published Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Fare Exchange: Preparing a chocolate-chip cake and a hearty winter stew

Jane Henegar
TO REACH US

Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

E-mail: janehenegar@gmail.com

Fax: 423-668-5092

Good morning, most welcome readers. Today we inch out of the dumpling department and fall headfirst into the cookie category. The needed cookies are Jell-O cookies and peanut butter cookies from Hamilton County Schools.

But then there are more challenges: a 6-quart slow cooker one-pot meal request for cooking pork tenderloin, and also any other cuts of pork, with vegetables. Finally, a daughter's loving request for post-surgery healthful meals for her mother.

L. Morgan wants the local version of "peanut butter cookies and two kinds of Jell-O cookies from the Chattanooga City/Hamilton County Schools recipe cookbook. I have tried and cannot find recipes that taste like those cookies."

Our second correspondent, G.C., has found herself living outside the United States. Her husband ordered a large slow cooker and she surveyed her freezer where there were several pork tenderloins. "I would like a recipe to use pork tenderloin in a crockpot but if it is better to use other cuts of pork I would like those recipes, too."

Finally, Lou LaNeve wants to prepare simple meals to put in the freezer for her mother after she returns from the hospital from a serious surgery. "I would like some easy quinoa recipes and also perhaps some salads made with canned vegetables and oil and vinegar, not with lettuce. I am thinking of bean salads and the like that would keep well for several weeks, as my mother lives alone."


Theresa Lisa has a 100-cookbook library. Looking for help for the rest of us is a joy for her, most recently in the discovery of chocolate chip coffee cake and cowboy cookies.

She wrote that "the two I found for coffee cake don't have the name coffee cake attached to them, but the ingredients sound like they fit the request. Both recipes come from 'Special Recipes for Special People.' "

Chocolate Chip Date Cake

1 cup dates

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup hot water

3/4 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups flour

Topping

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup nuts

Mix together dates, baking soda and hot water in a saucepan and cook until the dates are tender. Remove from heat and cool.

Cream butter and sugar together and add eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt. Mix well and add flour and mix. Lastly, add the cooled date mixture and blend well.

Pour into a greased and floured 9-by-13-inch pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts on top of the batter and bake at 350 degrees until cake is done.

Ms. Lisa's recipe did not specify the cooking time, so watch carefully, beginning after 25 minutes. You will note that the recipe below contains the same amount of flour and the cooking time is given at 40 minutes.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

1 3/4 cups boiling water

1 cup uncooked oatmeal

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking cocoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (12-ounce) package chocolate chips

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, pour boiling water over oatmeal. Allow to stand 10 minutes. Soften butter or margarine and add sugar and brown sugar, stirring until the butter is melted and well mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Sift flour, soda, cocoa and salt together. Add to batter. Mix well. Stir in half the chocolate chips. Pour into a greased and floured 9-by-13-inch pan.

Sprinkle the top of the cake with the other half of the chocolate chips.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 40 minutes.

And finally from Ms. Lisa today, a Cowboy Cookie.

Cowboy Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups quick oatmeal

1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup nuts

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and oatmeal. Blend well, then stir into creamed mixture. Add chocolate chips and nuts.

Spread in a 13-by-20-inch jellyroll pan in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not overbake.


Marguerite McCammon found this recipe for a stew using winter vegetables. She omitted the caraway seeds and suggests you do the same.

Winter Vegetables Stew

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup (1/2-inch slices) leek

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed (optional)

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

3 2/3 cups chicken or vegetables stock, divided

2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash

1 cup (1/2-inch) sliced carrots

3/4 cup (1-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold potato

1 tablespoon harissa, optional (a fiery Moroccan paste found in Middle Eastern markets)

1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound turnips, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges (about 2 medium)

1 (151/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1 1/3 cups uncooked couscous

8 lemon wedges

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek; sauté 5 minutes. Add coriander and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 3 cups stock and the next 8 ingredients (through chickpeas); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and honey.

Remove 2/3 cup hot cooking liquid from squash mixture. Place cooking liquid and remaining 2/3 cup stock in a medium bowl. Stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

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