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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gingerbread Cookies

This classic Betty Crocker gingerbread cookie is one of the best. The combination of ginger, allspice, cloves and cinnamon makes a cookie that is as fragrant as it is delicious.

Prep Time: 45 min
Total Time: 3 hours 15 min
Makes: About 2 1/2 dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies


1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
2/3 cup cold water
7 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting and Decorations:

4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 to 5 tablespoons half-and-half
Food colors, if desired
Raisins or chocolate chips, if desired
Assorted candies, if desired

1. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses and water with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

2. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet lightly with shortening or spray with cooking spray. On floured surface, roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut with floured gingerbread cutter or other shaped cutter. On cookie sheet, place cutouts about 2 inches apart.

3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

4. In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar, vanilla and half-and-half until frosting is smooth and spreadable. Add food colors as desired. Frost cookies; decorate with raisins, chocolate chips and candies.

Nutrition Information:
1 Cookie: Calories 270 (Calories from Fat 25); Total Fat 3g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 135mg; Total Carbohydrate 58g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 32g); Protein 3g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 4%; Iron 15% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 3 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 4
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Saturday, August 09, 2008



1 pound ground pork and 1 pound ground beef
8 cups water
2 1/2 cups pinhead oatmeal (can also use ‘steel cut’)
1 large onion, sliced
1 to 4 bay leaves, optional
2 teaspoons salt
Pinch of pepper

In a large pot with a lid, boil the water; add salt, pepper and oatmeal. Cover and let cook for two hours, stirring often.

Add the meat, onion and bay leaves. Mix well. Cook for another hour, stirring often. Remove bay leaf.

Pour into bread pans (size doesn't matter).

Refrigerate overnight.

Cut into squares and freeze separate squares on cookie sheet – when frozen through, place the individual squares in plastic bag and keep in freezer ‡ allowing you to take out as many as needed for frying

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Ultimate Beer Lover's Cookbook

The Ultimate Beer Lover's Cookbook: More Than 400 Recipes That All Use Beer


"The Ultimate Beer Lover's Cookbook is an unprecedented collection of more than 400 food and drink recipes containing beer as a main ingredient. From scrambled eggs made with beer at breakfast to a beer burger and Chocolate Beershake for lunch..."

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sobranie Black Russian

Monday, August 14, 2006

Figs, Prosciutto and Ricotta

Winey Figs, Prosciutto and Ricotta Crostini

"This is a combination of some of my favorite Italian ingredients and it works incredibly well. I love the creaminess of the ricotta with the sweet acidity of the wine-poached figs. That's why I always go with full-fat ricotta. .."

1 pint (about 15 to 20) dried figs, preferably Calimyrna
2 cups full-bodied red wine
1 demi-baguette (or half a regular baguette)
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 pound prosciutto

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a small knife, trim the stems off the figs and cut the figs in half lengthwise. Place the figs and the wine in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and simmer about 20 minutes until figs have absorbed most of the wine and they are tender and fat. Remove figs with a slotted spoon to a bowl and reserve for later. Some reduced wine should remain for sauce; return wine to medium heat and simmer again until reduced by half and a syrupy liquid remains. Let cool slightly.

Slice demi-baguette into 1/2-inch slices. Lay the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast lightly in the oven, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Spread a tablespoon of ricotta on each crostini then lay a small piece of prosciutto on top of the cheese. Place fig halves on top of the meat and finish by drizzling the remaining reduced wine on top of the figs. Serve immediately.

Stuffed and Wrapped Figs

12 figs, fresh or dried, washed and trimmed
6 thin slices prosciutto, halved crosswise into 12 short, thick pieces
1/4 pound ricotta salata, cut into small triangles 1-inch long
Mixed salad greens, washed, dried, and picked over

Slice the figs lengthwise (stem-to-flower end), about halfway through, making a little pocket. Place 1 split fig onto each piece of prosciutto. Fill the center of the figs with pieces of ricotta salata. Wrap the figs with the prosciutto, making a decorative flower. Place the wrapped figs on a
platter covered with salad greens

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Chai Tea

Brett's Homemade Chai Tea

Ingredients (all spices can be adjusted to taste):
1 to 2 cinammon sticks
3 to 4 cardamom pods
3 to 4 cloves
3 to 4 whole pepper corns
16 oz water
16 oz whole milk
3 to 4 teaspoons or tea bags of strong black tea (PG Tips or Lipton Yellow Label work well)
(nutmeg and 1/4 inch fresh ginger root optional)

Step 1
Combine cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and pepper corns in mortar and bruise thoroughly (do not powder). grate ginger and nutmeg

Step 2
Place all ingredients except tea in a pot and bring to simmer

Step 3
Place tea in pot and let steep for 5-10 minutes.

Yield: Four 8oz cups

Iced Vanilla Coffee

Iced Vanilla Coffee
Use your favorite flavored coffee in this sweet drink.

8 cups hot brewed hazelnut-flavored coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups skim milk
2/3 cup vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt, softened

Combine coffee, sugar, and vanilla, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in milk; cover and chill. To serve, pour 1 cup coffee into a glass, and top with 1 tablespoon frozen yogurt.

Yield: 10 cups (serving size: 1 cup)