Showing posts from May, 2011

Homemade Fast Food is Healthier!

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

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!

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…