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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cooking for a book club

Please wellcome my guest, Joan Hallford, a field editor for Taste of Home magazine.

I first met Judy when she was a guest at our book club, Books and Biscuits. She has since returned several times to give us updates on her books. We always look forward to having her join us. I was invited to join the book club a few years ago when I retired for the second time as they all knew I was an avid reader. There are about 12 of us, give or take, at any given time, so we rotate our meetings at the various homes for brunch once a month. When it came time for me to host the book club, I picked some of my favorite recipes that usually get raves. I have been a Field Editor for Taste of Home magazine for 14 years so many of my favorites are Taste of Home recipes. 
Above is a picture of my brunch table. Left to right, fresh fruit and dip, Apricot and White Chocolate Coffee Cake, Monterey Quiche, and Banana Chip Mini Cupcakes.  Except for the fruit, all the recipes are from Taste of Home.

Apricot & White Chocolate Coffee Cake Recipe
Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min
Yield: 12 Servings

2 cups biscuit/baking mix

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg
2/3 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup white baking chips
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/3 cup biscuit/baking mix
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter
In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix and sugar. Whisk the egg, milk and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chips. Pour into a greased 9-in. round baking pan. Drop preserves by teaspoonfuls over batter. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl the preserves.

For topping, combine biscuit mix and sugar in small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.
Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts 1 slice equals 245 calories, 11 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 25 mg cholesterol, 332 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 3 g protein.

Banana-Chip Mini Cupcakes Recipe
 Prep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling
Yield: 42 Servings

1 package (14 ounces) banana quick bread and muffin mix
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 tablespoon shortening
In a large bowl, combine the muffin mix, water, sour cream and egg; stir just until moistened. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Fill greased or paper-lined miniature muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375° for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, in a microwave bowl, melt shortening and remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.

Nutritional Facts 1 cupcake equals 65 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 6 mg cholesterol, 57 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.

Monterey Quiche Recipe
Prep: 15 min. Bake: 40 min. + standing
Yield: 12 Servings

10 eggs

4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash salt
2 unbaked deep-dish pastry shells (9 inches)
In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Pour into pastry shells.
Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake 30 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. 
Yield: 2 quiches (6 servings each).

Lighter version: Makeover Monterey Quiche

Nutritional Facts 1 piece equals 452 calories, 32 g fat (16 g saturated fat), 239 mg cholesterol, 692 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 21 g protein.

We’ve enjoyed having Judy visit us and keep us up to date on what she is doing and are looking forward to having her visit us again soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these recipes.
About Joan Hallford

A grdiate of Birdville High School and TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, Joan retired from both the Federal government (GSA) and Birdville ISD. She has been a volunteer for the past five years at her church’s resale shop and is active in her church, mmediate past chair of her circle. She was chair of the committee for her circle’s church-wide cookbook published several years ago.

She and her husband were Key Volunteers with the U.S. Marine Corps, 14th Marines, NAS, JRB, Fort Worth, for five years (their son is a Marine and her husband, a Marine veteran).
Joan has been a Field Editor for Taste of Home magazine for fourteen years. She appeared on Fox 4’s Good Day morning program twice doing food demos for Taste of Home. She is also a Field Editor for Healthy Cooking magazine and on the Reader’s Council for Simple and Delicious magazine.
In the August/September issue of Taste of Home, Joan is featured at the magazine's headquarters promoting the new  cookbook; hers is a recipe for a Southwestern steak. Be sure to check out the video at


  1. Gracious, this looks like tasty food!

    1. Thanks, Theresa. I hope you enjoy them. Janie, they really are yummy. I'm pleased to share them with your chef husband.

  2. Yummy looking recipes. I'll have to pass them on to my husband, the chef.

  3. Janie, as I mentioned above, these recipes really are yummy. I'm glad to share them with your chef husband and hope he likes them, too.

  4. These recipes are amazing. The Apricot and White Chocolate Coffee Cake is perfect timing for me. Our apricots just came off the tree, and I put up several jars of jam. What a fun way to meet with your book club friends!

    1. Suzanne, I'll bet your jam is wonderful in this recipe. We do enjoy getting together each month not only to discuss books but eat lots of goodies.

    2. Suzanne, I'll bet your apricot jam would be wonderful in the coffee cake. We do enjoy talking about books as well as eating lots of goodies at our meetings.