Sunday, October 2, 2016

Scalloped Potatoes

I wish that picture were sharper.

I tend not to measure things, but just throw it together as I go.

4 cups thinly sliced peeled potatoes 
3 T flour
4 T minced onion (and garlic)
2 - 2.5 cups hot milk 

Spray pan with cooking spray. Arrange a layer of potatoes; sprinkle with flour, dots of butter, onion, salt and pepper. Repeat for 3 more layers, omitting the flour on the top layer. Pour hot milk over. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes covered and an additional one hour uncovered.

A great variation is to sprinkle each layer with grated cheese and/or bacon. Like this:

This is the original cookbook.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Coq Au Vin

This is based on the recipe in my 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking, but I have made changes and simplified it over the years.

1/2 lb. bacon, diced
6 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 small onion, diced (about a cup)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 carrots, sliced (about a cup)
2 T flour
1 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. dried marjoram
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. pepper (I don't add salt because the bacon is salty enough)
2 cups red wine
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (1 package)

Cook bacon pieces in pan until almost crispy. Push to one side and brown chicken pieces on both sides. Push chicken to one side and saute onions and garlic until they just start to brown. Add carrots. Stir in flour and herbs/spices*, add wine, stir, and distribute chicken evenly in pan. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes (turn chicken at about 1/2 an hour). Add mushrooms and simmer another 15 minutes or until mushrooms are done and chicken is tender. If the sauce is too thin, you can thicken it with a little more flour or cornstarch (dissolved in liquid first). Serve with egg noodles.

*amounts are approximate, you can add more or less to taste. If you have fresh herbs, add a lot more!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Two Ways

I've only been to a Red Lobster once, but I did have a box of their Cheddar Bay biscuit mix from Costco. It was good. So I improvised a recipe from Bisquick only to find that on the new Bisquick box, they had a recipe too.

The key is the garlic butter poured over the biscuits after they come out of the oven.

Bisquick's Recipe:

My Recipe (Makes 12 LARGE biscuits)
I know, it has a lot of butter.

3 c. Bisquick
1 cube butter
1 T. Old Bay Seasoning
1 c. grated cheese
1 1/4 c. milk

1 cube butter, melted
2 T chopped parsley
3-4 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut butter into Bisquick with a pastry blender, like you would for pie crust.
Mix in Old Bay and cheese, then add milk. Mix till it holds together, you can knead it a few times if necessary. Drop onto cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix together the topping ingredients. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, immediately spoon the garlic butter over them. It will soak in and make them ultra delicious.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Swedish Meatballs

These meatballs from the Skandi Kitchen cookbook are absolutely delicious.

Clearly this is the photo from the cookbook:


I think the allspice and grated onion give them the special flavor. 

What I do differently is make at least twice as much gravy and after browning the meatballs, simmer them in the gravy for 30 minutes.

My gravy: For every cup of liquid, you need 2 T each of butter and flour.

8 T (1 stick) butter
8 T (1/2 c.) flour
2 cans beef broth

In pan on medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook roux for a few minutes. Gradually pour in broth, stirring. It will start to thicken. Season to taste. You could use salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, or au jus flavoring (to "beef" it up a bit).

Update: finally got a picture of my own meatballs.

Beef Stew

2 lbs beef (chuck or tri-tip) cut into 1" cubes
1 can beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 potatoes, diced
2-3 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 T worcestershire sauce
1 can green beans

Dredge chunks of meat in flour, fry in oil until brown. (Do this in a frying pan if your stew pot isn't big enough.) Add broth, tomatoes, onion, garlic and simmer for an hour or so. Add vegetables, Worcester, and herbs. Simmer another hour. Add green beans and simmer until beans are heated through.

Oven Fries

Oven Fries have been a hit around here since 2003.

Oh, you wanted the recipe? Sorry, I got distracted by my cute children.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Ricotta Pancakes

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes
makes 8

1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
pinch salt
3/4 c. milk
3 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

[The original recipe says to strain ricotta for about 30 minutes. I usually don't bother with that.]

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Combine ricotta, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta and milk mixture, stirring gently until just combined. Whisk in a small amount of the egg whites to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.

Heat a griddle over medium-high heat, and brush the surface with butter. Use a ladle or measuring scoop (we used  1/3 cup measure) to pour batter onto the griddle. Cook pancakes for about 3 or 4 minutes, then flip, cooking until both sides are golden brown.

Green Chicken Enchiladas

Green Chicken Enchiladas

1 rotisserie chicken, or equivalent amount of cooked chicken
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
1 small onion, chopped and sautéed until soft
1 4 oz can diced green chiles
1 handful cilantro, chopped (optional – some people don’t like the taste)
Vegetable oil for frying
16+ corn tortillas
1 28 oz can green enchilada sauce
1 10 oz package queso fresco (or Monterey jack cheese)

Take meat off chicken and cut or tear into small pieces. Add beans, onion, green chiles, and cilantro and mix.
Fry tortillas briefly in hot oil, just a few seconds per side, and place on paper towels to drain. When tortillas are cool enough to handle, assemble the enchiladas.
On each tortilla add a spoonful of sauce, spoonful of chicken mixture, and sprinkling of cheese.  Roll up, and nestle together in a baking pan, seam side down.
Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes, until edges start to get brown and crispy.

Serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole (or sliced avocado).


This has swiss cheese, bacon, broccolini, and red onions.

Old Quiche Recipe
your choice: sauteed onions, bacon, veg, etc.
2 c. grated cheese
2 c. half and half
4 eggs
nutmeg, salt, pepper

New Quiche Recipe
1 1/4 c. grated cheese
your choice: sauteed onions, bacon, veg, etc.
1 1/2 c. milk
4 eggs                                        
3 T flour
1/4 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. salt
sprinkling of thyme
For the "new quiche" in a large pan, add extra 1/2 c. cheese,  1/2 c. milk, and another egg.

Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Your Brother's Famous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

½ stick butter-flavor Crisco
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½  teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream together the crisco and sugars.  Add egg, vanilla and milk and mix together.

Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix.  Stir in oatmeal, then stir in chocolate chips.

Drop the cookies on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until they are light brown.

They come out best if you use a cookie scoop and an insulated cookie pan.

Makes 2 dozen.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Yogurt Marinade and Tzatziki

Full fat yogurt has more body. If your yogurt is watery, drain it in a strainer to firm it up.  (Put a few layers of cheesecloth or a cloth towel in a wire strainer. Put yogurt on top of cloth and put strainer over a bowl. Refrigerate for a few hours until whey collects in bowl.)

Yogurt Marinade (for Chicken, Lamb, Beef)

1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced (I use a press)
2 t. dried thyme
2 t. dried oregano
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1/4 t. cayenne pepper (optional)

Mix all ingredients with meat and marinate at least 2-3 hours (overnight is good, too).

Put on bamboo skewers, alternating with squares of red onion and red bell pepper. Cook in grill pan.


1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 c. yogurt
3 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T minced fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together and refrigerate until served.

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cups water
1 17-ounce can creamed corn
1 17-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups half-and-half
salt and pepper to taste
at least one pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
chopped fresh chives (optional)

Put potatoes, onion, bell pepper, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in both cans of corn and half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 20 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until opaque, about 8 minutes. (If using pre-cooked shrimp, just simmer until shrimp are warm but try not to overcook them.) Garnish soup with chives. (I never remember that.)


Mom's Meatloaf

My son recently told me he loves my meatloaf more than any other meatloaf in the world. Awww.

The most important tip: Do not forget to put the ketchup squiggles on top!

2 lbs. hamburger
2 eggs
1/2 c. ketchup
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried parsley
1 t. dried oregano
1 cup grated carrot
2/3 cup breadcrumbs

All measurements are approximate! You can mix by hand or in a stand mixer.

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix hamburger and wet ingredients together. Add spices and carrot and mix. Add breadcrumbs some at a time and mix until mixture is no longer goopy. Form into a loaf in a baking pan. Squirt squiggles of ketchup on the top. Bake for about an hour. Slice and serve with more ketchup.

It's easy to cut proportions in half to make a smaller loaf. Shorten baking time a little.