Chinese New Year Cookies

Chinese New Year Cookies


Every Christmas, these cookies appear in my mom’s kitchen. I’m not quite sure where they got their name and origin, but they are SUPER easy to make and everyone loves them!!

This year I made them for our neighborhood cookie swap. I made 10 dozen in about 20 minutes! That’s my kind of “baking”!!

PS: They don’t need to be refrigerated once they are set.

Ingredients:
6 oz butterscotch chips
6 oz chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
3 oz chow mein noodles
7.25 oz salted peanuts (cocktail, not roasted)

Directions:
1) Melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips together.
2) Mix in noodles and peanuts.
3) Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.
4) Chill in refrigerator until set.

Yield: approximately 2 dozen cookies

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Sauteed Wild Mushrooms with Spinach

Tonight’s dinner was, in spite of myself, pretty tasty! I bought ground beef 2 nights ago to make Italian Burgers from a recent Cooking Light. Took the beef out and it looked like it was working on growing legs, sooooooooo plain burgers from the freezer made an appearance. The only actual recipe that got made was this one for Sauteed Wild Mushrooms with Spinach. We’re seriously lacking in the green/vegetable department, so this was perfect!!
For this recipe, I used an 8oz carton of sliced button mushrooms and an 8oz carton of creminis. You definitely need to sautee the spinach in batches. It looks like a ton, but it’s really not. The spinach comes out flavorful, but not overly flavorful. I also felt that it needed a pinch or 2 of salt at the end. This recipe isn’t earth shattering, but it was tasty and a nice mild side item for dinner!

Source: Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller (Food Network)
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups mixed wild mushrooms (any combination of shiitake, porcini, chanterelle, oyster, portobello, and cremini)
3 tablespoons dry sherry wine
1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 (10-ounce) bags fresh spinach
Directions
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry and soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Add spinach (add spinach in batches if necessary), and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, until spinach wilts, turning frequently.

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Tortilla Soup

I feel like I’m on a never-ending quest for quick, easy, and healthy meals! I subscribe to 648 million magazines – 95% of which are food related. I read them or shuffle through them and then they go in this big basket in the kitchen. So my new year’s resolution this year is going to be to sort through them and actually COOK from them! I’ve started a bit before 2009 and am starting with this winner from Eating Well Magazine’s September/October 2008 issue.

This recipe fit all 3 of my needs – it was quick, easy, and healthy! AND it was darn tasty!! The chicken thigh is normally not part of my repertoire, but it was perfect in this soup – so tender! My peppers had a little kick to them, but that’s ok because we like it a little spicy. I suspect I didn’t do a good enough job getting the seeds out, but oh well! I served this soup with little mini cheese quesadillas that I made with the extra corn tortillas and cheese that I had! YUM!

Source: Eating Well Magazine
Yield: 6 servings (about 1 1/3 cup each)


Ingredients

8 corn tortillas, halved and thinly sliced
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 Anaheim or poblano peppers, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (see Tip)
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Spread tortilla strips in an even layer on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Bake until browned and crispy, 12 to 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add peppers and onion and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chicken, broth, tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice. Serve each portion topped with some of the baked tortilla strips, Cheddar and cilantro.

Tips
Tip: To trim boneless, skinless chicken thighs, we like to use kitchen shears to snip the fat away from the meat.

Nutrition Information
Per serving: 288 calories; 12 g fat (4 g sat, 4 g mono); 56 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 20 g protein; 5 g fiber; 483 mg sodium; 404 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (40% daily value), Iron (15% dv).
1 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat

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Gratin of Cauliflower with Gruyere

One thing about me, I can’t pass up a good deal! I am the coupon queen and I love sales!!! So after Thanksgiving when the turkeys went on sale for dirt cheap, I scooped one up. I cooked it last night in my roaster oven (love the roaster oven!!) and needed some good sides to go with it! I made cornbread and sausage stuffing. That was a first for me. I think I need a do-over because mine was a bit too crumbly, but the flavor rocked! This recipe coming up, however, was my hands down favorite. SO GOOD.

A few changes – I used swiss because I couldn’t find Gruyere in my dinky Publix. I was a little heavy handed with the cheese. I was also heavy handed with the chives, which I think was a definite good idea. I used FF milk because that’s all we had in the house. This recipe was SO SO GOOD. Please try it and tell me what you think!!

 
Gratin of Cauliflower with Gruyère

Gruyère’s nutty, earthy flavor is a nice match for subtle cauliflower, and crisp breadcrumbs add texture. Substitute broccoli for the cauliflower, if you prefer. You can prepare all the elements for the dish a day ahead, if necessary. Refrigerate the sauce, the cauliflower, and the breadcrumb mixture separately, and simply assemble before baking. 

1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (about 2 pounds)
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons butter
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Place cauliflower in a 2-quart broiler-safe baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; coat cauliflower with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until almost tender. Cool 5 minutes.

3. Preheat broiler.

4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in panko. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese and chives.

5. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until almost tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 cup cheese, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, parsley, and pepper. Pour milk mixture over cauliflower mixture; toss. Top evenly with cheese mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly heated.

Yield:  6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)

CALORIES 161 (34% from fat); FAT 6g (sat 3.6g,mono 1.7g,poly 0.3g); IRON 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 20mg; CALCIUM 233mg; CARBOHYDRATE 18g; SODIUM 295mg; PROTEIN 9.7g; FIBER 3.6g
Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2008

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