Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Whole Wheat Fruit Drops

(Kid pleaser cookies ... with whole wheat and oatmeal!)

1/4 C butter
1/4 C oil (cooking)
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 C whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 C oatmeal (dry)
1/2 C chopped nuts (walnut or pecan?)
1/2 C light raisins
1/2 C chopped dried apricots

First off, my kids don't like raisins, so I substituted them for another 1/2 C of dried apricots. You could use any type of dried fruit bits or dried cranberries or cherries. I prefer whole Mediteranean apricots and chopping them myself. I also chopped the nuts fine so they wouldn't notice them.

In large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and oil, then add the sugar, egg and vanilla; beat with mixer until fluffy. Stir in dry ingredients and oatmeal ... then fruit and nuts. Drop by teaspoon ful on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for 8-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from pan at once. Makes 4 dozen.

(I'm not sure how one cup of flour and one cup of oatmeal equals 4 dozen cookies, but it really makes about that many.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bruschetta and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I like simple peasant type foods, rustic in character with under ten main ingredients (less is more) if possible. And, I have learned to adapt my cooking to include what is on hand in my pantry. I buy all our meat at Costco about every six weeks and divide it up to freeze. Once a month I restock the pantry with essentials, then once or twice a week I make a run to the market for those more fragile food items such as bananas, milk, etc.

My daughter, Elizabeth, found the following recipe for stuffed chicken in a food magazine a few months ago and tonight we made it for the second time ... the kids devoured it.

Prep time: 15 minutes --- Total: 1 hour

1 can (14-1/2 ox.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained (plain diced is fine too)

1-1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I've used fresh rosemary in a pinch)

1 package (6 oz.) stuffing mix for chicken (such as Stovetop)

8 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 lbs)

1/3 cup Italian salad dressing (oil and vinegar based)

1 Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare stuffing by mixing in the whole can of diced tomatoes (including liquid), 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, basil along with the stuffing mix in a large mixing bowl just til moistened.

2 Pound out the chicken breasts two at a time in a gallon size plastic freezer bag to 1/4 inch in thickness.

3 Place pounded chicken breasts smooth side down on a cutting board and place a palm sized amount of stuffing in the middle ... and roll up tightly log style with stuffing in the middle and place seam side down in a 13"x9" pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat.

4. Pour the salad dressing evenly over the top and bake for 40 minutes.

5. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese and bake for five more minutes or until cheese is bubbly and chicken is done.

Makes 8 servings (approx 280 calories per serving)