Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Grandma Sylvia's Passover Sponge Cake

When my Grandma Sylvia was alive, she would always make a delicious sponge cake for Passover.  We were always excited about Passover because we knew Grandma would make us this special cake.  She also made a tasty Gefilte Fish from scratch.  If I'm brave, I'll try to make it next Passover and post it.  My cousin, Rozy, makes the sponge cake and gefilte fish for the family now.

When I was in Charleston, my sister gave me the recipe for Grandma's sponge cake.  I just had to make it and it turned out delicious.  It brought back childhood memories of my sweet grandma and the wonderful times we shared--especially eating her Passover sponge cake!

Grandma Sylvia's Passover Sponge Cake
10 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cake meal
1/4 cup potato starch
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons)

Separate eggs.  Place yolks in mixer bowl and gradually add sugar, beating until light and creamy.  Combine cake meal and potato starch and add to mixture.  Pour in lemon juice.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until very stiff and gently fold into yolk mixture.  Put mixture in an ungreased 10 inch tube pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, until cake springs back when pressed.  Invert to cool.

**My sister said she has trouble making this cake--that it always falls.  I don't know what I did different from her, but I did mix everything in glass bowls rather than my plastic bowls.  I also used an angel food cake pan and I let the cake cool completely before I tried to remove it from the pan.  Mine turned out perfect.  My family loved it.

Now I don't know if it is really kosher to do this, but I tried a piece of sponge cake with cool whip and strawberries on the top.  Ummm, that was delicious, too.  But I love it just plain.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Matzo and Eggs

I just got back from visiting my family in Charleston.  I had a great time and was very excited to come home with a box of Matzos.  Usually I get my matzo after Passover--my sweet sister gives me her leftovers.  But this year she surprised me and gave me a box before Passover. (She knows I love matzo.)  So, this morning I made me some Matzo and Eggs.  Ummmmm, it was soooooo good!  Brought back lots of memories.  Thanks, Cat!

How to make Matzo and Eggs:
Crack 2 eggs into a bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste and beat eggs together. 

Take 1 square of matzo and rinse it with water for several seconds.
Break matzo up into eggs.  Mix the eggs and pieces of matzo together, coating the matzo.  Set aside.

Now heat a frying pan on medium high and add a slab of butter.  Coat pan with the melted butter and add the egg and matzo mixture.  Turn heat down to medium.  Stir often until egg is cooked, only takes a few minutes.  Put in a dish and enjoy!

Now this is could be enough for 2 people, but I always eat the whole thing and still want more.  Can't wait to fix it again tomorrow morning.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Perfect Rice Pilaf

Looking for the perfect side dish to serve? Try this rice pilaf. It's the perfect choice for any meal.

Perfect Rice Pilaf

2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 -2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups chicken broth

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add orzo pasta. Cook and stir until pasta is golden brown. Stir in onion and cook until onion becomes translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add rice and chicken broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and it's ready to serve.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Broccoli Corn Bread

For the Chili Cook-Off, I also made some corn bread and again wanted to make something different. I found this broccoli corn bread recipe in a church cookbook, so decided to try it. It was a hit--everyone loved it.

Broccoli Corn Bread

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
4 eggs beaten
1 small onion, chopped
1 box frozen broccoli, chopped (I chopped it into very small pieces and let it thaw a little)
4 oz. (1 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Bake in a greased 7 x 11 inch pan at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Crock Pot Veggie Chili

Every year at church we have a Chili Cook-Off. I usually make my Turkey Chili recipe, but every year I come home without a prize. So this year I decided to try something different. I made a veggie chili that I saw in Southern Living. It was absolutely delicious! No, I didn't win a prize (they let the youth judge and you know they hate vegetables), but my friend who was in charge of the cook-off said that I would always be a winner in her eyes and she handed me a handful of candy. I think she just felt sorry for me. But you won't be sorry when you make this delicious veggie chili.

Crock Pot Veggie Chili

1 cup diced carrots
1/2 - 1 cup diced celery
1 sweet onion, diced
Cooking spray or olive oil
1 large package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 - 2 zucchinis, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 yellow squash, chopped (about1 cup)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
3 cups tomato juice
1 (14 1/2 oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
4 (15 oz.) cans pinto, black, kidney, or great Northern beans, rinsed and drained (I used one of each)
1 cup whole kernel corn (frozen or canned)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar (I also put 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar to cut that tomato taste)

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray or a small amount of olive oil. Saute the carrots, celery and onion over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until onions are translucent. Add the mushroom, zucchini, and squash and saute for about 3 more minutes. Add the chili powder, basil and seasoned pepper and continue to saute for 5 more minutes. Set aside.

In a crock pot, stir together the tomato sauce and tomato juice. Add the diced tomatoes, beans, corn and vegetable mixture and mix together. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Salt and pepper to taste.

**I changed the recipe just a little bit from the one in
Southern Living, but it did say that you can freeze cooled leftovers for up to 2 months. Well, I never have any leftovers to freeze!

Oh, by the way, I tried to get a copy of the winning chili recipe, but they said they really didn't have a recipe. It was just made with lots of spice and lots of love. But I did find out the secret ingredient--------ELK! (He went to Montana to hunt for elk.) Do you believe that? It's just not fair. I don't think we have any elk in South Carolina. Now, how can I compete with that? :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spanish Rice

Sometimes you just need a quick, easy delicious side to serve with your main dish. This Spanish Rice does the trick--quick, easy, and delicious!

Spanish Rice

1 - 2 Tablespoons oil (I used olive oil)
1 small onion chopped
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chunky salsa

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice to skillet, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth and salsa. When it comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed.

**This makes a lot of rice, so if you have a small family just cut the ingredients in half. Of course, my family enjoyed the left-overs!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Baked Lemon Chicken

I'm always looking for a good chicken recipe. I tried this baked lemon chicken recipe and we really enjoyed it. It reminded me of the Chicken Poupon Dijon my family loves. By the way, did you notice the new white dish? My sister, Cathy, bought this for me to display my food on because she thought my brown dishes were so ugly! She said it was all about presentation. Well, you're right Cat--that chicken does look good on my new white plate. Thanks for taking care of your big sister.

Baked Lemon Chicken

3 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine the butter, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Place bread crumbs in another dish. Dip chicken in the butter mixture, then coat with crumbs. Place in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Drizzle any remaining butter mixture on top of chicken. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 40 - 45 minutes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cherry Chocolate Dessert

I love cherries--cherry pie, cherry tootsie pops, chocolate covered cherries, cherry jello, cherry popsicles, cherry applesauce--cherry anything! Now I've added Cherry Chocolate Dessert to my list. Absolutely Delicious!

Cherry Chocolate Dessert

2 (21 oz.) cans of cherry pie filling
1 cups (12 oz.0 chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans toasted and divided
1 (18.25 oz.0 chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup butter

Spread cherry pie filling on bottom of lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup pecans. Sprinkle chocolate cake mix evenly over pecans. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup pecans over cake mix. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 for 50 - 55 minutes or until bubbly.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Kids love chicken nuggets. I don't know why. They're so bad for you--all processed and everything. Well, here's a homemade chicken nugget recipe you and your kids are going to love.

Baked Chicken Nuggets

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into 1 1/2 inch size pieces. In a medium bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, salt, thyme and basil. Mix well. Put melted butter in a bowl for dipping. Dip chicken pieces into the melted butter first, then coat with the bread crumb mixture. Place coated chicken pieces on a lightly greased cookie sheet in a single layer, and bake at 400 for 2o minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over on other side and bake for 5 more minutes.

**To make this lower in fat content, dip chicken in a beaten egg rather than butter. You can also dip in skim milk if you'd rather. Another tip for getting the nuggets crispy on both sides is to bake them on a cooling rack on top of the cookie sheet (this way you don't have to turn chicken nuggets on other side). I'll have to try this next time I make these delicious homemade chicken nuggets.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

No Cook Salsa

Sometimes you just have a taste for salsa and chips. Here is a delicious no cook salsa recipe. You will need to plan ahead because you need to make this the day before you serve it. The salsa needs time to let the flavors develop. It keeps well in the fridge and the longer it sits, the better it is. Serve with corn chips and other dippers.

No Cook Salsa

1 can diced or whole tomatoes (I put it in a blender because my son-in-law doesn't like chunks of tomato.)
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
1 can black beans, drained
1 can white shoepeg or niblet corn (I used shoepeg.)
Picante sauce to taste
Tomato sauce to taste (I didn't even put this in. I thought the picante sauce was enough.)
1 pinch sugar
1 juice of a lime
1 juice of a lemon

Combine all ingredients, adding picante sauce to taste. Place in a container and refrigerate over night.

**Try other additions and develop your own "special salsa".

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Luscious Lemon Cake

My mother-in-law loves lemon--lemon cookies, lemon pie, lemon jelly, lemon anything! So I made her a lemon cake and it was luscious. So I call it Luscious Lemon Cake. If you're a lemon lover and even if you're not, you're gonna love this one. It's a keeper.

Luscious Lemon Cake

1 box lemon cake mix
1 box instant lemon pudding
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons water
4 eggs
1 stick butter, softened (I always forget to take the butter out, so I just microwave it for about 5 seconds)

Mix cake mix, eggs , lemon pudding, butter and water together. (I used my hand mixer to mix it together.) Put into a greased 9 x 13 cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Take out of oven and cut into squares. Leave in pan.

1 can (16 0z.) frozen lemonade
1 box powdered sugar

Mix lemonade and sugar together. Pour over hot cake squares. Put back in oven for 5 minutes.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

Here is a recipe my family loves. As a matter of fact, when my sons were at college they would make this casserole to impress their dates. Hey, it must have worked because each of them got a wonderful wife who probably makes the chicken pot pie now.
Chicken Pot Pie

3-4 cooked chicken breasts, cubed (I boil my chicken in salted water with a piece of celery and a small onion.)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of chicken broth (I use the broth from the chicken I boiled.)
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 stick melted butter

Put cut up chicken in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Mix together cream of chicken soup and 1 soup can of chicken broth. Pour evenly on top to chicken.

Mix together the self-rising flour (must be self-rising), milk, and butter. Pour this mixture evenly on top of the chicken and broth mixture. DO NOT MIX TOGETHER! This makes the crust of the pie.

Put in oven at 350 degrees for 45 - 60 minutes until browned on top.

**I use a wire whisk to mix up the soup mixture and to mix the flour mixture.

We served this with broccoli and I discovered a great way to make it. It's called Steamers. You just put the bag in the microwave and cook for about 7 minutes. It's delicious.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Speaking of wild rice--here's another recipe using wild rice . My friend, Stephanie, made this for me and my family when I was recuperating from surgery. I have made it several times since then. It is very tasty.

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

1 (6.2 oz.) box of long grain and wild rice mix (like Uncle Ben's)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 rib celery, chopped
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken or turkey
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz.) container of sour cream
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
Non-stick cooking spray (like PAM)

Prepare rice according to box directions and set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and celery and saute until tender. Pour out excess butter from skillet, leaving just a little residue left in the skillet. Stir in cooked rice, chicken, 1 cup of the cheese, soup,sour cream, milk, salt and pepper. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and spoon chicken mixture evenly in the casserole dish.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for about 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Turn off oven and sprinkle casserole with remaining cheese. Return to turned off oven for 5 more minutes.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wild Rice Salad

Looking for something different. Here's a new salad I tried and it was very tasty. The recipe called for 3/4 of a cup of dressing, but I thought it was too much. So I changed it to 1/2 to 3/4 cup. My husband loved it and ate just about all of it. This would be great to bring to a covered dish dinner because everyone wants to try something new.

Wild Rice Salad

1 box Uncle Ben's Wild Rice
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 purple onion, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 - 3/4 cup vinegarette dressing (I used Paul Newman's Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing)

Cook wild rice according to directions on box and cool completely. Add all ingredients and refrigerate overnight.

**For a complete one-dish meal, add cooked chicken or shrimp.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mexican Salad

Thinking about all the good things I use to make for my kids when they were young, I remembered making Mexican Salad (remember it, kids?). It was one of our favorites when they were growing up. Back then, I wasn't much of a Mexican food eater (I'm a Southern girl), but I loved this. And now that I think about it, it's not really a Mexican food--guess that's why I loved it so much. I got this recipe when we lived in California. Man, that was about 35 years ago. But it tastes just as good today as it did then.

Mexican Salad

1 pound of ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Brown ground beef, adding salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Add onions and cook until they are clear and soft. Drain any juices and add the kidney beans. Mix together and set aside.

In a large salad bowl, place the following ingredients:
Grated Cheese
Doritoes Nacho Cheese Corn Chips, crumbled up into medium pieces
Catalina Dressing (to your desired consistency)

Add the meat mixture and mix all together. Serve immediately.
Speaking of serving--my good friend, Lynn, gave me this beautiful strawberry bowl for my birthday. I just love it and couldn't wait to serve something in it. Now I know Mexican Salad doesn't go with a strawberry bowl, but I couldn't help myself. Isn't the bowl beautiful. Can't wait to make my strawberry, blueberry, poppy seed, bowtie pasta salad in it. Oh, that recipe will be posted later. So, keep visiting my blog. I've got lots of great recipes to share.