Monday, May 15, 2017

Baked Salsa Dip

16 oz cream cheese, softened
2 lbs salsa
12 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Nachos, for dipping

Spread cream cheese in a 9”x13” pan. Cover with salsa. Sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese over salsa. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with Nachos.

Hint: Vary the taste and spiciness by using whatever salsa you like best. For a small group, cut the recipe in half and bake in a 9-inch pie plate or square dish.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Yogurt Pancakes

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
1¼ C flour
1 T sugar
½ tsp salt, if desired
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1¼ C plain yogurt or buttermilk
1 egg
2 T canola oil

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add yogurt, egg and oil. Mix until just combined. Drop by tablespoons onto a slightly greased skillet and cook until tiny bubbles appear. Turn over and brown on the other side.
Yield: 14 pancakes

Hint: Leftovers may be frozen and reheated in the toaster oven. You may add 1 cup diced apples, cranberries, blueberries, etc. to the batter before cooking. These pancakes are both low cholesterol and low fat if you use nonfat yogurt, egg substitute or 2 egg whites instead of a whole egg.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Roasted Red Potatoes and Green Beans

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
8 small red potatoes (approx. 1¼ lbs), unpeeled and cut in quarters
24 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 to 3 T olive oil, divided
1 lb green beans, ends removed and cut in half
¼ C parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Scrub and quarter potatoes. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Add garlic and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes, stirring once or twice. Toss green beans with 1 tablespoon olive oil and add to potatoes and garlic. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times. Remove from roasting pan and place in a bowl. Toss with parsley, salt and pepper. Add the last tablespoon of oil, if desired. Serve either hot or at room temperature.

Hint: Don’t be shocked at the amount of garlic in this recipe. As garlic cooks, it develops a nutty, almost sweet flavor.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Chocolate Macaroons

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 T butter or margarine
⅓ C sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2⅔ C (7 oz pkg) coconut

Melt chocolate and butter or margarine in a double boiler over low heat. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and blend in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Stir in coconut. Drop by teaspoon onto greased, or parchment-lined, cookie sheets leaving 1½ inches between each. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Yield: 3 dozen macaroons

Hint: These are quick to make and quick to disappear!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mini-Reuben Sandwiches

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
2 loaves cocktail rye bread
3/4 lb Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
1½ lbs corned beef
16 to 24 oz sauerkraut, well drained
6 to 8 oz Thousand Island or Russian salad dressing
Butter or margarine

Spread several pieces of bread on counter at a time. Spread one side of each sandwich with salad dressing. Top with cheese, sauerkraut and corned beef. Place other half of sandwich on top. Place in frying pan or on grill and cook in butter or margarine until cheese melts and sandwich is crispy. Instead of grilling these, they may be baked at 400° for 5 to 7 minutes, or until sandwiches are hot and the cheese melted.
Yield: 42 to 44 mini sandwiches

Mini-Rachel Sandwiches

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"

Make these the same way as the Reubens except substitute turkey breast for corned beef. To make the Rachels lower in cholesterol, fat and sodium, substitute low fat Swiss cheese, low salt turkey breast and low calorie or fat free Thousand Island or Russian salad dressing.

Hint: The sauerkraut that is packed in jars or Cryovac, usually kosher or deli style, is much tastier to use in this recipe than a canned sauerkraut. Use coleslaw as an alternative to sauerkraut.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Split Pea Soup

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
8 C chicken or vegetable broth
2 C split peas, rinsed
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, minced
1 potato, peeled and cubed
2 T fresh parsley, minced
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp marjoram
1½ tsp soy sauce
Black pepper, to taste

Bring the broth to a boil. Add the split peas and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the vegetables, herbs and seasonings to the soup. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Hint: This is a very healthy and hearty soup. Split peas are high in protein and low in fat. When combined with a grain, such as bread, they can serve as a "complete meal". This soup is very inexpensive and freezes beautifully. In fact, I usually make a double batch and freeze the leftover in freezer bags or plastic containers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
2 chickens, cut into quarters (8 pieces)
1 onion, sliced
18 oz BBQ sauce of your choice

Place chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Cover with onion slices and sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until tender.

Hint: This easy and delicious recipe is very healthy, especially if you use all chicken breasts and remove the skin before cooking. The gravy is wonderful over rice or pasta.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chocolate Candy Pizza

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
12 oz (2 C) chocolate chips
9 oz white chocolate, divided
2 C miniature marshmallows
1 C crispy rice cereal
1 C unsalted peanuts
1/3 C flaked coconut
1 tsp oil

Microwave chocolate chips and 6 ounces of the white chocolate in a large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely melted and smooth. Fold in marshmallows, cereal and peanuts. Pour onto a greased 12-inch pizza pan. Top with coconut. Microwave remaining 3 ounces white chocolate and oil on high for 30 to 40 seconds. Stir. Microwave for an additional 30 to 40 seconds, or until smooth. Drizzle over top of pizza. Refrigerate for at least 40 minutes, or until firm. To serve, slice into wedges.

Hint: To make this more festive, especially at Christmas, sprinkle drained and halved red and green maraschino cherries over top before sprinkling with coconut and drizzling with white chocolate. Colored mini-marshmallows could be substituted for white ones. Other Christmas variations would be to use red and green M&Ms instead of cherries. For Hanukkah, you can use yellow and blue M&Ms.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Nicole's Cooking "Farewell" Party

"Thanks for the wonderful cooking party on Friday. The cooking was simple, fun and tasty! Everyone had a fabulous time."
C. H., Lexington, Massachusetts

"We had a great time learning to cook the recipes with you! Everyone loved all the food we prepared! Thanks again and a big thanks to Ching for hosting such a fun party again!"
Nicole L., Lexington, Massachusetts

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Simple Chickpea Salad

15½ oz can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Place in a bowl.
2 to 3 T olive oil
2 T wine vinegar
Oregano, to taste
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad mixture. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, stirring occasionally..

Hint: Other beans may be substituted for the chickpeas.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Southwestern Barley Bake

1 lb ground beef, turkey or chicken
1 medium onion, diced
15 oz tomato sauce
1 C water
1/2 C barley
1/4 C olives, sliced (optional)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1 C Cheddar cheese, shredded

● Avocado slices
● Sliced olives
● Chopped tomatoes

In a fry pan, sauté ground beef, turkey or chicken with onion until onion is soft. Drain. Add tomato sauce, water, barley, olives, sugar and chili powder. Pour into a greased 7”x11” baking pan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes, or until barley is tender. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with garnishes, if desired.
don’t have time to make this bread when your bananas are overripe, peel and freeze them for a later date. Before using, defrost and discard most of the accumulated banana juices.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gingerbread Pancakes

1⅓ C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda
Dash salt
1 egg
1½ C milk
1/4 C molasses
1 T canola oil
Oil for frying pancakes

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, beat egg, milk, molasses and oil. Add milk mixture to dry mixture and stir just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Using a ¼-cup measure or ladle, drop batter onto a hot and lightly greased skillet or griddle. When bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes, turn over and cook until edges are golden. Serve immediately.
Yield: 17 or 18 pancakes

Hint: These are delicious garnished with whipped cream and/or strawberries.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Framingham Public Library

"Thank you for your program last week. I thought it was wonderful. I know all who came enjoyed it thoroughly. We look forward to more programs in the future.

Happy Holidays!”
Nancy S., Framingham Public Library, Massachusetts