Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas

Serves 2.

Spicy is right! These hold a kick! I reduced the number of chipotle chiles used after we were a little overheated the first time around. A little bit goes a long way; just be sure to chop the chile finely so that it can spread throughout the dish. A great flavor, and a great change from the more typical enchiladas out there.

3 large tortillas
1-1/2 c. cooked rice
1 c. cooked, shredded chicken
1 chipotle chile (from canned chiles in adobo sauce), chopped very small
2 T. adobo sauce (from can)
3/4 c. salsa
1/4 c. sour cream
1 c. shredded Mexican blend cheese (reserve 1/4 c.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine chopped chile, adobo sauce, and salsa.

In a large bowl, combine rice, chicken, sour cream, and 3/4 c. shredded cheese. Add half of the salsa mixture to the chicken mixture. Divide evenly between three tortillas and roll up; place seam side down in an 8x8 baking dish.

Top enchiladas with remaining salsa mixture and 1/4 c. shredded cheese.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Creamy and Zesty Black Beans with Corn

Creamy and Zesty Black Beans with Corn

Serves 2-4.

What a great, great recipe! I saved this a while back after coming across it on Lemons & Love, and now I'm sorry it took me so long to finally make it. So good! I kid you not, I took one bite out of the stovetop pan to test the temperature, and ended up going back for 6-8 more bites because I couldn't resist! Thank goodness I was only serving it to
The Mr./Dr. and myself! We served with grilled BBQ chicken, but this could easily be a meal on it's own when served over rice.

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 c. frozen corn
1/2 c. salsa
3 oz. cream cheese
1 t. cumin
salt and pepper
few dashes of hot sauce
juice from half of one lime

Combine all ingredients (except lime juice) in a saucepam. Heat over medium until cream cheese is creamy and the mixture is completely heated through, stirring occasionally.
Stir in lime juice just before serving.
Serve over rice, with tortilla chip scoops, or plain as-is! Any way you serve it, you'll love it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bay Breeze

Bay Breeze

Makes 1 drink.

Summer is winding down. Sigh. But you can still hang on to these last warm nights by treating yourself to a Bay Breeze. It'll make it feel like mid-July all over again.
Source: Maran Illustrated Bartending

1 oz. vodka
2 oz. pineapple juice
2 oz. red cranberry juice
1 lime wedge

Fill a rocks glass with ice cubes.
Add the vodka, pineapple juice, and cranberry juice to the glass.
Garnish with a lime wedge and stir the drink.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Skip-Two-Steps Chocolate Chip Cookies

Skip-Two Steps Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

When using self-rising flour in place of all-purpose flour, simply omit the salt and baking soda. (Please note that not all recipes can utilize this easy of a switch when it comes to the different types of flours. Chocolate chip cookie recipes contain amounts of salt and baking soda that are already correctly proportionate to the flour.) If you want to use all-purpose flour, add 1 t. baking soda and 1 t. salt.)

3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. butter or margarine, softened
1 t. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2-1/4 c. self-rising flour
1 (12-oz.) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 9-11 minutes, or until just slightly golden around the edges. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Still Alice

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Within the last 10 years, we've witnessed my grandfather go through the different stages of Alzheimer's disease. It's awfully painful when familiar like that, but tragically intriguing when one is able to step back and look through the lens of a scientific approach. This book takes you through both. You sense the struggles Alice is going through, feel the heartbreak her husband is dealing with, and sympathize with her children as they attempt to grasp their own understanding of the situation. It's beautifully written and had me hooked from the beginning. Not a feel-good book, but one that I am most definitely glad I read.

From Publishers Weekly on Amazon.com:

Neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova mines years of experience in her field to craft a realistic portrait of early onset Alzheimer's disease. Alice Howland has a career not unlike Genova's—she's an esteemed psychology professor at Harvard, living a comfortable life in Cambridge with her husband, John, arguing about the usual (making quality time together, their daughter's move to L.A.) when the first symptoms of Alzheimer's begin to emerge. First, Alice can't find her Blackberry, then she becomes hopelessly disoriented in her own town. Alice is shocked to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's (she had suspected a brain tumor or menopause), after which her life begins steadily to unravel. She loses track of rooms in her home, resigns from Harvard and eventually cannot recognize her own children. The brutal facts of Alzheimer's are heartbreaking, and it's impossible not to feel for Alice and her loved ones, but Genova's prose style is clumsy and her dialogue heavy-handed. This novel will appeal to those dealing with the disease and may prove helpful, but beyond the heartbreaking record of illness there's little here to remember. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Flower Cookies

Flower Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen.

These have been in my life for a long time. Years ago, as a subscriber to American Girl magazine, I found this recipe amidst the pages of a spring issue. I can still vividly remember making them the very first time. And since then, they continue to brighten my day whenever I make them. It's a great activity to do with kids... and they love tasting the end result!
Forgive my dark photos -- they were taken on my phone.

30 large marshmallows
24 gumdrops
1 pkg. slice and bake sugar cookies
1 container strawberry frosting

Preheat oven and bake cookies according to package directions.

While cookies are baking, prepare "petals" by cutting each marshmallow into four slices. Start by cutting on the end, as shown below, and then make two more cuts, to create four "petals" in all.

Here's what your petals should look like:

When cookies are done baking, cool completely on wire racks.
Frost, place gum drop in the middle, and surround with marshmallow petals. Wa-lah!

A Note From The Little Lady: When working with kids, it's often best to utilize all shortcuts possible! But if you're making these solo, or have patient helpers, use these tricks to make your flowers taste even better:
3. In separate bowls, dye batches of frosting in different shades of pastels.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bravo! Pasta

Bravo! Pasta

Serves 4-6.

Such a great pasta dish! The Mr./Dr. loved it; I loved it; you will love it!
Source: Betty Crocker's Italian Cooking cookbook

4-1/2 c. tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought)
1 T. butter
1 c. sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/2 c. chopped imported prosciutto or fully cooked ham (about 4 oz.)
2 medium green onions, thinly sliced
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t. pepper
1 lb. package penne (or fettuccine)
1/2 c. freshly grated or shredded imported Parmesan cheese

If making a homemade tomato sauce, prepare it first.

While sauce is simmering, melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms, prosciutto, and onions in butter about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are tender.

Stir in whipping cream, nutmeg, and pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.

Stir in tomato sauce. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

While sauce is simmering, cook pasta as directed on package. Drain pasta; return to saucepan. Add sauce. Toss gently until pasta is evenly coated. Sprinkle with cheese... and additional green onion, if desired.

A Note From The Little Lady: If you're looking for a great homemade marinara, try this one.

Friday, August 20, 2010



Makes 1 drink.

A classic. A very popular cocktail. If you haven't tried, you should.
Source: Maran Illustrated Bartending

1-1/4 oz. vodka
3/4 oz. triple sec
3 oz. red cranberry juice
1/2 lime

Fill a shaker halfway with ice cubes.
Add the vodka, triple sec, and cranberry juice to the shaker.
Squeeze the lime juice into the shaker and shake the mixture vigorously for 5-10 seconds.
Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kellogg's Fiber Plus Antioxidants Cereals

Product Review: Kellogg's Fiber Plus Antioxidants Cereals

As a recipient of Kellogg's breakfast cereals through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was able to taste-test two new offerings: Berry Yogurt Crunch and Cinnamon Oat Crunch, both healthy cereals with loads of Fiber, and - you guessed it - antioxidants!

Both cereals were tasty, and a healthy way to start my day. I'm a cereal lover, so I often eat it in the afternoon and evening as well. These have not lasted long in my house. I can't resist sugary cereals like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but I love when I find a good-for-me cereal that gives me lasting energy beyond the initial sugar rush.

Let's talk about the Berry Yogurt Crunch first. My favorite, although both were tasty. The B.Y.C., as we'll refer to it, was crunchy, sweet, and perfect with cold milk. The yogurt bits were welcome surprises in my spoon, and the light fruity flavor was definitely there, but not over-powering. All in all, a great cereal that's good for you too!

The Cinnamon Oat Crunch was good, but somewhat bland and lacking in flavor. Keep in mind that I admitted earlier to being a sucker for Cinnamon TOAST Crunch, so sometimes a "healthified" version just doesn't do the trick. I'm still making my way through the box, though, as it's a great snack for before bed or when dinner seems hours away.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I had heard a lot about this book before borrowing it from my mom. What I wasn't prepared for, though, was that the whole book was comprised of letters to and from the characters. At first, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get the "full story" without the tried and true narrative descriptions we are all used to. But the story clipped along at a good pace and my doubts were dissolved. Not the best book I've ever read, but its shorter length makes it easy to crank out in a week or two.

From Publishers Weekly on Amazon.com:

The letters comprising this small charming novel begin in 1946, when single, 30-something author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume Izzy Bickerstaff) writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams finds Juliet's name in a used book and invites articulate—and not-so-articulate—neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, the book's epistolary circle widens, putting Juliet back in the path of war stories. The occasionally contrived letters jump from incident to incident—including the formation of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while Guernsey was under German occupation—and person to person in a manner that feels disjointed. But Juliet's quips are so clever, the Guernsey inhabitants so enchanting and the small acts of heroism so vivid and moving that one forgives the authors (Shaffer died earlier this year) for not being able to settle on a single person or plot. Juliet finds in the letters not just inspiration for her next work, but also for her life—as will readers. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Roasted Corn and Edamame Salad

Roasted Corn and Edamame Salad

Serves 2.

Obviously, every recipe I choose is selected because it looks good on paper. But every once in a while, the results blow you away, and you're left thinking, "Wow! I thought it would be good, but I never expected it would taste this great!" This is one of those recipes.
Source: Self magazine

1 ear fresh corn, or 1/2 c. cooked corn kernels
1/4 c. shelled edamame
1/8 c. chopped red onion
1/8 c. small-diced red bell pepper
1 t. fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 t. light mayonnaise
1-2 t. lemon juice
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper

Soak fresh corn in cold water about 30 minutes. Heat grill on high. Grill corn in husk, 10-15 minutes, turning once. Let cool. Remove husks. Cut corn from cob into bowl; combine with remaining ingredients. Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

A Note From The Little Lady: Don't hesitate to use frozen corn. It still tastes fantastic and will save you a ton of time! Simply cook according to package directions. The same goes for the edamame, which I buy frozen in the shell.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cuban Garlic and Lime Pork Chops

Cuban Garlic and Lime Pork Chops

Serves 3 (easily doubled).

A perfect summer meal. The garlic and red pepper flakes add flavor and heat, and the fresh-squeezed juices add that summery tang. Best on the grill, and best enjoyed on a warm summer night.
Source: The Grilling Bible Cookbook

3 boneless pork chops, 3/4" thick
1 T. olive oil
1 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. fresh orange juice
1 t. bottled minced garlic
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. red pepper flakes

Place pork in a large resealable bag. Add oil, juices, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes. Seal bag and shake to evenly distribute marinade. Refrigerate for 24 hours, or freeze until ready to use.

Grill pork 6-8 minutes on each side or until pork is no longer pink in center.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Comrade Collins

Comrade Collins

Makes 1 drink.

I felt like a real bartender when I made this drink for my sister-in-law. She loved it, raved about it, and claimed it may be her new favorite cocktail! Thanks for the confidence booster, Christina! You can come to my bar anytime! :)
Source: Maran Illustrated Bartending

1-1/2 oz. vodka
2 oz. lime juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. club soda
1 lime wedge

Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
Add the vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup to the glass.
Top the drink with club soda, garnish with a lime wedge, and stir the drink.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Florentine Chocolate Profiteroles

Florentine Chocolate Profiteroles

Serves 2.

A decadently light dessert, perfect for sharing with that special date. It will satisfy your sweet tooth, and although it looks fancy and hard-to-create-yourself, believe me when I say that it was surprisingly easy. And the best part? You can make it ahead of time, stash it in the freezer until you're ready to serve, and plate without ever needing a knife.
Source: Betty Crocker's Italian cookbook

1/2 c. water
1/8 c. butter
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 c. whipping (heavy) cream
1 T. powdered sugar
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
2 oz. semisweet baking chocolate
1 T. water
1 t. honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour a cookie sheet.

Heat 1/2 c. water, the butter, and salt to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet.

Bake about 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack; cool. Cut off tops of puffs; reserve. Pull out any filaments of soft dough from puffs.

Beat whipping cream, powdered sugar, and nutmeg in chilled medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Fill puffs with whipped cream mixture; replace tops. Mound puffs on large serving plate.

Heat remaining ingredients over low heat until smooth; drizzle over puffs. Freeze at least 2 hours until chocolate is firm, or serve immediately. Store covered in refrigerator.

A Note From The Little Lady: I was not able to fit my cookie sheet in my freezer, so I sent it straight to the refrigerator. I didn't have any problems. Freezing for two hours is probably unnecessary, but I wanted to give you the original instructions.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Free-Form Sausage-and-Three-Cheese Lasagna

Free-Form Sausage-and-Three-Cheese Lasagna

Serves 2.

A perfect meal for an at-home date night when you want all the prep work done ahead of time.
Source: Food and Wine magazine

1/4 lb. lasagna noodles
1 T. + 1 t. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing
1/8 lb. sweet Italian sausage (about 1 link)
1/4 c. water
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
14-oz. can whole tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 lb. fresh mozzarella, cut into chunks
3 oz. Italian Fontina, cut into chunks
1 T. unsalted butter, softened
Fresh basil, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna noodles until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer the noodles to a bowl of cold water and let stand for 2 minutes, then drain. Pat the noodles dry. Transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 t. of the olive oil. Add the Italian sausage (as a link), cover and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned all over. Add the water, cover and simmer until the sausage is just cooked through, about 4 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 t. of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with the juices and cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sausage and its poaching liquid and simmer for 4 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat until thickened, about 12 minutes. Coarsely break up the sausage and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

In a well-buttered baking dish, arrange 1/3 of the lasagna noodles in different directions in the dish (hence, free-form lasagna). Spoon 1/3 of the tomato sauce over each noodle and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese. Set a piece of mozzarella and Fontina on each lasagna noode and add a few chunks of sausage:

Repeat the process with the remaining lasagna noodles, tomato sauce, mozzarella, Fontina, and sausage, sprinkling with a little more of the Parmesan cheese. Brush the softened butter on any bare pasta and curly edges and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake the lasagna on the top rack of the oven for 20 minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake for about 7 minutes longer. Let the lasagna rest for about 10 minutes, then scatter the basil on top. Cut into squares and serve.

A Note From The Little Lady: You can make this the day before and refrigerate overnight. Increase baking time to 40 minutes at 425 degrees, and 10 minutes at 450 degrees.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Herbed Cheese Bread

Herbed Cheese Bread

Serves 2-4.

This tasted much more like focaccia that anything else. A drier bread that's best slathered with soft butter.
Source: Small Batch Baking Cookbook

1-1/4 t. active dry yeast
1-1/2 t. olive oil, plus extra for greasing the bowl and the baking sheet
3/4 c. plus 2 T. all-purpose flour, plus more as needed, and for dusting the work surface
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t. finely crumbled dried rosemary
1/2 t. minced fresh thyme
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. grated provolone cheese

Pour 1/4 c. plus 2 T. warm water into a medium-size mixing bowl, and sprinkle the yeast over the water. Stir to blend. Let the yeast mixture stand until it just begins to bubble, 5 minutes. Then add the oil, flour, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and cheeses. Stir until the dough is well combined.

Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough on it. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, 5-7 minutes; add up to 3 or 4 more tablespoons of flour, as needed, to prevent the dough from sticking.

Lightly grease a medium-size mixing bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in it, and turn the dough to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until it is doubled in bulk, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch the dough down on a lightly floured surface, and shape it to form a loaf about 4 inches long. Lightly oil a baking sheet and place the loaf on it. Cover the dough lightly with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until it is almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

While the dough is rising, place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bake the loaf until it is golden, about 25 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, transfer the loaf to a wire rack, and let it cool. Serve the cheese bread warm or at room temperature. (This bread is best when eaten within 2 days. Store loosely wrapped at room temperature.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Date Night

Date Night

Serves 2.

The Mr./Dr. has been very busy lately. I don't get to see him all that often, especially when my work hours and his work hours barely overlap. So when we do have time together, I try to make the most of it. This night was perfect for a "date," since he had an early Saturday morning back at the hospital the next day. What I liked most about this menu, and what I strived for in planning it, is that it required very little last-minute prep and work during our time together. I had the salad ready to be tossed with dressing before serving; the lasagna was made ahead of time and simply popped in the oven an hour before eating; and the dessert was also made ahead of time, waiting patiently in the fridge until we were ready to dive in. Because we were able to leisurely enjoy conversation over drinks, each other's company, and a relaxed setting, it made the experience feel more like a restaurant and less like I was the one cooking and in charge of providing dinner.

My attempt to make things nice and fancy:

The table set; the wine decanted:

For starting off, a Caesar salad (from the bag - it's too easy!). I've been wanting to try and make my own Caesar dressing, though; anyone have a good recipe to recommend?

Homemade bread for two: Herbed Cheese Bread

Free-Form Sausage-and-Three-Cheese Lasagna:

And for dessert, Florentine Chocolate Profiteroles:

***Recipes will be posted throughout the week, starting tomorrow.

Friday, August 6, 2010



Makes 1 drink.

A drink that's been made famous throughout the West Indies, U.S., and parts of Europe, the Painkiller was first discovered by The Mr./Dr. on a vacation with his family. When we find establishments serving them on our travels, we always stop for a drink!

4 parts pineapple juice
1 part cream of coconut
1 part orange juice
Your choice of:
*2 parts of Pusser's rum (Painkiller #2)
*3 parts (Painkiller #3)
*4 parts (Painkiller #4)
Fresh nutmeg on top

Blend together pineapple juice, cream of coconut, orange juice, and rum. Serve over the rocks with a generous amount of nutmeg on top.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tilapia with Roasted Red Peppers & Artichokes

Tilapia with Roasted Red Peppers & Artichokes

Serves 4.

This is a super easy meal to prepare, and has a fairly fancy presentation, all things considered. It's easily doubled, halved, etc. Since you can keep tilapia filets in the freezer, and a jar of tapenade in the pantry, this is a great go-to meal to keep on hand.

4 tilapia filets, thawed if frozen
All-purpose seasoning
3-4 T. olive oil
1 jar roasted red pepper and artichoke tapenade, room temperature

Season tilapia filets with an all-purpose seasoning.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add tilapia and cook until filets flake easily, about 3 minutes per side.

Remove from pan and arrange on plates, topping with tapenade.

A Note From The Little Lady: I found my jar of tapenade at Trader Joe's. If you prefer a different variety, go for it!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Moloka'i by Alan Brennert

I learned a lot reading this book; learned about things I knew nothing about until cracking the spine. Leprosy is not just something you read about in the Bible. It ravaged lives and families into the early 1900s. This wasn't a "fun" read, but it was challenging and educational. The first half of the novel was slow for me, but things picked up and, what I anticipated to be a solely depressing story, actually had glimmers of hope.

Publishers Weekly review from Amazon.com:

Compellingly original in its conceit, Brennert's sweeping debut novel tracks the grim struggle of a Hawaiian woman who contracts leprosy as a child in Honolulu during the 1890s and is deported to the island of Moloka'i, where she grows to adulthood at the quarantined settlement of Kalaupapa. Rachel Kalama is the plucky, seven-year-old heroine whose family is devastated when first her uncle Pono and then she develop leprous sores and are quarantined with the disease. While Rachel's symptoms remain mild during her youth, she watches others her age dying from the disease in near total isolation from family and friends. Rachel finds happiness when she meets Kenji Utagawa, a fellow leprosy victim whose illness brings shame on his Japanese family. After a tender courtship, Rachel and Kenji marry and have a daughter, but the birth of their healthy baby brings as much grief as joy, when they must give her up for adoption to prevent infection. The couple cope with the loss of their daughter and settle into a productive working life until Kenji tries to stop a quarantined U.S. soldier from beating up his girlfriend and is tragically killed in the subsequent fight. The poignant concluding chapters portray Rachel's final years after sulfa drugs are discovered as a cure, leaving her free to abandon Moloka'i and seek out her family and daughter. Brennert's compassion makes Rachel a memorable character, and his smooth storytelling vividly brings early 20th-century Hawaii to life. Leprosy may seem a macabre subject, but Brennert transforms the material into a touching, lovely account of a woman's journey as she rises above the limitations of a devastating illness.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Baked Cheese Spread

Baked Cheese Spread

Yields 3 cups.

An easy appetizer to whip up when time is limited. It's just as decadent and tasty as something you might spend more time on.

1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. grated Colby cheese
1 c. chopped onion
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together. Spread into a pie plate.

Bake until golden brown on top, about 30 minutes. Serve with crackers.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hot Fudge Brownie Dessert

Hot Fudge Brownie Dessert

Serves 20.

A decadently rich, chocolate dessert that begs to be served with vanilla ice cream. I adapted the recipe slightly, changing the preparation and ingredients. See the original recipe, linked below, if you are interested in adding coffee and/or nuts.
Adapted From: Pillsbury

2 boxes (19.5 oz. each) chocolate fudge brownie mix
1 c. butter, melted
4 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar (11.75 oz.) hot fudge chocolate ice cream topping, room temperature
1 container vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a 13x9 baking pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, stir together brownie mixes, butter, eggs, and sweetened condensed milk. Pour into pan.

Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted 2" from the side comes out almost clean.
Cool brownies for approximately 5 minutes.

With a long-tined fork or a skewer, poke several holes in the brownies. Pour hot fudge topping evenly over brownies. Cool 35 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.