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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hot and Sour Soup

  • 2-4 Tbs. Chicken fat (for best results), butter, or any oil
  • 1 Leek, washed thoroughly, split, and thinly sliced
  • 4 medium Carrots washed, split, and sliced
  • 8 oz. white button Mushrooms, washed, split, and sliced

Stir-fry vegetables in chicken fat, then add:

  • 1 quart of chicken stock
  • 8 oz. can of each, or a cup fresh: Bean Sprouts, Baby corn, Water chestnuts, Bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed (watch out for MSG and preservatives like Sodium Benzoate or Potassium Sorbate)
  • 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. Soy sauce
  • 1/2-1 Tbs. Chili-Garlic oil
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt (depends on how salty your stock is, mine had little to none)
Let the whole pot boil for about 20 minutes, or until the largest carrot pieces are tender.

And if you like it thick, stir in:
  • 2 Tbs. of Corn starch dissolved in 2 Tbs. cold water
Once it comes to a boil gently stir in a steady stream of:
  • 2 eggs, beaten
And/Or add:
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu cut into strips (optional)

Bring back to a boil, then serve.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Crock Pot Brown Rice On High Heat

I had cooked some heritage chicken legs in the crock pot the other day and was left with some very aromatic drippings and broth.  Since I didn't feel like getting another pot dirty I decided to use the crock.  I heated the leftovers and broth on high until simmering.  I took out the leg and added the rice.  I estimated the broth at about 2 cups and so I used 1 cup of brown rice.

Typically brown rice takes 50 minutes to cook once simmering.  Adding extra time to allow the broth to come back to a simmer, I was banking on somewhere between 1.5-2 hours.  Not the 3.5 most recipes on low heat suggested.  I chose high heat because I want a simmer.  I did not add any additional liquid because I have not known my crock to evaporate liquid very fast.

But then...I decided to add the meat from the leftover leg, and an extra cup of broth from my reserves. I ended up with tender but not mushy rice that had an amazing flavor, and just slightly too much broth, sloppy but not soupy.

The best part is that I didn't worry about it burning, simmering too rapidly, or boiling over.  And it wasn't under-done like it often turns out when I cook it (according to the directions) on the stove.  Plus since I have a gas stove/range, I don't like to leave it unattended.

1 cup of brown rice
2 cups + 1 cup of broth

Starting the broth on high till simmering, add the rice, plan on 2 hours.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Real Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Craving chocolate I kicked myself for not buying cocoa krispies to make the treats.  I was so focused on holiday rice krispies that when I didn't find them, I didn't think about anything but plain.

Then a thought occurred to me to try using actual chocolate, who knows what they put in cocoa krispies to make them taste chocolaty.  So I searched on-line for a recipe and discovered a few things.  Most people who tried adding chocolate chips mistakenly use the whole bag (12 oz./2 cups) instead of just using enough, 1/2 cup.  Secondly, hardly anyone thought about how adding chocolate would mean a need to increase liquid to make it work/easier to mix.

So I came up with this recipe and I think it's a winner, if not a little more labor intensive.  Next time I may use the microwave and mini-marshmallows.  Because it took so long for the big marshmallows to dissolve, it slightly turned the mixture into candy, allowing the treats to get stiff enough to cut only an hour or so after I made them.  Great if you need them in a hurry.

4 Tablespoons of Butter
1/2 cup (120 grams) of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 10-oz. bag of marshmallows
6 cups of plain rice krispees

On the stove, over a very low heat, stirring constantly, melt the butter and chocolate chips, then add in the marshmallows.  Stir constantly until marshmallows dissolve.  Stir in rice krispees until well coated, spread out into a greased glass dish.  Let cool and cover.

Calories: 2,494    Per 1/24: 104

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Frozen Cranberry Salad

This "salad" has been a mainstay in our family during the Holidays for as long as I can remember. I've seen other recipes that include cream cheese and nuts but this is the recipe handed down to me from my grandmother.

1 bag (12 oz.) fresh, raw cranberries rinsed and sorted
2 cups white sugar
16 oz. of mini-marshmallows*
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple
2 cups whipping cream (evaporated milk for lighter, heavy whipping cream for heavier, but I think regular whipping cream produces the  best results)

In a food processor pulse the cranberries and in a bowl combine with the sugar. In a separate bowl stir the crushed pineapple into the marshmallows. Cover and let rest in the fridge overnight. In a much larger bowl combine the cranberry mixture with the pineapple marshmallows. Whip the cream and fold into the lot of it. Spread out into a container with a lid, cover and freeze. It should be ready to eat in 8 hours.

*If you are gluten free make sure your marshmallows are as well.

Calorie counting:   Pineapple: 315, Cranberries: 150, Sugar: 1440, Marshmallows: 1350, Whipping Cream, Regular: 1440, Total: 4695 / 24 Servings = 195 Calories

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wild Rice Stuffing

This is a great gluten free alternative to traditional stuffing.  It was incredibly easy and delicious.  It could easily be made vegan if you substitute oil for the butter.

2 cups of Lundberg dry Wild Rice Blend
1 quart of chicken broth
1 Tablespoon of minced fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup of minced fresh parsley, or 1 rounded Tablespoon dried

Cook the rice according to the package using the broth, herbs, and 1 teaspoon of salt if broth is not salted.

4 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 onion, diced
5 large ribs of celery, diced
1/2 lb of mushrooms, halved and sliced

Saute the onion in the butter till translucent, add the celery, then the mushrooms, waiting a few minutes in between.  Stir every minute or so, cooking till all the liquid has steamed off and the veggies are starting to brown.  Add in to the cooked rice and serve.

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Stuffing" Herb Bread

I came up with this recipe for the markets when I was preggers.  It is just my same old Challah bread recipe, but not braided (although you could for Thanksgivukah), and seasoned with herbs.  I also marketed it under Scarborough Fair Bread, if you remember the Simon and Garfunkel song, which reminded me which herbs to use, although I don't remember the exact amount.  Whatever didn't sell I would turn into stuffing.  Mind you none of this is gluten free.  It makes the most amazing sandwiches, or just plain buttered toast.  Making bread isn't as much work as it sounds, and you'll have 4 beautiful loaves.

7 cups of bread flour*
2 Tablespoons of instant rise (no proof) yeast
3 Tablespoons of sugar
2 cups of hot water (105 F)
1 Tablespoon of salt
1/4 cup Oil
3 Eggs

2 Tablespoons dried Parsley
4 teaspoons dried ground Sage
2 teaspoons dried Rosemary
1 teaspoon dried Thyme

Blend the flour, yeast and sugar.  Pour in the hot water and stir slightly.  Add the remaining ingredients, make sure to break the yolks.  Stir slightly till somewhat incorporated.  Using the dough hook, and a stand mixer, beat on medium-low for 5 minutes.  The dough should be slightly sticky, but not runny.  Pour a couple of Tablespoons of oil over all and flip and turn to grease under and all around.

Trick for a perfect rise:  Fill a tea kettle with water and bring to a boil.  Set it and the dough in the greased bowl inside your oven.  The heat and steam from the kettle create the perfect environment.  If it is particularly cold in your kitchen, do slightly warm the oven, 105 F.

Let rise for 45 minutes.  Turn out dough onto a floured surface and divide into 4 pieces.  Knead slightly and shape into loaves, place in greased (and floured if metal) loaf pans.  Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Let the loaves rise (not in the oven this time) for another 25 minutes.

Bake for 25 minutes in the middle of the oven.  Give an extra 5-10 if the bread doesn't seem done (sounds hollow when you thump it).

*If you don't have bread flour, you can add 1 T. of gluten for every cup to your all-purpose flour.  If you don't have gluten on hand don't go buy it, just buy some bread flour, or else wing it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

My food blog is moving

You may have noticed carefully chosen ads on the sidelines of my blog lately.  My hubs has decided that I write on this blog so much that maybe it could turn a small profit, enough to keep us in "good" eggs since we don't own chickens any longer.  With this in mind he has purchased a domain name for me:  and soon all my content will be moved over there.  I hope to improve the looks of things and use.  I'll still be keeping this blog up for awhile, but I probably won't be updating it any longer.