Cooking with Tom

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Dec. 31 = La Guignolee (New Year's Eve) in Ste. Genevieve, MO. Where: at select restaurants and Bolduc House in Historic District, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670. This ancient tradition, comparable to the English customer of Wassailing that hardens back to Europe's Middle Ages, is celebrated by descendants of those French settlers. Dressed in bizarre and somewhat archaic costumers, the revelers wander from place to place singing a beggars song for favors. You can see and participate with these singers and musicians as they celebrate this 250-year-old tradition New Year's Eve at select restaurants and Bolduc House in Ste. Genevieve's Historic District.For more information call 800-373-7007 or visit www.VisitSteGen.com.

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Cooking with Tom

Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

     Native to Mexico and Central America, tomatoes were grown by the Incas and Aztecs as long ago as the 8th century. The conquistadors brought them to Europe in the 1500s. The French called them “love apples,” the Germans referred to them as “apples of paradise” but the British considered them poisonous because they are related to the deadly nightshade.
     In 1887, in a case involving an import tariff on fruit, the US Supreme Court ruled tomatoes were vegetables. The Court declared though botanically a fruit, in meals tomatoes were served and eaten as vegetables, not served for dessert as fruits commonly were.
     Today this “vegetable” is the third most popular vegetable eaten in America. Enjoy the immensely versatile tomato in an entirely different way with a batch of BBQ Salsa that you can enjoy hot or cold with chips, baste your barbeque or top a burger.

Spicy BBQ Salsa

 
Ingredients:
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup diced celery
1 /2 cup diced onion
1 diced green pepper
2) 14.5 oz cans petite diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 /2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
 
1. Wash and dice fresh vegetables. Add canola oil, celery, onion and green pepper to a large saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixture and stir well. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
     Can be served hot or cold.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2011

 

 

 

 

 

   

Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

     Run Island, a small island in the India Ocean, was at one time the sole source of nutmeg. Highly valued for its flavor and medicinal value the spice was an important factor in world trade. Between the 15th and 18th centuries the Portuguese, Dutch and the British battled for control of Run Island.
     Today Indonesia and Grenada dominate production and export of nutmeg. World demand of the spice is estimated at 9,000 tons. Nutmeg is popular in Europe, the US, Japan and India.
     Selling a few nutmeg nuts centuries ago may have given an individual financial independence but today nutmeg only gives added flavor to a dish.
     Taste the mystery of the Far East in the Fruit and Veggie Summer Smoothie.
 

Fruit & Veggie Summer Smoothie

Ingredients:
 
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup crushed pineapple w/juice
1/4 cup sliced carrots
1 tsp. tarragon leaves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
 
1. Mix all ingredients in a blender. Blend for one minute. Chill and serve.
     Makes approximately two servings.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2011
   

Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

 
     Curry powder is the oldest recorded spice mix in the world. It first appeared in cuneiform writing in Mesopotamia in 1700 BC. It is thought to have originated in the region that is now India and was adopted by Europeans as early as 1300 AD.
     Diverse as the peoples of the world, curry powder is a mixture of many different spices depending on the region and the taste of individual cooks. The most common ingredients include chilies, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom and fenugreek.
     Create culinary history in your family with a golden dish of Savory Curry Chicken.
 
Savory Curry Chicken
 
Ingredients:
2 tbsp canola oil
1 /2 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 /2 cup diced celery
6 oz pkg cherry tomatoes, quartered
1) 9 oz pkg pre-cooked chicken breast
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 /2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1 /2 tsp curry powder
1 /2 tsp salt
1) 8 oz container sour cream
1 /2 cup chicken broth
 
1. Add canola oil, green pepper, onion and celery to a large saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes to the mixture and stir. Continue cooking for 10 minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixture and stir well. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
     Serves 4. Can be served as a main dish or over toast, rice or pasta.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

 
     Corn was cultivated in Central America as early as 3400 BC. Its popularity spread over the centuries. At the time of the European exploration of the New World corn was in use by nearly all native populations of the Western Hemisphere.
     From succotash to corn chowder, corn was a staple in many cultures as a source of protein and carbohydrates. In the 1600s the Native Americans taught the European colonists how to cultivate as well as cook corn.
     Enjoy the sweet taste of corn in the Zesty Corn Chowder.
 
Ingredients:
1/4 cup diced onions
3/4 cup diced red pepper
1 /2 cup diced celery
2 tbsp canola oil
1) 12.5 oz can chicken breast in water, drained
1) 15.25 oz can whole kernel sweet corn, drained
2) 14.75 oz cream style sweet corn
1/4 tsp salt
1 /2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cups fat-free milk
1 /2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
 
1. Wash onions, red pepper, celery and dice. Set aside.
2. Drain the can of chicken. Drain the can of whole kernel sweet corn. Set aside.
3. In a large saucepan, saute onion, red pepper and celery in canola oil over a medium head, approximately 10 minutes.
4. Add to saucepan the rest of the ingredients and stir. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Approximately 6-8 servings.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2011

   

Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

     In 2600 B.C., the Egyptians prepared a cake of unleavened bread by cooking it on a hot stone. This was the precursor to our contemporary pancakes.
     Early Christians used pancakes as a major food source during Lent. During the 9th century, Canon law outlawed meat and increased the popularity of pancakes. Shrove Tuesday became known as pancake day. By the 13th century a Pancake Feast on Fat Tuesday had become a tradition.
     Prepackaged mixes for pancakes can now be found in every grocery store but nothing tastes better than a pancake made from scratch. Try the Heavenly Homemade Pancakes recipe for a tasty breakfast.
 
Heavenly Homemade Pancakes
 
Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 /2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
 
1. Mix flour, salt, baking power and sugar in a large bowl.
2. Add egg and milk to dry mixture and beat for 1-2 minutes until thoroughly mixed.
3. Heat frying pan on low heat for approximately 1 minute.
4. Pour batter into frying pan to form pancakes approximately 3" in diameter. Do not cook more than 3 pancakes at a time.
5. When bubbles have formed across surface of pancake, flip pancake over using a spatula. Cook for 1 minute on second side and remove from frying pan.
6. Serve with fresh fruit, honey, or syrup. Makes approximately 6-8 pancakes.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

 
    Mushrooms, once reserved exclusively for Royalty, are now an everyday part of food fare. Ancient cultures believed that mushrooms were the plant of immortality and decreed that no commoners should touch them.
     The first commercial cultivation of mushrooms began in caves near Paris, France. British gardeners soon joined in growing the popular fungus. By the late 19th century, US growers were cultivating mushrooms.
     Today more than 850 million pounds of mushrooms a year find their way into our favorite meals. Enjoy this mushroom soup which will satisfy any regal appetite.
 
Low Fat Chunky Cream of Mushroom Soup
 
1) 10 oz pkg Baby Bella (crimini mushrooms)
1 /2 cup celery
2 tbsp canola oil
1 /2 tsp salt
1 /2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground black papper
2 cups fat-free milk
2 tbsp flour
 
1. Wash mushrooms and celery. Dice celery and mushrooms.
2.  Add canola oil to a large saucepan. Add celery, mushrooms, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper to the saucepan. Stir and saute over a medium heat for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add 1 1 /2 cups of milk to the vegetables in the saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil, about 5 minutes.
4. While soup is being brought to a boil, pour 1 /2 cup of milk and flour into a measuring cup. Whisk together and set aside.
5. When soup has been brought to a boil, slowly add the whisked milk and flour, stirring slowly. Allow mixture to return to a boil and boil for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Remove from heat and serve. Approximately 4 servings.

      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

 
     Onions are one of the oldest cultivated foods on Earth. Believed to have grown wild over most of the planet, onions are likely to have been eaten by prehistoric man on every continent.
     The earliest Chinese, Egyptian, and Indian writings mention onions as a food and a medicine. Over the years and in many different cultures onions have been used as a cure for toothaches, headaches, lumbago, dog bites, snake bites, hair loss, and to induce sleep.
     Olympians of ancient Greece believed onions fortified the body. They would eat pounds of onions, drink onion juice and rub onions on their bodies before competing.
     When the Pilgrims landed in America they brought onions with them to plant but found that Native Americans had already cultivated local onions. Onions were part of the first harvest in the New World and were likely served at the first Thanksgiving.
     Used universally, onions flavor the food of all cultures. Enjoy a taste of the old world when you make Swedish Meatballs.
 
Swedish Meatballs
 
Ingredients:
8 ounces button mushrooms
1 medium red onion
2 tbsp canola oil
2) 10.5 oz can beef gravy
1 cup 2percent milk
1) 8 oz light sour cream
1) 2 lb bag of fully cooked frozen meatballs
 
1. Wash mushrooms and onions. Dice onion and slice mushrooms.
2. Cook mushrooms and onion in canola oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat for approximately ten minutes.
3. Add to saucepan gravy, milk and sour cream. Stir well and reduce heat to simmer.
4. Add to saucepan the frozen meatballs. Stir well, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Serves 10-12.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

     Every food has a story yet the humble bean has taken on a life of its own, entering into the world of proverb and symbolism. Well-known expressions include "you’re full of beans," "you’re not worth a hill of beans," or "you don’t know beans about beans."
     The ancient Greeks used white beans and black beans for voting, with a black bean representing a vote of no. This led to bean counters, and the spilling of the beans.
     If I know my beans, your family will enjoy this chili. I’m counting on it.

Quick Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients:

1) 30.5 oz can chili beans
2) 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1) 1 oz pkg chili seasoning mix
1) 12 oz pkg Boca or Morningstar meatless ground crumbles
1 cup medium salsa

1. Place all ingredients in a large saucepan. Mix well and bring to a boil.
2. Stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Serves 6-8.

     Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
©
Tom Blair 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
Cooking with Tom

by Tom Blair

One of the most popular appetizers of the twenty-first century is the Bruschetta. There are hundreds of variations of this simple rustic dish. The base is always a piece of crusty toasted bread brushed with olive oil. The toasted bread is typically topped with tomatoes, cheese and spices but can include meats or fish.

Originating more than five hundred years ago, Bruschetta which in Italian means "grilled over coals," was used as a means of testing olive oil fresh from the press. The olive grower would take some bread along to the mill when his crop of olives was being processed. To test the bouquet and flavor of his oil, a chunk of bread would be toasted and dipped in the oil.

Later this tasty test was developed into the wonderful dish we enjoy today. Enjoy my variation on the classic appetizer with a Bruschetta Dip.

Bruschetta Dip

Ingredients:

1) 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp onion powder
1) 16 oz container light sour cream

1. Combine all the ingredients except for the sour cream in a large mixing bowl and stir.

2. Add sour cream and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. Serve with toast, chips or use as a salad dressing.

Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout US, Canada and Europe. © Tom Blair 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

 
     Water chestnuts, once used exclusively in traditional Chinese cooking, are becoming popular in the cuisine of other cultures. The water chestnut, not a nut at all,  is a glasslike aquatic plant that develops edible bulbs on its root. It is native to southeast Asia and has been cultivated for thousands of years.
     The water chestnut remains firm even after cooking and will lend a crunchy, nutty flavor to any dish. It is also a good source of fiber, potassium and B6.
     Add a little crunch to your lunch and try some Egg Foo Yung Salad.
 
Egg Foo Yung Salad

Ingredients:
6) hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 /2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1) 8 oz can water chestnuts, diced
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp teriyaki
1/4 tsp salt
Lettuce or bread (optional)
 
1. Chop or dice ingredients per above and mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Serve on lettuce or on bread. Serves 6.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2010
 
   
Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

     That hard granular cheese known as Parmesan is associated with Italian cooking because it was developed by Benedictine monks more than 800 years ago in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The cheese was hand made in the monasteries and enjoyed locally.
     It wasn’t until the early 20th century that modern transportation and production facilities made this unique delicacy available to the rest of the world.
     Enjoy a bowl of Pizza Soup with the old-world flavor of Parmesan.

Pizza Soup

Ingredients:

1) 2-3 oz. package of crumbled bacon bits
1) 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2) 10.5 oz. cans condensed tomato soup
1 /2 tsp. garlic powder
1 /2 tsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 /2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese (optional)

1. Add all the ingredients except for the mozzarella cheese to a large saucepan.
2. Bring soup to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Serve in soup bowl and top with mozzarella cheese. Makes about 4-6 servings.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2010

Tastes like pizza, eats like a soup.

   
Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair
 
     Fusion of diverse culinary styles and ingredients into a single dish has become wide spread in our modern culinary world. Taco Pizza, Southwest Egg rolls and a host of new flavors are out there to tempt our taste buds.
     In America the mix of cultures and cooking is not a new development. Nowhere is this more evident than in Creole cooking. The Creole cuisine blends cooking methods and techniques from French, Spanish, Caribbean, Mediterranean, American and Native American origins. This amazing mix of flavors was later added to by Italian, Irish, German, Albanian, and Greek immigrants who settled in Southern Louisiana.
     Bring the flavor of fusion to your table with a delicious bowl of Creole Tomato Bisque.
 
Creole Tomato Bisque
 
Ingredients:
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
2) 10.75 oz cans tomato soup
1) 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1) half pint whipping cream
1) 3 oz bag bacon bits
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic
 
1. In a large saucepan saute onion and celery in canola oil for approximately 10 minutes.
2. Add to saucepan the tomato soup, diced tomatoes, whipping cream, bacon bits, black pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic. Stir well.
3. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Serve 8.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2010

   
Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair
 
     Since the beginning of time thrifty cooks have invented ways to use leftover stale bread. One of the most popular ways of using day old bread was the delicious flavor-packed powerhouse, the crouton.
     The word crouton is a French word derived from the Latin word for crust or shell. The association of soup and croutons are intertwined in the mists of culinary history as dried crusts of bread served soaked in stock, wine or milk and were called soupes.
     The use of croutons as garnish for salads is a more recent development. With the advent of refrigeration and the year round availability of lettuce, the popularity of salads has grown over the last century, and the ubiquitous crouton has been there to add a little crunchy zest.
     Return to the crouton's humble beginnings and enjoy the gravy soaked pleasure of Croutons Au Gratin.

Croutons Au Gratin

Ingredients:
2 cans mixed vegetables, 15 oz., drained
2 jars beef gravy, 12 oz.
1 can diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz., drained
1) 5 oz bag caesar flavored croutons
1) 8 oz bag shredded mozzarella cheese
 
1. Drain mixed vegetables, pour into 9 x 13 glass casserole pan and spread vegetables across bottom of pan.
2. Pour beef gravy over mixed vegetables.
3. Drain diced tomatoes. Spoon tomatoes over vegetables.
4. Sprinkle croutons over vegetables.
5. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over vegetables.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 6-8.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2010

   
Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair
 
     “Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble,” chant the witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth. They where undoubtedly mixing up a potent potion, but it couldn't have had caraway seeds in it for caraway seeds were used as witch bane in olden times.
     German folklore tells of the practice of placing a bowl of caraway seeds under children's beds to protect them from witches. The seeds were also thought to have other powers such as protecting a home from theft or curing and preventing colds.
     Caraway seeds may be the earliest spice used by man, dating back to the stone age. Evidence of their use has been discovered in prehistoric communities in southern Europe suggesting daily use of caraway seeds as a staple of diet.
     Add the historic taste of caraway seed to your meal with Swiss on Rye Soup.
 
Swiss on Rye Soup
 
Ingredients:
1 large potato, cubed (2 cups)
1 /2 cup chopped onion
2 cans (14 oz.) chicken broth
1 bell pepper, finely diced
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 tsp caraway seed
1 tsp celery seed
1 /2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
 
1. Combine potatoes, onion, chicken broth, pepper, cabbage, caraway seed, celery seed, salt and black pepper in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
2. Serve in bowls and top with cheese. Approximately 6-8 servings.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2010

   
Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair
 
     Cleopatra attributed her beauty to them, Caesar’s legion thrived on them, and Christopher Columbus brought them along on his journey to a new world as a vital piece of equipment. As a matter of fact that new world was named by Amerigo Vespucci a merchant dealer for them.
     Weaving its flavorful thread through the dim mists of time, the pickle originated so for back in our history no one really knows when their story began. Pickling, preserving food with salt or acidic fluids such as vinegar, was used in most ancient cultures as a means of extending the life of perishable foods.
     In colonial America pickles were often the only juicy green vegetables available all year long. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally’s cellar.”

     Pickled Garden Relish
 
Ingredients:
1 medium yellow pepper
1 medium red pepper
1/2 lb fresh green beans
1 medium red onion
1/2 lb snap peas
1/4 lb alfalfa sprouts
2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tbsp celery seed
1 tbsp dried dill weed
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
 
1. Wash all vegetables. Dice peppers, squash, green beans, onion and snap peas and place in a large mixing bowl. Add alfalfa sprouts to the vegetable mixture and mix well.
2. Put the vegetable mixture into a one gallon glass jar.
3. In a large mixing bowl add apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, ground mustard, celery seed, dill weed, garlic and cayenne pepper and stir well. Add two cups of water and stir. Pour mixture over vegetables in the glass jar. Stir well. Put lid on jar and refrigerate overnight. Use a slotted spoon to serve.
4. Keep refrigerated and mixture will last for up to three weeks. Serve as a side dish, salad topping or on a sandwich. Approximately 24 half-cup servings.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2009

 

 

   

Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blai
r

 
     If you happen to be driving down West Road in La Habra Heights, near Los Angeles California, you will see a bronze plaque dedicated to the “Mother Tree.” This mother tree, a Hass avocado tree which passed away in September 2002 at the age of 76, did indeed give birth to the one billion-dollar United States avocado industry.
     The tree was cultivated in 1935 by Rudolph Hass, a mail carrier, and amateur horticulturist. After many years pursuing the perfect avocado, Hass finally achieved his goal in developing an avocado tree that produces larger fruit year round. He was awarded a US patent for the tree and every Hass avocado eaten today is a direct descendant of that one original mother tree.
     Be an original in your family and serve them a delicious avocado egg casserole.

Avocado Egg Casserole
 
Ingredients:
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1) 15 oz can mixed vegetables
10 eggs
1 /2 cup milk
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp diced chive rings
6 slices of Muenster cheese
3 Roma tomatoes
2 avocados
 
1. Coat the bottom and sides of a 13x9x2 casserole pan with canola oil. Cover the bottom of the pan with bread crumbs.
2. Drain the mixed vegetables and lay in bottom of the pan. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl add eggs, milk, celery seed, black pepper, salt and chive rings. Whisk until smooth and pour slowly over the vegetable and bread crumbs in the casserole pan.
4. Peel and slice avocados. Spread avocados evenly across top of mixture in the pan.
5. Lay the Muenster cheese slices in the casserole pan, covering the egg mixture.
6. Slice the tomatoes 1/4 inch thick and spread evenly across the cheese.
7. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for sixty minutes. Serves approx. 6-8.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2009

   

Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

 

     Apples, perhaps the first fruit trees cultivated by man, have become entwined with the folklore and history of man. Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.”
     According to Greek mythology an apple was responsible for the Trojan War. The goddess of discord, Eris, when excluded from the wedding of Peleus and Thetis mischievously tossed a golden apple inscribed “for the most beautiful one” into the wedding party. Three goddesses, Hear, Athena, and Aphrodite, claimed the apple. It was decided that Paris of Troy would choose the goddess to receive the apple. They all bribed Paris with different gifts, but Aphrodite tempted him with the promise to give him Helen of Sparta the most beautiful woman in the world. Helen had other ideas and war commenced.
     There won't be any discord at the dinner table when you serve them a bowl of Candy Apple Salad.

Candy Apple Salad
 
Ingredients:
 
2 Fuji apples
2 Granny Smith apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
2) 2 oz. pkg. nut topping
12 oz. container fat-free whipped topping
2 tbsp caramel syrup
1 /2 tsp cinnamon
 
1. Wash apples. Dice unpeeled apples. Place apples in large mixing bowl. Add lemon juice and toss apples.
2. Add nut topping and whipped topping. Mix well.
3. Add caramel syrup and cinnamon. Mix well.
4. Serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve
Serves eight.
      Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2009

 

 

   

Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

 
     Miss Muffet while displaying little interest in spiders, showed good taste in victuals. She was partaking one of the most popular cheeses in America, cottage cheese.
     Cottage cheese perhaps the simplest of all cheese dates back to the early Egyptians. The combination of ease of manufacture and storage made cottage cheese a staple of a culinary world lacking in refrigeration.
     In early America colonial women made this cheese in their farm cottages hence the name cottage cheese.
     Today we get our curds and whey in a carton at the grocery store, more than a billion pounds of it a year, but most of us still don't like spiders.
 
Cottage Cheese Soup
 
Ingredients:
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 /2 cup chopped green onion
1 1 /2 cups chopped green pepper
2 cups diced yellow squash
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced dried tomatoes
1) 24 oz container low fat small curd cottage cheese
1) 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 /2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
 
1. Saute green onion, green pepper and celery in olive oil until tender, about 6-7 minutes.
2. Add to mixture yellow squash and dried tomato. Lower heat and continue cooking for 15-18 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
3. Add cottage cheese, milk, black pepper, salt and stir. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then serve.
Serves approximately 10.
    Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
© Tom Blair 2009

   

Cooking with Tom
by Tom Blair

     One of the world’s most popular dishes was invented by the Incas using crushed tomatoes and chili peppers. In 1571, Spanish explorer Alonso de Molina, brought the recipe back to Spain along with the tomato plant. He called this delicious sauce salsa.
     Inca’s used their salsa as a condiment on turkey, venison or fish much as cultures around the world do today. You can use the recipe for "Fresh Tomato Salsa" to experience the flavors that captured the attention of world explorers.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:
3 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 cup finely diced green pepper
1 clove finely minced garlic
3 tbsp finely chopped jalapeZo
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup canned corn
4 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
Tortilla chips

1. Wash and dice all fresh vegetables. Wash and finely chop the cilantro.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.
3. Serve immediately. For fuller flavor, chill for 1 hour.

Serves approximately eight.

Tom Blair is an internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in publications throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
©
Tom Blair 2009

Fresh Fruit Salsa

Ingredients:

4 cups diced fresh peaches
2 cups diced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Tortilla chips

1. Wash fresh fruit. Dice peaches and strawberries. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, balsamic vinegar and stir well.
3. Add peaches and strawberries to juice mixture and stir well.
4. Serve immediately. For fuller flavor chill for one hour.

Serves approximately eight.

 

   


        

 

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