Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fruit & Nut Chocolate Cheerios Clusters

Fruit & Nut Chocolate Cheerios Clusters
by Sarah Kwan of Earthly Delights Blog
Makes approximately 24 clusters

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter + more for greasing
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups Chocolate Cheerios
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries (or a mixture)
1/2 cup almonds
7 ounces dark chocolate for dipping (optional, but recommended!)

Lightly grease a half baking sheet and line with waxed paper. Lightly grease the wax paper and set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallows and salt, and stir occasionally until marshmallows have melted (approximately 5 minutes).

Remove from heat and stir in the Chocolate Cheerios, dried fruit and nuts.

Working quickly, take small handfuls with lightly greased hands and form into clusters. Place on prepared baking sheet.

If using, melt chocolate over a double boiler until smooth, then dip cluster bottoms in the chocolate. Let set for 30 minutes in fridge (or until the chocolate is solid).

Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sweet and Savory Breaded Boneless Pork Chops

We all know the baked breaded pork chop - but this recipe takes it up a notch or two by using sweet chili sauce for dredging whereby giving it a sweet and savory all its' own and the sweetness from the Golden Grahams gives it a nice sweet crunchiness.

Sweet and Savory Breaded Boneless Pork Chops
by Glenn Edwards

4 boneless pork chops, 3/4-inch thick
4 cups of General Mills Golden Grahams cereal
4 ounces of sweet chili sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse pork chops under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place General Mills Golden Grahams cereal into food processor and give it a quick pulse two or three times (you want there to be larger chunks of the cereal). Completely dredge chops in the sweet chili sauce then coat the chops in the processed Golden Grahams cereal. Place on wire rack/baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cuban Spiced Chicken

About 6 years ago, I received news that would forever change my life. I went to the doctor after several years of being apart, only to be told our relationship was going to get deeper. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. It was shocking, I was emotional. I never felt like I had any symptoms and was/am a pretty healthy eater, despite the extra pounds I carry. My family was pretty shocked, too.

Since being diagnosed, I am even more aware of everything that I eat, good and bad. Coming up with different meals for my fickle palate was going to be a challenge, while staying in my new carb guidelines. It truly has been a challenge, which is why I was very excited to be given the opportunity to check out this new cookbook! I truly love that it's a seasonal cookbook as well, with the chapters divided into seasonal meal plans and recipes. What inspires you this time of year? Just turn to Spring to find out! I guess I must be thinking about Summer with the Cuban Spiced Chicken recipe I chose!

Cuban Spiced Chicken
by Mary
Adapted from The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help you Prevent and Manage Diabetes by Aviva Goldfarb

Preheat the oven to 400°F (if you plan on marinating the chicken, wait until you're ready to cook to do this!)

2 teaspoons paprika - I used half sharp paprika, which adds a bit of a kick
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs

In a small bowl, combine first 7 ingredients (paprika through salt).

In a medium bowl, mix 1-2 Tablespoons lime juice and 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, then add chicken and mix.

Add spice mixture to chicken and stir to coat chicken thoroughly with spices. (You can marinate for 24 hours or bake immediately. I baked immediately.)

Place chicken on baking sheet and bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes.

The suggestion was to serve with warmed black beans and roasted beets. I'm saving that suggestion for next time, because there will definitely be one! My husband absolutely loved this chicken! (I served it the day after I baked it with Spanish rice.)

I look forward to trying many more recipes from this book!

Golden Grahams Crusted French Toast

I was so excited when I found out that General Mills was going to sponsor 37 Cooks. Ever since I was a kid, I have always considered cereal, and breakfast in general, FUN! I especially love the products the General Mills Cereal Division sent to us because 75% of their products don’t have artificial color or flavors anymore! How awesome is that?

I love cooking breakfast on the weekends, and one my husband’s favorites is French toast. What sounds better than putting two breakfast foods together! The Golden Grahams give this a wonderful, crunchy outside. It’s a fun, different way to enjoy a classic.

Golden Grahams crusted French Toast
by Sarah M.

4 slices bread (I used whole wheat)
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon milk (I had 2%)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 cups Golden Grahams cereal, crushed
2 Tablespoons flax meal*
2 Tablespoons butter, divided

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Put the Golden Grahams and flax meal into a large sealable plastic bag and crush it! I used my rolling pin, but use whatever you have handy. I like to make sure the cereal still has some texture to it. Pour the cereal mixture into another shallow bowl. One at a time, dip the bread into the egg mixture, shake to remove any excess and dip into the cereal mixture. Place on wire rack to rest a few minutes.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat on your stovetop. Add the butter. Once the butter melts, add your French toast and let fry a few minutes on each side until cooked through. I did two pieces at time, then repeated the process with more butter and the last two pieces.

Serve and Enjoy.

Note* I love adding flax into anything that I can, but If you don’t want to use it, add a bit more cereal.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Cheery Cherry-O Chocolate Bread Pudding

The new and improved Chocolate Cheerios, made with NO artificial flavors or colors from artificial sources, was the perfect addition to bread pudding. Adding a bit of crunch and tasty chocolate flavor from real cocoa, this classic cereal treat helped create a delicious dessert.

Cheery Cherry-O Chocolate Bread Pudding
by Gary Gee My Cooking Blog
Serves/makes 8

6 cups day-old white bread, French bread, dinner rolls or croissant
4 cups Chocolate Cheerios
3 cups heavy cream, half and half, whole milk, or any combination thereof
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup tart cherry pie filling
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Vanilla ice cream, for serving, if desired

Spray 9 x 12-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place bread cubes and Cheerios in dish, arranging to "fit" dish.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix milk, butter, pie filling, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Add the eggs and mix well. Pour over bread and Cheerios in baking dish, pressing down to coat and soak. Refrigerate for half an hour, up to overnight (weight down with smaller casserole dish, if necessary).

Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until center tests done with toothpick. Cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sweet and Savory Stuffed Chicken Thighs

When I heard that 37 Cooks was being sponsored by General Mills, I was really excited! I mean, come on, General Mills? That's the big time, folks! Their challenge was to come up with a recipe or two, using the cereals that General Mills to sent us. I really had to think this out. I wanted something a little different, as well as delicious! Most of the time when I make stuffing, I love to add some fruit to it, either apples or raisins, as well as a little spice. I decided on Sweet and Savory Stuffed Chicken Thighs, using Trix cereal mixed in with stuffing and it worked out great!

Sweet and Savory Stuffed Chicken Thighs
by Matt the Butcher

1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon butter or bacon grease
2 cups chicken stock or water
4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 box chicken stuffing mix
2 cups Trix cereal, very coarsely crushed
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 slices bacon, cut in half
Toothpicks or skewers

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Saute the onion in one Tablespoon butter or bacon grease. Bring to a boil the chicken stock and 4 Tablespoons butter, add the sauteed onion, the red pepper flakes, stuffing mix, and the Trix. Stir well to combine, take off the heat, and set aside, to cool. You want the stuffing to be fairly dry, so keep the lid offa the pot.

While the stuffing is cooling, lay each boneless chicken thigh on a cutting board and either pound them a little thinner, or fillet them open with a sharp knife. When stuffing is cool, place a heaping Tablespoon or two, depending on the size of the chicken thighs, on one end of each thigh. Fold the other side of the thigh over the stuffing and secure with toothpicks or skewers. Warning!! This is not the time to be all OCD. This stuffing will be all over the place, so don't try to make nice and neat little bundles. That's gonna be way too much work. 

Place the stuffed thighs in a baking pan, leaving enough room to put the extra stuffing around the chicken bundles. Lay the bacon strips on top of the thighs, tucking the ends under. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, then turn oven up to 425°F, uncover pan, and bake another 20 minutes until chicken is 160°F. If the bacon is not done enough for you, simply turn on the broiler, and broil till the bacon's done (I don't like really crispy bacon, so there was no need for me to do this). Serve with couscous, and garlicky green beans!

Golden Graham Breaded Fried Fish

It is a great time of the year when the fish start biting. I was lucky enough to be included on a fishing trip recently and we had a blast. We caught a bunch of fish, so I decided what better time for this General Mills Challenge! I decided to use Golden Grahams as a breading and it did not disappoint! It added a nice sweet taste to the already delicious white perch!

Golden Graham Breaded Fried Fish
by Luke

6 filets of fish
2 Tablespoons of your favorite Cajun seasoning (I used Teet's All Purpose Cajun Seasoning)
2 eggs beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup of flour
2 cups Golden Grahams cereal, crushed
Peanut Oil

Pour the recommended amount of oil in your fryer, and heat to 375°F.

Season fish with seasoning. Beat eggs in a mixing bowl, then add buttermilk and stir. Mix flour and crushed cereal well in a bowl and set aside.

Take one seasoned fillet and soak in egg wash, remove from egg wash and place fillet into the batter and coat both sides well. Bring back to egg wash. Once dipped into egg wash the second time, place the fillet back into the batter and coat both sides well. Place each fillet aside on a cutting board until all fillets are battered.

Carefully place fillets into fryer and fry until they are golden brown or until they float to the top. Once cooked, place cooked fillets onto a baking rack so that the bottom of the fillets do not get soggy.

Once cooled enough, go ahead and indulge on the great flavor that the Golden Grahams give the fish.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms and Garlic

The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help you Prevent and Manage Diabetes cookbook by Aviva Goldfarb...I love the concept of a book designed around panicking that dinner isn't ready yet and the wolves (well, family) will begin circling for food any minute. The fact that it is also specially designed for managing and preventing diabetes was a bonus. My mom was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago and my husband's stepmom has had it for as long as I've known her. We always offer to cook, but without a really good grasp of the nutrition information needed to make good food for both of these ladies, they never took us up on the offer.

So, all good reasons to be excited, right? Well, I'm happy to say that so far I am really enjoying the book. I love how it's laid out seasonally, giving me the joy of really using the harvest of that season! I like that she has side dish suggestions but, I admit I also didn't really follow the suggestions. Mostly because the choices just didn't sound as good or wouldn't fit my family's tastes. But, that's personal for us...and I have made a number of the side dishes (just not with the recipes they were indicated for).

I have especially enjoyed
* Asian Cucumber Salad
* Roasted Cauliflower Poppers

I find the tips pretty good and the recipes easy to follow - in fact, my six year old daughter was using the recipes to practice her reading to me one night.

Okay let's get to the good part...the recipe. So, I decided to make Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms and Garlic. Perfect! I had everything ready to go and...forgot I didn't have the Marsala wine. Normally I don't cook with wine, but I had always heard of Chicken Marsala so I wanted to try it. Now, the wine is a pretty integral part (heck, the wine is in the name). So, I did a little checking and found substitutes: 1) Substitute equal part Port wine (which I always have on hand), 2) 1/4 cup grape juice, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract and 2 Tablespoons of sherry vinegar. or 3) Go get some Marsala wine.

I went with port (because I had it on hand) and, OH MY, did the chicken cook up nicely and the sauce smelled divine! My kids kept poking their heads in to sniff the air and try to snag some chicken.

Now its crunch time and I'm getting antsy, so I decide to clean up all these little bowls, thus keeping me from being impatient and I would have a nice clean kitchen and tasty dinner.

Oh, tragedy! I'm cleaning and then whoops, a little glass bowl slips out of my hand, I do an amazing failed juggling act trying to catch it and then it lands (well, shatters really) beside my meal. Adding a lovely sparkling and inedible addition to the dish and sauce. It was both a tragedy and hilarious at the time.

Now, I have always been one who can take a hint (I went and got a bottle of Marsala wine). So now the recipe is calling, it was still easy to follow and the sauce simmered up with a nice aroma...though not as nice as the port (but, that's just me).

The moment of was okay (to me, that is). Turns out I really don't like the taste of Marsala wine. So, I let it sit for a bit and my husband and kids had it later...and ADORED it! Turns out it's a great recipe when it has rested for a bit to blend the flavors.

Will I make it again? Absolutely, but at lunch time so it can blend and rest until dinner time.

So, what's next you ask? Hm, I think the Tilapia Packets with Fresh Herbs and Baby Spinach looks good.

Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms and Garlic
by T.S. Lamb
Adapted from The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help you Prevent and Manage Diabetes by Aviva Goldfarb
Serves 6

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced (approximately 2 teaspoons; if using dried, add a 1/2 teaspoon more)
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth 
1/2 cup Port wine (I didn’t have Marsala wine and this is tastier)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Add 1 teaspoon of oil and a Tablespoon of butter to a large skillet and heat until the butter melts.

Mix the salt, pepper and flour in a medium bowl, drench the chicken pieces add to the skillet.

Cook until browned on each side (about 6-8 minutes).

Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside for later.

Add 3 teaspoons of oil to the skillet, saute the mushrooms and garlic (approximately a minute).

Add the broth, wine and lemon juice. Bring the liquid to a boil, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan.

Let the mix simmer for about 10 minutes, you want the mushrooms to just be tender and the liquid
will just be starting to thicken.

Now add the chicken back into the pan and make sure to coat the chicken in the sauce. Make sure the chicken is cooked through (about 3-5 more minutes). Season to taste with a little more salt or pepper if needed.

Its good served immediately, but its best if you refrigerate for a few hours then serve, cold or hot. Both ways are very good.

Chocolate Cheerio Mousse Pie

This is a recipe that I have been making for over 20 years from a book called The Complete Step By Step Cooking Class Cookbook. I substituted the chocolate wafer crust with the Cheerios and omitted the raspberry liquor.

Chocolate Cheerio Mousse Pie
by Holly Kyman
Adapted from Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Pie by The Complete Step By Step Cooking Class Cookbook

8 cups General Mills Chocolate Cheerios
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate squares
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup water
7 Tablespoons sugar
5 egg yolks, room temperature
Grated chocolate for garnish
Whipped cream, for garnish

In a food processor, add the Chocolate Cheerios and process until finely crushed. Add the melted butter until just combined. Place mixture into the bottom and up 1 inch of a 9-inch springform pan. Press firmly to make crust.

Add the chocolate squares in heat-proof bowl over simmering, not boiling, water and melt until smooth, stirring often as to not burn. Remove from heat and cool.

Place a medium-sized glass bowl and beaters from a hand mixer in the refrigerator (about 20 minutes) to chill. Remove, pour the cream into bowl and beat until firm peaks form. Keep refrigerated.

In a small saucepan, add water and sugar. Stir. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour into glass measuring cup or mug.

Place egg yolks into a large glass bowl, on top of simmering, not boiling, water. Whisk in hot syrup and continue to whisk until light and foamy. Soft peaks should form. Remove from heat and continue to whisk until cooled. Stir in the chocolate until completely incorporated.

Stir in half the whipped cream until smooth. Fold in the remaining whipped cream until evenly incorporated.

Pour mousse into pie shell and chill at least 4 hours to overnight. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings before serving.

Serves 10.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Apple Fennel Salad With Fiery Golden Graham Nut Clusters

The sweet and fiery Golden Graham Nut Clusters compliment this tangy, crunchy apple fennel salad. You could also add some cooked chicken breast or turkey breast for a main dish salad.

Apple Fennel Salad With Fiery Golden Graham Nut Clusters
by Diana
Serves 2-4

For the clusters:
1 1/4 cups General Mills Golden Grahams cereal
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds, lightly toasted
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
1/3 cup honey
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon tangerine or orange juice
1 teaspoon Aleppo chile powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread out the Golden Grahams and toasted nuts on it.

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to just a simmer and remove from heat. Let the honey mixture cool slightly and then pour over the sheet pan of Golden Grahams and nuts. Toss to combine and spread mixture out on parchment-lined pan. Place in 300°F oven for 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and stir, breaking up any larger clumps, spreading out evenly, and return to the oven for another 6 minutes. Remove from oven, stir and let cool for 2 or 3 hours. Make sure you save some for the salad!

For the salad:
1 Tablespoon tangerine or orange juice
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons sour cream
1 Tablespoon light mayonnaise
2 medium apples, cubed into 1/2-inch pieces with peel on (I used Gala)
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
2 small stalks of celery, sliced
2 scallions, white and pale green parts only, sliced
1 or 2 handfuls of the Fiery Golden Graham Nut Clusters plus a few more for garnish

In a medium bowl, dissolve honey and salt in the juice and vinegar. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise and stir to combine. Add the remaining ingredients in with the sour cream mixture and toss lightly to combine. Serve in individual bowls or a small serving dish and garnish the top(s) with reserved fennel frond pieces and a few more Fiery Golden Graham Nut Clusters.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Perfect for Easter! Trix Coconut Nests

Trix Coconut Nests
by Tamela K.

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 Tablespoons water
4 to 5 drops of green food coloring
1/2 cup white melting chocolate wafers
3/4 cup Trix cereal

Place paper liners in mini muffin pans. In a plastic sack, shake together sweetened shredded coconut, 2 Tablespoons water and 4 to 5 drops of green food coloring. Add more food coloring if you prefer a darker green. Shake the sack until the shredded coconut has an even green color. Place the white chocolate wafers in a medium-sized glass bowl and melt at 15 second increments, stirring in between. When the chocolate has melted to a smooth texture, add the green shredded coconut and stir until fully coated. Spoon a heaping Tablespoon of the chocolate coated coconut mixture into each of the mini muffin pans. Press the center down, so it forms a nest. Place Trix cereal in the coconut nests and refrigerate approximately an hour for the chocolate to firm. Remove the paper liners to serve.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Golden Grahams Campfire Cocktail

When I opened the package that arrived for this challenge from General Mills and saw the box of Golden Grahams, their old commercial from the late 70's started singing in my head. "Oh those Golden Grahams, oh those Golden Grahams, golden honey, just a touch, with grahams golden wheat..." Reminiscing the mornings that I would eat Golden Grahams cereal before school not leaving a drop of the delicious cereal milk left in the bowl, I knew that this challenge was up my alley. Fast forward many years, I thought that an adult version to enjoy that sweet, delicious, cereal milk would be appropriate.

Golden Grahams Campfire Cocktail
by Tonda
Makes 1 drink

2 cups Golden Grahams cereal
1 1/2 cups half and half

Pour 1 1/2 cups half and half over 2 cups of Golden Grahams cereal. Place in the refrigerator to soak for two hours. After two hours, pass through a fine strainer to collect the cereal infused half and half. Toss the cereal. You will have more infused half and half than needed for one drink.

1 ounce chocolate, melted
1/2 cup Golden Grahams cereal, crushed

Turn the martini glass upside down and dip and twist in the melted chocolate. Then, dip the glass in the crushed cereal. Set aside.

2 ounces chocolate cream liquor (I used Belle Gabrielle Chocolatier Chocolate Cream Liqueur)
2 ounces Golden Grahams infused half and half
1 ounce bourbon whiskey, I used Winchester

Fill shaker with ice, pour in all of the liquid ingredients and shake to mix. Fill the rimmed martini glass. Top with a skewered marshmallow and light with a torch to roast.

Enjoy and "Have a Golden Day!"

Friday, March 18, 2016

Cheeriole’ Mole’ Stuffed Shrimp

In 2005, family friends came to stay with us to escape Hurricane Katrina. The returned home to freezers and refrigerators of lost food. In 2008, they returned to escape Hurricane Gustav. This time they came bearing ice chests full of Gulf Coast delicacies. One of my husband's favorite meals was Gram’s Crab Cakes. The official recipe was Maryland Crab Cakes from Inside America’s Test Kitchen, but he still affectionately refers to them as Gram's Crab Cakes. This recipe combined with a simple mole sauce to create another family favorite. My youngest did prefer his shrimp without stuffing. This would also be great with chicken instead of shrimp.

Cheeriole’ Mole’ Stuffed Shrimp
by Melissa Cook
Adapted from Mole Sauce by ciao and Maryland Crab Cakes from Inside America's Test Kitchen

Mole Sauce:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 Tablespoons chili powder
5 Tablespoons crushed Chocolate Cheerios
4 1/2 cups chicken broth

Heat your olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. I like my cast iron chicken fryer for this. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and cinnamon to the oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the onion is tender. Add your chili powder and crushed Chocolate Cheerios.

Stir until incorporated into the onion mixture. Slowly add the chicken broth and increase the heat to medium-high. Boil until the sauce reduces. When reduced it should be similar in consistency to a hollandaise sauce. While the sauce reduces ,you can prepare the shrimp and stuffing.

Shrimp with Crabmeat Stuffing:
1 pound colossal shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied
1 pound premium lump crabmeat, check for cartilage and shell fragments
4 scallions, green part only, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
4 Tablespoons crushed Chocolate Cheerios
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg

Preheat your oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl mix the crabmeat, scallions, cilantro, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, Chocolate Cheerios, and mayonnaise.

Be careful not to break up the crabmeat. Gently fold in the egg. The mixture should hold together at this point. If it doesn’t, more crushed Cheerios can be added. Stuff each shrimp with the crabmeat mixture. Each should hold a golf ball-sized mound of stuffing.

In a separate bowl mix:
1/2 cup crushed Chocolate Cheerios
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Drizzle your stuffed shrimp with olive oil and lightly coat with the mixture of Cheerios and spices. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes, until shrimp is done.

Serve with mole sauce and enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Whole Wheat Rotini with Garden Vegetables

I really enjoy The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes. It is actually more than just a cookbook. This book is perfect if you like to plan and prepare to get yourself ready for an easy week. I find that my weeks are much smoother and enjoyable if I have a plan of what we will be eating. The variety of fast, easy meals are perfect for any family. My husband and I are looking forward to using this book to try new recipes while still being conscious of our health. If you’re looking for an easy, healthy meal plan to follow, I suggest this book. Another thing I enjoy about the book is that the recipes are not only diverse, but also easy and quick for the busy home cook.

Whole Wheat Rotini with Garden Vegetables
by Sarah M.
Adapted from Penne Rigate with Garden Vegetables, page 380 in The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes by Aviva Goldfarb

16 ounces whole-wheat penne riagte (I had a pound of whole wheat rotini on hand, so that’s what I used)
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage (recipe says optional, but I chose to include it)
1 small red onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced (I had mini peppers on hand, so used 2 yellow and 1 red)
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
24 ounces red pasta sauce, any variety (I used a jar of low sodium marinara)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream (I used 1/4 cup)

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package

Heat a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with the olive oil and add the sausage. I bought fresh links and took the sausage out of the skins. Let the sausage brown until almost cooked through. Add in the onions and garlic and sauté about 2-3 minutes. Add in the rest of the vegetables and stir until everything is combined. Cover the pan with the lid partially and stir periodically until the peppers, mushrooms and zucchini look almost tender. Turn the heat down a few notches and add the pasta sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Mix everything to combine well and continue to cook about 10 minutes, or when the sauce is nice and hot.

Turn the heat off on the pan. If your pan is large enough, add the pasta and the sour cream right in. Carefully toss until everything is combined.

Chocolate Cheerios Filet of Beef with Raspberry Crostini

Chocolate Cheerios Filet of Beef with Raspberry Crostini
by Tamela K.
Adapted from The Black Peppercorn's Cocoa Coffee Crusted Beef Tenderloin with a Raspberry Reduction Sauce

1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Beef tenderloin, 1.5 to 2.0 pounds
1/2 cup Chocolate Cheerios, finely crushed
1/8 cup ground coffee
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon Piment d’Espellette or cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 French baguette, sliced
1 Tablespoon dried thyme
1/8 cup fresh cilantro or watercress leaves

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a saucepan, cook the 1 cup of raspberries, water and lemon juice over medium heat stirring frequently. Remove from heat after the raspberry sauce thickens. 

Rinse tenderloin, trim off any membrane and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine crushed Chocolate Cheerios, ground coffee, cinnamon, ground cloves, Piment d’Espellette and salt for the rub. Firmly pat a generous coating of rub onto the roast. 

Heat 3 Tablespoons of olive oil in Dutch oven on the stove top. Brown all sides of filet over moderate heat. Finish cooking roast in oven, until thermometer placed in center reads 120°F to 125°F for rare, 130°F to 135°F for medium rare, 140°F to 145°F for medium, 150°F to 155°F for medium well and 160˚F and above for well done. Remove filet from oven and let stand for 20 minutes before carving. 

Cut the baguette into 1/4-inch diagonal pieces, brush remaining olive oil on one side of the bread, sparingly sprinkle with thyme and bake in 350°F oven until toasted to golden brown. 

Place a thinly sliced piece of tenderloin on each toast and spoon approximately two Tablespoons of raspberry sauce over them. Top each piece of roast with either a cilantro or watercress leaf and crown with one of reserved raspberries.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Golden Grahams Apple Crisp

Crisps and cobblers have always held a special place in my heart due to their homey-ness and customizability. Portion size is always negotiable, further lending to their appeal. The texture given to this crisp by tasty Golden Grahams Cereal makes it especially enjoyable. Gild the lily if you like with ice cream or powdered sugar (or both), or just enjoy the crisp as a warm reminder that cereal is not just for breakfast anymore.

Golden Grahams Apple Crisp
by Louise Chiffonade Brescia

1 cup walnuts
3 Tablespoons room-temperature unsalted butter
1 cup Golden Grahams Cereal

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
12 small apples such as Granny Smith or Gala, or a mix of the two
1/2 cup Craisins
1 pinch Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons brandy (or apple juice or cider for non-alcoholic version)

1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups Golden Grahams Cereal
3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 Tablespoons ice cold unsalted butter cut into small dice

Have ready:
 A 9.5” glass pie plate

To prepare crust:
To the bowl of a food processor, add walnuts and butter. Pulse until walnuts are roughly chopped. Add Golden Grahams Cereal and pulse until cereal is well chopped. Spray pie plate with vegetable spray. Press crust ingredients into pie plate and set aside.

To prepare filling:
In a sauté pan large enough to hold all filling ingredients, melt butter over low heat. Peel and core apples, cut into wedges, then cut each wedge into 3 chunks; working quickly to prevent browning. Add apple chunks and Craisins to melted butter. Add salt, cinnamon and brown sugar, stirring well. Cook and stir until apples have softened but still hold their shape, about 8-10 minutes. Pour in brandy, stir, remove filling from heat.

To prepare topping:
Toss together in a bowl the nuts, cereal, melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Reserve cold unsalted butter dice for final assembly.

Final Assembly:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spoon cooked filling on top of crust mixture in pie plate. Place generous handfuls of topping onto apple mixture. Dot topping with cold butter dice. Place pie plate on a sheet pan to catch drips. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until topping is browned.

Serve with ice cream or powdered sugar if desired.

Camp Snack Bars

These are quick and easy to make and even on a cold winter day will evoke memories of camp fires and marshmallows.

Camp Snack Bars
by Willie Simmons

3 cups Chocolate Cheerios
3 cups Golden Grahams
3 Tablespoons butter
1 10-ounce package marshmallows

Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish. Combine the two cereals in a large dish. Place butter and marshmallows
in a microwave safe dish and place in the microwave. Cook for 2 1/2 minutes. Stir this mixture into the cereal mixture. Pour into the 8 x 8 baking dish. Let sit 30 minutes and then cut into squares and serve.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Meatball and Orzo Soup

You may be familiar with the situation: Ohmygosh, it's six o'clock, and I have to have supper on the table! What do I do now? Aviva Goldfarb has your back, she's been there. She is a cook, author, and founder of the website The Six O'Clock Scramble, a weekly meal planning system. I was sent a copy of her latest book, written in cooperation with the American Diabetes Association. The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes presents 32 weekly menu plans, complete with main dishes and sides, with a grocery list for each week. All the recipes are diabetes-friendly, whether you're managing the disease or trying to prevent it.

Before I get to the recipe, I recognize I'm not one of the author's targeted audience. I'm not the parent and resident cook of a busy family - hubby and I are retirees, so I have plenty of time, when I choose to spend it. I like a quick, easy supper just as much as anybody else, though. So I chose Meatball and Orzo Soup, and have made it twice now. The first time, I followed the recipe, and the second time, I tweaked it to my own taste. Here's how it went:

Meatball and Orzo Soup (adapted from Aviva Goldfarb)
by Maurita Plouff blogging at Get the Good Stuff!
Makes about 3 quarts

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup) I have used white or yellow onion, can't tell a difference
2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock I used homemade chicken stock
1 cup water
15 ounces no-salt-added petite-diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning blend
1/2 cup orzo or ditalini noodles I did not have whole wheat pasta, used regular orzo
12 ounces precooked meatless mini meatballs (often sold frozen), or use beef or turkey meatballs I couldn't find 12-ounce packages of meatballs, so I used 1 lb Italian meatballs from Trader Joe's. I thawed them in the microwave and then cut them in half.
3 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped I used all of a bunch - may have been up to 41/2 cups chopped
Grated Parmesan cheese

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic; sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the stock, water, and tomatoes; cover and bring to a boil. Add the Italian seasoning blend, the orzo and the meatballs (if they are large, cut them in half or quarters) and stir frequently for a minute or two, so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the spinach and let it wilt.

The author recommends that you serve immediately, seasoned with salt and pepper as desired. I
completely disagree. While this soup tastes good right when it's made per instructions, it's SO MUCH BETTER the next day or even the day after, when the flavors have had time to meld. My advice is to put this soup together when you're making some other day's supper - and then just stick it in the refrigerator for tomorrow. You'll thank me for this; you'll have an amazingly wonderful soup and all you have to do is heat and eat. If the pasta has thickened the soup too much, which it can do, just add some V8 or tomato juice to bring it back to your ideal soup-like texture.

We also loved the soup garnished with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.

It's wonderful to have a whole book of quick (and easy) recipes. I've found them to be diverse and appealing, and am especially looking forward to trying:

- farfalle with artichoke hearts, baby spinach, and lemon ricotta
- zucchini, white bean, and tomato gratin
- chicken marsala with mushrooms & garlic

While I don't live with the six o'clock scramble day in and day out, I'm glad to know I've a resource to turn to.

Trix Dusted Green Beans

When I first found out that I got to use Trix cereal in a recipe, I was excited and terrified. What could I do that wouldn't be a desert, or really sweet, or me just eating the entire box in one sitting? Well, I happened to be searching my freezer for something (no clue what) and when I opened it, a bag of green beans fell out (narrowly missing my toes) and I figured that was a sign if ever I saw one. This simple recipe came from that. Hope you enjoy.

Trix Dusted Green Beans
by T.S. Lamb

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 pound of green beans, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
4 Tablespoons Trix, crushed and divided

Heat oil in saute pan

Add minced garlic and stir.

Add green beans and saute for 3 minutes.

Add 2 Tablespoons of crushed Trix. stir to coat and saute for 1 minute.

Remove green beans from heat and plate. Sprinkle with remaining crushed Trix and serve.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Deconstructed Apple Pie with Burnt Miso Butterscotch Topping

Deconstructed Apple Pie with Burnt Miso Butterscotch Topping
by Douglas
Burnt Miso Butterscotch Topping adapted from Burnt Miso Butterscotch Topping by Christina Tosi

100g white miso paste
64g brown sugar
67g mirin
58g unsalted butter, warmed to room temp
Splash of sherry vinegar

2 Tablespoon butter
1 Fuji Apple, cut into small cubes
2 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cup Golden Grahams

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread miso paste on parchment paper until about 1/4" thick. Bake for about 30 minutes, until well burnt. Remove from oven and cool. Blend burnt miso with remaining ingredients until smooth and fully incorporated.

Melt butter in a pan over low-medium heat. Add apples, sugar, water and cinnamon stick and mix together. Stir until apples are tender and the water has evaporated.

Put Golden Grahams in a food processor and blitz until you get cereal crumbs. Using a round cookie cutter, start by placing cereal crumbs on the bottom layer, followed by a second layer consisting of apples. Remove the cookie cutter and finish plating with a smear of the burnt miso topping.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Apple Fritters

Apple Fritters
by Christine

Oil for frying
1 can fried apples, drained
1 egg
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
Powdered sugar

Heat about 2 inches of oil to low-medium heat for a gentle deep fry. In a medium bowl break up apple slices into small pieces. Add egg, brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix until just combined.

In a medium bowl add the Golden Grahams and the Chocolate Cheerios. Crush cereal into small pieces with your fingers. Add the flour and cocoa powder and combine. Add the apple mixture and mix until a soft dough forms.

Form bite-sized pieces of dough with a small spoon and fry gently for about 5 minutes, being careful fritters float and don't touch bottom of pan. When fritters are done, toss in powdered sugar.

Trix White Chocolate Fudge

How lucky and honored I am, to be part of a group that is sponsored by General Mills! General Mills sent each of us 3 boxes of their updated cereals, which contain no artificial flavors or colors from artificial sources. I had the opportunity to try and play with these updated cereals before they were available in stores. I'm willing to bet that all ages like cereal. As a child, I had it often with milk. As an adult, I eat cereal as a crunchy snack. Cheerios have always been a favorite of mine. Chocolate Cheerios?! Oh, yes! I had a mug of Chocolate Cheerios last night. I chose Trix for my recipe because I love all the colors and the resounding crunch. Plus, they make me think of spring, which is finally here again. So, if you haven't had cereal in awhile, run to the store and buy a box or two of Chocolate Cheerios, Trix or Golden Grahams and feel like a kid again!

Trix White Chocolate Fudge
by Sharyl
Adapted from allrecipes White Chocolate Fudge

1 8-ounce cream cheese - softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli white chocolate bars)
1 1/4 cups Trix cereal – split

Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with Baker’s Joy baking spray, or similar. In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Mix until almost combined. Add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Place the chopped white chocolate in the top bowl of a double boiler. Melt the chocolate over lightly simmering water. Don't allow the water to boil. Stir the chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Fold the melted chocolate into the cream cheese mix. Add 3/4 cup of Trix cereal and lightly mix in. Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth top. Add about 1/2 cup of Trix cereal to the top and lightly press into the fudge. Chill for an hour. Cut into 1-inch squares for serving.

Note: I suggest using white chocolate and not white baking chips. Best served the same day.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Shrimp with Snow Peas

A few of our cooks recently had the great opportunity to review The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help you Prevent and Manage Diabetes by Aviva Goldfarb! Here is the first of five recipes from this wonderful cookbook! 


Diabetes runs on both my maternal and paternal sides of the family. Therefore, making healthy meals for my family is very important to me. While going out to eat can be enjoyable, it also gets expensive in cash and calories. Therefore, my family goes out to eat once a week and eats at home the rest. Achieving restaurant flavors at home while cutting back on fat, sodium and calories is a big bonus. Cooking those meals in 30 minutes is an even bigger bonus.

I dove into The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help you Prevent and Manage Diabetes by Aviva Goldfarb, reviewing every recipe before I selected one to cook. Aviva Goldfarb has created a book filled with international delights that will please any palate. Her recipes are filled with flavor, packed with healthy ingredients, and are quick to make. Preparation and planning for the week ahead is key to success when cooking for the family after work. The Six O'Clock Scramble has you covered and is the perfect go-to for planning weekday meals. In this book, Aviva Goldfarb creates a weekly meal plan for you along with an organized grocery list. Snap a quick picture of the shopping list on your cell phone to review while you are doing your weekly grocery shopping, or print off a grocery list from How easy is that?

This cookbook has become my weekly go-to for my family. Once you try it, I'm sure that it will be yours as well.

Shrimp with Snow Peas
by Tonda
Adapted from Golden Tofu with Snow Peas, page 32 of The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help you Prevent and Manage Diabetes by Aviva Goldfarb

1 cup medium grain brown rice
2 1/4 cups water

Cook the brown rice according to the package or rice cooker directions.

2 Tablespoons reduced sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 yellow onion, sliced in thin strips
1 cup of snow peas
1 red or yellow bell pepper, julienned (I used a combination of 6 mini peppers)
1 1/2 inch ginger root, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Mix the tamari, rice wine vinegar, honey and sesame oil together in a small bowl to create the sauce. Set aside.

Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until done, approximately 4-5 minutes depending on the size of shrimp. Remove shrimp and set aside.

Add remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and cook over medium high heat until they become translucent and start to brown, approximately 2 minutes. Add the snow peas, bell pepper, ginger, and garlic and stir fry for 2 minutes. Pour in the sauce and shrimp and continue to stir fry for another minute or two.

Serve with 1/2 cup of brown rice. My family prefers medium grain brown rice. It has a firm texture that stands up well in Asian inspired dishes.

Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms

Crunch, crunch, crunch. The moment I received the General Mills cereal in the mail I immediately opened all three boxes and had a sample of each one. It was research! Seriously! Okay, okay, so I was immediately transported to my youth, eating breakfast at our round, formica-topped kitchen table with a plastic bowl full of milk with those beautiful little rings of General Mills Cheerios floating on top, and my mother’s seeming daily effort to get my brother and sister and me to finish up so that we wouldn’t miss the school bus. That was a long time ago and things have certainly changed. General Mills is beginning to phase out the use of artificial flavors and colors in their cereal, and I couldn’t be more pleased! We’re all so much more conscious of the quality of the ingredients in our food. Kudos to General Mills!

As for the challenge at hand, I wanted to make something savory with their cereal just to shake things up a bit. So I opted for a Mexican flavor profile in the form of a stuffed mushroom appetizer. I used the GM Golden Grahams in this recipe and it did not disappoint. This recipe makes 12 stuffed mushrooms (just enough to get a small party started).

Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms
by Maryjo

10 ounces Mexican chorizo
6 cremini mushroom stems, finely chopped
1/4 cup scallion, finely chopped (1 medium scallion)
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1/3 of a large pepper)
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped (seeds and membranes removed)
2 Tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
4 Tablespoons Golden Grahams, finely crushed
4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 dash of Mexican style hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
12 medium-sized cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Brown the chorizo in a skillet for about 5 to 7 minutes, until brown and a little crispy. Drain off any excess fat. Add the chopped cremini mushroom stems, scallion, red bell pepper, and serrano pepper. Sauté for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the bread crumbs, Golden Grahams crumbs (reserve 1 Tablespoon for topping), Parmesan cheese (reserve 1 Tablespoon for topping), and remaining spices. Mix well. Stuff each mushroom cap with about 1 Tablespoon of stuffing and place in a shallow baking dish that is just large enough to hold all 12 mushrooms. Mix the reserved Golden Grahams crumbs and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top of each mushroom. Bake for 45 minutes, until they are brown and crispy on top.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Trix Crispies with Candied Pineapple

While this certainly isn't an original recipe, it's definitely a twist on the classic well-known treat. Most of us remember making this treat with our moms, but with this recipe, there's a slight note of the cayenne with each bite - certainly for the adult in all of us and it brings back childhood memories.

Trix Crispies with Candied Pineapple
by Glenn Edwards

1/4 cup butter
1 7-ounce container of marshmallow cream/fluff
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of cayenne (or something similar to Slap Ya Mama)
6 cups of General Mills Trix cereal
1 cup of diced candied pineapple

In a large saucepan, melt butter over low to medium heat. Add marshmallow fluff and stir until the fluff and butter are fully incorporated. Add vanilla and cayenne and stir until well mixed. Then add half of the General Mills Trix cereal and candied pineapple and mix well, then add remaining General Mills Trix ensuring that the cereal is completely coated. Remove from heat.

Immediately place the mixture in a 12 x 9 x 1 inch baking sheet lined with wax paper. Use either a silicone spatula that's been coated with cooking spray or another sheet of wax paper to press evenly into baking sheet.

Let the mixture cool then cut into squares.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Golden Graham Crusted Chicken Fingers

We love chicken at this house. I am always trying to think of new and exciting ways to mix it up with sauces, breading and different techniques and thankfully chicken is so versatile. We also are big fans of Golden Grahams cereal, so when this challenge presented itself, I jumped in knowing I would use the cereal as the crust on chicken!

Some words of advice before attempting this recipe. Make sure the chicken is cut thinly so it cooks quickly in an effort to avoid burning due to the sugar in the cereal. Also keep the heat at medium which will also help in that regard.

Everyone in the family loved these chicken fingers – crispy and delicious!

Golden Graham Crusted Chicken Fingers
by Jenny Blogging at The Cookbook Junkies

1/2 pound of chicken tenders – cut in half length-wise to make thinner fingers
1 cup of Golden Grahams cereal, crushed in a plastic bag with an implement of your choice
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
1 cup of flour seasoned with salt and pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
2 eggs, beaten with a splash of milk, salt and pepper
1/2 cup of canola oil

Salt and pepper the chicken fingers. It really makes a difference when you season at each step.

Create your dredging station as follows: One container with the seasoned flour, the second with the egg mixture and the third with the Golden Grahams crushed cereal and panko.

Heat the canola oil in a nonstick skillet or seasoned cast iron pan – to medium (around 300°F). Dredge each chicken finger first in flour, then egg, then the cereal mix. I like to place them on a rack inside a sheet pan to let them set up for five to ten minutes. Normally, I would recommend refrigerating to help the crust adhere – but you want these to cook quickly – so avoid that.

Fry four to six fingers for approximately two to three minutes on each side (your chicken fingers should be thin enough to be completely cooked in this short time) – watch them carefully – the first time I fried a few the oil was too hot and these fingers burnt quickly. Remove from oil and land them on another rack over a sheet pan – so they remain crispy.

These were so delicious! I served them with a honey barbecue sauce but they would be great with honey mustard or any sauce of your choice.

Monday, March 7, 2016

It's National Cereal Day! Celebrate with Fig, Goat's Cheese, Pistachio & Golden Grahams Bites

Happy National Cereal Day everyone! Whether you eat it straight out of the box or in a bowl with milk, everyone loves cereal! 37 Cooks has been honored to work with some great products from our latest sponsor, General Mills, and our creative gang had a lot of fun creating recipes that include Trix, Chocolate Cheerios and Golden Grahams. Check out today's elegant appetizer by Sarah Kwan. Her recipe shows us that cereal isn't just for breakfast anymore!


I love easy party bites, and these are so quick to assemble - with no heating required! If making ahead, wait until serving to sprinkle the Golden Grahams on top to preserve their crunchy texture. The per-fig measurements mean you can scale this up and down easily, depending on how many pieces you'd like to serve your party.

Fig, Goat's Cheese, Pistachio & Golden Grahams Bites
by Sarah Kwan of Earthly Delights Blog

Ripe Black Mission figs, washed and halved

For each fig (makes 2 pieces per fig):
2-3 teaspoons goat's cheese (I used one with honey mixed in, but regular will also do)
2 roasted, salted and shelled pistachios
A high-quality aged balsamic vinegar (yes, the age really does make a difference!)
2-3 crushed Golden Grahams (a zip-top bag and rolling pin work wonders)

Arrange the figs on a serving plate.

With a soft silicone pastry brush, brush the cut side lightly with balsamic vinegar.

Press a half pistachio in the center of each fig half, then spoon about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of goat's cheese on top. Chop the remaining pistachios, and sprinkle on the goat's cheese.

Sprinkle the crushed Golden Grahams on top and serve immediately. If desired, add a few more drops of balsamic vinegar around the plate.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Chicken with Molé

When people think of molé, they usually think of chocolate. Yes, the sauce does have chocolate in it, but it's a very small amount and added at the end to give the sauce it's color and richness.

I've always been a huge fan of it myself. I remember the first time I had it in Cancun, Mexico, some 25 years ago. It's rich, smokey flavor sold me on the spot. This is a labor intensive recipe, but so worth the reward. It's a definite crowd pleaser.

Chicken with Molé
by Holly Kyman

Chicken and stock:
1 (6-7 pound) whole chicken, neck and gizzards removed
2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1 teaspoon mixed peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 package of fresh poultry herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme)
3 Tablespoons kosher salt
12 cups water

Fruit/vegetable base base:
1 16-ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup raisins
2 Tablespoons chili powder blend* (see note below ingredients)

Pepper base:
1 dried pasilla pepper, stemmed and seeded
2 dried ancho peppers, stemmed and seeded
1 cup hot water

Plantain base:
1 ripe plantain, diced
2 Tablespoons lard or canola oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

Seeds, nuts and chocolate blend:
1/2 cup shelled peanuts
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup General Mills Chocolate Cheerios
1/4 cup Mexican chocolate, chopped (Ibarra preferred)
Flour tortillas
Sour cream
Sliced avocado
Shredded cheddar cheese
Pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

*Chili powder: I like The Spice Hunter's Salt-Free Chili Powder, which is a blend of chile pepper, onion, garlic, cocoa powder, oregano, red pepper, cumin, cinnamon and cloves. It has a very nice sweet and smoky flavor.

In a large stock pot, add the chicken, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, allspice, peppercorns, bay leaf, salt, and package of poultry herbs. Cover with 12 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until chicken is done.

Meanwhile, in a glass bowl, add the stemmed and seeded dried peppers. Cover with 1 cup very hot water. Let steep and soften 30-40 minutes, or until tender. Strain and reserve liquid and set aside.

Back to the broth and chicken, strain the liquid into a large pot using a colander or cheese cloth, cover and keep warm. Discard the vegetables and herbs. Place the chicken onto a cutting board and let cool. Remove skin and shred the chicken. Keep the meat warm in a slow cooker set on 'warm'. Ladle in a cup of the stock to keep moist. Add more stock if meat seems to get dry.

In a large non-stick pan, add the fire roasted tomatoes, raisins and chili powder blend. Cook on low, stirring often as to not burn.

In a small sauté pan, add the plantains, lard or oil, cinnamon and brown sugar. Cook on medium-low heat until they soften. Add the plantain mixture to the tomato/raisin base. Ladle in a cup or two of the chicken broth. Stir well. It may look lumpy and that's ok.

In a food processor, add the reconstituted dried peppers. Add a little of the pepper liquid if it seems too thick or doesn't 'move'. Add the blended peppers to the tomato/raisin/plantain base. Stir well. Add another cup or two of the chicken broth. Remember: Keep low and slow and keep stirring. Pull up a seat and don't leave this sauce alone.

In a food processor, add the peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and cheerios. Pulse until finely ground. Add to the tomato/raisin/plantain base. Add more stock and you guessed it: Keep stirring.

Finally, add the Mexican chocolate. Stir well. The sauce may seem really thick and lumpy. Add more stock. Stir constantly for another 30-40 minutes.

Remove sauce from heat, in batches (should take about 3-4) ladle sauce into blender and add a cup of the chicken stock. Blend on low until nicely emulsified. Return blended sauce to a large pot. After all is processed, return to heat and continue to stir often, adding a cup or so of the chicken stock for another hour. (You may have some stock leftover. Save for another use.)

To serve: On a tortilla, add about 1/2 cup of the shredded chicken, wrap tortilla. Top with a drizzle of the molé (a little goes along way), a dollop of sour cream, a few avocado slices and a touch of shredded cheese. Garnish with the pumpkin and sesame seeds. Also, good served with a side of Spanish rice. Enjoy!