Table For Two

I'm sure everyone is rushing around like little headless Cornish hens, trying to get holiday shopping, decorating, holiday concerts and holiday card-writing done. I am proud to say that I have done none of the above and I don't plan to.

Until next week or maybe even the week after that. (ha, ha...scared you)

I bought some handmade Christmas cards last year, that I never sent out, but I'm going to this year. I've 50 of them. And a roll of 100 stamps. I'm excited. Everyone on my "holiday shopping list" will do well if they get one of these handmade cards. You don't need me giving you any junk that will just lay about and gather dust. Or worse, be re-gifted at the next party you attend.

Speaking of "re-gifting" that brings me to today's recipes. They're from my November cooking class at Best Health. The class was aptly titled, Table For Two and featured recipes from a book co-authored by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, Cooking For Two. I bought the book , hoping to make cute, smaller portioned meals for myself.

The following recipes can be downloaded by clicking here. (just scroll to the no attention the the writing above it)

Linzer Cookies: Traditionally made with almond flour, I substituted oat flour, to mimic the texture and taste of almonds. Due to the success of my faux filbert gateau earlier this year, I knew this would work. The oats add fiber and less saturated fat than the almond flour would normally. By using Smart Balance buttery spread, powdered sugar, and sugar-free raspberry jam, these cookies are a lighter, flavor-filled facsimile of their traditional cousins.

Curry Carrot Cream Sauce: Originally made with heavy cream and freshly grated carrots, I substituted plain nonfat yogurt and pre-shredded bagged carrots. Because of the lack of moisture in bagged carrots, you will want to add 2/3 to 1 cup of water to your mixture to ensure the carrots cook in a timely fashion. This dish tastes great sprinkled with toasted caraway seeds and dotted with butter. The no-yolk egg noodles make this dish have a eastern European feel. Yum.

Fish & Potato Chowder: Usually chowders are classified as being full of creams, butters, and other fattening emulsifiers. Not this one! Thickened by the potatoes themselves and emulsified with Smart Balance buttery spread and nonfat milk, this soup hits the spot any cold winter's day. By ripping up the bay leaves and fresh thyme that are used in the recipe, more flavors are extracted during the short cooking time.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. That chowder looks so good! It is freezing here today - that would be just the thing.

  2. I too am intrigued by the chowder. Smart Balance is great, I also use that new Omega Country Crock. It has none of that Partially hydrogenated crap in it.

  3. Nice job on all the substitutions buddy :) I like all the extra fiber and flavors you have going on. Almonds are great, but oats work well too, especially with the allergy thing.

    Oh and the chowder, yup totally good on the snow freeze we have here :)

  4. Hi Nikki. I love the cookies and the chowder. I'm with you with all the holiday shopping. If a person feels compelled to gift someone, make something and make it a labor of love. Cookies, coffee, knit something, make a card, write a poem. It's all made with love.

  5. That chowder looks amazing. I could go for a bowl right now!

  6. All the dishes looks great - I'm loving these healthy recipes.

    I'm going a bit healthy myself - I've got a series going - Cooking My Way to Skinny - lol.

  7. Great tips for the substitutions.

    I love Linzer cookies. It makes me happy every time I see a recipe for them this season.

  8. I buy cards every year, and only send out the one for the MiL. I don't know why I bother. This year I can blame the canning, I guess.

  9. carrot cream sauce, eh? i'm very intrigued by this--it sounds unique and completely wonderful. the chowder's pretty easy on the eyes too. :)


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