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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 53

How to use these pages:  Below is a list of the recipes on this page.  You can either scroll down the page and look at all of the recipes, or look at the titles.  When you find one that seems interesting, use your web browsers FIND function to take you directly to that recipe (on my IE browser it's Edit/Find (on this page)   or Ctrl - F on your keyboard).



























































































1 10 oz can Hungry Jack Biscuits.

4 or 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced.

1 10 oz 7 up

1 stick butter

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Roll biscuits thin, place raw apple on each and fold over. Put in baking dish folded side down. Mix 7 up, sugar, cinnamon, and butter in sauce pan, bring to a boil and pour over biscuits. Bake 30 min. at 350 degrees. Biscuits will rise up and brown on top.


1 1/2 pounds lean beef stewing meat

1 cup coarsely chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 10 1/2-ounce cans beef broth

2 cans water

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning

1 16-ounce can tomatoes, undrained

1 15 1/4-ounce can kidney beans, undrained

1 3/4 cups pitted canned ripe olives

1 cup liquid from canned olives

1 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots

1 cup small seashell macaroni, uncooked

2 cups sliced zucchini

Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut beef into 1 1/4-inch cubes. Mix beef, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a Dutch oven. Add olive oil and stir to coat meat evenly. Brown, uncovered, in preheated oven about 40 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Add broth, water and Italian seasoning. Cover and cook 1 hour until meat is almost tender.

Remove from oven and stir in tomatoes, kidney beans, ripe olives, canned olive liquid, carrots and macaroni. Sprinkle zucchini on top. Cover and return to oven to bake 40 to 45 minutes longer, until macaroni is tender. Serve with Parmesan.




1# powdered sugar (sift if necessary)

1 c. solid vegetable shortening

1 tsp. clear vanilla

1 Tbl meringue powder

2 Tbls water

1 tsp. Valencia flavoring

Cream shortening, then add remaining ingredients. This recipe yields 3 cups of frosting. This produces frosting with a stiff consistency, perfect for piping roses. For a medium consistency, (for borders) add 1 tsp. water to each cup of frosting For a thin consistency, (suitable for icing the cake and writing or leaves) add 2 tsp. water to each cup of stiff frosting. I usually double this recipe when icing a two layer 9 inch cake with

frosting decorations. Meringue powder and Valencia flavoring are both sold at my local party store. (Party Time) Valencia flavoring really gives this icing the taste of bakery icing and meringue powder gives it that soft "crust". Simply Whites can be used in place of meringue powder and a flavoring called "Creme Bouquet" is also a good substitute for the Valencia.


Traditional white birthday and wedding cakes have never rocked my row boat, but bring an ice cream cake to the party and I'll be the first one in line with a plastic fork. This huge ice cream chain stacks many varieties of pre-made ice cream cakes in its freezer, but the most popular version includes white cake with pralines and cream flavored ice cream on top. So that's the version we've cloned here. But don't think you're locked into this formula -- you can use any flavor of cake and ice cream for your masterpiece. Just be sure the ice cream you choose comes in a box. You need the rectangular shape so that it will stack up right. You'll want to use a real sharp serrated knife to cut the ice cream in half while it's still in the box. Since the cake is also cut in half this recipe will give you two desserts that look and taste just like those that cost over 20 bucks each in the stores. That white stuff that coats the cake is actually softened ice cream, spread on in a thin layer like frosting, and then re-frozen. After it sets up, you can decorate the cake any way you like with pre-made frosting in whatever color suits the festive occasion. From Top Secret Recipes:


1 box white cake mix

1 1/4 cups water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 egg whites

1/2-gallon box praline ice cream

4 cups (2 pints) vanilla ice cream

1 12-ounce container white frosting


colored frosting

A sharp bread knife makes box slicing easy

Ice cream on top of the cake, and all the trimmings


1. Make your cake following the directions on the box. If you are making the white cake you will likely blend the cake mix with water, oil and 3 eggs. Pour the batter into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. When cake is done, let it cool to room temperature.

2. When the cake has cooled, slice it in half and place each half on a wax-paper covered cookie sheet, or a platter or tray that will fit into your freezer.

3. Use a sharp serrated knife (a bread knife works great) to slice the ice cream through the middle, box and all, so that you have two 2-inch thick sheets of ice cream. Peel the cardboard off the ice cream and lay a half upon each of cakes. Slice the edges of the cake all the way around so that the cake is the same size as the ice cream on top. Work quickly so that the ice cream doesn't melt. When both cake have been trimmed, place them into the freezer for an hour or two.

4. When you are ready to frost the cake, take the two pints (4 cups) of vanilla ice cream out of the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to soften. Stir the ice cream so that it is smooth, like frosting. Use a frosting knife or spatula to coat each cake with about 2 cups of ice cream. Cover the entire surface thoroughly so that you cannot see any of the cake. Pop the cakes into the freezer for an hour or so to set up.

5. When the cakes have set, fill a pastry bag (with a fancy tip) with white frosting to decorate all around the top edge of the cake. Also decorate around the bottom of the cake. Use colored frosting and different tips to add inspired artistic flair and writing on the cake, as needed. Cover the cakes and keep them in your freezer until party time.

6. When you are ready to serve the cakes, leave them out for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Cut the cakes with a sharp knife that has been held under hot water. ( Makes 2 cakes (approx. 10 servings each).


You may wish to use another flavor cake mix such as chocolate or devil's food for this dessert -- even low-fat cake mix works. It's up to you. Just follow the directions on the box for making the cake in a 9x13-inch baking pan. You can also use any flavor of ice cream. Just be sure to get it in a box.


1 lg onion, chopped

1 lg green pepper; chopped (or half green and half red)

1 cn Rotel chiles & tomatoes, drained (save liquid)

1 cn cream of anything soup

1 pk dried onion soup mix

1 lb smokey hollow pork sausage, cut 1/2" rings*

1 lb shrimp, peel, deveined

2 chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cubed

2 cn black-eyed peas, drained (save liquid), (or 1 pk Frozen black-eyed peas)

1 tsp. thyme

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 lb butter or margarine

2 cups raw long-grain rice

* Save any left-over meats in the freezer and throw in the pot.

Put rice in the pot and add remaining ingredients. Stir to mix. Cut butter in pats and put on top. In 4-cup measuring cup place soup, tomato juice, black-eyed pea juice (and any

other juice you are using) plus enough water to make 4 cups. Pour over rice mixture plus 1 more cup. Cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, but still a little moist.


2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blackberries or

one 16 1/2-oz. can blackberries, drained

1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup skim milk

1/4 cup water

1 8-ounce carton plain nonfat yogurt

1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel

1/4 cup orange juice

Thaw berries, if frozen. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan combine sugar and gelatin; stir in milk and water. Heat just till gelatin dissolves. Set aside to cool. In a food processor bowl process berries until smooth. Press through sieve; discard seeds. Stir berry puree, yogurt, orange peel, and orange juice into gelatin mixture. Turn into a 2-quart electric ice-cream freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions. (Or, pour into a 9x5x3-inch pan. Cover; freeze about 6 hours. Break into chunks. Transfer to a chilled bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth but not melted. Return to cold loaf pan.

Cover; freeze about 8 hours.) Makes six 1/2-cup servings. Make-ahead tip: Store in airtight freezer container up to 2 weeks.


These bread recipes were submitted by a reader who mixes the dough in her bread

machine, then bakes in the regular oven:


1 c plus 6 Tbl of water

1 1/2 Tbl honey

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp sugar

4 c flour

2 1/2 tsp yeast

Roll into one large or two small "french bread looking" pieces. Make 2 horizontal slices across them. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees.


1 c plus 3 Tbl water

1 1/2 Tbl butter

1 tsp salt

2 Tbl sugar

3 c flour

3 Tbl dry milk

2 tsp yeast

Place in bread pan and bake at 350 degrees until top is browned.


1 c water

1 egg

1 tsp salt

2 Tbl sugar

3 c flour

3 Tbl dry milk

1 1/2 tsp yeast

Roll out and place on pizza pan. Add desired toppings and bake at 350 degrees.


1 c plus 1 Tbl water

1 1/2 Tbl butter

1 tsp salt

2 Tbl brown sugar

1/2 c oats

2 1/2 c flour

2 tsp yeast

Bake in a standard bread pan at 350 degrees until browned on top


2 eggs (beaten).

Add enough water to eggs to make 1 cup plus 6 Tbl

1/2 c butter

1 1/2 tsp salt

4 Tbl sugar

4 c flour

4 Tbl dry milk

2 tsp yeast

Roll out dough. Cut out triangles and roll into crescent roll form and put on greased pan.

You can bake immediately or let raise again, then bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned.


1 cup water

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (see Note)

2 tablespoons ( 1/4 stick) butter

8 ounces fresh wild mushrooms, (shiitakes, chanterelles, porcini, etc.) stemmed if needed and finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped shallot

1 pound ripe Brie, well chilled, rind trimmed, cheese cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup dry white wine

4 tablespoons white truffle oil (see Note)

Bite-size pieces of cooked chicken; steamed, quartered small red-skinned potatoes; steamed asparagus or green beans; and bite-size pieces of French bread or focaccia

Bring 1 cup water to boil in small saucepan. Add dried porcini. Remove from heat and let stand until mushrooms soften, about 20 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer porcini to work surface and chop coarsely. Reserve porcini and soaking liquid.

Melt butter in heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add fresh shiitake or other mushrooms and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add shallot; sauté 1 minute. Add porcini and soaking liquid, leaving any sediment from liquid behind. Increase heat to high. Simmer until liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Toss Brie with cornstarch in large bowl to coat. Add wine to mushrooms. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Add cheese to mushrooms in 3 batches, whisking after each addition until cheese melts before adding more. Continue whisking until mixture is smooth and just begins to simmer (do not boil). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in truffle oil.

Transfer fondue to fondue pot. Set pot over candle or canned heat burner. Serve with chicken, vegetables and bread.

Note: Dried porcini mushrooms and white truffle oil are available at Italian markets, specialty foods stores and many supermarkets.


2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

5 large eggs -- lightly beaten

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter or margarine -- melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pie crust (9 inch)

Combine sugar and flour in a large bowl; add eggs and buttermilk, stirring until blended. Stir in butter and vanilla, and pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 10 servings.


1 1/2 cup dry red wine

3/4 cup olive oil

3 Tbs. soy or tamari sauce

1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard


3 lbs. frying chicken, cut up

In a large screw-top jar, combine wine, oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and pepper to taste. Cover and shake until blended. Arrange chicken in a large plastic bag set in a shallow pan. Pour marinade over chicken, forcing as much marinade up and around chicken as possible. Tie bag tightly closed. Refrigerate chicken 4 to 6 hours, turning bag over once. Grill or broil chicken, turning often, until juices run clear.


6 Tbs. olive oil

4 Tbs. cider vinegar

4 Tbs. lemon juice

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

3 Tbs. grainy mustard

3 medium garlic cloves -- crushed

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 pound boned and skinned chicken breast halves

Combine all ingredients except chicken. Marinate chicken, in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Grill 10-12 minutes until no longer pink and juices run clear, turning once.




4 ounces Spaghetti

3 slices Bacon -- chopped

1/2 cup Onion -- chopped

1 clove Garlic -- minced

3 tablespoons Flour

2 cups Tomatoes, canned -- chopped

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

1 cup Milk

1 cup American Cheese -- shredded

2 cups Chicken -- cooked, cubed

1 package Frozen peas -- thawed

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated

Break spaghetti pieces in half & cook according to package directions. Drain. In large saucepan, cook bacon, onion and garlic until bacon is crisp. Blend in flour. Add undrained tomatoes, soup and milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add shredded American cheese and stir till melted. Stir in cooked spaghetti, cubed chicken, and thawed peas. Pour into a 2 1/2-qt casserole and top with parmesan. Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes.


1 package chocolate or devil's food cake mix, without pudding in mix

1 3.4-ounce package chocolate instant pudding

1/2 cup cooking oil

4 whole eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup Kahlua or creme de cocoa

1/4 cup vodka

3/4 cup orange juice

Beat all ingredients about 4 minutes or until smooth. Place in an oiled Bundt pan and bake 45 to 50 minutes. Dust with confectioner's sugar, or toss in a handful of chocolate chips along with the sugar.


with variations

2 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast

2 3/4 cups Water -- (110 degrees)

1/2 cup Dry Milk

2 tablespoons Sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons Salt

1/3 cup Vegetable Oil

7 1/2 cups Flour -- (more or less)

Sprinkle yeast on water. Stir to dissolve. Add dry milk, sugar, salt, oil & 3 cups flour. Beat with mixer until smooth (3 min). Gradually add enough of remaining flour to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of the bowl. Cove and let rest 15 minutes. Knead until smooth & satiny (5 min). Divide dough in half and shape loaves. Place in greased loaf pan and let rise 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough has doubled. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Rub shortening onto top crust of bread right after taking out of oven.


*Freezer dough: Add 1/2 teaspoon of Ascorbic Acid (such as products like Fruit Fresh) and change amount of yeast in recipe to 3 Tbsp.. After kneading dough, cover and let rest for 15 minutes, then form dough into desired shapes to be frozen. Flash freeze by placing in bread pans or on baking sheet, until dough is firm and no longer sticky. Then, place into zip baggies, and freeze for up to 6 months before baking. To bake, place dough into bread pan, or onto baking sheet, and let thaw for 5-6 hours, until dough is about double in size, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes, or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

*Italian style round bread: form loaves into flat circles about 10 inches across. Place loaves onto cookie sheet which has been oiled with olive oil. Rub tops of loaves with olive oil, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, parsley, paprika and garlic salt. Bake 20-25 minutes in 350 degree F oven. Serve with spiced olive oil (for dipping) or butter. *Dinner Rolls: Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Form into rounds and place side by side in a prepared 13 x 9 cake pan or muffin tins. Bake at 350 degree F oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Copyright: "(c)1999, Kaylin Cherry/Real Food for Real People"


One bite of these decadently delicious scones will send you into chocolate ecstasy.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 beaten egg yolk

1 8-ounce carton plain yogurt

1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces

1 recipe Powdered Sugar Glaze

Powdered sugar (optional)

In a large bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, baking

soda, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter or margarine till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients; set aside.

Combine egg yolk and yogurt; add to dry ingredients. Add chocolate pieces. Stir mixture

till moistened. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead dough 10 to 12 strokes or till

dough is nearly smooth. Roll or pat dough into a 9-inch circle; cut in 10 wedges. Place wedges 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake in a 375°F. oven about 18 minutes or till bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet; cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze; if desired, dust top with powdered sugar. Serve warm. Makes 10 scones.

Powdered Sugar Glaze: In a small mixing bowl stir together 1/2 cup sifted powdered

sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine, 1 teaspoon milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add more milk, 1/4 teaspoon at a time, till glaze is of a drizzling consistency.


1 18-1/4-oz box cake mix -- devils food

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

2 large eggs -- lightly beaten

1 tablespoon water

1/2 cup powdered sugar -- sifted

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until smooth. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in powdered sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 10 minutes. Cool about 10 minutes on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 48 servings.


9 1/2 ounces dried figs or other dried fruit such as apricots or prunes

3/4 cup brandy

3/4 cup red wine

3/4 cup honey

Juice and zest of 2 oranges

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

2 cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 vanilla bean, split in half

1/3 cup strong black tea

Ice cream, lightly whipped cream or mascarpone to serve

To prepare figs: Rinse figs under hot water, drain and place in bowl. Pour brandy over figs, cover and set aside for 6 hours or overnight. Remove figs from brandy, reserving brandy, and set aside.

To poach figs: Pour brandy into a medium saucepan and add all other ingredients except ice cream, whipped cream or mascarpone. Place saucepan over low to medium heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain mixture through fine sieve and discard spices and citrus zest. Return syrup to pan and add figs. Place pan over low to medium heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until figs are soft but not disintegrating. If using other dried fruit, they may need only about 15-20 minutes of poaching. Remove figs from syrup.

To adjust syrup for serving: Check thickness of syrup by placing a spoonful on a cold plate. The consistency should be like that of a sauce, not too thin and watery and not too thick. Reduce further or dilute as necessary. When syrup is at desired consistency, taste it. Add a little more lemon juice if it is too sweet.

To serve: Slice figs in half and serve with a little syrup poured over and some mascarpone, lightly whipped cream or ice cream on the side. Serves 8


1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

1 egg

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. With pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in 1 egg with fork just until moistened. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Press dough in bottom and up sides of ungreased miniature muffin cups. In small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, and 1

egg; mix well. Place scant tablespoonful of filling in each pastry shell. If desired, top each with pecan half. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until set. Cool. Remove from pan with small spatula. Yield: 24 tarts


1 15-1/4-ounce can pear halves or slices

1 8-ounce carton plain yogurt

3 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Few drops green food coloring, (optional)

Few drops almond extract, (optional)

Put five 5-ounce paper cups in an 8x8x2-inch baking pan; set aside.

Open the can of pears with a can opener. Place a colander in the sink.

Empty the pears into the colander and let the liquid drain away.

Put the pears, yogurt, honey, lemon juice, and, if you like, food

coloring and almond extract in a blender container or a food processor bowl.

Cover with the lid and blend or process on high speed until smooth. Turn off

the blender.

Pour the mixture into the paper cups using a rubber scraper to remove

all of the mixture from the blender container or food processor. Cover each

cup with a square of foil. Use a table knife to make a small hole in center

of each foil square. Slide a wooden craft stick through each hole and into

the fruit mixture in the cup.

Put the pan in the freezer. Freeze for 4 to 6 hours or until the pops

are firm.

To serve, remove the foil and tear the paper cups off the pops.


2/3 cup sliced carrot

1/2 cup diced onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)

1 1/2 cups diced green cabbage

1/2 cup green beans

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup diced zucchini

In large saucepan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, sauté the carrot, onion, and garlic over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth, cabbage beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and salt; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Stir in zucchini and heat 3-4 minutes. Serve hot.


Grandma's Cookie Company was founded back in 1914 by Foster Wheeler, but it wasn't until 1977 that the company introduced the popular Big Cookie. This large, soft cookie comes two-to-a-pack and is offered in several varieties, including oatmeal raisin. Now you can bake up a couple batches all your own with this kitchen clone. Just be sure not to over do it in the oven. You want these cookies soft and chewy when cool -- just like a happy grandma would make 'em -- so take them out when they are just beginning to turn light brown around the edges. From Top Secret Recipes:

1/2 cup raisins

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 egg

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups oats (not instant)

2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

2. Combine raisins with water in a food processor and blend on high speed for about 1 minute or until very smooth.

3. Combine this raisin puree with the vegetable shortening, egg, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix well with electric mixer until smooth.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Pour this dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix well until ingredients are incorporated. Mix in raisins.

5. Roll 3 tablespoon portions of the dough into a ball in your hands and press to 1/2-inch flat on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, or the cookies will not be chewy. Store in a sealed container. Makes 16 to 18 cookies.


When these cookies are cool, be sure to seal them up real super duper tight in something like Tupperware or a resealable plastic bag. That's the way to keep these puppies moist and chewy like the original Grandma's Big Cookies. In fact, the real product claims to be the only national cookie brand that guarantees the freshness of the product or double your money back. That's very big of the current manufacturer, Frito-Lay, which purchased the Grandma's Cookies brand from General Mills back in 1980.

From Top Secret Recipes:

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup Peter Pan peanut butter

1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

2. Beat shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and salt together in large bowl until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl combine the flour and baking soda. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture while beating.

4. Roll 3 tablespoon-size portions of the dough into a ball in your hands and press to 1/2-inch flat on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, or the cookies will not be chewy and you may negatively impact the full enjoyment potential of the product. ( 14-16 cookies.


For the chicken and broth:

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small onion, diced

3 large (about 3 3/4 pounds total) chicken breasts, halved

For the sauce:

1 scant cup (about 4 ounces) hulled, untoasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

12 ounces (about 8 medium) tomatillos, husked and washed, or 1 1/2 (13-ounce) cans

tomatillos, drained

Fresh hot green chiles to taste (roughly 3 serranos or 2 small jalapeños), stemmed and


5 large romaine lettuce leaves

1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped

3 small cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

3 large sprigs fresh cilantro

1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin)

6 black peppercorns (or a big pinch ground)

2 whole cloves (or a pinch ground)

1 1/2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil

About 1/2 teaspoon salt

For garnish:

A few sprigs of fresh cilantro

4 radish roses

To simmer chicken: Bring 6 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large saucepan with diced onion. Add chicken breasts, skim off any grayish foam that rises during the first minute of simmering, partially cover and simmer over medium heat for about 12 minutes, until breasts are barely done. If there is time, let chicken cool in broth. Remove chicken; strain broth, then spoon off all the fat that rises to top.

For pumpkin seeds: Heat medium skillet over medium-low for several minutes, then pour in pumpkin seeds in single layer. When first one pops, stir them constantly for 4 to 5 minutes, until all have toasted and popped. Cool completely. In batches, pulverize seeds in a spice grinder (or in a blender fitted with a miniblend container). Sift through medium-mesh sieve, then stir in 1 cup of broth from chicken.

For vegetables and spices: If using fresh tomatillos, simmer them with whole chiles in salted water to cover until tender, 10-15 minutes; drain and place in blender or food processor. Simply drain canned tomatillos and place in blender or food processor with raw chiles.

Tear lettuce leaves into rough pieces and add to tomatillos along with onion, garlic and fresh cilantro. Pulverize spices in a mortar or a spice grinder, add to blender, then process until smooth.

Heat lard or oil in large saucepan over medium. When hot, add pumpkin seed-broth mixture and stir constantly as it thickens and darkens, 4-5 minutes. Add vegetable puree and stir a few minutes longer, until very thick.

Stir in 2 cups chicken broth, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. For a smooth sauce, scrape into a blender, blend until smooth, then return to saucepan. Season with salt and, if necessary, thin to a light consistency with a little broth.

Just before serving, add chicken to simmering sauce. When heated through, remove breasts to a warm serving platter, spoon sauce over them and decorate with sprigs of cilantro and radish roses.


1 container (8-oz.) cream cheese with pineapple, softened

1/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

6 corn tortillas (about 6-inch)

1 pkg. (6-oz.) thinly sliced ham (about 18 slices)

6 to 12 lettuce leaves

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, nuts, and spice; mix well. For each roll-up, briefly cook corn tortilla on both sides in nonstick skillet (about 1 minute). Do not brown. Cool slightly. Spread about 1/6 of the cream cheese mixture over tortilla to within 1/2-inch of edge. Lay 3 thin slices of ham, overlapping across center of tortilla. Top with 1 or 2 lettuce leaves. Roll up and wrap. Makes 6 sandwiches. Can be made without cooking



Diced carrots

Thinly sliced zucchini

Thinly sliced potato

Thinly sliced onion


Green beans


Celery slices

Other family favorites Summer sausage slices

Cover with cream soup (mushroom, broccoli, chicken. etc) or cream style corn or spaghetti sauce. Bake in oven or microwave until potatoes and sausage are done.


1-2 small boxes dry flavored gelatin (1 1/2 for the flavor, depending how much fruit also)

12-16 oz. cottage cheese, small curd (whisk these two together well)

2 cups (approx.) fresh or drained fruit about 3 cups Cool Whip (one small container)

Gently combine these two then add to the cottage cheese and jello. Chill.

Orange Sherbet Salad

6 oz. Orange jell-O

1 cup boiling water (use drained juice in it)

1 pint orange sherbet (2 cups)

8-16 oz. can drained, cut up mandarin oranges

2 cups Cool Whip or Dream whip made up

Dissolve jell-O in water/juice. Mix in sherbet while hot, then Whipped topping with whisk or mixer. Fold in oranges. Should thicken right away. This is nice to change combinations also, using pineapple with the pineapple sherbet. I've made it with pineapple juice and un-flavored gelatin to eliminate some of the additives. Raspberry sherbet is also available


1 pound Cottage Cheese, lowfat

1 pound Mozzarella Cheese -- shredded

1 Egg

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese -- grated

1 tablespoon Parsley -- chopped

1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper -- freshly ground

4 cups Spaghetti Sauce

1 package Macaroni -- large shells

Mix cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley & black pepper, until well blended. Place jumbo shells in boiling water and boil for 9 minutes. Drain shells & fill with the filling mixture. Cover bottom of baking dish with sauce. Arrange shells side by side in single layer. Pour remaining sauce over shells. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired. To freeze: Prepare as directed about, but do NOT cook shell macaroni before filling. Do not bake, but cover tightly, label and freeze up to 6 months. To use, thaw in refrigerator overnight, and bake at 350 degrees F, for 30 - 45 minutes.

Copyright: "(c)2000, Kaylin Cherry/Real Food for Real People"


6-8 c. cooked macaroni

3 jumbo eggs

1/2 stick butter

1 T. Shilling coarse black pepper

2 c. skim milk

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Pam vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix milk, 3 eggs and pepper in a bowl. Beat until well blended. Spray 9 X 13" oven proof dish with Pam. Put a layer of macaroni in dish, cut up 1/2 of butter in small pieces and lay on top. Make a sparse layer of shredded cheese. Pour 1/2 of milk mixture over all. Repeat layers and milk mixture, ending with shredded cheese on top. Bake for approximately 45 minutes until top is nicely browned and bubbly.



1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1-1/2 cups water

3 medium mangoes -- peeled, chopped fine

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 gallon French vanilla ice cream -- softened


1 medium mango -- peeled, sliced lengthwise

1 lime -- thinly sliced

8 whole maraschino cherries -- with stems

1 cup heavy cream -- whipped, lightly sweetened


Combine sugar and water in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Allow the syrup to boil for 2 full minutes. Remove from heat.

Immediately add mangos to hot syrup and purée with a food processor or a blender. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing the pulp with a rubber spatula to get all the liquid. Discard pulp and add lime juice to the liquid.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or set the pan in a bowl of ice water, stirring until chilled.

Freeze in an ice cream machine as the manufacturer's instructions recommend.

Brush the insides of 8 custard cups with a light coating of vegetable oil, then line them with plastic wrap. Press the plastic up against the oil to hold it in place. Allow the plastic to hang over the edges at least 2 inches all around. Chill in the freezer.

Fill the sides of the chilled molds with about 1/2 inch of the softened ice cream, leaving a cavity in the centers. Fill the cavities with the mango sorbet. Fold the plastic over and freeze for at least 4 hours.

To serve: Slice the mango and the lime into very thin wedges. Flatten each cherry on one side by slicing off a small piece (this is the side it will lay on). Unmold the bombes by holding the outside of each custard cup under hot running water for 2 seconds (be sure not to let any water get inside). Give the plastic a little tug and let the bombe fall out into your hand. Pull the plastic the rest of the way off and lay the bombe on the serving plate. Arrange 2 slices of mango and one slice of lime, slightly overlapping, on top of the bombe. Lay them so they radiate out from the center and down the right side. (If the ice cream is too soft the slices will not stick but will slip down onto the plate.) Place the cherry (flat side down) in the center on top of the three slices. Garnish the bottom edge against the plate by piping flurries of whipped cream with a pastry bag.

NOTES : This dessert can be prepared through step 7 and frozen for up to 1

month before finishing. Bombes are usually prepared in one large mold and

then sliced; but individual portions are always more appealing in a

restaurant. This way each person who eats one will get the pleasure of

"discovering" the bright orange sorbet inside the vanilla ice cream.


3 Tb Butter

1/2 c Maple Syrup

2 md Apples, Cored 1

0 Maraschino Cherry Halves

4 Tb Butter

3/4 c Sugar

2 Eggs, Separated

1 1/2 c All-Purpose Flour

2 t Baking Powder

1 t Salt

1/2 c Milk

Whipped Cream

Melt 3 tbsp butter in a 9" square baking pan. Add the maple syrup and remove from the heat. Cut the unpeeled apples into 1/2" slices. Arrange the apples and cherry halves in the pan. Cream the remaining 4 tbsp butter with 1/2 cup of the sugar and the egg yolks until fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternately add the dry ingredients and milk to the creamed mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff; beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Fold the whites into the batter spread the batter over the apples. Bake in a preheated 350 F. oven for 40-50 minutes.

Immediately remove the cake from the pan by inverting the cake over a serving dish. The cake should slide out easily with the apples on top. Serve warm with whipped cream. Serves 6


This one comes up on the request boards all the time, yet no clone recipe floating around out there has yet to do justice to recreating the sauce that comes in the all-too-tiny packages for dipping McNuggets. We finally got on the case and bring you the definitive kitchen clone -- and it's a cinch! Tie one hand behind your back and witness plain old ground dried mustard mixing it up with sweet and sour flavors in a saucepan over medium heat. The cornstarch wrangles around in there to thicken and stabilize while Captain Habanero pops in for the perfect spicy punch. Use it for dipping, use it for spreading...use it again and again, since you'll make about a cup of the stuff. And McDonald's will be glad that we no longer need to hoard the little blister packs.

From Top Secret Recipes:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 tablespoons ground dried mustard

4 teaspoons corn starch

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon salt

10-14 drops habanero hot sauce

1. Combine all ingredients in a small uncovered saucepan. Whisk until smooth.

2. Turn heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Sauce should thicken in 2 to 3 minutes after it begins to boil. Remove sauce from heat and chill in refrigerator in a covered container. ( Makes 1 cup.







1 bag corn chips, crushed (you can use plain tortilla, or cheese flavored tortilla or

regular Frito-type corn chips) OR several taco shells, crushed

1-2 lbs. ground beef Taco seasoning (and water to make) OR picante sauce OR taco


1 lb. grated cheddar cheese OR cheese slices

1 can cream of chicken soup (or your favorite cream soup)

1/2 to 1 soup can milk

1 onion, chopped (optional)

Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Place half the crushed chips/shells in the bottom and spread to cover. Brown ground beef. Season using taco seasoning according to directions OR by mixing sauce into ground beef. Mix onions into seasoned beef mixture. Layer ground beef and cheese (at least two layers or more) in casserole dish. Mix together soup and milk. Pour over all. Place dish in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining chips/shells on top. Return to oven for 10 minutes more or until done.


4 cups tomato juice

2 limes

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons sugar

1 heaping tablespoon grated horseradish

2 tablespoons grated red onion

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Tabasco or similar hot sauce to taste

1 small cucumber, peeled, halved and chopped

2 green onions, sliced thin

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into small pieces

1 pound cooked shrimp or any cooked seafood such as scallops, calamari, salmon, halibut

In large bowl, combine tomato juice, juice of 1 1/2 limes, Worcestershire, sugar, horseradish and red onion. Season to your liking with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Refrigerate.

In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, green onions and avocado. Squeeze remaining lime juice over all.

To serve, put shrimp in glass bowl or individual glass serving glasses or dishes. Pour a generous amount of sauce on top and spoon on some cucumber avocado.


So here's the challenge with this clone recipe: Not only do we have to get the right ratios for nearly 20 different spices, but we also have to come up with a way to get the same lemony tang that makes the real Mrs. Dash the tasty salt-free seasoning blend we've come to know and love over the years. Sure, we could use powdered citric acid that is sometimes found in health food stores, but not everyone is going to have that scary sounding ingredient readily available. Then we still need to figure out the "lemon juice solids" part. Ah, but wait, there's citric acid and lemon juice solids in Kool-Aid unsweetened lemonade drink mix. It's perfect! Add a little of that drink powder to the spice blend and we have a clone that in a blindfolded taste test could fool even Mr. Dash. From Top Secret Recipes:

1/4 cup crushed dried minced onion flakes*

4 teaspoons crushed dried vegetable flakes (Schilling)*

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried orange peel

2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried savory

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon dried mustard

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 teaspoon Kool-Aid unsweetened lemonade drink mix

dash crushed dried rosemary

Crushing the vegetable flakes with extreme prejudice

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. As you stir, crush the leafy spices for a finer blend.

2. Store the spice blend in a covered container or a sealed shaker bottle. ( Makes about 2/3 cup.

*Tidbits It's best to use a mortar and pestle to crush these sometimes tough little flakes to about the size of rice, before adding them to the mix. But if you don't have one of those handy kitchen tools, you may also use the back of a spoon and a small bowl -- plus a little grease. You know, the elbow kind.






1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach

1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard

11 ounces Parmesan cheese

1 pound fresh ricotta

5 egg yolks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons butter

8 fresh sage leaves or baby spinach leaves

Place spinach and chard in a large bowl. Blanch for 5 minutes by pouring boiling water into the bowl, then refresh greens in cold water. Squeeze out excess moisture until very dry. Reserve spinach. Finely chop chard leaves and place in a bowl.

Grate 2/3 of Parmesan and add with ricotta and egg yolks to chard. Shave remaining Parmesan and reserve. Season ricotta mixture with salt and pepper, and add nutmeg. Mix together well and form into walnut-size balls. Roll balls in flour, making sure they are uniformly floured before poaching them. Poach for 30 seconds in plenty of boiling water in a large saucepan.

At the same time, reheat reserved spinach in butter in a saute pan. Place spinach in warm flat bowls. Add ravioli balls, garnish with Parmesan shavings and fresh sage or fresh baby spinach leaves, and serve immediately. Serves 6


1 1/2 pounds yellow potatoes such as Yellow Bliss or Yellow Finn

4 to 6 cups canola oil for deep fryer

1 large red bell pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small white onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (more to taste)

Wash, peel and slice potatoes in 1/4-inch rounds. Steam potatoes 3-5 minutes or until tender but still firm enough to hold their shape. Remove from steamer and set aside. Preheat canola oil in deep fryer.

Wash pepper and pat dry with paper towels. Roast pepper over open flame or broil under preheated broiler, turning frequently, until skin is wrinkled and charred. Place pepper in plastic bag and set aside 15 minutes to sweat. When pepper is cool, remove skin, seeds and stem, and slice pepper into strips. Set aside.

Flash fry potatoes in oil in deep fryer and set aside to drain on paper towels. Place olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender. Add roasted red bell pepper and potatoes. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and stir until combined and hot. Serves 4


This clone recipe may be for the whole hamburger, but anybody who knows about Tommy's goes there for the chili -- and that's the part of this clone they really want. That's also the part that required the most kitchen sleuthing. Turn out it's an old chili con carne recipe created back in 1946 by Tommy's founder, Tommy Koulax, for his first hamburger stand on the corner of Beverly and Rampart Boulevards in Los Angeles. Adding the right combination of water and flour and broth and spices to the meat we can create a thick tomato-less chili sauce worthy of the gajillions of southern California college students that make late-night Tommy's runs a four-year habit. And if you don't live near one of the two-dozen Tommy's outlets, you can still get a gallon of Tommy's famous chili shipped to you. But I hope you really dig the stuff: You'll shell out around 70 bucks for the dry ice packaging and overnight shipping. And don't expect to see the ingredients on the label since the chili comes packed in a gallon-size mustard jug.

From Top Secret Recipes:


1 pound ground beef (not lean)*

1/4 cup flour plus 1 1/4 cups flour

1 1/3 cups beef broth

4 cups water

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoon grated (and then chopped) carrot

1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 teaspoons dried minced onion

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3 pounds ground beef

8 hamburger buns

16 slices Kraft cheddar cheese Singles

1/2 cup diced onion

32 to 40 hamburger pickles (slices)

8 slices large beefsteak tomato (1/2-inch thick)

1/4 cup yellow mustard

Strain the fat out of the meat with popular and common kitchen gadgets

Roux. Something good can come from the French.

1. Prepare the chili by first browning the meat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Crumble the meat as it browns. When the meat has been entirely cooked (7 to 10 minutes), pour the meat into a strainer over a large cup or saucepan. Let the fat drip out of the meat for about 5 minutes, then return the meat back to the first saucepan. Cover and set aside.

2. With the fat from the meat, we will now make a roux -- a French contribution to thicker sauces and gravies usually made with fat and flour. Heat the drippings in a saucepan over medium heat (you should have drained off around 1/2 cup of the stuff). When the fat is hot, add 1/4 cup flour to the pan and stir well. Reduce heat to medium/low, and continue to heat the roux, stirring often until it is a rich caramel color. This should take from 10 to 15 minutes. Add the beef broth to the pan and stir. Remove from heat.

3. Meanwhile, back at the other pan, add the water to the beef, then whisk in the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour. Add the roux/broth mixture and the other chili ingredients and whisk until blended. Make sure your grated carrot is chopped up to the size of rice before you add it.

4. Crank the heat up to medium/high. Stir often until you see bubbles forming on the surface of the chili. Turn the heat down to medium/low, and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until thick. The chili should be calmly bubbling like lava as it simmers. When it's done cooking, take the chili off the heat, cover it, and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour before using it on the burgers. It should thicken to a tasty brown paste as it sits.

5. To make your hamburgers, you'll first divide 3 pounds of hamburger into 16 portions of 3 ounces each. Grill the burgers in a hot skillet or on an indoor griddle for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done. Use some salt and pepper on each patty.

6. Build the burgers by lightly toasting the faces of the hamburger buns. Turn them over into a hot skillet or a griddle on medium heat.

7. Place one patty onto the bottom bun.

8. Position two slices of cheese on the meat.

9. Place another beef patty on the cheese.

10. Spoon about 1/3 cup of chili onto the beef patty.

11. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of diced onion onto the chili.

12. Arrange 4 to 5 pickle slices on the onion.

13. Place a thick slice of tomato on next.

14. Spread mustard over the face of the top bun and top off your hamburger by turning this bun over onto the tomato. (

Makes 8 burgers. (6 cups of chili.)


Make sure the ground beef you use has a fat content of at least 20 percent. This way you'll be sure to get enough fat to make the roux.






If you've had the Kookaburra Wings from Outback, then you've tasted the chain's thick and creamy bleu cheese dressing served up on the side. Use this stuff when you need an excellent dipping sauce for your next batch of wings, or just pour it over a salad and dive in. From Top Secret Recipes:

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 tablespoon crumbled bleu cheese

1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Mix all ingredients together by hand in a small bowl until smooth.

2. Cover and chill for 30 minutes before serving. (

Makes 1 cup.


Roll a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream in home-made candied pecans. Surround the ice cream with warm cinnamon apples and drizzle caramel over the top. Sprinkle fresh cinnamon-butter croutons on the dessert and you've got an irresistible clone of one of Outback's most popular menu items. For the croutons, it's best to use the Bushman Bread clone (below). But if you're not up for bread making, choose another sweet bread, such as Hawaiian Sweet Bread or Pillsbury Honey White Bread.

From Top Secret Recipes:

Candied Pecans

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon butter

1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

Cinnamon Croutons

2 cups cubed Bushman Bread (from clone below -- or you can use another sweet bread such as Hawaiian Sweet Bread or Pillsbury Honey White Bread.)

1/3 cup salted butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cinnamon Apples

1 20-ounce can apple pie filling

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon brown sugar

4 cups vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup caramel topping (Smucker's is good)

1 1/2 cups whipped cream

4 fresh strawberries

1. For candied pecans, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon butter, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until mixture boils and all sugar granules are dissolved.

2. Add chopped pecans to mixture and stir for 1 to 2 minutes over heat. Be sure that all pecans are well-coated.

3. Pour mixture onto a large plate and continue to stir until mixture hardens and begins to break up. You should be able to separate all of the nuts.

4. For the croutons, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Pour the slice bread cubes onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bread has turned light brown. Stir halfway through cooking time.

5. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Pour baked croutons into the pan and sauté until the bread is well-coated with butter. Combine the 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the croutons while stirring so that the croutons are well-coated with cinnamon/sugar. Remove croutons from the heat and pour them onto a plate to cool.

6. Prepare apples by carefully mixing them with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in a large bowl. You want to be sure you don't stir hard enough to break up the apples. Microwave the apple for 1 to 2 minutes or until hot.

7. To assemble the dessert for serving, first roll four cup-size scoops of ice cream in the pecan pieces. You can do this step ahead of time if you like, keeping the pecan-covered scoops in your freezer.

8. Place an ice cream scoop onto a small plate, then pour about a tablespoon of caramel over the ice cream. Dribble another tablespoon around the base of the ice cream onto the plate.

9. Spread the hot apples around the base of the ice cream being sure to divide them evenly amongst the four servings.

10. Divide the croutons into four portions and sprinkle them on the apples around the base of the ice cream scoop on each plate.

11. Spread a generous portion of whipped cream onto the top of each scoop of ice cream.

12. Top off each dish with a fresh strawberry. (

Makes 4 servings.


Along with an entree at this popular steakhouse chain, comes a freshly baked loaf of this dark, sweet bread, served on it's own cutting board with soft whipped butter. One distinctive feature is Outback Steakhouse Honey Wheat Bushman Bread.

Along with an entree at this popular steakhouse chain, comes a freshly baked loaf of this dark, sweet bread, served on it's own cutting board with soft whipped butter. One distinctive feature of the bread is its color. How does the bread get so dark? While you may notice the recipe includes instant coffee and cocoa, these ingredients will not give it it's deep dark chocolate brown color - not even close. Usually breads that are this dark -- such as pumpernickel or dark bran muffins -- contain caramel color, an ingredient often used in the industry to darken foods. Since your local supermarket will not likely have this mostly commercial product, we will make the caramel color from a mixture of three food colorings -- red, yellow and blue. Just be sure to get the food coloring in the little droppers so that you can count the drops as you measure. That's very important to getting the color just right. You may also opt to keep the color out. The bread will certainly taste the same, but will look nothing like the real deal. I suggest using a bread machine for the mixing and kneading, if you have one. From Top Secret Recipes:


1 1/2 cups warm water

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 cup honey

2 cups bread flour

1 2/3 cups wheat flour

1 tablespoon cocoa

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 teaspoons instant coffee

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 pkg.) yeast



1/4 cup water

75 drops red food coloring

45 drops blue food coloring

30 drops yellow food coloring

cornmeal for dusting

1. If using a bread machine, add all of the ingredients for the dough in the exact order listed into the pan of your machine. Set it on "knead" and when the machine begins to mix the dough, combine the food coloring with 1/4 cup of water and drizzle it into the mixture as it combines. After the dough is created let it rest to rise for an hour or so. Then remove it from the pan and go to step #3.

2. If you are not using a bread machine, combine the flours, cocoa, sugar, coffee and salt in large bowl. Make a depression or "well" in the middle of the dry mixture. Pour the warm water into this "well," then add the butter, honey and yeast. Combine the food coloring drops with 1/4 cup of water and add that to the "well." Slowly mix the ingredients with a spoon, drawing the dry ingredients into the wet. When you can handle the dough, begin to combine it by hand, kneading the dough thoroughly for at least ten minutes, until it is very smooth and has a consistent color. Set the dough into a covered bowl in a warm place for an hour, to allow it to rise.

3. When the dough has risen to about double in size, punch it down and divide it into 8 even portions (divide dough in half, divide those halves in half, and then once more). Form the portions into tubular shaped loaves about 8 inches long and 2 inches wide. Sprinkle the entire surface of the loaves with cornmeal and place them on a cookie sheet, or two. Cover the cookie sheet(s) with plastic wrap and let the dough rise once more for another hour in a warm location.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the dough and bake it for 20-24 minutes in the hot oven. Loaves should begin to darken slightly on top when done. Serve warm with a sharp bread knife and butter on the side. If you want whipped butter, like you get at the restaurant, just use an electric mixer on high speed to whip some butter until it's fluffy. Makes 8 small loaves.


This new addition to Outback's margarita selections will handily quench, soothe and ring the bell in your clock tower -- just what the doctor ordered for a hot summer evening fiesta. This mildly fruity on-the-rocks margarita is powerful ammunition in any home bartender's arsenal of party cocktails. We like tequila. Tequila is our friend. But get to the bottom of too many of these tasty pink drinks and you'll feel like a used pinata in the morning. From Top Secret Recipes:

1 1/2 ounces Margaritaville gold tequila (1 shot)

3/4 ounce Triple Sec (1/2 shot)

1/3 cup sweet and sour mix

1/3 cup cranberry juice

3/4 ounce Grand Marnier (1/2 shot)

wedge of lime


margarita salt (for rim of glass)

1. If you want salt on the rim of your glass, moisten the rim of a 16-ounce mug (or glass) and dip it in margarita salt.

2. To make the drink, fill the glass with ice.

3. Add a shot of tequila, a half shot of Triple Sec, then some sweet and sour mix and cranberry juice (in equal amounts -- about 1/3 cup each should do it) to within a half-inch of the top of the glass. Stir.

4. Splash a half shot of Grand Marnier over the top of the drink.

5. Add a wedge of lime and serve with a straw. (

Makes 1 serving.


This always-popular growing restaurant chain makes a tasty version of creamy ranch dressing for its house and Queensland salads. To get the same unique flavor and creaminess of the original at home, mates, you'll need just one teaspoon of Hidden Valley ranch salad dressing mix swimming in there with the mayo and buttermilk and other spices. Since there's three teaspoons of dressing mix per packet, you'll be able to stretch one envelope three times as far, by crackey! From Top Secret Recipes:

1 teaspoon Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix (buttermilk recipe)

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well.

2. Cover bowl and chill dressing for at least 30 minutes before serving. ( Makes 1 1/2 cups.


(pasta and beans)

1 (16 oz) can italian-style crushed or whole italian-style tomatoes (finely chopped)

1 (19 oz) can kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

3 cups cooked pasta or 3/4 cup dry pasta

3 cups water

Place all ingredients in a medium size saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes, if using cooked pasta, or until dry pasta is fully cooked. Add enough water during cooking to just cover the pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with a slice of bread and a salad.


Quinoa is a very nutritious grain that was originally grown in South America at high elevations. From one source that I have read, it is a complete protein by itself, making it very useful for addition to a vegetarian diet. The only drawback to quinoa (pronounced "keen-wa") is that it has natural saponins on the outside of the grain. This can give the grain a soapy flavor if not rinsed. When using quinoa, put a small quantity (say, 1/4 cup) in a bowl and add water to cover. Soak just a few minutes, then drain off. Watch out that the tiny grains don't all disappear down the drain with the water! Rinse twice if you are nervous about the possibility of soapy-tasting food. Quinoa is good in chicken soup instead of rice or noodles. When it cooks up, you will have two parts: a small round grain and a little C-shaped thread part. These come separated from one another during the cooking. It is also good cooked up like rice with veggies over it.


2 Tb. Cornstarch

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Water

Cook until thickened

2 Tb. dry Raspberry jell-O -- add and mix in.

(or 3/4 tsp no sugar variety)

Pour mixture while hot over 2-4 cups Red Raspberries in a pie shell. Chill I make my crusts but it is delicious in the prepared shortbread type crusts. While on raspberries, a reader gave a recipe in which she omitted the fruit cocktail. This same recipe (I would never omit the fruit) lends itself to other flavors; raspberry jell-O with fresh raspberries; blackberry with black raspberries, strawberry, orange or lime with pineapple, etc.


1 pound Bacon

2 cups Carrots -- sliced

3 cups Potatoes -- diced

1 large Onion -- chopped

32 ounces Pork and Beans

2 cups Milk, skim

2 teaspoons Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 pound Split peas


In a large pan, cover peas with hot water and let soak overnight. Next day, cook peas, water and 1/2 of salt for 1 hour on medium heat. Mash or puree peas and water until smooth. Add prepared vegetables and cook until tender. Add remainder of salt, pepper, milk, pork and beans and more water if needed. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Meanwhile, fry bacon until crisp and crumble, pressing between paper towels to remove as much grease as possible. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, and serve hot.

Copyright: "(c)2000, Kaylin Cherry/Real Food for Real People"


The first Top Secret Recipes book features a version of this clone recipe for America's most beloved candy creation. That recipe now sits in just about every collection of "copycat" recipes passed around the Web. But since 1993, I've learned a few things about the delicate science of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cloning. You know, stuff like: "Never clone peanut butter cups while crossing a busy intersection," and "Don't clone peanut butter cups while under a tall tree in the rain." These are the sort of handy tips that you don't find anywhere else on the Internet. These are the things that come with experience, perseverance and a long, complicated thought process. Over seven years have passed, and I figured perhaps it was time to share some of the more useful of these discoveries with all you great folks here on the site. Now when you make your Reese's clones, you'll know to use reduced-fat peanut butter for a better texture. Now when you're craving that delicate combination of flavors, you'll know to get out the scissors to trim muffin cups for the chocolate. This is the improved recipe right here, authorized, and in its entirety! Now you can forget all about that other Reese's clone formula. Although, you might want to keep in mind the thing about the busy intersection. From Top Secret Recipes:

12 paper muffin cups

One 12-ounce pkg. milk chocolate chips

1 cup reduced-fat peanut butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Paper muffin cups and chocolate -- what a glorious day!

1. Cut the top half off of the muffin cups so that they are shallower.

2. Pour the chocolate chips into a glass bowl and melt them in the microwave: Microwave at 50% power for 2 minutes. Stir the chips gently, and let them sit for a minute or so. If the chocolate needs more melting, microwave those chippies again at half power for 30 seconds. Stir gently. Continue the process, stirring gently as you go. But be very careful not to overcook the chocolate or it'll seize up on you like day old Carolina roof tar.

3. Using a teaspoon, spoon a portion of the chocolate into the middle of a muffin cup. Draw the chocolate up the edges of the cup with the back of the spoon. Coat the entire inside of the muffin cup with chocolate and place it into a muffin tin. Repeat with the remaining muffin cups and then put the whole muffin tin in the fridge so that the chocolate hardens.

4. Combine the reduced-fat peanut butter, powdered sugar and salt in a medium bowl.

5. When the chocolate in the muffin cups has hardened, pop the sweetened peanut butter into the microwave oven on full power for 1 minute. This will soften up the peanut butter so that it easily flows into the cups.

6. Spoon a small portion of peanut butter into each of the chocolate-coated cups. Leave room at the top for an additional layer of chocolate, which we'll add later. Pop the candy back in the refrigerator to harden the peanut butter. This should take an hour or so.

7. When the peanut butter filling has hardened, re-melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on half power for 30 to 60 seconds. Use a teaspoon to spread a layer of chocolate over the top of each candy. Chill the candy once again to set up the chocolate.

8. Finally, remember to take the paper off the outside of the peanut butter cups before eating them. ( Makes 12 candies.


You'll find the original version of this delectable Roadhouse Grill signature item in the "starters" section of the menu. It's a variation on the popular fried cheese sticks appetizers with spicy jalapeno peppers in the middle, all wrapped in large spring roll wrappers before frying. The marinara sauce on the side is perfect for dipping this tasty cheesy tidbit. To save time -- and we all like that -- you can use any of your favorite marinara pasta sauces (such as Ragu) for dipping so you won't have to whip it up from scratch. From Top Secret Recipes:

8 thin slices monterey jack cheese

8 thin slices cheddar cheese

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 teaspoon minced fresh chives

4 large spring roll wrappers

1 beaten egg

6 to 10 cups vegetable oil

On the side

Marinara (pasta) sauce

Slice the cheese real thin, add peppers and chives, roll it all up and give it a good squeeze before wrapping

1. Use a sharp knife to make 8 thin slices each from the end of standard-size hunks of cheddar and monterey jack cheeses.

2. Arrange 2 slices of cheddar and 2 slices of jack on your hand, then sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of diced jalapeno on top of the cheese. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of minced chives on next. Sandwich the peppers and chives between the cheese and roll it all up. Fold the cheese and squeeze it all together so that the peppers and chives are well sealed into the middle of the cheeses.

3. Lay a spring roll wrapper with one corner pointing away from you. Arrange the cheese lengthwise on the center of the wrapper.

4. Fold one of the side corners over the cheese filling. Brush a little beaten egg on the tip of the other side corner and fold it over the first corner so that it sticks. Brush some beaten egg on the corner pointing away from you. Fold the bottom corner up and over the filling. Roll the wrapper up, keeping it tight, until it rolls over the top corner with the egg on it. It should stick. Repeat with the remaining rolls, then cover them all and chill for at least 30 minutes. This will be long enough to heat up the oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees.

5. When the oil is hot, fry the rolls for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until the outside is golden brown. Drain the rolls on a rack or paper towels for 2 minutes before serving with your favorite marinara sauce on the side for dipping. (

Serves 2.


5 pounds Pumpkin -- Sugar Pumpkin ONLY

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Butter or Margarine -- melted

1/2 teaspoon Salt

2 large Carrots -- sliced

4 small Potatoes -- halved and sliced

1 medium Apple -- peeled & sliced

1 medium Onion -- chopped

3 cloves Garlic -- minced

1/4 teaspoon Thyme -- dried

1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper -- freshly ground

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut top off pumpkin, about 2 in. below stem. Scrape out seeds and stringy pulp with a spoon. Mix oil and butter in a small cup. Lightly brush some inside pumpkin, then sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of the salt. Place cut side down at one end of pan. Pile carrots, potatoes, apple, onion and garlic at other end of pan. Drizzle with remaining oil mixture, then sprinkle with remaining salt, the thyme and pepper. Toss to coat, then spread out. Roast 30 minutes, turning vegetables over once.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F, turn pumpkin over and continue roasting 15 minutes, turning vegetables once more, until vegetables and pumpkin are tender. Fill pumpkin with vegetables. Cut in wedges to serve.


3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract or vanilla

Few drops green food coloring

2 cups all-purpose flour

Green colored sugar

In a large mixer bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed till softened (about 30 seconds). Add sugar and salt and beat till fluffy. Add the egg, peppermint extract or vanilla, and a few drops of green food coloring. Beat mixture well. With mixer on low speed gradually add flour to butter mixture and beat well.

Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Shape each part into a roll about 1 inch thick and about 8 inches long. Roll each in green colored sugar. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

Unwrap rolls. Slice crosswise so the slices are 1/4 inch thick. To shape each shamrock, place 3 slices of dough with sides touching in a shamrock shape on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cut a stem from a fourth slice and attach to the shamrock (save the rest of this slice for cutting other shamrock stems). Gently push the slices together so each leaflet curves in slightly.

Bake in a 350° F. oven about 8 minutes or till edges are light brown. With a pancake turner lift the cookies onto a cooling rack to cool. Makes 32 cookies.

Make-Ahead Tip: Store the baked cookies in a tightly covered container at room temperature up to 3 days. Or, store the baked cookies in a freezer container in the freezer up to 2 weeks.






1 pound lean sirloin

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 teaspoon hot pepper oil

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons light soy sauce

1 1/2 cups cooked jasmine rice

Prepare grill.

Trim all visible fat from meat and cut into 1-inch cubes.

Whisk together peanut oil, hot oil, orange juice, sugar and soy sauce. Add beef, toss to coat with orange mixture and allow to rest 10-15 minutes or until grill is ready.

Thread cubes on skewers and grill over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes.

Turn with tongs, drizzle any remaining marinade over meat and continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes, or until cooked to taste. Do not overcook or meat will be tough.

To serve, place equal mounds of rice on each plate. Remove meat from skewers and

place on top of rice. Serves 4


1 pound jumbo shrimp, finely chopped

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

1 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1 lg. clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1 cup water

Thaw shrimp and chop. Combine flour and butter in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until it turns golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the onion, green peppers, celery and garlic and saute for 20 minutes. Add the shrimp and remaining ingredients. Bring to boil and then simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until shrimp are tender. Season. Serve over a bed of rice. Serves 4-6.







1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 4-serving-size package instant pistachio pudding mix

3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces

2/3 cup sugar

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 beaten eggs

1-1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup cooking oil

1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 of a can cream cheese frosting (1 cup)

Green colored sugar

1/2 cup candy-coated milk chocolate pieces

Grease muffin cups or line with paper bake cups. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, pudding mix, chocolate pieces, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl combine beaten eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla or almond extract. Stir into flour mixture just till combined. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake in a 375° F. oven for 18 to 20 minutes or till golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting; sprinkle with green sugar then milk chocolate pieces. Makes 18. Make-Ahead Tip: Up to 2 weeks ahead, prepare and bake the cupcakes but do not frost them. Wrap and freeze the cupcakes. Thaw and frost before serving.


Since Taco Bell brought the Enchirito back from the dead a couple years ago the product's formula has changed a bit. With the exclusion of the sliced black olives on top, plus a few other minor changes, this recipe represents our version of the "new" formulation of the chain's enchilada/burrito fusion product first introduced in the early 60's. The technique for preparation has also been improved from the recipe found in the first Top Secret Recipes book and published here on the Web site. So, until Taco Bell changes it again, this is the ultimate clone that makes enough for an entire family of Enchirito lovers, from Top Secret Recipes

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

dash garlic powder

1/2 cup water

1 16-ounce can refried beans

10 to 12 small flour tortillas (fajita size)

1/4 onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)

1 10-ounce can La Victoria red chile sauce

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef with the flour, chili powder, salt, minced onion, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Use your hands to thoroughly mix the ingredients into the ground beef.

2. Add the seasoned beef mixture to the water in a skillet over medium heat. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula, and break up the meat as it cooks. Heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned. The finished product should be very smooth with no large chunks of beef remaining.

3. Heat up the refried beans in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, or in the microwave for a couple of minutes on high.

4. Warm the tortillas in a steamer, or wrap them in a moist towel and microwave for 1 minute on high. You may also heat up the tortillas individually by placing them in a hot pan over medium heat for about 15 seconds per side.

5. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of refried beans down the center of each tortilla. Spoon 3 tablespoons of beef on top of the beans followed by a couple teaspoons of minced onion.

6. Fold the two sides of the tortilla over the beans and meat and flip the tortilla over onto a plate.

7. Spoon a couple tablespoons of red sauce over the top of the tortilla, then sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of the shredded cheddar cheese.

8. Heat up the dish for 30 to 45 seconds in the microwave, or until the cheese on top begins to melt. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Makes 10 to 12.


1/4 cup prepared mustard

2-pound pork tenderloin

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, cut into halves

1/4 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup tequila

2 teaspoons ground red chiles

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup snipped parsley

Spread mustard over pork. Heat oil and garlic in skillet until hot. Cook pork in oil over medium heat until brown. Remove garlic. Stir in remaining ingredients except parsley. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until pork is done, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Sprinkle with parsley.


1/2 cup Warm Water -- 105 - 115 degrees F

1 1/3 tablespoons Active Dry yeast -- (2 packets)

1 3/4 cups Tomato Juice -- 105 - 115 degrees F

1/4 cup Sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons Vegetable Shortening -- softened

2 teaspoons Salt

6 cups Flour

1 Egg White -- lightly beaten

Place warm water in large, warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and stir until dissolved. Add tomato juice, sugar, shortening, salt and 2 cups flour, then blend well. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface and divide in half. Roll each half to 12- × 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at long end of each, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Gently roll back and forth to taper ends. Place, seam sides down, on large greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Brush with egg white. With sharp

knife, make three diagonal slashes, about 1/4-inch deep, on each loaf. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet and cool on wire racks.


For corn puree:

2 cups fresh corn kernels, cut from cobs

2 cups heavy cream

For risotto:

1 white onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound Aborio rice

1 cup white wine

1 quart chicken stock

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 pound butter

1/4 cup chopped chives

Truffle oil

Salt and pepper

For vinaigrette:

2 large ripe tomatoes

1 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon and chervil

For corn puree: Place corn and cream in a medium saucepan and simmer until dry, set aside and let cool. When cool, puree until smooth.

For risotto: Dice onion and place in a hot, medium-size saucepan with oil, stirring until onion becomes translucent. Add rice, stirring until coated with oil; then deglaze with white wine. Add chicken stock in 4-ounce increments, cooking until dry, stirring constantly. When rice becomes tender, add corn puree, cheese and butter, stirring until it tightens. Finish with chives, truffle oil and salt and pepper to taste.

For vinaigrette: Place tomatoes and olive oil in blender to emulsify; strain and add chopped herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

To serve: Divide risotto among serving plates. Drizzle vinaigrette around the sides of each dish.


1-6.5 oz. can water-packed white tuna

1 small carrot, shredded

1/4 c. finely chopped celery

1/4 c. finely chopped green pepper

1 Tbs. fat-free mayonnaise

2-8" flour tortillas

2 Tbs. fat-free cream cheese

1/2 c. shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1/2 c. shredded green leaf lettuce

Alfalfa sprouts

In a small bowl, combine the tuna, carrot, celery, green pepper, and mayonnaise. Spread a tablespoon of the cream cheese in a vertical strip, to cover the center third of a tortilla. Spread half the tuna salad firmly over the cream cheese, starting 2 inches below the top and ending 2 inches above the bottom of each tortilla. Cover with half the lettuce and a blanket of sprouts.

To prepare the wrap, fold the bottom of the tortilla up, cover the top of the filling. Fold in the two sides a quarter-inch. Roll the tortilla up, holding the side folds in. Be sure to roll the wrap tightly and firmly as possible to ensure the package stays closed. Surround the wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerated until you are ready to serve or pack it.

Repeat with the second half of the filling ingredients, using the second tortilla.


For osso buco:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 veal shanks (each about 1 pound and 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches thick)

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced onions

1/4 cup diced celery

2 tablespoons crushed fresh garlic

6 parsley sprigs

6 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

3 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled and quartered

1 cup chardonnay

2 cups chicken stock

Salt to taste

For gremolata:

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

Zest of 1 lemon

For polenta:

3 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup polenta

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano

Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To a 10-inch-by-2-inch All-Clad stainless fry pan (or other top-quality pan), over high heat, add olive oil. On a plate, season veal shanks with salt and pepper. Brown shanks until golden on all sides (2 to 3 minutes per side). Reduce heat to medium-high. In a Le Creuset 7-quart round French oven pan, place shanks side by side. Set aside and get back to the fry pan.

Over medium-high heat, add carrots, onion, celery, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns. Saute until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook 1 minute more. Add chardonnay, vegetable mixture and chicken stock to Le Creuset French oven pan. Cover and place in oven for 30 minutes. Turn shanks over, re-cover pan, lower heat to 300 degrees and braise until meat is soft and tender to the touch, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, while keeping level of liquid at about halfway up the shanks. Add more stock or wine if necessary.

Remove shanks from pan and keep warm. Skim fat off remaining sauce, then strain sauce. Put sauce in small saucepan over medium-high heat and reduce until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.

For gremolata: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

For polenta: In a 3-quart All-Clad saucepan (or other heavy, durable one), heat water and salt to a boil. Using whisk to prevent clumping, whisk in polenta. Lower heat to simmer. Allow to cook for at least 40 minutes, stirring often. This allows grains to release their starches and create a smoother result. If you prefer a bit more texture, cook for 25-30 minutes. Add cream and butter, and mix well. Just before serving, remove from heat and stir in cheese. Taste and adjust with salt, if necessary. Serve immediately. If you have leftovers, they can be reheated by adding more liquid -- water, stock, milk or cream.

To serve: Place polenta on dinner plates or serving plate, arrange veal shanks on top, spoon sauce over osso buco and garnish with a sprinkle of gremolata. And be sure to eat the marrow in the center of the bone. Serve with a Barolo wine and some crusty Italian bread.


2 packages Crescent Dinner Roll Dough -- (2 cans)

8 ounces Cream Cheese -- softened

1 cup Miracle Whip light

1 package Ranch Salad Dressing Mix

3 cups Mixed Vegetables of choice -- chopped or grated

carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms,

tomatoes, olives, green peppers, etc.

2 cups Cheddar Cheese -- grated finely

Spread crescent rolls on cookie sheet and press together to make a flat crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, miracle whip & ranch dressing mix. Spread onto cooled crust. Cover with veggies of your choice and sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on top. Place under broiler just long enough to melt cheese, then remove. Cool, and cut into 1 or 2 inch squares and refrigerate until serving. This makes an excellent appetizer or after-school snack.



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