It's Wednesday morning, and that means recipes and more. You will find much here, but much is still lost: more ways to use fresh ginger, how to make champagne vinegar, uses for coconut flour and your favorite recipes containing avocados. Will you help?
Sandra Oliver shared a recipe with a fascinating name: Monster Cookie Cheese Ball. Here the cheese ball is not the appetizer kind; its cheese is cream cheese, and there are two kinds of chocolate in the mix. She explained, "I don't remember where I got this recipe, but I tried it last night on a group of ladies, along with some other tasty treats. I thought your readers might enjoy it as much as we did."
Monster Cookie Cheese Ball with M&M's
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 cups M&M's, divided
Cream butter, cream cheese, peanut butter, brown sugar and powdered sugar together.
Scrape bowl, and beat about 3 minutes. Beat in dry oats till blended.
Fold in chocolate chips and 2 cups of M&M's.
Mold into a ball, and refrigerate. (It will be soft.)
Before serving, roll in reserved 2 cups of M&M's.
Serve with pretzels or thin wafer cookies.
Note: This makes a really large ball; you can make it into 2 small balls.
As college seniors, Cassidy and Abby experimented with cooking unusual recipes. Now that they are college graduates, they are taking this West African dish with them into adulthood, and today to us. It's from cookieandkate.com
Vegetarian West African Peanut Soup
This West African peanut soup recipe is a creamy and comforting, spicy vegan soup. Made with a simple combination of peanut butter, tomato paste and collard greens, this soup comes together quickly and would be a great weeknight meal. If you love spicy flavors, don't hesitate to use liberal amounts of ginger and garlic.
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 bunch collard greens (or kale), ribs removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch strips
Hot sauce, like sriracha (aka rooster sauce)
1/4 cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish
Cooked brown rice, for serving (optional)
In a medium Dutch oven or stockpot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and salt. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
In a medium-size, heat-safe mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and tomato paste, then transfer 1 to 2 cups of the hot stock to the bowl. Whisk the mixture together until smooth, then pour the peanut mixture back into the soup, and mix well. Stir in the collard greens, and season the soup with hot sauce to taste. Simmer for about 15 more minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often. Serve over cooked brown rice if you'd like, and top with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts.
K.S.H. sent a whole booklet of recipes in calligraphy, this one well-suited to a summer garden.
Eggplant Tomato Casserole
1 large eggplant, peeled and diced
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, plus more to grease dish
6 tablespoons flour
4 cups peeled, chopped tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cook diced eggplant in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain, and place in buttered casserole dish. Blend flour into 6 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan. Add remaining ingredients, and simmer a few minutes. Stir into casserole, and bake 45 minutes.
Optional: Sprinkle with fine breadcrumbs made from 2 slices fresh bread.
Cover casserole, and keep warm until ready to serve.
POTATOES AND BUTTER
And, from the same booklet, "Elegant Entertaining," a potato recipe featured a little visual appeal and edible crunch.
Eight Scored Potatoes
1 potato per person
4 tablespoons melted butter
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Peel and score each potato by placing in a large deep spoon and slicing every 1/8-inch crosswise until knife reaches edge of spoon. About 2/3 of potato will be sliced through. Place in ice water to prevent browning as you work.
Arrange potatoes cut side up in roasting pan. Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter, and bake for 1 hour. Brush with another 2 tablespoons butter, and bake 15 minutes.
(Note: We are assuming that the half-stick of melted butter is enough for perhaps four, but you would need to increase the amount, of course, for more potatoes. Consider your affection for butter as you decide amounts. - JH)
FRESH FOR THE PICKING
Marian C. Lewis wrote, "Today's mention of blackberries brings to mind the Sims Farm on Dietz Road in Catoosa County. We have just finished eating their supply of strawberries, the best you ever ate. They will have blackberries that, if anything like their strawberries, will be delicious. With the strawberries, you can pick your own or buy them already picked. I assume the blackberries will be the same, but I really don't know."
And here's a nod to two readers from Ms. Lewis: "I love Mr. and Mrs. Sunday's tips."
Debbie Pataky, who knows how to make wonderful desserts, today gives us a way to simplify dessert without compromising taste. "Mrs. Smith's frozen Blackberry Cobbler is just as delicious as any I ever made. And no chiggers or thorns to fight to get a pie. I keep one in my freezer all the time."
JUST A DASH
When you go to someone's house and have a fine time, you usually take away something you'd like to replicate at home. So it was for us recently, guests in the home of a couple we barely knew. But they welcomed us generously, filling the coffee table with appetizers the minute we arrived. The hostess, however, was not bustling but visiting with the people at hand along with the host. (This bustler notes: That's the way it should be.) Long about dinnertime she disappeared, returning with someone she introduced as "Catherine, my friend." This was very true, but Catherine was also getting dinner ready quietly in her friend's kitchen.
We sat at the table with real linens on it. He said grace. The two of them delivered the colorful plates that had been prepared in the kitchen. It was Red Snapper Veracruz, accompanied by green rice and asparagus spears. Delicious. There was no talk about the one gluten-free guest because our hostess simply made a completely gluten-free meal for everybody. Dessert? Meringues with lemon curd, flourless chocolate cake and fruit. Our plates disappeared, and Catherine reappeared to invite us to watch the sunset from the western windows. She was marveling at it and wanted to share. Finally, our hostess let us help clear the table, until only the three low vases of spring flowers remained. So, then, a combination of lavish generosity of food, host and hostess sitting and visiting with guests, then serving with the help of a kind friend in the kitchen. Finally, we could in a very small way help get that table ready for the next guests, the most important ones: their children and grandchildren. I want to welcome like that.
And you are always welcomed here, so thank you.
* Uses for fresh ginger
* How to make champagne vinegar
* Uses for coconut flour
* Avocado recipes
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