Friday, January 23, 2009

Sunday Dinner Menu With Recipes

People who don't cherish their elderly have forgotten whence they came and whither they go. ~Ramsey Clark

Today I have a nice Sunday dinner menu with recipes.

Paprika Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4. paprika
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup green onion slices
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) low fat or regular cream of chicken soup
1 soup can water
1 (8 oz.) carton of light sour cream

Coat both sides of the chicken with flour. Heat the oil in large skillet and add the chicken, browning on both sides. Add soup,water, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne and green onions. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes. Remove the chicken and place on serving platter. Stir the sour cream into gravy still in the pan. Warm through and serve with chicken.

Garden Style Green Beans

1 tbsp. butter or margarine
1/4 cup thinly sliced and halved sweet onion
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried basil
1 can (14 1/2 oz) whole green beans, drained

Heat butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 2 minutes or until softened and browned slightly. Add garlic, tomato and basil. Cook 2 more minutes, while stirring occasionally. Add the green beans and 2 tbsp. water, stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low heat and cook uncovered 4-5 more minutes.

Herbed Rice

2 tbsp. olive oil
one large sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
1 tbsp. butter or margarine

In a medium sized pan heat the oil. Add the onions, garlic, and rice. Sauté for 5 minutes while stirring frequently. Add the broth, herbs, salt, pepper and butter. Stir until mixed and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Check after 30 minutes and if there is a lot of water remaining, leave the cover off for the last 10 minutes. Allow the rice to sit, covered for 10-15 minutes, fluff and serve. Serves 4.

Iced Mocha Cake

1 cup cake flour
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
12 large egg whites, room temperature
4 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
3 teaspoons cocoa powder -- divided
2 tablespoons hot water
11/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Sift the cake flour and 1 1/4 cups of confectioners' sugar together in a small bowl and set aside. Place egg whites, coffee, cream of tartar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and continue beating. Gradually incorporate the granulated sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. Keep beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold in the sifted flour mixture. Spoon batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake in a 375 F. degrees oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan and cool completely. Loosen the cake from the sides of pan with a metal spatula or butter knife.

ICING: Mix the coffee powder and 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder into the hot water until dissolved. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar. Drizzle icing over cake and sprinkle with remaining cocoa powder.

On OFL we have another Sunday Menu here:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reader's Recipe Questions

Real confidence comes from knowing and accepting yourself--your strengths and your limitations--in contrast to depending on affirmation from others. ~Judith M. Bardwick

Today I have questions from readers and answers I hope will help.

I was wondering if you had a recipe for making pickled polish sausage or Kielbasa. I would like to try some. Can a plastic jug be used or just glass? ~Janet

Here is a really simple method to try, and you can adjust the spices if you wish to be hotter or milder. It really isn't a good idea to use plastic containers for pickling.

You'll need smoked kielbasa or sausage for this recipe. Slice it into one inch sections and place it in a sterilized glass canning jar. Be sure to use the rubber ring and the metal lid. Fill the jar with sausage pieces and add white vinegar to cover it until it's about 1/2 inch from the top of the jar opening. Add 1-2 tablespoons crushed red pepper or a small, whole dried pepper (such as a Thai variety). Seal the jar, and place it in the refrigerator for 48 hours. It will last 3-4 weeks if kept refrigerated. Option: You can heat the vinegar before using as well.

I have a friend that lives in another country where corn syrup is not available What could be used in a pecan pie instead of corn syrup?. Would you have a different recipe without it? ~Janet

Your friend can make a syrup that will work in the recipe. Use 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water. Mix them in a sauce pan and boil until it becomes thick like syrup. You can also add a little molasses to this too.

I am looking for a bread machine recipe using caramel candy. I had one but lost it. It was a great recipe. ~IMA

I'm not sure if this is the same one you tried, but it's from and sounds wonderful!

Bread Machine Turtle Bread

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
10 caramels, unwrapped
2 2/3 cups Gold Medal® Better for Bread bread flour
2 tablespoons dry milk
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine or quick active dry yeast
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except chocolate chips and pecans in bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Add chocolate chips and pecans at the Raisin/Nut signal or 5 minutes before the last kneading cycle ends. Select Sweet or Basic/White cycle. Use Medium or Light crust color. Remove baked bread from pan, and cool on wire rack.

On OFL we have an article with great tips for making yeast breads:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Herbs 'n Spices: Vintage Herb Tips

Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle...a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream. ~Barbara Winkler

Today's tips are again from Salads and Herbs by Cora, Rose and Bob Brown, published in 1938.

Dill: enliven soups, especially borscht and bean, fish and fish sauces, meat gravies, stews and salads,cucumber in particular. When thinning, don't throw out seedlings, make culinary experiments with them.Chop up the tops, mix a tablespoon with a quart of potato salad, and sprinkle a teaspoonful more over the top.

Sweet Bay Leaf: It may go into any soup or stew pot,or oven pan; or a pair of leaves, fastened like a little vest over the breast of a roasting fowl.

Chives: The tender tops of this delicate, yet snappy onion should always be clipped with shears, very fine for sprinkling over sandwiches, chops, hamburgers,tomatoes, cucumbers, salads, mashed potatoes, on wilted lettuce salad, omelettes croquettes, sausages,tomato cocktails, French dressing, Thousand Island or in tartar sauce with fish. Cook string beans with chives and half as much parsley, removed before serving.

Rhubarb and Angelica: Stew 1 part young angelica with 4 parts young rhubarb stalks, all cut fine, cook tender and sweeten to taste.

Stuffed Celery: Thin cream cheese with cream, salt well and mix in the following seeds: anise, caraway, celery. Pile high in the stalk grooves.

On OFL we have tips on growing dill plus many more recipes:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hodge Podge Day: Kitchen & Laundry Tips

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. ~George Santayana

I live in south Louisiana and have had a huge problem with drain flies {some people call them fruit flies}. I don't care what they're called, they are VERY annoying. I've had a problem for months and months now. First time I've ever seen such a creature. Anyway, I had them by the dozens and could NOT get rid of them. I tried all the remedies I could find after researching the Internet, talking to people, etc. Everything, that is, short of taking my drain apart and putting it back together again as one helpful Internet site recommended. I finally found something that seems to work. I read an advertisement selling a book on the wonders of hydrogen peroxide. An idea hit me! Peroxide kills germs and cleans wounds, etc., why not try it on the flies. If it cleans drains, could it possibly kill those pesky creatures living in my drain? Well, I tried it and it did!! The first time, I put about a third of a bottle in every drain in the house - only one time. After that first time, I just put a "dribble" drain twice a day. I put it down the drain in the AM before I leave for work and in the PM as part of my bedtime chores. Yea! No more drain flies. ~Fran

To remove oil dripping from concrete plain old laundry detergent can be sprinkled on the oil enough to cover the dripping - wait overnight and the oil is absorbed from the concrete by the powder. ~R. Schnell

I carry a gallon handled container in my car during the winter filled with Oil Ease, (grit for cleaning up the oil messes on the garage floor) Sometimes, I find that Kitty Litter is too slick. When I get shopping and step out of my car I sprinkle it by my car and when I come back out, it is all melted and I can get back into my car without slipping! Sometimes when it is icy, I sprinkle my way right into the store!! I also carry a child's shovel which comes in handy when they don't clear the parking spaces in our town, it is sometimes impossible to get over the snow pile. I am 70 and would not want to fall. Spring is coming! ~Ginny

Our appliance repairman told us to use only a couple of tablespoons of liquid detergent in our front loader and he was right. The clothes still get clean if I put extra soap on any stains and use the presoak cycle. He also told me that detergent that doesn't rinse out of clothes can cause an allergic type of itching and he was right again. The smaller amount of detergent helped and saved us lots of money, too. ~Lynn

On OFL you'll find tips on cleaning your frig coils:


Monday, January 19, 2009

Reader's Garden Questions

Of winter's lifeless world each tree
Now seems a perfect part;
Yet each one holds summer's secret
Deep down within its heart.
~Charles G. Stater

Today I have two garden questions on topics that I get asked about all the time. I hope the answers will be of help.

When would be a good time to plant pumpkin seeds in San Antonio, TX? Is it best to start them inside? If so, when? My grandson and I are going to try growing our own pumpkins from seeds that he kept from last October's jack-o-lantern. This should be interesting! I have never tried to grow pumpkins. Do they have any special needs? ~Patricia

You should have good luck, because is the fourth leader in pumpkin producing. A lot of pumpkins are grown in Texas! First, all pumpkins have a vining growth habit, so they need a lot of space. The soil should be fertile, so mix in compost or rotted manure into the bed before planting. They also need high amounts of nitrogen, so remember that when using fertilizer. Another thing to keep in mind is that pumpkins are tender annuals and won't tolerate frost. The soil temperature should be between 70 and 90 degrees before planting. You can direct seed outside or start them indoors in pots. Direct seeding works when you have at least 3 months of hot days.

Many gardeners have their own methods for growing giant pumpkins, but the basics are the same. Build up small hills (3 foot x 3 foot or so) that are about 6 foot apart. Sow 4-6 seeds per hill, then thin to 2-3 plants per hill. (Or you can transplant 2-3 plants per hill.) A corner of the garden works well, or even a patch away from your regular garden. If you plant near other vegetables make sure you train the vines to grow away from them. You can grow them in rows too, but make sure they are about 6 foot apart as well. They need full sun and regular watering. Pumpkin plants have shallow roots, so they need about an inch of rain per week. As with other vegetables, water in the early morning or early in the afternoon so the foliage isn't damp at night. Soaker hoses or that type of irrigation is good used during the day.

When you sow depends on your climate. In Texas you can direct sow in May, but some areas can even go earlier, so check with your extension office. This site has information:

I live in New York and would like to know when is the right time to plant sunflower seeds and what are their needs? My Grandson likes them and wants to plant them. ~Judy

Sunflowers can be direct seeded, which I really think is the best, in the spring. The soil temperature should be around 45-50 degrees F. I'm in the Midwest, and this would be around the end of May for me (Zone 4-5). The soil should be fairly fertile and free of rocks-add some compost and/or other organic matter if the soil is heavy. Plant the seeds about 2 inches deep, smooth the soil down and water well, but gently. The seeds will take 7 to 10 days to germinate, depending on temperature. There are many types of sunflowers to choose from, and the spacing depends on the variety. I love dwarf types, but always grow the giants too.

There is more information on OFL about sunflowers: