Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Yields: 24 bars

Crust:
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c sweet ground chocolate and cocoa
1/2 c butter, melted
2 TBS sugar

Topping:
16 oz. cream cheese
1 c sugar
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
3 TBS flour
4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 bar (2 oz.) milk chocolate baking bar, broken into 1″ pieces
1/2 tsp vegetable shortening

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crust:
1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, ground chocolate, butter, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well blended.
2. Press the mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
3. Bake 8 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Topping:
1. In large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter, and flour until well blended.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixture well after each addition.
3. Blend in the milk and the vanilla extract.
4. Pour the topping into the crust and bake 40 minutes.
5. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack.
6. Melt the chocolate pieces and vegetable shortening in a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water.
7. Stir occasionally until smooth.
8. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the cooled bars.
9. Chill approximately 10 minutes, just until the chocolate layer is partially set.
10. Score the chocolate layer with a sharp knife, forming squares, and return the pan to the refrigerator.
11. Chill 30 minutes, or until firm. Ct through the bars and serve. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

1 1/4 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c water
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c shredded zucchini
2 bars (8 0z.) milk chocolate baking bar, broken into 1/4″ pieces

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9″x5″ pan.
3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla extract until blended.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually, stirring until moistened.
6. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate pieces.
7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly.
8. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf.
9. Cool the bread in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
10. To store, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze.

Light Alfredo

Ingredients:
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 c skim milk
1/4 c chicken broth
2 1/4 tsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 TBS grated parmesan cheese
1/4 lb fettuccini
2 lb broccoli

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute until golden brown.
2. In a small saucepan, stir together milk, chicken broth, flour, salt, and pepper over low heat until smooth and thick. Stir into onion mixture. Continue to cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick. Stir in parmesan cheese.
3. Meanwhile, boil broccoli in boiling water. After several minutes, add pasta.
4. Drain the pasta and broccoli, and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with sauce. Serve.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Ingredients:
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
pinch of salt
2 TBS all-purpose flour

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Butter and slightly flour four 6 oz. ramekins. Tap out the excess flour. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet.
2. In a double boiler, over simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, with the egg yolks, sugar, and salt at a high speed until thickened and pale.
3. Whisk the chocolate until smooth. Quickly fold it into the egg mixture along with the flour. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and bake for 12 minutes, or until the sides of the cakes are firm but the centers are soft. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1 minute, then cover each with an inverted dessert plate. Carefully turn each one over, let stand for 10 seconds and then unmold. Serve immediately.

Zucchini ‘Crab’ Cakes

Ingredients:
2 1/2 C grated zucchini
1 egg, beaten
2 TBS butter, melted
1 C bread crumbs
1/4 C minced onion
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C vegetable oil for frying

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine zucchini, egg, and butter or margarine. Stir in seasoned crumbs, minced onion, and seasoning. Mix well.
2. Shape mixture into patties. Dredge in flour.
3. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Fry patties in oil until golden brown on both sides.

Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients:
3 cups burgundy wine
2 TBS brandy
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 sprig fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, crushed
10 whole black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
2 lb cubed beef chuck roast
4 TBS olive oil, divided
2 onions, chopped
3 TBS all-purpose flour
1 TBS tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
10.5 oz beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
4 TBS butter
1 lb fresh mushrooms sliced

Directions:
1. For marinade: in a large bowl, combine the wine, cognac, onions, carrots, parsley, bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns, and salt. Mix well and add the cubed beef. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 days.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
3. For Bourguignon: Strain the meat from the vegetables and marinade; reserver marinade. Dry meat with paper towels. Heat 2 TBS of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meat and saute for 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer meat to a separate medium bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Pour a cup of marinade into the skillet and deglaze the skillet then return this liquid to the reserved marinade.
5. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the onion and carrot from the marinade, along with the additional onion that you’ve chopped, and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender. Transfer this mixture to the bowl with meat, again using a slotted spoon, and return skillet to the heat. Add the flour to the skillet, combining with the oil and stir until well mixed and brown, about 2 minutes.
6. Now add the tomato paste, garlic, beef broth, reserved marinade and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and whisk to remove any flour lumps. Add this to the meat and vegetable mixture. Place entire mixture into a 9×13 baking dish.
7. Bake at 300 degrees F for 3 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. About 15 minutes before meat is done baking, melt butter in the skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. When meat is done, add the mushrooms to the meat mixture, stir well and let sit for about 15 minutes.

Pear Galette

Ingredients:
2 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 C buttermilk
2 TBS apricot preserves
2 large Bartlett pears, thinly sliced
1 egg, beaten
2 TBS turbinado sugar

Directions:
1. To make the dough, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a processor (if using); pulse 2 – 3 times to combine.
2. Add butter and pulse 4 – 5 times, or until mixture resembles coarse meal.
3. With the processor running, slowing pour the buttermilk through the chute, processing until the dough forms a ball.
4. Remove the dough ball and adhere any remaining pieces of dough to it, then wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper.
5. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before rolling out.
6. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a sheet of parchment paper.
8. Starting at the center of the dough, roll out, forming a 14-15 inch wide circle.
9. Place the dough with parchment paper on a baking sheet.
10. Brush the bottom of the dough with the apricot preserves.
11. Arrange sliced pears in a spoke pattern on the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border.
12. Fold the border over the pears, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds.
13. Lightly brush the edge of the dough with the egg and sprinkle crust and pears with turbinado sugar.
14. Bake the galette for 45 – 50 minutes, or until the pears are tender and the crust is golden brown.
15. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.