DEAR SOS: While vacationing in Flagstaff, Ariz., we had breakfast at Macy's European Coffee House and Bakery. They had non-dairy peach muffins that were out of this world. Please see if you can get the recipe for this wonderful low-cholesterol treat.
DEAR DEBBIE: We thought the peach muffins made without dairy products were quite good. Using oil instead of butter makes the muffins cholesterol-free. The wheat bran and flour plus oats give the muffins a nutritional boost too.
MACY'S NON-DAIRY PEACH MUFFINS
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup toasted wheat bran
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup chopped nuts or seeds (walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds)
3 tablespoon safflower oil
2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 cups diced peaches (fresh, frozen or canned, drained)
1/2 cup apple juice
Combine flour, bran, oats, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder and nuts in mixing bowl. Combine oil, honey, egg, peaches and apple juice in another bowl. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold egg mixture into dry ingredients. Do not overmix. Batter should be wet and sticky, but should hold its form when mounded in muffin tin.
Spoon into muffin cups, using ice cream scoop as measure, so batter is mounded to about 1/2-inch above top of muffin tin. Bake at 325 degrees 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving. Makes about 14 muffins.
DEAR SOS: I would love a recipe for albondigas soup for a chilly day.
DEAR ANGIE: We love the Mexican soup chock-full of meatballs and vegetables on a chilly day or anytime. It's lovely served with warm flour or corn tortillas and whipped butter.
SOPA DE ALBONDIGAS (Mexican Meatball Soup)
1 cup fresh bread cubes
1/4 cup milk
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound chorizo or Mexican sausage, casings removed
1 cup diced celery
1/3 to 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 large onion, minced
1/2 cup sliced, peeled carrots
2 cups cubed zucchini
2 (10-ounce) cans beef bouillon
1 (1-pound, 12-ounce) can tomatoes
Combine bread cubes and milk. Add softened bread to ground beef, chorizo, egg and 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt. Chill about 30 minutes.
Combine celery, cilantro, onion, carrots, zucchini, bouillon and tomatoes in large saucepan. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Shape meat mixture into 16 or more meatballs. Add to soup. Cover and simmer 45 minutes or until meat is cooked. Correct seasoning with seasoned salt. Makes about 8 servings.
DEAR SOS: Can you come up with a recipe for Italian biscotti? It's a not very sweet cookie covered with sesame seeds like the ones I had in Rome.
Dear Bernard: The biscotti we know are studded with slivered almonds and toasted. Still interested?
BISCOTTI (Italian Toasted Biscuits)
1/3 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground anise seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups slivered blanched almonds
Cream butter with sugar. Add eggs, anise seed, salt, almond extract and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
Sift together and add flour and baking powder to creamed mixture. Add almonds. Stir and knead until well blended.
Turn dough onto floured board. Divide into four equal portions. Shape each piece into slightly rounded loaf about 12x1 1/2 inches. Place 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 325 degrees 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately cut each loaf into 24 diagonal slices. Place slices cut side up on baking sheets. Toast under broiler to brown each side slightly. Makes 8 dozen.
DEAR SOS: I think you gave Shirley the wrong recipe for the tuna casserole that is also our family's favorite. We prefer it made with cream of celery soup instead of mushroom.
DEAR SUE: I hate to tell how many different versions there are for tuna casserole. We're happy to print your version made with instant rice. And thanks for writing.
SUE'S TUNA CASSEROLE
1 1/3 cups water
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of celery soup
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/3 cups instant rice, uncooked
1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby peas, thawed
1 (7-ounce) can white albacore tuna
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Combine water, soup, onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring over medium heat.
Pour 1/2 soup mixture into greased 2-quart casserole dish. Then, in separate layers, add rice, peas and tuna. Add remaining soup mixture and top with cheese and paprika.
Cover and bake at 375 degrees 20 minutes. Bake 10 minutes longer if made ahead and chilled. Makes 4 to 6 servings.