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This unusual cake is Italian inspired with the flavors of ground almonds, lemon zest, and olive oil. Grapes stud the surface for an elegant presentation.

2 large eggs
1/2-2/3 cups sugar
4 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds (feel free to substitute flour here if you don't have almonds, or even scale back the flour a bit and add more almond flour)
3/4 tsp baking power
a pinch of salt
zest of one lemon
2 cups flavorful grapes
Equipment: a 9″ round cake pan
Butter and flour a cake pan, then set it aside. Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until they're thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in milk, butter, oil, and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, almonds, baking powder and salt. Add the zest, tossing it to make sure it is well-distributed. Then stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, making sure it is well-combined. Allow this mixture to sit for 10 minutes to make sure the flour has absorbed the liquids.

Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups of grapes, then transfer the batter to your cake pan.

Bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pull out your cake and top it with the reserved grapes. Sprinkle coarse granulated sugar overtop. Bake for about 40 more minutes, until the top of the cake is golden and springy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
Original recipe
These biscotti are not too sweet, but full of banana flavor. Basically banana bread in dip-able form. Serve with coffee, tea, or milk.

1 3/4 -2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Combine banana, oil, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl; stir in flour mixture and pecans (dough will be sticky).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; shape dough into 2 (8-inch-long) rolls with floured hands. Place rolls on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; flatten to 1/2-inch thickness.

Bake at 350° for 23 minutes. Remove rolls from baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Cut each roll diagonally into 12 (1/2-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 250°; bake 15 minutes. Turn cookies over; bake an additional 15 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire racks.

Makes ~2 dozen
Nutritional Information
Calories: 72 (25% from fat)
Fat: 2g (sat 0.3g,mono 1g,poly 0.6g)

Original recipe

An Asian twist on the typical tuna salad sandwich with a chili sauce kick and tons of vegetables: peas, celery, green onion, and radish.

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon jarred minced garlic
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce
2 (5 ounce) cans of tuna, drained
1 cup peas, fresh or thawed from frozen
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onion, sliced green tops
1 radish, finely chopped
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
ground black pepper to taste
lettuce leaves
whole wheat tortillas

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, and Thai chili sauce.
Add tuna, peas, celery, green onion, radish, and slivered almonds, and mix well. Add black pepper if desired (salt too, if you want).
Original recipe
Ridiculously easy sweet and sour chicken, using frozen fried chicken breasts and a ketchup based sauce. Not the most healthy or organic thing in the world, but delicious and great for unexpected entertaining or potlucks. Serve with sticky white rice and steamed broccoli or green beans.

1 Pkg. Tyson Breaded Chicken Breast Fillets (about 5 pieces)
1/3 C. almonds (chopped, toasted)
1 set of green onions (finely chopped)

Sweet & Sour Sauce:
6 T. Ketchup
6 T. Sugar
2 T. white vinegar
1 C. water
1 T. cornstarch
Fully cook chicken in oven according to instructions. While chicken is baking, combine 1/2 C. water and cornstarch until dissolved. In small sauce pan, combine ketchup, sugar, vinegar, 1/2 C. water and bring to soft boil. Add cornstarch/water mixture and simmer for 5 minutes stirring constantly! (will burn if ignored). After chicken is cooked, cut chicken into bite sized pieces, and pour sweet & sour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle green onions and almonds (toasted=good) on top of chicken

Cummings family recipe
A great use for leftover chicken, this salad is full of celery, carrots, cranberries, almonds, green onions, chicken, and wild rice. I added a spoonful of guava jam to the dressing since I didn't have any fig vinegar.

Dressing:
1/4  cup  fig vinegar or white wine vinegar
2  teaspoons  sugar
1  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1  garlic clove, minced
2  tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tsp. jam (optional)
Remaining ingredients:
2  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2  cups  uncooked wild rice
1  tablespoon  butter
Cooking spray
1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
1  cup  chopped celery
1/2  cup  shredded carrots
1/3  cup  dried cranberries
1/4  cup sliced green onion
1/4  cup  chopped almonds, toasted
2  tablespoons  minced red onion

To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Cover and chill.

Combine broth, rice, and butter in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove rice mixture from heat; cool.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 8 minutes on each side or until done. Cool; cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Combine cooked rice, chicken, celery, carrots, cranberries, almonds, and red onion in a large bowl. Add dressing; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill.

6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)
Calories: 352
Fat: 10.3g (sat 2g,mono 5g,poly 2.5g)

Original recipe
Still my favorite way to each butternut squash: roasted with walnuts and cranberries in maple syrup & tossed in an apple cider vinaigrette over spinach.

1 (1½-pound) butternut squash, peeled and ¾-inch) diced
good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
½ cup walnuts halves
¾ cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula or spinach, washed and spun dry
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries and walnuts to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about ¼ cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, ½ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Original recipe
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