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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 03/19/12

Monday, March 19, 2012

CHEESECAKE SQUARES, TAKE A BITE! A LITTLE BIT WON'T HURT YOU!

   Put on a pot of coffee and gather the girls for a morning getaway. Mocha latté fans will love the rich and creamy flavor of these make ahead bars.



Cheesecake Squares



Ingredients

  •   Chocolate Crust
  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 9 (1-oz.) semisweet chocolate baking squares
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Garnishes: powdered sugar, chocolate-covered coffee beans, thawed whipped topping

Preparation

  1. 1. Prepare Chocolate Crust as directed. Increase oven temperature to 375°.
  2. 2. Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
  3. 3. Microwave whipping cream in a 1-cup microwave-safe measuring cup at HIGH 30 seconds or until very hot. Stir in coffee granules until completely dissolved. Cool coffee mixture slightly.
  4. 4. Microwave chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute. Microwave 1 more minute, stirring at 15-second intervals. Add melted chocolate, vanilla, and coffee mixture to cream cheese mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended. Pour mixture into prepared Chocolate Crust.
  5. 5. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until edges are firm and center is still soft. Let cool to room temperature (about 1 hour); cover and chill 8 hours. Cut into squares. Garnish, if desired.

TOP 10 SECRET RECIPES!


    Want a better way to enjoy those fast food favorites of yours?   Cook or bake some of your favorite takeout treats on your own, without having to go out and get them!  Think of how much money you will save. So, here they are, some of  the top 10 secret recipes of all time!



1. McDonald’s Big Mac



Bigmac



Ingredients

Sauce
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons french salad dressing
1/2 tablespoon sweet relish
2 teaspooons dill pickle relish
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried, minced onion
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon ketchup
1/8 teaspoon salt

The Rest

1 regular sized sesame seed bun
1 regular sized plain bun
2 beef patties (2 ounces each flattened to bun size)
2 tablespoons Big Mac sauce
2 teaspoons reconstituted onions
1 slice real American cheese
2 hamburger pickle slices
1/4 cup shredded lettuce

Directions

To make the sauce, mix together all the ingredients about one hour before using.
To assemble:
Discard the crown half of the regular bun, retaining the heel. Toast both sides of the heel and the “inner” sides of the sesame bun. Cook the two-all-beef-patties just like regular burgers. After the bun parts are toasted, put 1 tablespoon of sauce on each of the heels (toasted side). Then add 1/8 cup shredded lettuce to each. On the true bottom bun, place one thin slice of American cheese on top of the lettuce. On the extra “heel”, the middle bun, place two pickle slices on top of the lettuce. When the meat patties are done, place them one at a time on both prepared buns. Stack the middle bun on top of the bottom bun, and put the crown on top.



2. KFC Coleslaw



Slaw



Ingredients

8 cups finely diced cabbage (about 1 head)
1/4 cup diced carrots
2 tablespoons minced onions
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Directions

1. Cabbage and carrots must be finely diced.
2. Pour cabbage and carrot mixture into large bowl and stir in minced onions.
3. Using regular blade on food processor process remaining ingredients until smooth.
4. Pour over vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly.
5. Cover bowl and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.



3. KFC Chicken



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Ingredients

4 chicken leg quarters
3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 teaspoons MSG
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cut chicken into 8 pieces(4 legs and 4 thighs).
3. In a zip lock bag mix all dry ingredients.
4. Moisten chicken.
5. Put one or two pieces of chicken at a time into the bag and shake well.
6. Then put chicken pieces on an oiled pan. Use Canola or Peanut oil so your chicken will not stick.
7. Bake approximately 40-50 minutes until chicken is done. Half way through baking spoon oil from pan on chicken to brown properly.
So much for the secrets herbs and spices!



4. Coca-Cola



Coca Cola Sise




1. Mix 2,400 grams of sugar with just enough water to dissolve (high-fructose corn syrup may be substituted for half the sugar).
2. Add 37 grams of caramel, 3.1 grams of caffeine, and 11 grams of phosphoric acid.
3. Extract the cocaine from 1.1 grams of coca leaf (Truxillo growth of coca preferred) with toluol; dry the cocaine extract.
4. Soak the coca leaves and kola nuts (both finely powdered; 0.37 gram of kola nuts) in 22 grams of 20 percent alcohol.
5. California white wine fortified to 20 percent strength was used as the soaking solution circa 1909, but Coca-Cola may have switched to a simple water/alcohol mixture.
6. After soaking, discard the coca and kola and add the liquid to the syrup.
7. Add 30 grams of lime juice (a former ingredient, evidently, that Coca-Cola now denies) or a substitute such as a water solution of citric acid and sodium citrate at lime-juice strength.
8. Mix together 0.88 gram of lemon oil, 0.47 gram of orange oil, 0.20 gram of cassia (Chinese cinnamon) oil. 0.07 gram of nutmeg oil, and, if desired, traces of coriander, lavender, and neroli oils, and add to 4.9 grams of 95 percent alcohol.
9. Shake.
10. Add 2.7 grams of water to the alcohol/oil mixture and let stand for twenty-four hours at about 60 °F (15.5 °C). A cloudy layer will separate.
11. Take off the clear part of the liquid only and add the syrup.
12. Add 19 grams of glycerine (from vegetable source, not hog fat, so the drink can be sold to Jews and Muslims who observe their respective religion’s dietary restrictions) and 1.5 grams of vanilla extract.
13. Add water (treated with chlorine) to make 1 gallon of syrup.
This recipe is from Food Flavorings: Composition, Manufacture and Use (2nd Ed.) 1968 by Joseph Merory (AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, CT). Makes one U.S. gallon (3.8 L) of syrup. Yield (used to flavor carbonated water at 1 fl oz per bottle): 128 bottles, 6.5 fl oz (192 ml).
P.S.: If anyone has a good source for Coca leaves, let me know – I think I have a good idea for a part-time business!



5. Heinz Ketchup



Heinz Ketchup



Ingredients

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste with garlic
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Stir and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 min.
3. Stir often.
4. Remove from heat and cover til cool.
5. Keep in a covered container in fridge.




6. Applebee’s Mudslide



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Ingredients

2 cups vanilla ice cream
2 ounces kahlua coffee liqueur
1 dash chocolate syrup
canned whipped cream
Directions

1. Measure 2 cups of ice cream into your blender. Add the Kahlua and blend until smooth.
2. Prepare a 16-ounce wine glass by swirling chocolate syrup around the inside of the glass. Hold the wine glass by the stem with one hand and twirl the wine glass as you squeeze the chocolate. Slowly move the chocolate up toward the rim of the glass so that the chocolate makes a continuous spiral around the inside of the glass.
3. Pour the drink from the blender into the glass. Add a pile of whipped cream to the top of the drink and drizzle additional chocolate syrup over the whipped cream. Add a straw and serve.



7. Taco Bell Quesadillas



Xtreme-Chs-Beef-Ques



Ingredients

Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons minced jalapenos, slices
2 teaspoons jalapeno juice, from minced jalepenos
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 dash salt
Quesadillas

4 flour tortillas
4 chicken tenderloins
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
2 slices processed cheese

Directions

1. Combine sauce ingredients and stir until smooth.
2. Grill chicken in vegetable oil and cut into thin slices.
3. Preheat skillet over medium heat.
4. One at a time, lay tortilla into hot skillet and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of each shredded cheese and 1/2 cheese slice on one side of the tortilla.
5. Arrange about 1/4 cup chicken slices over tortilla on the same half covered with cheese.
6. On the empty side, spread about one tablespoon of sauce.
7. Fold over, and press gently with spatula.
8. Cook until cheese is melted and slice each into 4 pieces.



8. Neiman-Marcus $250 Cookies



Chocchipcookies



Ingredients

2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal
24 ounces chocolate chips
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) Hershey Bars (grated)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
Directions
1. Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.
2. Cream the butter and both sugars.
3. Add eggs and vanilla.
4. Mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda.
5. Add chocolate chips, grated Hershey Bar and nuts.
6. Roll into balls and place 2-inches apart on a cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 10 minutes at 375° or until golden.



9. Reese’s Squares



Brazilnutbuttercups1



Ingredients

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 lb confectioners’ sugar (3 to 3 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup butter, melted
1 (12 ounce) bag milk chocolate chips
Directions

1. Combine graham crumbs, sugar and peanut butter and mix well.
2. Blend in melted butter until well combined.
3. Press mixture evenly into a 9 x 13 inch pan.
4. Melt chocolate chips in microwave or in double boiler.
5. Spread over peanut butter mixture.
6. Chill until just set and cut into bars (these are very hard to cut if the chocolate gets “rock hard”.



10. Starbucks Pumpkin Scones



Pumpkin Scones.Jpg



Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.
4. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake for 14–16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

To make the plain glaze:

1. Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth.
2. When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.

To make the spiced icing:

1. Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.




THE IDITAROD, THE LAST GREAT RACE ON EARTH, PART II!!



History of the Iditarod

    The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race first ran to Nome in 1973, after two short races on part of the Iditarod Trail in 1967 and 1969. The idea of having a race over the Iditarod Trail was conceived by the late Dorothy Page. In 1964, Page was chairwoman of the Wasilla-Knik Centennial and was working on projects to celebrate Alaska's Centennial Year n 1967.
    She was intrigued that dog teams could travel over land that was not accessible by autos. In the early 1920's, settlers had come to Alaska following a gold strike. They traveled by boat to the coastal towns of Seward and Knik and from there, by land into the gold fields. The trail they used is today known as The Iditarod Trail, one of the National Historic Trails as so designated b the U.S. Congress. In the winter, their only means of travel was by dog team.





    The Iditarod Trail soon became the major thoroughfare through Alaska. Mail was carried across this trail, people used the trail to get from place to place and supplies were transported via the Iditarod Trail. Priests, minister, and judges traveled between villages via dog teams.
    All too soon the gold mining began to slack off. People began to go back to where they had come from and suddenly there was less travel on the Iditarod Trail. The use of the airplane in the late 1920's signaled the beginning of the end of the dog team as a standard mode of transportation, and of course with the airplane carrying the mail, there was less need for land travel. The final blow to the use of the dog teams came with the appearance of snowmobiles in Alaska.






    By the mid 60's, most people in Alaska didn't even know there was an Iditarod Trail or that dog teams had played a very important part in Alaska's early settlement. Dorothy Page, a resident of Wasilla and self made historian, recognized the importance of an awareness of the use of sled dogs as working animals and of the Iditarod Trail and the important part it played in Alaska's history.
    She presented the possibility of a race over the Iditarod Trail to Joe Redington, Sr., a musher from the Knik area. Soon the Pages and the Redingtons began promoting the idea of the Iditarod Race to the extent that Joe and Vi Redington moved to the Knik area from their homestead at Flat Horn Lake and they have never moved back.






    The Aurora Dog Musher Club, along with men from the Adult Camp in Sutton helped clear years of over growth from the first 9 miles of the Iditarod Trail in time to put on the first short Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1967. A $25,000 purse was offered in that race with Joe and Vi Redington donating one acre of their land at Flat Horn Lake adjacent to the Iditarod Trail to help raise the funds. ( the land was subdivided into one square foot lots and sold with a deed and special certificate of ownership, raising $10,000 toward the purse) Contestants from all over Alaska and even two contestants form Massachusetts entered that first Iditarod Race, but a newcomer, Issac Okleasik, from Teller, Alaska, won the race with his team of large working dogs. The short race of approximately 27 miles, was put on again in 1969.



Joe Redington Sr.





    The goal was to have the race go all the way to the ghost town of Iditarod in 1973. However in 1972, the U.S. Army reopened the trail as a winter exercise and in 1973, the decision was made to take the race the 1,000 plus miles to Nome. Redington and Page were instrumental in getting the first long Iditarod on its way to Nome in 1973, amidst comments that it couldn't be done. There were many who believed it was crazy to send a bunch of mushers out into the vast uninhabited Alaskan wilderness. But the race went on. 22 mushers finished that year and to date, there have been over 400 finishers. Mushers have come from Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Italy,Japan, Austria, Australia, Sweden and the Soviet Union as well as from about 20 different states in the United States.






    The late Dorothy Page, the "mother of the Iditarod" is quoted in the October 1979 issue of the Iditarod Runner on her intent for the Iditarod: "To keep the spirit of the Iditarod the same. I don't even want to see high pressure people getting in and changing the spirit of the race. We brought the sled dog back and increased the number of mushers. It is really an Alaskan event. I think the fact that it starts in Anchorage and then ends in Nome has opened up a whole new area for people in Alaska. I think they appreciate that it puts them in touch with the pioneer spirit".





Iditarod Today

    The race has started in downtown Anchorage since 1983. The teams leave the start line at the corner of 4th and D, at two minute intervals. Starting at 10 a.m. There are usually over 65 teams starting and some years even more.
    The mushers follow a multi use trail through Anchorage and out to Tudor Road. A telephone auction is held each year whereby fans can be a rider in a musher's sled from the start line for the first 8-9 miles. This auction opens on October 1st and closes at 5 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on January 31st. The money raised is used to offset expenses of the race and to provide each musher who finishes the race after the top 20 (who received cash prize winnings), with $1,049. This helps the mushers get their teams home. The mush along the Glenn Highway into the VFW Post 9785 in Eagle River. From there the dogs are loaded into dog trucks and taken home for the night. This is a ceremonial start and does not count in the overall time to Nome.







    On Sunday, March 8th, mushers will again line up at the old Wasilla Airport in Wasilla about 40 miles north of Anchorage. At 10 a.m. the first teams will depart on their way to Nome.
    From Wasilla, they travel to Knik Lake, the last checkpoint on the road system. Spectatros may drive the 17 miles from Anchorage to Eagle River and the approximately 30 miles from Eagle River to Wasilla. It's about 13 miles from Wasilla ti Knik. Once the mushers leave the Knik checkpoint, they are off the road system for the duration of the race.




      It is impossible to predict the exact day or time that the first musher will cross the finish line in Nome. However, it is expected to be between 9 and 12 days, making it on the second Tuesday or Wednesday. Doug Swingley, the 1995 Champion, completed the course in 9 days, 2 hours, 42 minutes and 19 seconds to become the first usher from outside Alaska to ever win the Iditarod.