Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Herbed Chicken Breasts after biking in the rain

We have had a wonderful couple of days- very busy- but wonderful. Friday night we danced til our feet fell off at the swingnuts swing dance at the North Deering Grange. The Victory Swing Band, a 17 piece big band, played tunes from Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and more. Saturday we went up to BikesnJava in Rockland to get some advice. We stopped off at Sage Market and were so delighted! They have a lovely little gourmet shop. I found some triple creme brie and hot soppresatta that delighted my sweetheart. The rest of the day was filled with preparation for Sherwood's gig at Yosaku restaurant at the Old Port Festival.
Sunday it rained and was so chilly that the gig was cancelled. Since we had an afternoon that was suddenly NOT spoken for- how often does that happen?- we rode our bike to Hannaford in the drizzle. It was fun to go the long way, get wet, and plan dinner on the way. They had some delicious looking chicken so that was our choice for tonight. When we got home we cooked up the yummy chicken breasts, with some rice pilaf and stir fried veggies. The chicken came out so great I though I'd share it with you.
Herbed Chicken Breasts
6 skin on bone in chicken breasts
1 sun dried tomato packed in oil
1 T olive oil
1 T white vinegar
1 t Tobasco or Chalula
1 t garlic powder or 1 clove fresh garlic minced
1 t rosemary
1 t thyme
1 t sage
1 t herbs de provence
1 t adobo powder
1 t fresh cracked black pepper
In a small food processor pulse together the tomato, oil, vinegar and pepper sauce. Place your chicken breasts in a baking pan so they are not quite touching. Paint them with the sauce. In another bowl mix together the spices. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with equal parts of this herb powder. Place pan in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or more depending on how thick the breasts are. When the juices run clear and the skin is nice and crisp serve the chicken over freshly cooked brown rice and veggies. It tasted soo good after a bike ride in the rain.
Savor. Linger. Enjoy! -Cynthia

Pizzeles for a Summer's Day

Pizzeles- ah that thin, sweet, crispy cookie-treat... They are most often found here around Christmas time. Today, however, we had the waffle iron out from yesterday's waffles and how-conveeenient- the pizzele iron presented itself when we were cleaning the plates. There are times when you just have to stop what you're doing and bake (or in this case wait while these delicate crisps were cooked to perfection four at at time) Elizabeth was right there to whip up the batter. Dinner can wait while the iron is heating. This recipe was inherited as a wedding present from Flora Silvestro- one of the mistresses of the pizzele extraordinaire. I must admit to an occasional pizzele yearning. I remember being in high school and visiting the Silvestros. I always left with a smattering of powdered sugar somewhere on my clothing, no matter how hard I tried to conceal my pizzele consumption. They are just so darn delicious! Thank you Flora for this gift that keeps on giving. Elizabeth says Hi!
Flora Silvestro's Pizzeles
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup melted butter
2 generous teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 to 2 teaspoons anise extract- optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
In a mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla (and anise extract if you like). Add the melted butter. Whisk until well combined.
In another bowl sift together the dry ingredients. Add to the egg mixture and blend just until smooth.
Heat your pizzele iron. When hot drop a heaping Tablespoon of batter into the center of each round. A small scoop works especially well. Lower the top and watch carefully. Remove cookies when just done. They should be only barely golden-not quite browned.
Remove to a cooling rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Stand back and watch as they are devoured or store in a sealed container. They are also easily frozen in a zip bag or container for later consumption.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Kitchen Gardens...art in your side yard leads to delicious salads

I spent some time at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens yesterday. Their newly designed kitchen garden will lend itself to a wonderful series of cooking lectures and demos by nationally known chefs. Their campus was teeming with landscapers and land shapers- I would love to have had a camera set up on the side of the buildings with a snapshot every 30 seconds or so. Sitting in their lovely cafe for my meeting allowed me a vantage point to witness the grounds changing before my eyes. These folks are serious! Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a place that invites inspiration. The education director Rebecca Jacobs gave me a tour of their upcoming programming. They are right on track for the summer. I can't wait to join them. We're scheduling times in July, August and September for me to come in and work with their staff to produce some demos/cooking classes for both adults and kids. What fun!
Here is a recipe for an Herbed Bread. Enjoy it alongside your favorite salad. I've taken to adding a few whisps of fresh herbs to my salad greens. It's a great way to get a little sprinkle of extra flavor into your veggie creations.
Savory Herb Bread
This loaf is made from a soft dough—a bit sticky—but it bakes up moist on the inside and crusty on the outside. The fresh herbs infuse the bread with a kitchen garden scent. Serve it warm alongside your favorite soup.
Serves 12
2 T yeast
1⁄2 c warm water
1 t Maine maple syrup
5 c King Arthur flour
11⁄2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 T fresh herbs of your choice- I like to use a combination of rosemary, sage, basil and thyme, finely chopped
2 c ricotta cheese
1⁄4 c Maine maple syrup
3 T chopped fresh chives
2 T chopped fresh parsley
3 eggs
2 T butter, melted, or extra-virgin olive oil
Mix the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. Let sit until it’s bubbling and frothy.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Stir in the herbs.
In another bowl, whisk together the ricotta cheese, 1⁄4 cup maple syrup, chives, parsley, eggs, and melted butter. Whisk in the yeast mixture and immediately pour all the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, stir until combined.
Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface for 10 minutes. If the dough is too sticky add a Tablespoon of flour at a time until it is just firm enough to knead. Line a sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat. Place dough on the pan and form it into a long loaf. Let it rise until double in bulk.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Let the bread cool on a wire rack. Slice to serve.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Fiddlefest a Grand Success! Gorgonzola Cream Dressing for your fresh greens

The Fiddlefest was a wonderful event. Folks were happy and the food delicious. I rubbed elbows- literally at times- with the folks at Vignola/Cinque Terre and Duckfat restaurants. Cinque Terre was cooking up some fiddleheads with vermouth, chives, garlic, parm and gnocchi. Duckfat had deep fried fiddleheads. I did have the chance to share in their delights as the afternoon drew on. There were representatives from Aurora Provisions with some delectable cheeses and at least a half dozen other chefs sharing their spring selections. I would guess there were over 200 attendees enjoying the delicious food and lively music. Slow Food really has their act together. There were volunteers available to assist with every aspect of the day. All were happy and helpful. I was so lucky to be a part of this event. Now to share a recipe that I brought with me yesterday. People LOVED the Spicy 5 Bean Salad (that I posted yesterday). They also devoured the baby greens from Morning Dew Farm with a Gorgonzola Cream Dressing. Here it is for your enjoyment. If you like blue cheese and Gorgonzola- this recipe is just as good to spread on a slice of whole grain bread, serve as a dip or use to dress your salad. A little bit goes a long way.
Gorgonzola Cream Dressing
I'm giving you this in a small batch- feel free to multiply if you need more...
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons light cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black or white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or one small clove minced
4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
Whisk the first 7 ingredients together. Add the vinegar and whisk again. Fold in the cheese. Serve with your choice of vegetables as the vehicle.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Fiddlefest and Spicy Five-Bean Salad

We went dancing last night and I've got to tell you- Sherwood was on FIRE! He was stylin'! It was my favorite night of dancing ever!! Paul and Daniel did a great job with the DJ-ing- they kept us on our feet all night long. What a night! I live for this feeling. Dancing gives me such joy! I hope that all of you can find and actually do that thing that makes you smile from the inside out...and do it often. Every time I dance I add a few months ON to my life. Seriously. Thank goodness for Sherwood and his magic feet!
Sunday, May 20, 2007-It's time for Fiddlefest! Slow Food Portland holds this annual event featuring local chefs, delicious food and live music. It's going to rain, so it will be the perfect afternoon family activity. I'll be bringing Maine Antipasto with marinated fiddleheads (from Rising Tide Market), smoked shrimp, smoked scallops, miniature mozzarella balls and smoked salmon, Broccoli Apple Salad with Maple Garlic Dressing, Gorgonzola dressing with fresh arugula from Morning Dew Farm, Spicy Five Bean Salad and Herbed Chevre spread with crackers. I'm just about ready to fall into bed so I can get up early and be early to arrive at Fiddlefest. Hope to see you there.
Spicy Five-Bean Salad
This tangy salad is an ideal accompaniment for grilled chicken, sure to please your palate!
2 c black beans
2 c navy beans
2 c garbanzo beans
1 c broad beans
2 c edamamme (soybeans)
1 bunch fresh parsley, washed and chopped
4 scallions, washed and chopped
1 c olive oil
3⁄4 c red wine vinegar
2 T cumin
2 limes, zested and juiced
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 t sugar or Splenda sweetener
1 T fresh oregano, chopped
1 T chili powder
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
1⁄4 t Tabasco sauce (or more to your taste)
2 t salt
1 T white pepper
Toss all the beans together with parsley and scallions.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing. Pour over beans and toss evenly.
Marinate the salad for at least an hour, or overnight.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Do What Makes You Happy- and eat some lovely Herb Roasted Lamb

"To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking." ~Agnes De Mille
Just found this quote in a contra dance email and loved it. Because I'm feeling that fullness of being, that happiness that brings the I've-got-the-power-to-do-anything feeling with it, I've decided to have business cards made up. They are in a font I like (Harrington), with words that describe ME, and pictures of my books on the back. It's the first time that I've made up something like this for "business" that is all about me. You know, we almost always analyze things like that to death. What will be appropriate? What makes sense? What will be a good representation? This time I threw it all into the wind. Convention- gone. Seriousness- gone. I just did what I wanted. The words on my new card make me smile. It says Cynthia Finnemore Simonds, Culinary Adventurer, Paradigm Specialist, Author, Swing Dancer. How cool is that! It's me on a little piece of paper.
I know that I am FAR from perfect.; never tried to be perfect. Did you know that the Latin root for the word perfect is ...finished... I am certainly not finished yet. I am however, trying to do my best. On this quest I shall remain until the day when I'm through. I intend to move forward, and all along the way I'm doing the things that make me smile... like dancing. There is a swing dance this Friday (that's one of those MakeMeSmile things) at the North Deering Grange in Portland, Maine. Come on down and kick up your heels. It just might make you smile too.
As for today's recipe, How about a spring lamb dish. I've got one marinating in the fridge. Rebecca's mom Susan just sent me a note about her Graduation party preparations. Congrats Doctor Katz!! They were having lamb too. It certainly is the season.
Boneless Leg of Lamb with Fresh Herbs
1 boneless leg of lamb (mine was about a pound and a quarter)
marinade ingredients:
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon juice
10 twists fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tablespoons fresh Mint (IF you would prefer you can use fresh rosemary for the mint in both the marinade and the gravy)
If you'd like to make gravy you'll need some bouillon paste or powder, cornstarch and a little more fresh mint.
In a large ziploc bag place all of the marinade ingredients and the lamb. Seal the bag halfway. Press all of the air out of the bag and close completely. Massage the ingredients into the meat. Place the bag into a bowl and chill until ready to cook. You can grill the lamb or roast in a pan. For oven roasting: Remove the lamb from the bag and place on a low rack in the roasting pan. Pour 2 cups of water under the lamb before you place it in the oven. Roast the lamb at 325 degrees for 30 minutes per pound. When it's done you'll have all of the drippings ready to make into gravy. Remove the lamb to a platter. Cover with foil and let it rest 15 minutes. Remove the rack from the pan. Use a whisk to stir all of the lamb bits together in the roasting pan. Pour all of the juice into a sauce pan. Add enough water to make about 2 cups of liquid. Heat over medium until the mixture comes to a boil. While you're waiting mix together 1 heaping Tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons of cold water until it becomes a smooth slurry. Taste your broth and add a Tablespoon or so of vegetable or beef bouillon paste or powder to enhance the flavor. Pour in the cornstarch slurry and whisk until the gravy is thick and the cornstarch cloudiness has disappeared. It won't be completely clear but it should look like gravy. If your gravy is too thick, add a bit of hot water. If it is too thin, make up some more cornstarch slurry and add it to the gravy. Strain the gravy into a bowl and stir in some freshly minced mint- about 2 Tablespoons will be enough. Carve the lamb at a gentle angle and place slices on a platter. Pour any juice that has accumulated on the resting platter over the sliced meat. Pour or ladle your gravy into a gravy boat or small pitcher. Serve the lamb and gravy and listen for the yummy noises. MMM

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wasabi Oil and Wasabi Ginger Marinade

Oh my goodness, what an amazing dance. We watched Dancing with the Stars tonight and the Jive that Joey and Kym performed was outstanding! I actually clapped spontaneously in my living room like they could actually hear me. What fun! I think I even picked up a couple of steps to add to our repertoire. We had sushi yesterday so, being the frugal gal that I am, I couldn't just toss the remaining pickled ginger, soy sauce packets and wasabi. Wasabi is a great element of flavor for many recipes. Here are two for you to try.
Wasabi Oil
Wasabi—that electric green pyramid that goes along for the ride with your sushi has the capability of detonating a small nuclear internal head rush if eaten too quickly. My friend Marita could bathe in it and not get enough- though I think a wasabi bath would make for too many overly tingly fingers and toes. This wasabi oil gives you the wasabi flavor while keeping your gray matter basically intact. Keep the extra wasabi from your sushi and use it to add that special spicy something to your next dish.
2 Tablespoon wasabi paste or more to your taste
1 Tablespoon mirin or sake
2 teaspoons sugar
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive or grapeseed oil
In a medium stainless non-reactive (steel or glass bowl), combine the mirin and sugar. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add the wasabi and whisk well to blend. Whisk in the oil. Let the oil stand for 10 minutes before using. Be sure to whisk it up just before serving.

Wasabi Marinade
1 Tablespoon prepared wasabi paste
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons roughly chopped pickled ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons olive oil or wasabi oil
In a medium stainless non-reactive (steel or glass bowl), combine all of the ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour into a large ziploc baggie with the steak, chicken, tofu or other meat you are preparing for dinner. Seal the bag most of the way across and press out all of the air. Seal the bag completely and massage the marinade into the meat for a minute or so. Place the bag in a bowl in the refrigerator. Chill until ready to cook. You can even freeze the meat in the marinade and thaw when you need it. Grill or roast the meat to your satisfaction. It's sooo good.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lindy at Reid State Park and Needhams

What a beautiful sunny day, perfect for going to the beach. Sherwood fixed a deluxe picnic. He made broccoli apple salad with maple garlic dressing, curried chicken salad in lettuce wraps, garlic oil for some sourdough bread with carrots, dried apples and garlic pickles on the side. We all piled in the van and drove the surprisingly short distance to Reid State Park. The sun was brilliant off the waves as we walked along Mile Beach. Elizabeth and I each found sand dollars. It was perfect to spend Mother's Day enjoying the ocean, having a picnic and spending time with family. Sherwood and I couldn't resist a lindy on the sand. We tried a new aerial and laughed the whole time. I can't think of anything better than a dance in the sun on the beach- or anywhere.
We all started home smelling summer-y and feeling that sleepy, sun drenched contentment that always follows a day at the beach. Along Route 127 in Georgetown we saw a little place called MainSweets (207-371-2806). The sign said homemade candy, so, knowing the number of sweet teeth contained in the van, we stopped. I'm so glad we did. Patty and Charlie Mains greeted us at the door. They were just delightful. They had a nice selection of baked goods, created there on the premises. Patty offered us each a Needham she had made herself. The kids marveled at the ingredients- how could potato, coconut and chocolate taste so good? I was reminded of my Grandmother Mattie Finnemore making Needhams in her farm kitchen. The recipe below is the closest I could find to the one I remember.
If you're travelling down to Reid State Park, stop in and say hello to Patty and Charlie. They'd just love to see you.

Needhams- Maine Chocolate Covered Coconut Candies
These are great for bake sales and gifts for the holidays. Feel free do double as necessary.
3/4 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds confectioners sugar
1/3 stick melted butter- use real butter here
1/2 pound flaked coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla
Chocolate Coating: 12 ounces chocolate chips
2 squares (ounces) semi-sweet chocolate
2 squares (ounces) bakers unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cake paraffin wax ( 2.5 x 2.5 inches) found in your baking or canning aisle in the market
Cook (3 or so) peeled potatoes (do not season them at all). Once they're fork tender, mash them in the bowl of an electric mixer and check to make sure you've got 3/4 cup. {If you end up with more- you can increase the recipe}. Add salt, melted butter, confectioner's sugar, flaked coconut and vanilla and beat until smooth and well blended.
Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Spread the coconut mixture evenly- it will be very thick. Cover with another layer of parchment and press with your hands to make an even layer.
Chill overnight to 24 hours. Remove the parchment layer from the top of the candy. Turn pan over onto a cutting board. Peel away the bottom layer of parchment and cut into small, bite-sized squares- really whatever size you like.
Melt paraffin, semi-sweet and unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler over medium heat. Lower heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate has melted but
mixture is still slightly thick. Leave the pan on low heat while you dip your Needhams one at a time to coat. Place dipped squares on a parchment lined pan- the jelly roll pan you just used will work well. Cool. Needhams will keep very well in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Happy Mother's Day with Fresh Fruit Salad

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful Mom's! Sherwood treated me to dinner in Brunswick last night at El Camino- a little Mexican restaurant with incredible ambiance and yummy food. We shared chips and a smoky homemade salsa, a taco salad with marinated steak and nachos with grilled chicken. The salsa was not chunky but a fine-ish puree with a hint of smoky pepper. Both the nachos and taco salad were comprised of diced veggies and meats. Everything was fresh and lively. You can visit them on my space just click here for El Camino Cantina. We've been dancing around the house and most Thursday nights at Great Salt Bay School. I just can't get enough. The more I learn the more I want to dance. The kids made dinner tonight. It was a delicious fruit salad with a lemon pineapple dressing and deviled eggs. If you need to serve brunch for Mother's Day- this is sure to be a hit.
Fresh Fruit Salad with Lemon Pineapple Dressing
3 cups fresh hulled and quartered strawberries
3 cups fresh diced seedless watermelon
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 cup fresh blueberries
Toss all of these together and chill.
for the dressing combine: the juice of a lemon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup fresh pineapple juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (OR 1 to 2 Tablespoons spiced or dark rum- very optional)
Whisk the dressing ingredients to dissolve the sugar. (at this point you can opt to whisk 1/2 cup of sour cream, creme fraiche, mascarpone cheese or plain yogurt into the dressing- if you like your dressings creamier) Pour over the fruit and toss well.
Serve in chilled bowls with a sprinkle of brown sugar on top.
Savor. Linger. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Esau's Sorbet and Veal Stew

We're in for a treat tonight. Esau Crosby from Solo Bistro has come through. He has shared not one but two recipes with us. Thank you Esau!
Savor. Linger. Enjoy!

Here is a recipe for our veal and lamb stew that I have gotten a lot of positive response to. I had sent it to a customer and now I will forward it to you . I hope you can use it. Also I will give you a sorbet recipe that is always good to have which is a sorbet recipe that I use.

Sorbet Basic Recipe
4 C fruit puree
2 C corn syrup, light or dark depending on if the fruit is light or dark.
1 1/2 C water
Blend well and let sit over night in a refrigerator covered. The next day set remix till all well blended and freeze according to your machine's instructions. Note....The color of the product should get lighter as the freezing process is happening and should almost look creamy. Put in a container and into the freezer for at least 4 hours before service.

8 oz. smoked slab bacon small dice
1 lb. veal stew meat about 1/2 to 1 in cube
1 lb. lamb stew meat same
1 small onion diced small
1 small bulb of fennel diced small
16 oz. red wine
18 oz veal stock
2T tomato paste
1T fresh Garlic
4 T cold water or stock
2 T arrow root powder
8 oz. pearl onions peeled and cut in half length wise
In a stock pot or large sauce pan render the diced bacon until browned. Then add you onions, garlic and fennel bulb and saute until translucent. Now add lamb stew meat and cook until browned well. De-glaze with red wine and reduce to simmer. When wine is almost gone add veal stock. When lamb is tender add veal stew meat.and tomato paste and continue to simmer until veal is tender. season to taste and add arrowroot slurry until desired thickness is achieved.Stir in halved pearl onions and simmer until tender.
* * This stew can be served over any starch you desire or without any at all. You can choose to add more vegetables to it as well as potatoes. Play with this recipe and make it your own. If there is anything else that I may be of service for just let me know.
Executive Chef Esau A. Crosby II

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Solo Bistro Bistro- Delectable Dishes in Bath, Maine

Last evening we went to a little swing dance in Bath. On our way we decided to grab a bite to eat. We ended up at Solo Bistro in Bath (Maine of course). Michele served us delicious cocktails that the bartender and owner Will Neilson had created. The chef Esau Crosby was busy in the open kitchen. We enjoyed a wonderful meal that included a luscious grilled chicken risotto and hand cut cilantro noodles with sweet potatoes, tomatoes and a vegetable broth. I thought the menu was simple and innovative. It was one of the first times in recent memory that I would have ordered (and enjoyed) anything on the menu. That seldom happens for me. It was refreshing to see a chef who so carefully utilized local ingredients and incorporated them into dishes that virtually sang their names off the menu. The meal was finished with an espresso cake and an upside down lemon and cranberry cake with orange curd and whipped cream. SO Amazing! Chef Crosby may share a recipe with us later this week. Solo Bistro is worth the trip!
The upside down cake made me think of blueberry sauce. Here is a recipe for you to serve over your favorite dessert or some home made vanilla ice cream.
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup cold water
2 cups (frozen this time of year or fresh in the summer) Maine blueberries
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and is slightly thickened and clear, stirring constantly. Gently stir in blueberries, lemon zest and juice. Use immediately or chill for later.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Hello Dollies- Magic Bars- Congo Bars

I remember being a little girl and visiting my Aunt Betty in Eliot. She had the most wonderful gardens and would let me walk around and pick sprigs to put in a bouquet on the table. We would press the leaves between our fingers and release the scent into the air. The aromas were heady in her kitchen. She, like my mom, always encouraged me to cook.
One of my favorite recipes- everyone has their own version- was for a bar cookie called Hello Dollies. So good, so chewy and buttery and delicious. They are quick, easy and there are seldom leftovers. These are great for a bake sale- They're a sell out every time.
Hello Dollies
In a 9"x13" pan mix together: 1 stick melted butter and 1 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers, Nabisco chocolate wafers, or graham crackers. Press mixture into the bottom of the pan to create a crust.
Sprinkle over the crust: 1 cup chocolate bits (I like Ghirardelli extra dark), 1 cup flaked coconut, and an optional 1/2 cup white, butterscotch or peanut butter bits.
Pour evenly over all the ingredients- 1 can sweetened condensed milk.
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.
For another decadent layer, melt another half cup of chocolate bits and drizzle over the top. Mmm. Sticky, oooey-gooey, sweetness. This recipe should come with a warning- Not for those with their sweet tooth removed...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Cottage Cheese Dip for Veggies

Buzz’s Healthy Dip

My friend Buzz is one of the most extraordinary men I know. Not only is he a genius in business, he writes poetry, is a brilliant cook and has a great sense of humor. This is his own invention- a dip that is unusual, delicious and actually good for you.

1 lb cottage cheese
3 oz katsup
6 drops Tabasco or Cholula sauce- or more to taste
1 t garlic powder or 1 clove fresh garlic minced
the juice and zest from 1 large lemon
5 twists of fresh ground pepper
1 t dried oregano
1⁄2 t celery salt or Beau Monde seasoning
1 T dried parsley

12 celery stalks- washed, and cut into 3’ sticks

In a medium bowl combine the cottage cheese, katsup, lemon juice and zest. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve with celery sticks for scooping. If you want a smoother dip, you can make this in a food processor and puree the cottage cheese before adding the other ingredients.
Savor. Linger. Enjoy!