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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cream Sauce

This cream sauce is excellent with ravioli, tortellini or any filled pasta.  It´s quick and easy and is great for when you´re in a hurry.  Only a little bit is needed to moisten the pasta.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Dash of nutmeg
2 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Combine the butter and cream in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat (be carefully it doesn´t boil over, this can happen very quickly).  Reduced the cream slightly, stirring occassionally.  Add the parmesan cheese and mix.  Add a dash of nutmeg and parsley, stirring gently to combine. 

Serve with desired pasta.

Tip:  Additional ingredients can include frozen peas, thawed and proscuitto or baked ham, thinly sliced. Just add them prior to adding the nutmeg and parsley and heat through.   Then add nutmeg, parsley and serve.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bran & Apple Muffins

These bran muffins are nutritious and delicious.  You can mix them together in about 10 minutes while the oven is heating up. 

Make approximately 18 muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons raw sugar
2 cups plain yogurt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and shredded

Preheat oven to 425° F (220° C).

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, wheat bran, salt, baking soda and sugar.

In a larger bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, honey and butter.  Add the dry ingredients and fold in until everything comes together.  Be careful not to overmix.  Gently fold in the shredded apple.

Fill each cup of a greased muffin tin 3/4 full with batter.  Bake 10-15 minutes, until muffins are golden on top and cooked through. 

Tip:  If using paper muffin liners, the muffins will really stick to the paper.  I use silicon muffin cups or grease the muffin pan prior to use.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oatmeal & Cranberry Cookies

These cookies are very moist with an addicting flavor.  Don´t gasp when you see how much sugar it has! (That´s probably why they´re so addicting.)

Makes approximately 3 dozen

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries (craisins)

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture.  Mix in oats.  Mix in the cranberries.

Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C).  Place parchment paper on the cookie sheets.  Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake for 9 to 12 minutes in a preheated oven.  Allow the cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Asian Noodles

This is a great main course or salad dish.  You can make the sauce a week ahead and add it to the pasta just before serving.  I also mix in grilled chicken when using it as a main dish. 

Serves 6 to 8

3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1-2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 scallions, sliced diagonally
1/2 pound grilled chicken, chopped into bite-size pieces (optional)

Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Add the vegetable oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, chili sauce, sesame oil and ground peppers.  Purée the sauce.

Add a splash of oil to a large pot of boiling salt water and cook the spaghetti al dente.  Drain the pasta in a colander, place it in a large bowl, and while still warm, toss with three-quarters of the sauce.  Add the red and yellow bell peppers and scallions, toss well.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  The remaining sauce may be added to moisten the pasta, as needed.