Community Cooking

Welcome to the Connect Community Kitchen. We're a community kitchen located in the basement of South Huron Hospital in Exeter, Ontario, Canada.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Quick & Easy Meals

On Wednesday July 11, Connect Community Kitchen members joined forces to conquer several new recipes. This time, we took the easy route and went with recipes that we could all easily duplicate quickly at home with simpler ingredients. We made Peanut Sesame Stir Fry, Citrus Pork Stirfry, Sundried Tomato Pesto & Chicken Pasta Toss and Banana Chocolate Bread for our breakfast component.

Citrus Pork Stirfry
1 lb. thinly sliced pork loin
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups sliced carrots
1/2 of a peeled orange, cut into large chunks
1/4 cup KRAFT Italian Dressing
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup toasted PLANTERS Cashews
PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat. Toss pork, broccoli, carrots, orange, dressing and soy sauce in bowl.
POKE small holes in bottom of large disposable aluminum foil pan. Spoon pork mixture into pan. Place pan on grate of grill; close lid. Grill 15 min., stirring often, until pork is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender.
SPRINKLE with cashews. Serve over cooked rice, if desired.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Chicken Pasta Toss

1 (7-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves

1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon water

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 garlic cloves


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 (6-ounce) bag prewashed baby spinach

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk

1 (3-ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled

6 cups hot cooked cavatappi (about 4 cups uncooked pasta)


To prepare pesto, drain sun-dried tomatoes in a sieve over a bowl, reserving oil. Place 2 tablespoons reserved oil in a food processor. Place remaining oil in sun-dried tomato jar; reserve for another use. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup drained tomatoes; set aside. Place remaining drained tomatoes in food processor. Add basil, water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 garlic cloves to food processor; process until finely minced.
To prepare pasta, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan. Add minced garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add balsamic vinegar and baby spinach; cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in pesto and evaporated fat-free milk. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Add crumbled goat cheese; cook until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Combine chicken mixture and pasta, tossing well to coat. Sprinkle with reserved 1/4 cup chopped drained tomatoes.

Peanut-Sesame Stir Fry



1 cup Kraft Catalina Dressing

1/4 Cup Kraft Peanut Butter

3 tbsp. each soy sauce and lemon juice

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

1 lb. Peeled shrimp

1 can drained sliced water chestnuts

3 sliced green onions

1 cubed zucchini

1 each cubed green and red pepper

1 can drained mandarin orange segments

cooked noodles


1. Mix together dressing, peanut butter, soy sauce and lemon juice

2. Stir fry sesame seeds and shrimp in 1/3 of the prepared sauce in wok or heavy skillet

3. Add remaining ingredients, except for mandarin orange sections and noodles; cook until vegetables are tender. Add mandarin oranges and remaining sauce. Serve over noodles.

Banana Chocolate Bread



2 eggs lightly beaten

1 cup mashed bananas

1/3 cup oil

1/3 cup milk

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 100% bran cereal

1/2 Cup granulated sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

2 squares semi-sweet chocolate, grated


1. Stir eggs, bananas, oil and milk together until well blended.

2. Add flours, bran, sugar, baking powder and chocolate, stir until just moistened

3. pour into lightly greased 8 x 4 loaf pan

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until done. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan, cool completely on rack

June: Tricky, Tricky, Tricky!

On Wednesday June 13, 2007, nine Connect Community Kitchen members gathered to try their hands at some rather tricky recipes. We decided to make Savory Meditteranean Turkey Burgers, just in time for BBQ season, BBQ chicken Pizza, Apple Pecan Breakfast Buns as our breakfast component, Baked Egg Rolls (tricky, tricky, tricky!!!) and Curried Noodles with Tofu as the side to the egg rolls.

Everyone rolled up their sleeves and got to work!!!!! Check out the recipes and the results below!

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

These juicy burgers combine a couple of kid-friendly flavors: the sweetness of grated pear and seasonings typically used in breakfast sausage. They're also made with coarse panko bread crumbs (sold in most large grocery stores), which helps keep the texture of the burger on the lighter side.

1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 medium-size firm Bosc pear, peeled, cored, and coarsely grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh sage, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Mix together the turkey, pear, egg, panko, parsley, garlic, sage, rosemary, and allspice in a large bowl until well combined. Add the salt and pepper, or more to taste. (To test the flavor, cook a teaspoon or two of the mixture in the microwave or a small skillet.)

2. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and shape them into patties, gently pressing the center of each to create a slight indentation. This will prevent the patty from bulging in the center, so that you end up with a flat, evenly cooked burger. Refrigerate the patties until the grill is ready.

3. Prepare a charcoal fire or a gas grill to medium-hot. Wipe the rack with canola oil and lay the burgers on it indentation-side up. Let them cook, without pressing down on them, until the bottoms are well seared, about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the burgers and continue grilling until they are completely cooked through (the juices will run clear), another 5 to 7 minutes.

BBQ Chicken Pizza


This is an easy not-too-sweet, delicious alternative to tomato sauce based pizzas! Sure to satisfy everyone. Use any kind of barbeque sauce and it will still be a winner!"

3 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed
1 cup hickory flavored barbeque sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (12 inch) pre-baked pizza crust
1 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
1 cup thinly sliced red onion

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine chicken, barbeque sauce, honey, molasses, brown sugar and cilantro. Bring to a boil.
Spread chicken mixture evenly over pizza crust, and top with cheese and onions. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Apple Pecan Breakfast Buns

From Sunset

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter, chilled, plus 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.)

3/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup pecan halves

2 Granny Smith apples (about 12 oz. total)

1/3 cup raisins


1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon peel. Cut the 1/4 cup chilled butter into 1/4-inch pieces. With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in milk all at once; stir just until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until cool, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan over medium-low heat, melt remaining 1/2 cup butter. Stir in corn syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into the bottom of an 8- by 8-inch baking pan. Sprinkle pecans evenly over mixture. Peel and core apples and slice as thinly as possible.

3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 15 times, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 12-inch square.

4. Distribute apple slices and raisins over dough, leaving a 1-inch border along top edge. Working from the bottom, roll up dough, squeezing as you go; pinch edge to seal. Cut roll crosswise into 9 slices. Lay slices flat over syrup and pecans in pan.

5. Bake until rolls are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Invert a platter over pan and, holding both tightly together, invert again. Lift off pan and let rolls cool about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Yield Makes 12 servings

Baked Egg Rolls
From Cooking Light
Egg rolls:

2/3 cup coarsely chopped celery

2/3 cup coarsely chopped carrot

2 cups shredded cabbage

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

2/3 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 pound ground turkey breast

1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

14 egg roll wrappers

1 large egg white

Cooking spray


3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

6 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)

PreparationPreheat oven to 425°.
Combine celery and carrot in food processor, and pulse 10 times or until finely chopped.
Combine celery mixture and cabbage in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; vent. Microwave at high 5 minutes; drain.
Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add turkey; cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cabbage mixture, 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, and pepper. Cover and chill 15 minutes.
Place 1 egg roll wrapper at a time onto work surface with 1 corner pointing toward you (wrapper should look like a diamond). Trim 1 inch off right and left corners of wrapper. Spoon 3 tablespoons turkey filling into center of wrapper. Fold lower corner of egg roll wrapper over filling. Fold in trimmed corners. Moisten top corner of wrapper with egg white; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers, turkey filling, and egg white.
Lightly coat egg rolls with cooking spray, and place, seam side down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 18 minutes or until golden brown.
To prepare sauce, combine 3/4 cup soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon ginger; serve with egg rolls. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Curried Noodles with Tofu
From Cooking Light
Since the gang loved tofu so much, we decided to try it again...this time with CURRY!

6 ounces uncooked rice sticks (rice-flour noodles), angel hair pasta, or vermicelli

1 cup light coconut milk

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)

2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic

1 teaspoon green curry paste

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cooking spray

1 (12.3-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup red bell pepper strips

4 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage

1 cup chopped green onions

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

PreparationPlace noodles in a large bowl. Add hot water to cover; let stand 5 minutes. Drain.
Combine coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, curry paste, and salt in a small bowl.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add tofu; sauté 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove tofu from pan; keep warm.
Add bell pepper to pan; sauté 1 minute or until crisp-tender. Add cabbage; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in noodles, coconut milk mixture, and tofu; cook 2 minutes or until noodles are tender. Stir in green onions and cilantro.

Here's Bradley looking very impressed about doing the dishes!

Friday, June 01, 2007

April Showers brings May's Cooking????

On Thursday May 15, 2007 10 Connect Community Kitchen members gathered to cook. We welcomed 2 new members, Steven & Jack and we were very happy to have them. For May, the group prepared Breakfast pizza for the breakfast component, triple mushroom stirfry with tofu, chicken peanut chow mein & chinese 5 spice beef burgers for the upcoming BBQ season!!!!

Connect Community Kitchen would like to thank both Tara & Norah for all their extra help this month with grocery shopping, transportation and cooking expertise! We couldn't have done it without you...our kitchen is so much fun with you there!!!!!

We would also like to thank our sponsors for their support! Big thanks to both Hansen's Independent Grocer and Hayter's Turkey Products....their products are what makes our fares that much more delicious!

Breakfast Pizza

from Cooking Light
1 (8-ounce) can reduced-fat refrigerated crescent dinner roll dough

Cooking spray

12 ounces turkey breakfast sausage

1 cup frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

1/4 cup fat-free milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 (8-ounce) carton egg substitute

2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375°.
Separate dough into triangles. Press triangles together to form a single round crust on a 12-inch pizza pan coated with cooking spray. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim.
Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain.
Top prepared dough with sausage, potatoes, and cheese. Combine milk, salt, pepper, and egg substitute, stirring with a whisk. Carefully pour milk mixture over sausage mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until crust is browned.
8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

Triple Mushroom Stir Fry With Tofu

From Cooking Light
Triple mushroom stir fry in progress...btw it was the first time most of our members had tofu...and they loved it!

This is me (Katie) doling out the mushroom stir fry while Steven anxiously awaits


1 1/4 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil

3 garlic cloves, minced


1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1/2 pound extrafirm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cups presliced button mushrooms

2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 3 ounces)

1 cup snow peas, trimmed

1/2 cup red bell pepper strips

1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained

2 cups sliced oyster mushroom caps (about 4 ounces)

3/4 cup (1-inch) slices green onions

Remaining ingredient: 5 cups hot cooked long-grain rice


To prepare sauce, combine first 10 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu; cook 8 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Remove from pan. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil, button mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until almost tender. Add peas, bell pepper, and water chestnuts; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth mixture, tofu, oyster mushrooms, and onions; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thick. Serve over rice.
5 servings (serving size: 1 cup mushroom mixture and 1 cup rice)

Chicken Peanut Chow Mein

From Cooking Light
1 cup precut matchstick-cut carrot

1 cup snow peas, trimmed

2 (6-ounce) packages chow mein noodles

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided

1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided

3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 cup presliced mushrooms

2 teaspoons bottled fresh ground ginger (such as Spice World)

1 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions

2 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped


Cook carrots, snow peas, and noodles in boiling water 3 minutes; drain.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cut chicken crosswise into thin strips. Add chicken and 1 tablespoon soy sauce to pan; stir-fry 3 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
Combine remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, broth, oyster sauce, sugar, and pepper, stirring well. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and ginger to pan; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add broth mixture, and cook for 1 minute. Add noodle mixture and chicken to pan; cook 1 minute, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with onions and peanuts.
4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups noodle mixture, 1/4 cup onions, and 1 1/2 teaspoons peanuts)

Chinese 5-Spice Burgers

From Sunset

About 1 teaspoon olive or salad oil

1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions (including tops)

6 tablespoons prepared Chinese plum sauce

1 pound ground lean beef

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

4 sesame seed-topped hamburger buns (about 3 oz. each), cut in half horizontally

Lettuce leaves, rinsed and crisped



1. Pour oil into an 8- to 10-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat; when hot, add mushrooms and stir until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the green onions and plum sauce and remove from heat.
2. In a bowl, gently mix ground beef with soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, Chinese five spice, and ginger. Shape beef mixture into four equal patties, each about 1/2 inch thick.
3. Lay patties on a lightly oiled barbecue grill over a solid bed of medium-hot coals or medium-high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook patties until no longer pink in the center (cut to test) or a thermometer inserted in center reaches 160°, 6 to 8 minutes total, turning once to brown evenly. After 5 minutes, lay bun halves, cut side down, on grill and toast lightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Lay a lettuce leaf on each toasted bun base, top with a beef patty, and spoon mushroom mixture equally over burgers. Add salt to taste and cover with bun tops.
Makes 4 servings

Kitchen Member: Anne, smiles for the camera

Janice is so proud of her clean kitchen, thanks for your hard work Jan!

Tara makes a funny face...hope its not reflective of our cooking! lol

Spring time cooking...

On April 19, 2007, the Connect Community Kitchen members (8) gathered for some spring time cooking. This month the group tested out 4 new recipes. For our breakfast component, we baked Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins. Since it was still a little chilly out, we cooked some hot baked potato soup to warm us up. Then we tried our hand at turkey jambalaya and lasagna rolls. Following are the recipes we used and pictures of our results! We had a great time, and as usual lots of laughs were heard! We would like to thank our sponsors, Hansen's Independent Grocer and Hayter's Turkey Products for their continued support and generosity...we appreciate it!!!
Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins

from Cooking Light

Tara takes the muffins from the tins to cool...btw they were delicious!!!

2/3 cup (5 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large egg whites

1 large egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries we used frozen

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add vanilla, egg whites, and egg; beat well.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk to cream cheese mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Gently fold in raspberries and walnuts.
Place 24 foil cup liners in muffin cups. Spoon batter evenly into liners. Bake at 350° 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans; cool on a wire rack.
2 dozen (serving size: 1 muffin)

Baked Potato-and-Bacon Soup

from cooking light
5 1/4 pounds baking potatoes

7 bacon slices

4 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

7 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1 1/4 cups sliced green onions

1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 400°.
Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool slightly. Partially mash potatoes, including skins, with a potato masher; set aside.
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion to bacon drippings in pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add salt, garlic, and bay leaf; sauté 2 minutes. Add potato, milk, pepper, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in parsley, if desired. Top individual servings with bacon, green onions, and cheese.
18 servings (serving size: 1 cup soup, about 1 teaspoon bacon, about 1 tablespoon cheese, and about 1 tablespoon green onions)

Turkey Jambalaya

From the Editors of Easy Home Cooking Magazine

Yield: Makes 4 servings
1teaspoon canola oil
1cup chopped onion
1green bell pepper, chopped
1/2cup chopped celery
3cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-3/4cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1cup chopped seeded tomato
1/4 pound cooked ground turkey breast
1/4 pound cooked turkey sausage
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup uncooked white rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
2.Add chicken broth, tomato, turkey, turkey sausage, tomato paste, bay leaf, basil and red pepper. Stir in rice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
3.Remove skillet from heat. Remove and discard bay leaf. Top servings evenly with parsley. Serve immediately.

Lasagna Rolls

courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Sauce: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour 1 1/4 cups whole milk 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper Pinch ground nutmeg
Lasagna: 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped 1 large egg, beaten to blend 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil 12 uncooked lasagna noodles 2 cups marinara sauce 1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)
To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.
Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.
Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamelsauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.

Aren't they cute!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Plethora of tastes...

On Thrusday March 22 2007 at 6pm 8 community kitchen members gathered a Connect to cook. We all divided up into pairs, chose a recipe and got started right away. The following are the recipes we chose for this month....Rachael Ray's 30 minute meals 5-Vegetable Fried Rice with 5-Spice Pork, Gingerbread Waffles, French Onion Soup, and Turkey Bolognese.

Turkey Bolognese
From Cooking Light

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces ground turkey breast
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8-ounce) can no salt-added tomato sauce
4 cups hot cooked penne (about 3/4 pound uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Asiago cheese

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey, and cook 4 minutes or until turkey is browned, stirring to crumble. Add oregano and next 7 ingredients (oregano through tomato sauce); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in pasta; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese)

It was reported by members of the kitchen that this was just delicious!

Gingerbread Waffles
From Cooking Light
Note to self: when making this many waffles (we doubled the recipe), it would be a good idea to use more than waffle took a lllllllllllllooooooooooooonnnnnnngggggg time with only one.
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups fat-free buttermilk
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 large egg yolks
(4-ounce) container applesauce
3 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
2 large egg whites
Cooking spray

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine buttermilk and next 5 ingredients (through applesauce) in a small bowl. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in crystallized ginger.
Beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray, and preheat. Spoon about 1/3 cup batter per 4-inch waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter evenly to edges. Cook for 5 minutes or until steaming stops, and repeat procedure with remaining batter. Yield: 9 servings (serving size: 2 waffles)

French Onion Soup

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 large sweet yellow onions, sliced thin
1 leek, sliced thin
5 cups water (dissolve boullion cubes in water)
7 beef boullion cubes
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 slices baguettes, 1" thick, toasted (or French bread)
2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded

Melt butter or margarine in a large skillet. Add onions, leeks and garlic. Stirring frequently, sauté 30-45 minutes over medium high heat until onions are caramelized and lightly golden brown.
Reduce heat to simmer, add beef boullion, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Cook on low for 20-25 minutes.
Heat oven to 425ºF-450ºF. Ladle soup into oven proof serving bowls. Place 2 slices of toasted bread on top of soup and divide shredded cheese among the bowls. Place filled bowls on a baking sheet with sides. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese bubbles and is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals 5 Vegetable Fried Rice with 5-Spice Pork

2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound thin pork loin chops, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 red bell peper, seeded and thinly cliced
2 small carrots, shredded
1 scallion, thinly sliced on an angle
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
one 2 inch fresh piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/3-1/2 cup soy sauce

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and 3/4 water to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover and cook, over low heat for 18 minutes. Fluff with a fork and spread on a baking sheet to cool
2. In a large, deep nonstick skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat. Season the pork with salt, petter, and the five spice powder; add to the pan and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet, then add the eggs and scramble for 2 minutes. Push the eggs to the side of the pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and lower the heat to medium. Add the mushrooms, red bell pepper and carrots, and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the scallion, peas and garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the cooked rice and crip for a couple of minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and reserved pork.

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor wind, nor dead of night shall deter us from COOKING!

On February 22, 2007 one heck of a snow storm hit Huron County and stopped everyone in their tracks...everyone, except for Connect Community Kitchen that is! That night, despite all the snow and chaos nine very dedicated community kitchen members braved the storm and came together to do what they love to do...COOK!

That night we tried our hands at Fajita Turkey Burgers, Asian Chicken Noodle Soup, Chili & Cheddar Bow Tie Casserole, Beef-Broccoli Lo Mein and the menacing Saffron and Raisin Breakfast Bread at a cost of $8/person. The following are the recipes we used, any substitutions are in red.

Fajita Turkey Burgers
From Cooking Light
Put together these turkey burgers for a speedy supper after a late-afternoon or early-evening workout. Use prechopped onion and bell pepper, if you prefer, so the burgers come together even more quickly. Garnish with fresh lettuce, tomato, and red onion, if desired.


1/4 cup bottled tomatillo salsa
2 tablespoons chopped avocado
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 (1-ounce) slices white bread
Cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 teaspoons fajita seasoning, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg white object
4 (1 1/2-ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted Combine tomatillo salsa, chopped avocado, and cilantro; set aside.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until crumbs measure 1 cup.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and bell peppers; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon fajita seasoning and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cool.
Combine breadcrumbs, onion mixture, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons fajita seasoning, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, tomato paste, turkey, and egg white in a large bowl. Using damp hands, divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Heat pan over medium heat. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add patties; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun. Top each serving with 1 1/2 tablespoons salsa mixture; top with remaining halves of buns. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 burger)

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
From Cooking Light

The pasta will still have a chewy bite when the chicken is ready, but it continues to cook while the soup stands. Serve with rice crackers and lime wedges.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 tablespoon bottled grated ginger
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, peeled
2 cups water
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red chile pepper, finely chopped

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and lemongrass; sauté 3 minutes. Add water and broth; bring to a boil. Add chicken and pasta; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients. Let stand 5 minutes. Discard lemongrass. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Chili & Cheddar Bow Tie Casserole

From Cooking Light

If you don't have farfalle, substitute ziti, rigatoni, or even macaroni.

1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce couldn't find these anywhere in our grocery store!!! To add some spice we added some minced jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced Canadian bacon (about 2 ounces)
1 cup thinly sliced reen onions
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 cups hot cooked farfalle (bow tie pasta) or other short pasta
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°.
Remove 1 teaspoon adobo sauce and 1 chile from canned chiles; mince the chile. Place remaining sauce and chiles in a zip-top plastic bag; freeze for another use.
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and bacon; sauté 4 minutes. Add onions; sauté 1 minute. Stir in the adobo sauce, minced chile, flour, chili powder, salt, and cumin; cook 1 minute. Gradually add milk; cook until thick and bubbly (about 4 minutes), stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups cheese and cilantro, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to pan; toss well.
Spoon the pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over pasta mixture. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until browned. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

Beef-Broccoli Lo Mein

From Cooking Light

4 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut across the grain into long, thin strips
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic

Combine pasta and sesame oil, tossing well to coat.
Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add broccoli and onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add steak, and sauté 5 minutes or until done. Add pasta mixture, soy sauce, and remaining ingredients; cook 1 minute or until lo mein is thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

Saffron & Raisin Breakfast Bread

From Cooking Light

Note to self: Remember to read all of a recipe before deciding to use at community kitchen!!! This bread, while delicious took a very long time to make, not conducive for community kitchen.

Many thanks to Anne and Robin (below), who were patient with the bread (and myself).

This recipe employs the technique of steeping saffron in hot liquid to release its color and aroma, which adds a wonderful, mellow flavor to this bread. Saffron breads are a tradition in southwestern England and throughout many Nordic countries, especially Sweden and Finland. Serve toasted or plain with honey for a special holiday breakfast or brunch.

1 1/3 cups warm fat-free milk (100° to 110°)
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (100º to 110º)
5 1/4 cups bread flour, divided
1 1/2 cups raisins
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

Combine milk and saffron; let stand 10 minutes.
Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Stir in milk mixture. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 5 cups flour, raisins, 1/4 cup sugar, butter, and salt to milk mixture, stirring to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide in half. Shape each portion into a 5-inch round loaf. Place loaves, seam sides down, 3 inches apart, on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Make 2 diagonal cuts 1/4-inch-deep across top of each loaf using a sharp knife. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375º.
Uncover dough. Bake at 375º for 30 minutes or until loaves are browned on bottom and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves, 20 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Many thanks are in order for our generous sponsors, Hansen's Independent Grocery Store and Hayter's Turkey Products!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cooking up a storm...

On a very snowy Monday January 15, 3 members of the Connect Community Kitchen met to plan and organize our cooking night for this month. We chose to create 5 different recipes; Jane's Vegetarian Chili, Broccoli Chicken Macaroni and Cheese, Beef & Barley Soup, Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes & BBQ Meat Loaf.

On Thursday January 18, 7 members met and cooked up a storm! We went to work right away, by dividing into groups to create all 5 recipes. We seem to be getting better at this as we were done all prep work by 8pm and just had to wait on the food to cook, which is quite the task as everything smelled sooooo good! The following are the recipes we used from this month's session and any changes we made are in red.

As always we would like to thank our members for working so hard, our fearless leader Randi and our sponsors, Hayter's Turkey Products and Hansen's Independent Grocer for providing all of our are terrific!

Broccoli Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
From Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound chicken breast tenders, chopped we used boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper 1 small onion, chopped
1 pound macaroni elbows or cavatappi corkscrew shaped pasta twists we used heart healthy whole wheat pasta
2 1/2 cups raw broccoli florets, available packaged in produce department
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
3 cups whole milk we used 2%
1 cup chicken stock we used reduced sodium
3 cups yellow sharp Cheddar
1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard

Place a pot of water on to boil for macaroni.
Heat a medium pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and chicken and season with salt and pepper. Saute a couple of minutes then add onion and cook another 5 to 7 minutes until onions are tender and chicken is cooked through. Turn off heat and reserve.
To boiling pasta water, add pasta and salt to season the cooking water. Cook 5 minutes, then add broccoli and cook 3 minutes more or until pasta is cooked to al dente and florets are just tender.
While pasta cooks, heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter and melt, then add flour, cayenne and paprika and whisk together over heat until roux bubbles then cook a minute more. Whisk in milk and stock and raise heat to bring the sauce to a quick boil. Simmer until the sauce thickens about 5 minutes.
Drain macaroni or pasta and broccoli florets. Add back to the pot and add chicken to the pasta and broccoli.
Add cheese to milk sauce and stir to melt it in, a minute or so. Stir in mustard and season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli and cooked pasta and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings and transfer to a large serving platter and serve.

Beef and Barley Soup
From Cooking Light

Lamb may be used in place of beef stew meat, if desired. Use one pound of boneless lamb leg, cut into one-inch pieces.

Cooking spray
2 pounds beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 cups chopped leek (about 4 medium)
2 cups chopped carrot
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 bay leaves
2 (14-ounce) cans less-sodium beef broth
1 cup uncooked pearl barley

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add half of beef; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining beef.Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add leek, carrot, and garlic; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Return beef to pan. Add water and next 5 ingredients (through broth); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Add barley; cook 30 minutes or until beef and barley are tender. Discard bay leaves.

"Barbecued" Meat Loaf
From Cooking Light Joeanne mixes up the BBQ Turkey meatloaf

1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 (1/2-ounce) slice white bread
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 cup minced fresh onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley we substituted savoury
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin we substituted ground turkey for a healthier choice
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.Place bread in a food processor; process until finely ground. Combine bread and milk in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup ketchup mixture, onion, and the next 9 ingredients (onion through egg); stir until well-blended. Place beef mixture in an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Brush remaining ketchup mixture over top. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove meat loaf from pan. Cut into 8 slices. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Jane's Vegetarian Chili
From Cooking Light

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups of water, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sause
2 (14.5 once cans) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15.5 once) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (15 once) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 once) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 once) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (6 once) can tomatoe paste
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 mintues or until tender. Add 3 cups water and next 8 ingredients (through Cannellini beans), stirring to combine.

Combine remaining cup of water and tomatoe paste in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Stir in tomatoe paste mixture into bean mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with cheese if desired.

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
By Rachael Ray

Marley & Toni working away at the pancakes

1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 onces, 1/4 chopped walnuts we omitted the nuts
3/4 cup sour cream we used low-fat
3/4 cup whole milk we used 2%
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 really ripe bananas, mashed up
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 stick butter, 1/4 cup, melted, plus additional for buttering skillet

Here's a great tip: if you cannot find really ripe bananas, just nuke them in the microwave for about 15 seconds and they will become super soft for mashing.

Mix dry ingredients, the first 7, in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients, the next 4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, then fold in the mashed up bananas and the raisins. Stir in the melted butter.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and brush with additional melted butter. Cook pancakes, each about 1/3 cup, until bubbles form on the top, then turn. Cakes will cook in about 2 minutes on each side. Keep pancakes tented with foil as they come off the griddle to keep them hot. Serve with drizzle honey or maple syrup over the top. Clint poses for the camera

Robin & Randi divvy up the chili

Monday, November 27, 2006 from August BBQ!

Good Eats

Asian Cucumber Salad
Chicken Skewers
Arborio Rice Salad
Shrimp & Noodle Salad

Good Tunes

Great Company!

Friday, November 24, 2006

A kitchen full of ladies...

On Monday November 20, 5 members met to choose the recipes we would cook this month. We decided to cook the following recipes: Pad Thai, Andy's Fairfield Granola, Chicken Breast with Curried Apple Stuffing, Four Cheese Manicotti, & Italian Wedding Soup. This month the cost was $10 for a healthy portion of each fare. We also welcomed 4 new ladies to the kitchen, Anne, Susan, Marley & Tara! Which meant that this month, we had a kitchen full of ladies!

On Thursday November 23, nine ladies got together and got straight to work, divide & conquer style. Under the direction of our fearless leader Randi, we set up stations, divided into 4 groups and started chopping, mixing, dicing, etc. We must have busted our butts, because we started at 6:00pm and were pretty much done by 9:00pm, clean-up and all! It's incredible what can be accomplished when you all work together! The following are the recipes we used. Any substitutions we made are in red.

Pad Thai

This is one of the most famous stir-fry dishes ever, and Thailand's most well-known noodle dish. It's fairly high in sodium due to the flavor-adding fish sauce and soy sauce, but lower than you'll find at most restaurants.

6 3/4 cups water, divided
1/2 pound uncooked rice sticks (rice-flour noodles) or vermicelli we used rice stick
2 tablespoons oil, divided
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce after reading the reviews of this recipe Randi suggested we use 1/2 the amount of fish sauce and add some ketchup as the recipe tended to be very salty
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 pound skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips we substituted extra firm tofu diced for cost & added protein
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions
2 teaspoons paprika
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro we omitted the cilantro as members normally freeze their serving, and cilantro looses its flavour when frozen
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
6 lime wedges
we also added Thai Chile Sauce & some hot sauce to taste

Place 6 cups water in a stir-fry pan or wok; bring to a boil. Add noodles; cook 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well. Place cooked noodles in a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon oil; toss well. Set aside.
Combine 3/4 cup water, soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar; set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a stir-fry pan or wok over medium heat. Add eggs; stir-fry 1 minute. Add eggs to noodle mixture. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic; stir-fry 5 minutes. Add to noodle mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add shrimp, onions, and paprika; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and noodle mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; toss with sprouts and cilantro. Sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with lime wedges. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup noodle mixture and 1 lime wedge)

Andy's Fairfield Granola
From Nigella Lawson
This is one of Robin's favs, served with yogurt, with milk or by itself by the handfuls for a snack.

4 1/2 Cups rolled oats
1 cup/4 oz sunflower seeds
3/4 Cup apple compote or apple sauce we used apple sauce
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup brown rice syrup or rice malt syrup or failing that, golden syrup as per Randi we used Lyles' Golden Syrup, not to be confused with corn syrup (tee hee)
1/4 Cup clover honey or other honey
3/4 Cup light brown sugar
2 Cups whole natural almonds
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 cups raisins we substituted Craisins & some dried apricot


Mix everything except the raisins together very well in a large mixing bowl. I use a couple of curved, rigid spatula; normally. I'd be happy to use my hands, but here it just leaves you covered with everything.
Spread this mixture out on two baking sheets and bake in a 300-325 F oven, turning over about halfway through baking and re-distributing the granola evenly during the baking process. The object is to get it evenly golden without toasting too much in one place. This should take anywhere from about 40 minutes. Once it's baked, allow to cook and mix together with the raisins. Store airtight. Makes approx. 10 cups.

Chicken Breast with Curried Apple Stuffing


2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped celery

1 3/4 Cups chopped peeled granny smith apple (about 3/4 pound)

1 3/4 teaspoon curry powder, divided

1/4 golden raisins

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 can low-salt chicken broth, divided

4 skinned, boned chicken breast halves

3/4 cup apple juice

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon water

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add apple and 1 teaspoon curry powder; sauté 3 minutes or until apple is tender. Stir in raisins, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, and 1/3 cup broth; cook 4 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Spoon apple mixture into a small bowl; set aside.

Cut a horizontal slit through the thicket portion of each breast half to form a pocket. Stuff about 1/4 cup apple mixture into each pocket. we used toothpicks to help keep the chicken together

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet, set aside

Add 3/4 teaspoon curry powder, remaining broth, apple juice, and garlic to skillet. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup.

Combine cornstarch and water; stir well; Add to broth mixture in skillet; stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return chicken to skillet; cover and simmer 2 minutes or until heated. Serve sauce with chicken.

Yield. 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 1/4 cup sauce)

Four Cheese Manicotti

12 uncooked manicotti
vegetable cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 carton nonfat ricotta cheese
1 package garden vegetable flavoured light cream cheese, softened
4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1/3 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and sqeezed dry
1 jar reduced-fat, reduced sodium tomato & herb pasta sauce
oregano sprigs (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt & fat; set aside.
Coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside
Combine 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, next 5 ingredients, in a bowl; bet at medium speed of a mixer until smooth. Again, we don't have an electric mixer, so Robin & Joeanne acted as one! Stir in onion mixture and spinach.
Spoon mozzarella cheese mixture into cooked manicotti (about 1/3 cup per shell) Randi suggested we adapt a Ziploc bag to use like a icing bag. Robin & Joeanne actually had several races to see who could fill their Manicotti first...congrats to Joeanne who won hands down everytime!!!

Divide 1 cup sauce evenly between 6 individual casserole dishes coated with cooking spray. Arrange 2 stuffed manicotti in each dish. Pour remaining sauce over each serving. Place dishes on a baking sheet. Cover each dish with foil, and bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses; bake, uncovered, an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with oregano, if desired.

Italian Wedding Soup
From Splendid Soup

1 recipe Italian mini meatballs

Italian Mini Meatballs
Makes about 30 walnut size meatballs

Stir Together:
1/4 cup unseasoned fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley our grocery store was out so we substituted curly
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch nutmeg
1/2 ground chuck we substituted Hayter's ground turkey, half dark, half breast
Stir all ingredients together (except the ground chuck) in a large mixing bowl.
Add the chuck and mix thoroughly. From meatballs using a small scoop or melon baller and place on a parchment lined baking sheet; chill until ready to use.

Sweat in 2 tablespoons olive oil:
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup ham diced we omitted the ham
1 tablespoon garlic minced

Deglaze with; stir in and simmer:
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf

Drop in; add:
prepared meatballs.
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

whisk together; add:
2 eggs
Hot soup broth

Garnish with:
shredded parmesan

Assemble meatballs and set aside. Sweat vegetables, ham and garlic in oil in a large pot, covered, over medium heat until soft, 10 minutes. Deglaze with wine; reduce until nearly evaporated. Stire in broth and seasonings, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. Drop meatballs into simmering soup and cook gently until they float, 3-4 minutes. Add beans, spinach, and parsley and cook just until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Whisk eggs with some of the hot broth, them revoe the soup fromt he heat; stir in egg mixture. Garnish with parmesan.

Instructions for Members:
1. Eat Pad Thai on Friday (tomorrow). Microwave until heated through (3-5 minutes). Add bean sprouts and enjoy.
2. Place frozen manicotti directly in the oven with the lid off. Cook for 25 minutes at 350F.
3. Make rice to go with your chicken. Defrost chicken, once defrosted microwave for 3-4 minutes.
4. Eat granola with yogurt, milk or just by the handful.
5. Defrost the soup and heat in microwave.

Special thanks to our sponsors Hansen's Independent Grocer & Hayter's Turkey Products. We appreciate your generous support!

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