Monday, June 29, 2009

#46 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies

These are low fat, easy and taste wonderful. If you have ever been to a Weight Watchers Meeting you have probably been given this recipe, but make them and no one will ever guess they are low in calories.
The Ingredients:
One box spice cake mix (any brand will do)
One 15 oz can pureed Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix, but plain ol' 100% pure pumpkin)
1 cup chocolate chips (I love using the really dark chips for this recipe)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet.
Empty cake mix into bowl. Open pumpkin can and dump pumpkin in with cake mix. Mix throughly with a spoon until all ingredients look wet.
Add Chocolate Chips, throw in a few more if you like.
Spoon onto cookie sheet by large dallops and bake about 12 to 15 minutes. They might look a little underdone but they will be fine. Let cool and then get ready to feast!

Makes about 2 dozen large sized cookies and beware - they disappear quickly.

#45 Chicken Spinach Alfredo

This is not a low fat recipe and is meant to be savoured.

6 T butter (you know its going to be good when there is butter involved)
4 T flour
1 cup Chicken Broth (Pacific Organic Free Range Chicken Broth is THE best and can be purchased in a six pack at Costco for a much better price than individually. I really wish they also sold the Pacific Organic Beef broth at Costco because it is also fabulous)
1 Cup Heavy (or Whipping) Cream
1 Cup Milk (I use 1% because that is whats in the fridge)
1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (not the grated stuff in the green containers you find on the store shelf and wonder how long it's been there but the kind that is refrigerated)
1/2 to 1 cup grated Provolone Cheese (or cut up slices also work well - it all melts)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 lb chopped frozen spinach, thawed (according to your taste, I use the higher amount)
3 chicken breasts flattened, grilled and chopped into cubes (one roasted chicken, deboned and chopped up will also work well)
1 lb Piccolini Mini Farfalle noodles cooked according to package directions.

How it's Done:

While noodles are cooking, make a roux by melting the butter over medium heat in a large pot. Whisk in the flour until smooth as soon as the butter is melted. Try not to let the butter brown, but it will still work as long as the butter doesn't burn! Next whisk in the chicken broth until combined and smooth. Do the same with the cream and then the milk, making sure each addition is mixed in well.

Turn heat to low and slowly add parmesan and provolone cheeses, making sure each addition is melted before adding more. (This is the best part of the recipe) Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as you think necessary. I usually just use a small amount of each.

Stir in spinach, chicken and noodles until well coated and serve. YUM

This is wonderful all by itself or with a Cesar salad and garlic bread.

Serves 8, unless you have a hungry family like mine and then you are lucky if it serves 6.
This recipe can easily be cut in half to serve 4.

#44 Cherry Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust!

Cherry Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust
Gourmet July 1997
Yield: Makes 1 Cake

For chocolate-almond crust
3/4 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted lightly
20 thin chocolate wafer cookies (I replaced the chocolate wafers in the crust with chocolate Oreos minus the white filling)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

For cherry topping
3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (depending how juicy your cherries are, you may need more. I ended up using about a tablespoon)
1 tablespoon water
3 cups pitted picked-over fresh tart cherries (about 2 pints)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For cheese filling
two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
an 8-ounce container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup cherry juice reserved from making topping


Preheat oven to 350° F. Make crust:

In a food processor pulse almonds until ground. Add chocolate wafer cookies and grind fine. Add butter, sugar, almond extract, and salt and pulse until combined well. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto bottom and 1 inch up side. Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool. Crust may be made 3 days ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.

Make topping:
In a very small bowl sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand about 1 minute to soften. In a heavy saucepan bring cherries, sugar, and lemon juice to a boil, stirring. Remove pan from heat and reserve 1/2 cup juice for filling. To mixture remaining in pan add gelatin mixture and almond extract and stir until gelatin is dissolved.

Make filling:
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Beat in flour and add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in sour cream, vanilla, and reserved cherry juice until combined well.

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 50 minutes. (Cake will not be set in center but will set as it cools.) Transfer cake in pan to a rack to cool completely. Chill cake, loosely covered, 1 hour. Remove side of pan and transfer cake to a plate. Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. Spread topping evenly over cake when ready to serve.