Sweet temptations for Valentine’s Day; recipe requests for Chattanooga Restaurant specialties
This should be the week for all things heart, since Valentine’s Day — or Valentine’s Day for some — is right around the corner. So today we’re including two desserts to sweeten the party.
But first, always, the requests.
Ann Walldorf’s thoughts on Wednesday morning are meals the Walldorfs have enjoyed and favorite restaurant recipes she would like to try. She wrote: “Please ask for recipes for Cauliflower Soup at Giardino, Thousand Island Vinaigrette at Aubrey’s and ‘Balsamic Vinegar Reduction Sauce’ on involitini at Boccaccia.”
So what would you say, you gifted restaurateurs? What do you think of imitation as the sincerest form of flattery? Will you share your recipes?
Meanwhile, Don Kilo bought pecans wholesale at Costco, “and now I hear you should soak pecans before roasting them, for health reasons. Sounds like a lot of trouble . Could I have the opinion of your readers?”
A cook who loves the individual chocolate almond milk puddings available at Whole Foods found this 15-minute prep time recipe on chocolatecoveredkatie.com, and she plans to try it with almond milk.
healthy chocolate pudding
2 1/2 cups milk of your choice, including plant milk or canned coconut milk (divided)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
Uncut Stevia to taste (or substitute with 1/3 cup sugar, pure maple syrup or honey)
3 tablespoons cornstarch (Readers report success with arrowroot, but I haven’t tried it.)
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3.5 ounces of chocolate chips or a broken bar
Heat 2 cups of milk of your choice in a saucepan with the salt, cocoa powder and sweetener. Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch and remaining 1/2 cup milk in small bowl until dissolved. When the 2 cups of milk are hot, add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir constantly for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer for an additional minute, then turn off the heat. Once the heat is off, stir in the vanilla and chocolate chunks until the chocolate melts. Transfer the pudding to the refrigerator to thicken. It gets thicker as it rests and will be ready to eat after a few hours or overnight.
To note: The website specified Dutch cocoa powder, but invites the reader to be “free to experiment with unsweetened cocoa powder used in its place”.
YUM APRICOTS LEMON
Alyce Ownby offered a second dessert recommendation. “With more time to try new recipes, readers would love this easy Bundt cake from my late mother-in-law Bill Ownby. Cakes made in a tube pan packed nicely with her husband’s bagged lunches.
“After some research, I found the Apricot Nectar in Canned Juice Idea at Publix.”
Apricot Nectar Cake
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 cup apricot nectar
1 box Lemon Supreme cake mix (just lemon flavor works well)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour a tube or Bundt cake pan.
Beat the eggs well and incorporate the sugar, oil and nectar. Add cake mix and beat to combine well.
Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes and unmold onto a serving platter.
While the cake is cooling in the pan, prepare a drizzle.
Sprinkle for the top:
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Enough lemon juice to achieve desired consistency
Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice to desired consistency for drizzling. Pour over hot cake after unmolding.
Margaret McNeil has a touching story in response to Debbie Pataky’s plea for easy food for tough days. Ms McNeil explained: “I wanted to share a recipe that I bring to people, and the story behind the dish.
“My mother was diagnosed with cancer in 1996. As I was driving from Memphis to Chattanooga, I thought about what I could cook that night and the rest of the time I was in town. Shortly after I arrived, one of her friends from church – someone I had never met before – brought us a delicious chicken dinner. It only used two ingredients, but nourished both the body and mind. For the past 26 years, I’ve taken this entrée, with a side of cooked rice, to people who have lost a loved one, are coming home from the hospital, or have a serious illness.”
The giver of that first dinner didn’t have a name for the dish, probably because it was a simple mix of just two ingredients. So Mrs. McNeil gave him the best name possible.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 cans (10 3/4 ounces) cream of celery soup (undiluted)
Place chicken in baking dish; pour soup over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and no pink remains. Serve with rice.
TIPS FOR JWs
Next comes another episode of Tim Threadgill’s advice for Trader Joe newbies, advising them on shopping and preparing meals from it.
Don’t forget, he advised, “the very famous cookie butter and everything but bagel seasoning. Cookie butter is a great dessert spread, and there’s a community of recipes for consuming it.
“I use bagel seasoning on frozen chicken tenders to really wake them up, and it’s great to sprinkle on just about any meat or to spice up a salad.
“I love the Tangerine Chicken in frozen foods. If you like the Orange Chicken at Panda Express, it’s the homemade version. Great fun for the whole family.”
And in the nuts section, Mr. Threadgill recommended Sesame Honey Cashews with this simple description: “An open bag is an empty bag.”
JUST ONE PULL
An anonymous reader has thrown around some easy ideas for those tough days at home. “The men in my family love any brand of fully cooked smoked sausage, sliced into rings and browned in a little olive oil in a pan, then sauerkraut added to the pan and cooked until let the moisture disappear.Serve with spicy brown mustard and any vegetable or easy bread.
“Also, at Gordon’s Food Service on Broad Street, up front in the fridge section, there are lots of wrappers of various sizes of pasta dishes. Keep them handy and when the time comes, add a salad that has been assembled for you in a bag in the refrigerated section of any store.”
Betty Domal’s recipe for a family favorite hash brown casserole included last week was missing an important ingredient: cheese. Here is the corrected version.
Cracker Barrel Potato Casserole
1 package (26 or 30 ounces) country style hash browns (or use your favorite hash browns)
2 cups Colby cheese, grated
1/2 cup minced onion (or substitute with 1 tbsp onion powder)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 dash of garlic powder (optional)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch dish with Pam.
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan on top of the stove. Heat until cheese is melted, then pour into steamed dish.
Bake at 425 degrees for 40-60 minutes.
Caution: It may start to brown around the edges of the dish. If this happens, fold strips of aluminum foil and place them around the edges of the dish.
Let’s keep this section the help desk, shall we? Thanks to all of you, readers and writers.
— Cauliflower soup with Giardino
— Thousand Islands Vinaigrette at Aubrey
— Balsamic vinegar sauce at Boccaccia
— Soaked and toasted pecans
TO JOIN US
Fare Exchange is a long-standing hangout for people who love to cook and eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include specific instructions for each recipe you submit, and be aware that we cannot test recipes printed here.
Address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750
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