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Showing posts from May, 2011

Homemade Fast Food is Healthier!

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When my sons were little, I wasn’t much of a cook. Not that when I did cook it was terrible but between being a Realtor to support my political habit added to family activities like Boy Scout meetings, piano lessons and soccer, we didn’t have much time to cook at home, even on weekends.  I hate to admit it but we downed more than our fair share of not so healthy fast food. 


Then I discovered quesadillas in a Tex-Mex cook booklet at the grocery store check-out magazine rack... they sounded easy and lots healthier than B-K or Mickey D’s.  That was 25 years ago, before Chili’s and Chi-chis, On the Border and even Friendly’s came along and made Mexican favorites that rivaled Chinese take-out in popularity. We’ve tried them all but we actually prefer homemade. Easy, fast and always tastes fresher! CHICKEN QUESADILLAS 1/2 pound thin slices uncooked chicken breast cutlets 1 tablespoon lime juice dash fresh ground salt and pepper  1/8 teaspoon crushed dried thyme 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro leave…

Florentine Cookies ala Massachusetts' Cranberries

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Nobody seems to have nailed down who came up with the idea of lacy nutty fruity crisps, sometimes coated on one side with chocolate. They are a favorite of Austrian bakers but considered a Tuscan specialty. With or without the chocolate candy glaze they are delish!

It was a tough call to give creative credit until I tasted my version of the the yummy little discs (pictured here both with and without the chocolate) with a luscious Tuscan Vin Santo for dessert. As far as I'm concerned that sealed the historical origin ... Italy wins!

DEBBY'S CRANBERRY FLORENTINES
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup raw sugar (white sugar works too)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or low cholesterol margarine suitable for cooking)
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon finely chopped dried cranberries 
1 teaspoon finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 teaspoon zest of lime
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips to melt (optional)

In a small saucepan, combine c…