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Volume 18   Number 3        No. 2   No. 1

  THIS WEEK'S FEATURES AND RECIPES:

  >  Article: In 2 Hours, You're Greek

  >  Food Funnies: Top Foodie "Yo’ Mama" Jokes

       S E L E C T E D    R E C I P E S :

    * Red Robin Chili
       
    * Sunday Pork Roast
       
    * Italian Meatloaf
       
    * Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna
       
    * Chicken Livers with Red Wine
       
    * Bacon and Cabbage Soup
       
    * Finger Caesar Salads
       
    * Chocolate Chip Pie

     Healthy Eating:

    Low Carb: Crockpot Hungarian Goulash

    Diabetic: Lemon Chicken and Rice

    Low Fat: Buffalo Chicken Strips

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  This Week's Cooking Tips

 * Cookies will spread if your dough is too pliable by allowing butter
   to get too soft. If your cookies are spreading too much, try
   refrigerating the dough for a couple of hours before baking.

 * Cookie dough can be frozen up to three months in an airtight
   container or refrigerated three to four days.

 * Check cookies at minimum baking time.

 * Let cookies cool completely before storing. Store different types
   of cookies in separate containers so they'll keep their original
   flavor and texture. More Cooking Tips

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  This Week's Culinary Quiz (Answer at the bottom of page)

   Which hot and hearty drink is served as an alternative to tea
  and coffee at nearly every football stadium in England?

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  Quote of the Week:

   "This recipe is certainly silly. It says to separate the eggs,
    but it doesn't say how far to separate them."

    - Gracie Allen 

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    UPCOMING FOOD HOLIDAYS:

          January is: National Egg Month 
                      Bread Machine Baking Month 
                      Oatmeal Month 
                      Wheat Bread Month 
                      National Hot Tea Month 
                      Fat Free Living Month 
                      National Soup Month

            January 16 - National Fig Newton Day
            January 17 - National Hot Buttered Rum Day
            January 18 - National Peking Duck Day 
            January 19 - National Popcorn Day 
            January 20 - National Buttercrunch Day
            January 21 - National Granola Bar Day 
            January 22 - National Blonde Brownie Day 
            January 23 - National Rhubarb Pie Day  

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   In 2 Hours, You're Greek
    By MARK BITTMAN

  Many of us had our earliest experiences with braised foods not at
 the pricey restaurants that have recently rediscovered their appeal
 but at the Greek diners that never forgot it. So it's not surprising
 that I associate braised lamb shanks with egg-lemon sauce, a Greek
 staple. But when I set about to recreate this standard dish I found
 the sauce superfluous.

  Though a slow-cooked pot of braised lamb shanks and root vegetables
 becomes so sweet that it begs for something to counter it, it is also
 so rich that the thick sauce (a primitive form of bearnaise, really)
 is overkill. Better, it seems to me, is to finish the braised shanks
 with what you might call lemon-lemon sauce, using both a lemon's zest
 and a lemon's juice. That little touch converts this dish from a
 delicious but perhaps one-dimensional stew to something more, a
 braise that may never look particularly elegant but tastes that way.

  The procedure is simple. Start by browning the shanks, along with
 some fresh thyme (marjoram or oregano would also do nicely) and a lot
 of vegetables. This initial load of vegetables will not only brown
 but also give up all their flavor and fall apart. I like to reserve
 another batch to add when the lamb is nearly cooked, to provide fresh
 flavor and brighter colors in the final dish.

  If you want to cut the cooking time, substitute boneless lamb,
 preferably cut from the shoulder, and add all the vegetables at once,
 when the lamb is browned. Total cooking time will be around an hour.

  I'd serve this with pita bread or pilaf, though any bread or grain
 dish will do equally well.

  Braised Lamb Shanks With Lemon

   3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
   4 lamb shanks, roughly a pound each 
   Salt and pepper to taste 
   3 or 4 thyme sprigs 
   6 cloves garlic, lightly crushed 
   1 large onion, cut into chunks 
   4 stalks celery, roughly chopped 
   4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped 
   2 cups dry white wine or water 
   1 1/2 pounds waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 
   1 lemon 
   Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

 1. Put oil in a large, deep skillet or casserole that can be covered
    later, and turn heat to medium-high. Add shanks, sprinkling them
    with salt and pepper. When pieces are deeply browned on one side,
    add thyme, garlic, onion, half the celery and half the carrots,
    and more salt and pepper to skillet. Continue to brown, stirring
    occasionally.

 2. Add wine, and let mixture bubble for about a minute; cover and
    adjust heat so that mixture simmers steadily. Cook for about an
    hour.

 3. Add remaining vegetables to pan; zest lemon, and add zest as well.
    Continue to cook until lamb is very tender and vegetables soft,
    another 30 to 45 minutes. (You can prepare dish up to this point
    in advance; let sit for a few hours, or cover and refrigerate for
    up to a day before reheating and proceeding.)

 4. When lamb is done, juice lemon, and add juice to sauce. Taste,
    adjust seasoning, and serve, garnished with parsley.

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  THE E-COOKBOOKS LIBRARY

   Discover The #1 Cookbook Collection In The World!

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  FOOD FUNNIES: Top Foodie "Yo’ Mama" Jokes

 9. ... dumb she wonders why her bell peppers don’t ring.

 8. ... mean she can curdle milk just by sneering at it.

 7. ... dumb she thinks the Mayo clinic is a new sandwich shop.

 6. ... ugly a cannibal tribe took one look at her and decided to
        go vegan.

 5. ... dumb her favorite team is the Buffalo Wings.

 4. ... dumb she thinks chicken nuggets come from a mine.

 3. ... fat her alphabet soup can be rearranged to be the complete
        War and Peace.

 2. ... dumb she went to a Jimmy Buffet concert thinking it was
        All-You-Can-Eat.

         ... and the #1 Foodie "Yo’ Mama" Joke ...

 1. ... fat that every time she goes to McDonald’s they change the
        number on their sign.  

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  Red Robin Chili
  ===============
    2 lbs. ground beef
    3 oz vegetable oil
    1/3 cup flour
    1 onion, diced
    1 poblano chili, diced
    2 tablespoon diced smoked chipotle chilies (from can)
    5 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cans (15 oz. each) kidney beans, drained
    1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
    3 tablespoons chili powder
    2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
    1 tablespoon black pepper fresh ground
    1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano powder
    2 1/4 cups chicken broth
    1 1/2 cups water

  Garnishes:
    shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    sour cream
    crumbled tortilla chips
    diced red onion
    lime wedge

  Brown beef until almost done then add chipotle, poblano, garlic, and
 onion. Cook until onion is transparent. Heat oil in a 4 quart stock
 pot. Add flour and whisk continuously until mixture is tan. Add beef
 mixture and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then simmer for
 about three hours, depending on how thick you like it. Stir every
 half hour.

  Serve chili topped with cheese, spoonful of sour cream, red onion
 and crumbled chips. Squeeze lime wedge over top for extra tang.

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  Sunday Pork Roast
  =================
    1 (3-pound) boneless pork roast 
    1 teaspoon salt 
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 cup vegetable oil 
    1 onion, thinly sliced 
    3 bay leaves 
    3 or 4 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed 
    2 garlic cloves, crushed 
    1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup 
    1/2 cup white wine

  Sprinkle pork roast on all sides with salt, pepper, and garlic
 powder. Using a skillet over high heat, sear roast until brown in
 oil. Place roast in a slow cooker, and layer onions, bay leaves,
 crushed bouillon cubes, garlic, and cream of mushroom soup. Add
 the white wine and cover with enough water to cover all of the 
 ingredients. Cook on the low setting for 8 hours.

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  Italian Meatloaf
  ================
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
    1 red pepper, seeded, small diced 
    1 onion, diced 
    2 teaspoons (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic 
    1 pound ground beef 
    2 eggs 
    3/4 cup bread crumbs 
    1 cup grated Parmesan 
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
    2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves 
    1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves 
    1 teaspoon salt 
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
    1 cup marinara sauce

  Preheat oven to 350F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a
 medium saute pan over medium heat and add the peppers, onions and
 garlic. Saute until just soft, remove to a plate and cool.

  When the peppers and onions are cool, combine all of the remaining
 ingredients together except for the marinara. Pack the meat mixture
 into an oiled loaf pan, if you do not have a loaf pan, form the meat
 mixture into a loaf shape on an oiled oven tray or baking dish. Top
 with the marinara making sure to spread evenly over the top. 

  Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes or until an instant-read
 thermometer registers 160F in the middle of the meatloaf. Remove
 from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

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  Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna
  ============================
    2 tablespoons olive oil 
    2 (8 oz.) packages sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms 
    1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups) 
    2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning blend 
    1 pound hot Italian sausages, casings removed 
    3 garlic cloves, pressed 
    1 cup dry red wine 
    4 2/3 cups marinara sauce (from two 26-ounce jars) 
    1 9-ounce package no-cook lasagna noodles 
    1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese 
    2 8-ounce bags Italian blend grated cheese (4 cups) 

  Preheat oven to 400F. Heat oil in heavy large pot over high heat.
 Add mushrooms, onion, and seasoning blend; saute until vegetables
 begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add sausage and saute until brown
 and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 5 minutes.
 Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add wine; cook until almost all liquid
 evaporates, scraping up browned bits, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

  Spread 2/3 cup marinara sauce over bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking
 dish. Place noodles (about 4) over sauce, forming 1 layer (noodles
 may overlap slightly). Spread 1 cup sauce over noodles. Top with
 1/3 of ricotta, then 1 cup grated cheese. Spoon 1/3 of sausage
 mixture over. Repeat 2 more times with noodles, sauce, ricotta,
 grated cheese, and sausage mixture. Cover with 4 more noodles.
 Spoon remaining 1 cup sauce over; sprinkle remaining 1 cup grated
 cheese over. Cover with foil, tenting in center to prevent cheese
 from touching foil. Bake lasagna 45 minutes; remove foil. Bake until
 bubbling at edges and cheese is browned, about 10 minutes longer.
 Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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  Chicken Livers with Red Wine
  ============================
    8 slices bacon, chopped
    1 sweet onion, finely chopped
    1 pound chicken livers, rinsed and trimmed
    1 1/2 cups Burgundy or other dry red wine
    1/4 cup chopped pitted green olives 

  Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until almost
 crisp. Remove bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Drain
 off grease from the skillet, leaving a thin coating on the bottom.

  Using the same skillet, add the onions; cook and stir over medium
 heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken livers,
 quickly browning them on the outside. Pour in the wine, adding more
 if needed to cover the chicken livers. Stir in the olives. Cover,
 and simmer for 20 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the bacon.

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  Bacon and Cabbage Soup
  ======================
    1 (1/3-pound) piece Canadian bacon 
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter 
    1 medium onion, finely chopped 
    2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice 
    5 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth 
    4 bay leaves 
    2 teaspoons kosher salt 
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
    1/2 small head Savoy cabbage, cored, thinly sliced, and cut
      into 1/2-inch pieces 

  In small saucepan, combine bacon and cold water to cover. Cover,
 bring to boil over moderate heat, and skim foam from surface.
 Reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes. Drain and cool, then cut into
 1-inch chunks. Set aside. 

  In 6-quart heavy stock pot over moderate heat, melt butter. Add
 onion and saute, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add
 potatoes and saute 2 minutes. Add stock, bay leaves, salt, and
 pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to moderately low, cover,
 and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add
 cabbage and simmer 5 additional minutes. Discard bay leaves.
 Working in 3 batches, in blender puree soup until smooth (using
 caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot, stir in bacon,
 and rewarm if necessary. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

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  Finger Caesar Salads
  ====================
    1 oil-packed anchovy fillet, finely chopped 
    3 tablespoons (packed) grated Parmesan cheese 
    2 tablespoons mayonnaise 
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
    1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
    1 small garlic clove, minced 
    1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
    3 tablespoons olive oil 
    2 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened 
    8 (1-inch) cubes crustless sourdough bread
    2 hearts of romaine lettuce, leaves separated 
    6 cherry tomatoes, halved 
    Parmesan shavings 

  Using back of spoon, mash anchovy to puree in small bowl. Whisk
 in grated Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice, Dijon
 mustard, minced garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Gradually whisk
 in 1/4 cup olive oil.

  Heat 3 tablespoons oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-low
 heat. Add flattened garlic and saute until golden, about 4 minutes;
 discard garlic. Add sourdough bread cubes and saute until golden
 brown and crisp, about 9 minutes. Transfer bread cubes to paper
 towels and drain.

  Arrange 4 large romaine lettuce leaves on each of 2 plates. Top
 each with 4 smaller leaves. Top lettuce with tomatoes. Drizzle
 salads with dressing. Top with croutons and Parmesan shavings.
 Season generously with pepper and serve.

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  Chocolate Chip Pie
  ==================
  Pie: 
    2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
    1 teaspoon baking soda 
    1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder 
    1 cup (2-sticks) unsalted butter, softened 
    1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar 
    1/2 cup granulated sugar 
    3 large eggs 
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
    3 cups semisweet chocolate chips 
    2 cups chopped walnuts, optional

  Whipped cream: 
    2 pints (4-cups) heavy cream 
    1/4 cup confectioners' sugar 
    1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

  Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 (9-inch) pie plates; set aside.

  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and
 baking powder. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together
 butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the eggs, 1 at a
 time, beating until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Add flour
 mixture, a little at a time, and mix until fully combined. Fold in
 the 3 cups chocolate chips and, if desired, the walnuts. Divide the
 dough between the prepared pie plates and smooth the tops with a
 spatula. 

  Bake about 30 minutes or until pies are golden and slightly firm
 to the touch but still soft. If the pies begin to darken too much
 before they are baked through, cover with foil and continue baking.
 Let pies cool completely on a wire rack. 

  While the pies cool, whip the cream and confectioners' sugar until
 soft peaks form (tips curl). Fold in the chocolate chips.
 Refrigerate whipped cream until ready to use. Spread the whipped
 cream over the pies and serve.

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   This Week's Culinary Quiz Answer: Bovril

  Bovril is a salty meat extract drink commonly served in a cup by
 adding a spoonful to hot water. It was first introduced in England
 during the 1870s by Scotsman, John Lawson Johnston. Bovril is also
 known by the name "beef tea" and can be added to soups, stews and
 gravy to give additional flavor.

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