Northwest NEWS

August 19, 2002

Home & Garden

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Dining In: Simple Made Sensational

Cracker Focaccia
   1/2 c. olive oil
   2 tsp. grated Parmesan & Romano
   1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
   1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
   1 Tbsp. tomato sauce
   Crackers of your choice
   1 c. shredded mozzarella
   Mix all ingredients except shredded mozzarella and crackers in bowl. Arrange Bremner Wafers on cookie sheet. Lightly brush mixture over crackers, stirring mixture in between coating each cracker. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top of coated crackers. Broil about 6 inches from broiler for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.
   Helpful hints: Serve Cracker Focaccia on its own as an appetizer, alongside salads or as an accompaniment to an entrˇe.
  
   Oriental Salad
   1 small head romaine lettuce (about 6 cups, thinly sliced to 1/4-inch thick)
   2 c. thinly sliced (about 1/8-inch thick) cabbage (red, green or both)
   6 scallions, thinly sliced
   1/2 c. roasted peanuts
   Sesame crackers
   Add-Ins (use any or all):
   1 can (6 ounces) medium shrimp (or fresh-grilled shrimp)
   6 ounces snow peas, thinly sliced
   1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
   1/4 c. toasted sesame seeds
   1 can (3 ounces) mandarin oranges
   Ginger Sesame Dressing
   1/2 c. vegetable oil
   1/4 c. rice vinegar
   2 Tbsp. sesame oil
   1 1/2 Tbsp. peeled, minced, fresh ginger root
   2 tsp. soy sauce
   Salt and pepper to taste
   Combine dressing ingredients; chill. Toss salad ingredients. Drizzle salad with Ginger Sesame Dressing. Serve on individual plates. Top each salad with approximately three crushed crackers. Serve crackers on the side. Makes about 6 individual salads.
   Helpful hints: Display the add-in items on a table and let your guests mix and match.
  
   Smoked Salmon Canapˇ
   Crackers of your choice
   4 ounces cream cheese, softened
   24 slices smoked salmon
   Dill, for garnish
   Capers, for garnish
   Chopped red onion, for garnish
   2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced (optional)
   1/4 c. sweet honey mustard (optional)
   Spread crackers with cream cheese. Place slice of salmon on each cracker. Garnish with dill, capers and chopped red onion.
   Helpful hints: Present crackers as a canapˇ or tuck them around a crock of cream cheese. Then arrange smoked salmon and cucumber on a plate with a jar of honey mustard and let guests help themselves.
  
   Peanut Butter & Chocolate Finger Sandwiches
   8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
   Peanut butter
   Small crackers
   1/2 c. chopped nuts
   Heat chocolate chips in microwave on medium, stirring every 30 seconds until chocolate is melted.
   Spread peanut butter between two Vinta to make a sandwich. Dip one end of sandwich into melted chocolate and then into chopped nuts.
   Recipes courtesy of Family Features.
   Helpful hints: Dip sandwiches into chopped pistachios for an interesting look and taste. Use Breton Minis to make little peanut butter disks. Dip half way into chocolate. Or instead of dipping peanut butter sandwiches into melted chocolate, lay sandwiches flat on wax paper and drizzle melted chocolate back and forth across top.
  
   Margarita Parfait
   20 crackers
   2 Tbsp. sugar
   1/2 stick butter, melted
   2 containers (8 ounces each) lime-flavored yogurt
   1 Tbsp. triple sec
   1 Tbsp. tequila
   1 tsp. lime zest
   8 ounces dessert topping
   Add crackers and sugar to food processor. While running, add melted butter until you have fine cracker crumbs; reserve. Mix yogurt with triple sec, tequila and lime zest. Fold yogurt mixture into dessert topping until well incorporated. In a parfait glass, add a spoonful of yogurt filling then top with a thick layer of reserved cracker crumbs. Repeat until glass is full. Sprinkle a pinch of lime zest on top. Garnish with a slice of lime. For fun, serve in a margarita glass with a salted rim.
   Helpful hints: Try substituting your favorite flavored yogurt for the lime flavor and decorate with complementary fruit. For an extra-special parfait, mix one flavored yogurt with half of the dessert topping and a different flavor with the remaining half. Alternate flavors with crumbs in between. To decorate with candied lemon or lime, slice the peel of the fruit into thin strips, dunk the strips into boiling water and then roll in sugar. Let dry.
   Recipes provided by Famly Features.