Another recipe from my brother. I like how he just whips things up because he knows the basic idea of what should happen. He and I and my daughter and a friend were at our cabin in Delta Junction when he decided to make chocolate souffle. Please understand that at the cabin, the water comes off the roof into a cistern and is then piped into the house . . . when it works. Sometimes we just bring water from home in jugs because it’s easier. Electricity at the cabin (to run the water pump and a kitchen light) is provided by a couple small solar panels hooked to a couple car batteries. Other lighting is from kerosene lamps. The gas range is fueled by propane, a small tank like for a barbecue. The bathroom is a walk to the outhouse. Grey water for washing is thrown over the side of the deck. And he’s going to make a chocolate souffle. First, there wasn’t any chocolate powder or chocolate chips to be found among all the food left behind through several years. He handed a Ziploc of old M&Ms to the girls and told them to start pounding them with a hammer. He whipped up eggs and whatever else goes into a chocolate souffle, mixed it with the crushed M&Ms and we had the most delicious chocolate souffle I’ve ever eaten. That’s how my brother rolls. Anyway, this is his very tasty recipe for Caesar Salad.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 1 egg
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan, plus more to sprinkle at the end
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • Croutons

In a very large wooden bowl, mash the garlic with a fork. Add anchovy fillets and mash into a paste with the garlic. Stir in the raw egg and the lemon juice. Mix thoroughly. Stir in olive oil and vinegar. Stir in Parmesan. Toss the Romaine into the mixture so it’s well coated with the dressing. Sprinkle Parmesan over all. Sprinkle with croutons. Serve.

Notes: This serves 4-6 depending upon how large a head of Romaine is used. If you’re concerned about using a raw egg, you can coddle it, but that’s a different subject. I use raw. This salad doesn’t save, so you really need to eat it when made. It’s really easy to make!

This started a looooong time ago as a recipe by Jenn Segel at onceuponachef.com. I have modified it in several ways to accommodate ingredients that I usually have on hand. The flavors are really bright.

  • Dressing ingredients
  • 1 oz. (1/8 cup) honey
  • 1 oz. salad oil
  • 1 oz. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. siracha sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. minced ginger root
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • Salad ingredients
  • 2 cups red cabbage, diced or shredded
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup roast peanuts

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and set aside.

In a very large bowl stir together all salad ingredients, except the peanuts. Pour the dressing over and stir again. Sprinkle the peanuts on top. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

Notes: I have used Napa cabbage, green cabbage, all colors of bell pepper. I use dry-roasted peanuts. I think last time I made this I used raspberry vinegar because I ran out of rice vinegar. Instead of garbanzo beans, Jenn calls for edamame. I barely know what that is, so I can’t tell you yay or nay. I use canned garbanzo beans and usually make hummus with the unused half-can. The recipe is very forgiving, do what you like. As I write this, tonight I’m going to serve it with Sweet and Sour Chicken in Acorn Squash Bowls. Again, the flavors of this chopped salad are really bright.

This recipe is based upon the one found in Electric Bread (Innovative Cooking Enterprises, 1991) written by Suzan Nightingale. I haven’t used a bread machine in years, but I’ve adapted the recipe to my stand mixer and oven. It really works! Make sure your sourdough starter is active. Most people don’t have 2 cups of it at the ready, so planning may be involved. The last couple of times I made this, I doubled the recipe.

  • Ingredients
  • 3 tsp. active dry yeast (or instant)
  • 2 cups sourdough starter
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered milk
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2-3 cups flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together the yeast, sourdough starter, and sugar. Once the yeast has started to dissolve, stir in the powdered milk, salt, butter, and 1-1/2 cups flour. Turn the machine on low and let it mix for 5-8 minutes to build the gluten. Start adding flour a little at a time until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and clings to the hook. The dough should feel smooth and elastic. Remove the dough hook and cover the bowl. Let sit in a warm place for a couple hours or so, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch it down and form into one loaf. Spray or grease a 9×5″ loaf pan and set the dough into the pan. Let rise in a warm spot until it rises level with the top of the loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Bread should sound hollow when tapped and it should be a golden color all over.

When I made this last week, I doubled the recipe. After the first rise, I placed both loaves into loaf pans. One loaf I let rise and the other loaf I placed into the freezer. Once it was frozen, I removed it from the pan and wrapped it tightly in plastic cling wrap. According to sources on the Internet, I should be able to take it out of the freezer, put it into a loaf pan, let it thaw and then rise like usual, and then bake. I’m hoping that works. I’m awash in sourdough and don’t eat that much bread.

Cuban-Style Pulled Pork

The last few years I have been purchasing pork picnic roasts. Walmart had missed-priced them for about a year on the grocery pickup app, so one could buy the whole roast (about 8#) for under $2. Yeah, that’s not a typo. The whole roast was $1.98. Me and my family members kept a supply in our freezers. Once covid hit and nearly everyone started using the grocery pickup app, the store corrected their error and the price returned to about $19. After a year or so, I ran out of picnic roasts. Shopping in a local store, New Sagaya, I saw the same type of pork picnic roast on sale for about $10. I bought it and threw it into the freezer. I knew what to do with that. So, here for my convenience are the recipes for two pulled pork recipes: Cuban style and barbecue. The Cuban-style recipe started at bellyfull.net. The barbecue recipe is a hodge-podge of several recipes. I like each type of pulled pork equally as well and they are quite different from each other. The very nice thing about the pork picnic roasts are that you can make one recipe of each of these pulled pork with just the one roast. If you do decide to go the route of the picnic roast, know that it’s the upper part of a leg, so there’s bone-in and there’s a fatty skin layer. I remove as much skin and fat as possible, but I don’t worry about the rest of it. It keeps the pulled pork moist and delicious. If you have to cut the roast down to fit it into a pan that’s totally fine. If you do that, it will probably be ready at the three hour mark, rather than later. Last note here, I use the oven, but most people use a slow-cooker. Whatever.

Cuban Style

  • Cuban-Style Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Several grinds pepper
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 pounds pork roast
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a Dutch oven or roasting pan, stir together all the ingredients except the roast and the olive oil. Coat the pork roast with olive oil and place into the pan, turning to coat. Cover the pan and place into the oven. Bake at 300 degrees F for three hours. Remove from oven and use a couple forks to see if it pulls apart easily. If it does, use the forks to shred the meat and stir it into the sauce until it’s all well incorporated. If it’s not quite ready to shred, return to the oven and check it again in a half hour or so. If the bone is in, it may take closer to 4 hours.

I like the Cuban-style pulled pork served over baked sweet potatoes or rice or as a filling for plantain cups or poblanos. It’s a wonderfully flavorful dish. This makes about 8 servings. I typically freeze what I don’t use the first day.

Barbecue Style

  • Barbecue-Style Ingredients
  • 1 12-oz. can Coke (cannot be diet Coke)
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (try the SBJ sauce here)
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • Many grinds of black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 3-4 lb. pork roast

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a Dutch oven or roasting pan, stir together all ingredients except the pork roast. Add the pork roast and turn it to coat all sides. Cover the pan and bake at 300 degrees F for 3-4 hours. Check it at 3 hours to see if you can shred the meat easily with a couple forks. If yes, then shred the meat into the sauce until all is well incorporated. If no, then return to the oven for another half hour to hour or so, whatever it takes. If it’s bone-in, then it will take longer.

The other day I made this and I didn’t have Coke, so I used wine instead. And my most current batch of SBJ barbecue sauce is mouth-on-fire flaming hot, so I used a half-cup of that and a half-cup of a sweeter store-bought barbecue sauce. Still a delicious pulled pork. All of this is just to tell you it’s hard to go wrong.

I like to serve this type of pulled pork over sandwich buns (recipe here) or over baked sweet potatoes. It makes about 8 servings. I usually freeze whatever I don’t use the first day.

I think this originated as an Ina Garten recipe and it morphed from there. I have made it many, many times tweaking a little each time. I hate to run out of bread crumbs before I’m finished breading the chicken, but usually end up throwing some away. I guess it just depends upon how large and what type of chicken pieces you use.

  • Marinade Ingredients
  • 4 Chicken thighs and 4 Chicken drumsticks
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • Breading Ingredients
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Small handful fresh thyme or about 1-1/2 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Several grinds of freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups fine bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil

Anytime up until roasting, mix the buttermilk, Dijon, and salt. Coat the chicken with the marinade and let it sit under refrigeration until it’s time to roast. I try to do this part before lunch.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small food processor (maybe a blender would work?), place the garlic cloves, lemon zest, thyme, salt and pepper. Process until the garlic is very fine. Add the bread crumbs and process to mix it all together. Drizzle the olive oil in, wetting the bread crumbs. [I do this by pouring the oil onto the top of my mini food processor which has little holes to drizzle liquids into the bowl — it works very well.]

Pour the bread crumb mixture into a pie tin or other flat container. Withdraw the chicken from the marinade, one piece at a time and dip in the bread crumbs. The bottoms need only be very thinly coated, if at all. The tops of the chicken should get the bulk of the bread crumb mixture. Place onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Test for doneness. It may take more time. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

This is incredibly tasty! And it tastes great for lunch the next day. Yeah!

I don’t know when this became such a favorite of mine, but I sure do make it a lot. Yum! This is a gluten-free recipe. I’ll give you the ingredients, but not the amounts. I just throw the food into a bowl and stir it around. I like to serve this with finger food like pulled pork sandwiches or oven-fried chicken.

  • Ingredients
  • Sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Vinegar
  • Pepper
  • Red onion, sliced thin
  • Frozen peas, mostly thawed
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Crispy bacon crumbles

Make a dressing with a dab of sour cream and about twice as much, or more, mayo. Stir in a Tablespoon or so of vinegar. I use white wine vinegar. Stir in a couple dashes of pepper. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well mixed. If you have to add more mayo to get everything covered, then do that. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I have made this about once a year for many, many years. I had to go hunting for the recipe today, so decided to put it here for an easier find. When I first tasted this at a potluck, it blew me away. This will serve any number of people, just adjust the amounts.

  • Ingredients
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Bleu cheese salad dressing
  • Crumbled bleu cheese
  • Shredded cooked chicken
  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Use crackers, crusty bread, tortilla chips, and/or celery sticks as vehicles for the dip.

Notes: My friend Sandie gave me the recipe with some of the ingredients in very specific amounts. For example, it called for 2 cups shredded sharp cheese, 1/2 cup Frank’s, and one bottle of bleu cheese salad dressing, along with the other non-specific ingredients. Since I always make my own bleu cheese dressing, in this recipe I use mayonnaise and lots and lots of bleu cheese crumbles. Adding plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk in place of some of the mayonnaise would probably work well. This dip tends to separate into oils and solids because of the oil in the cheddar cheese and mayo. I don’t know how to make it not do that. I try to ladle some of the oil off before serving.

Instead of baking the dip, you could put it into a crock pot for 4-6 hours. I don’t have a crockpot.

  • Ingredients
  • Spinach
  • Bleu cheese crumbles
  • Avocado, diced
  • Berries, chopped or whole, depending upon size
  • Sweet Spiced Pecans (recipe found here)
  • Dried cherries
  • Balsamic glaze

Use the amount of ingredients for the number of people you’ll be feeding. Layer the ingredients in individual bowls and let people add their own balsamic glaze as the dressing.

I would say the only “must-have” parts of this salad are the spinach, the bleu cheese crumbles, and the balsamic glaze. I always buy the premade glaze, but I supposed you could find a recipe for it, it’s very sweet. I have used mandarin orange segments instead of berries. I’ve used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I’ve made this without the avocados. I’ve used plain pecans when I’ve been too lazy to make Sweet Spiced Pecans. I’ve used dried strawberries and dried cranberries in lieu of the dried cherries, and I’ve also skipped the dried berries (as is pictured since I was out). Anything goes!

I try to always have these on hand to make Spinach-Bleu-Berry Salad. It’s hard to keep them in stock because of the person who lives with me and likes to nibble on little snacks. So, there’s that. The recipe I use is double the one from dimpleprints. You can adjust the kick by raising or lowering the amount of cayenne pepper. This is a gluten-free recipe.

  • Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 4-6 cups pecan halves

Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a very large bowl, mix together brown sugar, cayenne, salt, coriander, cinnamon, and allspice. Set aside.

In a separate, smaller, bowl whisk together egg whites and vegetable oil until egg whites are foamy. Stir the egg mixture into the brown sugar mixture until it’s all incorporated. Fold in 4 cups of pecan halves. Keep folding as you want the pecans to be fully coated with the mixture and it takes time for the mixture to drip into the grooves of the pecans. Since I use extra-large eggs, I fold in another cup, or more, of pecan halves. Keep folding until it’s all soaked in.

Pour the pecans onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 300 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. I stir mine two or three times during the roasting process. Keep a close eye on the pecans as they can scorch easily. Remove from oven and let them cool completely before lifting the parchment paper and breaking up any clumps. Store and/or share with friends.

A friend posted a picture of several loaves of Julekake that he had made and I remembered my mother making it at Christmas. I’ve been in Nevada over a month, visiting my parents for the holidays, and we have been unable to lay hands on candied red cherries, so Mom got maraschino cherries instead. I thought I would give Julekake a try with what we had on hand. It turned out delicious! I made it in a loaf pan so that it could be easily cut and toasted later.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 package (2-1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 3-4 cups flour, divided
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 cup mixed candied fruit and raisins

Heat butter, milk, and water together until it’s hot to the touch, but not scalding. Sprinkle yeast over and let it dissolve, stirring once in awhile. Stir orange zest into the sugar, mashing it around to get the sugar infused with the orange oil. Stir the sugar-zest mixture into the yeast mixture. Stir in about 2 cups flour, salt, and cardamom. Stir and stir and stir to build up the gluten. When it’s stretchy, start adding flour, one half-cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When it becomes too hard to stir, take it out of the bowl and start kneading on a lightly floured surface. At this point, use as little flour as possible. Knead for about five minutes. Once the dough ball is smooth and springs back when touched, press it flat. Sprinkle about a third of the mixed fruit over the surface. Roll up the dough and knead a little bit. Press flat again and sprinkle another third of the fruit over, then roll it up and knead it again. Do that one last time with the remaining fruit. The fruit should be well incorporated into the dough.

Place the dough into a greased bowl and turn the dough over so that the top of it is also greased. Let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours should do it. You can leave it longer if you don’t have time to deal with it.

Punch the dough down and shape into a loaf and place into a greased loaf pan 8-1/2 x 4-1/2. Let rise until just over the top edge of the pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once the oven has heated, place the loaf into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Notes: I used about a third cup of chopped green candied cherries, a third cup of raisins, and a third up of chopped maraschino cherries. Maraschinos have too much liquid, so I let them drain onto a paper towel and chopped them on the paper towel. It wouldn’t hurt anything to let them sit out for quite awhile to lose more moisture and get tacky.

You should be able to make this into different shapes: rings or rolls and also you can drizzle icing over, an almond icing would be great. I knew we could not eat this all while it was fresh, so my goal was to be able to toast it in the toaster later, thus no icing. It’s been really delicious toasted and slathered with butter. Yum!