Sunday, December 01, 2013

More Ethiopian...

Several years ago I posted these Ethiopian recipes.  I recently updated the injera recipe because over time I have discovered I needed to add more water to make it flatter.

Here are two others I have added to the mix.

The white dish is the easiest one to make. It comes straight out of Story of the World Vol. 4 Activity book, Ben's 4th grade history curriculum.


1 lb. small curd cottage cheese
3 Tbsp. plain yogurt (Greek is best)
1 tsp grated lemon rind
3 Tbsp parsley, chopped fine (fresh is best)
1 tsp salt
a pinch of black better

Mix it all together and drain off excess liquid.

Doro Wat 
(This is a combination of the one in Story of the World and two others I found online and my own additions.)

For best results, soak first three ingredients overnight but you can skip that step if necessary:
1 1/2 lb chicken (bone-in would be best and thighs/drumsticks preferred but I'm a wuss so I did it with boneless, skinless thighs)
1 1/2 C water
1/4 cup lemon juice

3 small onions (chopped: about 2 1/2 C)
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp smoked paprika (paprika works too)
1/2 t ground ginger (or 1 t fresh chopped)
1/4 t cardamom (opt but it really adds)
cayenne pepper (minimum of 1/4 t, if you are adjusting little tastebuds and on up to 2 teaspoons for those who like spice)

Put it all in a slow cooker and cook 5 hours on high.

Friday, January 27, 2012

General Chicken

One of our new favorites in the frier is General Chicken. Just as tasty as take out. You can find the recipe here on Allrecipes, but I've posted it below, too.

Notes: You could skip the breading and just cook bite size pieces of chicken to cut calories. Purchasing all of the specialized ingredients can get pricey so don't try this if you don't intend to make more or more Chinese recipes. I think it cost me around $30 for the spices, oils and vinegar. I use dried orange peel instead of zest. I use 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts per sauce recipe. Plan on one chicken breast per person. I found it very helpful to measure out everything into little bowls before cooking the sauce.

General Tsao's Chicken

(some ingredients are listed twice intentionally)

4c. vegetable oil for frying

1 egg

1-1/2lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

1t. salt

1t. white sugar

1 pinch white pepper

1c. cornstarch

2T. vegetable oil

3T. chopped green onion

1 clove garlic, minced

6 dried whole red chilies

1 strip orange zest (or small amount of dried orange peel)

1/2c. white sugar

1/4t. ground ginger

3T. chicken broth

1T. rice vinegar

1/4c. soy sauce

2t. sesame oil

2T. peanut oil

2t. cornstarch

1/4c. water

1. Heat 4c. vegetable oil in deep fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees.

2. Beat the egg in a mixing bowl. (I use my blender.). Add the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt, 1t. sugar and white pepper. Mix well. Mix in 1c. of the cornstarch a little bit at a time until the chicken is well coated.

3. In batches, carefully drop the chicken into the hot oil one by one, cooking until they turn golden brown and begin to float, about 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow to cool as you fry the next batch. Onces all the chicken has been fried, refry the chicken, starting with the batch that was cooked first. Cook until the chicken turns a deep golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on a paper towel covered plate. (I skipeed the paper towels once and had oil floating around in the sauce later. Ick!)

4. Heat 2T. vegetable oil in a large wok or pot over high heat. Stir in the green onion, garlic, whole chilies, and orange zest. Cook and stir a minute or two until the garlic has turned golden and the chilies brighten. Add 1/2c. sugar, the ginger, chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and peanut oil. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.

5. Dissolve 2t. cornstarch in the water and stir into the boiling sauce. Return to a boil and cook until the sauce thickens and is no longer cloudy from the cornstarch, about a minute. Stir chicken pieces into boiling sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for a few minutes until the chicken absorbs some of the sauce.

Rice Balls

Since we got a deep fryer, we've been trying various recipes (and making up some of our own). Nathan kept seeing rice ball recipes online so he printed out one to try. They turned out rather blah to us so we tossed the recipe. In case you are curious about what they contain: rice, egg, tomato paste and onion into a ball, rolled in bread crumbs and spices. Then fried.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vegetable Bibimbap

I'm always on the lookout for a great vegetarian dish, especially one that is both filling and enjoyed by all at the table. Tonight's dish comes from the September 2011 edition of Every Day Food: A Martha Stewart Magazine.

(Side note: I love Every Day Food magazine because its subscription is inexpensive (or often free), they cover 10 months a year (doubling up January/February and July/August), and the recipes are not only simple to make, but they generally follow what's in season, include fresh fruits and vegetables, and ingredients that are almost always readily accessible and generally inexpensive. To add to this, the magazine has little to no advertisements, which is unlike so many of the other so-called food magazines (i.e. Every Day with Rachel Ray or The Food Network Magazine, etc.) which tend to be filled with 90% ads and 10% recipes.)

Now, back to the recipe. Tonight we tried a Korean-style rice dish: Vegetable Bibimbap.

I was thrilled to discover this recipe because it turned out to not only be a filling vegetarian dish, but it was stocked full of fresh veggies that were readily accessible and ones my 4 year-old daughter loves to eat! (No bamboo shoots or cooked pineapple thank you very much!)

Because this is a recipe that I did not create I won't post it here, but instead direct you to the official magazine website where you can print the recipe for your own collection: Vegetable Bibimbap. I definitely encourage you to try it, it is delicious and simple to make.

Note: The only changes I made to the recipe were:
  • I used Jasmine rice instead of white rice.
  • I skipped the Sriracha sauce for serving and we used what we had on hand: Texas Pete hot sauce. It was fine by me.
Special Food Needs:
  • For a vegan version of this dish omit egg.
  • For a gluten-free recipe look for soy sauce that doesn't contain gluten.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pizza, Pizza

Barbecue chicken pizza
I've tried a few new pizzas on my family lately. With both, I found a recipe and then completely altered it.

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

1- 12 in pizza dough crust (Trader Joe's makes great pizza dough in the deli section)
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
2 Cups of rotisserie chicken (shred it)
3/4 cups yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup vertically-sliced red onion
1/3 cup blue cheese or gorgonzola

Roll out pizza dough on a baking sheet or pizza stone. Spread barbecue sauce and follow with chicken, pepper and onion. Sprinkle cheese. Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes.

Salmon Pizza

1-12 in pizza dough
6 oz can salmon (you might like smoked)
2/3 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 cups green onions, sliced
3 oz. mascarpone cheese
freshly ground black pepper

Roll out pizza dough on a baking sheet or pizza stone. Spread green onions on pizza; follow with peppers. Then spread salmon pieces evenly. And drop dollops of mascarpone on top evenly. Grind black pepper on top and then bake at 450 for 10-11 minutes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Breakfast Burritos

My family leads a very busy life, with most mornings (especially Sundays) permitting only a brief time to prepare breakfast. I really wanted something that could be prepared ahead of time, but available over the long term.

That's when I discovered breakfast burritos! I picked up the recipe from a friend and have slightly adapted it to our tastes.

Breakfast Burritos
Serves 16


1) Package of flour tortillas (whole wheat in packages of 16 work best. The WW stretch further than the white or corn)
2) 1-dozen eggs
3) 1-package of freezer hash-browns (for those who like peppers and onions pick up the O'Brien potatoes)
4) 1lb loose breakfast sausage [OPTIONAL}
5) 1lb Shredded Cheddar Cheese
6) 16 oz of taco Sauce (I prefer Ortega Mild Original Thick and Smooth) [OPTIONAL]

1. Bring tortillas to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile cook breakfast sausage. Then remove to large bowl.
3. Cook hash-browns per package directions. (I sometimes add taco seasoning to the hash-browns, especially if I do not use the O'Brien potatoes). Then remove to large bowl stir together with sausage.
4. Scramble the eggs. Then remove to large bowl and mix with sausage and hash-browns.
5. Add cheese and taco sauce to egg/sausage/potato mix.
6. Stir together.
7. Scoop spoonful of mix into each open tortilla.
8. Roll tortilla and wrap in parchment paper, wax paper or freezer paper. Seal in freezer paper or foil. Store in Ziploc bag in freezer.

Once frozen they can be served individually after 1-2 minutes in the microwave.


- I have discovered that while the burritos microwave well in parchment paper they do NOT in wax paper or freezer paper. If you wish to use one of the latter two then be sure to remove burrito from the paper and place on a plate before microwaving.

- I've adapted the recipe to add fresh cilantro, black olives, beans, pretty much anything you'd serve in tacos or burritos.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Cranberry, not just a relish

The cranberry. Because of it's nutrient and antioxidant qualities it is considered by food experts to be one of the "super fruits" yet for most people it brings to mind Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Generally it is served as fresh cranberry relish, or even more commonly as a relish from a can. Of course you can always find it in the juice form and in most stores as a dried berry in the same aisle that raisins and prunes are stored.

Until a couple years ago I never really gave this berry much thought outside these two holidays. So when I went hunting for a bag of fresh berries in February I was shocked to discover that stores only sell them in their fresh state for only two months of the year. (In my area from late October/early November until the end of December.) Apparently there is not enough demand for fresh berries outside of these two months so cranberry farmers put the majority of their produce into the form of canned berries, dried berries, and juice that can be bought 12 months a year.

Because of this I was left with the choice of canned berries or dried berries for my recipe. I was disappointed, but in the end the dried worked out fairly well. Still, I determined to buy up some extra bags the following November and freeze them for use later in the new year. The berries left in their bags freeze well and can be used later in all sorts of recipes or even as fresh cranberry relish.

The following are two recipes that call for fresh cranberries. (Note: you could substitute dried, but the fresh is preferred.) They are favorites in our home and I encourage you to pick up a couple bags of fresh berries now, even if you don't plan to try the recipes for a couple months. The berries will last up to (or even a little over) a year in your freezer.

Cranberry Orange Bread

I found this recipe at Since it isn't my own and I've done little to adapt it I have linked the name to the recipe. Be sure to check it out and print off a copy for your own files.

My thoughts: Every Christmas I try to bake some sort of seasonal bread to share with our neighbors and friends. The last several years I have made a family favorite, Lemon Bread, but this year I decided to try something different. Since I still had two bags of cranberries in the freezer I went hunting for a cranberry bread recipe. There are several, but this one seemed the easiest. It turned out well and went fast, so I ended up making a second batch.

Notes regarding the recipe: The recipe calls for 1 cup of cranberries. Each bag of cranberries from the store contains approximately 4 cups, so to save time I just multiplied everything in the recipe by four. This required a large bowl, but ended up giving me 10 small loafs of bread, perfect for sharing. If you decide to double, triple or quadruple the recipe be sure to use a stand mixer, not a hand mixer or a spoon. The batter gets thick and sticky, which makes it difficult to stir. Although the batter is thick it cooks into a light, fluffy, sweet yet tart bread.

I omitted the walnuts, not so much because people aren't crazy about nuts (or have allergies), but because I didn't have any on hand. I noted that it is also possible to make this recipe gluten free so long as the cook substitutes gluten-free flour for the regular flour.

Braised Brisket with Cranberries

This is another favorite recipe of mine. It's such a delicious meal on a cold winter evening (or Sunday dinner), but since cranberries are not available past New Years it tends to be a recipe you can only make in November or December... Unless you freeze your berries! (This recipe is the reason I started buying up and freezing cranberries, it's that good.)It makes a lot of food, so it's perfect for serving when we entertain company. I love the mix of flavors - the tartness of the cranberries, the richness of the beef and the tang of the onions. I found this recipe a few years ago in Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine.

My Thoughts: I do not have a big enough pot that can be used on the stove burner AND in the oven, so I had to move the meat from one pot to another, but otherwise this recipe was fairly simple. It takes a while to cook, but it smells so good and is so delicious that it is worth the wait.

Note: I prefer to use a bag of frozen pearl onions, but not all stores sell them -- or if they do, they sell them seasonally. Like the cranberries you may have to plan ahead and purchase the frozen onions earlier than when you plan to use the recipe. However, when frozen pearl onions are not available you should be able to find fresh pearl onions. The fresh require a little more work (i.e. pealing), but work just as well.

For those who prefer not to use drinking wine in their cooking you could substitute cooking wine, or vegetable/chicken broth (though this may slightly change the overall taste of the recipe).

Friday, December 03, 2010

Killer Leftover Turkey Soup

Got leftover turkey? Unclogged arteries? A yearning for tasty-but-bad-for-you soup?

Then try the soup recipe I invented to use up leftover turkey!


5-6 pieces of bacon
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup whipping cream (whole milk will do)
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup diced turkey

Fry bacon and onions in large, deep frying pan, keeping them mostly separate. When the bacon is crispy, take it out and put it on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain off most of the bacon drippings, leaving about 2 Tbsp. Add the turkey, flour and the pepper to the onions and bacon drippings. Cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Then keep stirring occasionally for 2-4 minutes.

Cut bacon in small pieces and reserve, keeping warm.

Stir in broth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Add cheese; when cheese is melted, add cream and bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until warmed through.

Serve soup warm with crusty bread.

It is pictured above garnished with a little bacon and served with Irish Soda Bread. I don't eat the soup (I'm not a carnivore), but I love the bread! It's good with almost any soup. A missionary friend from Japan gave me the recipe, and here it is:


4 cups unsifted flour [I used 2 cups white and 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour and it turned out great!]
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk (or yogurt)
2 eggs
4 oz (1 stick) butter or margarine
½ lb. raisins (optional)
1 tsp caraway seeds (optional) [I never have put in raisins or caraway seeds… ick]

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Toss mixture with hands (this gives the bread a light, airy consistency).

Add softened butter to the flour mixture, still using hands, and blend until evenly distributed. [I have found that if you use cold butter, and mix about half of it in evenly and the other half in small clumps, as you would for biscuits, it’s even lighter and better]

Add raisins and caraway seeds. Toss with hands.

Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Add buttermilk and blend well.

Pour egg mixture, a little at a time, into dry mixture. Blend well with a spoon. [I do the biscuit thing again – I make a hole in the center and pour it all in at once. Then I use my hands]

The dough should be heavy but not too wet. If it seems too dry, add a little more buttermilk [Mine is always VERY wet… and it always turns out tasty]

Dust hands with flour and mold dough into a round. Place dough in a greased 9” round pan. Dust top generously with flour. [Again, mine never really molds. It really just plops/spreads. But it’s always good]

Using the wrong end of a fork, cut a deep cross in the dough. This will prevent the bread from cracking, and will give it a traditional look. [Um… again, mine is too wet for this really to work]

Bake at 350F for one hour, or until well browned. Cool on rack.

I’ve started making honey butter to go with this – use equal amounts softened butter and honey, and stir together. Rocket science!

Enjoy! And don't blame me if your arteries clog!