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Monday, June 16, 2008

Guacamole

INGREDIENTS

* 3 avocados - peeled, pitted, and mashed
* 1 lime, juiced
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup diced onion
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
* 2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately

Carrot Cake

INGREDIENTS

* 4 eggs
* 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
* 2 cups white sugar
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 3 cups grated carrots
* 1 cup chopped pecans
*
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 4 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
4. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.

Grilled Salmon

INGREDIENTS

* 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
* lemon pepper to taste
* garlic powder to taste
* salt to taste
* 1/3 cup soy sauce
* 1/3 cup brown sugar
* 1/3 cup water
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
2. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. Preheat grill for medium heat.
4. Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Chicken Pot Pie

INGREDIENTS

* 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
* 1 cup sliced carrots
* 1 cup frozen green peas
* 1/2 cup sliced celery
* 1/3 cup butter
* 1/3 cup chopped onion
* 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
* 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
* 2/3 cup milk
*
* 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving

Apple Pie

INGREDIENTS

* 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup water
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Lasagna

INGREDIENTS

* 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
* 3/4 pound lean ground beef
* 1/2 cup minced onion
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
* 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
* 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 tablespoons white sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 12 lasagna noodles
* 16 ounces ricotta cheese
* 1 egg
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
* 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes.

Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

* 15 graham crackers, crushed
* 2 tablespoons butter, melted
*
* 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 3/4 cup milk
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

Pumpkin Bread

INGREDIENTS

* 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 2/3 cup water
* 3 cups white sugar
* 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

INGREDIENTS

* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
* 1 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 cups rolled oats
* 1 cup raisins

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, butter flavored shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden. Do not overbake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely.

Banana Crumb Muffins

INGREDIENTS

* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 bananas, mashed
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 1/3 cup butter, melted
* 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 tablespoon butter

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
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