Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oriental Chicken Salad

Our weather is still hot and the heat index still in the 100's, so cooking in the kitchen is still kept to a minimum. The weatherman on tv tells me that the heat will break tomorrow when the storms come through. I sure hope so, but until then Oriental Chicken Salad is on my menu. The first time that I had this was during a trip to California to visit with my best friend. We had it at a restaurant whose name I can't remember, but it was so good. Then, a few years ago, a co-worker made it for a luncheon we had at work. It was different, yet the same and still wonderful. I don't fix this often and that way, it stays as a special salad for my family.



1 lb package of shredded cabbage
2 to 4 C. cubed chicken, cooked
1/2 C. sliced almonds
3 or 4 green onions, chopped
1/2 C. sesame seeds
1 or 2 pkgs Ramen noodles, crushed

Mix all of the ingredients together, added the Ramen noodles just before serving. Pour dressing over salad; toss and serve.


1/2 t. pepper
1 T. sugar
1/3 C. oil
3 T. white vinegar
1/2 t. salt

Mix dressing together and pour over salad.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Vegetable Sandwich

I posted earlier about how I like to keep the kitchen as cool as possible during the summer and that I would post some salad and sandwich recipes that need either no, or very little, cooking. This recipe combines both the salad and sandwich together.

There a neat little restaurant that I used to go to when I attended a business meetings in Scottsburg, Indiana. I no longer have meetings in that town, so my visits to the restaurant are few and far between now. The restaurant is called Jeeves and Company. Even if you don't eat there, they have a gift shop that sells sweets that are to die for. I could never resist their fantastic large chocolate and peanut butter cups to take with me after lunch.

My favorite sandwich to order there, and I think just about the only thing I've ever gotten there is the Vegetarian Sandwich. Served with fresh fruit, and on hot days, it's the perfect thing to have to fill you up and cool you off at the same time. Order a carafe of Earl Grey Tea on ice and you can't beat it.

I don't know the exact recipe for their Vegetarian Sandwich, so I can only list what they put on it. Oh, and the photo above is not a photo of the actual sandwich, but it's pretty close.


Jeeves & Company's Vegetarian Sandwich

Swiss cheese
sliced tomatoes
green bell pepper rings
carrots, shredded
sweet & savory mustard

Serve on a large Croissant, with fresh fruit on the side.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kitchen Heat

"Kitchen Heat" is a shameless plug for for the romance novel I am currently writing. But, it also represents how my kitchen has felt for the past few days with the heat wave we are having. Keeping your kitchen cool on these hot summer days can be a challenge. Just this week, my husband deep-fried pork chops for supper and said just doing that raised the temperature in our kitchen 5° f. Just think if the temperature raised that much from a deep fryer, what does running your oven do?

There are a few things you can do to help keep your kitchen cooler in the summer. You can try preparing cooler non-cooking dishes, such as salads or cold-cut sandwiches. I'll try and get some of those recipes posted later in the month.

You can also use your microwave or slow cooker to for your meals. I cook several things in my microwave. Last night, I made baked beans in the microwave. I used the same recipe, cover with wax paper, and cooked it on high for 15-20 minutes, depending on how much you make. I also bake cornbread muffins in the microwave. Using yellow cornmeal makes the muffins look better when they are done. I have a microwave-safe muffin pan that I use. One of the other things I have to use in the microwave is a browning dish. I don't even know if you can still buy those things, or not. Mine is pretty old, as is my microwave, so it is a big one. I place the browning dish in the microwave and heat it up for a few minutes, then place whatever meat I want to cook on it, usually pork chops. Season it with Worcestershire Sauce and turn as you would if frying in a skillet.

As most of you know, I like to use a slow cooker when I can. This morning, I put on my recipe for Chicken & Dumplings ( see recipe below in an earlier post). Not only does it help keep the kitchen cooler, but makes supper so much easier to prepare. One of my other favorite recipes for the slow cooker is Teriyaki Chicken Wings. The are so good and tender, the meat will fall off the bone.

On the next hot day that you have, give your microwave or slow cooker a try and see how much cooler your kitchen can be.


Teriyaki Chicken Wings

1 pkg. chicken wings
1 10-ounce bottle of soy sauce
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Place wings in slow cooker that has either been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, or lined with a Crock-Pot liner. Pour mixture over the wings, cover and cook on high for 8 hours

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Apple Crisp

I don't buy a lot of sweets to keep around the house. If they are here, we'll eat them. But, sometimes you just get that craving to eat something sweet. That craving hit today, so I had to search around and see what ingredients I had on hand to fix something to take care of our sweet-tooth. My husband likes Granny Smith apples, but my favorite is the good ol' Golden Delicious. With his approval, I decided to use his Granny Smith's to make a pan of Apple Crisp. This recipe is actually kind of good for you. You get a serving of fruit and with the oats you get a touch of fiber. My only regret is not having some vanilla ice cream to go with it.

Apple Crisp
4 C. sliced, pared tart apples
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. oatmeal
1 t. cinnamon
3 1/2 T. margarine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8x8x2 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place apple slices in the pan and set aside. Mix remaining ingredients together until the mixture is completely moistened. Sprinkle evenly over apples and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the apples are tender and top is golden brown. Serve warm.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chalkboard Eraser

A high school classmate and I were talking this week about our days long ago in school. We usually shared our math classes together, but not our home ec. classes. She reminded me of an incident that once combined my home ec. class with our math class. I thought for sure that I had included this story in my cookbook, Masters & Disasters of Cooking. I went through the book and it wasn't there. It should have been, because it was definitely a disaster. Maybe if I ever do a volume 2, I'll have another story to include.

Our assignment in home ec class was to cook something. We weren't allowed to choose, but had to draw it out of a hat where the teacher had put her choices. I pulled out Popovers. Heck, I didn't even know what a popover was at the time. Luckily, my mother had a pretty good recipe for me to use. Home ec. class was my second class of the day and a few days later, I baked my popovers. They came out perfect. I got an A on them.

Remember, I said this was a disaster. Well, now we come to math class, which was my last class of the day and full of high school boys; hungry high school boys. We usually finished class before the bell rang and I asked the teacher if I could go to the home ec. room and get my popovers. He said I could and when I returned with them, the boys begged me for a taste. Being a high school girl who wanted the attention of boys, I gave in and each of them got a popover. As you know, popovers should be filled with some sort of filling. These weren't and apparently the boys did not know what a popover actually was either.

Now comes the disaster part. Popovers are basically just dough and not much flavor. It's the filling that makes them so good. The guys started eating and immediately started spitting them out. Oh my, the faces they made. I laughed along when they started making fun of them. I was the center of attention and I had a crush on one of the boys, but inside I was devastated. They didn't understand that they needed to filled with something. Then, the teacher got involved. He took one of the popovers and went to the chalkboard and started erasing that day's lesson with a popover.

When I think about this story now, I do laugh, espcially about erasing the board. My old math teacher is a very good friend of mine. He was then and still is now. The boys are, too. My popovers were brought up at our last class reunion. No, I didn't bring them to the dinner, but I probably should have. Maybe next year, I will.

Below is my recipe for popovers. I haven't made them in a while, but thinking about my high school days, I might just have to stir up a batch, with filling, of course.

2 eggs, beaten
1 C. sifted all-purpose flour
1 C. milk
1 T. vegetable oil
1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Mix together all ingredients until smooth. Coat 6-8 custard cups with shortening. Fill cups about 1/2 full. Place cups on a cooking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 25-30 minutes longer, or until they are browned and firm. About five minutes before removing them from the oven, prick with a toothpick or fork to allow the steam to escape. Take care not to get burned by the hot steam that will come out.

Once cooled, they can be filled with almost anything. I suggest any of the following: whipped cream, tuna salad, jam or jelly, honey butter, cream cheese, ice cream, chicken salad, or apple butter. See, you can do just about anything with popovers, even use them as chalkboard eraser.