Saturday, December 31, 2005

Best Recipes of 2005

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January - Light 'n' Easy Chocolate Pudding February - Beef & Mushroom Stew March - Skillet Cornbread
April - Moroccan Chicken May - Roasted Salmon & Asparagus June - Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
July - Berry Baby Back Ribs August - Summer's Tomato Soup September - Panzanella
October - Creamy Wild Rice Soup November - Mashed Potatoes & Carrots December - Cranberry-Mac Morsels (Macadamia Nut-Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries & Fresh Nutmeg)

More 'Best of the Year' Favorite Recipes from Kitchen Parade




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

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Friday, December 30, 2005

Lucky! Black-Eyed Peas

For New Year's, adopt the traditional foods of the American South, black-eyed peas to deliver good fortune in the new year. Two recipes ideas: the first is a quick black-eyed pea salad that's packed with vegetables and fresh herbs, delivering 'good health' along with good fortune; the second is a body-warming black-eyed pea soup, quick to make and packed with greens and nutrients. Happy New Year to All!

Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Black-eyed peas harbor so many aliases, one must suspect a crooked past. Try cowpea, China bean, crowder pea, asparagus bean, field pea, long bean, red pea, southern pea, yard-long bean. (Whew, take a breath.)

And then there’s oea bean, marble bean, black-eyed suzie, "little nun" mogette, bodi bean, snake bean, boonchi, chain gang pea, cow gram, Tonkin pea, bung belly, cream pea, Jerusalem pea, zupper, whippoorwill pea. And lobbia. And dauguk.

But by tradition in the American South, ever-so-virtuous black-eyed peas are eaten on New Year’s Day – for luck! – and with some green – for good fortune!

Kitchen Parade readers, my wish for you in 2006 is luck and fortune as bountiful (and amusing) as the many names accorded the ever-so-simple, ever-so-humble, black-eyed pea.

For extra good luck in the new year, cook an extra 8 ounces of dried peas for this quick LUCKY BLACK-EYED PEA SOUP: Sauté onion, garlic and fresh ginger in some oil, then stir in a teaspoon of Chinese five-spice powder, a couple of tablespoons of sherry and a tablespoon each of soy sauce and honey. Add 6 cups (49 ounces) of hot chicken broth and a ham hock and bring to a boil. Then stir in the precooked beans and some fresh spinach or kale. Season to taste and serve!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite New Year's 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. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!

LUCKY BLACK-EYED PEA SALAD

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time-to-table: 90 minutes
Makes 6 cups
  • 8 ounces (1-1/2 cups) dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked over
  • Water to cover plus 2 inches
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1 red onion, minced fine
  • 5 ribs celery, minced fine
  • 1 bunch parsley, minced fine (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh dill, minced fine (about 1/2 cup)

In a large saucepan, combine the beans, water and salt and bring to a boil on medium high. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer until beans are cooked, about 30 minutes (but some times longer, depending on the moisture in the beans). Drain and return to the saucepan.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and seasoning. (Warm beans will more easily soak up the flavorful vinegar and oil.) Stir in the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm or cold.

ALANNA's TIPS Unlike other dried peas, black-eyed peas need not be soaked overnight but will cook more quickly if they are.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad? How many Weight Watchers points in Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad?) Per half cup: 69 Calories; 1g Tot Fat; 15g Carb; 6g Fiber; 13mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 1 point This recipe has been ‘Alanna-sized’ with reductions in fat and carbs and increases in low-calorie flavorings and fiber-rich vegetables.

More Recipes for New Year's

~ more New Year's recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

traditional 'greens' to bring financial success in the New Year
~ New Year's Turnip Greens ~
~ Braised Collard Greens ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

More Fresh Make-Ahead Salad Recipes

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Quinoa & Black Bean Salad Wild Rice Salad Cauliflower Salad with Fresh Herbs

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~ Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Soup ~





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Friday, December 23, 2005

Swiss Bircher Muesli

How to make Bircher Muesli, the traditional oatmeal breakfast from Switzerland. It's a healthy make-ahead breakfast for holiday mornings.

Swiss Bircher Muesli

In 2000, I was lucky enough to spend ten days hiking in Switzerland. We stayed in several small hotels, one in Zurich, others in the countryside. Each hotel served Bircher Muesli in their breakfast buffets. Each was slightly different, each one was so good that I skipped past the beautiful cheeses and breads for one more tasty bowlful of this oat-yogurt-fruit-spice-nut mixture! Once home, I learned how to make homemade Bircher Muesli, it's such a treat, a taste of the Alps and Heidi meadows, right at home.

From my collection of Christmas recipes, this recipe was first published in print in 2005 and is republished online in 2010.

On wintry holidays, mornings can start ever so slowly around here.

The first one up knows to start the coffee and fill the cats’ dishes. The dog does puppy cartwheels by the door when someone dons a coat and reaches for the leash.

The lazy ones gather in the sun-warmed family room, mugs in hand and legs tucked beneath still-PJ-clad bodies. My sister picks the morning’s music. My brother-in-law asks, “Are we ready for another pot?”

Slowly everyone emerges, sleepy and slow. “How was your sleep?” someone asks. “Good.”

It is good, these simple morning moments, these quiet exchanges, the stuff of family content far distant from the busy-ness and busi-ness the season somehow develops.

Swiss muesli (myoos-lee) is a do-it-yourself granola and the perfect breakfast accommodation for early- and late-risers and big- and light-eaters.

Just soak the oats and cider overnight. In the morning, stir in the apple, yogurt and honey. Then let everyone add whatever appeals, whatever appetite demands.

SWISS BIRCHER MUESLI

Hands-on time: 5 minutes the night before
Refrigerator time: Overnight
Then hands-on time: 10 minutes
Serves 1 – 10!
    NIGHT BEFORE, PER SERVING
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal (or oat bran or wheat germ)
  • Apple cider to cover (apple cider is my favorite but milk, soymilk and orange juice work too)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice (omit if using milk)
    JUST BEFORE SERVING, PER SERVING
  • 1/4 an apple, grated (or banana or orange sections)
  • Greek yogurt (or plain or fruit yogurt)
  • Splash honey (or maple syrup or brown sugar)
    ON THE SIDE
  • Toasted nuts: walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts
  • Seeds: sesame, sunflower
  • Dried fruit: currants, dates, figs, cranberries, sour cherries, apricots
  • Spice: cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom

NIGHT BEFORE Soak the oats, apple cider and lemon juice overnight.

JUST BEFORE SERVING Stir in the apple, yogurt and honey, then add the nuts, seeds, dried fruit and spices as desired.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe from your travels 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. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. "Like" Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

More Breakfast Recipes for Weekends & Special Occasions

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Bacon & Egg Breakfast Bake Eggnog French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote Refried Bean Sauce with Eggs on Top


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© Copyright 2005 Kitchen Parade



Friday, December 16, 2005

Graham Cracker Toffee Recipe

The quick and easy way to make chocolate-covered toffee, starting with a base of graham crackers. This stuff is addictive! And it's not just for kids!

Graham Cracker Toffee

Toffee is a holiday favorite for many. But oh! it can be so fussy.

Pull out the candy thermometer to achieve the right temperature and consistency – and don’t let it burn!

And even if you successfully make it through the cooking stage, the mixture can still be hard to work with.

Never again!

GRAHAM CRACKER TOFFEE starts with every-day graham crackers that are barely recognizable once miraculously transformed into a crisp, sugary-buttery-caramel base. Then top with chocolate and nuts (or how about chopped peppermint?) and the result is suggestive of a perfectly fresh handmade Heath bar.

These are easy and taste great too. At a dinner party awhile back, I watched several people (not kids, grown-ups!) casually reach toward the plate for an extra piece, hoping no one would notice.

Be forewarned: these are addictive!

ALANNA's TIPS Make sure your baking sheet fits into your freezer. Otherwise be prepared to transfer the crackers to something else for freezing. I had high hopes for a festive look from mixed white and dark chocolate. But it just doesn’t work.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite candy 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!

GRAHAM CRACKER TOFFEE

Makes 5-1/2 dozen pieces
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Baking, resting, freezing: 60 minutes
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup (120g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12 chocolate or plain graham crackers (about half a 14-ounce box)
  • 1-1/2 cups (9oz/255g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces/110g) toasted pecans or walnuts (or other nuts), chopped (how to toast nuts)

Preheat oven to 375F.

Melt the butter, brown sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Cook until smooth and a little bit ropey, about five minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, line a 15x10 rimmed baking sheet with foil, leaving a slight overhang. Lightly butter the foil. Break the crackers into four sections along the score lines and arrange in a single layer on the sheet, leaving a slight space between the crackers so that the toffee can soak between.

Pour the hot toffee mixture over the crackers, spread evenly to completely cover the crackers. Bake for 10 minutes (or less, see Later Notes).

Scatter chips evenly over top, return to oven until chocolate softens, 2 – 3 minutes. With a spatula, spread melted chocolate evenly over the crackers. Sprinkle nuts evenly over top the chocolate.

Cool for 30 minutes, then transfer to freezer for 15 minutes. Use the foil handles to lift out of the baking sheet, then break the crackers into rough pieces about 1-1/2 inches square.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Piece: 61 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 3mg Cholesterol; 33mg Sodium; 7g Carb; 0g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1.5, WW PointsPlus 2

LATER NOTES
DOES THE TOFFEE SOAK IN? I remember that it does, and that the toffee-drenched graham crackers are really good. But with a recent couple of batches, the toffee didn't soak in. So I've rewritten the recipe suggesting that the graham crackers squares get broken up and also to leave a bit of space between them. The next batch, I'm also going to let the hot toffee soak in for a few minutes before adding the chocolate onto the top for melting. Another cook says that his grandmother's recipe uses two sticks of butter and that it "really transforms" the graham crackers. That might be another tack.
TIMING Two other cooks have found that 10 minutes in the oven is too long, I've never had that issue with multiple batches in different ovens but you might want to watch carefully the first time you make this.
CHOCOLATE Good-quality chocolate doesn't melt as easily as chocolate chips so if that's your choice, I'd recommend melting it separately rather than in the oven, then spreading over top. I break it into pieces, then put into the microwave in 30 second bursts.
PECANS Trader Joe's pre-toasted pecans are just the right size (and priced so well, and so convenient) although could use a little more toasting.
UPDATED Recipe updated 2010 and 2012.

Feeding a Chocolate Habit

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Perfect M&M Cookies Chocolate Ginger Crinkle Cookies Gourmet Mocha Cookies

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© Copyright 2005 Kitchen Parade