Friday, December 25, 2009

Mom's Golden Thumbprints

I made these this morning feeling homesick. Because of some icy road conditions near my parents home, we weren't able to be there for Christmas. These cookies are ones that my Mom always made when I was growing up. I didn't have any walnuts in the house since I wasn't expecting to be doing any Christmas baking so I skipped that step. I used a ginger-rhubarb preserve that my husband had bought for me as a stocking stuffer as a filling.


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cream together first four ingredients, save egg white for later use.
  • Stir in the flour and salt.
  • Roll inot 1 inch balls.
  • Dip into slightly beaten egg white and roll in nuts.
  • Bake 5 minutes, take out of oven and quickly indent each center with your thumb, fill the center with a small spoonful of jam of your choice.
  • Bake again for 8 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Easy way to make the nuts finely chopped is to shred them in a food processor until fine.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hot and Sour Pork Stew


  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. pork loin, cut into chunks
  • 1 head of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts
  • A handful of chopped cilantro

  • Place the pork in a medium-size pot together with the garlic, soy sauce, pepper, vinegar and bay leaves; let stand for 2 hours.
  • Transfer the pieces of garlic from the pot to a separate pan and fry in hot oil until brown.
  • Add pork pieces to the garlic and then fry until brown.
  • Drain.
  • Add reserved marinade and chicken broth to the fried pork and garlic; simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Serve in bowls and sprinkle on peanuts, cilantro, and liberal amounts of freshly ground black pepper.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Garden, Dec. 18--Basil, Tomato, and Breadcrumb Pasta

The basil plant that I transplanted inside from the garden didn't make it. It was limp this morning and never perked up after I watered it. So I stripped the leafs off and chopped them up for pasta tonight. Before the first frost I had harvested all the green tomatoes off of my roma tomato plants and five or six of them had ripened in the house so I used them as well.

  • 4 oz. dried spaghetti
  • 2-3 TB olive oil
  • A handful of fresh basil leafs, chopped
  • 5 or 6 small roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • Bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions.
  • Meanwhile heat the olive oil and add the basil, tomatoes, garlic, black pepper and crushed red pepper and saute over medium low heat while the pasta cooks.
  • Drain the pasta and add to the vegetable mixture, stirring well.
  • Sprinkle over the bread crumbs and stir well to combine.
  • Serve in two bowls with fresh Parmigiano Reggiano

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Flour Tortilla Flautas



  • Tightly roll about 2 spoonfuls of the seasoned and shredded chicken in a tortilla and secure with a toothpick.
  • Repeat for each tortilla.
  • When the oil is hot enough to sizzle a spare piece of tortilla pretty quickly it is ready to cook to the tortillas.
  • Put in about three tortillas at a time depending on the size of your pot and let get golden and crispy on both sides, flipping once.
  • Remove and allow to drain on paper towels.
  • I served mine with a pepper-jack cheese sauce, pico de gallo, and guacamole.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients for 12 enchiladas:

  • 4 ancho chiles
  • 1 cup of water reserved from hydrating the chiles
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • oil for frying
  • 12 4 1/2 inch white corn tortillas
  • 1/4 pound pepper jack cheese
  • 2 cups seasoned and shredded chicken


  • Remove the stalks from the dried chiles.
  • Slit them ope and remove seeds and veins.
  • Toast chiles lightly in a cast iron skillet.
  • Remove and soak in hot water for 15 minutes.
  • Put the 1/2 cup of water, garlic and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add the chiles to the blender and blend until sauce is smooth.
  • Break up egg with a fork and stir into the sauce.
  • Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a small frying pan.
  • Dip one tortilla at a time into the chile sauce to cover it thickly and from for about 8 seconds on each side.
  • Use a spatula to flip.
  • Remove to a plate and place a slice of cheese on the tortilla and a large spoonful of seasoned and shredded chicken and then double the tortilla over.
  • Continue until all the enchiladas are done.
  • I served mine with pico de gallo.

Seasoned and Shredded Chicken

  • 2 TB vegetable oil
  • 3 TB chopped whole onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • salt to taste
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  • Add the vegetables and fry on low heat for about 5 minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the shredded chicken and salt and continue cooking until the mixture is well seasoned and almost dry.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Impromptu Chicken Broth

I had a chicken in the refrigerator that I had to either use or freeze, so I decided to make a chicken broth out of it and then shred and freeze the meat.

I had to go with whatever was in the house to make the broth, since I had absolutely no desire to run to the store, so here's what I ended up with.


  • 1 small chicken
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced in two
  • 4 carrots roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, the top cut off, but don't bother to peel.
  • 3 or 4 black peppercorns
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of oregano


  • Place a cleaned chicken in a pot with the other ingredients and cover with water.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Lower temperature to a simmer for several hours.
  • Strain broth and shred the chicken.