From Helen's Kitchen. May 10, 2013


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Happy Mother’s Day to all … to the Moms who are with us, and to those who have passed on and are smiling down on us from Heaven! We love you … and are thinking of you on your special day!

Every mother is “queen for the day” so Mom, relax in your favorite chair, read the paper and do not lift a finger to do any work! Dads and kids … surprise the lady in your life with easy-to-prepare meals that I know she will love. Start out with a tasty breakfast in bed, followed by a day of delicious meals with the family! Enjoy!

Good Morning Energy Drink

1-1/2 cups vanilla soy milk

1 cup frozen peaches (keep frozen)

1 cup strawberries, stems removed

1 cup carrot juice

1 small banana

2 tablespoons wheat germ or oat bran (optional)

2 tablespoons honey

Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend 1 minute or until smooth. Yield: about 2 to 3 servings.

Overnight Egg and Sausage Brunch

1/2 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups red pepper strips

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt, divided

5 cups milk

4 large eggs

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 loaf Italian bread (1-pound) sliced 1/2-inch thick, quartered

1 cup (4-ounces) Fontina cheese, shredded

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 1 minute. Brown sausage, breaking up pieces with slotted spoon. Transfer to paper towels. Discard drippings. Heat oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add peppers, onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until mixture is lightly browned, 15 minutes. Beat milk, eggs, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in bowl. Place enough bread pieces to cover bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Spread half the peppers and onions over bread; sprinkle on half of cheese and sausage. Pour half milk mixture over bread. Repeat with remaining bread, peppers, onions, cheese, sausage and milk mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Next morning, remove from refrigerator 1 hour before baking. Heat oven to 350°. Uncover plastic wrap and replace with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes; uncover and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned and set in center. Yield: 8 servings.

Veal Roll with Spinach Stuffing and Mushrooms

For veal rolls:

1-1/2 pounds fresh spinach or 1-1/2 cups chopped cooked

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 pound mushrooms, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon thyme, crumbled

1 pound ground veal

1 cup fresh bread crumbs (2 slices)

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup chopped parsley

For mushroom sauce:

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1-1/4 cups chicken broth

1/4 pound mushrooms, finely chopped

Pinch thyme

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/2 teaspoon Sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare veal roll: Wash spinach; remove tough stems. Place in heavy pot. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in colander. Squeeze between pieces of paper toweling to press out excessive moisture. Cool slightly. Finely chop; you should have 1-1/2 cups. Set aside. Sauté onion in butter in large heavy skillet over medium heat, 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add mushrooms and thyme; sauté until mushrooms become juicy, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool slightly. Combine ground veal, bread crumbs, egg, milk, lemon rind, lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley in large bowl; mix just until evenly blended. Mix in mushroom mixture. Place 12-inch square waxed paper on work surface. Place veal mixture on waxed paper; pat into 10-inch square. Spread spinach evenly over veal square. Starting at one side, fold over veal by about 2 inches, using waxed paper as a guide. Then roll up tightly, jelly-roll fashion, removing paper as you roll. Carefully transfer roll to jelly-roll pan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour.

To prepare mushroom sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add flour, cook, stirring a minute or two, over medium heat. Add chicken broth; cook, whisking until thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and thyme; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; boil until liquid completely evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes. Add half-and-half, salt and pepper; bring to boiling. Stir mushroom mixture into chicken broth mixture. Simmer 3 to 4 minutes to blend flavors. Serve hot, sprinkled with parsley, with hot mushroom sauce. Yield: 6 servings.

Cheddar Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Chives

4 cups peeled and diced potatoes

4 large cloves garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon salt, divided

6 cups water

3/4 cup milk

Dash black pepper

1 cup (4-ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut up

2 teaspoons chives, finely chopped

4 slices bacon, cooked crisp, blot with paper towel, and crumbled

Bring potatoes, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and water to boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes until fork-tender. Drain potatoes and garlic and return to pan; reduce heat to medium and add milk, remaining salt and pepper. Mash with potato masher until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and butter until melted. Add chives and finely crumbled bacon, stir well. Yield: 4 servings.

Honey-Pecan Cookies

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1 stick butter

2 tablespoons ice water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon honey

3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with water and vanilla. Quickly work with hands to make a smooth dough. Chill 30 minutes. Stir together honey with 1/4 cup nuts; set aside. With lightly floured hands, shape dough in 16 tablespoon-size balls. Press small indentation in center with thumb; fill with about 1/2 teaspoon honey-nut mixture. Pinch dough around filling and roll in remaining 1/2 cup nuts to coat cookie. Put on greased cookie sheet and bake in preheated 350° oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on rack. These cookies can be stored airtight in cool place for 10 days; can be frozen up to 8 weeks. Yield: 16 cookies.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup peanut butter

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup grape preserves

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in peanut butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine eggs and milk; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Spoon half of batter into greased muffin pans, filling one-third full. Top each muffin with 3/4 teaspoon strawberry preserves. Spoon remaining batter into muffin pans, filling 2/3 full. Bake at 375° for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan immediately. Yield: 16 muffins.

Please send your email requests to helenkitchen@msn.com, and write “Helen’s Kitchen Request” or “Helen’s Kitchen Recipe Exchange” in the subject line to make sure that I receive and promptly respond to your email.

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