About this Blog:

This blog began when long-distance friends looked for a way to share good food ideas. They post their tips, tricks, and recipes, along with the occasional story.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Orange Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry

(recipe from Rachel Ray, www.rachaelrayshow.com)


3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 1/4 cups chicken stock, divided
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice (we used brown)
salt and pepper
1 16-oz bag of broccoli florets
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; 6 to 8 ounces ea., cut into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 5-oz can sliced water chestnuts
1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews (couldn't find unsalted; regular worked great)


To a sauce pot over medium heat, add 1 turn of veg oil. (about a tablespoon). Once hot, add jasmine rice, a little salt and pepper, and stir to coat in the oil. Add 2 3/4 cups chicken stock, bring up to a bubble then place a lid on the pot and turn heat down to medium. Cook according to package directions, about 18 minutes.

As the stock for the rice is coming up to a simmer, blanch the broccoli. Place a medium skillet filled with one inch of water over high heat with a tight fitting lid. Bring up to a boil, add some salt and broccoli florets then cover and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the broccoli and reserve.

As the broccoli starts working, start the chicken. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of vegetable oil, about 2 tablespoons. When the oil ripples, add the chicken, spreading it out in an even layer. Let it completly brown up on one side, you will have to resist the urge to stir it for about 2-3 minutes. Give the skillet a shake, stir, and continue to cook and brown the chicken for 5 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet to a plate and reserve. Return the skillet to the heat, add 1 more turn of the pan of veg. oil, about a tablespoon. Once oil ripples, add onion, garlic, red bell pepper, red pepper flakes, ground coriander and some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the orange juice and hoisin sauce. Add the mixture to the skillet with the veggies along with the sliced water chestnuts and the reserved chicken. Stir to combine and add in the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock and the blanched broccoli florets. Cook the veggies and chicken together for about 2 minutes, or until everything is nicely coated and cooked through. Add the cashews and the cilantro or parsley and remove from heat.

Removed the lid from the rice pot and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve orange cashew with a spoonful of rice on top of each portion.

Yields 4 servings.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Yogurt Muffins (from Denise)

1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar (can use brown, white, or I use cane sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup strawberry yogurt (fill the 1/2 measuring cup
3/4 full and the rest of the way with water)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup oil

1/4 cup brown sugar (or cane sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together.
Add the egg, yogurt, vanilla and oil. Mix well.
Pour into greased muffin tins.

For the
topping: In a separate bowl mix brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins.
Bake at 375
for 15-20 minutes.

Homemade Pizza Sauce (from Denise)

I like to use organic ingredients for our homemade pizza, but
organic pizza sauce can be pretty pricey, so I buy organic
tomato sauce and paste when it's on sale and make my own
pizza sauce. Here's what I use...

1/2 of a 15 1/2 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 of a 6 oz can tomato paste
1 medium clove of garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder AND 1/4 tsp
onion powder)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp parsley

Mix all together and spread over two pizza crusts.
Can add a little more tomato sauce for a thinner
consistency. Note: Do not save after use.
The sauce gets quite clumpy.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Delicious! We finished it in two days. :)

here is the recipe.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Summer Salad

I found this recipe in several places online, so it must be pretty common. Tried it last night and it was delicious!


  • Fresh salad greens ( romaine, spinach, spring salad, etc)
  • Pint of fresh strawberries, halved
  • Pecans pieces, as much as you like

Mix salad greens and halved strawberries in large salad bowl. Top with pecans and Poppy Seed Dressing.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Yummy Bread ( from Denise)

Cinnamon Bread

2 pk (1/4 oz.) Yeast
1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded and cooled
2/3 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups quick oats
5 1/2 (or more) cups flour
2 tbls melted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, oil, 1/2 cup
sugar, salt, eggs and oats. Stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough.

Remove from bowl and knead on a floured surface until dough is satiny and
smooth, about ten minutes. Place in a greased bowl. Turning to coat
top, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, punch down
and divide into 3 equal parts. Combine butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Roll
dough into a rectangle and spread with one-third cinnamon mixture. Roll
up to form a loaf, sealing ends. Place seam side down in a greased bread
pan. Repeat with other dough pieces. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour
or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 375 for about 1 hour (I do much less)
or until golden brown.

Note: I use 1 1/2 tbls of instant yeast in place of the packages of
yeast, and cut out the first rise.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Our Absolute Favorite Coffee Cake (from Denise)

(and it's somewhat healthy too)

1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1/2 cup honey (scant)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
6 Tbls butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbls butter, softened
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup flour

Combine first nine ingredients and beat one half minute.
Spread half of batter in greased square pan.
Combine topping and sprinkle half over batter.
Pour remaining batter on top, then rest of topping.
Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.
My recipe doesn't have the minutes, so this is an estimate.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Kitchen Humor

Martha Stewart doesn't live here!!
I would cook dinner but I can't find the can opener!
A clean kitchen is the sign of a wasted life.
I came, I saw, I decided to order take out.
If you don't like my standards of cooking ... lower your standards.
A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen, and this kitchen is delirious.
A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.
Help keep the kitchen clean - eat out.
Countless number of people have eaten in this kitchen and gone on to lead
normal lives.
My next house will have no kitchen - just vending machines.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

From Denise:
1 Blox of Yellow Cake Mix (18.25 oz)
1/14 cup water
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 /4 cup oil
3 eggs

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 stick butter, softened
Enough milk to make frosting consistency

OR Simple Frosting:
1 tub vanilla frosting
1/2 cup peanut butter

Mix cupcake batter together and fill cupcake liners. Bake according to thecake mix package directions for cupcakes or until toothpick comes outclean. When cooled, mix frosting and spread on cupcakes.

Jello Cutouts

Denise and fam favorite way to eat cutouts:
2 pkgs (6 oz each) raspberry or strawberry gelatin
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanlilla pudding mix

In a bowl, dissolve gelatin in water, set aside for 30 minutes. In asmall bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix until smooth, about 1 minute. Quickly pour into gelatin; whisk until well blended. Pour into an oiled13x9x2 in. dish. Chill until set. Cut into cubes or use favorite cookiecutter.

Best Deviled Eggs

From Denise:
12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup mayo
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp chives
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp dill week
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 tbls milk
Fresh parsley and additional paprika
Slice eggs in half lengthwise; remove yolks. In a small bowl mash yolks. Add the next ten ingredients; mix well. Evenly fill whites. Garnish withparsly and paprika.

Picnic Slaw

From Denise:
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
1 medium green pepper, julienned
1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
1 medium onion, finely choppped
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Dressing:1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayo
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbls lemon juice
1 tbls vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
dash pepper
In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Combine dressing ina blender, process until smooth. Pour over veggies. Toss to coat. Coverand refrigerate overnight. Stir before serving.

Sweet and Sour Beans

Another recipe from Denise:
8 bacon strips, diced (can be made without)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 can (28 oz) baked beans, undrained
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 1/2 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) lima beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 1/2 oz) black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towel. Drain,reserving 2 tbls drippings. In the drippings (or in oil if not usingbacon) saute onions until tender. Add brown sugar, vinegar, salt,mustard and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. In a slow cooker, combinebeans and peas. Add onion mixture and bacon; mix well. Cover and cookon high for 3-4 hours or until heated through. (I've always just useda pan on top of the stove and cooked for about 45minutes -1 hour).


Note:this recipe is from Denise
(this has alot of ingredients, but not alot of prep time)1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 4 pounds)

2 tbls cooking oil, divided
2 large onions, chopped
1 cup ketchup
1 cup beef broth
2/3 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbls Worcestershire sauce
2 tbls prepared mustard
2 tbls molasses
2 tbls lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tbls liquid smoke
Rolls or Buns
In a Dutch oven brown roast on all sides in 1 tbls of oil (I've never really bothered to do this.) Meanwhile in a large saucepan, saute onions in remaining oil until tender. Add rest of ingredients except rolls. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour overroast. Cover and bake at 325 for 2 hours; turn the roast over and bake 2more hours until very tender . Remove roast and shred with a fork and return to sauce. Serve on rolls. Note: I usually make this in a crockpot over night for a Sunday meal.

Monday, April 03, 2006

double chocolate biscotti

(Recipe taken from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook--made them last week; delicious!)

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsps. baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white baking pieces

1/2 cup large semisweet chocolate pieces or regular chocolate pieces

1. Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Beat until combined, craping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Stir in white baking pieces and chocolate pieces.

2. Shape dough into two 9-inch-long rolls. Place rolls on prepared cookie sheet; flatten slightly until about 2 inches wide.

3. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until a woodon toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 hour. (If desired, wrap cooled rolls in plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.)

4. Use a serrated knife to cut each roll diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 8 minutes.

Turn slices over and bake for 7-9 minutes more or until dry and crisp (do not overbake!). Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Dessert Bars

I cannot take credit for this one; I found it on this blog. I tried out the recipe a few weeks ago, and the bars were easy, delicious, and completely eaten within a few days. (Warning: they're hard to stop eating!)

Here's the link: The Bars

Saturday, April 01, 2006


This recipe is for my sister who is a chocolate lover at heart.
3 cups milk
3 cups half and half cream
9 squares (1 ounce each)semisweet chocolate
2-3/4 cups sugar
3/4 tsp salt
6 cups heavy whipping cream
3 cups miniature marshmallows
2 1/4 miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
6 tsp vanilla extract
In a large saucepan,combine milk and half and half;heat to 175. Add chocolate,sugar and salt; stir until chocolate is melted and sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat. Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 min. Cool completely. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 min.
Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two thirds full; freeze according to the manufacturers directions. Refrigerate remaining mixture until ready to freeze, stirring before freezing each batch.
Allow to ripen in ice cream freezer or firm up in the refrigerator freezer for 2-4 hours before serving. Yield:about 4 1/2 quarts.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Twice Baked Potatoes

I haven't ever tried this so if you try it let me know . I thought it sounded delicious.
10 potatoes boiled and mashed
1/2 cup butter melted
scant tsp grated onion
1 cup hot milk
8 oz Philly cream cheese
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
(save some cheese for topping)
Mix and bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Now doesn't that sound good!


2 cans cream of potato soup
16 oz can of veg-all
2 cups cooked, diced chicken
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
2,9inch frozen pie crusts,thawed
Combine first six ingredients and spoon into one of the pie crust. Cover with other crust and crimp to seal edges. Slit top. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Do not overfill pie because it will overflow. Enjoy!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Vanilla Cake

(This recipe was taken from Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl, who is now the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine.)

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an angel food cake or bundt cake pan.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.
Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together, and add this to the butter mixture, mixing well. Add the sour cream and mix well; then mix in the vanilla (the batter will be thick.)
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then turn the cake out of thepan, and leave it on the rack until cool.

Notes: I just tried this for the first time today, and it's delicious (even though I forgot to add baking powder; whoops!) :)