Food is a universal language, and some of our most joyous memories are of meals we have shared with friends and with our family members. The holidays are approaching, and I’d like us to share our favorite recipes. I’ve started here with the first recipe. In the comment area, please post one or more of your favorite recipes, then I’ll move it to the top of the column. Right now we’re thinking of the approaching holidays–Thanksgiving and Christmas. Have a favorite you want to share? Want to tell a little story about it? We’re listening.
• 6 Boneless chick thighs, cut into small pieces
• 1/3 cup flour
• vegetable/sesame/ olive oil mix (you only need a small amount of sesame for flavor)
• 1/3 to 1/2 cup rice vinegar
• 3 Tbsp. ketchup
• 8 oz. orange juice
• 6 Tbsp. brown sugar
• 1/2 of an orange peel for zest
• 1 orange cut up in small pieces
• 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
• 1-2 heaping tsp. fresh garlic
• Sambal Oelek (hot sauce) 2 tsp. or to taste
• 1 heaping Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 c. orange juice
• sesame seeds 1/8 to 1/4 cup
In a pan, mix the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Bring to a low boil and add orange zest, ginger, garlic and oranges. Reduce heat. Mix cornstarch with O.J. and add to pan. Cook on low till thick. Add sesame seeds and Sambal Oelek . Turn on low or off until chicken is done.
Pour the flour in a small bowl. Cover the chicken thigh chunks in flour and shake off the excess.
Pour a small amount of oil mix in a skillet and cook the flour-covered chicken until done on medium to medium high heat.
After the chicken is done cooking, then serve chicken on rice with steamed broccoli and top with your sauce.
STUFFED BELL PEPPERS (added 1/9/12 by S. J. Buxton)
A favorite simple meal of Jerry’s and mine is stuffed bell peppers. Want to know how to do it? For two, here goes.
1. Select two nice bell peppers. Try to get them on sale as I did these: 2 for $1.00 at Goodwin’s market in Crestline.
2. Measure out 1/2 cup of rice and put on to steam. I use short grain; lots of people like long grain. Doesn’t matter.
3. Back to the peppers which you should wash, then core out the stem and those white thingys inside.
4. Place peppers in shallow heat resistant dish. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until just tender. Took mine 7 to 8 minutes today. Alternately, you may do this in a saucepan atop the stove. I’ve done it both ways–one is as good as the other.
5. In heavy skillet, cook good quality hamburger meat–about 1/2 pound. Season simply with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of garlic powder. When rice is finished, dump it into the skillet and mix the rice and meat thoroughly. Add approximately half a large can of plain tomato sauce. Think there are 15 or 16 ounces in one of those cans. Mix thoroughly.
6. The cooked bell peppers should be placed upside down in a colander so that the water drains out and they become nice and dry.
7. Return peppers to the cooking dish and stuff them with the mixture from the black skillet. Generously poke the meat mixture in until the peppers are bulging. Fill them high but if there’s too much meat it won’t hurt anything if the mixture falls into the bottom of the dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the luscious peppers. Top with a generous grating of a good cheddar cheese.
8. I did all this while I was cleaning up the kitchen from breakfast, then I covered the peppers with plastic wrap and placed the dish in the fridge. Around 4:00, I pulled it out, placed it on the middle shelf of my oven set to 375, but which actually gets only to 350 and cooked until it was heated through, appearing bubbly and just beginning to crust on the top.
I served this with a salad of chopped romaine lettuce and chopped onions mixed simply with mayonnaise. I had three homemade yeast rolls left from another meal which I heated slightly, and beside which on the table, I added a dish of butter. We drank iced tea.
There you are. Simple super supper . . . or dinner . . . or lunch. Probably not breakfast. I’ll post these directions in my recipe section. Take a look there if you’d like; love to have you add something.
Molasses Crinkle-top Cookies (added 10/27/10) by S. J. Buxton
3/4 C shortening
1 C dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 C molasses
2 1/4 C flour
2 teaspoons soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
Stir thoroughly into well-creamed, fluffy mixture.
Chill. Shape into ping-pong sized balls. Dip the tops in granulated sugar. Place 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheets, sugar side up. Sprinkle each cookie with a couple drops of water. Bake at 350 degrees until just set–about 8 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Let cool slightly, then remove to cooling rack.
These should be eaten warm, coupled with an icy-cold glass of milk.
If by chance, there are any left from the first eating, store in an airtight container so they will be soft when you eat them tomorrow.
Our Famous Peanut Brittle (added 10/27/2010) by S. J. Buxton
3 cups sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
1/2 cup water
Combine in large, heavy saucepan. Cook over high heat until mixture just begins to boil. Add:
3 cups raw Spanish peanuts
Cook until deep amber color. Add quickly, knowing the mixture will bubble up:
1/5 stick of butter
3 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
Stir well so that ingredients are well blended. Pour into 3 buttered cookie sheets, or 8-10 buttered disposable 10 inch pie tins. (I prefer it spread as thin as possible. Others like it thicker.)
When cool, store in airtight container. (Naturally if you use cookie sheets, the candy must be broken into pieces.)
11/20 I use this recipe book primarily for this one recipe. Many years ago at a conference in St. Louis, Mo., we ate at a cafeteria named either Miss Hullings or maybe it was just Hullings–not sure, and while there I ate this delicious squash dish. It was so tasty, I went back and bought the cookbook because I wanted that recipe. Today two copies are available at Amazon: cheapest price is $98.00. I doubt anyone would pay that for mine. Look at the shape it’s in. I believe the Miss Hullings cafeterias are no longer in existence.
The dish is wonderful.
1 large Butternut squash (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
1 1/2 quarts sliced Jonathan apples. Do not peel. (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons shortening
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of white pepper
Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and membranes. Steam 30 minutes or bake upside down on foil in a moderate oven 350 degrees until tender.
Scrape out pulp and mash or beat in a mixer until smooth.
Season with butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat shortening in a small skillet.
Add apples, sprinkle with sugar, cover and simmer over low heat until barely tender.
Spread in a 9 inch round or 8 inch square casserole.
Spoon squash evenly over the apples.
Mix cornflakes with remaining ingredients for nutty topping and sprinkle over the squash.
Bake in a moderate oven 325 to 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve piping hot. Serves 8
For Nutty Topping
3 cups cornflakes (crushed coarse) 1/2 cup chopped pecans 2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Helpful Hint: Mash Hubbard squash or sweet potatoes can be prepared in the same manner.
(I’ve never prepared it ahead of time before, but today I did. It’s all ready except the topping. A few minutes before we eat on Thursday, I’ll stick it in the oven to heat up. It will be yummy.)
EDIT: 11/27/7 Worked fine to prepare it ahead of time. Just as yummy.
Submitted by “Mrs. Renaissance” 11/18
Chocolate Pie Filling
This recipe is fairly simple but delicious. It requires lots of patience.
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
4 tbsp flour
3 tbsp. cocoa
4 egg yolks
3 c. milk
pinch of salt
1/4 stick (2 tbsp.) butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix everything together in a sauce pan on the stove. Cook slowly and stir continuously. It takes a long time. When completely blended and thick pour into a pie crust of your choice (pastry, cookie crumbs, etc.).
Top with a meringue or whipped cream, if desired.
NOTE by Shirley 11/27/7 I prepared this filling for our Thanksgiving dinner and it was truly delicious, and very easy to prepare. Everyone who ate a slice of this pie raved about it. I added 4 tablespoons of cocoa instead of 3 since I like really dark chocolate. I used 1 1/2 cups sugar. I did not find it to take an inordinate length of time to cook. I cooked this in Crestline, though, which is 5000 feet in elevation, and that might have made it cook more quickly…not sure. I poured the filling into a regular pie crust I had cooked, and covered it with meringue I made from the whites of the 4 eggs whose yolks were called for in the filling.
Turkey Brining Recipe
I’m receiving lots of requests for guidance in the turkey brining I did last year, so I’m posting the recipe here. In this piece I wrote last year is more information and a link to Melinda Lee’s site, from which the recipe came. When my brined turkey turned out so well last year, I determined that I would always use that method. Check it out.
Submitted by Tena 11/13
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup olive oil
1, 15-oz can pumpkin
4 large eggs
Heat oven to 350.
Fill cupcake pan with foil baking cups.
Combine first 8 ingredients in large mixing bowl. Mix with a whisk until very combined.
Add oil, pumpkin and eggs. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed with an electric mixer.
Pour batter in to foil cups, 3/4 full.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine frosting ingredients; beat until smooth with electric mixer.
Spread on cupcakes.
Makes about 30 cupcakes.
Submitted by Virginia Clark 11/11
Favorite Holiday Vegetable Dish
4 Cans of Green Beans
2 Cans of sliced Potatoes
1 Can little pearl onions
1/2 lb bacon cut into 1″ slices (cooked or uncooked
Seasoning salt to taste
Combine all of the above ingredients, including juices, into crock pot and cook till heated through then simmer till ready to serve.
I sometimes add cans of sliced carrots for color, sometimes use Kabasa instead of bacon.
Submitted by Catherine 11/1
Since we are in the cranberries section, for those who like whole cranberry sauce, warm with the turkey first, cold (if there is any left) thereafter. Just follow the recipe on the back of the bags of fresh berries, add a more water and cook for a looooooong time. You can add water late on, depending on the consistency you prefere. I like to keep stirring to pop these little things. Delicious. And if you make double batch, use it in dishes that call for whole cranberry sauce. I cook it in a old pottery dish from my mother and serve it right in it. It look great and “earthy”.
Submitted by Shirley
FESTIVE CRANBERRY SALAD
Ingredients: 1 can sweetened condensed milk such as Eagle Brand
1/4 cup lemon juice
20 ounce can crushed pineapple
16 ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 to 3/4 cup pecans
9 ounces Cool Whip
Method: Mix all ingredients, folding in Cool Whip last.
Remove from freezer 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
SPECIAL STORY ABOUT THIS RECIPE
Probably twenty years ago or more, my friend Brenda Ghiloni (absolutely one of the sweetest persons in the world) handed out this recipe at a ladies function. I have the original paper she distributed where she writes:
“This (recipe) came from a radio food show. It’s great with ham or turkey, so I make it at holiday time. Even people who don’t really like cranberries like this.”
This is one of our family favorites and is always part of our holiday meals. After mixing well, I pour the ingredients directly into a beautiful crystal bowl, which I then put into the freezer. It keeps very well, and can be taken back and forth from the freezer with no problem.
Caquelon–In response to Catherine’s comment on November 2, I have brought over a picture of a Caquelon. See, we’ve learned something already…at least I have.