Apricot Foldovers

apricot foldoversPastry
!/2 c. butter
4 oz. finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (1 cup)
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour (I prefer King Arthur)
2 T. water

Filling
1 c. dried apricots
2 ½ c.  hot water
1 c. granulated sugar

Chop the dried apricots by hand into ¼ inch pieces.  Place in a medium saucepan and cover with the hot water.  Allow to soak for about an hour.

Cream the butter and cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Blend in the flour. Add the water and mix well.  Roll into a ball and flatten to a six inch disc.  Wrap disc in plastic wrap and chill for 4-5 hours.

Meanwhile, cook the apricots and water over medium heat.  When the mixture is boiling, turn the heat down, continue to simmer and stir frequently for about 30-45 minutes.  Apricots should be soft and mushy, and the sauce thick.  Add the sugar and continue to stew stirring constantly for another 5-10 minutes until very thick. Remove from heat and cool.

Divide the chilled dough into quarters.  On a lightly floured board, roll one quarter of dough into a 6” x 8” rectangle.  Cut the rectangle into 2” squares.  Place ½ teaspoon of filling on each square; fold over and seal.  Bake the cookies on a parchment lined sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minute, or until lightly browned on the edges.  Makes 4 dozen cookies.

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Best of Summer Squash Frittata

Summer Squash Frittata1-Small zucchini squash, pared and cut into ½ inch cubes (a heaping cup)
1-Small yellow summer squash, pared and cut into ½ inch cubes (a heaping cup)

¼ c. chopped onion

1-2 Tbs. Olive Oil (I like 1 Tbs. extra virgin, and 1 Tbs. butter infused)

6 large or extra large eggssummersquash

¼ c. sour cream

1-1/2 t.  Weber’s Veggie Grill Seasoning

1 t. salt

½ t. ground pepper

2 Tbs. fresh basil pesto

6-10 grape tomatoes, halved

1/3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ c. fresh basil leaves, chopped

 

squash pan frittataPreheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat oil in an eight inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat; add the vegetables and sauté covered until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, add remaining ingredients to a large bowl.  Whisk eggs, cream and spices until eggs are frothy and thick.  Pour egg mixture over vegetables in the skillet. Gently place tomatoes decoratively on top of eggs.  Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until eggs are set, sprinkle cheese on top and return to oven for another 2 minutes and  top is starting to get browned.  Sprinkle the basil on top. Serves 6.

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White Chicken Chili

Trust me we don’t serve this soup for breakfast, but sometimes I just need to share a tasty dish that I feel my guests will love as much as we do. After all, if you’ve eaten a James Manning House breakfast you probably believe me when I say this is good and easy to make.
WhiteChickenChil2 c. cooked chicken breast (cut into pieces)
½ c. onion, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, minced through a press
1 T. olive oil
2 c. chicken broth
1/2t. cumin
1 c. white wine, dry or table wine
1 can (15.5 oz.) great northern beans, drained
1 can (15.5 oz.) cannellini beans, drained
1 c. frozen corn (white is best)
1 can (15.5 oz .) creamed corn
6-8 oz. Colby jack shredded cheese
1 t. salt
1 t. white pepper
1 t. parsley
Add diced green chilies to your taste (I like just enough for color)
Extra cheese for garnish

In a 6 qt. Stockpot, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Stir in the chicken broth and add the chopped chicken.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Meanwhile, mash the drained cannellini beans. Stir in the mash and all other ingredients, except the cheese.  Simmer the chili for approx. 15 minutes (or pour all into a crock pot on low for 4 hours).  Stir in the cheese and heat until melted.  Garnish as desired.

Serves 6-8.

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On the Positive Side

Hello February! Depending on where you live this means you’re on the down side of sunsethomewinter.  In Northeast Pennsylvania we enjoy the later sunsets and additional daylight.  My guess is, however, that the groundhog will see his shadow and we’ll be in for six more weeks of winter.  Personally, I don’t mind more snow, in reasonable amounts, but I don’t need subzero temps or strong north winds.

While there are winter activities to enjoy even without snow; skiing Elk, ice skating, tubing, and more.There is also indoor entertainment to enjoy as well.  Crystal Cabin Fever starts this month, eagle watching along the Delaware (tour bus or in your car), music at the Cooperage, new exhibits at Dorchester antiques, riding the Stourbridge Line, and so much more.  

Here at the inn we have been using the “stay inside” winter weather to work on those long needed projects that tend to build up while “you’re napping”!  Warren finally decided he would hire a company to sand and refinish our hardwood floors in our quarters.  It was a busy week as all furniture had to be removed from the room, wallfloor décor removed and our bedroom couldn’t be accessed. While the furniture is out it’s the perfect time to touch up paint, fix holes, and dust all the corners, shelves, etc. I guess it should be considered fun, too, as we had to stay at a B&B for a week!

Meanwhile, I took the time to go through some of the magazines and photos that definitely had been pushed aside or shoved into drawers.  I also cooked and jarred four new jellies and jams.  The sweet aromas helped to lessen the varnish smells. It really is nicer to make jam in January, warming up the kitchen at a cold time of year.  jelliesWhen the fruit was ripe in July and August I didn’t have the time to prepare for the jams. Freezing the fruit to store for later was the better option. So this worked out perfectly.  In case you are wondering, added to the other flavors, we now have; bumbleberry, cherry, black raspberry and josta berry, and autumn cranberry pear.

 

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Veggie and Herb Frittata

4 c. leftover home-fries
¼ c. corn flake crumbsSouthwestern Egg Bake
½ c. finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
½ c. chopped  mushrooms
½ c. finely chopped broccoli
6 eggs
¾ c. skim milk
¾ c. spinach and herb dip
1-1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. melted butter
1 c. small curd cottage cheese
¼ c. King Arthur gluten free flour
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 t. freshly ground pepper

Directions:  Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Spread potatoes evenly in the bottom and slightly mash down.  Sprinkle the corn flake crumbs on top.  Sauté the onion until translucent.  Add broccoli and mushrooms and continue sautéing  until soft and cooked.  Spread this vegetable mixture on top of potato mixture.

In a large bowl, beat the six eggs.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.  Pour the egg combination over the vegetables and potatoes and gently spread to the corners.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

Take the frittata out of the refrigerator and let stand on counter for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for one hour or eggs are browned and solid.   Serves 12.

Variations can be made by changing vegetables; I like to use spinach or kale from the garden.

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Best Ever Banana Bread

3 Ripe Bananas, mashed                                                                                                       1/3 c. melted butter                                                                                                               3/4 c. granulated sugar                                                                                                           1 egg, beaten                                                                                                                           2 T. non-fat sour cream                                                                                                             1 t. vanilla                                                                                                                                1 t. baking soda                                                                                                                      ¼ t. salt                                                                                                                                   1 ½ c. flour                                                                                                                           For streusel:                                                                                                                            2 T.  ground cinnamon                                                                                                          ¼ c. of sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan, and flour.Best Ever Banana Bread

In a medium bowl mix dry ingredients.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and egg, and beat by hand until well mixed.  Blend in sour cream and vanilla.  Add mashed bananas and mix until blended.  Add flour mixture and stir just until combined, taking care not to overmix.  Mix the streusel ingredients in small bowl, set aside.

Pour half the batter into the greased loaf pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle about two-thirds of the streusel over the batter in the loaf pan.  Slowly add the remainder of the batter, trying to pour evenly.  Sprinkle the remainder of the streusel over the top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Can be checked for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center, and it comes out clean.

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Twisted Rhubarb Compote

6 c. rhubarb, cut into 1” pieces
1 T. candied ginger, finely chopped
½ c. sugar
2 T. agave nectar or honey
2/3 c. ginger aleTwisted Rhubarb Compote
¼ c. fresh strawberries, cut up (added for color)
Zest of one lemon
Juice of ½ lemon

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Cover and cook over medium low heat for approximately ten minutes, stirring 2-3 times during cooking.  Cool.  Store in refrigerator.

May be eaten warm or cold.  Great topped with whipped cream and a sprig of mint.

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Garden Fresh Frittata

6 large eggs                                                                                                                             1/2 c sour cream, mixed with 1 T. Spinach and Herb Dip Mix
3/4 c. cheddar cheese, divided
2 t. butter
2 t. olive oil
1 c. sliced mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/3 c. red pepper, chopped
1/4 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. fresh broccoli crowns, chopped
1/2 t. sea salt                                                                                                                           1/2 t. fresh ground pepper

Directions: Mix the sour cream and dip mix (I prefer Tastefully Simple) in a small bowl, and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 10″ deep dish, pie plate with cooking spray; set aside.

Melt the butter and oil in a skillet on medium high heat.  Add the chopped vegetables and mushrooms.  Saute for approximately five minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and cover pan.

Whisk eggs and sour cream mix in mixing bowl, beating for about one minute. Stir in 1/2 c. of cheese.  Spread the vegetables in the pie plate, and pour the egg mixture over top.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of frittata and return to oven for 5 minutes.

garden fresh frittata

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Chocolate and Cherry Magic Bars

Crust:                                                                                                                                       1 – ¾ c. all-purpose flour                                                                                                       ½ c. granulated sugar                                                                                                            ¼ c. packed light brown sugar                                                                                                 ¼ t. salt                                                                                                                                  ½ c. butter, melted

Filling:                                                                                                                                        1 can cherry pie filling                                                                                                              ½ c. sweetened condensed milk

Topping:                                                                                                                                   ½ c. shredded coconut                                                                                                        ½ c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

 

Directions:

Spray a 9” square baking pan with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl combine flour, sugars, and salt.  Add melted butter and blend in with a fork until crumbly. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking dish and press down firmly.  Combine the pie filling and milk, stirring until well blended.  Spread this mixture over the crust.  Mix together the coconut and chocolate.  Sprinkle evenly over cherry mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set and coconut is slightly browned.  Cool on wire rack. Cut into 12 or 16 pieces when completely cooled.Choc n Cherry Magic Bars

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Oatmeal Jam Cakes

1 c. butter flavor shortening                                                                                                    1 ½ c. firmly packed brown sugar                 oatmeal-jam-cakes                                                                          2 lg. Eggs                                             2 t. almond extract                               ½ t. vanilla                                           ½ t. white vinegar (keeps cookies soft)                                                        1 t. baking powder                                1 t. real salt                                         ½ t. baking soda                                   2 ½ c. rolled oats, uncooked (can use quick-cooking in a pinch)                      12 oz. fruit jam, our favorite is raspberry                                                                                                                                 Sanding Sugar

Whisk together the flour, salt, soda and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.  Beat the shortening and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well blended.  Beat in the eggs, extracts and vinegar, blending well. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix at a low speed until just combined.  Stir in the oats.  Cover the dough and refrigerate at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease.  Roll out about a fourth of the dough on a floured surface to about 3/8” thickness.  Cut out circles of dough with your choice of min. 2” to max. 2-1/2” inch round cookie cutter.  Put half the circles 2” apart on prepared tray, place ¾-1 t. of jam in center of base cookies.  Using a very small hole cutter punch holes in the remaining circles, then place on top of bases over jam.  Press the edges of cookie sandwiches to seal.  Sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake one tray at a time at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.  Do not overbake or cookies will be hard.  Cool 2 minutes on trays, then move to cooling racks to cool completely.  Makes about 2-1/2 dozen cookies at 2-1/2”.

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