Spinach & Brie Chicken with Tomato Orzo


Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 thin chicken cutlets - 1 1/2 pounds total
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 package - 10 oz. frozen leaf spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
4 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 8 slices
1 cup orzo
2 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Set a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Place chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Dividing evenly, spread one side of each cutlet with mustard; top with spinach, then cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Starting at short end, roll chicken up tightly, and arrange, seam side down, on sheet.

Season rolled chicken with salt and pepper. Broil, without turning, until tops are lightly browned and chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook orzo in boiling water until al dente. Drain well; return to pot. Add tomatoes, parsley, butter, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve stuffed chicken with orzo.

Pork Chops with Apple-Raisin Relish


2 tart green apples - 3/4 pound - peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons raisins or dried currants
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger pinch of cayenne pepper
4 pork loin chops, each about 1/2 inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


In a medium saucepan, combine the apples, sugar, raisins, vinegar, ginger, and cayenne over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, until apples are soft, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pork Chops
Season chops with salt and pepper
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat
Add the pork chops, and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side
Serve with apple-raisin relish

Banana Cupcakes


Makes 12

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas)
1 whole banana, for garnish
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla.

Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix).

Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

Spread tops with Honey - Cinnamon Frosting

Just before serving, peel and slice banana into rounds, and place one on each cupcake

Honey - Cinnamon Frosting


1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat confectioners' sugar, unsalted butter, honey, and ground cinnamon until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes

Mini Turkey Burgers


Serves 4

2 slices white sandwich bread, (about 1 ounce each)
1 pound (93 percent lean) ground turkey
2 ounces cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 small onion, coarsely grated
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
12 party-size rolls
Lettuce, sliced tomatoes, ketchup, and mustard, for serving (optional)


In a food processor, pulse bread until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a medium bowl; add turkey, cheese, and onion. Season with salt and pepper, and mix gently just until combined. Form twelve 2-inch patties (about 3 tablespoons each).

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook patties until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Serve on rolls with lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, and mustard, if desired.

Chocolate Cake


Makes 4

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, for molds
Cocoa powder, for molds
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Confectioners' sugar, for serving


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Butter four 4-ounce ramekins and lightly dust the inside of each ramekin with cocoa powder, tilting to coat; tap out any excess and set aside.

Heat butter and chocolate in heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water until chocolate is almost completely melted.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until light and thick.

Slowly add butter mixture to mixer; add flour and mix until well combined. Divide batter between prepared ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake until sides are set and center is soft, 7 to 10 minutes.

Invert each mold onto a plate and let stand for about 10 seconds. Gently tap the tops of molds and carefully lift to remove. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, if desired; serve immediately.

Chicken and Biscuits


Serves 4

1/3 cup whole-wheat flour, spooned and leveled
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 large egg white
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
1 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk
5 carrots, thinly sliced
5 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 box (10 ounces) frozen pearl onions, thawed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together whole-wheat flour, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg white, 3 tablespoons oil, and 1/4 cup milk; add to flour mixture, and stir until moistened. Drop four 1/4-cup scoops of dough onto a baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Bake until golden, 12 to 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a 5-quart Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, and onions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, 7 to 10 minutes.

Sprinkle vegetables with remaining 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour; stir in remaining 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, and thyme.

Simmer until liquid is thickened, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken; simmer until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve chicken stew with biscuits.

Mini Eclairs with Strawberries & Cream

These airy eclairs are simple to make, thanks to choux (cream-puff) pastry, which can be mixed, piped, and frozen ahead and baked on the day of the dinner. The ethereal whipped cream inside is infused with fresh vanilla bean. Macerating the strawberries with mint and a bit of sugar heightens the berries' sunny flavor. Artful pastry paper cradles each eclair for a decorative touch.


1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
Vanilla Ice Cream
Macerated Berries
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Bring milk, water, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and stir in flour. Return to heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, about 4 minutes.

Transfer to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed to cool slightly, about 1 minute. With machine running, add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip.

Pipe twenty 2 1/2-inch-long eclairs onto each sheet.

Bake until eclairs rise and are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Split eclairs in half lengthwise using a serrated knife.

Pipe vanilla cream onto eclair bottoms.

Spoon macerated berries on top of cream, and sandwich with eclair tops.

Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Serve immediately.

Bake the mini eclairs the day you plan on serving them.