Friday, March 30, 2007

Key Lime Pie

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups Key lime juice (approx. 10 medium-sized limes)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
Garnishes: grated lime zest and lime slices

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and butter with hands; press firmly into a 10-inch pie plate. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and let stand 15 minutes.

Whisk together condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs until well-blended. Pour into crust, and bake at 325 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Chill at least 4 hours.

Combine crème fraîche and powdered sugar. Spread evenly over pie, and garnish, if desired.

You can substitute the more widely available Persian limes for Key limes but avoid the bottled juice.

Recipe from Food editor, Kim Sunée, Cottage Living Magazine (2006)

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Meatball Soup

1 beaten egg
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 Tbsp. flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-ounce can beef broth
1 14.5-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning, crushed
1/4 cup tripolini (tiny bow ties) or ditalini (tiny thimbles)
3 cups fresh spinach, torn

Combine egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan or Romano cheese, parsley, onion, garlic salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Add ground beef; mix well. Shape meat mixture into 36 balls.

Cook meatballs in a large skillet over medium high heat about 8 minutes or until no pink remains, turning occasionally to brown evenly. Drain fat from pan. Set meatballs aside.

Stir together garbanzo beans, beef broth, undrained tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups water, mushrooms, and Italian seasoning in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add pasta; return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Stir in spinach and meatballs. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or just until spinach is wilted.

Makes 4 main-dish servings


I used regular dry bread crumbs (not soft). I wound up with only two dozen meatballs, so next time I need to make them a bit smaller! I substituted one can of navy beans for the garbanzo beans. Next time, I think I'll use fresh diced tomatoes with a few dashes of basil and oregano.
I don't care for the large chunky canned tomatoes. I also think two carrots, finely chopped, would be a nice addition. This was a delicious and hearty soup. Quite easy, too!

Adapted from Simply Perfect Pasta magazine (1995)

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Irresistible Irish Soda Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix until just moistened. Stir in melted butter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes outs clean. Cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor.

This is so good and extremely easy! I got the recipe from my good friend, Cindy Renner. She got it from

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Classic Clam Chowder

2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2/3 cup diced white onions
2/3 cup diced celery
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 (6.5-ounce) cans chopped clams, juice and clams reserved separately*
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1-ounce piece salt pork
1 cup light cream
1/2 tsp. salt

*Or substitute 1 quart fresh shelled clams and juice and only 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice

Place potatoes in large stockpot and add water to cover; bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook 10 minutes until tender (don't over-cook), then drain in a colander and set potatoes aside.

In another large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celery and onions and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in flour. Reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes until the flour is just golden; remove pot from heat.

In the same pot used for the potatoes, mix the clam juice reserved from the drained clams, the bottled clam juice, and the salt pork. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. Gradually whisk the hot clam juice (using a ladle to transfer liquid) into the flour-and-vegetable mixture until smooth. Return this pot of liquid and flour/vegetables to medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, cream, and salt; bring to boil, stirring often. Stir in clams and just heat through, about 1 minute.

Servings: 6


This is probably the best clam chowder recipe I've ever tried. My husband agrees wholeheartedly.

I didn't have any salt pork, so I used a few pieces of diced up bacon. I fried the bacon in the pot before adding the clam juice (draining off the fat, of course). I didn't have light cream on hand, so I used heavy whipping cream. That's probably why this was so darned good!

Adapted from the Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, Massachusetts (referenced in Oprah's Magazine July 2001)

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Linda's Greek Chicken Pasta

1 pkg. of either chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I use the latter)
2 Tbsp. olive oil (or Greek Feta salad dressing, if grilling)
Dash or two of Italian herb seasonings
¼ cup of olive oil
3 minced cloves of garlic
½ each zucchini and yellow squash
1 ½ Tbsp. Italian herb seasonings
1-2 fresh tomatoes, chopped (not too small)
Fresh mushrooms, sliced (as many as you want)
Pasta of your choice (I used bowties)
Grated mozzarella (about 1 cup)
Parmesan cheese
Feta cheese (I used Basil & Sundried Tomato Feta Cheese), cut into cubes or crumbled
Sliced black olives (optional)
Marinated artichoke hearts (optional)
Salt & pepper

Cut the chicken tenders and sautee them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add a few dashes of Italian herb seasonings and stir until chicken is brown and done. Remove from heat and set aside.


Marinate chicken breasts in Greek Feta (or Italian) salad dressing and grill until done (6 minutes per side, medium heat). Slice into large chunks.

Start water for pasta and beginning cooking per manufacturer’s directions.

In the skillet used for chicken, cook garlic in ¼ cup olive oil until lightly brown.

Add zucchini, squash and mushrooms; add 1 ½ tablespoons of Italian herb seasonings. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes and diced feta cheese, but not until a few minutes before serving so they don’t get overcooked.

After draining the cooked pasta, put back in somewhat cooled pot and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Add cooked/grilled chicken pieces to pasta.

Add sliced black olives, artichoke hearts, salt & pepper.

Put in pretty serving dish, top with cooked vegetables and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

This recipe comes from one of my dearest friends (and a great Mahjong player), Linda Thomas.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mustard-topped Salmon

1 salmon fillet (about 2 1/2 pounds)
3 Tbsps. packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsps. chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup grainy Dijon mustard
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

Place salmon on broiler pan, skin side down. In a small bowl, combine sugar, dill and mustard. Spread half on top of salmon. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 5 hours.

Stir remaining sugar-dill mixture into mayonnaise, cover and refrigerate.

When ready to serve, heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove salmon from refrigerator 20 minutes before cooking.

Bake 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove salmon in 1 piece to a platter, leaving skin behind.

Serve warm or at room temperature with sauce.

Servings: 10
Prep Time: less than 10 minutes
Marinating Time: up to 5 hours
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Adapted from the Kansas City Star


I got this recipe from our very good friends, Cindy & Scott (both of whom are excellent cooks!). It is so easy and delicious that I decided to make it just a few days after we had it at their house. Only a couple of changes - I cut the recipe in half and used regular mayo.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Nan's Bread

1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
2 Tbsps. honey
3/4 (scant) Tbsp. salt
2+ cups of hot water
6-7 cups unbleached flour
1 egg
7/8 (scant) cup warm water
2 Tbsps. dry yeast
2 tsps. sugar

Into the KitchenAid mixer, put butter (or olive oil), honey, salt and hot water.

Add a little flour and start the mixer. Keep it going. Continue adding flour until it holds together well, isn't soupy but isn't all dry. If too dry, add more water. Keep mixer going at low speed and then turn it up higher if you want.

After this mix has cooled down a bit, add an egg and continue mixing.

In the meantime, run some warm water from the tap. Maybe around a scant cup. You don't want it cool, and you don't want it hot to the touch. Just a nice, warm temp. Put the water into a bowl, and add 2 T. dry yeast and around 2 t. sugar. This sugar helps the yeast grow.

When this is all bubbly, and the mix in the KA is cool, add the yeast mix to the stopped KA. This is a little tricky because if you start the mixer right after it may splash all over. I put in the yeast mix and some flour and start the mixer on the lowest speed. Keep adding some flour until you see strands of dough. Not too much flour. Always better to have too little than too much. Too much makes it dry. You can always add more flour.

Then I cover the KA bowl with a dampened with warm water tea towel For the rising, you'll want to put the bowl in a warm place with no drafts. I often warm my oven for a couple minutes and then TURN IT OFF and put the bowl in there. When it reaches the top of the bowl or touches the towel, put some flour on a surface. I have a marble board, but you can use the counter or a wooden cutting board, whatever you want. Spoon out the mixture and move it around in your hands but not for too long. Then I cut it into four sections, and make four balls. I spray cooking spray into two glass loaf pans, and put two balls in each. Then I put the pans on top of my stove covered with that damp towel. At this point, I turn on the oven to 360º. Yes, it wastes energy but I have found over the years that it is better the stove be all ready when the balls rise and are ready to bake. The balls don't have to reach over the top of the pans. Just to the top is okay. If it rises too much, it can come crashing down (deflate) so it is better to err on the side of not rising too much.

Then bake until browned and sound hollow when you tap them. You want them brown on the bottom too, not just the top. That's why I like glass pans because I can see well. Then tip them out onto a cooling rack, and (this is the hard part) wait about 20 minutes before cutting. It kinda hurts the "integrity" of the bread to cut it too soon.

So, there you go. Nan, channeling Virginia Woolf's stream of consciousness about breadmaking. I am not even reading over what I wrote. I wrote it as I make it.


My dear friend Nan sent me this recipe on January 27, 2007. I followed her instructions and the bread turned out absolutely perfect and delicious!! I wound up using about 6 1/2 cups of unbleached flour. Instead of leaving the dough in the Kitchen Aid bowl, I turned it out in a greased bowl which apparently wasn't quite big enough! I used two metal loaf pans instead of the recommended glass pans, and I didn't preheat the oven while the dough balls were rising in the pans. I baked the bread at 375 for about 30-40 minutes.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Easy Baked Chicken Kiev

8 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp. oregano, divided
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 Tbsps. margarine, softened
1 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 8 strips (each 1/2" thick, 1 1/2" long)
5 Tbsps. margarine, melted

Place chicken breasts, one at a time, between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. With flat side of mallet, gently pound breasts until each is about 1/4" thick. Set aside.

In a rimmed plate or pie pan, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp. of the oregano, garlic salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the 4 Tbsps. softened butter, parsley, and remaining 1/2 tsp. oregano. Spread about 1/2 tsp. of the herb-butter mixture across each breast, about an inch from lower edge. Lay a strip of Jack cheese over butter mixture. Fold lower edge of breast over filling. Fold in sides and roll up to enclose filling.

Dip each bundle in the melted butter and drain briefly. Roll in bread crumb mixture until evenly coated.

Place bundles seam side down, without touching, in a 9x13 baking dish. Drizzle with any remaining margarine.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until the next day.

Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 425° oven for 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink when slashed (cut just a small slash so filling doesn't ooze out).

Serves 4-8


I use a few toothpicks to hold the chicken together.
425° is too hot. I bake this at 375°, carefully checking to make sure the chicken isn't getting too done and dried out.

Recipe adapted from Sunset Easy Basics for Good Cooking cookbook

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Chicken Glazed in Hoisin Sauce (or Cashew Chicken)

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound
6 Tbsps. peanut or corn oil
5-6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine (optional)
4-5 scallions, cut into 1-inch sections, white and green parts separated
1-1 1/2 Tbsps. Shaohsing wine or medium-dry sherry
3 Tbsps. hoisin sauce
1 cup roasted cashew nuts


1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
2 tsps. Shaohsing wine or medium-dry sherry
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tsps. sesame oil

Rinse chicken in warm water; pat dry with paper towels. Dice clean chicken into bite-size pieces and place in a medium-sized bowl.

Add the salt, pepper and wine (or sherry) to the chicken. Sprinkle with the cornstarch and stir in the half egg white to coat. Let marinate for 15 to 30 minutes. Blend in the sesame oil.

Heat a wok over high heat. Pour in 5 tablespoons of the oil and swirl it around. Add two-thirds of the garlic and the white scallions. Stir with the wok scoop or metal spatula a few times, then add the chicken. Sliding the scoop or spatula to the bottom of the wok, turn and toss for about 2 minutes, lowering the heat so that the chicken does not become tough. Splash in the wine or sherry around the side of the wok. As soon as the sizzling dies down, transfer the chicken, still a little undercooked, to a warm dish.

Increase the heat, adding the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl it around. Add the remaining garlic, and as it sizzles, add the hoisin sauce and stir well. Return the chicken to the wok and toss in the sauce to glaze until just cooked. Mix in the cashew nuts and green scallions. Transfer to a warm serving dish.

Serve immediately over rice.

Excellent with egg rolls or potstickers.

Serves 4


I used chicken tenders (tenderloin removed), omitted the garlic, and used a large nonstick frying pan instead of a wok. I didn't use as much oil (maybe just 3 tablespoons in all).

Adapted from original recipe in DK Living: Yan-Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook

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Chocolate Mousse

8-oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup dark rum
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2-3 Tbsp. lukewarm water
2 egg whites
2 cups heavy cream

Melt chocolate in top of double boiler. Meanwhile cook rum and sugar over very low heat until sugar melts (do not let it brown). Add sugar syrup to chocolate (they should be about the same temperature). Beat in 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water; set aside.

Beat egg whites until stiff; whip 2 cups of heavy cream and fold together with egg whites.

Beat chocolate again. If it has thickened, add 1 more tablespoon water. Fold chocolate into cream/egg white mixture.

Spoon into individual serving dishes or wine glasses. Chill.

Serves 8


This is extremely rich. I may try it with just 6 ounces of chocolate next time around. Either that or divide it into 12 servings instead of 8.

Recipe from Susan Branch's Vineyard Seasons Cookbook

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Carnitas (Crispy Pork)

4 lbs. boneless country-style pork ribs
2 cups (or more) water
1 ½ cups fresh orange juice
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional)
1 teaspoon grated orange peel (optional)
¼ cup brandy

Warm corn tortillas
Guacamole and Salsa
Cheese (Cheddar and/or Monterey Jack), grated
Green Onions, diced
Tomatoes, diced
Sour cream

Cut pork pieces crosswise into thirds. Cut off any big chunks of fat from pork and reserve; leave small pieces of fat attached to pork. Combine pork, reserved fat, 2 cups water, and next 4 ingredients in a deep 12-inch skillet (I used a large Dutch Oven instead). Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until pork is tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Add more water by ¼ cupfuls if necessary to keep pork partially submerged.

Uncover; boil pork mixture until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in brandy; boil until liquid evaporates and meat browns and begins to get crisp, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Cool meat slightly. Discard any loose pieces of fat. Tear meat into strips; return to skillet (I was able to shred the meat in the pan with a wooden spoon, it was that tender).

Add 2 tablespoons water to skillet. Cover and re-warm pork over medium-low heat, stirring, about 5 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl. Serve with warm tortillas, guacamole, salsa, cheese, tomatoes, onions and sour cream.

Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Re-warm with a couple of tablespoons of water, as in previous step.

Servings: 8


I no longer include the salt (too salty the first time I made it!) and I've never included the grated orange peel.

This makes quite a lot of carnitas, which is wonderful for leftovers. I freeze a few cups in individual containers and simply re-warm the defrosted pork in a skillet over medium-heat.

I may try to add some flavor to the pork next time by substituting 1 cup of the water with chicken broth. Also, a few dashes of cumin in the pot might be good. This is not at all spicy!

Modified from original recipe in Bon Appétit (May 2003)

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2 large avocados, mashed in large chunks
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper (6 turns of a pepper mill)
2 Tbsp. La Victoria green taco sauce
1-2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tomato, diced
2 Tbsp. Bermuda onion, minced
1-2 dashes of Cholula hot sauce

Mash the avocados with the back of a fork. Don't overmash, as you want to have some large chunks of avocado in the guacamole.

Gently fold in remaining ingredients. You want this to be thick and chunky, not smooth and creamy.

I never add sour cream or mayonnaise.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Baked Chicken with Honey-Lemon Glaze

1 lb. white boiling onions (about 24), 1-inch in diameter
1 lemon
1/4 cup light honey
3 tsps. chopped fresh thyme (or 1 to 1 1/2 tsps. dried), divided
1 chicken, cut into serving pieces
3 Tbsps. unsalted butter
2 Tbsps. minced shallot
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 cup golden raisins (sultanas)

Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°.

Trim and cut an x in the root end of each onion. Peel onion and put in a saucepan. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Using a zester or a fine-holed shredder, and holding the lemon over a bowl, shred the zest from the lemon. Then squeeze the juice into another bowl. Measure 2 tablespoons of the juice and add to the zest. Stir in the honey and 2 teaspoons of thyme (or 1 teaspoon, if using dried). Set aside.

Remove any excess fat from the chicken pieces. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.

Select a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking pan that holds the chicken comfortably in one layer. Spray with Pam. Combine the butter and shallot in the pan; place in oven for 1-2 minutes to melt the butter. Add the chicken and turn to coat well; leave the pieces skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the remaining teaspoon (1/2 tsp., if using dried) thyme. Bake uncovered, basting a couple of times with the pan juices, for 15 minutes.

Turn the chicken skin side up and add the onions and raisins to the pan. Baste the chicken and onions with half of the honey-lemon mixture. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Baste with the remaining honey-lemon mixture, reduce the heat to 350°, and continue to bake, basting every 7-8 minutes with the pan juices, until the chicken and onions are fork-tender and golden and the pan juices have thickened to a glaze, approximately 25-30 minutes.

If the juices have not thickened sufficiently, transfer chicken to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and boil the juices on the stove top until reduced to a glaze, 2-3 minutes. Return chicken to the pan and turn several times to coat with glaze.

Arrange chicken and onions on a serving platter. Spoon any remaining glaze over the top and serve.

For good, juicy results, take care not to over bake the chicken. Start testing for doneness toward the end of the cooking time by piercing a breast at its thickest part with a sharp knife: the flesh should look opaque and the juices should run clear.

Serves 4


Sliced mushrooms are a great addition. I use an 8-ounce package of button, but any kind would be delicious. I like to melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the mushrooms and onions until just tender (rather than melt the butter in the oven). I also think a regular onion, thinly sliced, is just as good (and easier) than the pearl onions. I also prefer the caramelized flavor of a yellow onion more than a pearl onion. You may have to take the chicken breasts out first (keeping warm on a plate covered with foil) while you wait for the dark meat to finish cooking.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Simple Classics Cookbook by Chuck Williams

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

French Breakfast Puffs


1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup milk


1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsps. butter or margarine, melted

Beat 1/3 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and egg in mixing bowl at medium speed until creamy and well-blended.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in separate bowl. Add to butter/sugar/egg mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.

Spoon into lightly greased miniature muffin pans, filling two-thirds full.

Bake at 350° for approximately 15 minutes.

While muffins are baking, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon; set aside.

When muffins spring back from gentle touch, remove from oven and immediately remove from pans.

Dip the top portion of each muffin in 2 Tbsps. melted butter and then in cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Yield: 28 miniature muffins

Notes: These are quite good, but lacked a sweetness inside. I think I'll add some vanilla to the batter next time around.

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Any Beginner's Sweet-and-Sour Chicken

1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsps. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry sherry
1 lb. chicken breast tenders (tendon removed), cut into bite-size chunks
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsps. water, divided


1 8-oz. can pineapple chunks with juice
3 Tbsps. vinegar
4 Tbsps. sugar
2 Tbsps. soy sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsps. water
1/3 cup yellow, red or orange bell pepper, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped (not too small)
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. fresh snow peas


1/3 cup maraschino cherries, stems removed

Mix the egg, flour, salt and sherry together in a medium-sized bowl. Rinse chicken in lukewarm water; pat dry with paper towels. Remove and discard tendon; cut chicken into bite-size chunks. Add tenders to the bowl, and stir thoroughly to coat with the batter.

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Reduce to a low simmer while cooking the chicken.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine in a large frying pan. Add the chicken tenders, separating each individual piece from the others in order to ensure even cooking. Add 1 tablespoon water to the pan, cover, and cook on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, until chicken is golden brown on bottom side.

Flip each piece of chicken to ensure even cooking. Add another tablespoon of water, cover and cook on medium-high heat for another 4 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Pour warm sauce (with vegetables) over chicken and stir until chicken is thoroughly coated.

Garnish with maraschino cherries and s
erve over rice.

Yield: 4 servings


The celery, carrots and snow peas are my additions. I skip the cherries and add the bell pepper to the sauce ingredients rather than use as a garnish. I especially like this recipe since it doesn't involved deep-fat frying (although that would taste good!). The chicken tenders are perfect and much better than regular chicken breasts.

Adapted from The Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature and the Passages that Feature Them by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Impressive Beef Stroganoff

1 1/4 pounds beef sirloin
2 Tbsps. butter or margarine
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 large portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 tsp. basil
Pinch nutmeg
3/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
1 12-ounce package spinach fettuccine, cooked and drizzled with melted butter or margarine

Cut the beef across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide strips. Melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine in a large frying pan and brown the meat on high heat for about 5 minutes, flipping once to cook evenly.

Reduce heat to medium-high, add the onion, salt, and pepper, and sauté an additional 2 minutes.

Remove the meat and onions from the pan, set aside in a bowl, and cover to keep warm. Add the mushrooms and remaining 1 tablespoon butter or margarine to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes, or until tender.

Return the meat and onion to the pan with the mushrooms. Add the wine, basil, and nutmeg. Stir and heat for about 2 minutes over medium heat.

Remove the meat, mushrooms, and onions from the pan and set aside in covered bowl. Stir the milk and flour into the drippings left in the pan, heating over low heat until the sauce is somewhat thickened, for 1 to 2 minutes. Return the meat, mushrooms, and onions to the pan. Stir in the sour cream and warm the mixture over low heat for about 1 minute. Serve over buttered spinach fettuccini.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


This has incredible flavor! I substituted 1 8-oz. package button mushrooms for the portobello, and regular egg noodles for the fettuccini. It was absolutely delicious. I'd like to try a different cut of beef, as the sirloin was a little tough.

From The Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature and the Passages that Feature Them by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen

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Chicken in Mushroom Wine Sauce

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup dry white wine
garlic powder
8 oz. package of button mushrooms, sliced
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. margarine or butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 sleeve of Saltine crackers
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
Olive Oil


Melt butter in medium-sized skillet. Sauté mushrooms and onions until tender. Add wine and simmer for a few minutes. Add soup and mix until smooth. Continue cooking for a few minutes, then remove from heat.


Grind crackers in a blender, a handful or two at a time.
Pour crumbs into a shallow bowl or pie plate; season with garlic powder, salt & pepper.

Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels.
Place one chicken breast between a large piece of plastic wrap and pound with mallet until fairly thin. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Coat each piece of chicken in cracker crumbs.
Over medium heat, fry chicken in a shallow layer of olive oil until golden brown (approximately 4 minutes on each side).

Place browned chicken in lightly greased (PAM) covered casserole dish.
Top with mushroom-wine sauce and bake (covered) at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.
Add cheese to top of casserole and bake for another 10 minutes, uncovered.


This works well in a crockpot if you have time for all the prep. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

When I first started cooking, I didn't drink wine so I used White Zinfandel for this dish. I've never tried anything else, but I suspect a dry white is perfectly suitable.

Yummy served on top of mashed potatoes!

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Choc au Citron (Lemon and Chocolate Cake)

4.5 oz. unsalted butter (1 stick, plus 1 Tbsp.)
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup self-raising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
grated rind of large lemon
2 Tbsp. milk (enough to give batter a dropping consistency)
3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped into large chunks

1/4 cup granulated sugar
juice of the large lemon

Line a 7"x5" loaf tin with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter, caster sugar and eggs together until well-incorporated.
Stir in flour, baking powder, lemon rind and milk.
Fold in chocolate.
Spoon batter into prepared tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes until springy to touch the center.

Meanwhile, dissolve granulated sugar in the juice of the lemon and set aside.

On removing cake from oven, leave in tin and skewer holes in the top, piercing well down. Pour sweetened lemon juice over cake. Allow to cool before turning out.

Note: I received this recipe from Cornflower who got it from Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes cookbook. I had to convert the ingredients as they were given in grams and ounces. Thus, both sugars and the flour amounts are approximations.

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