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The Times
  • Food for Thought: Holiday cookies for a good cause

  • Weekly Food for Thought, with news on Cookies for Kids' Cancer, an easy recipe for Mediterranean Nachos, a turkey-cooking tip and a review of "The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook."

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  • Each cookie shared this November and December can mean supporting Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a non-profit that raises funds for pediatric cancer research through cookie sales. 
    Glad has teamed with businesswoman and mother Ivanka Trump and award-winning chef and head judge of Bravo's "Top Chef Just Desserts" Johnny Iuzzini to help spread the word. You can help in two ways:
     
    * Send a virtual cookie to a friend at www.Glad.com.
    * Host a Cookies for Kids' Cancer Bake Sale or Cookie Exchange. Register the event at www.cookiesforkidscancer.org and share how many cookies were sold or exchanged.
    Glad will donate up to $1 for each edible or virtual cookie exchanged, up to $100,000.
     
    Cookies for Kids' Cancer inspires individuals, communities and businesses to join in the fight against pediatric cancer. Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children in the United States, yet approximately half of the drugs used to treat children with cancer are at least 20 years old, according to the Institute of Medicine.
    Here is one of Iuzzini's original holiday cookie recipes for inspiration:
    Lime Shortbread
    Makes about 2 1/2 dozen 2-inch cookies
    2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
    2 finely grated zest limes
    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
    1 cup confectioner's sugar
    Put butter into standing mixer with the paddle and mix on medium-low until a thick paste forms with no visible lumps. Add lime zest, juice and salt, and mix until well combined.
    Meanwhile, sift flour and confectioner's sugar together. With mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients to butter mixture, stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary. Mix until just combined.
    Turn dough out onto large sheet of plastic wrap and press into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand for about 10 minutes.
    Lightly flour a sheet of parchment, unwrap dough, and set it on paper. Lightly flour top of dough and place another sheet of parchment over the top. Roll dough to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Use a 2-inch cutter to cut out cookies; transfer them to baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
    Re-roll dough as necessary to cut out cookies until dough is used up. Freeze cookies on pan for 10 minutes.
    Bake cookies, rotating pans halfway through, until light golden brown on the edges, about 15 minutes. Cool on pan for 10 minutes before transferring to rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
    Page 2 of 3 -  
    -- Glad/Family Features
    Easy recipe: Mediterranean Nachos
    Makes: 4 servings
    Time: 25 minutes
    4 cups pita chips
    2 tablespoons Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus
    2 tablespoons Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
    8 to 10 grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
    1/4 cup chopped zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
    2 tablespoons chopped Greek olives
    2 tablespoons chopped pepperoncini
    1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place pita chips in a 9- to 10-inch skillet or other oven-proof pan or baking dish. Top with small spoonfuls of hummus.
    Sprinkle tomatoes, zucchini, olive and pepperoncini over the chips. Top with shredded mozzarella.
    Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted and edges are beginning to brown.
    Serve warm.
    -- Sabra/Family Features
    Food Quiz
    What is an Americano?
    A. Coffee with powdered creamer
    B. Brewed coffee diluted with hot water
    C. Espresso diluted with hot water
    D. Coffee with two sugars
    Answer is at the bottom of the rail.
    Wise to the Word: Harissa
    Harissa is a spicy chili paste from North Africa and the Middle East that can be found in Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco, and is popular in France.
    Made with (often smoked) chili peppers, garlic, olive or caraway oil and coriander, it may also contain cumin, dried mint, verbena leaves, tomatoes or rose petals. The ingredients are pounded to a paste, which is left to develop its flavors for at least 12 hours.
    Harissa is used as a condiment for falafel and other dishes, as a meat rub and diluted in broth to add spice to couscous, stews and soups. Prepared harissa is available in jars, tubes and cans; homemade harissa can be covered with olive oil and kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
    -- CookThink.com
    Number to Know
    165: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises that poultry is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F. To check a turkey for safety, insert a food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. If the turkey is stuffed, the temperature of the stuffing should be 165 degrees F.
    The Dish On …
    "The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook" by Deb Perelman
    Deb Perelman loves to cook. She found herself overwhelmed by the number of recipes available to her, so she founded her award-winning blog, Smitten Kitchen, on the premise that cooking should be a pleasure.
    Page 3 of 3 - And now, with the same warmth, candor and can-do spirit her blog is known for, Deb presents her first cookbook: more than 100 recipes — almost entirely new, plus a few favorites from the site — all gorgeously illustrated with hundreds of her beautiful color photographs. "The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook" is all about approachable, uncompromised home cooking. -- Amazon.com
    Food Quiz Answer
    C. Espresso diluted with hot water. To take the edge off the strong flavor of espresso, some Americans prefer theirs with hot water added.
    -- Delish.com
    GateHouse News Service
     
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