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February Recipes

CHERRY CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE PIE

3   pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese (softened)

1   Cup (8 oz.) Sour Cream

2   Large Eggs

1   tsp. Vanilla Extract

4   to 5 oz. Semisweet Baking Chocolate

1   Stick Unsalted Butter

12 to 18 Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (like Oreos)

1   Container Cherry Pie Filling/topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the crust by melting 1 stick of butter over low heat on the stove or by using the microwave. Do not overcook. Separate the halves of cookies and remove the cream filling. Put the chocolate cookies into a large zipper-top bag and use a rolling pin to crush the cookies into crumbs. You may also pulse the cookies in a food processor to create crumbs, if available. Mix the crumbs with the melted butter in a bowl until they begin to clump. Press the cookie crust into a 9-inch pie plate, coming a little bit up on the sides. Allow the crust to set in the refrigerator.

Soften the cream cheese by leaving it at room temperature or microwave on low power until slightly warm and softened.

Add the cream cheese, sour cream, eggs and vanilla to a large bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, blend the cheese mixture until all ingredients are well incorporated. Then continue to mix for 2 or 3 minutes more to make the mixture more creamy.

Place the squares of baking chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, use low to medium power to melt the chocolate. Mix thoroughly until all the chocolate has liquified. Let the melted chocolate cool off before adding it to the mixture, so the hot chocolate will not curdle the eggs and cream when added to the cream cheese mix.
Blend the chocolate with the cream cheese batter until thoroughly incorporated. (Note: If you prefer marble cheesecake, swirl the chocolate through the cream cheese instead of mixing thoroughly.)

Pour the batter into the pie plate over the crust. Bake for around 1 hour, checking the cheese cake to see if it is firm and set. Place the finished pie into the refrigerator and allow to cool for 3 to 4 hours, or overnight.
Do not worry if cracks have formed in the top. Use the cherry filling to top the pie. If desired, decorate with chocolate curls. Serve and enjoy. Serves 6 to 8


CHICKEN AND RICE SOUP FOR TWO

2    Cups Chicken Stock

1/4 Cup Cooked Chicken (chopped)

1    Tbsp. Diced Pimiento

2    Tbsp. Uncooked Rice

      Salt

      Pepper

Heat the chicken stock to a boil.  Add chopped chicken, pimiento and rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 2


BAKED EGGS LORRAINE

Super-easy and elegant, a favorite special-occasion dish.

4    Slices Canadian Bacon

2    Slices Swiss Cheese

4    Eggs

2    Tbsp. Sour Cream

1/8 tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. Pepper

Minced Chives (optional)

Coat two shallow oval 1 1/2 cup baking dishes with cooking spray. Line with Canadian bacon; top with cheese. Carefully break two eggs into each dish.
In a small bowl, whisk sour cream, salt and pepper until smooth; drop by teaspoonful onto eggs. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until eggs are completely set. Sprinkle with chives if desired. Yield: 2 servings.


SHRIMP AND PASTA SHELL SALAD

Small, tender shrimp add a special touch to pasta salad.

Dressing:

1 1/4 Cups Mayonnaise (or more if needed)

2       tsp. Dijon Mustard

2       tsp. Ketchup

1/4    tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1       tsp. Salt (or to taste)

1       Pinch Cayenne Pepper (to taste)

1       Lemon (juiced)

1/3    Cup Fresh Dill (chopped)
    
Salad:

1    (12 oz.) Package Small Pasta Shells

1    lb. Small Shrimp (cooked, peeled, and deveined - cut in half)

1/2 Cup Red Bell Pepper (finely diced)

3/4 Cup Celery (diced)

      Salt and Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

1    Pinch Paprika (for garnish)

3    Sprigs Fresh Dill (or as desired)

Whisk the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl; add lemon juice and 1/3 cup chopped dill. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate.

Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and stir in pasta shells; cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool pasta slightly; drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.

Toss shrimp with pasta; add red bell pepper, celery, and dressing to pasta and shrimp. Mix thoroughly to coat and fill shells with dressing. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 3 hours.

Stir salad again before serving and season to taste with more salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper if desired. If salad seems a little dry, mix in a little more mayonnaise. Garnish with paprika and sprigs of dill. Servings:8


BAKED EGGS IN BREAD BOWLS

Servings: As many as you want to make

Crusty Dinner Rolls (as many as you choose)

Large Eggs (one for each roll)

1 tsp. Mixed Herbs (chopped, parsley, chives & tarragon - for each roll)

1 tsp. Heavy Cream (for each roll)

Salt and pepper

Parmesan Cheese (grated, as much as you want to sprinkle on each roll)

Slice off top of each dinner roll and gently remove some bread until there is a hole large enough to accommodate an egg. Arrange rolls on a baking sheet. Reserve tops. Crack an egg into each roll. Top each egg with some herbs and a bit of cream. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake in a 350 degree oven until eggs are set and bread is toasted 20 to 25 minutes. After eggs have cooked for 20 minutes, place bread tops on baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Let sit 5 minutes.

Place tops on rolls and serve warm.


OATMEAL PIE

1   Unbaked 9” Pie Shell

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 tsp. Cloves

1    Cup Dark Corn Syrup

1    Cup Quick Cooking Oats

3    Eggs

1/4 Cup Butter Or Margarine

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. Salt

Cream together butter and sugar. Add cinnamon, cloves and salt. Stir in syrup. Add eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition until well blended. Stir in oats. Pour into shell. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until knife inserted into center of pie comes out clean. During baking the oatmeal forms a chewy, nutty crust on top. Pie is rich, delicately spiced and many people think it is pecan pie.


SLOW COOKER SCALLOPED POTATOES & HAM

3 Pounds Potatoes (peeled and thinly sliced)

1 Cup Cheddar Cheese (shredded)

1/2 Cup Onion (chopped)

1 Cup Cooked Ham (chopped)

1 (10.75 oz.) Can Cond. Cream Of Mushroom Soup

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

Place sliced potatoes in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix together shredded cheese, onion and ham. Mix with potatoes in slow cooker. Using the same bowl, mix together condensed soup and water. Season to taste with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over the potato mixture. Cover, and cook on High for 4 hours.   Makes 8 servings.


TURKEY BURGER CASSEROLE

1   lb. Ground Turkey Breast (cooked)

1/2 Cup Onions (chopped)

1/2 Cup Bell Peppers (chopped)

1  Cup Frozen Mixed Vegetables (thawed)

1  Can (10.75 oz.) Low-fat Cream of Mushroom Soup

1/4 Cup Water

1  tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

2  Cups Mashed Potatoes

1  Cup Fat-free Cheddar Cheese (grated)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside. In a skillet, cook turkey, onions, and bell peppers until no pink remains in turkey and vegetables are tender. Stir in mixed vegetables, soup, water, salt, and black pepper. Pour into prepared pan. Spoon mashed potatoes in mounds around edge of casserole. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until heated through. Top with cheddar cheese and bake 5 minutes longer. Yields 8 Servings.


STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

2    Cups Half-and-half

5    Large Egg Yolks

2/3 Cup Granulated White Sugar

1/2 Vanilla Bean or 1 1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

2/3 Cup Strawberry Puree (sauce)

In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the half-and-half and the vanilla bean (if using) to the scalding point (the milk begins to foam up).  Remove from heat, take out the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the bean with the back of a knife, and mix the seeds back into the half-and-half.

Meanwhile in a stainless steel bowl beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy (about two minutes).  You can do this with a wire whisk or a hand mixer.   Gradually pour the scalding half-and-half into the whipped egg yolk mixture, making sure you keep whisking constantly so the eggs don't curdle.  If any lumps do form, strain the mixture first before heating.

Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook until the custard thickens enough that it coats the back of a spoon (170 degrees F).  (The term 'coat a spoon' is a technique used mainly as a way to test when an egg-based custard or sauce is done.  A spoon, usually wooden, is placed in the custard and, when the spoon is raised, the film of custard on the back of the spoon will stay in place even when you draw a line with your finger through the middle of the custard).

Immediately remove the custard from the heat and continue to stir the custard for a few minutes so it does not overcook.  At this point stir in the vanilla extract, if using.  Stir in the strawberry puree.  Cover and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate the custard until it is completely cold (several hours but preferably overnight).

Transfer the cold custard to the chilled container of your ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Once made, transfer the ice cream to a chilled container and store in the freezer.  If the ice cream becomes too hard place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving so it can soften.

Makes about 3 cups.


PEACH AND TOASTED PECAN ICE CREAM

3/4     Cup Sugar

2       Tbsp. Cornstarch

1/8    tsp. Table Salt

2       Cups Milk

1       Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

1       Egg Yolk

1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste*

1       Cup Peaches (peeled and coarsely chopped)

2       Tbsp. Light Corn Syrup

1 1/2 Tbsp. Butter

1       Cup Pecans (coarsely chopped)

1/4     tsp. Kosher Salt

Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and whipping cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

Whisk egg yolk until slightly thickened. Gradually whisk about 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolk. Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla bean paste. Cool 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook peaches and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Coarsely mash, and let cool 30 minutes. Stir peach mixture into cooled cream mixture.

Place plastic wrap directly on cream mixture, and chill 8 to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; add pecans, and cook, stirring constantly, 8 to 9 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Pour chilled cream mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2 quart electric ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Before transferring ice cream to an airtight container for further freezing, stir in pecan mixture. Yields: 1 quart

*Vanilla Extract may be substituted.