For Vegetarians here’s a delight–Celery Root Slaw

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celery rootThis delicious, and I mean that very seriously, recipe comes from a dear friend of mine who was born in my hometown of Geneva, Switz.  She’s an amazing person in all respects, but one of them is glorious entertaining with even more glorious foods that she, mostly alone, has prepared to everyone’s delight.  The unusual aspect of this is that Renata is a vegetarian. Most guests, visiting her buffets, don’t even realize that.  They think that, for instance, that this excellent Celery Root Slaw is a pasta dish—I don’t think so.  She loves to share her recipes, as I do, so here it is for your enjoyment.  As well, you can visit her recent business venture: No Harm Done Design which is a small company that makes elegant faux-fur throws.  She and her partner started this business with a young penniless Cambodian woman who has now given a livelihood to many others and supports her whole extended family.  No Harm Done concerns that motto for animals and features a correct work ethic all around.  Please feel free to visit its website: www.noharmdonedesign.com.  Don’t forget to order your favorite throw.  You won’t be sorry.  Of course, I have one as well. 

Celery Root Slaw

Ingredients:

For Slaw:

1 Celery Root the size of a fist

For Sauce:

1 Tblsp. Dijon Mustard

4 to 5 Tblsp. mayo or olive oil mayo

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

S&P to taste

Onion Powder to taste

2 Tsp. Balsamic Vinegar

Half of an 8oz. can chopped pineapple, drained or 1 small shredded apple

Handful of walnut halves

Directions:

For Slaw:

1, Peel just the very rough exterior part of the celery root.  Don’t go overboard because then you won’t have any root left

2. Put in food processor and shred.

3. Set aside.

For Sauce:

1. Mix the next 7 ingredients well. The sauce should not be as thin as regular salad dressing however, if it seems too thick, add a bit more balsamic.

2. Add the sauce and the walnut halves to the slaw and mix well.

This can also be made with raw shredded carrots, shredded ginger &/or shredded apple. Optional and additional to the carrot slaw would be raisins. 

 

Black Bean Soup

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I love beans.  Beans were very important in my mother’s life in Holland where she resided within a family of 12 with scant financial means.  The beans found in Holland were a real staple for their family during winter.  My very American in-laws also used beans for their staple survival diet.  They lived on the Central Coast of California during the depression right near King City. That tiny town, of Steinbeck fame, grew and still grows the most fabulous “Pink Beans”. You must buy them straight from King City because the other pretend pinks found elsewhere do not compare.   I truly learned how to cook beans from “Mom” (Mother-In-Law).  The Van Horns shot the deer, grew the veggies, and ate the beans. That’s how they survived during that difficult period. Luckily they lived in an area which provided that wonderful eatable bonus.  Beans are nutritious and full of fiber. When mixed with rice or the like, they make a “perfect protein”.  Oh hale to that little bean: it was even buried with the pharos in Egypt to make sure that their last journey was healthy and fulfilling. The world leader today of the dry bean is Brazil; the USA is 6th in line. So, with that entire in mind, herewith is a black bean recipe that I hope you’ll all enjoy.  

Black Bean Soup

4 to 6 servings

Here’s a dish that besides being delicious, low in calories and healthy. is quick and easy to make.  You could serve it with yogurt biscuits or tortillas of course.  You can use your very own cooked black beans or for the quick version, CANNED. 

Ingredients:

2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

2 Medium Yellow Onions, chopped

1 Tblsp. Minced Garlic

2 Tblsp. Chopped Uncooked Bacon

1/2 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (leave out if you don’t like the heat)

S&P to taste

3 Cups Cooked Black Beans (if using canned and with juice, reduce the stock to 3 ½ C. However, you can also drain the beans from the can and then use the 4 C. of stock)

4 Cups Beef Stock

Minced Cilantro Leaves and Sour Cream or Yogurt For Garnish

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and after a minute or so, add the yellow onions and garlic.  Stir until they are soft (5 minutes or so).

2. Add the beans, stock, red pepper, S&P, bacon and stock.

3. Bring to a slight boil and turn to medium low.  Simmer uncovered, stirring every now and then for about 15 minutes.

4. At this point you can either mash the contents of the soup with a potato masher, or you can puree HALF of the soup in a blender (so as to leave some whole beans in the soup).If blending, pour the contents back in the pot.

5. If you wish for an extra smooth, creamy texture you can do the following: Take an egg yolk that is very clean of the white and beat it with a fork in a small cup;add some of the hot soup liquid to it and beat some more; then add the egg contents to the mixture in the pot.

6. Serve it topped with cilantro leaves and a generous dab of sour cream or yogurt. You can also top it with some crumbled white and/or yellow cheese or tomato bits. You can even float a bit of sherry on top or sprinkle some lime juice in it.

Additionally, other spice variations while cooking would be adding cumin or curry.

 Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email her or comment on the blog tempinnkeeper@mindspring.com              http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com

Orange Scented Pork & Veggie Stew

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Orange-Scented Pork and Veggie Stew

Serves 6

The weather report is saying: tomorrow a little snow with rain; the day after a chance of sun, cloudy and partly cloudy and warmer with temps ranging from 30 to 60; the day after that a little snow with a chance of thunder; well you get my drift.  It’s spring and wait one minute because the weather will not be the same as it was the minute before.  Spring is fun and full of surprises. I’ve never down hilled with lightening and thunder looming overhead, however, the other day I thought that might have been a possibility. Anyway, one thing is for sure, here in our gorgeous mountains it’s perfect weather now to enjoy this wonderful stew.  Pork can be a nice surprise for the shopper in these difficult economic times because it’s usually priced very reasonably—depending on the cut of course.  A stew can use many different cuts of meat and in this recipe I actually used the thinner pork loin chops which truly were priced very well.  So, here you go and I hope that you’ll enjoy this as much as I have.

Ingredients:

2 ½ Lbs. boneless pork shoulder cut into 2 inch cubes or I used the thinner pork loin chops (with a bone) cut the meat into cubes and inserted the chop’s bones in the cooking process.  I took the bone out before serving.

S&P

2 Tblsp. Olive Oil (more if needed)

2 Onions Diced or Thin Sliced (I like mine thin sliced)

1 Tblsp. Minced Garlic

2 Cups Italian Style Diced Tomatoes With Juice (if you wish a thicker stew, drain the tomatoes before adding them.)

1 Tblsp. Brown Sugar

Zest of 1 Orange (Removed in a 1 long strip if possible, if not, that’s OK)

3 C. Chicken Broth

1 C. Dry White Wine or Dry Vermouth

4 Carrots–halved lengthwise, then cut in 1” lengths

2 Parsnips- prepared like the carrots

4 Tblsp Chopped Fresh Mint Leaves

Vermicelli, for serving with the Stew—Rice is OK as well

Directions:

1.        Parboil in very little water the carrots and parsnips for 3 minutes.

2.        Season pork with S&P. Place the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and brown the pork for about 6 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

3.        Reduce the heat to low, adding more oil if needed, and cook the onions and garlic until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.        Add the tomatoes, sugar, orange zest, chicken broth, and white wine.  Return pork to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered for 1 hour. (If you used the thinner pork loin chops, the time may be only 30 to 45 minutes) Stir in carrots and 2 Tblsp.of the mint.  Season with some more S&P if needed. Cook partially covered until the pork is tender, about 15 minutes longer.  Remove and discard orange zest if you wish-however, I think it’s sort of fun to keep it in.

5.        Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of mint and serve over the vermicelli or rice.

6.        Since you still have one left over orange this is what I serve the stew with: a fresh lettuce that has thinly sliced raw red onion and cut orange segments in it ;or I thin slice some Brussels sprouts and sauté them gently in a mixture of butter/olive oil and some brown sugar. Right before they are done, I add the cut orange segments.

 

  Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ margot6@mindspring.com for comments or ideas

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

 

Turkey Meatball Soup & Duxelles

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Just in time for our recent storms and brrrr weather, here’s a two for one column this week.  Enjoy!!!! And as always, Bon Appetit

Turkey Meatball Soup

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

2 Beaten Eggs

1 Cup Bread Crumbs

4 Tblsp. Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese

2 Tblsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley

2 Tblsp. Chopped Onion

1 Minced Garlic

S & P to taste

1 Lb. Ground Turkey

2 Cups Garbanzo Beans (you can use a can; however, I usually make mine fresh.  They are so easy to make and so much better than the canned variety.  Follow the directions on the bean pkg.)

2 Cups of Good Beef Broth

1-14 ½ oz. Can of Italian-Style Stewed Tomatoes

1 ½ Cups of Water

3/4 Cup Sliced Fresh Mushrooms or Reconstituted Dried Mushrooms or Duxelles *

1 Tsp. Italian Seasoning

3/4  Cup Already Cooked Wild Rice Mix and/or Long Grain White Rice

4 Cups of a Combination of Chopped Kale, Cabbage, Parsley, Cilantro, Brussel Sprouts

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients and then add the ground turkey. Mix well and make small sized meatballs (1 inch circumference more or less). In a large skillet sprayed with non-stick spray, brown the meatballs over medium heat (about 8-10 minutes) turning them until evenly browned  (I turned them with two tablespoons) and done.  They will be a bit dark on the outside which is just fine.  Set them aside for the moment.

In a large pot, stir together the next 7 ingredients and then add the meatballs. Then place the pot over medium high heat till the mixture comes to a low boil.  Simmer covered for about 15 minutes.  For the last step, add the vegetables, bring to another boil, reduce to a simmer and cook till the vegetables are tender.

Serve in bowls with some shaved parmesan or Romano on top along with some crusty bread or nice bread sticks.

*More about Duxelles

Thanks to Mark Bittman for my discovery of this:

Here’s an additional wonderful thing to keep in your freezer and have on hand for whenever.  It’s great to put in soups, stews, omelets, etc.

3 Tbls. Butter or Olive Oil

¼ C. Minced Shallots, Scallions, or Onions

1 lb. Any Kind Mushrooms-(stems and all)

S & P to taste

¼ C. Fresh Parsley Leaves, Minced

Place the butter or olive oil in a large, deep skillet and turn heat to medium. Just as the foam begins to subside, stir in the shallots/scallions/onions. Cook, stirring occasionally until they soften—3-5 minutes

Stir in the mushrooms.  Cook, stirring until they have given up most of the liquid, about 10 minutes.  Turn the heat to low and continue to cook stirring until almost all the liquid has evaporated.  Season well, then stir in the parsley.

Use immediately or refrigerate (1 week) or freeze.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email her:margot6@mindspring.com.

Yogurt Biscuits & Apple Butter

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vinaigrette & Palm Soup pics 005Yogurt Biscuits & Apple Butter

Day Light Saving time was first conceived in an essay called “An Economical Project” by Benjamin Franklin while he was in Paris in 1784.  As well, while abroad, he supposedly consistently asked his wife Deborah to ship him barrels of apples because he believed that “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away”. Therefore, just in the nick of time after Day Light Saving Time has arrived, here are two recipes that besides being delicious, take no time what-so-ever to make; so these tasks will SAVE you time and you will be able to enjoy some home made delights at your leisure even during the evening’s brighter hours.

Yogurt Biscuits

Makes about 20 really good ones

2 Cups all purpose flour

1 Scant Tblsp. Salt

3 Tsp. Baking Powder

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

2-5 Tblsp. Butter (more are better and I use the 5)

1 Cup Plain Yogurt

1. Preheat Oven to 450.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in the butter. (I use 2 knives to cut the butter, as taught in my 8th grade home-economic class and then I use my hands because the butter really needs to be thoroughly blended; or do it the easy modern way– in a food processor)

3. Stir in the yogurt till well blended.

4. Drop tablespoons of dough (and I use my hands to form a nice little flat ball) on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or till golden brown on the tops.

They are best devoured within 15 minutes, however, I think that they are still good later in the day and they seem to freeze just fine.  I warm them up at room temp.

(My inspiration for these comes from Mark Bittman.)

Apple Butter

Makes about 2 cups

1/2 Cup Water or Apple Juice

1 Tsp. Cinnamon

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Half-Inch Slice of Lemon

1/4 Tsp. Allspice

1/2 Tsp. nutmeg

1/4 Tsp. Cloves

1/8 Tsp. Salt

1 lb. Well-Flavored Green Cooking Apples, Peeled, Cored, and Cut Into 1/8’s

(The stores are full of them at the moment.)

1. Into a blender/processor put all of the ingredients. Cover and blend on high for 15 seconds.

2. Pour into a saucepan and cook over very low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter thickens. .

3. Pour into appropriate containers and keep in the refrigerator or into hot jars and seal.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email her:margot6@mindspring.com.

 

Hearts of Palm Soup

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vinaigrette & Palm Soup pics 005A Mark Twain Egg Recipe & A Creamed Hearts Of Palm Soup

(A Bit Of The Silly & A Bit Of the More Serious)

 April 1st, this coming Sunday, has connected to it a bit of the silly, April Fools’ Day, and a bit of the more serious, Palm Sunday.  So, today, in anticipation of this Sunday, I am offering two recipes.  The first was suggested by Mark Twain for Fanny’s cookbook:

Eggs a la Canton, Williamsport, Trout Run and Way Stations.Divest two genuine eggs of shell and claws, being careful to avoid breaking the same.If you break ’em, begin again at the top of the recipe and proceed anew.Lay the plumage and cackle on one side, roll the remainder very thin, add baking powder, and boil in a pudding bag over a slow fire for a week.Tie with baby ribbons and serve cold. (Quoted in “Ways of Cooking Eggs,’ New York Times, April 4, 1909, p X12 from the cookbook of actress Fanny Davenport.) Margot’s suggestion : Don’t Try It!

This April 1st is also Palm Sunday which is a Christian moveable feast that commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and takes place about a week before his Resurrection. The word Palm always makes me think of the often underused Hearts of Palm. They really are wonderful in salads or in cooked dishes.  The heart of palm is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees which now a days are mostly procured from South America and even from HI.  I do enjoy them greatly and so here, I offer what I think is a very nice recipe for this time of the year.

Creamed Hearts of Palm Soup ( 4 to 6 servings)

Ingredients:

3 Tblsp. Butter

2 Tblsp. Flour

1 C. Chopped Yellow Onions

1 Tsp. Minced Garlic

1 ( 16 oz.) Can Hearts Of  Palm, Drained & Chopped

1/2 Cup Dry White Wine (if you don’t have that, dry white vermouth will do)

3 ½ Cups Good Chicken Broth

3/4 Cup Heavy Cream Or Half & Half

1/2 Lb. Shrimp (defrosted or fresh w/o tails)

2 Tblsp.Chopped Parsley Leaves  Or Chopped Chives For Garnish

Instructions:

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onions & flour. Sauté until onions are tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds.

Add the hearts of palm and stir to combine.  Add the wine and bring to a boil.  Cook until reduced by ½, about 3 minutes or less.

Add the broth, stir to combine, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 20-25 minutes

Remove from the heat.  Pure the ingredients in a blender.  Return them in your pot to medium heat and add the cream.

Stir in the shrimp and cook until heated through, 3-5 minutes.

Adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper, to taste.

If not serving directly, keep warm on very lowest heat.

Ladle into bowls or cups and garnish with parsley or chives.

This soup is also excellent after being refrigerated and served very cold.

I serve this with my homemade yogurt biscuits and a side dish of an artichoke, cold asparagus, or mixed greens with my homemade vinaigrette.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email her:margot6@mindspring.com.

Overnight Scrambled Egg Bake

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overnight scrambled egg bakeOvernight Scrambled Egg Bake For An Easter Breakfast Or Brunch

Eggs are supposedly a symbol of fertility and new life. They play a big part in most of our Easter traditions. I do like eggs and somehow or other, the combination of eggs and ham always seem so appetizing. Maybe that’s why I got such special enjoyment out of reading Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to my little ones.  So as “Sam-I-Am” recommends and for your family’s gourmet enjoyment here with is an easy egg and ham dish to prepare the night before Easter and then to pop into the oven on Easter morn whilst the little ones are hunting for their eggs.  It’ll make the house smell good; it’ll make you feel good because it’s a no fuss dish and you’ll be able to enjoy the festivities; and after the egg hunt, it’ll make everyone feel good because they’ll be able to enjoy a wonderful Easter breakfast.  By the way, you don’t have to use green eggs—but you can if you wish as long as they are not hard boiled.

Overnight Scrambled Eggs Bake

Serves 6-8

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

8 eggs

1 ½ Cup Milk

¼ Tsp. Fine Herbs

6 oz. or A Bit More of Cubed Ham

Several Chopped Leeks

½ Cup Or More Sliced Mushrooms

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

One Large Tomato Sliced Thin

6 Thickly Sliced Pieces Of Challa Or Italian Bread Loaf (You can use other bread, but I have found that the two I mentioned are the best for this dish.)

Instructions:

Spray with a non-stick spray a 9 X 13 baking dish

Beat eggs well; add the milk and the fine herbs and beat more.

(If you wish, you can add other herbs and even a dash of white wine.)

Place sliced bread on bottom of your baking dish.

Toss ham, cheese, mushrooms and leeks together and put over bread.

Pour egg mixture over all.

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Take out of frig. in the morning and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake covered for 45 minutes; then remove foil and place sliced tomatoes on top and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Cut into serving size portions.

You can use additional or substituted ingredients for this dish according to your whim and imagination.  For instance, you could add some chopped asparagus, spinach, squash, or other kinds of cheeses.  It’s a very versatile dish. 

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email her:margot6@mindspring.com.

Reverse Irish Coffee

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Reverse Irish Coffee Just In Time For St. Pat’s

Having lived near “The City” aka, San Francisco, for many years, I did and still do always love to venture into the Buena Vista Café.  This fun-filled café which always features the most interesting souls is located at the lower turn stile of the famous Hyde St. cable car.  It has gorgeous views of the San Francisco Bay, but who looks at that when you are surrounded by all of these unique people.  Usually you are lucky to get any where near the bar and for heavens sakes, you certainly don’t go to have a deep conversation; for one thing the people noise usually is deafening. So what you do is gawk at everyone and imbibes the famous BV Irish Coffee—made famous by Stanton Delaplane, the travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle.   He supposedly brought that drink to the USA after drinking it at the Shannon Airport, Ireland and the BV started serving it in November, 1952.  The original supposedly was conceived in the 1940’s by a group of American passengers who disembarked from a Pan Am flying boat on a miserable winter evening in the 1940’s.  Well, I can relate to that because in 1946 I was on a Pan Am Flying Boat Europe bound when we had to make an emergency forced landing in Newfoundland.  That was an interesting experience and even as an 8 year old, I could have well used an Irish Coffee. The following is an unusual version of this drink; how ever, it is good and a bit lighter on the calories than the more original version. It’s also to be served cold for a reverse.  Happy St. Pat’s everyone and enjoy!!!! (Hint: remember, not too many)

Main Tumbler Ingredient:

2 oz. Irish Whiskey

Coffee Foam Ingredients:

2 oz. Coffee Liqueur

1 Egg White (at room temp)

1. Combine whiskey and ice cubes in a tumbler. Top with 1 to 2 inches of coffee

foam.

2. For coffee foam: Gather an egg white from a room temperature egg in a small

bowl, add a splash of lemon juice and beat till fairly stiff.  Then put in 2 oz. of

coffee liqueur. Whip more.  Don’t worry, it won’t be as stiff as before, but it’ll

still be perfect to add as a topping for your Reverse Irish Coffee.

Your choices then are:

a.        Put the mixture in a chargeable whipped-cream dispenser, charge it up; shake vigorously and then add 1 or 2 inches more to your drink.

b.       Or if you don’t have the dispenser, just distribute one or two inches worth from your whipped egg white bowl and that’ll be just fine.

c.        Remember not to stir and to drink the bottom liquid through the foam.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email her:margot6@mindspring.com.

 

Eggs Picante

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Eggs Picante

Eggs Picante

Eggs Picante

Here’s a recipe that is has four things going for it:

  1. It’s super easy to make.
  2. It’s healthy and can easily be not full of calories with the right ingredients.
  3. It looks pretty, decadent and like a soufflé. You and your guests will be impressed.
  4. It can be easily varied to your heart’s desire.

I love recipes like that—don’t you?

Ingredients needed for the basic recipe:

6 large eggs

6 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt (can be any style and even non-fat)

½ Cup Picante or Salsa Sauce

½ Cup grated Cheddar, Jack or a Mexican style Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a blender, whip eggs and yogurt until frothy.

Spray a pretty 9 “pie dish with non-sticking spray and pour the eggs and yogurt into it.

Bake until firm/set and the top is golden (about 20 minutes)

Spread picante sauce over the eggs and sprinkle top with the cheese.

Bake for about 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese has melted.

Some Variations on the Basic

If you wish, you can make individual ones in non-sticking sprayed ramekins.  I use one egg and one heaping tablespoon yogurt per ramekin.   Place the ramekin(s) on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees (because they are on a cookie sheet) for 15 to 20 minutes (or until eggs are firm and it’s started turning golden); top with sauce and cheese for five minutes more.

If you have left-overs, they can be refrigerated and reheated in a micro for a little bit.

This goes very nicely with corn bread, Indian Nan, tortillas or yogurt biscuits.

I have also used a nice Hollandaise instead of the picante for a different variety sauce. For the cheese, it can be a shredded Muenster. A little slice of Canadian bacon, some asparagus, and an English muffin for the side for Eggs Hollandaise is perfect.

This is a recipe that you can throw your imagination into and can be easily varied.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email her:margot6@mindspring.com.

Chocolate-Peanut Frozen Cookies

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Mom’s this is for the Dads and Kids-No Peeking!! But cut out and give to Dads

 Chocolate-Peanut Frozen Cookies

(Dad’s, this is easy enough for you and the kids to make for Mom. All you need extra to buy or make is a pretty gift bag and card and of course make sure that you have all of the necessary ingredients. Be sure to tell Mom and leave a note for her on the freezer door that the freezer is “off base” for several hours when they are “ cooking” there.)

Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday so here is an easy special little something to make for her.  It’s so effortless to make and can be very low in calories as well, so I know that she’ll love it. Most of my life I was well within my weight limit and had no problem at all.  Gradually though, as I grew more mature (I hate the word “older”), I and my friends couldn’t believe what had happened to my figure.  Finally I hit a clothing size that shocked me so much, I knew I had to do something fast!  For me, it was Weight Watchers on-line.  It was easy and healthy, it worked, and within a year I was where I wanted to be. I lost 38 lbs. and that was 10 years ago. I still loosely abide by their point and food system.  Additionally, I love their recipes and here is one which I adjusted for those who don’t mind calories, but can also be easy on the belly at only 1 point each.  They are very, very good—at least I think so—and once again, so easy to make. Below in parenthesis is the Weight Watcher’s version.  By the way, Mother’s Day celebrations can supposedly be traced back to very ancient festivals like in Greece the cult to Cybele, in Rome the festival of Hilaria, or to the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration. So, here’s a cheer to continuing that tradition.

Chocolate-Peanut Frozen Cookies

Ingredients

¼ Cup Whole Milk (or fat-free skim milk)

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder–I use the best (or unsweetened cocoa powder)

2 Tbsp. sugar (no adjustment on the WW recipe)

¼ Cup Chunky Peanut Butter (WW called for the regular kind)

1 Cup Uncooked Old Fashioned Oats

2 Tsp. Butter (or 2 Tsp Canola Oil)

Instructions

You can do all of the mixing in the saucepan

  1. Mix milk, cocoa powder, sugar and butter or oil in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  2. Bring to a slow boil; then remove from heat.  Add peanut butter and stir into mix until melted.
  3. Stir in oatmeal and mix well. (I use a wooden spoon to do all of this.)
  4. Drop 16 or more spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. (I use my measuring tablespoon and a knife to do this. Then I actually pat them together with my CLEAN hands.)
  5.  Freeze for at least four hours; they are better the day after you make them. Then you can put them in a sealed baggie and keep in the frig.
  6. DON’t snitch until Mom gets them.

(You can also make this recipe with granola instead of oats. I buy different varieties of granola from local market bins.)

Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ margot6@mindspring.com for comments or ideas

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.