Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A marinade for all meats!

I'm a big fan of Steven Raichlen.  He has written numerous cookbooks on barbecue, smoking, and grilling.  It's hard to say which of his books is my favorite.  However, his Barbecue Sauces Rubs and Marinades is a true winner.  He calls this one "The only marinade you'll ever need" and I agree with him.  I have used it quite a few times on chicken and steaks.  This is one you will enjoy.

If you have a large cut of meat, I recommend doubling the recipe.

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)  I leave these out when I make this
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, oregano, dill, and/or cilantro
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Set aside a portion to use for basting prior to marinating.

He recommends using within 2 hours of making.  I have a London Broil cut of meat in the fridge right now that I just poured this over for dinner tomorrow night.  It will go on my Weber Grill.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Baby Back Ribs in the Smoker

Everyone knows how much I love smoking meat in my Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.  Whether it is a brisket, chicken, baby back ribs or a pork butt, it is hard to say which is my favorite or which recipe I like the best.

Take Baby Back Ribs - I have several recipes - and they are all delicious.

Today I have Baby Back Ribs in the smoker and my neighbors are enjoying the aroma as much as I am!  Here is the way I am preparing them this time:

Prepare the smoker.  I use the minion method for charcoal.  I throw in 4 or 5 chunks of apple wood.  Put water in the water bowl.

I rinsed the ribs, cut them in half so they would fit into my smoker.  Next I rubbed mustard all over them, somewhat sparingly.  After that, I put a generous portion of Stuart's Spices ( Hog Rub and pressed it into the meat.

Now they are ready to go in the smoker.  I adjusted the vents on the bottom to keep the internal temperature of the smoker at 225 to 250 consistently.  These will probably be done in about 5 hours or so.  After 3 hours of smoking, I began spraying apple juice over them once an hour.

I am a big fan of Stuart's Spices here in Rochester - and they do mail orders for out of town customers.  They make their own spices on site so they are fresher than the ones you buy in the store.  I've found that their mixes for smoking meat are as good or better than my tried and true recipes I use.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Chicken with mixed garden vegetables

This is one of my favorites, a stir fry from my Easy Chinese Stir Fries cookbook by popular Asian cookbook author, Helen Chen.

Aside from the time to chop the vegetables, it really goes together quickly and tastes great.

1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 carrot, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 celery stalks, cut on the diagonal into 1/8 inch slices
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 pound bok choy, cut into 2 inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
2 slices ginger, unpeeled
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and wine.  Add the chicken cubes and mix well.

In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat - heat until the oil is hot but not smoking.  Test by dipping a carrot into the oil, it should sizzle.  Add all the vegetables and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.  Add the broth, stir, and cover. Reduce the heat to medium and steam until the vegetables are tender crisp, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the vegetables and the juices to a platter.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pan and heat over high heat.  Add the ginger and salt and stir until the ginger sizzles.  Stir up the chicken mixture and add it to the pan.  Cook, stirring, until the chicken turns white and is almost done, 2 to 3 minutes.

Return the vegetables and any juices to the pan, mix thoroughly, and cook until vegetables are heated and chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute.  Taste and add more salt, if needed.  Remove and discard the ginger.  Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a platter.  Serve immediately.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Chicken with Artichokes and Mushrooms

This comes from an old cookbook of mine, Fiesta, published by the Junior Women's Club of Pensacola, Florida in 1987.  It is simple to put together and is a real guest pleaser!

4 chicken breasts, boned and halved
salt, pepper, paprika
1/2 cup butter
1 (15 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup sherry (I use any white wine)
1 - 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or bouillon

Sprinkle the chicken with salt pepper, and paprika.  Saute in melted butter until brown, then place in casserole.  Add artichoke hearts.  In the same skillet, saute mushrooms and add to the casserole.  Sprinkle flour into the remaining butter in skillet.  Mix slowly while adding wine and bouillon.  Pour over chicken casserole.  Cover and bake in 375 oven for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Here is one I brushed aside for a long time.  Aebleskiver?  I can hardly pronounce it, why would I want to try it?

But I did and I'm glad I did!

Even the dogs got into the excitement.  It isn't often that I beat egg whites in my mixer so that caught Morgan and Bailey's attention.  What is all that loud noise about, Sherry?  And my new aebleskiver cast iron pan was something out of the ordinary to them.

These wonderful Danish pancake rolls are cooked in a special pan with round holes.

This recipe leaves a lot of room for your own creativity.  I chose to place fresh blueberries in the center of the batter and then cover them with enough batter so that they were enclosed.  You could also use jelly or applesauce, or whatever you like.

When the batter begins to bubble along the sides, it is time to turn.  The Danish use a knitting needle, but a fork, butter knife, or wooden kebob stick would also work.

Here is the basic recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 egg whites, beaten till they form peaks
1 tablespoon sugar'
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups buttermilk

Separate the egg yolks and whites.  Beat in a mixer till the whites form stiff peaks.

Combine other ingredients and beat well.  Folk in the egg whites.

Place about a teaspoon or more oil in each hole in the pan.  Heat.

Carefully turn the balls over several times while cooking so that they are nicely browned all around.

This recipe makes a LOT!  Definitely enough for a family of 4 or more.

In the process of switching them from the pan to the plate, I dropped one on the floor.  Before I could get to it, two dogs devoured it!  Hope it didn't burn them!

I sprinkled these with powdered sugar.  You could also use syrup or jelly.

These were a pleasant surprise.  They are delicious and I think you will like them too  A nice addition to your weekend breakfast.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Broccoli Salad

This is a recipe I ran across recently and I just had to try it!  It's so good, even someone who doesn't like broccoli would like it!  And it packs a lot of nutrition.

1 large head broccoli
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons almond slivers
1 large apple, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest


1 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon water

Combine the ingredients for the salad.  Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and combine with the salad.  Will last in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Two delicious muffin recipes

These are two muffin recipes that I've had for years.  Both are very good.

3 Grain Pear Muffins

1 1/2 cup finely chopped, peeled pears
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup raisins
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375.  Stir pears, milk, oil and egg in a bowl.  In separate large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, whole wheat flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add liquid ingredients and stir well until blended.  Divide the batter between 12 greased 2 3/4" muffin cups.  Bake 35 minutes or until nicely browned.

Pineapple Oatmeal Muffins

8 oz can crushed pineapple
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Combine undrained pineapple, oats, and sour cream.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Cream shortening, sugar, and peel together thoroughly.  Stir in egg.  Sift flour with baking powder, soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with oat mixture  Bake in well greased, large muffing pans in 400 degree oven about 25 minutes.  Yield:  about 1 dozen large muffins

Friday, March 23, 2018

Black Bean Salad

As much as I like to cook and bake, many times I just can't get motivated to cook a meal just for myself.  I definitely want to eat nutritious meals.  Salads to the rescue!  Sometimes it is nice to be able to open the fridge, pull out a dish, scoop out how much I want to eat and enjoy!  I can make a salad that will keep for 2 or 3 days and still taste good.  With the dozens of salad recipes I have, there is enough variety to keep me from getting in a rut with mealtime.  While this recipe calls for canned black beans, I prefer using dried beans in recipes.

I like this Black Bean Salad because of the variety in texture, color, and it is a highly nutritious recipe.  Try it!

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz) cans whole kernel corn, drained
8 green onions, chopped
2 jalepeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 (4 oz) jar pimentos (optional - I eliminate this from the recipe)
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime juiced
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

In a large bowl,  combine all ingredients except the garlic salt.  Mix well.  Season with garlic salt, toss, and chill before serving.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pork Chop Casserole with Apples

This is one of my old, old favorites.  The card it is written on in my recipe file is yellowed and the ink somewhat faded, so you know it's old!

salt and pepper
flour and oil
4 pork chops
3 apples, peeled and cored
4 tablespoons brown sugar
dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup orange juice

Salt, pepper, and flour the pork chops.  Brown chops in oil.  Cut up apples into a casserole dish.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and nutmeg.

Pour orange juice into casserole.  Top with browned chops.  Cover.

Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Harvest Asparagus Tomato Soup

This is one I haven't made in awhile, which is a shame, because it is very good!

1 1/2 cups cooked asparagus
5 cups chicken stock
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
2 cups canned tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour

Combine all soup ingredients except butter and flour.  Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Whirl in food processor (or use a hand blender right in the pot) until fairly smooth.

Blend butter and flour together.  Stir into soup.

Simmer 20 to 30 minutes.