• Potato Latkes

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    Potato Latkes are delicious, and for whatever reason, I’ve always had a hard time making them turn out “right.”  By “right” I mean just like Grandma Boden used to make.  I found a recipe, and before I even tasted one, when I went out into the garage and then walked back into the house I took a deep breath, and for a moment I felt like I was in Grandma’s apartment when she was cooking Latkes.  Good memories.

    This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the November 2005 issue of Southern Living.

    Ingredients:

    • 3 large baking potatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds)
    • 1 large onion, quartered
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1/4 c. matzah meal (or flour)
    • 1 3/4 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. pepper
    • Vegetable Oil
    • Applesauce

    Directions:

    1. Scrub potatoes; do not peel.  Shred potatoes and onion a food processor; drain in a colander and press with paper towels to get extra moisture out.
    2. Place potatoes and onion in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients until combined.
    3. Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat; heat oil to 350.
    4. Squeeze about 1/4 c. potato mixture firmly in hand to remove excess liquid; then carefully drop into hot oil.
    5. Fry in batches, 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden.
    6. Drain on paper towels; then place drained latkes on a wire rack on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.  Keep warm in a 200 oven up to 30 minutes.  Serve with applesauce.

    Potato Latkes:

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  • Tex-Mex Chili Mac

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    We like chili mac.  What’s not to like?  Chili with pasta and cheese.  This is by far our favorite version, which comes from the Tex-Mex Cookbook.  The taco seasoning mix is delicious and would be great for straight up taco meat…beef or chicken…or any recipe that calls for a taco seasoning packet.
    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
    • 1/2 c. green pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 14.5 oz. can Rotel tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
    • 3/4 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
    • 1 packet of taco seasoning  mix, or homemade recipe below
    • 3/4 c. water
    • Grated cheese

    Taco Seasoning Mix:

    • 1 TBSP chili powder
    • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. paprika
    • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 tsp. salt

    Directions:

    1. Brown meat with bell pepper, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until meat is no longer pink; drain.
    2. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, macaroni, and taco seasoning, and add 3/4 c. water; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover tightly, and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is done to taste.
    3. Remove the pan from heat and season to taste.  Top with grated cheese, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving to allow the cheese to melt.

    Tex-Mex Chili Mac:

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  • Meat Lasagna

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    We are a meatless lasagna kind of household, but I saw a meat lasagna recipe on Paula Deen’s show, and it sounded and looked really good.  It was quite tasty and made an enormous amount, so we divided the leftovers and froze them for future yummy dinners.  From start to finish it does take nearly 2 hours, so it’s more of a project meal than a quick week night meal.  Adapted from Lots O’Meat Lasagna from Paula Deen.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 pound ground Italian seasoned turkey
    • 1 onion
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp. salt (If using unseasoned turkey meat)
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper (If using unseasoned turkey meat)
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
    • 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
    • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
    • 1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
    • 1 (5-ounce) package grated Parmigianno-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 9 oven-ready lasagna noodles
    • 2 (8-ounce) packages shredded mozzarella

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. In a large saucepan, combine ground turkey, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until meat is browned and crumbled; drain.
    3. Return meat to pan and Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, if using. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, uncovered.
    4. In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan, and eggs.
    5. Spoon 1/4 of sauce into bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan. Place 3 uncooked lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Do not overlap noodles. Spread 1/3 of cottage cheese mixture over noodles, top with 1/4 of sauce and 1/3 mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with sauce, reserving 1/3 of mozzarella cheese.
    6. Bake 45 minutes, uncovered. Top with remaining cheese and bake 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

    Meat Lasagna:

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  • BBQ Chicken Pizza

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    This pizza is so easy and so tasty.

    Ingredients:

    • Pizza dough (or whole wheat pizza dough)
    • small onion, sliced
    • red or yellow bell peppers, sliced
    • garlic, minced
    • olive oil
    • BBQ sauce
    • Cooked chicken, shredded
    • Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese

    Directions:

    1. Place pizza stone in oven and set oven temperature to highest setting (should probably do this 1 hour before you want to eat).
    2. Meanwhile heat some olive oil in a nonstick skillet and saute peppers, garlic, and onions, until caramelized.
    3. Roll out pizza dough, lightly brush some olive oil, then spread the bbq sauce evenly.  Add the peppers, onions, chicken, and cheese.
    4. Cook until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden, about 6 minutes.

    BBQ Chicken Pizza:

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  • Tasty Taco Fillings

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    These recipes come from the October 2008 issue of Family Fun.  We only had the chicken tacos, but I was so impressed with those, that we will definitely try the ground beef filling, so I’ve included the recipe here.

    Chicken Taco Ingredients:

    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1/2 c. onion, minced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 serrano or jalapeno, minced
    • 1/2 c. tomato sauce
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 3 1/2 c. cooked and shredded chicken
    • Tortillas, salsa, guacamole etc.

    Directions:

    1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and chili and saute until onion has softened, about 6 minutes.  Add the tomato sauce, cumin and salt and cook for one more minute.
    2. Add the chicken and cook through.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

    Ground Beef Ingredients:

    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 3/4 c. onion, minced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 tsp. cumin
    • 2 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey
    • 2 TBSP tomato paste
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • Tortillas and toppings of choice

    Directions:

    1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and chili and saute until onion has softened, about 6 minutes.   Add the cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring for another minute.  Add the beef and cook, stirring breaking up any lumps, until meat is cooked through.
    2. Add the tomato paste, salt and pepper; cook stirring for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    Tasty Taco Fillings:

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  • Quick Pasta Skillet (aka Goulash)

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    Admittedly not the prettiest dish out there, but it tastes so good.  This recipe is from my Great Aunt Arlene Clark, and it reminds me of my youth.  It’s hearty, filling and tasty.  It’s kind of like a skillet casserole or a homemade hamburger helper.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
    • 1 large (1 lb 13 oz) can of diced tomatoes
    • 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
    • 8 oz. uncooked small pasta (elbows or shells)
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 green pepper, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 TBSP sugar
    • 1 TBSP chili powder
    • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp. salt
    • 1 c. sour cream

    Directions:

    1. Brown meat in a large skillet; drain off fat.
    2. Stir in remaining ingredients, except sour cream.
    3. Heat to boiling.  Cover and simmer, but stir frequently, for 35 minutes or until pasta is tender.
    4. Stir in sour cream and heat through, but do not boil.

    Quick Pasta Skillet:

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  • Coconut Curry Soup

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    This recipe comes from the December 2008 issue of Cooking Light.  The soup is delicious!!!  I substituted tofu for the chicken, but I think any protein would be really tasty.  Don’t be scared by the list of ingredients, because it comes together really quickly.  We will definitely make this one again.

    Ingredients:

    • 4  c.  water
    • salt to taste
    • 3  c.  fresh spinach leaves
    • 1/2  pound  snow peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise (or green beans)
    • 1  (5 3/4-ounce) package pad thai noodles (wide rice stick noodles)
    • 1  TBSP canola oil
    • 1/4  c. thinly sliced shallots
    • 2  tsp. red curry paste
    • 1 1/2  tsp. curry powder
    • 1/2  tsp.  ground turmeric
    • 1/2  tsp.  ground coriander
    • 2  garlic cloves, minced
    • 6  c.  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    • 1  (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
    • 2 1/2  c. shredded cooked chicken breast or 1 lb. baked tofu (about 1 pound)
    • 1/2  c.  chopped green onions
    • 2  TBSP sugar
    • 2  TBSP fish sauce
    • 1/2  c.  chopped fresh cilantro
    • 4  small hot red chiles, seeded and chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • 7  lime wedges

    Directions:

    1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add salt, spinach, and peas/green beans to pan; cook for 30 seconds. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add noodles to pan; cook 3 minutes. Drain; add noodles to spinach mixture in bowl.
    2. Heat canola oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and the next 5 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth to pan, and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken, onions, sugar, and fish sauce to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Pour chicken mixture over noodle mixture in bowl. Stir in cilantro and chiles. Serve with lime wedges.

    Coconut Curry Soup:

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  • Oatmeal Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

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    These cookies were really good, although I thought the toffee kind of got lost in the cookie, so maybe add more toffee bits than the original recipe calls for.  This recipe is adapted from the oatmeal toffee cookies found in the December 2008 issue of Cooking Light.

    Ingredients:

    • 3.4  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
    • 1  c.  old-fashioned rolled oats
    • 1/2  tsp.  baking soda
    • 1/4  tsp.  salt
    • 3/4  c.  packed brown sugar
    • 1/4  c.  butter, softened
    • 1  tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1  large egg
    • 1/3  c. (or more) almond toffee bits
    • 1 c. chocolate chips
    • Cooking spray

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Stir in toffee bits and chocolate chips.
    3. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans 1 minute. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

    Oatmeal Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies:

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