German Plum Tart

1 1/2 cups enriched flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick VERY COLD, cut into small squares–a rough cut will do)

In separate small bowl, mix one egg yolk with 2 T. milk. Add to above mixture. Stir with fork until dough holds together and egg is totally mixed, but don't over mix.

Press dough into bottom and sides of ungreased 11" tart pan (with removable bottom).

Sprinkle dough with 1/4 cup graham cracker or plain (non-seasoned) bread crumbs and place in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and dry about 25 fresh prunes. Cut in half. Pits will come out easily. Sprinkle prunes with 1 T. fresh lemon juice. When ready, remove tart dough from refrigerator. Lay prunes in circular fashion, starting from the center, overlapping if they are large. Sprinkle fruit with 1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or when dough has gotten puffy and brown, and the prunes are a nice brown color. (It is better to overbake a bit than to have a raw middle!)

From Larissa Looby, St. Mark's Church, Bethesda, MD

Pesto Cheese Appetizer


8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces Roquefort cheese, at room temperature
1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and thoroughly dried
3/4 cup loosely packed fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup slivered sun-dried tomatoes, patted dry


1. Combine the cream cheese and Roquefort in a bowl, and mix until smooth. Set aside.
2. Combine the spinach, parsley, basil, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the oil through the feed tube; continue processing until smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the walnuts and Parmesan, and mix thoroughly.
3. Line a 5 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving extra wrap hanging over the sides.
4. Spread one third of the cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Next, spread half the pesto mixture, and arrange a layer of sun-dried tomatoes on top. Repeat the cheese, pesto, and tomato layers. Finish with the remaining third of the cheese mixture. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
5. To serve, allow the loaf to come just to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Invert it onto a platter, and provide a cheese-slicing knife. Have a basket of crackers and bread nearby.

Makes 6 to 8 portions

Credits: From The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. Workman Publishing.

Mistral’s Maine Crab Ravioli

Crabmeat Filling:
8 ounces of crabmeat (Dungeness or Maine)
2 ounces marscapone cheese
1 tablespoon Parmigiano
1 tablespoon chopped cives
1 pinch cracked black pepper
1 egg
wonton skins (1 pkg)

Crab Broth:
4 ounces crab or chicken broth
1 tablespoon small diced tomatoes (plum tomatoes)
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 pinch thyme
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

Crabmeat Filling:
Carefully pick over the crab meat removing any bits of shell. Place crabmeat into small bowl and mix with mascarpone cheese, chives, Parmigiano cheese, egg and season with black pepper.

Crab Broth:
Open the package of wonton skins and have a wet cloth available. Remove four or five skins placing each on a dry surface. Place the wet cloth over the remaining skins to keep them from drying out.

Fill each wonton in the middle with a small amount of the crab filling. Wet the edges of the skin and fold over sealing the edges. If you used square wonton skins, you may want to trim the excess dough. Be sure that the wonton is sealed before cooking. Place each wonton on a flowered tray. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a refrigerator until ready to cook.

Crab Broth:
In a small sauce pot bring broth to a boil. Add diced tomatoes, thyme and butter. As soon as butter dissolves, turn off sauce and serve.

In boiling water, cook the ravioli for about three minutes. Remove ravioli to a serving dish. Pour crab broth over and serve.

Wine Pairing:
2003 Trimbach "Reserve" Pino Gris (Alsace, France)

Taken from the March 17th issue of the Boston Courant.

london broil with mushroom sauce

2 pounds Flank Steak
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons chopped parsley

Mushroom Sauce (recipe follows)

With a shark knife, trim excess fat from steak. Wipe steak with paper towels.

Combine oil with lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley. Use half the mixture to brush top of steak.

Place steak on lightly greased rack in broiler pan. Broil, four inches from heat, 5 minutes. Turn. Brush with rest of mixture; broil three to five minutes longer.

To serve, slice very thinly, on diagonal, across the grain. Serve with Mushroom Sauce.

Mushroom Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 onion slice
2 carrot slices
Parsley sprig
6 whole balck peppercorns
1 whole clove
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup canned beef boulliion, undiluted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup Burgundy wine
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 cup thickly sliced fresh mushrooms

Slowly heat butter in medium skillet. Add green onions, garlic, onion slice and carrot slices, parsley sprig, black peppercorns, clove and bay leaf. Saute until onion is golden, about three minutes. Remove from heat.

Add flour, stirring until smooth. OVer very low heat, cook stirring, until flour is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Gradually stir in boullion.

Over medium heat, stir and bring to boiling point. Reduce heat and simmer gently 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In another pan, saute sliced mushroms in 2 tablespoons butter in small pan.

Strain and discard vegetables. Add salt and pepper, Burgundy, chopped parsley and mushrooms . Gently reheat. Great with mashed potatoes..

chiles rellenos casserole

This method of preparing chiles rellenos is easier than the traditional method, though equally delicious. Poblano chiles can be substituted, and you can try different cheeses and fillings.

8 whole green chiles, roasted, peeled, and stems removed
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, cut in strips
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 eggs
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cut a slit down the side of each chile and carefuly remove the seeds, if desired (leave seeds in for more heat). Gently stuff each chile with the Monterey Jack cheese strips. Lay them side by sisde in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.

Beat the eggs with the flour until smooth. Add the milk and salt.

Carefully pour the egg mixture over the chiles and bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 35 minutes or until a knife insesrted in the custard comes out clean and the casserole is lightly browned.

Let the casserole cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

easter cheese pascha (simplified)

4 8-oz. packages cream cheese (softened)
1/2 pound sweet butter (softened)
1-1/2 cups sugar (I use powdered)
Vanilla flavoring to taste
Grated lemon peel to taste
Citron and candied cherries and fruits (Save a few for garnish)
Slivered almonds

Beat cream cheese, butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add flavoring and
fruit and almonds. Pour into a mold or a bowl and refrigerate, at least
overnight, but longer if able.

To serve, unmold and decorate with remaining candied fruits and cherries.

parmesan chicken cutlets

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Italian-style dried bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 4-oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1. Preheat oven to 400. Combine cheese, crumbs and paprika in plastic bag.

2. Coat chicken breasts, one at a time, pressing to coat all sides.

3. Arrange on nonstick baking sheet. Bake until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes.

Nutrition info: 161 calories, 3g fat, 0g fiber – 3 points per serving on the Weight Watchers plan

adrienne’s chocolate christmas candy

Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with foil. Sprinkle with ground nuts. Arrange Hershey bars on top of nuts, writing side up (it takes about 8 candy bars). Have the same amount of ground nuts, and the same number of unwrapped candy bars standing by.

In a skillet, cook 2 sticks of butter and 1 cup of sugar for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is dark (or at the hard boil stage). Pour on top of candy bars. Top with remaining candy bars, writing side down, and then the nuts. Let cool completely and cut or break into pieces. Yum.


Using instant mashed potatoes, make 3-4 servings according to package directions. Add 4-5 ounces of grated sharp cheddar cheese. If mixture seems to runny, add more instant mashed potatoes. Cool. Form into about 1-1/2 dozen one-inch balls. Set aside and make dough.

2 cups flour
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 juice glass of warm water, 3/4 full (enough to make a soft dough)

Mix all ingredients until soft dough forms. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into 1-1/2 dozen circles with a glass.

(While you rolling the dough out and cutting circles, start boiling water in a medium-size pot.)

Place potato/cheese ball in center of dough circle. Fold edges over and crimp tightly with fingers or fork tines.

Drop 2-3 peroghies into boiling water and boil about 4-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and either transfer to a large frying pan coated with melted butter and saute


coat with a light film of vegetable oil and drop into a 1-gallon freezer bag and freeze until ready to saute.

This is a good project for two or three people to work on forming an assembly line!

betsy’s blond brownies

1 Stick Softened Butter
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Vanilla
1and 2/3 Cups Dark Brown Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1and1/3 Cups plus 2 Tablespoons Flour
1and 1/2 Cups Chopped Walnuts
Chocolate Chips (optional)

Cream butter, add sugar and cream until fluffy, add eggs and vanilla, cream until the consistency of whipped cream. Blend in flour and baking powder and mix until totally blended. Finally stir in nuts until evenly distributed and choc chips if desired. (I use a cup each of semi-sweet choc and white choc chips) Pour batter into a 13 X 9 inch pan. Bake for 30 minuters. Cool before cutting.

From my sister Nancy.