Avocado and Romaine Salad

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbs fresh chives, chopped
1 1/3 cup avocado, chopped
3 cups chopped romaine hearts
2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh dill weed, chopped
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil

Toss together all ingredients and drizzle with desired amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Makes 4 servings.

Cognac Shrimp with Beurre Blanc Sauce

1 shallot, chopped
½ cup dry white wine
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs heavy cream
12 Tbs cold butter
1/16 tsp white pepper
5 Tbs butter
¾ lb medium shrimp, rinsed and deveined
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs Cognac

To make Beurre Blanc:
Simmer the shallots, white wine, and lemon juice in a small saucepan over low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add the cream and bring to just under a simmer. When the first few bubbles rise, turn the heat down very slightly and add the 12 tablespoons of butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly. Be sure to allow one pat of butter to melt completely before adding the next. Once the butter is fully incorporated, season the beurre blanc sauce with white pepper and set aside.

In a skillet over high heat, melt 5 tablespoons of butter, and then sauté shrimp, turning a few times until cooked through – about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and season the shrimp with salt. Carefully add the Cognac (it may flame) and stir thoroughly. Spoon the warm beurre blanc sauce over the hot shrimp and serve.

Makes 2 servings.


1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted

Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.

Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.

Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.