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Friday, January 23, 2009

Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe is straight from a Quaker Oats box, very easy and simple. I usually bake my own oatmeal-raisins cookies instead of buying them. I love it when they're freshly baked and paired with hot green tea or black English tea.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs or 4 egg whites ( I used 2 whole eggs)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker Oats Old Fashioned, uncooked
1 cup raisins

1. Heat oven to 350 deg. F. In large bowl beat together butter and sugars until creamy.
2. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
3. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
4. Stir in oats and raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes for a chewy cookie OR 11 to 12 minutes for a crisp cookie. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Crabmeat Cucumber Rounds

Here's another easy and refreshing appetizer that I got from Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade in Food TV Network. Bite-size cucumber rounds topped with very tasty crabmeat is a welcome change to our usual chips appetizer. This was one of the appetizers I served during our Christmas get-together with friends.


1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Worcesterchire sauce
1 can (4.25 oz) crabmeat, drained
1/2 large unpeeled English hothouse cucumber, cut crosswise into 16 thin slices (1/4" thick)
8 pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced

1. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, horseradish, mustard, and Worcesterchire sauce. Stir in crabmeat (be sure to drain all liquid from canned crabmeat). Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Arrange cucumber slices in a single layer on a serving tray. Spoon 1 Tbsp of crabmeat mixture onto each cucumer slice. Garnish with olive slices and serve.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bacon-Wrapped Artichoke Hearts

This is a very simple appetizer that I served during our Christmas Party with friends. Anything you wrap with bacon will surely taste good. I already tried bacon-wrapped mushrooms and bacon-wrapped scallops in the past and I thought of trying artichoke hearts this time for new flavor.


1 jar (12-ounce) marinated artichoke heart quarters
9 slices bacon, cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 425 deg. F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drain artichoke heart quarters, reserving liquid.
2. Wrap each artichoke heart quarter with a half-slice bacon. Secure with a toothpick.
3. Place on baking sheet. Drizzle with reserved liquid from artichokes. Roast in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Broiled Salmon with Pesto Mayonnaise

This was a hit in our holiday party especially with the seafood lovers. I got the recipe from Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade fame at Food TV Network. It was an easy recipe that I made even easier. The original recipe calls for a marinade of olive oil, lemon juice and Italian seasoning and I made a short-cut and just used Italian Dressing instead. It saved me time to squeeze lemons and mix the ingredients together.

1 1/2 lbs center-cut fresh salmon fillet, 1 inch thick, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup Italian Dressing

For Pesto Mayonnaise
3 Tbsps Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp prepared Pesto (store bought)

1. Preheat broiler. Rinse salmon with cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Line baking sheets or broiler pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
2. In a ziplock bag combine salmon and dressing. Squeeze air out from bag and seal. Gently massage bag to coat fish, set aside.
3. For Pesto Mayonnaise - combine mayonnaise and pesto, stir, set aside.
4. Remove salmon pieces from bag and place on the baking sheet flesh side down. Discard marinade. Broil fish 4 to 6 inches from heat for up to 10 minutes until flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.
5. Serve salmon with pesto mayonnaise on top.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Glazed Hickory Smoked Spiral Sliced Ham

Ham is a staple food on every family's dinner table during the holidays and it was one of the featured dishes I served during an annual get-together with friends. There is a popular brand called Honey Baked Ham which is very expensive but I settled on this local brand from Costco which was four times cheaper. In line with my goal to continue being frugal this year, I came to realize that cheaper does not always mean poor quality. With this ham you can't really tell the difference and everybody liked it.

The ham is fully cooked so you will just basically heat it through. It is recommended by USDA that pre-cooked ham should be reheated to an internal temperature of 140 deg F

Heating the ham:
1. Preheat oven to 325 deg. F
2. Remove all packaging materials (including clear 'button' on bone of ham). Ham should be cooked flat/face side down in open, shallow roasting pan. Do not cover.
3. Bake at 325 deg F for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or approximately 8 minutes per pound
4. Remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 425 deg F.
5. Brush or spoon prepared glaze (procedure at the bottom) over ham and between slices.
6. Return to oven 8 to 10 minutes. Remove ham and serve.

Glaze - there is a packet of glaze mixture that comes with the ham package. Just pour it in a sauce pan with 3 Tbsps of water on low fire. Stir constantly until totally dissolved.

Thursday, January 1, 2009