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Souped Up for Winter

DEAR SOS: Far better than the lentil soup at the Daily Grill on Fridays is Tuesday’s special mushroom barley soup. Can I get the recipe?

--SANDY

DEAR SANDY: The Daily Grill always comes through. This rib-sticking soup should keep you warm on a wintry night.

DAILY GRILL MUSHROOM BARLEY SOUP

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1 pound dried baby lima beans

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup diced onions

1/4 pound top round beef, diced

2 bay leaves

10 cups beef broth

1 cup barley

5 beef bouillon cubes

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1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

2 cups sliced mushrooms

Salt

Soak lima beans in refrigerator with water to cover 24 hours. Drain.

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Melt butter in saucepan and add onions, beef and bay leaves. Saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Add lima beans, broth, barley, bouillon cubes and pepper. Bring to boil, then cook, covered, over medium-low heat about 1 1/2 hours. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes longer. Add mushrooms and cook 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

6 servings. Each serving:

346 calories; 3557 mg sodium; 18 mg cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 49 grams carbohydrates; 20 grams protein; 3.29 grams fiber.

The Family Pie

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DEAR SOS: I promised to give my daughter the peanut butter pie recipe from La Quinta Hotel near Palm Springs, but I seem to have lost the recipe. Would you please reprint it for Sally and me?

--CAROL

DEAR CAROL: With pleasure. The recipe has stuck around for ages, and it’s still a favorite of our readers. Now Sally can join the club.

LA QUINTA HOTEL PEANUT BUTTER PIE

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1 (4 3/4-ounce) package vanilla pudding and pie filling mix

6 or 7 teaspoons peanut butter

1 cup whipping cream

1 (9-inch) baked pastry shell or graham cracker pie crust

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1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup chopped peanuts, optional

Prepare pudding mix according to package directions, adding peanut butter. Beat until thoroughly blended. Cool.

Whip 1/2 cup whipping cream and fold into pudding-peanut butter mixture. Turn into baked pie shell and chill until set.

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Beat remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream with sugar. Top pie with sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle with peanuts if desired.

8 servings. Each serving without whipped cream topping or peanuts:

385 calories; 187 mg sodium; 41 mg cholesterol; 26 grams fat; 35 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.16 gram fiber.

Barkless Bites

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DEAR SOS: I haven’t made hush puppies for a long time, and I’ve lost the recipe. Would you please reprint your recipe?

--ED

DEAR ED: I love the story “The American Heritage Cookbook” (Simon & Schuster, 1964) tells: “According to one old Southern legend, the hounds that went along on hunting expeditions were a hungry lot and would start yelping as soon as they caught the smell of fish frying for their masters’ dinner. To quiet the hounds, the hunters dropped bits of cornmeal batter into the fish pan and then tossed the tidbits to the dogs with a gentle rebuke, ‘Hush, puppy!’ ”

HUSH PUPPIES

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2 cups white cornmeal

1/4 cup flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

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1/4 teaspoon pepper, optional

Milk

1 large onion, minced

Oil or shortening

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Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in bowl. Add 1 cup milk and mix well. Stir in onion. If too thin, stir in more cornmeal. If too thick, stir in little more milk.

Heat 1 inch oil in skillet. Drop batter into oil by tablespoons. Cook until brown on one side and puffed; turn and brown other side. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

4 to 6 servings. Each of 6 servings:

224 calories; 626 mg sodium; 3 mg cholesterol; 3 grams fat; 43 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.41 gram fiber.

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Christmas Cassata

DEAR SOS: My mother served cassata every Christmas, but in 1994, her home burned and she lost this beloved recipe. I would love to give her the cassata and the recipe as a surprise. Can you help?

--DEBBIE

DEAR DEBBIE: How’s this? Any candied or preserved fruit, such as apricots, may be used in lieu of mixed candied fruit.

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CASSATA ALLA SICILIANA

CAKE

1 loaf pound cake or 1 (10-inch) sponge cake

6 tablespoons rum

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1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup grated semisweet chocolate

1/4 cup chopped candied cherries or mixed fruit

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1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds

WHITE ICING

1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

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1 egg white

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Although many recipes, such as this one for White Icing, call for uncooked eggs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that diners--especially children, seniors and those with compromised immune systems--avoid eating raw eggs.

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CAKE

Slice cake into 4 layers and sprinkle each with 1 1/2 tablespoons rum. Set aside.

Beat ricotta with electric mixer or blend in food processor until almost smooth. Slowly add sugar and beat until dissolved. Divide mixture into equal portions in 3 bowls. Stir chocolate into first portion, candied cherries into second and cinnamon and almonds into third.

Spread chocolate mixture on first layer of cake. Top with 2nd layer and spread with cherry mixture. Add third layer and spread with almond filling. Top with fourth cake layer.

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WHITE ICING

Gradually mix 1 cup sugar into egg white. Beat until smooth. Stir in almond and vanilla extracts and enough additional sugar to make frosting thick and spreadable.

Frost top and sides of cake. Refrigerate until serving time.

8 to 10 servings. Each of 10 servings:

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499 calories; 217 mg sodium; 120 mg cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 56 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams protein; 0.72 gram fiber.


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