Sesame Nut Chews

from Kathy at YAAPS, by way of Brenda.

1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped nuts (can use several kinds here)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
oil to grease pan
pinch of salt

Lightly grease 8 x 8 inch square baking pan (can use metal, but it’s easier to handle in a glass pan).

Toast nuts and sesame seeds over medium heat in a medium saucepan until everything starts turning darker and smells nutty.

In a medium saucepan, bring honey to a boil. Reduce heat until it is *just* boiling and cook, stirring frequently, until honey becomes thick and bubbles turn a deep amber color, about 6 or 7 minutes. For a more brittle-like chew, boil honey for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and a pinch of salt. Slowly add nuts and seeds.

Quickly spread the nut mixture over the bottom of the baking dish. Smooth and flatten with a rubber spatula and let cool for about 5 minutes, or until just set. Cut into squares with a lightly oiled knife, and let mixture cool completely for 2 hours. (mine – not necessary to wait – these are yummy while still warm, too hard for me to wait)

Makes around 16 pieces


An AllRecipes recipe, via YAAPs

1 pound ground beef(I use ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
4 cups cubed potatoes
3 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 Brown beef and onion, drain.
2 Add water, pepper, potatoes, tomato sauce, salt, and
Tabasco sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer
one hour or until potatoes are tender and soup is thick

Stacy says:
I only used a 1/2 tsp of pepper and few drops of hot sauce (to up the odds that the kids would eat it) and put the bottle out on the table for whoever might want more. I used tomato sauce I had made from our garden, and I threw in green beans, mushrooms, and fresh corn off the cob at the end. Each kid found something within the soup that they were willing to eat! I served it with bread and “extras” (PBJ etc) so they could fill out their soup pickings with sandwiches, and everyone had a good meal (DH and I just gorged on the yummy soup). Seems like this soup could go in any direction depending on what you add to it. It was GOOOOOOOOOOOOD.

This soup recipe is from allrecipes.
It’s really, really good. You can add finely chopped raw veggies toward the end to boost the nutrition profile, and I added basil and thyme.

My comments: Quite tasty, easy to make, good keep-on-the-stove-all-day party-type soup. I throw in a bag of frozen veggies at the end, because that’s as exciting as I get. If the kids aren’t eating any, I’ll usually up the spices. Oh, and I use powdered chile peppers, because that’s what we have.

Key Lime Sparklers

A King Arthur recipe that I want to try if I can ever figure out where to get citric acid.

Key Lime Sparklers

Mouth-puckeringly tart AND satisfyingly sweet, these crunchy, sugar-coated cookies are bound to quickly become a family favorite.

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons Key Lime Juice
1/8 teaspoon lime oil
1/8 teaspoon sour salt (citric acid)*
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/8 teaspoon sour salt (citric acid*)
1 cup glazing sugar or confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons white edible glitter (optional)

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and baking powder till well blended. Beat in the lime juice, lime oil, sour salt (citric acid), and the egg. Blend in the flour thoroughly.

Roll the dough into 1” balls, and place them on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake the cookies in the top third of a preheated 350°F oven for 14 to 16 minutes, until the cookies are browned on the bottom. Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a rack.

Mix together the sugar coating ingredients in a pan or bag. Gently shake and roll the still slightly warm cookies in the sugar till coated. Allow the cookies to cool completely, then repeat, coating again with the sugar. (If you’re freezing the cookies, you may choose to recoat the cookies in sugar once they’ve been removed from the freezer, before serving.) Yield: 3 dozen cookies.

*Sour salt (citric acid) is what gives the cookies their sour bite—if you want less tang, use just a pinch.

©2005 The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

Skillet Lasagna

from the Cooks Illustrated folks, in an email.

Skillet Lasagna
Serves 4 to 6
Meatloaf mix is a combination of ground beef, pork, and veal, sold packaged in many supermarkets. If it’s unavailable, use ground beef. A 12-inch nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid works best for this recipe.

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
(about 1 tablespoon)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound meatloaf mix
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1. Pour the tomatoes with their juices into a 1-quart liquid measuring cup. Add water until the mixture measures 1 quart.

2. Heat the oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and cook until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking apart the meat, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

3. Scatter the pasta over the meat but do not stir. Pour the diced tomatoes with their juices and the tomato sauce over the pasta. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.

4. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the 1⁄2 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with heaping tablespoons of the ricotta, cover, and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Serve.

Kerry’s Oven Pancakes

YAAPS again, from Kerry this time.

Oven Pancakes (aka Dutch Pancakes or Pannekoeken)…”

2 Tbsp stick margarine or butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 400. Melt margarine in 8″ or 9″ pie plate in oven. Brush margarine on sides of pie plate.

Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl. Beat in remaining ingredients until just mixed and the big lumps are gone. Pour into pie plate. Bake 25-30 minutes until puffy and golden brown. Tip upside down onto a plate and serve immediately. One way of serving it is with lemon juice and powdered sugar, which makes a light glaze. Another way is with berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, any berry is good) and a sauce that you make wiht sour cream and brown sugar. About a cup of sour cream to about 1/4-1/3 cup brown sugar. Mix well. It’s EXCELLENT with the sour cream sauce and strawberries. That’s how I usually serve it.

Another variation is the baked apple pannekoeken:

Prepare as directed, except sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon evenly over the melted margarine in the pie plate. Arrange enough thinly siced apples (Granny Smith or another tart baking apple is best) over the sugar to completely cover the bottom of the pie plate. Pour batter over the apple. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. IMMEDIATELY turn over onto a serving plate. The apple pannekoeken is really good with maple or cinnamon syrup.

My comments: Definitely a favorite around here. Easy to make, and worth the baking time.

Avocado Pie

Again from YAAPS. I might have to make this just to freak people out.

1 avocado, chopped
2/3 c lemon juice
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 graham cracker pie shell

Combine avocado with lemon juice and condensed milk in blender container (I use a food processor, but have also made this w/o a blender OR food processor, just using a fork). Process until smooth. Pour into pie shell. Chill until firm. Garnish with whipped cream.

Whole Wheat Biscuits

from Kathy, at YAAPS.

While Wheat Biscuits
makes 9 biscuits

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oil
1 cup milk (rice, soy, almond will sub here just fine for non-dairy folk)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add oil and milk amd mix thoroughly. Knead the dough for about 30 seconds in the bowl – just fold the dough over, turn, fold, until it’s a bit smoother.

Plop dough onto your cookie sheet and pat out to about 1/2 inch thick. I like to make a rough square-ish shape here. Cut the dough into 9 squares, then separate them by about an inch to leave room for rising in the oven. Brush with milk if you want to be extra fancy . Bake about 15 minutes, or until golden all over.