I really love this version of stollen which is easy and fairly quick to make. The ricotta gives the dough an interesting texture and the bits of dried fruit are delicious. Even with a heavy coating of powdered sugar, this is not overly sweet. Lovely with hot coffee or tea.
Dough: Topping: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend the butter cubes into the flour mixture to form uneven crumbs. In a separate bowl, mix together the cheese, egg, vanilla and flavorings. Toss the fruit and almonds with the flour mixture until evenly distributed. Than combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until most of the flour is moistened. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it two or three times until it holds together. Divide dough in half. Form each half of dough into a rectangle about 4 inches x 7 inches, 1-1/2 inches thick. Bake the stollen until they’re lightly browned around the edges – about 40 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center of a stollen should come out clean. Remove stollen to a rack and allow to cool. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve. Cut into one-inch wide slices to serve. This version of stollen does not keep for weeks as traditional stollen does. Best if used within 3 days or so.
Easy Fruit Stollen
2-¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1-½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup cold butter, cut in cubes
1 cup ricotta cheese, part-skim milk type
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-½ tsp. butter flavoring (optional)
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
l/4 cup each of figs, dates, apricots, raisins, chopped to ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted and cooled
3 Tblsp. butter, melted
½ cup powdered sugar
Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment.
Place shaped stollen on the prepared baking sheet.
Yield: Two one-pound stollen.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Blend the butter cubes into the flour mixture to form uneven crumbs.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cheese, egg, vanilla and flavorings.
Toss the fruit and almonds with the flour mixture until evenly distributed. Than combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until most of the flour is moistened.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it two or three times until it holds together. Divide dough in half.
Form each half of dough into a rectangle about 4 inches x 7 inches, 1-1/2 inches thick.
Bake the stollen until they’re lightly browned around the edges – about 40 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center of a stollen should come out clean.
Remove stollen to a rack and allow to cool. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar.
Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve. Cut into one-inch wide slices to serve.
This version of stollen does not keep for weeks as traditional stollen does. Best if used within 3 days or so.
This is a tasty beef stew with vegetables, herbs, wine and a touch of brandy. It’s easy to fix in a slow cooker and tastes so good when eaten in a warm, cozy kitchen or maybe in front of the fireplace.
BURGUNDY BEEF STEW - SLOW COOKER
½ lb. chuck steak, fat removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp. olive oil, divided
1-½ cups chopped onion
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
16 baby carrots, cut into ¼ inch slices
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tblsp. quick-cooking tapioca
1 cup Burgundy wine
½ cup beef broth
¼ cup brandy
1 Tblsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
½ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
In a medium skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 tsp. oil and brown chuck steak cubes on all sides – do not cook through. Set aside
In a 3-½- or 4-quart slow cooker place chopped onion, potato cubes, carrot slices, garlic. Sprinkle tapioca over the top.
Place beef on top of vegetables. In a medium bowl, whisk together wine, broth, brandy, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Pour over ingredients in slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours or on high heat for 4 to 5 hours.
Near the end of cooking time, in a small skillet, cook mushrooms in the remaining 1 tsp. of oil over medium-high heat until browned. Stir mushrooms into beef mixture.
Makes 4-6 servings
It’s that time of year again when we often find a few remaining Clementines and we’re tired of eating them out of hand. This is a good way to use Clementines and enjoy a bright, orange flavored dessert.
First, to prepare the Clementines:
Wash and dry three Clementines, remove stems and place in a microwave-safe dish. Cover Clementines with cold water, put a lid on the dish and microwave on high for approximately 10 minutes. Clementines should be quite soft and look something like fresh, ripe apricots. Let cool in microwave – be careful, they get very hot.
Cut the Clementines in half and process as finely as possible in a food processor or blender (remove seeds if necessary but, yes, process both rind and flesh).
Makes about ½ cup. Set aside.
Note: Clementines can also be covered with water and boiled on the stove top for two hours. Clementine puree can be frozen.
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 cup cold milk
1 cup hot milk
1/2 cup Clementine puree (See instructions above)
1 Tblsp. undiluted orange juice concentrate
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, salt, egg and cold milk. Slowly whisk in hot milk and cook over medium high heat until mixture begins to boil. Lower heat to medium and continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add Clementine puree and orange juice concentrate. Stir and allow to cool in the pan, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on top.
Pour into six dessert dishes. Good at room temperature or chilled. Refrigerate leftovers.
My daughter-in-law in St. Louis sent me a recipe for using up my leftover Thanksgiving turkey and we all loved it. This salad combines sweetened, orange-flavored fresh cranberries and crisp almonds to dress up some leftover turkey.
Since I used up all the turkey to make the salad right after Thanksgiving, I thought I’d make another batch for dinner today using chicken breast. It was delicious. It’s a very easy recipe to put together and makes wonderful sandwiches. Her recipe called for wheat bread slices, but I had some good bakery dinner rolls on hand and they worked well, too.
Make up the cranberry mixture and refrigerate a couple of hours ahead of time to get the best flavor.
Dee-Dee’s Turkey (or Chicken) Salad with Fresh Cranberries
½ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tblsp. orange juice
1 Tblsp. grated orange zest
2 cups cooked turkey (or chicken breast), chopped
2 Tblsp. parsley, chopped
2 green onions, tops and tender green parts, sliced
¾ cup mayonnaise
Salt/pepper to taste
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 wheat bread slices, dinner rolls or bread of your choice
4 large red-leaf lettuce leaves
In a food processor with metal blade, process cranberries with sugar, orange juice and orange zest, using on-off pulses until coarsely chopped. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.
In a medium bowl, combine turkey, parsley, green onions, mayonnaise and salt/pepper. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve. At serving time, stir the cranberry mixture and almonds into the turkey/chicken mixture and spoon onto bread slices. Top with lettuce. Makes 4-6 servings.
This is another take on one of my favorite chilled desserts which combines yogurt, frozen topping and cream cheese. This makes a delicious chilled dessert base which is creamy and smooth but not too sweet. The addition of raspberries makes it special.
RASPBERRY CREAM DESSERT
1 cup yogurt
1-½ cups frozen topping, thawed (Cool Whip)
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. frozen raspberries, thawed (about 1-½ cups with juice)
Mix together the yogurt, whipped topping and cream cheese until smooth.
Stir in the raspberries.
Spoon mixture into 4-6 pretty dessert dishes.
Cover and chill for at least two hours.
Makes 4-6 servings
This recipe came from a favorite source in the 1980s – The Blue Ribbon Gazette, a newsletter with recipes from blue ribbon winners from all over the country. I won a blue ribbon with this bread at the large Harvest Home Festival (Cincinnati) in 1989.
This is a hearty bread that stays soft for several days and is wonderful toasted or used for a grilled sandwich.
HONEY OATMEAL BREAD
1-½ cups milk
1 cup oats, quick
1 Tblsp. salt
2 Tblsp. canola oil
One 13 oz. can evaporated milk, undiluted
¼ cup honey
2 Tblsp. fast acting yeast*
2 cups whole wheat flour
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
**I use Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast. I buy it in bulk (454 g) and the package says that it is made in Canada. I understand it is packaged under the name “Instant Dry” for distribution through stores like Sam’s, “Rapid Rise” in the U.S. and “Quick Rise” in Canada. The “Instant Dry”, “Rapid Rise” or “Quick Rise” yeast is especially formulated to be used mixed with the dry ingredients and can withstand the hot liquid.
Grease three 7-½ inch or two 9-inch loaf pans
Place 1-½ cups of milk in a pan, bring to a boil. Add oats and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add oil, evaporated milk, honey and salt. Cool to 130 degrees F. (cooling will take 10-15 minutes).
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place yeast and 2 cups whole wheat flour. Beat to blend flour and yeast. Add 130 degree F milk/honey mixture and beat with paddle beater for 3 minutes on medium speed.
Remove paddle beater and insert dough hook. Continue to beat for 6-1/2 minutes, adding all-purpose flour a little at a time. You may not have to use all of the flour – the dough should be smooth and elastic after 6-1/2 minutes. Although a little sticky because of the honey.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, turn dough over once and cover with a napkin or tea towel. Let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place that is free of drafts (I put mine on top of my microwave which sets under a cabinet).
After 45 minutes, punch down dough (press your knuckles into the dough to deflate it). Remove dough to a lightly floured board and divide into three portions for 7-½ inch loaves or into two portions for 9 inch loaves. Roll each portion into a loaf, pinch seams to seal and place seam-side-down in a greased 7-½ inch or 9-inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake 7-½ inch loaves for approximately 30-35 minutes and the 9 inch loaves for about 50-60 minutes or until bread is golden brown and has a hollow sound when tapped (200 degrees on a bread thermometer*).
Cover with a piece of foil if top is browning too fast. Remove bread from pans immediately, cover with a napkin or a tea towel and let cool on a wire rack.
Yield: Three 7-½ inch loaves or two 9 inch loaves
I took a “classic” macaroni salad recipe and made a few changes to turn it into a chicken and macaroni salad, suitable for a meal. The white balsamic vinegar gives this dish a different flavor from the usual versions – I like it a lot.
BALSAMIC CHICKEN AND MAC SALAD
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tblsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. dried minced onions
1 Tblsp. chopped pimiento
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender, 8-9 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain. Dry the pasta as much as possible, blotting with a paper towel. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, garlic, celery seed, black pepper, minced onions and pimiento. Stir in the drained macaroni. Add the chicken breast.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, preferably overnight.