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Glazed Fresh Fruit Tart
 This dessert is simple, delicious and colorful…the perfect treat for the holiday weekend BBQ.
  • Sugar Cookie Pie Crust or Refrigerated Cookie Dough
  • 8 Ounces of Cream Cheese – Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • Sliced Fruit: Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Bananas, Kiwi, etc…
  • 6 Ounces Red Currant or Apple Jelly (I prefer Red Currant)
  • 1 Tablespoon Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1/4 Cup Water

Line a 16 inch pizza pan with dough then crimp the edges. Bake for 8 minutes at recommended temperature then cool. Combine sugar, cream cheese, vanilla and spread over crust. Arrange fruit over the cheese mixture. Heat jelly to liquid state. Add gelatin and stir quickly to dissolve. Remove from heat and add water and mix. Pour over fruit tart. Keep cool in refrigerator until serving.

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Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Olive
This recipe originally appeared in the UK’s The Guardian and was later re-posted by The Amateur Gourmet.

It is relatively easy to make and delicious. Make sure you use the Israeli couscous – it is better with this dish. I also like to serve it with  roasted cauliflower.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 garlic cloves mashed into a paste with salt (use a mortar, or chop and press with the side of your knife)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger (I used fresh grated ginger and enjoyed the results)
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron, in a little warm water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 small preserved lemons (really look for these: they make a HUGE difference; or make them yourself)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Small bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 6 chicken thighs (I bought them with bones and skin, then removed the skin myself…which I turned into a treat later on)
  • 3 tablespoons pitted Kalamata olives

Instructions:

  1. Heat a tagine or heavy-bottomed skillet that has a lid on low heat and add the oil, followed by the onions and a pinch of salt. Allow the onions to cook for a bit until they’re translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, the ginger, saffron water, and cinnamon; followed by the lemon juice, the coarsely chopped pulp of one preserved lemon and the rind of both cut into slivers. Add the parsley and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and toss it all together well with another pinch of salt.
  3. Arrange the chicken on top (pinch of salt here too) and scatter over the olives. Pour 3/4 cup of water into the pan, cover tightly and simmer very gently for 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. That’s it: you’ve got chicken tagine. Taste for seasoning and serve over cous cous, topped with chopped cilantro leaves.
Enjoy!
Katie

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Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and that means it is time for Irish Soda Bread. No time to bake? Westchester Magazine says one of the best places to get this treat is at Kneaded Bread in Port Chester. Read the article HERE. However, if you want to bake your own loaf here is our favorite recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 Cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour
  • 6 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 3 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Raisins
  • 1 Tbsp Caraway Seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 Stick Melted Butter (4 Tbsp)
  • 2 Beaten Eggs
  • 1 3/4 Cups Buttermilk

Pre-Heat Oven to 350F
Grease a Loaf Pan (9-10″)
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, raisins, caraway seeds).
In a separate bowl, combine butter, buttermilk and eggs.
Slowly mix the liquids into the dry ingredients and form one large mass. Dough should have rather stiff bread consistency.
Place dough in loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes.
Slice. Toast. Butter. Enjoy!

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QUICK WEEKNIGHT DINNER

Growing up my mother made her own tomato sauce – about 10 gallons at a time and she would freeze it. She would make spaghetti and meatballs, chicken cacciatore, meatloaf (yes we put tomato sauce on our meatloaf). And it would rotate until she ran out. I still like to make my own sauce, but I don’t have the freezer space my mother did. And with the advent of marinara sauce like Rao’s I don’t feel like I need to make homemade every time.
When time is limited this is quick and easy:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (I use all pork due to a non red meat eater in our house)
  • 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large garlic clove- minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • One egg beaten
Combine all ingredients and work with your hands until just combined. Make small – medium size meatballs dust with flour.
I like to start them on a flame proof frying pan heated with one tablespoon of olive oil and finish them in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes
Heat a jar of Rao’s add meatballs
Cook the pasta
You can also make an arugula salad – with some shaved Parmesan cheese, olive oil and lemon juice.

Enjoy! ~ Katie Irwin

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PORK CHOPS with SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS by Melissa Clark
The question that haunts me most days is what to make for dinner and keep everyone happy at the same time. Rarely happens in our house. This recipe for pork chops was a hit when I first made it. It is simple to put together and when you add mashed potatoes and a green vegetable your are done!
Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons safflower or grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 4 bone-in pork chops (1 1/4-inch thick)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ pound small shiitake mushrooms, stemmed

For the full recipe click HERE.
Enjoy! ~ Katie
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Another Family Favorite – Pecan Tassie Cookies
Katie’s favorite cookie that my mom baked was the Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies (featured last week) but my favorite growing up was the Pecan Tassie Cookies. I am looking forward to baking both these cookies with my children this week and bringing them to Katie’s house on Christmas Day.
Happy Holidays and Enjoy!
Nora
Cookie Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 3oz Packages Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Butter (Softened)
  • 6 Tablespoons Confectioner Sugar

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Chopped Nuts (Preferred Pecans)

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 350F
  • Cream Together Butter and Cream Cheese
  • Add Sugar and Flour – Blend Well
  • Shape Dough into Walnut Size Balls (easier if you lightly flour your hands)
  • Press into Pan (mini muffin pans)
  • Mix the Filling Ingredients and Fill Cookies
  • Bake 17-20 Minutes
  • Sprinkle with Confectioner Sugar
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Family Favorite – Peanut Butter Kiss Cookie
Growing up  in our house we always made Christmas cookies. We baked the usual; iced sugar cookies and toll house chocolate chip. But my Aunt always had a much more exotic (in my eyes) assortment of cookies. One of my favorite was the peanut butter kiss cookie she made, I thought she invented the combination herself!
Enjoy!
Katie
cookie

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