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Stacie's Curried Chicken Salad A favorite of teas and showers and girly events, this fruity chicken salad has a slight hint of curry in the dressing and lots of crunch from the celery, pecans, and apple. Easy to throw together ahead of time and makes plenty to share. 2 C cubed chicken
1 apple, chopped
3/4 C dried cranberries
1/2 C celery, chopped
1/4 C pecans, chopped
3/4 C mayonnaise (or 1/2 c. mayo and 1/3 c. yogurt)
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp curry

Combine chicken, apple, celery, cranberries, pecans, and green onion. Mix mayo, lime juice, curry, and toss with other ingredients. Serve as sandwiches or with crackers.

From: Stacie (via allrecipes.com)
Sumi Salad This sweet and salty coleslaw is a classic Cummings family favorite. Made with bagged coleslaw mix, it is really easy to throw together and makes a perfect side dish to teriyaki chicken. 1 large cabbage, chopped or one bag of coleslaw mix
3-4 green onions, chopped
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 c. sunflower seeds, salted and toasted
1 packages ramen noodles - crumbled with no mix
Dressing:
2 T. sugar
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 T. vegetable oil (you can add a tsp of sesame oil if desired)

Crush noodles in package before opening. Mix cabbage, noodles, onions and nuts in large bowl. Pour dressing on top and toss well.

From: Cummings Family
Green salad with Dates, Smoked Almonds, and Goat Cheese This salad has a lot of ingredients, but it is well worth the work. Smoked almonds and chopped dates add strong smoky/salty/sweet flavors to the crunchy lettuce, cabbage, and celery mix. Beans, chickpeas, and shredded precooked chicken provide protein, and crumbled goat cheese acts as a creamy accent. A simple red wine vinaigrette is included in the recipe, but feel free to improvise - just about any vinaigrette will do. Made ahead of time on Sunday, it makes for a easy, healthy work lunch and will last for nearly a week properly stored in the fridge. For a vegetarian version, just omit the chicken. Salad:

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
1 head leaf lettuce, shredded
1/2 small head red cabbage, shredded very fine
3-4 stalks celery, chopped

Toppings:

Cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 cup dried dates, pitted and chopped in quarters
1/2 cup smoked salted almonds, roughly chopped
1 12-ounce can chickpeas and/or 1 12-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and well drained
4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Optional: 6 shallots OR 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Avocado

Dressing:

1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. mustard
1/2 Tbs. honey or fruit jam
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs. olive oil


To make ahead: Mix the salad ingredients (washed and thoroughly dried) together. Store in large plastic containers lined with paper towels. Top with the finely chopped shallots or red onion, dates, almonds, and legumes.

Per serving: Toss with the goat cheese, top with chicken and/or avocado, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add dressing to taste

Whisk the jam/honey, mustard, and seasoning together. Add vinegar, stir well, and slowly add oil while whisking until emulsified.

Original Recipe

banana_blueberry_muffins.jpgA delicious, fairly lowfat use for overripe bananas and fresh blueberries. Note: use white flour only, wheat overwhelms the delicate banana flavor.

2 ½ cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cups sugar
1 egg, beaten
½ cup orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla (optional)

2 Tbsp. butter, room temp.
1 ½ cups (or more) chopped fresh blueberries
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3 ripe bananas, mashed

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt) together.  Then add the sugar, egg, oj, and butter. Whisk together.  Fold in the bananas and blueberries.

Pour into a 9"X5" greased loaf pan or a lined muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 1 ¼ hours (for loaf) or 20 minutes (for muffins).  Remove from pan when done and cool on rack. 
banana_coffee_bread.jpgThis is a much lighter version of banana bread than Daniel's traditional cake-like version here. The texture is more bread-y, but it is nonetheless packed with banana flavor, with depth from the addition of a little strong coffee. It also makes wonderful french toast after a couple of days.

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon allspice (or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)
3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons melted butter or oil
1 large egg white
1 large egg
1 cup banana puree, from about 2 very ripe medium-sized bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 shot (about 3 tablespoons) of strong coffee, cooled (or mix 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder with  3 tablespoons of hot water)

Add in: pecans and/or chocolate chips

Butter a rectangular bread pan or a 9-inch square pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and allspice (or cinnamon). Mix in the sugar.

In a large bowl, mix together the butter, egg white, egg, banana puree, buttermilk or sour cream, vanilla and espresso.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula until almost mixed. Add in your additions and stir until just combined, but don't overstir: stop when any traces of flour disappear.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake the bread for 60 minutes or the square cake for 40 minutes. The center must feel lightly-springy and just done.

Cool on a baking rack. Keeps well for 3-4 days, or can be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap, for a few months.

Original recipe


crunchygranola.jpgI've tried a lot of different granola recipes, but this one is hands-down my favorite. The combination of quick cooking and old fashioned oats in this recipe, combined with a smaller than usual amount of oil, make perfectly crunchy clusters - like boxed cereal but better tasting.

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup mild honey
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch salt (a flaky sea salt is best)

1 cup mixed dried fruit of your choice (I used figs, dates, raisins, and cranberries)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Stir together all ingredients except the fruit in a large bowl until combined. Spread mixture evenly on a large (17-by 12-inch) shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes, but checking every five minutes after the 15-minute mark because it burns quickly. Transfer granola, in pan, to rack to cool, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely to keep clusters from breaking apart

Either store granola separate from dried fruit in airtight containers at room temperature, or store in the freezer with fruit mixed in.

Original recipe

white_choc_rice_krispies.jpgA simple riff on the classic cereal-box recipe, but oh-so-good. Sweet and salty peanuts and rich white chocolate bring these lunchbox treats to a whole new level.

3 tablespoons salted butter
3 1/2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup candied peanuts (see recipe below)
10 ounce bag marshmallows, snipped in half
6 cups Rice Krispies
Spray or lightly-oil a 13 x 9-inch (approx 30 x 22cm) rectangular pan.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the white chocolate and stir until melted.
Add the marshmallows and stir constantly over the heat until completely melted. (If they start to scorch on the bottom, remove from heat and continue to stir, placing the pan back on the heat occasionally, stirring until smooth.
Remove from heat and add the candied peanuts and Rick Krispies until well combined.
Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Let cool.

Original recipe

Candied Peanuts:

2 cups raw peanuts (or almonds)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
a sprinkle of coarse salt
optional: ground cinnamon or chili powder

In a wide, heavy-duty skillet, mix the peanuts with the sugar and water. Cook the ingredients over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid seizes up. It will take a few minutes. At this point, the peanuts will get crusty and the sugar will crystallize.

The peanuts will become dry and sandy, which is perfectly normal. Don't worry; you didn't mess up. Lower the heat and keep going, scraping up any syrup collecting in the bottom of the pan and stir the peanuts in it, coating them as much as possible.

As you go, tilt the pan, removing it from the heat from time-to-time to regulate the heat and the syrup, so you can coat the nuts with the liquid as it darkens without burning the peanuts or the syrup. This is the only tricky part--I like to get the peanuts as deeply-bronzed as possible. if the mixture starts to smoke, remove it from the heat and stir.

Right before they're done, sprinkle the peanuts with a sizable pinch of flaky salt (and pinch of cinnamon or chili powder, if you want), stir them a couple of times, then tilt the peanuts out onto a baking sheet or a marble countertop.

Original recipe


I'm usually not one for trying out a brand new recipe on Thanksgiving. I like classics you can count on. But these just looked so good I couldn't pass them up. They came out light, fluffy, and perfectly golden brown. I should have taken a picture, I know. But don't worry, I'm sure I'll make them again. ;)

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3½ cups (or more) bread flour
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1½ teaspoons quick-rising dry yeast
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional for coating bowl
1 large egg
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
Nonstick cooking spray
1 large egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
Raw (turbinado or demerara) sugar

1. Stir the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Mix 3½ cups bread flour with the brown sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the milk registers 95 degrees F. Add the oil; remove from the heat. Add the milk mixture and 1 egg to the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until a wet coarse ball forms, about 1 minute. Add the nuts and the cranberries. Replace the paddle attachment on the mixer with a dough hook. Mix dough on low speed until smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky, adding more flour by the tablespoonfuls as needed, about 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes.

3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Shape the dough into a ball; place in the prepared bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume, 1¾ to 2 hours.

4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to an unfloured surfaced; divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a smooth round ball. Transfer the rolls to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart. Spray the rolls with nonstick spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature until 1½ times original size, about 1½ hours. Brush rolls with egg glaze; sprinkle with raw sugar. Let rise 15 minutes longer.

5. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.

6. Place rolls in oven; reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake 7 minutes. Rotate baking sheet; continue to bake rolls until golden and slightly firm to the touch, about 8 minutes longer. Cool completely on a cooling rack.

*Note: You can wrap these in foil and place in an airtight bag and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Thaw the rolls at room temperature. If desired, you can rewarm the rolls wrapped in foil in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.

makes 16 large rolls

original recipe

carrotcakecookies_sm.jpgSweet fresh-grated carrot makes all the difference in these cakey spiced cookies. The filling is just greek yogurt mixed with honey, but it tastes decadent sandwiched in between the cinnamony orange layers. Cute enough for a party, but healthy enough for everyday, they are definitely going on my 'make again' list.

1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Wheat Bran
1/2 Cup Oatmeal
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (or fresh nutmeg, cause I'm sure you're more likely to have that around)
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 tbsp. Real Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups Shredded Carrot (not store bought- freshly grated in a cheese grater)
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
2 tbsp. Butter, room temperature
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Golden Raisins

Filling:

17.6 oz Container (about 2 Cups) 2% Greek Yogurt (Fage brand recommended)
1/2 Cup Local Honey
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Oven to 325°

1. In a small bowl, pour about half cup of hot water over the raisins and let them soak. In a bowl, whisk the eggs well. Add applesauce, butter, brown sugar and stir. Drain the raisins and add them, and the carrots to the wet mixture. In another large bowl, mix all dry ingredients and the nuts.

2. Gently, in thirds add the dry ingredients to the wet. You should get a pretty thick dough at this point, firm enough keep form on a baking sheet, but still more moist than your typical cookie.

3.Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop for large cookies, or a tablespoon for smaller ones and set them 2'' apart. Bake for 12-16, depending on cookie size, until edges brown a little and the middle is just set. Timing will vary.

In the meantime, mix all filling ingredients with a whisk and put in fridge to firm up.

Allow cakey cookies to cool before assembling the sandwiches. After assembling, freeze for 30 minutes or so to make them easier to eat.

Makes 20 Minis

Calories:124
Fat: 4g

Original recipe

figbiscotti_sm.jpgA lovely citrus and cinnamon spiced biscotti with a light and tender texture, more like a cookie than your traditional break-your-teeth biscotti. Beating the eggs is an extra step, but don't skip it: it keeps the cookies from becoming tough.

1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 large orange)
1 cup coarsely chopped dried Calimyrna figs (6 ounces)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and anise. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until they're pale yellow and hold a ribbon for 1 second when whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Whisk in zest.
Fold egg mixture into flour mixture until combined. Fold in figs and walnuts. Lightly spray a parchment-lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Divide dough in half on parchment. Spray hands with cooking spray; form each piece of dough into a 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Bake until dough is firm but gives slightly when pressed, about 25 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let logs cool 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Cut each log on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place slices, cut side up, on sheet. Bake 7 minutes, flip biscotti, and bake 7 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)
Original recipe

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