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50. Happy, Happy Hanukah

Renny Darling

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Dear Fans,
December is one of the most joyous of months, filled, as it is, with everything happy and wonderful. It is a great month for family and friends to join together. Children are home from school for a well-deserved vacation and celebrations abound right through to the end of the year. You cannot imagine how happy I feel, when I finish a newsletter, and I send it, with the hope that I have shared the holidays with you in some way. Of course, you know, the recipes serve well for any time of the year. Happy, healthy Holidays to all. In the next few days, our newsletter will celebrate Christmas and then happily end with a JOYOUS NEW YEAR.
My Best Always,
Renny Darling


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The Recipes 

Delicate Mushroom & Lemon Soup
Brisket with Peaches & Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Turkey Breast Roll
Roasted Garlic Potato Boats
Macaroons with Apricots & Coconut with
Chocolate Dip

Chocolate Chip & Walnut Meringue Pie


Delicate Mushroom & Lemon Soup

            1 1/2       pounds mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
            6            shallots, minced
            6            cloves garlic, minced
            2            tablespoons margarine

            1/4            cup lemon juice
            1/2            teaspoon dried thyme flakes
            1/4            teaspoon ground poultry seasoning
            1/3            cup dry white wine
            1/2            teaspoon dried dill weed
                        salt and pepper to taste

            4            cups chicken broth

In a Dutch oven casserole, over low heat, sauté together first group of ingredients until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the next group of ingredients, cover pan, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir in the broth and simmer soup, uncovered, for 5 minutes.  Serves 8.


Brisket with Peaches & Sweet Potatoes

            4            pounds brisket of beef, trimmed of all fat
            6            cloves garlic, minced
            2            onions, chopped
            4            carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
            1            package (6 ounces) dried peaches
            12            pitted prunes
            2             sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices

            1/2         cup peach jam
            4            tablespoons brown sugar
            1/4         cup ketchup
            1 1/4      cups beef broth
            1/2         cup white wine
                        salt and pepper to taste

In a 12x16-inch baking pan, evenly place first 7 ingredients.  Stir together the remaining ingredients and pour evenly over all.  Cover pan tightly with foil and bake in a 350° oven for about 2 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender.  Remove from the oven, allow to cool and then refrigerate. 

When meat is cold, remove every trace of fat that has congealed on top.  Slice the meat and return it to the pan with the fruit and vegetables.  When ready to serve, heat in a 350° oven, covered with foil, until heated through, about 35 minutes.  Serve surrounded with the fruit and vegetables.  Serves 8.


Roasted Turkey Breast Roll

To assure that the turkey does not turn out dry and tasteless, do not overbake it.  Most meat thermometers recommend poultry temperatures at 185° or 190°, but that is too high for the delicate breast. I have found that by removing it from the oven at 170° or 175°, it is juicy,succulent and delicious. As our family prefers the white meat, I always make an extra breast in addition to the meat course.

            1            boned turkey breast, rolled and tied (3 to 4 pounds net weight)
            1/4            cup chicken broth

Basting Mixture:
            1/2         cup margarine or butter (1 stick)
            1            teaspoon garlic powder
            1            teaspoon onion powder
            2            teaspoons paprika

In a 9x13-inch baking pan, place turkey and broth. Brush turkey on all sides with Basting Mixture.  Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the roast, and bake at 350° until thermometer register 170°. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, and then cut into slices.  The gravy is rich and delicious broth and does not need to be thickened. Serves 8.

Note: This Basting Mixture will surprise you. It is truly rich and succulent and it can actually be used on any number of meats or poultry. Don't worry if you think it is too strong ... it is not.


Roasted Garlic Potato Boats

Potato boats are simply unpeeled potatoes that are cut into long wedges that resemble boats. They are seasoned and baked as you would any other roasted potato, but the shape adds a little interest. Garlic Potatoes have a wonderful flavor.  Chicken broth replaces some of the oil.

            4            large potatoes (about 4 pounds), thoroughly scrubbed.  Do not                                peel. Cut each potato in half, lengthwise, and cut each half                                into long wedges, about 3/4-inch thick.

            3            tablespoons oil
            1/2         cup chicken broth
            6            cloves garlic, finely minced
                        salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in one layer in a 9x13-inch pan, standing them up as boats. Stir together the remaining ingredients and brush on the potatoes.  Cover pan with foil and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.  Remove foil, baste potatoes and continue baking and basting for 25 to 30 minutes, or until potatoes are lightly browned and crisped. Serves 8. 


Macaroons with Apricots & Coconut with
Chocolate Dip

These macaroons are a delicious choice for a Passover dessert.  If you want to gild the lily, which I recommend, then dip the bottoms in chocolate.  Use coconut flakes as shredded coconut is not fine enough.  If you use shredded coconut, then finely chop it into flakes in the food processor before you begin.  These can be prepared 1 day earlier and stored in an airtight container.

            3            egg whites
            3/4            cup sugar
            1/2            cup dried apricots
            1            teaspoon vanilla
            2            cups coconut flakes

            3            cups coconut flakes

In a food processor, finely chop the first 5 ingredients.  Add the remaining coconut flakes and process for 30 seconds until mixture is very finely chopped.  Place heaping tablespoons of macaroon mixture on a parchment-lined 12x16-inch baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until tops are browned.  Allow to cool on the parchment paper. 

When macaroons are cool, dip the bottoms of the macaroons into Chocolate Dip, place them on a wax-paper-lined pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.  Remove from wax paper and place on a serving platter.  Can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, if preparing ahead.  Do not refrigerate again.  Yields 30 macaroons. 

Chocolate Dip:
            1/2         cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
            1            tablespoon margarine or oil

In the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling water, melt chocolate with margarine.  Stir until nicely mixed.  Remove pan from heat and dip the macaroons. 

To melt chocolate in the microwave:
Place chocolate and margarine in a small bowl and microwave mixture for 45 seconds.  Turn the bowl and microwave again for an additional 30 seconds.  Stir until everything is nicely mixed.


Chocolate Chip & Walnut Meringue Pie

What a surprise this pie will be for a family dinner.  It should be prepared 1 day earlier and stored in the refrigerator to allow meringue to soften.  The chocolate chips used to decorate the pie can be chopped in a food processor. 

            3          egg whites
                        pinch of salt
            1          cup sugar

            1          cup matza meal
            3/4       cup chopped walnuts
            3/4       cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites with salt until foamy,  Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until whites are stiff, but not dry.  On low speed, beat in the remaining ingredients.  Place mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.  Allow to cool in pan.  When cool, frost with Whipped Dzertwhip and decorate with finely chopped chocolate chips on top.  Serves 10.

To make Whipped Dzertwhip:
Beat 1 cup Dzertwhip until it is as thick as whipped cream.  Dzertwhip is a trade name for a non-dairy whipped topping.  While it may not be available in all parts of the country, a similar product should be available in most supermarkets.  Dzertwhip, is treated just like cream and should be whipped until spreading consistency.  It comes sweetened, so it is not necessary to add sugar. 




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