Tuesday, May 26, 2009


One of my biggest pet peaves is that people buy minute rice because they don't know how to cook regular rice. Minute rice is so much more expensive, and I don't think it tastes as good. I buy rice in bulk, saving lots of money. I had a mission companion teach me her method of cooking rice, but I didn't feel it was very accurate and consistent. But then I learned how from the Frugal Gourmet and have used his method ever since.

1 Part rice
2 parts water

In other words....put in twice as much water as rice. :)

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Ta da! that's it.

Also, I would suggest that if you eat rice often that you buy a rice cooker. What I like best about having a rice cooker is that it doesn't take up stove space, and it keeps the rice warm after it is cooked. You can buy them relatively inexpensively at Chinese grocery stores. Also, you can usually find them at thrift stores, donated by people who received them as gifts, but never had use for them. I love rice, and could eat it every day!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Popcorn Balls

This recipe came from my sister "Inklings" many years ago. I have made them alot over the years. I use slightly different proportions of candy to popcorn because I like a little more popcorn in it. But the recipe is so easy!

Melt the following over medium heat. Stir as you cook.
1 cube margarine
1 Cup brown sugar
30 marshmallows (the larger size, not miniature)

I air pop 1 large tupperware bowl of popcorn. Inklings microwaves a bag of popcorn. By hand, transfer the popcorn to another large bowl or cookie sheet to sift out the hard "Old maid" kernels. Pour candy mixture over the popcorn and stir to coat. After it is cooled, butter your hands and form it in to balls. I then put each ball in a sandwich bag to make them easier to handle when eating.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Watermelon Salad

I had this salad at a DUP luncheon. It is very surprisingly good!

Water Melon Salad from Gayle S.

One 5 pound Water Melon
1 Vidalia Sweet Onion slice VERY THIN
1/4 c Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons of finely chopped mint (I omit this)
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 oz of Feta Cheese
sprinkle of Herbs de Provence

Toss All together and chill for a few hours, Serve CHILLED is best

Friday, May 15, 2009

Split Pea Soup

After reading some of these recipes, I'm sure you can guess why my husband and I are over weight. But as fat laden as this recipe might be, I think it's the best split pea soup I've ever eaten. This recipe comes from the Williams and Sonoma Soup cook book.

Split Pea Soup

1 Tb olive oil
1 yellow onion finely diced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 small carrots peeled and thinly sliced
1 C dried green or yellow split peas, picked over, rinsed and drained
4 Cups chicken or vegetable stock or prepared broth
6 slices bacon
2 Tbl finely chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh marjoram or 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 tsp fnely chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme.
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

In a large saucepan over mdeium heat, warm the oiil. Add the onion and saute until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and saute until just slightly softened, 3 minutes.

Add the split peas, stock, 2 slices of the bacon, parsley, marjoram, and thyme. Reduce the heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook until the peas are tender, 50-60 minutes. Discard the bacon.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan over mediuim heat, fry the remaining 4 slices of bacon until crips, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool, crumble and set aside.

Coarsely puree 2 Cups of the coup in a food processor and return the pureed soup to the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Retunr the soup to medium heat, and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Cheese Chowder

This is a kind of a mixture of two different recipes that I got from the internet. This chowder is really good in cold weather with some good bread.

Cheddar Chowder

7 C water
9 cubes chicken bouillion crumbled (I use soup base instead)
6 potatoes cubed
2 clobes garlic minced
1 large white onion chopped
3 cups chopped carrots
2 (15 oz) cans of corn
2 (15 oz) cans of peas, or frozen
2 C chopped fresh green beans
1/2 C butter or margarine
1/2 C flour
3 C milk
1 pound cheddar cheese, grated or cubed

In a large pot over medium heat, combine water, bouillion, potatoes, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then stir in onion, celerey, and carrots. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in corn, green beans, and peas and continue to cook on low heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine. Whisk in flour all at one time to form a roux, and let cook 10 seconds. Whisk in milk a little at a time, and cook, stirring until mixture is thick and bubbly. Stir in cheese until melted. Add to soup pot with other ingredients. Stir well and heat through.

Honey Curry Chicken

This recipe comes from my brother in law's mother. We eat it over rice.

Honey Curry Chicken

1/2 C Honey
1/4 C mustard
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/3 C margarine
12 chicken thighs and legs separated, and skinned

Melt margarine. Add other ingredients. Pour over skinned chicken. Bake 350 degrees for about one hour. Baste frequently while baking.

Hamburger Barley Soup

I actually got this recipe from television. Kathy Lee Gifford shared this recipe that her mother often makes for the grandchildren. I love this recipe, and I think it's pretty healthy.

Hamburger Barley Soup

2 lbs of ground beef
16 oz. tomatoes chopped
6 oz. tomato juice (I usually just use tomato sauce)
7 C water
1/2 C string beans
1 Green pepper, diced
1/2 C celery chopped
Salt & Pepper: 1 tsp each. (if you are squeamish, you can cut down on the pepper)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbl. soy sauce
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 C pearl barley
2 carrots sliced
1 large baking potato cubed

Brown ground beef. Add all ingredients in pot except carrot and potato. Bring to a boil. Simmer 45 minutes. Add carrots, simmer 10 more minutes. Add potatoes, simmer 20 more minutes. Enjoy!

Red-Cooked Beef Noodles

This is one of my favorite dishes, one that I ate often when I lived in Taiwan. My husband and children also love it.

Red-Cooked Beef Noodles

from: Chinese Snacks, Wei-Chuan cooking book

1 1/2 pounds rump roast of beef

Mixture 1:
2 stalks of green onion
2 slices ginger root
3 cloves garlic

Mixture 2:
1 tsp. "hot bean paste" (la do ban jiang)
1 Tbl. Black bean paste (he do ban jiang)
1/2 C soy sauce

Mixture 3:
6 C water
1/2 tsp MSG (optional)
3 sections star anise

1 1/2 lb precooked noodles
1/2 lb green cabbage (I like to use Swiss Chard, and I cut it in manageable size pieces.)

Mixture 4:
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbl. soy sauce
1 Tbl chopped green onion
6 C hot stock

1. Cut beef rump into bite-size pieces; smash ingredients in mixture 1.
2. Heat pan and 3 T. oil. Stir-fry mixtures 1 and 2 until fragrant. Add mixture 3 and beef pieces. Place this mixture in a pressure cooker and cook 30 minutes over medium heat. This is what is known as "Red-cooked beef" (I don't own a pressure cooker, so I cook it in a crock pot until the meat is tender. You could also cook it on the stove top, simmering for one hour.)
3. Prepare mixture 4 and portion into serving bowls. Add hot stock, noodles and green cabbage. Portion red-cooked beef and some of its broth on top. Serve.

Donut Holes

This recipe, which was passed down in my husband's family, comes down to us in the form of a poem. You basically add all of the ingredients in the poem, then add flour until the consistency is right.

Donut Holes

Cup of sugar
Cup of milk
Two eggs beat...
fine as silk

Baking powder..
teaspoons two
A pinch of salt
and nutmeg will do

After the above ingredients are mixed well, add flour until the consistency is somewhere between a batter and dough...like a stiff batter. Fry in medium heat oil until cooked through and golden brown, turning as needed. Place on paper towel to eliminate excess grease. Put some granulated sugar in a paper bag. Put some of the donut holes in the bag and shake to coat. Mmmmmmmm!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baking Powder Biscuits

Baking Powder Biscuits

2 C flour

1/2 tsp salt

4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

2 tsp sugar

2/3 C milk

1/2 C shortening. (I use either margarine, or butter flavored Crisco)

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, cream of tartar, and sugar. Cut in shortening until course like meal. (Use two knifes to cut it in). Add milk all at once and stir with fork until dough follows in a form around the bowl. Pat and roll to 1/2 inch thickness. (If it won't hold together, add a little more milk. Instead of rolling it out, I just form it in to biscuits in my hand. I make them thicker than 1/2 inch) Bake on ungreased pan. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo

1 1/2 C water
4 pds. of chicken thighs skinned
1 to 2 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 C vinegar
1/2 C soy sauce ( I use dark)
1 bay leaf
1 TB honey
1 dried red pepper
black pepper

Put all ingredients in pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes without stirring. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until cooked through, about one hour. You can stir after the first 10 minutes, but try not to stir too much. I serve this over rice. The juice is good on the rice too.

I like to eat this with stir fried cabbage.

sliced onion
cabbage sliced in thin strips
2 cloves of garlic
1 tb soy sauce

first stir fry the onion in a little oil. Then add cabbage and garlic. If the pan starts to get a little too dry, you can add more oil. When cabbage is almost tender, add soy sauce. don't over cook...you want the cabbage to have some crunch.


Here is a blondie recipe I found online. It says to put butterscotch chips in it, but I don't put anything in mine. I like them plain. I love blondies because they are moist and easy to make.

1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of butterscotch chips (chopped walnuts and chocolate chips are equally tasty)
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour an 8X8 pan. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl.
2 Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk.
3 Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix it all together. Add the butterscotch chips or other mix-ins.
4 Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. Cut into squares and serve.
Makes 9 blondies.

Mexican Rice

Mexican rice
For our family, I use this amount:
1 cup rice
1/2 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic chopped (can use powder)
1/4 cup of either tomato sauce or enchilada sauce..whichever you have ( I think enchilada sauce tastes best. If you buy a can, you can freeze the extra in a ziploc to cut chunks from to use another time.)
2 chicken bouillion cubes dissolved in a little bit of water, or 2 tsps chicken soup base
2 cups water.

Heat a pan that has a lid to it. Add some oil, and the onions garlic. When they are tender, add the rice and stir. Add the tomato sauce. Stir until the rice is coated. Add the chicken bouillion and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Conference Cake

Mix the following together until crumbly:
2 1/2 Cups flour
1 Cup Brown sugar
1 Cup White sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 C vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt

Remove 2/3 Cup of the above mixture and set aside for topping.

To the first mixture, add:
1 1/2 tsp baking powder and mix well

In a separate bowl, mix:
1 egg beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 Cup water
1/2 Cup milk

Now make an indentation in the flour mixture. Add the egg/milk mixture and mix well. Put in a greased/floured 9X13 pan.
To reserved 2/3 cup of topping mixture add: 1 tsp cinnamon chopped walnuts (about a cup...or according to your likes) Sprinkle the topping mixture on top of the cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until done.