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.
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• Fax: 423-668-5092.
Good morning, June readers. We have one new request and some repeat requests from an April assortment. Brainerd Anonymous wants some guidance about purchasing sea salt. Readers continue to watch for vegetable curries, baked goods made with almond paste and sweet egg-y yeast breads.
The sea salt request comes from B.A.'s reading that "iodized salt is not good for you, but sea salt is actually good for you. That is what I read, is it so? If so, what should I buy? Are there special sea salts and where may they be bought in Chattanooga?"
Anne Ramsey had the best description of the well-recommended Symphony Brownie recipe: "It is easy but doesn't taste easy."
Her simple instructions follow: "All you do is take two large boxes of brownie mix, prepare one box, put in a 9-by-13-inch pan, place three Symphony bars side by side on the 9-inch side, prepare the other box, pour over, and bake as directed."
For those of you who like more specific instructions, Camille of Hixson offered a formal recipe. "They are super easy, and everyone loves them," she writes. "I have always used the Symphony bars, but I imagine one could use any favorite chocolate caramel candy bar for a more pronounced caramel flavor."
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 (17.6-ounce) package brownie mix with walnuts
3 (6-ounce) candy bars with almonds and toffee chips (recommended: Symphony brand)
Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.
Line a 9-by-13-inch cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. Prepare brownie mix. Spoon in half of the brownie batter and smooth with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Place the candy bars side by side on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter.
Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely, then lift from the pan using the edges of the foil. This makes it easy to cut the brownies into squares.
Lena Calhoun has her own version of a brownie enriched with a candy bar, but for her it is one from Lindt, the Intense Orange Dark Chocolate. She reported that she has tried others such as raspberry and sea salt, but the one that follows is her favorite.
Dark Chocolate Orange Brownies
1 box Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
10 drops orange extract
1 bar (131/2-ounce) Lindt Intense Orange Dark chocolate
Mix up brownies as directed on box. Add orange extract and stir. Put half of the mix in pan, then break up orange chocolate bar and lay evenly onto mix in pan. Cover with remaining mix. Bake as directed. The orange is a nice complement to the rich chocolate.
And Ginny Gaines continues the discussion of poppy seed dressing and frozen fruit salad with variations on the aforeprinted themes.
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
2/3 cup light olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
11/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional, or to taste)
Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Serve at room temperature.
Grandmother's Frozen Fruit Salad
1 (8-ounce) package softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream
1 cup seedless grapes (may be omitted)
1 pint blueberries
2 cups chopped peaches
1 cup chopped strawberries
Whole fresh strawberries (garnish)
Wash and drain all fruit. Place paper liners in muffin tins. In large bowl of mixer beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, salt and sour cream. Stir in grapes, blueberries, peaches and strawberries. Pour mixture into 16 muffin tins or a 9-by-13-inch pan. Freeze. To serve, unmold on a piece of leafy or romaine lettuce. Garnish with a teaspoon of mayonnaise and a whole fresh strawberry. Yield 16 servings.
-- "Miss Daisy Celebrates Tennessee"
Just a Dash ...
Today's wise words come from a busy mama, Becky Daniels.
"I do a great deal of freezer cooking for my little family. First, when I need shredded chicken for casseroles or salads, I roast the chicken with the bones and let them cool completely. Then I remove the meat in big pieces from the bones and put them in my Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Run it for less than a minute and you have perfectly shredded chicken.
"Often, when bone-in chicken breasts are on sale I will buy a great deal of chicken and fix it like this. Then I will freeze it in portions necessary for the different uses I have for it. That way, I don't have to decide right then what I want it for. I could use it or casseroles, salads, fajitas, soups ... really anything that calls for chicken. And I always have my chicken at the best possible price.
"I also do ground beef this way. I brown up a ton of it at once and freeze it into family-meal-size portions. I can put chili in a crockpot in just a couple of minutes, or add it to my spaghetti sauce, or use it for taco night. I have it ready for whatever I need it for right out of the freezer. And to drain the fat off of the ground beef I have browned, I put a big mixing bowl in my sink, line it with a plastic grocery sack, then put my colander on top of that. That way, all I have to do is tie up that sack and throw it away (just be sure that the sack doesn't have any holes in it)."
We hope to get a steady stream summertime shortcuts from more of you for Just a Dash. What ideas and hints and easy menus and how-to's are making your kitchen life tastier and easier?
We treasure your weekly company and will watch for you next week.