This week's column is dedicated to year 2014. Health, happiness and prosperity to you all.


Chicken Carbonara Risotto

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 cup frozen peas

1 1/2 cups milk

2 cups quick-cooking rice, uncooked

1/4 cup bacon bits

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes until cooked through. Add soup, peas and milk. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice, cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in bacon bits and Parmesan cheese.


Ham & Broccoli Frittata

6 eggs

1 1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese, divided

1 cup cubed cooked ham

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup chopped fresh broccoli

1 tablespoon butter

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, 1 cup cheese, ham and pepper, set aside. In a 10-inch oven-proof skillet, saute broccoli in butter until crisp and tender. Reduce heat, add egg mixture. Cover and cook 4 to 6 minutes or until nearly set. Uncover skillet, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until eggs are completely set. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into wedges.


Maine Mud Cookies

2 1/3 cups flour

2/3 cup baking cocoa

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup 1 percent buttermilk

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugars, baking soda and salt. Stir in the buttermilk and applesauce. (Dough will be thick and moist). Drop by  2 tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spread with a fork to make irregular shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire rack.


Cherry Coffee Cake

1 package yellow cake mix, divided

1 cup flour

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

2/3 cup warm water (120 to 130 degrees)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling

1/3 cup cold butter


1 cup confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon corn syrup

1 to 2 tablespoons water

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups dry cake mix, flour, yeast, water until smooth. Stir in eggs until blended. Transfer to a greased 13-inch-by-9-inch-by-2-inch baking dish. Carefully spoon pie filling over top. Place remaining cake mix in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients, drizzle over coffee cake.


Our thought for the week: "To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am."