Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Mom's Lemon Bread

My mom used to bake this bread every Christmas and put into individual tins wrapped in colorful cellophane to give to family, friends, & neighbors. It was a big hit and everyone looked forward to it every year. The bonus was that the lemons came from our lemon tree in the back yard.

Nancy's Lemon Bread


1 med. lemon

2 1/4 c. flour

1 1/2 c. sugar, plus 2 tsp more for glaze

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 c. butter or margarine

3 eggs

3/4 c. milk


From one lemon, grate all peel, squeeze juice, set aside. (I like to put my lemon in the microwave for about 10 seconds and then roll it around on the counter to make it juicer)

In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt with fork. Cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in lemon peel.

In small bowl, slightly beat eggs with fork, stir in milk, then stir this mixture into flour mixture just until flour is moistened.

Spoon into greased pan, bake 1 hour or until lightly browned. Cool in pan 10 minutes.

In small saucepan over med-hi heat, whisk lemon juice & 2 tsp. sugar to boiling. Cook, stirring until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Brush with pastry brush evenly over top of bread.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grandma's BBQ Pork

I am so thankful that I had the good sense to ask my grandma for her bbq pork recipe a few years before she passed away! I still have her handwritten recipe that I cherish. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas that I ever spent with my dads side of the family included this delicious appetizer. I try to make it at least Thanksgiving or Christmas, if not both! I've got 4 pounds marinating in the fridge since last night (16 hours and counting!), but this recipe calls for 3 pounds and marinate overnight. I'm taking it to my brothers for Thanksgiving (an 8 hour drive!!) and I wanted extra meat and extra flavor. I tweak it a little add more of each ingredients...and mix the marinade in a small bowl first, but here is my grandma's recipe word for word:

Grandma Tillie's Barbequed Pork Tenderloin


4 TBSP ketchup
3 TBSP Hoisin sauce
1 tsp 5 Spice
5 slices of fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 TBSP Mirin (or sherry)
1 TBSP sugar
3 pounds pork tenderloin

Chinese Hot Mustard
Toasted sesame seeds

  1. In a large glass dish, mix Hoisin, 5 Spice, ginger, garlic, ketchup, & salt. Add the pork, and smother.
  2. Marinate overnight.
  3. Put water in bottom of roasting pan. Arrange pork on rack. Bake in preheated oven, 350 degrees, for one hour and 15 minutes. Turn once during roasting and baste with extra sauce.
  4. Cool, then chill. Serve thinly sliced with hot mustard, ketchup, and toasted sesame seeds.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

I was raised on those little Swanson chicken pot pies that used to cost about 19 cents...remember those? Well, I couldn't stand them and when my mom announced that we were having pot pies for dinner, I cringed. Sometimes they were beef, sometimes they were turkey. I'm sure they were pretty good, but I was just sick of them. My mom was not the greatest cook, God rest her soul. We ate a lot of canned and frozen food. I learned to cook at the age of 9, believe it or not. I've always loved to cook and I think I'm pretty ok at it. I remember bringing home assignments for extra credit in Home Ec. in the 7th & 8th grade. My mom was loving it! I came up with all kinds of dinner ideas and was earning extra credit to boot.

Anyway, several years ago, a good friend of mine invited us over for dinner. She made a chicken pot pie. I must have made a funny face, because she picked up on the fact that I was not too thrilled about her menu! So, I admitted my dislike and told her my reason, but like a trooper, agreed that I was open to trying her homemade version. I have to say, it was actually very, very delicious!!! I always wanted to ask her for the recipe, but never did. Last week I was looking for a new chicken recipe in my new Taste of Home cookbook that I won over at Dine & Dash a few weeks ago. I adapted this recipe that is actually for a turkey pot pie, but I had chicken, so chicken it is. You can use either one.

Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (should sit out for 15 minutes)
1 large potato, peeled & diced
4 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP butter
1 -14 oz can reduced sodium chicken broth
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I used a store bought rotisserie chicken)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp pepper

  1. In a large saucepan, saute potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in butter for about 5 or 6 minutes. Add broth, cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour and milk until smooth. Gradually add to vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the remaining ingredients; simmer 5 minutes longer.
  3. Fit crust onto a pie tin. Pour hot filling into crust. Place the second crust on top; crimp edges. Cut slits in top of crust.
  4. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until crust is light golden brown. Serves 6.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Minestrone Soup

Adapted it from a crockpot recipe and I made my own variations.

Minestrone Soup
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cup stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 12 oz pkg small whole wheat seashell pasta
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish
Saute celery, onion, & zucchini in EV olive oil until soft, about 10 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth, bring to boil. Add remaining ingredients, simmer on low for 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked. Serve with parmesan cheese. Enjoy.

How easy is that? Feel free to mess around with the liquid and spices, etc. More, less, navy beans instead of kidney beans, throw in some carrots if you don't like celery, etc.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Soup

Buffalo Chicken Soup (adapted from A year of Crock Potting, who adapted it from RecipeZaar.....but you know me....I always have to make my own changes! :)

* 1 yellow onion, finely diced
* 3 stalks celery, finely diced
* 3 TBSP butter
* 3 TBSP cup flour
* 3/4 cup milk
* 3/4 cup chicken broth
* 2 cups diced cooked chicken***
* 1/4-1/2 cup chicken wing sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
* 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

  • Saute onions and celery in butter until tender.
  • Stir in flour until smooth.
  • Slowly add milk and broth.
  • Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally. Serves 4. (I tripled the recipe and it still looks like maybe it will serve only 6)
  • ***I marinated my chicken breasts in Franks Wing sauce & Siracha sauce for about an hour, then I grilled them for about 6 minutes per side on med-high heat. Let cool, then dice.***