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Tuesday, May 25, 1999

Monterey Cheesecake Ingredients:

1 1/2 c finely crushed corn chips

2 3/4 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, divided

2 T butter, melted

2 8oz pkgs cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 t ground cumin

1/4 t salt

1/4 t ground red pepper

3 large avocados, peeled and sliced

1 8oz container sour cream

Clear plastic wrap

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

Large corn chips

Directions: Combine crushed corn chips, 1/4 c shredded cheese and butter. Press in the bottom and up the sides of a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Beat cream cheese at medium speed until light and fluffy; add eggs, beating well after each edition. Stir in remaining 2 1/2 c shredded cheese, garlic, and next 3 ingredients. Spread half of mixture in prepared pan; arrange 1 sliced avocado over top and spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Gently run a knife around the sides of the pan. Cool completely. Spread sour cream over top. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill 8 hours. Arrange chopped bell pepper and remaining sliced avocado on top. Serve with corn chips. Makes 1 9-inch cheesecake

Balsamic Grilled Pork Chops:

8 5oz boneless pork loin chops

1/4 c balsamic vinegar

1/4 c olive oil

2 T honey

3 garlic cloves, pressed

1 t freshly ground pepper

1/2 t salt

Directions: Place pork loin chops in a shallow dish or heavy-duty zip-top bag. Stir together vinegar and next 5 ingredients. Pour over pork chops; cover or seal and chill 1 to 2 hours. Remove pork chops from marinade, discarding marinade. Grill pork chops, covered with grill lid, over high heat for 6 minutes on each side or until done. Makes 8 servings

Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta Toss:

1/3 c pine nuts

1 stick butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 T chopped rosemary

1 6oz pkg fresh baby spinach, rinsed and dried

8oz penne pasta, cooked

1/3 c sliced ripe olives

1 4oz goat cheese log, crumbled

Directions: Cook pine nuts in a large skillet over medium heat 4 minutes or until toasted. Remove from skillet. Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and rosemary and sauté 3 minutes. Add spinach and sauté 2 minutes. Toss with hot cooked pasta and sliced olives; sprinkle with goat cheese and toasted pine nuts. Serve pasta immediately. Makes 4 servings

Spicy Beef Pasta Salad:

1/2 c soy sauce

1/4 c Dijon mustard

2 3 t Cajun seasoning

1/4 to 1/2 t dried crushed red pepper

2 T olive oil

1 1lb flank steak

Clear plastic wrap

Heavy duty aluminum foil

8oz bow-tie pasta, cooked

1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 c cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions: Stir together first five ingredients. Pour half of mixture into shallow dish. Add steak, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 2 to 4 hours. Cover remaining soy sauce mixture with plastic wrap and chill. Remove steak from marinade, discarding marinade, and place on an aluminum foil-lined broiler pan. Broil 3 inches from heat 5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness is reached. Let stand 5 minutes; cut diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Combine cooked pasta, steak slices, reserved soy sauce mixture, bell pepper, and tomato halves in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Makes 6 servings

Pecan Shortbread with Blueberry Filling:

2 sticks butter, softened

2/3 c sugar

2 egg yolks

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/2 can Comstock or Wilderness More Fruit Blueberry Fruit Filling

Directions: Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in egg yolks. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheets. Make and indentation in the center of each with your thumb. Bake at 300° for 20 25 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Fill each cookie with teaspoon fruit filling. Makes 3 dozen

Pinwheel Cookies:

2 sticks butter, softened

3/4 c sugar

1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar

1 large egg

3 c all-purpose flour

2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

2 T milk

2 t vanilla extract

Plastic wrap

1/2 c cocoa

Directions: Beat butter at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add granulated and brown sugars, beating well. Add egg, beating until blended. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating at low speed after each addition until blended. Stir in vanilla. Divide dough in half, and wrap 1 portion in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour. Add cocoa to remaining portion and beat until blended. Wrap chocolate dough in plastic wrap and chill one hour. Roll each portion of dough into a 14x10-inch rectangle between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using wrap for support, invert chocolate dough over vanilla dough; remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Roll into a log, beginning with a short side and using plastic wrap for support. Wrap log in plastic wrap and freeze 45 minutes. Cut log into 1/4-inch thick slices, and place on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes 2 1/2 dozen