Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sesame Cookies with Raspberry Preserves

2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar and cinnamon (mixed)
4 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla
4 c. flour
2/3 tsp salt
sesame seeds
raspberry preserves

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in extracts. Add flour and salt, mix well. Shape into small balls, roll in sesame seeds. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Indent centers, fill with preserves. Bake @ 400 F for 10-12 minutes (cookies will stay light color). Yield: about 3 dozen

Cookies after they've been baked

Monday, August 30, 2010

White Chili

This is absolutely one of my all-time favorite things to make (and eat).

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (at least 4, but you can add more!)
3-4 c. chicken broth or 3-4 cubes bouillon (it depends on how soupy you want your chili)
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp. ground cumin (so, I probably add more like 5 tsp, but go by what tastes good to you)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp chipotle tabasco
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground coriander
black pepper to taste (I use a lot!)
1 can (11oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (15oz) great northern beans, drained
1 can (15oz) butter beans, drained
2 c. chicken breast chopped and cooked (I usually cook the chicken with the same spices I put in the chili)
pepperjack cheese (optional)
tortilla chips (optional)
Onion, garlic, cilantro in oil

Chili with all the ingredients minus chicken
Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic in oil (I add the garlic a few minutes after the onion), stirring occasionally, until onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except chicken. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes (while it's simmering, I occasionally taste it to see how the spices are blending, and I'll usually add some more until it tastes like what I want). Stir in chicken; simmer until hot. Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, sliced avocado, etc.
Chili with chicken
Ready to serve!

Adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Steak with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce

This recipe is pretty much to die for. We served it with pasta and hamburgers. The recipe says blue cheese, but gorgonzola is fine as well. So good! Here is the link:


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spaghetti with Macadamia Gorgonzola sauce

I found this recipe in a macadamia nut cookbook in Lincoln City this weekend. It was pretty much amazing.
Chopped macadamias

2 Tbsp. butter
4 cloves garlic, crushed
black pepper
4 oz. gorgonzola, crumbled
1/4 c. sour cream
3/4 c. finely chopped macadamia nuts
white pepper and salt, to taste
hot, cooked spaghetti

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, cilantro, black pepper, and saute about 3 minutes (don't let it turn brown!). Add the Gorgonzola, and stir until melted. Add sour cream and stir to make creamy sauce. Stir in the macadamia nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over hot spaghetti. It turned out really well!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Traditional Czech Garlic Soup

This is on a ton of menus in Prague; it's fabulous. And the recipe says it's optional to add bread and cheese at the end, but for authenticity, you should definitely add the bread and cheese. Cheddar will not be a good choice. I would recommend Camembert. If you can't find that, then Brie. And your bread, you can cube it if the slices are too big. I've seen it both ways.

8 c. broth(beef or chicken, your preference)
6 cloves of garlic (more or less, according to your personal taste)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. marjoram
freshly ground black pepper (a lot!)
2 Tbsp. butter
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1-2 Tbsp. cilantro
slices of bread, cubes of soft cheese (optional)

Mash garlic with salt, or use a garlic press, and then mix crushed garlic with salt (you could also roast the garlic prior to mashing...).

Place mix of garlic and salt into a large pot, add broth and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer. Add pepper, caraway seeds, potatoes, marjoram, pepper, cilantro, and butter. Simmer uncovered till potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes).

Fry slices of bread in butter or bacon drippings until golden brown. Place a slice of bread in each bowl and ladle garlic soup over the bread. You can also add cubes of cheese before serving (highly recommended!).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chicken Divan

This has been one of my favorite recipes since high school thanks to Sandy Hoffman, who makes the most amazing Chicken Divan!

1-2 chicken breast, cooked and cubed
2-3 c. broccoli, steamed
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of cheddar
dash of lemon juice
1/2 c. cheddar, shredded
bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix the cream of chicken and cream of cheddar together. Add a dash of lemon juice. Layer the broccoli then chicken into a baking dish. Spread the cream mixture over the top. Add the cheddar and bread crumbs to the top. Heat for about 25 minutes or until heated all the way through.

You can serve it like it is or serve over white rice.

For a variation, I made a casserole using almost the same ingredients... We didn't have cream of cheddar, so we just grated more actual cheddar. We cooked the chicken and steamed the broccoli, then mixed them together with cooked white rice and cream of chicken in a large skillet. Then we added 1 c. cheddar, melting it into the mixture. We then put the whole thing in a baking dish, sprinkled the top with cheddar and bread crumbs. Baked at 450 F. for about 10-15 minutes. Still really good!

Friday, August 20, 2010


2 cans garbanzo beans
juice of one lemon
5 cloves of garlic (or more!)
1/2 c. tahini
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cumin (at least!)
black pepper (lots and lots!)
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp olive oil

Drain beans, reserving the liquid. Add all ingredients to food processor, and process till smooth. Add reserved garbanzo bean liquid until desired consistency. Sometimes I'll add more tahini or spices depending on the taste. We usually serve hummus with saltines and baby carrots, but you can use whatever you want!

Recipe courtesy of Joel Kimsey

Cauliflower Manchurian

Purple cauliflower
One of my favorite recipes!

1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
pinch of msg
oil for deep frying

1 c. refined flour
1/2 c. cornflour
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt to taste
water as needed
(May need to double this depending on how much cauliflower you have)

Sauce makings
2 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic (sometimes I use more)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. white pepper
black pepper (a lot!)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cornflour mixed with 1/2 c. water
1 c. vegetable stock or water
salt to taste

Wash the cauliflower florets, sprinkle with a little salt and msg, and set aside for 5 minutes. Combine all the ingredients mentioned under batter. Beat well and prepare a thick coating batter.

Heat the oil in a deep pot or deep fryer. Dip the florets one by one in the batter and deep fry. Drain when golden brown. Set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add the ginger and garlic. Fry for 1/2 minute. Add the stock, pepper, soy sauce, sugar, and salt.

Simmer uncovered for 1 minute. Add the cornflour mixed with water and stir continuously, so that the sauce becomes thick. 

Sauce, ready for drizzling
Ready to eat!
You can either drizzle the sauce over the fried florets or use it as a dipping sauce. You can either just have the fried florets or you can serve them over cooked white rice. Either way it is delicious!

Guinness Black and White Chocolate Mousse

 Black Chocolate Mousse:
8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped or grated
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1/4 superfine sugar (baker's sugar)
3/4 c. Guinness stout
3 large eggs, separated
1 c. heavy whipping cream

White Chocolate Mousse:
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped or grated
1 c. heavy whipping cream

To make the black chocolate mousse: In a small bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in a double boiler, combine the chocolate, butter, and sugar. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the Guinness and whisk in the egg yolks. Remove from the heat.

In a small bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. With clean beaters, in a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture. Fill 8 wine or parfait glasses three quarters full with the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate while preparing the white chocolate mousse.

To make the white chocolate mousse: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the white chocolate and 1/2 cup of the cream. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool, stirring once or twice, for 30 minutes, or until thickened. In a small bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture. Spoon the mixture over the top of the chocolate mousses and refrigerate for at least 2, and up to 24, hours.

So good.

From The Irish Pub Cookbook

Blue Cheese Toasts

1 baguette or another type of French bread
1/3 c. plus 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. blue cheese (maybe a little more...)

Preheat the broiler.

Cut 1/2 inch thick slices from the baguette.

Toast the slices on a rack under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat, turning them once, or until lightly toasted. Remove from the broiler and brush the slices on each side with the 1/3 cup of olive oil.

In a small bowl, mash the blue cheese with the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Spread the mixture evenly over one side of each slice of toast. Broil the toasts on a baking sheet for 1 minute, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

From The Irish Pub Cookbook

Deep-Fried Cheese

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. flat beer at room temperature
pinch of salt
1 tsp. canola oil
1 large egg, separated, at room temperature
Two 8 oz. rounds Camembert
Canola oil for frying

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, beer, salt, and oil. There will be a few small lumps. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for about 3 hours. Stir in the egg yolk. In a small bowl, beat the egg white with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the beer batter.

Cut each round of cheese, rind and all, into 8 pie-shaped slices, then cut each slice crosswise in have. In a skillet or deep fryer, heat about 2 inches of oil to 325 F. Dip the cheese pieces, one at a time, into the beer batter. Drop into the hot oil, and cook in batches, turning as necessary with a spoon, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown. With a slotted spoon, remove each piece as soon as it's browned, and drain on paper towels.


From The Irish Pub Cookbook

Nanaimo Bars

One of my favorite dessert recipes: http://www.joyofbaking.com/NanaimoBars.html

Bottom Layer
Bottom Layer:
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. granulated white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. sweetened or unsweetened coconut, shredded or flaked
1/2 c. pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped (I left this out)

Middle Layer:
1/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature 
Spreading the Middle Layer
2 - 3 Tbsp. milk or cream 
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder or vanilla pudding powder 
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 c. confectioners sugar

Top Layer:
4 oz. semisweet chocolate 
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Butter or spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray.

Bottom Layer: In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and cocoa powder and then gradually whisk in the beaten egg. Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (1 - 2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and chopped nuts. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about an hour).

Middle Layer: In your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until the mixture is smooth. If the mixture is too thick to spread, add a little more milk. Spread the filling over the bottom layer, cover, and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

Top Layer

Top Layer: Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Then, in a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the filling and refrigerate for about 10 minutes or just until the chocolate has set. Using a sharp knife, cut into squares.

Brown Butter Banana Bread

I got this recipe off the internet, so here is the link:


I also added 6oz of chocolate chips.

 It's fabulous. 

Brownie Cheesecake

1 box. brownie mix
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1 c. chocolate chips, melted

Grease the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.

Prepare the brownie batter as directed on the box. Pour batter into greased pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F.

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour cheese mixture over brown layer.

Spoon the melted chocolate chips over the cream cheese mixture. Cut through with a knife for a marble effect. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes.

Loosen cake from the rim of the pan by carefully running a butter knife around the edge. Chill overnight. Serve with whipped cream.

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.momswhothink.com/cheesecake-recipes/brownie-cheesecake-recipe.html

Cottage Pie

I found out if you use beef, it's Cottage Pie. If you use lamb, it's Shepherd's Pie.

3 Tbsp. oil
2 lbs. ground beef
salt and ground pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro (use parsley if you don't like cilantro)
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme

garlic powder (I don't measure)
1 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 c. beef broth (or 3 bouillon cubes mixed with 3 c. boiling water)

2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 in. pieces
1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. butter


In a large skillet over medium heat, 2 Tbsp. of the oil. Add the beef and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, and with a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a large bowl. Get rid of the grease.


Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil to the pan. Stir in the onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft but not browned. Add the carrots, cilantro, garlic, and thyme, and cook, stirring once or twice, for 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are coated with oil. Stir in the flour, cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the stock/broth. Bring to a boil. Add the meat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, or until the beef is tender and the sauce is thickened. Season again with salt and pepper.


Preheat the over to 425 degrees F.


To make the topping: In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 12-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and mash. Add the milk and butter, and stir until smooth.


Transfer the stew to a large casserole dish. Decoratively spread or pipe the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the mixture is hot. Serve.

From The Irish Pub Cookbook

Amazing Apple Berry Crumble


1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk
2-3 Tbsp ice water


2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 c. mixed berries, such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries
2 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. oatmeal
1 c. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 c. sliced almonds (optional)


To make the crust: Butter an 11-inch pan. Combine the flour, sugar, and butter in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse 8 to 10 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2 Tbsp of the water and process for 15 to 20 seconds, or until the dough comes together. Add the additional 1 Tbsp of water if the dough seems too dry. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and press it onto the bottom and up the sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 350 F.


 To make the filling: Layer the apples into the crust and top with the berries. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch and sprinkle over the berries.


To make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, and butter. With a pastry cutter or 2 knives, blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the almonds (if you want them), and sprinkle the mixture over the fruit.


Crumble with crust and filling

Bake the crumble for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the fruit is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Ready to bake






From The Irish Pub Cookbook

Pepper Soup

1/2 c. butter
4 bell peppers (a combination of red, yellow, and orange), seeded, deribbed, and diced (we use a garlic chopper to get the pieces really really small)
1 medium onion, diced
1 c. all-purpose flour
6 tsp. chicken bouillon mixed with 6 c. boiling water
2/3 c. half and half
ground basil, to taste
pinch of thyme
ground pepper (a lot)
dash or two of coriander

Pepper soup
In a stockpot or large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the peppers and onion and cook, covered, stirring once or twice, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not browned. Stir in the flour until blended with the vegetables. Add the chicken stock, a cup at a time, stirring after each addition to blend with the flour and vegetables. Add in the basil, thyme, pepper, and coriander (when Chris makes this soup, he leaves out the thyme and coriander). Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the half and half. Simmer until heated through. Serve hot.

Adapted from the Irish Pub Cookbook

Easy Garlic Cheese Biscuits

2 c. Original Bisquick
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Heat oven to 450.
Mix Bisquick, milk, and cheese until soft dough forms; stir vigorously for 30 seconds. Drop dough by 10 to 12 spoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Baked goodness
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Mix melted butter and garlic powder; brush on warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

From Betty Crocker's Cookbook

Steamed Pork Bao

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. grated, fresh ginger root (or powder)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 1/2 Tbsp.oyster sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. cold water
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 c. cooked, diced pork (barbecued pork is ideal, and we just made breakfast ones, so we used pork sausage and scrambled eggs)

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. vegetable shortening
1 tsp. white vinegar
3/4 c. cold water

To prepare filling:
Heat oil in wok or frying pan over high heat. Stir-fry ginger and garlic in oil 30 seconds. Add in salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and cornstarch mixed with 1/2 c. cold water to wok. Cook and stir until thick and clear. Remove from heat and stir in hoisin sauce, sugar, and pork (or whatever). Cool completely.
To prepare dough:
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Combine 3/4 cup of cold water and the vinegar and mix into the flour until dough sticks together. Add small amount of water if necessary. Shape dough into ball. Knead on lightly floured surface approximately 8 or 10 times. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and let stand 20 minutes. Uncover and knead approximately 10 or 12 times.

To prepare bao:   
Filling on rolled out dough.
Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, then roll out 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Brush around edges lightly with water. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of pork and egg mixture onto center of each circle. Bring up edges to enclose filling, making folds at top pinching to seal and twisting. Cut parchment paper or waxed paper into 12 small squares (big enough for the bao to fit on). Place a bao, seamside down on each square. Fill wok with about 1" of water. Heat to boiling. Place bao with paper in Bamboo Steamer. Don't crowd them; they'll expand. In an average size steamer, you should be able to fit about 5 bao. Place in wok. Cover and steam 20 to 30 minutes, or until dough has cooked. Serve warm. Makes 12 bao.

Wok with 1" water
Uncooked bao in steamer with wax paper.
Steamer with lid sitting in the wok, cooking the bao