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COUNTRY COOKING

February 20, 2013

by Dorothy Bloemendaal
Italian Bread Wedges

3 teaspoons active dry yeast

l cup warm water, Divided

l teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour

Topping:

1/3 cup Italian salad dressing

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Dash pepper

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Add sugar, let stand for 5 minutes. Add the oil, salt, remaining water and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Pat dough flat. Let rest for 5 minutes. Press into a greased 14 inch pizza pan. Spread with salad dressing. Combine the garlic powder, oregano, thyme and pepper; sprinkle over dough. Top with cheeses. Bake at 450º for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 12 slices.

Pretzel Dessert

2 cups crushed pretzels

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter, melted

Whipped topping

l teaspoon vanilla extract

l (8 oz.) cream cheese, cubed

l cup confectioners’ sugar

l can cherry pie filling

Combine pretzels, sugar and butter; set a side 1/2 cup for topping. Press the remaining mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan.

In a mixing bowl, beat cheese and confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Spread half over crust. Top with pie filling and remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with reserved pretzel mixture. Refrigerate overnight. Yield:16 servings.



Low-Fat Chicken Noodle Soup

l tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

l/2 cup onion, chopped

2 cans chicken broth

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced

2 cups broccoli florets

1 1/2 cups uncooked medium egg noodles

l teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon garlic-pepper blend

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oil over medium heat in saucepan. Add chicken. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink in center. Stir in onion. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender. Stir in broth, water and carrots. Heat to boiling. Cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir in broccoli, noodles, basil and garlic-pepper blend. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables and noodles are tender. Top each serving with cheese. 6 servings.



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