Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Best Recipes of 2002

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
October - Chicken Cider Stew November - Autumn Pumpkin Bread December - Frosty Christmas Trees

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences.

Never miss a Kitchen Parade recipe: Sign up for a free e-mail subscription.

If you like Kitchen Parade, forward this recipe to a friend who might too!

Friday, December 27, 2002

Savory Roasted Pecans

When people come for dinner, they know to arrive hungry! To stave off hunger before we eat, I put out small dishes of nuts to nibble on as we gather in the kitchen for the first hellos and catch-up conversation.

But so many "party nut" recipes are sugary. Instead, these are totally savory nuts, dark and sultry with just a touch of heat and only slightly addictive – okay that's a lie, they're totally addictive! Even at the last minute, throw roast some pecans in the oven for a quick appetizer or hostess gift.

Savory Pecans | pecans roasted with Worcestershire, Tabasco, savory spices for a quick last-minute appetizer or hostess gift | low carb, Weight Watchers PointsPlus 5 | Kitchen Parade


COMPLIMENTS!
"... quick, easy and turned out great. These will not last long..." ~ Julie


The holiday season can seem sugar-coated – candy canes, cookies, chocolate, Christmas cakes.

While hardly healthful, these spicy pecans will tickle another part of your palate. If you have pecans leftover from holiday baking, this is a good way to use them up. I’ve made Savory Pecans often – after baking, the brown-black nuts look nice in glass jars for hostess or last-minute holiday gifts. They’re also popular at parties and on buffet tables.

May your spirit of Christmas live on throughout the New Year!

ALANNA's TIPS Fresh nuts really matter here. I have little luck with expensive supermarket pecans, even now (late fall and early winter) when the season is just coming to a close. In the fall, I some times order pecans or pecan meal from Sunnyland Farms in Georgia. Closer to home for both freshness and great prices? Trader Joe's.

SAVORY PECANS

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Makes 2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Set oven to 300F/150C.

Combine all ingredients except pecans. Add pecans and stir well to coat, really stirring to completely cover the pecans.

Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or at room temperature.

MAKE-AHEAD Make the nuts ahead of time, then just before serving, warm in a 325F/160C oven for 5 – 6 minutes.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Quarter Cup: 200 Calories; 20g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 7mg Cholesterol; 180mg Sodium; 4g Carb; 3g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 5 & WW Points Plus 5.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Nuts: Quick, Protein-Packed Nibbles

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Party Nuts with Fresh Rosemary Black Pepper Almonds Savory Roasted Pecans

More Quick Bites for Parties

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Bacon-Wrapped Dried Apricots Potato Bites with Smoked Salmon Roasted Roma Tomatoes
from Kitchen Parade
from A Veggie Venture

Friday, December 13, 2002

Frosty Christmas Trees

My long-time favorite cut-out cookie, with an easy-to-handle dough and lovely gingerbread flavor - with just a touch of chocolate.

Plus, how to host a cookie exchange, a favorite tradition at Christmas.

Frosty Christmas Trees | easy to handle, pretty to decorate, gingerbread spices with a touch of chocolate | Weight Watchers PointsPlus 2 | Kitchen Parade


COMPLIMENTS!
"Totally delicious!" ~ momof3
"This is by far [my] most requested recipe ..." ~ Brooklyn Chick


It’s a family tradition: the annual cookie exchange. My mother hosted one for many years. Afterward we would all swarm into the kitchen to sample the goodies. Her friends were good bakers and those cookies didn’t last long!

I started hosting my own cookie exchange some years ago. Now my friends count on this annual event to simplify their holiday entertaining and as a source of homemade food gifts for family and neighbors.

Think of a cookie exchange as “instant baking”. The premise is simple: each person bakes many of one kind of cookie, then swaps these for many different kinds made by someone else! Here’s how we do it.

Invite a dozen or so friends to bake twelve dozen cookies. This number may seem daunting (if so, try six or eight dozen) but usually requires only a couple of batches, especially if you encourage small cookies ideal for cookie trays. We also encourage each other to bake things that are 'delicious and festive' rather than 'delicious but every-day'.

Whether or not there’s a cookie exchange on your calendar this year, your family will love the delicate ginger-chocolate flavor of Frosty Christmas Trees.

They make a colorful addition to a cookie plate and are a favorite of grandparents and grandchildren alike.

This time of year, I make Christmas tree cut-outs with white icing and green sugar – very pretty. The base cookie is so good, however, that the same recipe can be used for other holidays. A few weeks back, this same recipe turned out blaze-orange pumpkins. (These cookies are too good to be used just at Christmas, see Cut-Out Spice Cookies!)

Many cut-out cookie doughs are just too fussy. But after chilling overnight, this dough rolls out very easily – so easily, in fact, that children can handle it with just a little help.

And of course, kids love to get in on the decorating process! If so, you might make extra icing in different colors. Place each color in a small zip-lock bag with a corner snipped. Have plenty of colored sugars, sprinkles and sparkles on hand.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

FROSTY CHRISTMAS TREES

Mix: 15 minutes
Chill: Overnight
Bake: 1 hour
Makes 7 dozen small cookies
    ICING
  • 3 cups (360g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons water

COOKIES Cream butter, sugar, egg and molasses in a large mixing bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Separately, combine remaining dough ingredients, then mix until well blended. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oven to 350F/175C. Cut dough into three pieces, working with one at a time. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out with floured cookie cutter in shape of Christmas tree and transfer to cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining two pieces. Gather together scraps; roll and cut in similar fashion.

Bake 8 minutes until edges are lightly brown. Let cool completely.

ICING Combine powdered sugar, vanilla and water in a medium bowl and stir until smooth. Add more water, a teaspoon at a time, until icing is spoonable and flows easily from a spoon. Makes 1 cup. Will be fairly runny but will harden.

Apply a light coating of icing to each cookie, then sprinkle with green-colored sugar.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per small cookie, plain/iced: 55/72 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 8/12g Carb; 0g Fiber; 16mg Sodium; 6mg Cholesterol; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1/1, WW PointsPlus 1/2

ALANNA's TIPS These cookies really keep! They stay fresh-tasting for a couple of weeks. Even the icing stays attractive. After a few days, the color might bleed a little but the cookies themselves stay crisp and fresh. People really like these cookies, they have the flavor of gingerbread cookies, or spice cookies, but the pretty appearance of cut-out sugar cookies. Some times I use lemon or peppermint extract in the icing. It should taste like something more than sugar! Look for lots of baking tips here, Holiday Baking Tips from a Certifiable Cookie-Baking Fiend


More Cookie Recipes Perfect for Cookie Swaps

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
No-Roll Christmas Sugar Cookies Cranberry-Mac Morsels (Macadamia Nut-Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries & Fresh Nutmeg) Colored Roll-Out Sugar Cookies


Menu Ideas for a Holiday Brunch

In the many years I've hosted a cookie swap, my friends and I have come to prefer a Saturday morning brunch, a relaxing start to the holiday week. We start off with champagne cocktails made "morning appropriate" with cranberry juice and just a splash of orange liqueur. Some of us are vegetarians so I often serve a mostly made-ahead tomato basil quiche and a winter fruit salad. Check out more of my favorite recipes for breakfast and brunch.

Sunday, December 8, 2002

Quick Appetizers

Three recipes for easy, quick make-ahead appetizers.

Three quick appetizer recipes including the retro Cheddar-Olive Spread (pictured), Spinach Puffs and Cream Cheese-Chutney Spread.

This week’s Kitchen Parade is dedicated to cooks who want quick-to-make and quick-to-serve appetizers on hand when family and friends stop by unexpectedly. With offerings like these, you’ll have regular company!

CREAM CHEESE-CHUTNEY SPREAD Mix 8 ounces light cream cheese, 1/2 cup mango (or other) chutney, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley) and 1/2 teaspoon curry powder. Place in covered container and refrigerate 24 hours to meld flavors. Serve on crackers. Makes one cup.

CHEDDAR-OLIVE SPREAD Stir together 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 4 ounces sliced canned black olives, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon curry powder and 1/2 bunch chopped green onions (bulbs and green tops). Place in covered container and refrigerate 24 hours to meld flavors. Serve on crackers or baguettes sliced thin on the diagonal. Makes two cups.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Have a favorite make-ahead appetizer? Share it via recipes@kitchen-parade.com.

SPINACH PUFFS

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Baking: 30 minutes
Makes 3 dozen, easily doubled
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Squeeze liquid from spinach. Place garlic and onion in food processor and process until loosely chopped. Add spinach and remaining ingredients. Pulse two or three times, leaving spinach in distinct pieces but the mixture well combined. Chill 2 – 3 hours or overnight. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet. Freeze. When frozen, transfer to freezer bags.

To serve, bake at 300F for 30 minutes.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per ball: 29 Calories; 1g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 3g Carb; 0g Fiber; 113mg Sodium; 3mg Cholesterol; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points .5 & WW PointsPlus 1

LATER NOTES
SPINACH PUFFS In a last-minute rush, I once made these with Kraft Parmesan and matzo - not recommended. Use salted butter if you can, otherwise, add more salt to the mixture. After baking, if they need more salt, just sprinkle flakes of a finishing salt like fleur de sel over top.
CREAM CHEESE-CHUTNEY SPREAD I once substituted ricotta for cream cheese for the chutney spread. The texture is a tad grainier but boy, this stuff is good.
CHEDDAR-OLIVE SPREAD Definitely a retro recipe! If you have to buy olives, do choose canned olives instead of softer olives from the olive bar, those tight slices are just more dramatic in appearance. No skimping on the timing here, it really takes a full day for flavors to develop.

These Three Quick, Appetizer Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Spinach Puffs Cream Cheese-Chutney Spread Cheddar-Olive Spread

More Easy Appetizer Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Game-Day Pretzels Cucumber Dip with Feta Bacon-Wrapped Dried Apricots

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

Quick Links to This Page

(for easy bookmarking and searching)
~ Spinach Puffs ~
~ Cream Cheese-Chutney Spread ~
~ Cheddar-Olive Spread ~





© Copyright 2002, 2015 Kitchen Parade