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Slice of Life

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    In anticipation of this year's turkey day I decided everyone needed some new side-dish recipes.
  • It's not French, but it is tasty
    So many of the foods we eat have names that, surprise, have nothing to do with the country tied to their name.
  • Go slow and easy on short ribs
    I have really cut down on my red meat consumption. However, every now and then the need for beef overcomes my self-discipline and I give in to my craving and head right for the ribs.

No sweat to fill meal emergencies

Every now and then I get a call from a friend with a time-sensitive food emergency.

Not an OMG, I dropped the cake on the floor kind of emergency but rather my kid invited six friends over to dinner in two hours and I have nothing in the house to serve and no time to go to the grocery, or I need a dessert for a bake sale in an hour, or I need to take a salad to a condolence call tonight.

The following recipes are ones that I have and you can whip up in less than an hour and for the most part, you should have the ingredients on hand. The only ingredient that you probably don’t have on hand is jicama. In the event you want to make the salad and don’t have jicama or don’t like jicama, you can use fresh pears.

Lemon Crumb Bars

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup oats

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and brown sugar; mix until combined. In a bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and oats. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix to combine. Press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8-by-11-inch pan.

In a bowl combine the condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon zest. Spread the lemon mixture onto the crumb mixture in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top of the lemon mixture but don’t press it into the mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 25 to 30 minutes. Cut into 16 pieces and let cool for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar and serve. Can be refrigerated or frozen. Makes 12 to 16 depending on the size of the piece.

Pine Nut and Chicken

2/3 cup raisins

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)

Kosher salt

Black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried if you don’t have fresh)

1 tablespoon paprika

1 pound bow tie pasta, cooked, drained

3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (you can use pecans if you prefer)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the raisins in a bowl and cover them with hot water. Set them aside. Drizzle the olive oil into a roasting pan. Place the chicken, skin side up, in the pan and season with salt, pepper, rosemary and paprika. Roast 30 to 35 minutes until the skin is golden. Remove the chicken to a platter to cool; set the pan aside but don’t clean it.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and cut it into bite-size pieces and place it back in the roasting pan. Drain the raisins and add them to the chicken in the pan. Add the cooked pasta and pine nuts and mix to combine. Place the pan back in the oven for 5 minutes until the mixture is warm.

Remove from the heat and season with the lemon juice and plenty of pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately Serves 6 to 8.

Chocolate Pecan Biscotti

2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 egg white

1 cup pecan, chopped

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.

In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add 2 eggs, and mix to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the pecans and chocolate and mix in by hand. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and lightly sprinkle flour on the top. Gently pat the dough into a rectangle (use a little more flour if it’s too sticky). Cut the rectangle in half, lengthwise and place them on the cookie sheets. Flatten the loaf slightly. Brush the top of the loaf with the egg white then sprinkle the top of the loaf with the sugar. Bake 12 minutes then flip the cookie sheet back to front. Bake an additional 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes. Cut the loafs into one 1/2 inch pieces. Reduce the oven to 300 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Makes 20 to 24 pieces.

Orange and Jicama Salad

1 pound jicama, peeled and julienned

1 lime

Zest of 1 lime

2 medium oranges cut into segments

Zest of 1 orange

1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 avocados, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

1 medium jalapeño finely chopped

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Place the jicama in a bowl with the lime juice, lime zest and orange zest. Toss to coat. Add the orange segments, bell peppers, avocados, cilantro or parsley and jalapeno. Mix to combine. Season with salt and black pepper, and more lime juice if you feel it needs it. Serves 8.

Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.