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It's another blank slate of a year, and here we are together, two days in. There are, however, some things still in the Lost-and-Not-Found. Here are a few: lemon vinaigrette, dill caper Remoulade sauce, cookie butter pie and a variety of recipes for stew (made with any meat or vegetarian).

 

DIP

The first in a series of recipes shared by E. of Henagar, Alabama, looks colorful and healthful. Although this is billed as a dip, serving it along with crackers and raw vegetables just might make it a small meal. The chef is Rachael Ray.

Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Dip

2 avocados, halved and pitted

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Raw vegetables, crackers and/or tortilla chips

Scoop the avocados out of the shells into a food processor. Add the sour cream, cilantro and lime juice. Puree the dip; season with salt and pepper. Serve with vegetables, crackers and/or chips.

 

COOKIES

Bubbles H. made these cookies for the holidays. "I found the recipe on Instagram, tried it and really liked it."

Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

For buttered pecans:

1 1/2 cups pecan halves, finely chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside until needed.

For cookies:

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted until browned

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (don't pack the flour into the measuring cup)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons bourbon

2 large eggs, at room temperature

12 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks

24 pecan halves, for decoration, optional

Sea salt — just a little, for sprinkling

To make brown butter, place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook for about 3 minutes — stirring almost constantly — until the butter has browned. Pour the brown butter into a heatproof bowl, being sure to scrape all of the "toasted" bits into the bowl as well. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or until the butter is at room temperature. You'll know the butter is at room temperature when you press a finger into the top and it makes a slight indentation. It should not be liquid at all.

Once the butter is at room temperature, you're ready to get baking.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside until needed.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda; whisk well to combine, then set aside until needed.

In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine browned butter and both sugars, and beat on medium-speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and bourbon, and beat until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition. Turn mixer off. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in the chocolate chunks and the reserved buttered pecans.

Roll 3 tablespoon-size scoops of dough between your palms to form a ball. They should be big, almost 1/4 cup. Place on prepared sheets, making sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading. Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled. Press a pecan on the top of each cookie dough mound, if desired.

Place baking sheets in preheated oven, one at a time, and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. Repeat with all cookie dough. Sprinkle cookies lightly with sea salt right when they come out of the oven. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Makes 2 dozen.

 

MUFFINS

Lynn Carroll recommended the small cookbook, "A Floured Hand Up," and this is one of the easy-tasty recipes therein.

Toasted Cheese Muffins

8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup soft butter

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup chopped black olives

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon onion salt

8 English muffins

Blend cheese, butter, eggs, olives, garlic salt and onion salt. Spread on muffins that have been cut in half. Toast until bubbly and a little brown.

 

DESSERT

Janice Hixson's collection of pound cakes will continue to punctuate Fare Exchanges in 2019, but for now, here's an easy dessert that requires no baking.

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

Ice cream sandwiches (I use Klondike bars)

1 small jar caramel syrup

1 large container Cool Whip

Chocolate syrup

About 1/2 cup pecans

Line a 9- by 12-inch dish with ice cream sandwiches. Pour jar of caramel syrup over the bars. Spread Cool Whip over top. Drizzle chocolate syrup on next. Top with pecans. Place in the freezer at least a couple of hours.

Variation: Put a second layer of ice cream sandwiches topped with a drizzle of chocolate syrup before topping with Cool Whip, then finish off with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and topping of pecans.

Here's to you: the improvisers, the planners, the serendipitous. It takes you all to make the meal.

 

REQUESTS

* Lemon vinaigrette

* Dill caper remoulade sauce

* Cookie butter pie

* Stews

 

TO REACH US

Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Email: chattfare@gmail.com

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