Category Archives: Recipes

In This Together

As is her way, Emma has taken it upon herself to take care of Bixby and me. Here she is keeping the big guy company in the afternoon sun. Bixby still spends a lot of time looking out the window and sighing. Loudly. I wish I was kidding.

Today he began to brighten up, wanting to play non-stop with Bad Horse, so we are making progress.

Lots of cooking going on here. Bad Horse has felt like taking on some new recipes. This one was a winner:

It’s a Pear Crisp. Using the Perfect Apple Crisp recipe, found here, and substituting pears for the apples. It also uses gluten free flour quite successfully in the crisp.

We had an abundance of pears because my local grocer is selling “misfit” fruits and veggies – or what I like to call, “ugly fruit and veggies”. They are misshapen, bruised or otherwise not “A” quality. But I will let you in on a little secret, most of them are much  tastier. Especially the lemons – thin skinned and full of juice – which makes them bruise easily. Ugly, but yummy.

That’s it for now…I’ll try to get back to regular blogging soon. Until then…



Comfort Food Parade Continues!

Easy meatloaf: hamburger, Italian sausage, an egg, an onion, bread crumbs, buttermilk, salt and pepper.  The Allrecipes link doesn’t say sausage but I had some so I went half and half with ground beef.

Chicken Dumplings

When I was growing up this dish was one of the things my dad felt competent to make indoors on the stove.  I’m not sure why but he wouldn’t let mom do it.  It may be the comfort food for me.  I finally took Alton Brown’s advice and let the rolled dough dry for several hours before simmering to a finish in that wonderful chicken broth.  If you drop them in as soon as they are rolled the dumplings tend to dissolve.  These actually held together a little too well!

Pressure Cooker Beans

I was hit with a need for lima beans and cornbread and didn’t want to wait overnight to soak them properly so I turned to the pressure cooker.  I cheated a little – bringing them to a boil and then resting them for an hour before sealing the pot and giving them 40 more minutes under pressure.

Plenty of comment on the best method for pressure cooking dry beans, I saw many mentions of exploded looking beans from letting off the pressure too quickly along with a few predictions of foaming and overflow unless you add a little vegetable oil to the beans or fill the pot only half full, or less.  Many sites have time tables for cooking various beans, I’ve found that my tastes run towards adding a little time to most everyone’s recommendations.

Mine turned out mostly OK, they may have only needed 30 minutes given their head start.The buttermilk cornbread turned out pretty good though the bottom scorched a bit while on the stove top waiting for the toaster oven to come to temp.  I like to pour the batter into a hot skillet to give it a proper crust, got distracted rinsing out the bowls and let it go a wee bit long on high.  Two of the burners on the new stove put out much more heat than any of the burners on the previous range and I’m still adjusting.

Chicken Parm

This dish is usually made with tenderized chicken breasts, I like the boneless, skinless thighs better.  I pounded these a little but not a lot.  The prep was typical, though:  dredge in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs,  Cook in olive oil until golden, then flip.  Bake, topped with sauce and cheese and serve.  I like a bed of spaghetti that has been tossed in butter and good olive oil with plenty of garlic.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef

It’s just like crockpot Italian beef, only faster.  I’m liking my Instapot cooker more and more.  It’s the only way I make stock these days – just pile in the bones and odds and ends of celery and carrots and what-not with water and give it an hour on the timer and you’re golden.

Anyway back to the beef – sear a good chunk of that on sale chuck or what have you, cover it with some of your stock, add a couple of coarsely chopped onions, a handful of garlic, Italian seasonings (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley), and a jar of pickled pepperoncini.  The peppers are not as important as the juice.  You can add some red pepper flake to spice it up.  I set the timer for 75 minutes – it was easily shreddable when done,I baked some rolls to go with the beef.  I’ve been using the reliable KA bun recipe for several years now.  My hamburger buns usually turn out better looking than these hoagie type rolls but I’m working on that.Bonus Bea pic!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is simple to make, the batter is 1/4 cup each of flour and cornstarch and 1/2 tsp baking powder whisked into 1/2 cup of water – it’s thin and this will coat a good bit of chicken.  Deep fry the battered chicken chunks in oil, draining off excess batter, till browned.  Keep the pieces separated as they go in.  Set aside on paper towels to add to the veggies later.  The sauce is even simpler than the last time I made a sweet and sour stir fry.  Mix 1/3 cup of rice vinegar, 2/3 cup of pineapple juice (I remembered to buy some frozen juice), a healthy squeeze of catsup, and 1/4 cup of Splenda.  Heat the mixture to a simmer and whisk in a tbsp of cornstarch in a slurry with a little water to thicken.  I decided to leave out the soy sauce this time, didn’t miss it.  Optional but recommended:  add some chili garlic paste to the sauce.

This time we used broccoli, green bell pepper, and snow pea pods with some red onion for the veggies.  Add some minced garlic and ginger to hot oil in a pan and stir for a few seconds, add the broccoli and cook until nearly tender.  (I usually add a splash of water and cover to quickly steam the broccoli.)  Add the pea pods, peppers, and onions.  Add the chicken to the veggies, pour in the sauce and toss to coat and heat everything through. Serve it with white rice.  Two thumbs up!

Kicked Up Potato Soup

The other day I had some cheesy potato soup leftovers but not enough so I decided to brown more potatoes to bulk them up.  It made a big, positive, difference in the taste.I’m wondering if I should fry all the potatoes instead of boiling them – add half to the stock for blending and half later to provide texture.

Mmm… French Toast

I mentioned the day we bought a jam maker and that our first go at jam was not a roaring success.  The strawberry jam we were trying for turned out as strawberry syrup.  That’s not a total loss!  We’ll try some blueberries next time, and try to follow the manufacturer’s instructions rather than go by third party recipes.

Stir Fry Pork and Broccoli

I was in the mood for a stir fry last night – I had some broccoli I really needed to use and a red bell pepper I’d bought on spec.  The pork is deli sliced tenderloin – not ideal but it worked pretty well.  It was already cooked so I added it after the veggies were done to warm it through before adding the sauce.  I usually make a generic brown sauce for these impromptu dishes but went with a simple sweet and sour sauce for this.

For the sauce mix 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 1 Tbsp of water and set aside.  Add 1/3 cup of rice vinegar, 2/3 cup of juice, a dollop of ketchup, a splash of soy sauce, and 1/3 cup of brown sugar to a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue to cook while the sauce thickens.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Most sweet and sour recipes call for pineapple juice but I wasn’t going to open a can only for its juice so I used orange juice I had in the fridge.  I need to get a can of frozen concentrate for those times a spoonful in a little water is all I need.