Category Archives: recipes

Zucchini Pancakes

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I love these, but Christopher doesn’t like squash, which is ironic since he has a patent on a squash.  If you’ve ever grown zucchini, you know that you have to create a bunch of recipes to use the things.  That’s how this one came about.  I made it up as a variation of potato pancakes. I’m craving these now, so I’m buying some zucchini tomorrow.

2 zucchini, grated

1 egg

2 TB flour

1/2 tea salt

Mix everything together.  Heat a fry pan and put in a little oil.  Drop large spoonfuls of mixture in pan and press out a bit.  Fry just like pancakes until lightly brown on each side.  Serve with Parmesan cheese on top.

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White Chocolate Popcorn

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White Chocolate Popcorn

Makes a great quick gift, party snack or treat for kid’s classrooms.  I’m offering it here as a quick Valentines treat. I will often color this to match a holiday (red, blue and white for 4th of July, Orange and white for Halloween, pink for valentines) or a party theme.  Of course, Brendan (5th grade boy) asked me not to color it pink this year!

 

1 bag microwave popcorn (regular, butter or kettle corn)

2 to 3 squares white chocolate coating (find in baking section)

food coloring (optional)

colored sprinkles (optional)

 

Make popcorn according to package directions.  Melt white chocolate coating in microwave in large bowl (15 sec. at a time then stir until melted).  Put in a few drops of food coloring if desired.  Pour the Popcorn in and mix together.  Pour on some sprinkles (optional). Spread out on a cookie sheet covered with foil and put into the freezer for a couple of minutes to set. 

 

Variations:  Use leftover frosting instead of chocolate,  Use milk or semi-sweet chocolate

 

 

Easy, Quick Honey Chicken (with variations)

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img_2588O.K. I actually invented this recipe too, but it was based on a lemon caper chicken recipe I had found on allrecipe.com.  I was trying to duplicate a dish I had at Johnny Carinos called chicken piccata, but you can only eat capers so often.  What I noticed from that recipe wasthe method of coating chicken with corn starch, frying it briefly in oil/butter and then putting on some sort of sauce was very easy and tasty. 
      It is hard to confess this, but sometimes I’m in the middle of cooking a dish and I haven’t exactly decided what I’m making.  So I had the chicken cooking in the pan and all of the sudden I think of the Honey Chicken my kids like at Pei Wei’s diner.  What could be in that stuff?  Honey for one thing.  So I start pouring on some honey.  It starts to melt and become more like a sauce.  I taste it–that’s it!  Now for adults you might want to add some spices like ginger, sesame oil or even some pepper.   For kids, it is great just as it is.  Of course I couldn’t stop there, so I started trying the same recipe with maple syrup, various jams and then just garlic salt.  They all taste great.  Here it is–I’ve got some chicken cut up to make this right now.
Honey chicken
1. cut chicken pieces up into 1 inch cubes (I use about 1 lb)
2. coat them in cornstarch (can also use flour but cornstarch works better)
3. melt 1 TB butter (or oil) in skillet (or sesame oil for a more “chinesy taste”
Put the chicken in and cook stirring until they are slightly brown (cut open to see they are not pink any more)
Pour about 1/2 cup honey over the chicken–continue to stir as honey coats chicken and becomes a glaze.
 
Serve with rice (boil 2 cups water and 1 tea salt.  Add 1 cup rice and turn down heat to simmer.  Cover and cook for exactly 18 minutes)  or noodles  (You can boil chinese noodles or just use spagetti with a bit of soy sauce if you want–or just have the honey sauce on top of the noodles). 
 
Garlic Chicken
Cook the chicken exactly as above.  Instead of adding the honey, sprinkle on Garlic salt. 
 
Orange Chicken:
Cook chicken exactly as above.  Add orange marmalade instead of the honey.  You can add a bit of white cooking wine too.  Or instead of the marmalade, I’ve been using Ty Ling Orange Citus sauce that I found at HEB.
 
Maple chicken:
Don’t cut up the chicken, but cook it just like above.   Instead of Honey add a sprinkle of garlic salt and real (not imitation) maple syrup.  I also add a bit of wine (1/4 cup or so)
 
Apricot or Plum Chicken
You guessed it.  Cook as above in larger pieces (like tenders or breasts).  Add in aprocot or plum jam, a bit of garlic salt, maybe a 1/2 tea of curry and 1/4 cup of wine (optional).
 

Fool-Proof Bread Recipe

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I love to cook. and find it very relaxing.  Ever since I was in elementary school, I would pour over cookbooks looking for exotic things to make.  Whenever I go out to eat and find something new, I go home and try to duplicate it.  Amost every day, I make bread of some sort.  Today I made a cranberry version of Amish Friendship bread.  However, rolls and regular bread are my specialty.  Although I do occasionally use other recipes, most of the time I use this one to make make garlic salt rolls, bread sticks, pita bread, loaf bread, coffee cake and just about everything else.  

1 1/2 cups water

2 tea. yeast (or one packet)

1/4 cup sugar (more if you are making a sweet roll)

1 tea salt

2 TB oil (or marg.)

4 cups flour (Gold Metal is all I use, maybe Pillsbury in a pinch. I’ve had trouble with generic         brands.  Alternatively, you can add a couple of teaspoons of glutin, which you can find in most supermarkets, to the flour.  If you have trouble with rising, it is probably the flour)

Put in in the dough cycle of a breadmaker and let it go.  When done, shape and bake in regular oven.  If you don’t have a breadmaker, you can mix and knead as usual.   For most things, bake at 350 (20 minutes for rolls, 30-40 minutes for a loaf), but for Pita Bread or Pizza go up to 400 or 425 (then bake just 8 minutes for pita bread and 10-15 minutes for pizza). 

 For rolls and bread sticks, I generally take them out and brush over melted butter and then sprinkle with garlic salt.  For cinnamon buns, roll out dough and cover with one stick of butter and a cup or so of sugar and cinnamon.  Then roll up and cut with a knife or piece of thread.  To make sticky buns use brown sugar instead (you can also add nuts, raisins or other dried fruit).  To make a good coffee cake, roll out  a rectangle about 10 inches wide and 15 or more inches long.  Spread the middle of this rectangle with one packet of cream cheese mixed with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tea. vanilla or almond flavoring.  Spread over that one can of fruit pie filling (cherry is good).  Pull the two sides over the middle and pinch together.

Sour Dough:  This dough recipe never fails.  If I forget about it (all day or overnight, or both!) it gets all soggy and sort of bubbly and smells sour.  However, I’ve found it bakes up just fine with a kind of sour dough taste and a bit of a different texture.  It won’t be as easy to work with and you may just want to pour it into a pan for a loaf.  If you’ve really left it a long time, you can add a bit more sugar to give the yeast something more to eat.  Still–good enough to eat in my family!  Probably how sourdough got started in the first place.

Thanks Carrie for this post idea!  I’ve tried real sour dough before and been disappointed because I don’t think I can get my oven hot enough for a real crispy crust.  However,  you are motivating me to try!