Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hey, folks! I've moved over to I'll try to keep an eye on posts here for comments and questions, but you'll have more luck getting answers on recipes if you go over there. Plus, it's updated with recipes and other fun stuff more often. See ya over there!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dill Pickle Wraps

1 jar  dill pickles
8 ounces  cream cheese, softened
1-2 pkg. thin corned beef or ham slices
Dry each pickle with a paper towel. Take about 1 tablespoon of softened cream cheese in your
hands and spread around the entire pickle. Then take 1-2 slices of corned beef and wrap them
around the pickle. Repeat for as many pickles as you want. Chill. Just before serving, slice the
wrapped pickles into 1/2 inch slices and arrange on a plate.

Cheesy Potatoes

2 lbs. hash browns, thaw slightly
2 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pt. (12 oz.) sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 onion, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ c. melted butter
Crushed corn flakes
Mix all ingredients, except butter. Put into buttered casserole. Let stand a few minutes before
baking. Sprinkle crushed corn flakes on top. Pour over 1/2 cup melted butter. Bake 1 hour at
350 degrees.
Note: Can prepare ahead and refrigerate, but put corn flakes on at last minute.

Taylor's Traditional Cranberry Sauce

We found this recipe years ago in a book called Thanksgiving Fun: Great Things to Make and Do by Ronne Randall and Annabel Spenceley. My daughter Taylor has been making it for years, now, and has improved it with the addition of crushed pineapple and a pinch of cinnamon. The best part is watching all of the children gather around the pot to see the cranberries pop. Serve it with generous dollops of homemade whipped cream.

Source: Thanksgiving Fun: Great Things to Make and Do
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup water
1 cup sugar
1 can crushed pineapple, drained well
a pinch of cinnamon

Heat everything except the pineapple in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring gently, for about
7-10 minutes. Pretty soon, the cranberries will start popping open! That's the fun part! When
they've all popped, add the pineapple. Cool, refrigerate, and serve with whipped cream.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Curried Lentils

One of my favorite recipes, My Favorite Lentil Soup, comes from Jane Brody's Good Food Book, a cookbook I bought when my eldest son was still in my tummy 20 years ago. I've enjoyed every recipe I've made from that book, but often overlook it when I'm in the mood to try something new. One afternoon, I had an overabundance of lentils and an underabundance of money, so I pulled Brody's book off the shelf, hoping for some more Brody magic. After I cooked up her Curried Lentils, I was hooked. Everyone in the house loved it over a dish of piping-hot basmati rice and a hunk of bread. We make it as a side dish to Chicken Paprikash and it's always a hit. The one difference between my version and Brody's is that I don't drain the lentils. The sauce oozes into rice perfectly!

The "time" involved in this dish is about a half-hour for the lentils to cook, but, other than that, it's an extremely simple dish and very inexpensive to make.


1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked through for debris or stones
3 cups broth or water (use vegetable broth or water for a delicious vegan dish!)
2 large onions, chopped
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder

In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, water or broth, half of the onions and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and cook until they begin to brown. Turn off heat and add minced garlic and curry powder.
When lentils are soft, add the curry powder mixture to the lentils and stir well. Heat through.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Even though it's mid-winter and the temperature outside was hovering around 7 degrees F., it was time to grill. I had purchased some boneless chicken breast and was having a hankering for some Chicken Bryan. We'd just purchased a new charcoal grill after ours had faithfully served us for many years and then fallen completely apart, and we had a nice pile of charcoal to go with it after the previous evening's boneless sirloin dinner, so I convinced my husband (it didn't take much) to fire up the grill and toss on the chicken part of the Chicken Bryan. While he was seasoning and grilling the chicken, 14-year-old Aleks and I put together the sauce and side dishes. One of our favorite Italian restaurants serves Chicken Bryan with garlic mashed potatoes, which is a simply delicious vehicle for the extra sun-dried tomato and basil sauce that slides off of the grilled chicken breasts. Whether you make this as a side for Chicken Bryan or for a simple grilled sirloin, you'll love the zip of these potatoes.


Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Serves 4-6

10 medium russett potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons butter), room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
3 tablespoon heavy cream, room temperature
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remember to always start your potatoes in COLD water. Put just enough water in a medium saucepot to cover the potatoes. Salt the water, and then bring it to a boil. Once they start boiling, set timer for 5 minutes. Check potatoes occasionally for tenderness. They should be fork tender (a fork easily inserts into the piece of potato) but not so tender that they disintigrate in the water. Drain potatoes and return to the saucepan.

Add the butter, sour cream, heavy cream and garlic to the potatoes, mashing with a potato masher. Add more heavy cream if the potatoes aren't creamy enough. Season with additional salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with fresh chives and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Garlic Chicken with White Wine Sauce

This delicious recipe comes from Simply Recipes with a couple of minor modifications, including this garlic technique learned from Cooks Illustrated; when using whole cloves of garlic in a recipe like this, save yourself some time by throwing the heads in your stand mixer with the paddle blade attached. The blade will batter the heads apart, leaving you with cloves that have been lightly crushed and ready to use. Toss out whatever loose paper remains, but throw the cloves with the bits of paper attached right in. As Elise says, they add flavor. When you're done with this fabulous dish, you'll be left with a pot of liquid gold, as it produces much more sauce than you'll need for your meal. Don't throw it out, for heaven's sake! Strain it through a fine-mesh strainer, chill, remove excess fat from the top, and use it in your favorite soup or stew. I used mine in Beef Vegetable Stew, substituting it for the bouillon and other seasonings, and the family was amazed by the increase in flavor over how the recipe is usually made. And as my friend D.J. says, don't cook with a wine you wouldn't drink. I used Sauvignon Blanc, just as Elise suggested, and it was fabulous. Serve with lightly mashed Yukon Gold potatoes seasoned with salt and black pepper. If you want to take the time, fish a handful of the cooked garlic pieces (skins off--the skins will have slipped right off or easily will when you pick them up; careful, they'll be hot!) from the wine sauce and add them before you mash the potatoes. A hunk of crusty bread, a green salad, and you're so well-fed, you won't believe it. 


Garlic Chicken with White Wine Sauce

  • 4 lbs chicken pieces--quarters, thighs, bone-in-breasts 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 whole heads of garlic
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 ¼ cup dry white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • (definitely use sprigs of fresh herbs if you have them, but as it's winter in Ohio, I don't)
1 Toss heads of garlic, one at a time, into the stand mixer with paddle attached. Turn on medium-low and let the mixer separate the cloves, bruise them a bit, and knock off the extra skin. Don't peel the garlic, but dispose of any paper that fell off during the mixing process.

2 Trim the chicken pieces of excess fat. Pat dry and sprinkle pieces generously with salt and pepper.

3 Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or roasting pan on medium high. Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Lay the chicken pieces on the hot oil, do not move until browned, then turn over to other side using tongs (about 3 minutes per side). Remove to a platter when browned.

4 Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary. Add the garlic, skins on, and sauté until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Take a HUGE whiff, 'cause this smells doggone GOOD! Add the wine and the herbs. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces. Reduce the heat to medium low.

5 Cover the pan and simmer on the stovetop until the chicken is cooked through. Move the chicken pieces from top to bottom every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes. Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 180°F for thighs and 170°F for breasts.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken pieces to a platter; spoon garlic sauce over the chicken.