Anne's 100-Recipe Challenge - 2010

Recipes 1-25Recipes 26-50Recipes 51-75Recipes 76-100

75. Piña Colada Cupcakes6/20/10

115 calories/frosted cupcake12 cupcakes

2 cups moist-style yellow cake mix (1/2 a box)
12 oz canned crushed pineapple in juice (undrained)
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract (optional)

Frosting
4 oz canned crushed pineapple in juice (drained)
1 Jell-O Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding snack cup
1&1/2 tablespoons fat-free cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
1 Splenda packet
12 maraschino cherries (optional)

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix with pineapple and extract until thoroughly blended.  Line a muffin pan with baking cups and evenly distribute cake batter among the cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow cupcakes to cool completely, then frost.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine all frosting ingredients and mix until blended. Refrigerate until ready to frost.

Anne's Review:   4 stars
I found this recipe in a "Hungry Girl" cookbook, and it seemed like an interesting cupcake idea, so I gave it a try.  I used half the cake mix for this recipe, and the other half for another cupcake recipe.   It was better than I thought it was going to be.  I didn't add any rum since I was taking it to my coworkers, but I wonder how that would taste.  I couldn't taste the coconut, but the pineapples were definitely present.

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74. Tex-Mex Corn on the Cob6/20/10

85 calories/ear4 servings

4 small ears (~6") corn on the cob
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
refrigerated butter-flavored spray

Directions:
Cook corn however desired (boiled, grilled, steamed, etc).  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cilantro, chili powder, lime peel, salt, cumin, and garlic powder.  Drain the corn.  Spritz with butter-flavored spray and sprinkle or brush seasoning over corn.

Anne's Review:   4.5 stars
Yum!  Who doesn't love corn on the cob in summer?   I liked the little extra kick this recipe provided.  I don't own an outdoor grill, so I steamed my corn on the cob in the microwave in 3" segments. 

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73. Kiwi Chicken Tostadas6/20/10

199 calories/serving4 servings

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cooking oil
8 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
4 tostada shells or warmed 6" corn tortillas
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
3 kiwifruits, peeled and chopped
1 small roma tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the cumin, chili powder, crushed red pepper, and salt.  Brush chicken with cooking oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle or rub evenly with cumin mixture.  Grill chicken, turning half-way through cooking.  Cut chicken into bite-sized strips.  Arrange romaine on tostada shells.  Top with kiwi, tomatoes, chicken, and cheese.

Anne's Review:   4 stars
This was a refreshing light yet filling lunch.  I loved the flavor of the grilled chicken, even from my George Foreman grill.  I'm not sure how I feel about the kiwi combination, but it was something different.  I'd make it again.

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72. Basil-Lemon Shrimp Linguine5/2/10

338 calories/serving 4 servings

1 pound fresh or frozen shrimp
6 ounces dried linguine or fettuccine
8 ounces trimmed cut asparagus or broccoli
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 cup thin red, yellow, green sweet pepper strips
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
lemon wedges (optional)
fresh basil sprigs (optional)

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions in water with 1/2 teaspoon salt, adding asparagus or broccoli the last 3 minutes of cooking.  Drain and return to pan, keeping warm.
Meanwhile, peel and devein shrimp.   Over medium heat, lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray.  Add garlic; cook and stir 15 seconds.  Add pepper strips and cook 2 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Add shrimp, basil, lemon peel, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper.  Cook and stir 3 minutes until shrimp turn opaque.
Add shrimp mixture to pasta.  Add fresh basil, green onions, lemon juice, and oil; toss to coat.  If desired, garnish with basil sprigs and/or lemon wedges.

Anne's Review:   4 stars
This was a nice pasta.  It drove my cat crazy because he loves shrimp.  I liked the lemony flavor.  The original recipe called for asparagus, but I happened to have broccoli in my fridge, so I used that instead and I think it worked.

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71.  Grilled Pork and Pineapple4/23/10

318 calories/serving4 servings

4 - 3/4" boneless top loin pork chops
salt
pepper
4 pineapple core slices
1 carton (6 oz) plain fat-free yogurt
1/3 cup low-sugar orange marmalade
chopped pecans (optional)
snipped fresh thyme (optional)

Directions:

Combine yogurt and 2 TBSP marmalade; set aside.
Sprinkle both sides of pork with salt and pepper.   Grill chops 4 minutes; turn, and add pineapple to grill.  Brush chops and pineapple with remaining marmalade.  Grill 3 to 5 minutes more or until thermometer in pork reads 160 degrees.  Turn pineapple and cook until it has light grill marks.  Arrange chops and pineapple on plates and spoon yogurt mixture over chops.  Sprinkle with nuts and thyme if desired.

Anne's Review:   4 stars
I made this recipe on my indoor George Foreman grill, and it worked pretty well.  No complaints.

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70.  Black Bean Slaw with Soy Ginger Dressing

109 calories/serving8 1-cup servings

1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
6 cups coleslaw mix
2 medium green apples, cored and chopped
1 cup chopped red sweet pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine black beans, shredded cabbage with carrot, apples, and sweet pepper.  In a small jar with lid, combine cider vinegar, soy sauce, peanut oil, ginger, honey, and black pepper.  Cover and shake well.  Pour over slaw mix and toss gently to coat.  Cover and chill up to 24 hours.

Anne's Review:   3 stars
This slaw was just okay.  I don't know if I really liked the flavor of black beans and apples together.

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69.  Spicy Ginger Marinated Chicken  4/19/20

191 calories/serving2-4 servings

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup low-sugar orange marmalade
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper


Directions:

For marinade, in a small bowl, stir together last 6 ingredients.  Reserve 1/3 cup of marinade covered in fridge.  Pour remaining marinade in a large resealable plastic bag.
Lightly pound each chicken breast to 1/2" thickness.  Add to resealable bag and toss to coat chicken.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours, turning occasionally.  Drain chicken, discarding marinade.
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and cook chicken on medium to medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning once.   Remove chicken from skillet and put on plate.  Add the reserved 1/3 cup marinade to the same skillet, heating through, and serve over chicken.

Anne's Review:   5 stars
The marinade on this chicken was mouth-watering, in my humble opinion.  Of course, I was pretty hungry when I made it, so almost anything would have tasted great.  But seriously, this was excellent.  When I mixed the marinade, I added a little more marmalade and a little less soy sauce based on my own flavor preference.

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68. Twice-Baked Sweet Potato4/19/10

1 large sweet potato
1/2 pineapple tidbits snack cup (4 oz)
1 tablespoons reduced-fat butter
1 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch cinnamon
pinch ginger
mini marshmallows, optional
pecans, optional


Directions:

Scrub and pierce sweet potatoes. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until tender.  When cool enough to handle, cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp, leaving a thin shell. In a small bowl, mash the pulp with butter. Stir in pineapples, brown sugar, ginger, and cinnamon. Spoon into potato shells. Sprinkle with brown sugar, pecans, and marshmallows if desired.  Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

Anne's Review:   4.5 stars
Yummy.  This side is healthy and so delicious I ate it as dessert.   I was dubious about adding the pineapples, but I liked the flavor combination. 

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67.  Lemon Poppyseed Cake4/9/10

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, room temperature
1&1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3&3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.  In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in lemon peel, juice, and vanilla extract.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Mix in poppy seeds.  Pour into two greased and floured 9" round cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely on wire racks and assemble cakes on top of each other with a layer of frosting between them.  Finish frosting.
To make frosting, beat butter until fluffy.  Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and remaining ingredients.

Anne's Review:   3.5 stars
The frosting was excellent, but the cake was just okay.  It was good, but I wished it had been just a tad more moist.  I got creative with the frosting decoration and used Almond M&Ms, gumdrops, and red vine licorice to make the flowers.   

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66.  Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake4/4/10

1&1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Filling:
3 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:
In a small saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice.  Cook and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes until blueberries are softened.  Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into the blueberry mixture.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.  Transfer to a blender and process until smooth.  Set aside.
For crust, in a small bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar; stir in the butter.  Press onto the bottom of a greased 9" springform pan.  Place pan on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour until smooth.  Add eggs; beat on low speed until just combined.  Stir in sour cream and vanilla.  Pour into crust.  Drizzle with blueberry mixture.  Cut through batter with a knife to swirl.   Place pan on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until center is almost set.  Cool for an hour, then refrigerate overnight.  Remove sides of pan and serve.

Anne's Review:   4.5 stars
This cheesecake seemed to be a big hit at my family's Easter celebration because there was none left at the end.  I could have done a little better job of cutting the blueberries through the batter for better presentation, but that's insignificant.  It wasn't the best cheesecake I've ever tasted, but it was pretty yummy.  I liked it.

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65. Lemonade Meringue Pie4/4/10

347 calories/serving8 servings

3 eggs, separated
1 pckg (4.6oz) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1&1/4 cups milk
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1/3 cup thawed lemonade concentrate
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked

Directions:
Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the pudding mix, milk, and sour cream until smooth.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.  Gradually whisk egg yolks into hot filling.  Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in lemonade concentrate.
Add lemon juice and cream of tartar to egg whites.  Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.  Gradually beat in sugar on high, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
Pour warm filling into baked pastry shell.  Spread meringue over filling, sealing edges to pastry.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.  Cool on wire rack for 1 hour, then refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.

Anne's Review:   3.5 stars
This was the second dessert I made for my family's Easter gathering.  The flavor was good, but the filling didn't stay as firm as I had hoped it would which impacted the presentation (which, of course, is important; I love a pretty-looking pie).  Perhaps I needed to thicken it a bit more on the stovetop before pouring it in the crust, although it had seemed thick at the time.  Maybe it had to do with using lemonade concentrate. The meringue turned out pretty well.

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64. Fauxberry Pie4/1/10
(April Fool's Meatloaf and Potatoes)
356 calories/serving8 servings

1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon dark molasses
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1&1/4 pounds lean ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 deep dish frozen pie crust, thawed
"Strawberry" Potato Topping
2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt to taste
1/2 cup canned sliced beets
1/4 cup warm milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Directions:
In a small saucepan, combine the barbecue sauce, milk, molasses, cocoa, and chili powder. Set the pan over medium heat and whisk the mixture until it is lukewarm and the cocoa is completely dissolved. Set it aside to cool.
Sauté the onions in the tablespoon of canola oil until they are transparent, about 7 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, celery salt, pepper, and bread crumbs. Then add the beef, egg, sauce mixture, and onion. Thoroughly mix the ingredients using your hands or a wooden spoon.  Transfer the meat to the pie shell, spreading it evenly with a spoon. Bake it until the meat is cooked through, about 60 minutes.
While the pie is baking, prepare the mashed potato topping. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to completely submerge them. Salt the water lightly, cover the pot, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook the potatoes at a low boil until they are tender, about 12 minutes.
While the potatoes cook, puree the beets and 1/4 cup warm milk in a blender until only small bits of beet are left in the mixture. Set aside.
Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and pureed beets and, using an electric mixer, whip the mixture until it's smooth and fluffy. Add more milk if needed and salt to taste.
Spread the whipped potatoes over the top of the cooked meat pie with a spatula, as you would whipped cream, mounding it slightly in the center. Slice and serve the pie while the potatoes are still hot.

Anne's Review:   3.5 stars
When I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to try it for April Fool's Day.  It really does look like Chocolate Pie with a Strawberry topping.  My friend Rachel and I were a little worried about how the beets in the potatoes would taste, but honestly, we could not taste the beets at all.  So it was a clever way to get our vegetables and make the pretty pink topping.  This was my first attempt at making meatloaf, and it was pretty good.  I wasn't licking my lips, begging for more, but it wasn't bad, either.  I liked the slight hint of barbeque in the flavor of the meat.  I'm giving it the extra half star for visual effect.

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63.  Faux French Fries4/1/10
(Sugar Breadsticks with Strawberry Dip)


1 package refrigerated breadstick dough
1 cup sugar
cinnamon (optional)
seedless strawberry jam


Directions:

Unroll the dough and separate the breadsticks. 
Using kitchen scissors, cut strips in half, then lengthwise in thirds to make 1/4"-wide strips.  Roll the strips in sugar (add cinnamon if desired), then bake on a cookie sheet for about 8 minutes or until done.  Let cool.  Serve with strawberry jam.

Anne's Review:   3.5 stars
This was an easy and fun little April Fool's Day recipe.  They didn't look much like fries, but making the envelope for the fries helped "sell" the idea.

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62. Faux Bratwurst4/1/10
(Chocolate-Covered Banana)

Banana
Baker's Chocolate
Twinkie ("Bun")
Strawberry Jam ("Ketchup")
Caramel Topping ("Mustard")
Kiwi, chopped  ("Relish")
Shredded Coconut, optional ("Sauerkraut")

Directions:

Melt the chocolate according to package directions.  Dip banana in chocolate and let harden.  Split open a Twinkie lengthwise and set banana inside like a bun.  On top of banana, make one long line of strawberry jam and one line of caramel to look like ketchup and mustard.  Sprinkle with kiwi relish and shredded coconut if desired.

Anne's Review:   2 stars
This was my own creation for April Fool's Day, and unfortunately, it didn't turn out.  Sure, it tasted great.  But the visual comparison to a hot dog or bratwurst I was attempting didn't meet my expectations.  I had trouble getting the melted chocolate to stick to the banana.  Maybe because I tried to melt white and milk chocolate together along with food coloring to get a brown color which I never successfully achieved.  Oh well.

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61. Apfelstrudel3/31/10
(Apple Strudel)
300 calories/serving8 servings

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
~2.5 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir in brown sugar, juice, cinnamon, salt, and apples.  Reduce heat, cover, and cook 10 minutes until apples are tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove apples and cool.
Roll pastry to a 15x12" rectangle.  Spoon apple mixture along one long edge of pastry and roll up jelly-roll fashion.  Gently press seam to seal.
Place nuts and sugar in a food processor; pulse until finely ground.  Spinkle on top of strudel, pressing gently.  Place strudel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden.

Anne's Review:   3.5 stars
The cinnamon-apple strudel was great served warm.  The puff pastry dough was a little too thin so I wrapped a couple sheets of phyllo dough around the pastry before putting it in the oven.  I didn't really care for the phyllo taste, but it was okay.  The portion size for this dessert was satisfying.

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60. Gurkensalat 3/31/10
(Cucumber Salad)
78 calories/cup6 servings

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 medium cucumbers, sliced
1/2 cup sliced onion

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients.  Add cucumbers and onion and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Anne's Review:   4 stars
This was a nice refreshing salad for a spring day.

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59. Spaetzle Dumplings3/31/10

226 calories/cup6 servings

2 cups flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons salt
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon butter
parsley to garnish

Directions:

In a large bowl, stir the flour, eggs, milk, and salt until smooth (dough will be sticky).  In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Pour dough into a colander coated with cooking spray; place over boiling water.  With a wooden spoon, press dough through colander until small pieces drop into boiling water.  Cook for 2 minutes or until dumplings are tender and float.  Remove with a slotted spoon; toss with butter.  Garnish with parsley.

Anne's Review:   4 stars
I liked these homemade noodles.  They might be too plain for some people, but they could handle any addition if needed.  But I liked them the way they were.

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58. Easy Wienerschnitzel3/31/10

328 calories/serving4 servings

4 veal cutlets (may substitute pork or chicken)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:
Place each piece of meat between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/2" thickness.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place flour in a shallow bowl.  In another bowl, combine mustard and egg.  In a third bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, chives, and garlic.  Dredge each cutlet in flour, dip in egg mixture, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture. 
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add cutlets and sauté for ~2-3 minutes or until browned.  Remove from heat and place in oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until meat is done.

Anne's Review:   4 stars
Jeremy and I had no complaints about this main dish. 

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57. Lucky Horseshoes 3/11/10

162 calories/serving28 servings


1 package (16 ounces) large marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter, cubed
4 cups crushed pretzels
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips


Directions:

Place two 5"-diameter bowls upside down in the center of two 9" round pans; coat pans with cooking spray.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt marshmallows and butter on high for 1 minute.  Stir in pretzels.  Quickly add chips; stir gently until coated.  Divide mixture in half.  Press each portion into prepared pan, leaving a 4" opening at one end.  Cool for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around edges of pan to loosen and invert onto a serving platter.

Anne's Review:   3 stars
I decided to make a treat for my brother and I during the long train ride down to New Orleans.  I halved the recipe to make just one horseshoe.  It was good.  I wondered if I could have used oatmeal or granola instead of pretzels to make it a little heathier. 

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56. Shamrock Meringue Cups3/9/10

225 calories/cup12 cups

4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
2 cups reduced-fat whipped topping
2 to 3 drops green food coloring
20 green candied cherries

Directions:
Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Add the vanilla, salt, and cream of tartar; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.  Gradually beat in sugar on high until stiff peaks form.
Drop meringue into 12 mounds on two parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  With the back of a spoon, shape into 3-inch cups.  Bake at 275 degrees for 45-50 minutes until set and dry.  Turn off oven and do not open door; leave meringues in oven for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat milk and lime juice until combined.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour until set.  Fold in whipped topping and food coloring.  Spoon 1/3 cup filling until each meringue cup.  Cut 18 cherries in half and two into thin slivers; garnish each dessert with a shamrock shape with cherries.

Anne's Review:   3.5 stars
This was interesting, in a good way I think.  I couldn't wait until dinner to try this dessert, so I hope I didn't spoil my appetite.  The meringue was light and crunchy and melted on my tongue, and the lime filling was tasty.  I had way more filling than I actually needed to fill the cups though, and the cups were HUGE!  Very large serving size.  Also, I had to handle the cups very carefully, otherwise the meringue broke and crumbled.    I gave the rest of the batch to my coworkers again.  I hope they enjoy this dessert. 

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55.  Irish Soda Farls3/9/10

252 calories/serving4 servings

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
raisins (optional)
butter or jam (optional)

Directions:

Preheat heavy skillet to medium-low heat.
Place flour and salt in a bowl and sift in baking soda.  Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk.  Work quickly to mix into dough and knead very lightly on a well-floured surface.  Form into a flattened circle, about 1/2" thick and cut into quarters with a floured knife.
Sprinkle a little flour over the base of the hot pan and cook the farls for 6-8 minutes on each side until golden.

Anne's Review:   4 stars
This recipe really pleasantly surprised me.  I wanted a simple side for the Irish stew, and this Irish Farl recipe fit the bill.  Traditionally, this Irish fare was the quickest way to serve soda bread to unexpected guests who drop by for a bit of craic (good fun).  I was doubtful about how a bread made in a frying pan would turn out, but it did, and it tasted great.  I chose to omit the raisins, but I did spread some strawberry jam over the warm farl.  Yum! 

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54.  Irish Stew3/9/10

279 calories/serving6 servings

1&1/2 pounds lamb stew meat
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
2 cups water
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium carrots, cut into 1" slices
1/2 cup turnip, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons fat-free milk
1/2 teaspoon browning sauce, optional
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Directions:
In a Dutch oven, saute onion in oil.  Add lamb to brown in oil.  Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.  Add broth and water and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender. 
Add potatoes, carrots, turnip, and seasonings, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender. 
In a small bowl, combine the flour, milk, and browning sauce until smooth; stir into stew.  Add parsley.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened.

Anne's Review:   4.5 stars
I cut this recipe in half so I wouldn't have a lot of leftovers before I leave on my trip, and the lamb stew meat came in a 3/4 pound package which worked out perfectly.   This was a very filling, soul-warming stew.

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53. Reuben Braid3/7/10

(195 calories/serving)8 servings

3-4 oz cooked corned beef brisket, chopped
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and well-drained
1/2 small onion, chopped
1&1/2 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1 package (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. 
Unroll the crescent roll dough onto an ungreased baking sheet; seal seams and perforations.  Spread the corned beef filling down the center of rectangle.  On each long side, cut 1"-wide strips to within an inch of filling.  Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling' seal ends.  Brush egg white over dough; sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Anne's Review:   4 stars
This was a very fast and easy St. Patrick's Day recipe to make, a neat alternative to traditional corned beef and cabbage.  I liked it.  The portions were small but adequate, especially paired with the Potato Soup.

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52. Pot o' Gold Potato Soup3/7/10

(285 calories/serving)6 servings

3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
2 cans (14.5 oz each ) chicken broth
2&1/3 cups mashed potato flakes
1&1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup cubed Velveeta cheese
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, saute celery and onion in butter for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; add potato flakes and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Add milk, cheese, garlic salt, and chili powder.  Cook and stir until cheese is melted.  Just before serving, stir in sour cream.

Anne's Review:   4 stars
I really liked that this recipe used just one pot.  Easy clean-up.  It was a thick and satisfying cheesy soup.  I used a little sprig from the celery stalk as a garnish for the photo.

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51. Blarney Stone Bars3/4/10

(102 calories/serving)42 servings

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup English toffee bits
1/3 cup chopped pecans
Frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1&1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 drops green food coloring

Directions:
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Combine flour, oats, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Fold in the toffee bits and pecans.  Spread into a greased 9" square baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Meanwhile, to make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter, and add confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and food coloring.  Spread frosting over cooled bars and cut into diamond shapes.

Anne's Review:   4.5 stars
These bars were really moist and delicious.  I liked the pecan-toffee flavor.   My attempt at making the bars diamond-shaped didn't really work and I wish I had just cut them into regular squares.  But the taste was still good.  There's no possible way this recipe makes 42 servings.  I think 24-25 servings would be more accurate.