Monday, April 20, 2009

Honey-Roasted Yams or Sweet Potatoes

I have listed the reasons why this dish is an excellent choice for you and your family, anytime of the year.

Honey-Roasted Yam or Sweet Potatoes

3 large sweet potatoes/yams (about 2 pounds) peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
2 Tab. Olive oil
2 Tab. Honey
1 Tea. fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tea. Salt to taste
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Place the potatoes in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish
Mix rest of ingredients and pour the mixture over the potatoes.
Toss to coat.
Bake about 1 hour until tender , stirring occasionally
Yams are a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is needed by the body to break down a substance called homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls. Individuals who suffer a heart attack despite having normal or even low cholesterol levels are often found to have high levels of homocysteine. Since high homocysteine levels are signficantly associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke, having a good supply of vitamin B6 on hand makes a great deal of sense. High intakes of vitamin B6 have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Yams are a good source of
potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure. Since many people not only do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, but also consume high amounts of sodium as salt is frequently added to processed foods, they may be deficient in potassium. Low intake of potassium-rich foods, especially when coupled with a high intake of sodium, can lead to hypertension. In the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study, one group ate servings of fruits and vegetables in place of snacks and sweets, and also ate low-fat dairy food. This diet delivered more potassium, magnesium and calcium. Another group ate a "usual" diet low in fruits and vegetables with a fat content like that found in the average American Diet. After eight weeks, the group that ate the enhanced diet lowered their blood pressure by an average of 5.5 points (systolic) over 3.0 points (diastolic). Dioscorin, a storage protein contained in yam, may also be of benefit to certain individuals with hypertension. Preliminary research suggests that dioscorin can inhibit angiotensin converting enzyme, which would therefore lead to increased kidney blood flow and reduced blood pressure.

Wonderful Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie

Wonderful Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie
Unbaked 9" pie *
2/3 cup sugar
3 tab. flour
1/4 teas. salt
3 eggs
2 teas. Mexican Vanilla (regular vanilla will work just fine too!!)
2 cups buttermilk (Knudsen's is preferable)
1/4 cup butter - melted
Heat oven to 425 degrees
Whisk together all ingredients
Pour into shell
Bake @ 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool then refrigerate- Tastes the best cold
It has a surprisingly cheese cake flavor without all the fat.
* Make your own or buy one from Whole Foods. Now I usually have made my own in the past, but you can get either a whole wheat or unbleached flour crust. Divinely delicious either way. It is so easy to make a last minute dessert and you can keep a few pie shells frozen for handy use. They come 2 to a package.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lemon Cheese Stars

Lemon Cheese Stars
2-3oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 egg, separated
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Prepare Basic Sweet Dough. (see below)
Grease 2 baking sheets.
On a lightly floured board, roll out dough to a 12" x 9" rectangle.
Cut rectangle into 12 -3 inch squares. Cut squares diagonally from each corner to about 1/2 inch from center.
Place squares on the greased baking sheets about 1 inch apart.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel with electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto center of each square.
Bring every other corner to the center of the square: pinch points securely in center to seal.
Repeat with remaining squares.
Cover and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes or until double in bulk.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, beat egg white with a fork. Brush stars with egg white. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets. Cool on rack . Makes 12 stars

Basic Sweet Dough
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons water
2-3/4 to 3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 egg

Grease a large bowl: set aside.
In a medium saucepan, mix milk, butter and water.
Heat only until warm. the butter does not need to melt.
In a large bowl, mix 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
Add warm milk mixture.
Beat with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
Add egg and 1/2 cup flour.
Beat with electric mixer on high 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough.
On a lightly floured board, knead dough 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Place in the greased bowl, turning once to grease top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until double in bulk.
To test if dough is ready to punch down, press your finger in the center. If the hole made remains and an air bubble forms to the side, it is ready.
Punch down: turn out onto a lightly floured board.
Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Makes enough dough for 1 recipe.

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