Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Olliebollen are the Dutch doughnuts that are traditionally served on New Year's Eve.

1 tbl. dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
3/4 cup dried currants
3/4 cup raisins
1 Granny Smith apple - peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying
1 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting

Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk.

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir the yeast mixture and egg into the flour and mix into a smooth batter. Stir in the currants, raisins and apple. Cover the bowl, and leave the batter in a warm place to rise until double in size. This will take about 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a deep-fryer, or heavy deep pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Use 2 metal spoons to shape scoops of dough into balls, and drop them carefully into the hot oil. Fry the balls until golden brown, about 8 minutes. The doughnuts should be soft and not greasy. If the oil is not hot enough, the outside will be tough and the insides greasy.

Drain finished doughnuts on paper towels and dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve them piled on a dish with more confectioners' sugar dusted over them. Eat them hot if possible.

This recipe is based on the one published at

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cowboy Barbecue Sauce

There might have been a time when it seemed odd to talk about barbecue and grilling in the winter. Those days have passed, and hard core grillers do it year 'round.

This is the best sauce to brush on meat and/or to serve as an accompaniment to barbecued meats.

2 tbl. bacon fat or vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup tomato catsup
1 cup bottled chili sauce (looks like catsup)
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup lemon juice
2 tbl. Worcestershire sauce
Hot red pepper sauce to taste

Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add everything but the hot sauce and simmer, stirring often to prevent sticking, until slightly thickened, about 45 minutes. Add hot sauce to taste.

Cool, cover, refrigerate. Use within 5 days.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cookie’s Dry Rub

Use about 2 tbl. of this rub on a 6 lb. boneless rib roast or a brisket that you plan to smoke.

2 tbl. sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tbl. garlic salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Boilermaker Sauce

This recipe is quoted from the July 1995 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. It's a grilling/basting sauce that has been used in our house ever since it was published.

A boilermaker is a classic one-two drink consisting of a shot of whiskey followed by a beer chaser. Those ingredients also come together in this all-American barbecue sauce. Use it on ribs, pork chops, chicken, even burgers (brush it on during the last ten minutes of grilling). If making ribs, brush them often during the first part of cooking with a mixture of one part cider vinegar to ten parts water and a pinch of dried crushed red pepper; that will keep them moist. This recipe makes enough for three pounds of meat or poultry and can be doubled easily.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 12-ounce bottle chili sauce
3/4 cup beer
1/4 cup unsulfured (light) molasses
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat. Add chili sauce, beer, molasses, vinegar, bourbon and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer until reduced to 2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Stir in hot pepper sauce. (can be made up to 1 month ahead. Cover; chill.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Grandma Elva’s Teriyaki Sauce

Marinade meat in this sauce for several hours or overnight before grilling.

For beef marinade:
½ cup dry red wine
½ cup soy sauce
2 tbl. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ tsp. ginger

For chicken or pork chops:
Substitute pineapple juice for the wine and increase the brown sugar slightly.

After this has been used for marinating the meat, heat it up and reduce it somewhat and serve it as a sauce with the meal.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hot Cider

6 oz. apple cider
1 ½ oz. Tuaca liqueur

Pour cider into a mug, warm in the microwave, add Tuaca. Top with whipping cream sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Serve with a cinnamon stick. I believe this is also known as Hot Apple Pie.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Luncheon Salad

Fresh spinach leaves
Cooked chicken, cut into small pieces
Dried cranberries
Cherry tomatoes
Sugared almonds
Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Optional: Mandarin orange slices

Arrange all on salad plates and drizzle with Orange Vinaigrette (olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, orange juice, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sugared Almonds

These are nice for snacking. They also appear in tomorrow's Holiday Luncheon Salad.

2 tbl. butter
¾ cup almonds
3 tbl. sugar

Melt the butter in a pan and add the almonds. Stir constantly over medium heat for a couple of minutes, then add the sugar. Continue stirring constantly over low heat for about 15 minutes, until the sugar turns a nice caramel color. Spread the nuts out on a sheet of waxed paper to cool. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dutch Christmas Cooking

Here are some links to a few Dutch Christmas recipes, to represent the Dutch side of the family.

Dutch Christmas Log (Banketstaaf)--Flaky pastry log with a center of almond paste

Dutch Christmas Spice Cake (Speculatus)

Dutch Peppernut Cookies (Pepernoten)

Dutch Spice Cookies (Speculaas Koekjes)

Dutch Letter Cookies (Spritz)

Monday, December 22, 2008

An Italian Christmas Eve Supper

Since this blog is for my son, I am attempting to include several different traditions that have influenced our family cooking over the years. Here is an article that I found at the Magazine, quoted in its entirety.

The tradition of the Italian Christmas Eve Feast
Monday, December 20, 1999
By Suzanne Martinson, Food Editor

It's difficult to precisely pin down the origins of the "seven fishes of Christmas Eve" that many Italian-Americans serve, but Rizzi DeFabo has tried.

The restaurateur, whose family owns Rizzi's Malabar Inn in Crabtree, says he always heard the seven fishes talked about for Christmas Eve dinner, but there was never an explanation. Three theories:

The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church -- baptism, penance, Holy Eucharist, confirmation, marriage, holy orders and the sacrament of the sick.

The seven sins of the world -- pride, envy, anger, gluttony, sloth, lust and greed.

The seven days it took Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem.

"Some say it's the seven hills of Rome, some say it's the seven winds of Italy, or the Seven Wonders of the World," he says.

DeFabo says the northern Italian people "don't really know about this custom. It's from Naples on down, a southern Italian tradition."

Many Italian families will serve many more than seven fish -- up to 21 types of various preparations. As for the fixed number of dishes, DeFabo Rizzi says, "Southern Italians are very superstitious. I'm very superstitious." His roots are in the south of Italy, too, his father from the Abruzzi region, his mother's town in the Molise region.

"No expense was spared to buy the fish for Christmas Eve," DeFabo says. His own family will be host for 32 family members for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner at their home near the restaurant. This marks the 85th consecutive year the family has gathered.

Family togetherness is important, DeFabo says, if you want to follow the popular Italian saying "Natale con I tuoi; Pasqua conchi vuoi," which means "Christmas with your family; Easter with whomever you wish."

Through Thursday, the restaurant is serving smelt, calamari, , shrimp, eel and baccala three different ways -- stewed, in a salad and deep-fried. It is accompanied by spaghetti with raisins, walnuts and breadcrumbs with garlic and oil. His grandmother always made cauliflower battered and deep fried. The signature dessert is panettone, a holiday cake.

DeFabo considers baccala, which is dried cod, the most popular holiday fish. Lou Dell'Aquila of Leet Township also includes baccala at his traditional Christmas Eve party for family and friends. He says many cultures besides the Italians enjoy dried cod, including Scandinavians, Portuguese and the Spanish. "They salt it right on the boat," he says. "The key man on the boat was the man who knew how to salt -- too much destroys flavor, too little salt and it would rot."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Eve Dishes in New Mexico

I am certainly no expert on New Mexican cooking, although we love buying fresh, warm tortillas at the local tortilleria; and we wouldn't miss getting our big bags of freshly roasted, locally grown green chiles every fall at the Farmer's Market. Right now, the grocery stores are featuring displays of pork shoulders, dried red chiles, and posole corn--a hint to me that I had better start learning how to make a big pot of posole.

To give you an idea of Christmas cooking here, the best thing I can do is to send you to this article by Nancy Gerlach on the website. It includes recipes for Green Chile Tortilla Pinwheels, Chile de Arbol Salad, Posole (Pork and Posole Corn), Red Chile Sauce, and Biscochitos (Anise-Flavored Cookies). There is also a discussion of the origin of farolitos, or luminarias--different areas of the state call them by different names--the little candles in paper bags that line walkways and roof lines at Christmas.

I was a little surprised that the Fiery-Foods article didn't give a recipe for tamales, because as this piece from Texas Cooking tells us, "It's Not Christmas Without Tamales." Remember, they call this area Little Texas, so I guess it's okay for us to reach across the border for some Texan recipes, too.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Wreath Bread

1 pkg. yeast
¼ cup warm water
2 ½ cups warm milk
¾ cup butter
1 egg
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. cardamom
7 cups flour

Mix as for bread, knead until smooth. Let rise on board for 1 ½ hours.

Divide dough in half; cut each half into three pieces. Roll the pieces into long "snakes" and braid three of them together. Braid the second loaf. Form each braid into a circle, pinch ends together firmly, let rise 40 minutes. Bake on greased cookie sheets at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Pour glaze* over warm bread. Decorate with halved maraschino cherries (holly berries), artificial holly leaves, and a large ribbon bow.

2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk
1 tsp. lemon extract

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chocolate Pepper Cookies

This recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Christmas.

1½ cups butter (no substitution)
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix together (adding sifted ingredients 1 large spoonful at a time), chill dough well, roll out 1/8” thick, cut out cookies. Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. [Martha insists on parchment, but one year I made the discovery that brown paper grocery bags cut to fit your cookie sheets work just as well].

Melt 4-6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and drizzle over cooled cookies for decoration.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

This recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Christmas.

1 cup butter (no substitution)
1 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 ¼ cups sifted flour
½ cup finely chopped pecans (Note: 1-8oz. pkg pecans makes three batches)

Refrigerate dough until well chilled. Roll out ¼” thick, cut out cookies. Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets in the top third of your oven at 325 for 20 minutes. Cool on racks.

Frugal Tip: These make perfectly lovely plain shortbread cookies if you leave out the pecans.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No Mayo Potato Salad

1½ lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
1½ lbs. Red potatoes
¼ cup walnut oil
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tbl. balsamic vinegar
¾ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1½ tsp. sugar
2 tbl. capers
3 medium green onions, finely sliced
½ cup coarsely chopped sweet onions
½ bunch parsley, finely chopped

Optional additions: Red and green chopped peppers, celery, lightly sautéed sweet onions, toasted walnuts, cooked chicken breast, sliced grape tomatoes, crumbled bacon.

Boil or steam the potatoes with their skins on until soft but not mushy. Let cool slightly and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Combine the walnut oil, rice and balsamic vinegars, salt, pepper, sugar, and capers.

Combine the potatoes, green onions, sweet onions, and parsley. Add the dressing, stirring lightly to mix. Serve warm or cold. Serves 10.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thai Chicken Wings

2 lbs.chicken wings
2 tbl. peanut oil
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
½ cup water
2 tbl. sherry
2 tbl. honey
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp. finely grated ginger
Crushed hot red pepper to taste

Cut off tips of chicken wings and save them for stock. Cut the rest of each wing into two at the joint. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the wing pieces (be sure they are very dry) until browned. You might want to fry them in batches.

Stir together the remaining ingredients, add to wok and stir well. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the wings are tender (about 30 minutes). Stir frequently after 15 minutes, as the glaze thickens and might burn.

Serve warm.

This recipe comes from a lovely little New Hampshire cookbook called The Nine Seasons Cookbook. Its subtitle is More Than 150 Recipes to Get You from Mud Season to Fall Foliage and Back Again.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Javanese Chicken and Fruit Curry

1 ½ tbl. oil
¼ cup tomato juice
1 tbl. lemon juice
1 small onion, minced
1/8 tsp. chile powder
½ tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. ground fennel
¼ tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
½ tbl. coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 tbl. white vinegar
½ cup sliced mangoes, optional
¼ cup pineapple chunks and juice
½ banana sliced
1 tbl. honey
½ tsp. salt
2 cups cubed cooked chicken

Have all ingredients measured and ready. Heat wok, add oil, tomato and lemon juices and other ingredients except chicken. Mix, lower heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Ladle out one cupful, set aside. Add chicken to sauce in pan, stir and heat through. Serve with rice and pass extra sauce.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hunan Chicken

Shred the meat from a 2 lb. cooked chicken, and combine it with ½ cup sliced water chestnuts (or substitute chopped celery).

Mix the seasoning sauce below, pour over chicken and mix well. Refrigerate until well chilled. Serve with cucumber slices and plain rice.

Seasoning sauce:
2 tsp. sesame paste (can sub. peanut butter)
1 tbl. rice or white vinegar
1 tbl. sesame oil
1 tsp. chile oil (can sub. peanut oil and chile powder)
1 tbl. soy sauce
1 ½ tsp. crushed Szechuan peppercorns
1 ½ tsp. minced fresh ginger root
3 tbl. chopped green onions
1 tbl. chopped garlic
3 tbl. chopped Chinese parsley
1 ½ tsp. chile powder

Note: This stuff is really good for whatever ails you and will probably cure everything from ringworm to fallen arches. The amount of garlic called for will stave off unwanted advances for weeks.

Obviously it takes a while to build up a Chinese pantry, so we substitute freely in this recipe. We also vary the amounts of chile and garlic, depending on our moods and physical bravery levels.

No matter how we make it, we always get a boost out of this meal. My family, I'm sorry to say, has always called this recipe “human chicken.”

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Grilled Chicken

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Whisk first 7 ingredients to blend in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Don't be put off by that cinnamon--it all works out. Add chicken to dish and turn to coat with marinade. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, turning occasionally. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray; prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). [Or do it on George--which is what we say when we mean to use a George Foreman Grill]. Grill chicken until cooked through, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes (less on George).

Makes 6 servings.

The original recipe came from Bon Appetit magazine, June 2000. It's evolved a bit, as everything does in our household.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Evelyn Logan’s Chicken Salad

Cut up cold cooked chicken
Pineapple chunks, well drained
Mandarin orange segments, well drained
Chopped onion, celery, green pepper
Mayonnaise mixed with mustard to taste

Mix all these ingredients and chill well. Just before serving, stir in a can of crisp Chinese noodles.

I had this salad once at a luncheon in Tacoma, Washington. I asked for and received the recipe from someone whose name might have been Loretta, but I have absolutely no idea who Evelyn Logan is.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chicken Salad à la Auntie

Sauté some chicken breasts with garlic, then simmer with onion and parsley and a bit of white wine; then drain, cool, and chop.

Add to taste:
Dijon mustard with seeds
Toasted walnuts

This recipe gives you a glimpse of the Auntie Bucksnort experience--there are no measurements or amounts given, all is done by taste and with great flourishes and gustatory excitement. The original recipe said to "simmer the chicken with onion and parsley and whatever." I have put in white wine for the whatever, but who knows if this is what she had in mind? I would ask her to elucidate but in more recent years she has taken greatly against onions, and I know that sentence would surely set her off...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pork in Red Chile Sauce

Get a bag of dried red chiles. Measure out a couple of cups, pick through them for surprises, take out some seeds if you want, and rinse well. Add 3-4 cups of water, some garlic, chopped onions, and cumin, and a couple of tsp. of salt. Simmer for at least 15 minutes, until chiles are soft. Cool slightly (you can put some ice cubes in to hurry things up), then run the sauce through the blender, a couple of cups at a time. You might want to strain it, too, to avoid getting chile skins on your teeth.

Brown some cubed pork (from steak or chops or tenderloin) in some olive oil. Add some chopped onions and a couple of cups of the red chile sauce. Simmer, covered, until the pork is tender—half an hour or a little longer.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pasta Bagna Cauda

1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup butter*
2-3 chopped garlic cloves
6 flat anchovies, drained and chopped
1 pound of pasta, cooked al dente
1 egg
Grated cheese, Parmesan or Romano
Freshly grated black pepper

Blend oil and butter in pan over low heat. Add garlic and cook until soft, stirring constantly. Add anchovies, continue cooking over low heat until the anchovies sort of disappear. Pour all over cooked pasta; add the egg, well beaten; the cheese; and the pepper to taste. Toss well (the egg will cook on contact with the hot pasta).

*The original recipe, from Jeff Smith’s The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine, calls for ½ cup olive oil and ¼ pound of butter!

Monday, December 8, 2008


1 lb. Italian sausage or ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbl. whole basil
1-1 lb. can (2 cups) tomatoes
2-6 oz. cans (1 1//3 cups) tomato paste

10 oz. lasagna or wide noodles
3 cups fresh Ricotta or creamy cottage cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 tbl. chopped parsley
2 beaten eggs
½ tsp. pepper
1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, sliced very thin
Note: The original recipe calls for 1 ½ tsp. salt in the sauce and 1 tsp. in the Ricotta mixture—you can just leave it all out or not, according to your taste.

Brown meat, spoon off excess fat. Add next 4 ingredients. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cook noodles (actually you can just wet them), drain, rinse.

Combine remaining ingredients, except Mozz. cheese.

Place half the noodles in a 13” x 9” x 2” baking dish; spread with half the ricotta filling, add half the Mozzarella cheese and half the meat sauce. Repeat layers, saving a little Mozzarella to decorate the top with.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting in squares—filling will set slightly. Makes 12 servings.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Baked Spaghetti

½ pound thin spaghetti
3 tbl. butter
3 tbl. flour
1 cup milk
1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 – 1 lb. can whole tomatoes
1 tbl. butter
Salt and pepper

Cook the spaghetti and drain it. Make a white sauce with the next 3 ingredients. Add most of the cheese and stir until melted. Place the spaghetti in a large casserole, pour over the cheese sauce, then pour over the tomatoes, breaking them up as you do so. Add the juice from the tomatoes as well. Don’t worry about the way it looks. Dot with butter, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake one hour uncovered at 350.

This recipe comes from The Loaf and Ladle Cook Book, by Joan S. Harlow. We used to live about 10 miles down the road from her Loaf and Ladle Restaurant in Exeter, NH.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

South African Dried Fruit Curry (Bobotie)

1 cup dried apples
½ cup dried pitted prunes
½ cup seedless raisins
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ lb. cubed lamb or stew beef
1 tsp. salt
2 tbl. vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 tbl. Madras curry
2 tbl. red wine vinegar
1 tbl. lemon juice
Chopped peanuts
Sliced bananas

Soak dried fruit in water at least one hour. Sprinkle lamb with salt, brown in oil, remove from pan. Brown onions, return meat and its juice to pan. Add curry powder, stir over low heat 2 minutes. Add fruit and soaking water, vinegar, and lemon juice. Partially cover and cook about one hour, adding more water if necessary. Most of the liquid should be cooked away at the end of the hour.

Serve over rice garnished with banana slices and chopped peanuts.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Prepare and stuff wonton skins as for Potstickers. Deep fry in oil at 360 degrees until brown. Drain and serve with plum sauce for dipping.

Get out the Pepto Bismol. You’ll need it sometime in the middle of the night.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Spring Rolls

1 tsp. rice wine or dry sherry
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cornstarch

1/3 lb. ground pork
4 dried black mushrooms
2 cups hot water
4 cups shredded cabbage
½ cup shredded carrots
3 cups boiling water
6 tbl. vegetable oil
½ cup shredded bamboo shoots
1 ½ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. pepper
3 tbl. soy sauce
3 tbl. cornstarch
1 tbl sesame oil
12 egg roll skins
2 tbl. flour
3 tbl. water

Combine ingredients for marinade, mix in pork and let stand for 10 minutes.

Soak dried mushrooms in hot water until soft, 15-20 minutes, drain, chop, remove hard bits.

Place cabbage and carrots in boiling water, boil 2 minutes, drain and cover with cold water. When cool, drain and squeeze out excess water, add to mushrooms.

Heat 6 tbl. oil in wok for 30 seconds, add pork and stir fry for 2 minutes. Remove pork with slotted spoon, set aside.

Combine veg. mixture and bamboo shoots in wok, stir fry five minutes. Add sugar, pepper, soy sauce, cornstarch, and cooked pork to veg., stir well. Remove from heat, salt to taste (probably not necessary), and add sesame oil.

Combine flour and 3 tbl. water, stir well. Fill each egg roll with ½ cup mixture, use flour/water to seal roll (place skin on flat surface with corners at top and bottom, left and right, put filling just below center, roll once from bottom and fold right and left corners over, continue rolling).

You can deep fry these at 350 until brown OR you can bake them on a cookie sheet at 475 degrees for about 25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.

Serve with a dip sauce. You can make a nice one by combining soy sauce, rice vinegar, and ginger; or try plum jam with a bit of rice vinegar and soy sauce added. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Stuffed and ready to cook
1 pkg. wonton skins

The filling:
1 lb. fresh ground lean beef or pork
2 tbl. light soy sauce
1 tbl. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
½ tsp. sugar
2 green onions, chopped
½ tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
8 water chestnuts chopped coarsely (or substitute celery)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 egg
1 tbl. cornstarch

For cooking the potstickers:
2 cups chicken stock

Mix all filling ingredients together. Work with half of a package of wonton skins at a time so they don’t dry out. Place about a tsp. of filling on each, brush edges with water, fold over and seal.

Put these on a plate and fill the other half of the skins.

Put half the filled dumplings in a large frying pan with a little bit of oil. Lightly brown them over medium heat. Add one cup of chicken stock, cover the pan, turn the heat up, and cook for 7 minutes. Take the potstickers out, keep warm on a plate in the oven. Repeat with the other half.

Serve with rice and a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, ginger, and rice vinegar.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Grandma’s Won Tons

These are a lot like Crab Rangoon

2 3-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, room temp.
2 green onions, minced
2 6-oz. cans of crab meat, shredded
Won ton skins
Oil for frying

Cream the cheese, add crab meat and onions, blend well. Use one tsp.for filling for each skin. Moisten corners with egg white or water, seal well. Fry a few minutes in oil at 375 until brown.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream (we’ve always used yogurt instead)
2 eggs

Sift dry ingredients. Combine sour cream and eggs, beat well. Stir in dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Spread in a lightly greased 9” x 9” pan. Sprinkle with streusel mixture, below. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes until top is firm and browned.

Streusel mixture:
2 tbl. flour
2 tbl. butter
5 tbl. brown sugar

Add cinnamon, or nuts, or coconut, if desired.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Auntie Bucksnort’s English Toffee

We make this candy at Christmas. Box some up before you eat it. It makes a fine gift.

Grate one very large milk chocolate or bittersweet chocolate bar.
Finely chop almonds (or pecans, if you happen to live in a pecan orchard, as we do) to equal 2 cups.
Mix together chocolate and nuts, set aside.

Combine in deep saucepan: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup melted butter, 2 tsp. vanilla, 3 tbl. water.

Boil and stir over medium heat until mixture reaches 300 degrees (hard crack stage). This will be just a little after the mixture begins to change to a golden color.

Spread half the chocolate mixture on a large cookie sheet. Pour the boiling mixture onto the chocolate, spread it with a spatula, then top with the rest of the chocolate and nuts.

Let cool until hard. Break into pieces.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Immediate Fudge Cake

Heat 1/3 cup of butter in a bowl in the microwave with 2 squares unsweetened chocolate for 40 seconds, remove from microwave and stir until melted.

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp. vanilla
¾ cup flour
¼ tsp. salt
½ to ¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans.

Stir well, pour into a greased 8 inch square pan, bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

This recipe comes from my old spattered copy of Peg Bracken's Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book. It was first published in 1966 before we all had microwaves, so you can see that I've changed the recipe a bit.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hot-Milk Sponge Cake

1 cup sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tbl. butter
½ cup hot milk
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat the eggs until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 minutes at high speed. Gradually add the sugar, a spoonful at a time. Heat the milk and butter in the microwave, keep hot. Sift the remaining dry ingredients. Add flour mixture to mixer bowl, stir until blended. Add the hot milk mixture, beat well. Add the vanilla. Bake in an 8” or 9” square greased pan at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.

This is the best cake, bar none. Split a piece and serve with sugared berries and whipped cream. Or just eat it plain.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hot Fudge Sauce for Ice Cream

· 1/4 cup butter
· 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
· 2/3 cup boiling water
· 2 cups sugar
· 1/4 cup light corn syrup
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate; heat, stirring, until melted. Stir in water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook without stirring until sauce is thickened and glossy, about 8 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Serve hot over ice cream. Store leftover sauce in the refrigerator. Reheat over very low heat, stirring in a little hot water if necessary.

This recipe comes from

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cockeyed Cake

1 ½ cups sifted flour
3 tbl. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
5 tbl. vegetable oil
1 tbl. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup cold water

Sift dry ingredients right into a greased 9”x 9”x 2” baking pan. Make three holes in this dry mixture. Into one, pour the oil; in the next, the vinegar; into the next, the vanilla. Now pour the cold water over it all and mix together. Be sure you get it all mixed well or you will get an unpleasant foaming-of-the-mouth surprise caused by unmixed-in baking soda. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

This recipe comes from The I Hate to Cook Cookbook, by Peg Bracken, which was first published in 1960. I've been making it all these years for my family.

Note: This cake, served plain, makes a perfect vegan dessert, and is also delicious when spread with Chocolate Frosting (Vegan!).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apple Crisp

3 pounds tart apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Peel, core and chop apples, toss in a bowl with lemon juice to prevent darkening. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir into apples. Set aside.

In another bowl combine flour, sugar and oats. Cut butter into 8 pieces, and cut butter into flour until mixture looks like crumbs. Stir in nuts. Butter a 10 X 10-inch baking dish. Spread apples in bottom of baking dish then sprinkle with flour mixture. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes, or until apples are tender and topping is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Angel Pie

5 eggs
1 lemon
3 tbl. water
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
¼ cup sugar
½ pint whipping cream

Separate eggs. Beat whites until frothy, add tartar. When peaky stage is reached, add one cup of sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Spread in greased 16” x 8” pyrex pan. Bake at 250 for one hour.

In double boiler, beat yolks with ¼ cup sugar, 3 tbl. water, juice and rind from one lemon. Stir until thick. Or, you can mix these ingredients in a bowl and microwave on high, one minute at a time. Whisk the mixture at the end of each minute. In my microwave, it took three minutes to make the mixture thick. Please note: This will taste quite tart. Don't be nervous. The tartness plays off the sweetness of the meringue and the richness of the unsweetened whipped cream in the assembled dessert.

While the lemon mixture is cooling, beat the cream. Spread less than half the cream on the cooled meringue, spread all of lemon mixture, then top with remaining whipped cream.

Chill overnight before serving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing for Turkey

Brown a pound of sweet bulk sausage.

Brown a chopped onion and a chopped tart apple in some butter, mix all together with crumbled homemade 8" x 8" cornbread and some chopped fresh parsley.

Season with sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Add one cup or so of chopped pecans, then toss with enough melted butter and chicken broth to moisten.

I've left the proportions of the herbs and seasonings up to you. Mix a bit, taste a bit, adjust a bit.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Turkey Stuffing

Toast slices of firm white bread on cookie sheets in a 400 oven.

Tear up toasted bread and add:
Chopped celery
Chopped onion
Fresh parsley
Thyme (as in the song)
Freshly ground pepper
Moisten with chicken stock and melted butter

Friday, November 21, 2008

Perfect Roast Turkey

1 16-18 lb. turkey
1 tbl. dried rosemary, crumbled
2 tsp. ground sage
2 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Stuffing of your choice
½ cup (1 stick) butter

Preheat oven to 375. Pat turkey dry, inside and out.

Combine herbs and salt and pepper in a small bowl; rub some in each cavity. Fill neck-cavity loosely with stuffing, close with skewer. Tuck in wings. Fill main cavity loosely with stuffing. Fold tail in over stuffing. Skewer opening; lace closed with string. Tie legs together. Place turkey breast side up on rack in roasting pan. Brush generously with melted butter. Sprinkle with remaining herb mixture. Transfer any remaining stuffing to buttered baking dish. Cover with foil and chill.

Roast turkey one hour, basting every 30 minutes with butter. Cover breast with foil. Continue roasting 1 hour, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Uncover breast and continue roasting until thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 170 degrees, basting occasionally, 1 to 1 ¾ hours longer (total time in oven so far is 3 – 3 ¾ hours), depending on size of turkey. Place stuffing in covered baking dish in oven during the last 40 minutes.

When done (remember—170 degrees) transfer turkey to platter, reserving juices in roasting pan for gravy. Tent turkey with foil and let rest 20 minutes, while you make the gravy. Continue baking stuffing in dish 20 minutes (one hour total).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Grandma Elva’s Pumpkin Pie

Makes 2 large or 3 small pies

1 large can pumpkin
1 ½ cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ginger
2 cups evaporated milk
1 cup milk

Mix all ingredients well, pour into unbaked pie shells. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then at 375 for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stuffed Peppers

This is one of those approximate recipes that all cooks have in their heads. You can use either green or red (or orange or yellow) peppers.

Slice off the tops of the peppers, set the bottoms aside, and chop the tops, discarding the stems.

Pan fry the chopped pepper with chopped onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper and oregano; add a little tomato sauce.

Add some cooked rice.

Place the bottoms of the peppers in a greased casserole dish, fill with the stuffing and put the rest of the stuffing over the top of everything. I always make too much stuffing, so my individually stuffed peppers always morph into a kind of casserole.

Sprinkle with grated cheese, then with Italian bread crumbs, then with Parmesan cheese.

Bake covered at 350 for around 45 minutes, then remove the cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes to crisp the top.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Toffee Bars

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add flour, mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Press mixture into an ungreased large pyrex pan (15” x 10”) and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Old-Fashioned Dark Cookies

This recipe comes from The Blueberry Hill Cookbook, by Elsie Masterton.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 egg
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup dark molasses
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup warm water
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 ½ cups flour

Here are Elsie’s exact directions:

“Start the electric mixer going, slowly. Add, one after the other: Brown sugar, shortening, egg, salt, dark molasses, maple syrup, ½ cup warm water, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 ½ cups of flour, or enough to make a consistency for drop cookies. Blend with mixer until very smooth, turning it up to a higher speed after all ingredients are in.

Drop by teaspoonfuls or by tablespoonfuls on greased cookie sheets. Bake in a moderate (350˚ F.) oven about 10 minutes. Remove cookies from oven before they are too well done, while they are still a little soft. I bake them fairly large and they are quite fat and chewy. Put them in a cookie jar as soon as they’re cool, so they won’t dry out.

These cookies freeze beautifully. Freeze them on a tray until they are frozen hard, then drop them in a plastic bag, to be removed one by one as you want them. Don’t put them directly in the bag, because they will stick together in freezing and you’ll have trouble separating them to remove them. Try eating one before it’s completely defrosted—almost better than hot.”

Makes 30 large or 60 small cookies.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips

Beat together butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla. Add flour, salt, and soda sifted together. Mix until blended, then add remaining ingredients and blend.

Drop by teaspoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Let cool on paper towels.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Aunt Faith’s Apricot Cookies

1 cup butter
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt

Cream butter and sugar, mix in flour and salt. Spread in a 9” x 13” pan, pack down and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Bake 10 minutes at 350. While cake is warm, spread with 1 cup apricot jam.

Mix 3 unbeaten egg whites with 1 cup powdered sugar. Spread over jam, then sprinkle with ½ cup slivered almonds.

Return pan to oven for 30 minutes (don’t let the top get too brown). Cut in squares after slightly cool.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Green Salsa

1 lb. tomatillos with husks removed, rinsed, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3 tbl. onion, diced
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 serrano or jalapeno chiles, stems removed, coarsely chopped
Salt to taste

Cover tomatillos with a small amount of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until they are soft. Place ½ of the tomatillos (do not drain) in blender jar. Add the remaining ingredients except for the salt. Blend until pureed. Pour this mixture back into the pan with the chunky tomatillos, simmer another 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

This sauce is a beautiful green. It’s good on almost anything—scrambled eggs with some sour cream or yogurt, on tacos, or?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chiles Rellenos (a low fat version)

Two layers in the casserole; two more to go

Roast 6-8 or more large green chiles (Anaheim type) under the broiler or over an open flame until charred all over. Place in a closed plastic bag or covered Tupperware container for ten minutes or so. You should then be able to peel them easily.

Take off the stem ends and take out seeds and membranes (leave some in if you want—they’re the hot part).

Beat three egg whites until stiff, adding ½ tsp. salt. You can leave out the yolks for a very low fat version, but I stir them up and fold them into the beaten egg whites.

In a greased oblong casserole, place half the egg white mixture, all the chiles, sprinkle with as much cheese as you want, then cover over with the remaining egg whites, spreading them all the way to the edges to seal. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or so until brown.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I learned this recipe long ago from a friend who was originally from Wisconsin. I suspect that it is from the Wisconsin Cheese Board, or its equivalent, since the names of the cheeses are so carefully capitalized.

We used to make it in an electric frying pan when we lived in a rented basement room without a kitchen. Simple times...

2 tbl. butter
1 medium onion, minced
1 large can tomatoes
3 heaping cups of uncooked fine egg noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. salt
½ cup catsup
¾ cup water
2 tbl. Worcestershire sauce
1-12 oz. can of corn (or a cup of frozen corn)
1 small can chopped black olives
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated aged Cheddar

Brown onions in butter, add beef and cook until pinkness is gone. Add salt and raw noodles and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes (noodles will cook). Add catsup, water, Worcestershire sauce, corn, olives, Parmesan cheese. Put into casserole and top with the Cheddar cheese.

Bake covered for 45 minutes at 350. Turn off oven, uncover casserole, let stand in oven for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sword and Anchor Bread

From my Dad's cousin, Buddy

2 cups of boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
2 tbl. butter or margarine
½ cup molasses
2 tsp. salt
1 tbl. dry yeast
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ cup warm water
3 cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup wheat germ (optional)
2 – 3 cups of white flour

Pour boiling water over oats, add butter, stir and let stand until cool. Add molasses and salt.

Dissolve yeast and ginger in the ½ cup of warm water, let stand 10 minutes, add to oatmeal mixture, mix well. Add wheat flour and wheat germ, beating well after each addition.

Add just enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead, let rise until doubled, form into 2 loaves, let rise in greased pans. Bake at 350º for 50-60 minutes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shaker Raised Squash Biscuits

Although these are called biscuits for some reason, they are really raised rolls.

1 cup milk
4 tbl. butter or margarine
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry yeast
4-5 cups flour
1 ½ cups butternut squash; cooked, mashed, and sieved
2 eggs at room temperature

Dissolve yeast in a bit of warm water. Heat milk, add butter, sugar, salt. Cool to lukewarm. Add a couple of cups of flour to the milk mixture, then the yeast, the eggs and the squash. Mix well, add the rest of the flour.

Knead 7-8 minutes, let rise until doubled in a greased bowl, covered. Punch down dough. Turn out and shape into 3 dozen biscuits. Let rise on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Brush tops with butter while still hot.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sesame Breads (Khoobz sumsum)

From Tunisia via Peace Corps kids

3-1/2 to 4 cups of unsifted flour (measured out into a small bowl)
2 tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry yeast
1-1/4 cups very warm tap water (120 – 130 degrees)
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 tbl. cold water
8 tsp. sesame seeds

In a large bowl thoroughly mix one cup of flour, the salt and the dry yeast. Gradually add tap water to dry ingredients and beat two minutes at the medium speed of the electric mixer, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add ¾ cup flour, beat at high speed for two more minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about five minutes.

Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. On a lightly floured board, roll each piece into a five-inch circle. Cover the circles with a towel and let them rest on the board for 45 minutes.

Place the circles, bottom side up, on greased baking sheets. Blend the egg white and cold water and brush this mixture on the tope of each circle. Sprinkle each with a teaspoonful of sesame seeds.

Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes, or until browned. (I start checking them nervously after about 7 minutes—that’s a very hot oven!). Cool on wire racks.

Serve with Falafel and Raita (yogurt mixed with cucumber and mint).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Savory Hamburger Buns

2 tbl. dry yeast
½ cup warm water
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup soft shortening
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. celery salt
½ tsp. spaghetti sauce mix (I use a blend of oregano and marjoram, maybe a little basil)
2 eggs, beaten
7 to 7 ½ cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large missing bowl.

Scald milk; add shortening, sugar, salt, celery salt, and spaghetti sauce mix. Cool until lukewarm. Add milk mixture, eggs, and half the flour to the yeast. Beat until smooth.

Add remaining flour gradually. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Let rise in greased bowl until doubled, about 1 ½ hours. Punch down, let rise again for about 30 minutes.

Divide dough into thirds. Roll each third into a square about ½ inch thick. Cut into 9 small squares. Tuck square corners slightly under to form buns. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 400° for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on racks. Makes 27.

You can freeze these buns as soon as they are cool. To serve cool, thaw in package at room temperature 2 to 3 hours. To serve hot, place in covered container or aluminum foil wrap and heat in 350° oven until hot, 20 to 25 minutes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Poppy Seed Egg Twist Bread

2 tbl. dry yeast 
½ cup warm water (110-115 degrees) 
¼ cup sugar 
1 ½ cups scalded milk 
¼ cup (1/2 stick) soft butter or margarine 
3 tsp. salt 
3 large eggs 
7 ¼ to 7 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour 

1 large egg, beaten 
2 tbl. cold water 
1/3 to ½ cup poppy seeds 

 Soften yeast in warm water with sugar. Stir butter and salt into hot milk and let cool to lukewarm. Mix yeast mixture, milk mixture, the 3 eggs and 3 ½ cups of the flour to make a batter, beat until smooth. Add the remaining flour a bit at a time until the dough feels right. 

Knead on floured board about five minutes. Place in greased bowl, let rise, punch down, let rise again. 
Turn out onto floured board. Divide into two parts, divide each part into three and roll out long “snakes.” Braid the three long pieces together, repeat for the other loaf. 

Let rise on greased cookie sheets. When doubled, brush with the egg and water mixed together, then sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes, or until well browned. Cool on wire racks.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Molasses Doughnuts

2 eggs, well beaten
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
2 tbl. fat (shortening will do)
1 cup molasses
1 heaping tsp. baking soda
1 cup sour milk*
5 cups of flour

Beat the eggs well, add sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and melted fat, mix well. Add molasses, beat all together. Add soda to milk and dissolve, add to first mixture. Add flour and mix well. Refrigerate overnight. This is a soft dough. Roll out and fry in hot fat.

*Sour milk: Add a tsp. of vinegar to a cup of milk, let stand 10 minutes or so.

This recipe comes from Maine’s Jubilee Cookbook, published for Maine’s sesquicentennial year of 1970 by Courier-Gazette, Inc., Rockland, Maine, 1969.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Magic Muffins

1 ¾ cups flour
3 ½ tsp. baking powder
3 tbl. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
7/8 cup milk
3 tbl. butter, melted

Sift dry ingredients, make a well in them, combine wet ingredients and pour into the well, blend only until mixed. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

English Muffin Bread

Made in the microwave: The toast is exceptional.

5 cups flour
2 tbl. dry yeast
1 tbl. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 ½ cups milk
¼ tsp. soda
1 tbl. warm water

Combine 3 cups flour, yeast, salt, sugar. Heat milk until warm. Add to flour mixture and beat.
Stir in remaining flour. Cover and let rise one hour.

Dissolve soda in warm water, stir into flour mixture. Put batter (it will be sticky) into 2 greased glass loaf pans, let rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

Microwave one loaf at a time on high for five minutes (turning once halfway through if your microwave doesn’t have a turntable). Let rest in pan for five minutes, turn onto rack to cool.

This freezes well, just be sure it’s cool, slice, and freeze. Thaw one slice at a time, then toast.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Brown Sugar Blueberry Muffins

1 egg
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup milk
1 tbl. melted butter
1 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbl. baking powder
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Beat egg, add sugar, milk and melted butter and mix well. Sift in dry ingredients, but don’t stir yet. Add blueberries on top of flour mixture, then mix gently just until the flour is stirred in.

Bake in greased muffin tins at 425 for 12 minutes, maybe a minute or two longer if you used frozen berries.

Makes 1 dozen muffins

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Best Biscuits

2 cups sifted flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. sugar
½ cup shortening
2/3 cup milk

Sift dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk all at once, stir only until dough follows fork around the bowl. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead gently ½ minute. Pat or roll ½ inch thick, cut with biscuit cutter. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet in 450 oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Makes 16 biscuits.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Butterfinger Cookies

Quick! While you still have some leftover Halloween candy!

½ cup butter
¾ cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
5 little Butterfinger candy bars (Halloween size)

Mix butter, sugars, eggs, peanut butter. Sift dry ingredients, add to butter mixture and stir well. Crunch up candy bars and add and mix.

Form dough into 1 ½ inch balls and bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes at 350◦.

Peanut Buttercup Cookies: Substitute chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for Butterfingers.


You’ll be sorry you found out about these cookies because they are so addictive. They are apparently best eaten the next day, but they rarely make it that long.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Basic Dinner Rolls

1 pkg. dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
2 eggs, plus enough scalded and cooled milk to make 2 cups liquid
½ cup melted butter
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ cup sugar
6 cups regular flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add eggs, milk, butter, salt, and sugar, stir until well blended. Add 3 cups of the flour, beat until well blended, then add enough of the rest of the flour to make a stiff dough.

Turn out onto floured board, knead 5-7 minutes, place in a well-buttered bowl and let rise until almost doubled (1 ½-2 hours).

Punch down, divide dough into 4 parts. Each part will make about 6 rolls. Shape them as: clover leaf (3 balls in each section of a muffin tin), snail (make snakes and roll up), figure eights, braids, bow knots, etc.

Let rise until doubled, bake in 425 oven for 10 minutes.

For especially tender crust, brush tops with melted butter before baking; for crisper crust brush tops with milk or with 1 egg beaten with 1 tbl. milk.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Banana Coconut Tea Bread

This bread is good right out of the oven--and it's even better when sliced, toasted, and buttered.

1/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 tbl. milk
1 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. almond extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 cup toasted flaked coconut*

Cream butter, sugar; add eggs, milk, lemon juice, extract. Sift dry ingredients, mix in well. Stir in bananas, fold in coconut. Bake in a well greased 5” x 9” loaf pan at 350 for 55 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes, turn out onto rack and continue cooling.

*To toast coconut, spread it out on a baking sheet and toast in oven at 300 until brown. Stir occasionally and watch carefully, as it will burn easily.

This came from a Sunset Magazine article back in the early 1960s.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Anadama Bread

½ cup cornmeal
2 tbl. shortening
½ cup molasses
3 tsp. salt
2 cups boiling water
2 tbl. dry yeast
About 6 cups of flour

Combine the first four ingredients, pour boiling water over, stir and let stand until lukewarm. Add yeast that has been softened in ¼ cup warm water, stir until well blended. Add flour to make a stiff dough, knead lightly, and let rise in a greased bowl until double. Knead and divide dough into two parts, form into loaves and place each in a greased pan. Let rise until double and bake at 375° for 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on rack.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Meatballs in Spaghetti Sauce

My Italian mother-in-law, Annie, taught me how to make these. If you moisten your hands with water when forming the meatballs, the mixture will be easier to handle.

1 ¼ lb. ground beef
4 eggs
2 crushed cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
½ tsp. dried oregano
Enough Progreso Italian bread crumbs to make a firm meatbally mixture

Mix these ingredients together, adding enough bread crumbs to make a firm mixture. Form into large meatballs (1 ¼ inch across). Brown in olive oil.

In a large saucepan, carefully brown one more chopped garlic clove (or more) in olive oil, watching it closely so that it doesn’t burn. Add 3-4 cans Contadina tomato sauce, rinse cans out with about ½ can-worth (total) of Paisano (or any dry red wine) and about one full can of water. Add ½ tsp. dried oregano and ½ tsp. marjoram and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Add the browned meatballs and simmer (covered with a splatter guard) for at least 30-45 minutes (but even longer is better), adding a little water if necessary.

Serve over pasta.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Exeter Stew with Herbed Dumplings

2 lbs. London broil, cut in strips
2 tbl. vinegar
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2 tbl. beef fat
2 tbl. flour
3 cups water
Salt and pepper.

Remove all fat from the beef strips. Lay the strips in a heavy pan and pour the vinegar over them. In another pan, sauté onions and carrots in the beef fat for a minute or two. Add flour, stir, cook on low for a couple of minutes. Pour water over the vegetables, heat almost to a boil. Pour the vegetables and water into the pan with the meat. Add a little salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 3 hours.

2 cups flour
1 heaping tbl.baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. minced parsley
¼ tsp. thyme
2 tbl. shortening (or beef fat or margarine)
¾ cup beef stock

Mix dry ingredients, cut in shortening. Add stock slowly. Drop by large spoonsful into the stewpot, cover tightly and simmer without uncovering the pot for 12 to 15 minutes.

From The Loaf and Ladle Cookbook, by Joan S. Harlow.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cuban Ropa Vieja ("Old Clothes")

3 ½ lb. beef chuck or pot roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup water
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 green pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
½ cup dry wine
Oregano, cumin, coriander, whole chiles (dried or fresh) to taste.

Rub salt and pepper into the meat, brown in a bit of the olive oil. Add everything else, cover and simmer until well done which will take a couple of hours, then shred the meat and stir it back into the pan juices. Serve in tortillas, if you wish.

From The Frugal Gourmet on our Immigrant Ancestors by Jeff Smith, with a few revisions by clairz.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Channing’s Greek Hamburgers

1 ½ lbs. lean hamburger
2 tbl. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbl. red wine (burgundy or chianti)
2 tsp. oregano
2 tbl. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste (you may not need the salt)

Mix, shape, broil. Serve with fried onions, tomato and lettuce on a toasted bun. Don’t add anything else.

From: The Frugal Fourmet Cooks with Wine, by Jeff Smith

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bone Turks*

Waiting for the Bone Turks to come out of the oven
From the Kitchen of Lainey, Emma, and Weetzie Zee

4 cups of flour, some may be whole wheat
1 tsp. salt
½ cup corn meal
4 eggs
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup olive oil or leftover bacon fat, depending on how your dog feels about cholesterol
Enough milk to make a stiff dough

Optional: ¼ cup peanut butter

Mix all ingredients together.
Knead a bit on a very slightly floured board.
Form into a long roll.
Flatten to about ½ inch thick.
Cut crossways into strips, and then cut each strip into small pieces.
Put pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375° for 25 minutes.
Turn off oven but leave cookie sheets in until oven cools so that the bone turks will harden.

Store in a covered jar and use as rewards for very good dogs. Or dogs who are at least trying to be good. Or dogs who you love very much who may have no idea about the concept of “good.”

*You’ll have to ask Beez about the origin of the name Bone Turks. I really have no idea how he comes up with these things.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hamburgers with Anchovies

Beez said for me to put this in.

Soak some drained anchovies in milk for 10 minutes or so. This will take out some of the salt. Discard the milk--I can’t think of a single use for it.

Grill some hamburgers, then put on each one: a slice of provolone, then anchovies in the shape of a cross, then top with a slice of tomato. Serve on toasted buns. Beez said to say that these are “wicked good.” You be the judge.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Al Cribari’s Barbecued Pot Roast

This smells incredible when it is cooking. 

4 ½ to 5 lb. chuck roast 
Freshly ground black pepper 
1 tbl. curry powder
4 tbl. olive oil 

1 cup dry red Burgundy wine 
1 cup catsup 
½ cup cider vinegar 
½ cup water 
2 tbl. brown sugar 
2 tbl. Worcestershire sauce 
Several drops of Liquid Smoke 
Dash of Tabasco sauce 
½ tsp. dry mustard 
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped. 

Rub the roast with the pepper and the curry, brown it in the oil. Prepare the sauce by simmering all ingredients until the onions are soft. Place the roast in a large piece of aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Pour the sauce over the roast and fold the foil over to seal the roast well. Place on a grill or in a 350 oven for about 2 hours or until tender. [Can also be cooked in a covered pan on top of the stove]. Serve with oven roasted potatoes and carrots. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Refried Beans

1 lb. dried pinto beans (pick through, wash, soak overnight and drain; or bring cleaned beans to a boil in a little cold water to cover, boil one minute, turn off and cover, let soak for an hour, drain). Add one quart salted water, simmer covered for 20-45 minutes—only until just cooked but not mushy.

In the meantime, pan fry ½ lb. chorizo, or sausage, or ground beef, and set aside. Saute 3 cloves chopped garlic, 1 large onion, 1 tsp. cumin seeds.

Drain the cooked beans, save the liquid.

Mash the beans, add them to the meat and the onion mixture.

Add ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, ¼ cup fresh lard (this is optional—you can add butter instead or skip it altogether), 1 cup grated jack cheese, fresh ground pepper to taste. Add a little of the reserved liquid until it’s the consistency you like, simmer while stirring for a few minutes.

For a healthy alternative, see the recipe for Pinto Beans.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pinto Beans

2 cups dried pinto beans (pick through, wash, soak overnight and drain; or bring cleaned beans to a boil in a little cold water to cover, boil one minute, turn off and cover, let soak for an hour, drain).

Add one quart salted water, 2 cloves of garlic, minced, ½ tsp. black pepper, ½ tsp. cumin, simmer covered for 20-45 minutes—only until just cooked but not mushy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mom’s Hummus

1 cup dried garbanzo beans
2 tbl. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbl. olive oil
1 medium clove garlic
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. cumin
1 tbl. tahini

Sort garbanzos, looking for anything odd. Rinse them well, then bring to a boil in cold water to cover (add a little salt). Simmer one minute, turn off burner and cover pan. Let beans soak for one hour.

Then drain well, and bring them to a boil in fresh cold water. Simmer, partially covered, until tender—this can take 45 minutes or so, but just keeping checking them. Drain and proceed with recipe. (Or just buy canned garbanzos and rinse them well, but they won’t be as good).

Mash beans, and add other ingredients. Serve at room temperature as a dip for vegetables or whatever else you want to use them for.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Steamed Brown Bread

This is what you eat with your Baked Beans on a Saturday night. We grew up eating the brown bread that came in cans, but this is much, much better.

I have classified this recipe with the "quick breads," meaning that it is a non-yeast bread, not that it is cooked quickly. This recipe classification business is not for the faint of heart, but you know that I am a librarian, and therefore willing to fuss with it quite infinitely.

1 cup sifted white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup corn meal
1 cup stirred graham or whole-wheat flour
¾ cup dark molasses
2 cups buttermilk or sour milk (remember—to sour milk add a tsp. or two of lemon juice to sweet milk and let stand for 10 minutes)
1 cup seedless raisins

Sift white flour with baking powder, soda, and salt; add corn meal and graham flour. Add remaining ingredients; beat well.

Half-fill 3 greased 1-pound coffee cans or 5-1 pound baking-powder cans; cover tightly (foil and string); steam 3 hours on rack in covered pan, using small amount of boiling water (add water as needed).

Uncover cans; place in very hot (450) oven for 5 minutes; remove bread from cans.

Slice and serve with Baked Beans.

Baked Beans

I am from Maine and this is traditional New England fare. It is what you should be eating on a Saturday night. End of discussion.

1 pound dry navy beans (2 cups)
1 ½ quarts of water
1 tsp. salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
¼-1/2 cup molasses
¼ lb. salt pork
1 medium onion, sliced

Pick through beans, rinse in cold water. Add to 1 ½ qts. water, bring to a boil, simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, let stand 1 hour (or skip all this and just soak overnight).

Drain well. Add 1 tsp. salt to beans, add another quart and a half of water, cover pan, simmer until tender, about one hour. Drain, reserving liquid. Measure 1 ¾ bean liquid, adding water if necessary.

Combine with sugar, salt, mustard, and molasses.

Cut the salt pork in half; score one half and set aside. Grind or thin-slice the remainder.

In a 2-quart bean pot, alternate layers of beans, onion, ground salt pork, and sugar mixture. Repeat. Top with scored salt pork.

Cover, bake at 300 for 5 to 7 hours. Add more liquid if needed. Makes 8 servings.

Serve with Steamed Brown Bread.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Yogurt Cornbread Muffins

I found this recipe on You will notice that it doesn't have any fats or oils added. The muffins are still very moist.

1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
1/2 c. milk
1 egg, beaten
1 c. plain yogurt

Stir first 4 ingredients. Add sugar and cornmeal. Stir in mixture of milk, egg and yogurt. Bake in greased muffin tins at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Yields 12 muffins.

Variation: Auntie Bucksnort likes to add some additional sugar (1/2 cup brown sugar), 2 tbl. lemon juice, and grated lemon rind. She substitutes sour cream for half of the yogurt, and uses buttermilk instead of milk. As you can see, this is way more complicated than I thought it would be, but that's the creative kind of cook she is! Her muffins are delicious.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


This is a version from one of my old cookbooks from the 1950s. It is my favorite cornbread ever.

1 cup sifted flour
¼ cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1 cup yellow corn meal (Hodgson Mill is best)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
¼ cup soft shortening

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt; stir in corn meal. In a bowl, beat eggs, add milk and shortening. Add sifted ingredients, beat with a rotary beater or whisk until just smooth. Bake in a greased 9” x 9” x 2” pan at 425 for 20-25 minutes.

Note: You can add chopped green chiles, grated cheese, and/or corn if you wish, but this is wonderful just as is.

Green Chile Stew

This is a traditional dish served here in the Southwest, perfect for a cool fall evening.

¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tbl. dried jalapeno flakes
1 pound lean beef, cut into bite-size pieces
1 pound lean pork, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tbl. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef stock or bouillon
6 cups water
1 tbl. tomato paste (tomato sauce works, too)
3-4 large green chiles (Anaheim, Big Jim, Sandia), roasted, peeled, chopped
4 medium-size potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups yellow corn cut off cob, or frozen niblets
½ tsp. ground oregano
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tbl. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
A tiny bit of salt, if needed (taste to be sure)

Mix the flour and dried jalapenos together and place in a plastic bag. Add the cubed meat and shake the bag until the meat is coated with the flour mixture. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot, and sauté the meat and onion together until the meat is lightly browned (be sure to use all of the flour mixture).

Add the garlic, beef stock, and water and cook over medium high heat for 20 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover, and simmer over low heat for another 45 minutes or until the meat and potatoes are tender. (I usually thicken it a bit at the end with some cornstarch and water mixed together). The flavor of the stew is even better if you serve it the next day.

Serves 4-6. Best served with Cornbread.

From The Sizzling Southwestern Cookbook: Hot & Zesty, Light & Healthy Chile Cuisine, by Lynn Nusom.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tortilla Casserole

This casserole varies according to the tortillas, cheese, and other ingredients I have on hand.

Brown ground beef and onions in a pan. Add chile powder, cumin, and ground pepper (salt optional).

Add tomato sauce, simmered with chile and cumin, to moisten. A more authentic version uses a sauce made of 1 cup of dried red chiles simmered in ¾ cup of water with onions and some salt. When the chiles are soft, cool the mixture slightly then puree until smooth.

This casserole can be made either of two ways--you can stack the tortillas (corn or flour) with the meat filling and grated cheese in between them and bake the whole thing in a casserole dish; or you can fill the tortillas with the filling and grated cheese and roll them up and bake them in an oblong pyrex dish. In either case, top with a little filling or sauce and sprinkle with a bit more grated cheese.

Cover the dish with foil, bake about 40 minutes at 350. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes. Note: You can sneak all kinds of leftovers into this casserole. I have added rice, chopped fresh tomatoes, corn, and a few things I won't admit to.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This strangely-named recipe is originally from England. The egg mixture puffs up to make a very lovely looking dish that is perfect for supper.

1 cup of all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. small, fresh pork sausages

To make the batter in a blender, combine the flour, eggs, milk, salt and a few grindings of pepper in the blender jar, and blend at high speed for 2 or 3 seconds. Turn off the machine, scrape down the sides of the jar, and blend again for 40 seconds.

To make the batter by hand, beat the eggs and salt with a whisk until frothy. Slowly add the flour, beating constantly. Then pour in the milk in a thin stream and beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Refrigerate the batter for at least an hour (or stick it in the freezer while you cook the sausages).

Place the sausages side by side in a heavy skillet. Prick them once or twice with a fork, add two tbl. water, cover tightly, and cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Then remove the cover, increase the heat to moderate, and continue to cook, turning the sausages frequently with tongs or a spatula until the water has evaporated and the sausages have begun to brown in their own fat.

Arrange the sausages in a single layer in a 6” x 10” x 2” deep baking dish, moistening them with 2 tbls. of their own drippings. Keep them at least an inch apart. Then pour the batter over them and bake in the middle of a 400 oven for 30 minutes, or until the pudding has risen over the top of the pan and is crisp and brown. Serve at once.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Best Sourdough Bread Ever

For years, making sourdough starter and bread was on my mental list of things to do. I thought it would be too hard until I visited Judy's wonderful cooking blog, Recipes from a Southern Country Cook. I hope that you will go to visit Judy's blog. Here is where you'll find her recipe for sourdough starter and for delicious sourdough bread. At first I was worried about getting the timing down--the starter needs a little attention every five days or so. It works just great for me, but then, I'm retired. Even if you don't have the time for it right now, make a note of the recipe. You'll be glad you did as we enter these difficult economic times. Once you have your starter made, you won't have to buy any more yeast, and that is a big savings. I am experimenting with using the starter in a variety of recipes, so I will refer back to it again. 

Southwestern Foods on The Zees Go West; An Index

Here are some more food articles, recipes, and links from my other blog, The Zees Go West.

Best Green Chile Cheeseburger
Blue Corn Meal
Chipotle Recipes
Green Chile Recipes
Harvest Time in Clovis
Honey Spreads
Little Fires in Your Mouth (Chocolate-Chipotle Brownies)
More Chile Sweets
Pinto Beans
Red Chile
The Search for Local Honey
Which is Best--The Owl or the Buckhorn?
Wineries in New Mexico

Pancake Recipes

Here is a pancake recipe index from my other blog, The Zees Go West, back when I lost all control of my subject matter there and had a Pancake Week that went on and on.

I'm in the process of moving all of these recipes over to this blog. In the meantime, the entire collection is still on The Zees Go West--just click below. 

Best Pancake Recipes
Cheese Blintzes
Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Dutch Babies
French Pancakes
Healthy Whole-Grain Pancakes
It's Time for Pancakes!
Making Chocolate Chip Pancakes Without Singing
Pancake History
Pancakes for Your Face
Pannekoeken Recipes
Pumpkin Pancakes in Sugar Season
What to Put in Your Pannekoeken
Yogurt Pancakes

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cheese Biscuits

First, open a nice dark beer for yourself. You'll need a bit of it for the recipe, and you might as well be sipping until that point.

Cheese Biscuits
½ cup butter
½ cup sharp cheese, grated
1 cup flour
Pinch of powdered mustard
A tiny bit of beer to moisten the dough, if needed

Blend, form into a 12 inch roll, chill, slice; or roll into small walnut-sized balls and flatten on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

These make a nice appetizer to have along with drinks. Makes about 36 little biscuits.