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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Past Holiday Cookbook Recipe Winning Entries

     Every year my local paper, the Hastings Tribune, runs a recipe contest for their Holiday "All Seasons" Cookbook. It has several categories. Each category has a winner. I've won four times. My past winning entries are:

2004 Chocolate Ribbon Cookies
2006 Chicken Monterey
2008 Stromboli
2009 Breast of Chicken in Light Lemon-Herb Sauce

     As I saved them on the computer, it's pretty easy for me to copy and paste copies of the winning recipes below. It would take alot of looking for me to figure out where I originally found the recipes from, so forgive me for not listing their source. The only one I'm sure of is that I got Chocolate Ribbon Cookies from (Better Homes & Garden Recipe Center).
     Every time I won, I had to cook/bake my winning entry and bring it, camera ready, to the newspaper office. It was then photographed for the color insert of the cookbook showing the winning recipes. I not only had to make the food and bring it in, but I also had to bring everything with it. I had to come up with how to display and show off my food, to include tablecloth, display items, plate, etc. All they gave you was a wraparound white table and backdrop and lighting. Each time was different trying to come up with a way to nicely display the food so it would photograph well. After the food was photographed, it was left with the staff (who reimburse you for the ingredients) to eat. I scanned the photos out of each years winning printed newspaper holiday cookbook and added them below.

Chocolate Ribbon Cookies

½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
½ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg
2 TBsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, melted and cooled
½ cup finely chopped nuts
½ cup miniature semisweet pieces
¼ tsp rum flavoring

In a mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda and salt; beat until combined. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with mixer. Stir in remaining flour.

Divide dough in half. Knead the melted chocolate and nuts into half of the dough. Knead the miniature chocolate pieces and rum flavoring into the other half of the dough. Divide each portion of dough in half.

To shape dough, line the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan with waxed paper or clear plastic wrap. Press half of the chocolate dough evenly in pan. Top with half of the vanilla dough, the remaining chocolate dough, and the remaining vanilla dough, pressing each layer firmly and evenly over the preceding layer. Invert pan to remove dough. Peel off waxed paper or plastic wrap. Cut dough crosswise into thirds. Slice each third crosswise into ¼ inch thick slices. Place cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake cookies in a 375 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool. Makes about 54 cookies.

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare and shape dough; transfer to plastic freezer bags; seal, label, and freeze up to 1 month. Let dough thaw at room temperature for 2 hours; slice and bake as above. Or bake cookies; cool. Transfer to freezer container; seal, label, and freeze up to 1 month.

Nutritional facts per serving: Calories 100, total fat 6g, carbohydrate 10g


Chicken Monterey

1 boneless skinless chicken breast half1 boneless skinless chicken breast half
dash of salt and pepper
½ tsp chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp dried tarragon
1 ounce Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (cut into a 2 ½ x ½ inch stick)
2 TBsp all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
2 TBsp seasoned or plain dry bread crumbs
1 TBsp butter or margarine
1 TBsp cooking oil

Pound chicken to ¼ inch thickness. Season the inside with salt, pepper, parsley and tarragon. Place cheese in the center and fold chicken around it. Roll in flour; dip into egg, then roll in crumbs. Place chicken, seam side down, on a plate; refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a skillet, sauté chicken in butter and oil until golden. Place in a small shallow baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until juices run clear.

Yield: 1 serving


1 pound pizza dough
4 oz thinly sliced deli salami
4 oz thinly sliced deli capocollo (ham)
4 oz thinly sliced deli provolone cheese
½ cup (12oz jar) jarred roasted red bell peppers, rinsed, patted dry, and sliced thin
½ cup (1 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
1 large egg, beaten with 2 TBsp water
1 tsp sesame seeds
coarse sea salt or kosher salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Press and roll the dough into a 12 by 10 inch rectangle, with the long side facing you. Lay the meat and provolone over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border at all of the edges. Top with the peppers and Parmesan. Brush the edges of the dough with some of the egg wash. Starting from a long side, roll the dough tightly into a long cylinder, then pinch the seam and ends to seal. Transfer the stromboli to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Brush with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and coarse salt (if using). Cover loosely with lightly greased aluminum foil and continue to bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the crust is golden, about 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer the stromboli to a wire rack and let cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, slice into 2 inch wide pieces, and serve hot or warm.

Breast of Chicken in a Light Lemon-Herb Sauce

6 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves (about 5 oz each)
½ cup fine, dry bread crumbs
¼ cup extra-virgin olive-oil
3 TBsp chopped fresh parsley
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken stock or chicken broth
¼ cup fresh lemon-juice
1 tsp crushed hot red pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled

Cut each chicken-breast half in half crosswise on a diagonal, to yield two pieces of roughly equal size. Place two pieces at a time between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound gently with the flat side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a small, heavy saucepan to flatten them slightly, to about ½ inch thick. Toss the bread crumbs, 1 TBsp of the olive oil, 1 TBsp of the chopped parsley, ½ tsp of the oregano, and salt to taste together in a bowl until blended. Spread 1 tsp of bread crumb mixture over each piece of chicken, reserving the remaining crumbs. Roll each chicken piece into a compact shape with the bread crumbs running in a spiral through the center and fasten securely with a toothpick. Preheat the oven to 475º F. Arrange the filled chicken breasts side by side in a 13 x 9 inch, preferably flameproof baking dish. (There should be some space between the pieces of chicken.) Stir the wine, stock, lemon juice, hot pepper, the remaining 3 TBsp olive oil, the remaining tsp of oregano, and salt to taste together in a small bowl. Pour into the baking dish. Whack the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife and scatter them among the chicken pieces. Bake 10 minutes. Top the chicken with the remaining bread-crumb mixture. Return to the oven and bake until the bread-crumb topping is golden brown, about 5 minutes. If the roasting pan is flameproof, place it directly over medium-high heat, add the remaining 2 TBsp parsley and bring the pan juices to a boil. Boil until lightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. (If the roasting pan is not flameproof, transfer the chicken rolls to a warm platter and pour the juices into a skillet before bringing them to a boil.) Remove the garlic cloves, or leave them in if you like. Gently transfer the chicken pieces to plates with a slotted spoon. Pull the toothpicks from the chicken without loosening the bread-crumb topping. Pour the sauce around, not over, the chicken pieces, and serve immediately.


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