Sour Cream Pancakes


Good Morning!  Who doesn’t love pancakes??  Saturday morning, Sunday supper– I’ll eat them most any time.  These were a result of some leftover sour cream from another baking project.  And I was delighted with our spongey and tender they were.  I’ll be making these again!!

SOUR CREAM PANCAKES
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
1 tab. vanilla
1 cup flour
2 tab. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
toppings: lemon curd, blueberries

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, sour cream and vanilla. Then whisk in the dry ingredients–flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Pour the batter onto a hot griddle sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat.  Flip when bubble start to form on top.

We at the pancakes with lemon curd and blueberries– but bananas, maple syrup, jam, strawberries, yogurt, almonds, any of your favorite toppings would be grand!

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Eating Our Way Through Vancouver & Seattle


Larry in front of the first Starbucks, located in Seattle.  

Hi friends– Been meaning to post these pics of all the eating that went on during our travels in Vancouver and Seattle!!  Such fun food that I just have to share it– hoping maybe you get up to Vancouver and Seattle soon and try it for yourself!

My favorite food stop in  Vancouver wasn’t a restaurant– but the amazing Granville Market!!  Spent a whole morning there wandering past bright produce, beautiful baked goods and intriguing groceries.  So Fun!

     

     

Just around the corner, also on Granville Island, we turned in to Edible Canada with dear friends, Paul & Sue.  Loved the stylish interior, interesting menu and the small “made in Canada” store at the back of the restaurant.

     

Searching for Vancouver eating spots on PInterest, the one that came up time and again was the Cafe Medina.  Just brunch and lunch service, with Mediterranean inspired plates.  But they are famous for their Belgian waffles with inventive toppings (mine was gingered orange marmalade).

     

Another Best Stop near Vancouver was The Cliffhouse at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park– a new beautiful space with windows overlooking the cliffs and forest.  Amazing seafood chowder and good old fish & chips!

     

And here are the heart pounding cliffs for which the Cliffhouse was named!

And then we “trained” down to Seattle, watching the sunset over the Pacific as we traveled. Lots of good eating there as well…

We developed the indulgent vacation habit of stopping for coffee and pastries once a day between meals–The London Plane shop was a combination bakery and flower shop. I’d love to be the proprietor there!

     

One of the Tom Douglas string of restaurants was the very cool Serious Pie.

     

And Seattle’s version of our In and Out–called Great State Burgers.
     

On Sunday afternoon we took the ferry out to Bainbridge Island and walked along the waterfront to The Harbor Public House.

    

Our last morning we trekked down to the Macrina Bakery for breakfast– Best pastry of the trip in a beautiful seat by the window.

    

Thanks Larry for being my dining buddy on this trip and all the meals for the last 43 years!

Salt Tasting Room In Vancouver– design your own tapas plate with food from all over Europe– delish! 

 

Fruity Avocado & Chicken Couscous Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette


Hello all–  How is your summer rolling along??  We’re trying to keep cool and our ice cream consumption is definitely on the rise!  And if we can manage dinner without turning on the oven, all the better.

So here’s a cool, fresh, filling salad that’s just right for a hot summer evening. Add something cold to drink and a bit of crusty bread.  Perfect. I think you’d like it.

FRUITY AVOCADO & CHICKEN COUSCOUS SALAD WITH HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

Salad:
1 cup couscous
14 oz. can chicken broth
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 avocado, peeled & cut to chunks
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup green onion, chopped

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. cider vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. seedy mustard
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring the chicken broth to a boil on the stovetop.  Pour in the cup of couscous. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Scoop the couscous into an ample bowl and let it cool to room temperature.  Drop all the salad ingredients into the bowl and stir them up.

To make the dressing, put all the dressing ingredients into a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake the container until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.  Mix it into the salad and refrigerate it until you are ready to eat.  Enjoy!

 

Maple Pecan Banana Muffins


Good Morning– Isn’t it nice to have help in the kitchen??  Had one of my favorite kitchen helpers with me yesterday morning to mix together these happy muffins.  They are sweet and tender– just like little Lois!  And we all sat around the coffee table for breakfast to munch muffins and drink coffee, while we watched the World Cup this morning!

MAPLE PECAN BANANA MUFFINS
2 bananas, thoroughly smashed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
1  3/4 cups four
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Plus more chopped pecans, to top the muffins

Smash the banana with a fork in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the milk, oil, vanilla and maple syrup.  Then mix in the flour, baking power, salt and cinnamon.

Spoon the batter into muffin tins that have been lined with muffin papers. Sprinkle the extra pecans on top on top of the muffins.  Drop them into a 350 degree for 18 to 20 minutes.  What a smell when you lift them from the oven!

Actually, Lois likes tasting the batter as much as mixing it!

Easy Chicken Parmesan


Hello– This was dinner tonight and I’m definitely adding this recipe to my chicken dinner rotation.  So quick & easy and it turned out tender and so savory good. To keep it light, we just added a big bright salad and some chunks of sturdy bread.  Super summer supper.

EASY CHICKEN PARMESAN
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
1 egg
3/4 bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tab. olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, broken to bits
1/2  cup tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. dried basil
garnish: fresh basil or marjoram*

Slice the chicken breast horizontally to form two flatter chicken filets.

Take 3 flat bowls.  In the first put the flour.  I the second put the egg, well beaten.  And in the third the bread crumbs and parmesan, mixed together.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Then dredge the chicken filets first in the flour, next in the egg and lastly in the crumb-parmesan mixture.  Lay the chicken in the hot skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until nicely browned and cooked through.

Place the chicken on a baking sheet or baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Top with with the mozzarella and set under the hot broiler for just a minute or two until the cheese is well melted.

Take if from the oven and top with a mixture of the tomato sauce and dried basil.  Garnish with fresh basil or marjoram and serve it up hot.

*I used marjoram because it grows like a weed in the side yard.

Coconut Cake with Raspberry Filling


Hello there– How’s your summer going??  We are melting here!  A couple days ago the weather AP said it was 109 degrees in our town!  Yikes!  So it’s lots of fizzy water and air conditioning on for us here.

All of which, has nothing to do with Coconut Cake!  But I’m just hoping you’re staying cool too.

Made this cake for dinner at Jeff & Betty’s on the 4th.  About 30 of us end up there every year for a grand pot luck and sitting in lawn chairs and listening to Jeff’s rousing patriotic playlist while we watch the city fireworks!!  It’s sweet & creamy & fruity.  Just right for cutting into with friends!

COCONUT CAKE WITH RASPBERRY FILLING

Cake:
1 white cake mix
water
vegetable oil
3 eggs
1  1/2 cup coconut

Fosting & Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 coconut
garnish:  1 cup of raspberrries, camomile daisies & leaves

Make the cake according to the directions on the package.  Mine called for 1 cup water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs.  Beat the batter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.  Then fold in the coconut with a spoon.

Pour the batter into three 9″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake them about 20 minutes, until they are lightly browned and firm to the touch.  Let the cakes cool completely before you add the frosting.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer and beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.  (Start the mixer on low or the powdered sugar will fly out of the bowl!)  Beat until it’s creamy.

Take out 1 cup of the frosting to another bowl.  Beat in 1/4 cup of the raspberries with the mixer to make the filling.

To put the cake together, set the first layer on a pretty plate and top with half of the filling. Then set the second layer on top and cover with the second half of the filling.  Top that with the third layer.

Spread the white frosting from the original bowl on the top and sides of the cake.  Then pat the coconut all over the sides and top of the cake.  (this is trickier than it sounds!)

Garnish with the leftover raspberries, daisies and leaves.  So pretty!

Lemon Curd


Hi all– Are you a Lemon Curd lover??  I first met Lemon Curd in Gibraltar!  The years we lived in Spain, a van full of us would drive south to Gibraltar twice a year of a bit of British shopping.  We’d pick up English books, Christmas treats and then hit the market for cheddar, cereal, walnuts… (things we couldn’t find in Seville back then).  And Lemon Curd.

I’ve bought it here since– for scones or toast.  But this is the first time I’ve made it myself!  Easier than you’d think and so sweet-tart delicious!  Here’s how you do it:

LEMON CURD
6 tab. butter (3/4 stick), room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 tab. finely grated lemon peel
pinch salt

Grate the peel off 1 lemon (should make about a tablespoon).*  Juice 2 or 3 lemons to get the 3/4 cup lemon juice.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until they are light and creamy.  Then beat in the eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon peel and salt.

Scrape this all into a sauce pan and stir over low heat just under simmering for 10 to 15 minutes until the curd thickens.  Take off the heat and let it cool completely.


P.S. The little sprig of green is marjoram.  It grows like a weed in our side yard and it’s blooming right now!  (Planted by the previous owners 25 years ago– it just keeps growing).

Open Face Sandwich Board


Hi all– My buddy Janet came over for lunch today so we could plan a project we’re working on together.  so instead of making her a sandwich (a little dull), I set out all the fixings on a board so we could pile up our own open face sandwiches (more fun).  And we had mini ice cream cones from the market for dessert– only 110 calories each ((but I wont’ tell you how many we ate!!).

It isn’t really a “recipe”– just an idea!

OPEN FACE SANDWICH BOARD
Thick sliced sour dough loaf
Sliced turkey
Sliced ham
Colby Jack cheese
Fresh mozzarella
Sliced avocado
Arugula
Orange marmelade
Seedy mustard
Mint
Sea salt
Fresh apricots (for munching, not sandwiches)

Find an ample board or platter and start arranging!  Good bread and whatever options you can find in your kitchen to pile on top!  It’s that simple.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with PB Cream Cheese Frosting


Hello all– Peanut Butter & Chocolate– goes together like peaches & cream or bacon & eggs.  It’s just a pretty irresistible combination.  I’m imagining this could be a hit at your 4th of July Bar-b-que!!

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES WITH PB CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Cupcakes:
1 chocolate cake mix
vegetable oil
water
3 eggs
1/3 cup peanut butter

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar (about 3  2/3 cups)
1/2 tsp.vanilla
3 to 4 tab. milk

Make the cake mix according to the recipe on the box. (Mine used 1/2 cup oil, 1  1/4 cup water and 3 eggs.)  Use an electric mixer– and also add in the 1/3 cup peanut butter.

Use cupcake paper liners in cupcake pans to make 24 cupcakes.  Fill the cupcake cups 1/2 full with batter and the pop them into a 350 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cupcakes are firm to the touch.

Let the cupcakes cool before you frost them.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add the milk, a little at a time until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Top the cupcakes with frosting and dig in!

Broccoli & Pork Stir Fry


Hello there– Do you hit nights that you just don’t want to summon up a dinner??  Me too. Happy for us last night was 99 cent Taco Tuesday!!

But if you do want to put dinner  on the table, here’s a meal that you can cook up in the time it takes your brown rice to cook up.  Set the rice on to simmer and start dropping stir fry ingredients into a skillet.  Quick & Easy.

BROCCOLI & PORK STIR FRY
1 cup brown (or white) rice
1 pound thin pork cutlets, sliced to bite sized strips
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 small heads of broccoli
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
ganish:  2 sliced green onions

sauce:
1/2 cup water
2 tab. soy sauce
3 tab. brown sugar
1 tab. constarch
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Thai chili sauce (optional)

Cook the rice according to the directions on the package.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet (or wok).  Cook the pork on high for just 3 or 4 minutes until it is browned, but still tender.  Salt and pepper the meat while it cooks.  Remove it from the skillet.

Chop the broccoli to bite sized bits and cook it in the microwave for 3 or 4 minutes in a bit of salted water, until it is tender, but not mushy.

In the same skilled at add the carrots and cook for 4 minutes until they start to get soft.  Add in the red pepper and cook just 1 minute more.

Then shake together all the sauce ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until it is all blended.  Add it to the carrots in the skillet and stir on medium heat a couple minutes until it thickens.  Add in the meat and broccoli and stir to cover it all with sauce.

Layer the rice and then the sauce & stir fry on a pretty platter.  Garnish with chopped green pepper.  Eat it up nice and hot!

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Cream & Berries


Hey there– It really feels like summer here now.  How about where you are??  Warm days with all the windows thrown open to catch the breeze.  The maple trees are all leafed out and shading the backyard. Yesterday Mr. Wicks brought over yellow string beans from his garden and I watched the all the Johnson kids next door load up and take off for a day at the beach.

And at the market there are piles of berries.  So here’s one of the richest cakes that’s graced our table in a long time– super chocolatey and with cream and those berries pile high– really delicious on a summer evening.

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CREAM & BERRIES
1/2 cup + 2 tab. butter (1 1/4 stick)
2  2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
6 eggs
1 heaping tab. of sugar
1 pint whipping cream
1 tsp. powdered sugar
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups mixed berries
1 tsp. sugar

Drop the butter and chocolate chips into a large glass bowl.  Microwave it all for about 90 seconds, stopping to stir it around every 30 seconds– until the chocolate is all melted into the butter.  Mix in the coffee granules.

Separate the 6 eggs, whites in a mixing bowl, yolks in a smaller container.  Then gradually stir the yolks into the chocolate mixture.

Beat the whites and heaping tablespoon of sugar with an electric mixer (the whisk attachment works best) until soft peaks form (it will take a few minutes!)

Stir the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture just until it is all blended.  Spoon the batter into an 8″ springform pan (or a cake pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it up at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.  Let the cake cool a bit and then set it into the fridge for a couple hours to firm it up.

When you’re ready to serve the cake beat the whipping cream, together with the powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix (it sets up the cream so it will stay firm) using an electric mixer and the whisk attachment.  When it is firm, pile it onto the top of the cake.

Mix the berries with the teaspoon of sugar and let them sit for a couple minutes until the juices from the berries liquify the sugar.  Then spoon them onto the top of the cream.  Serve right away!

Blueberry Broccoli Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing


Hello there– Dinner last night was out under the maple tree– chicken enchiladas, beans and this salad– with the MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) Moms.  I can’t remember laughing so much…!  And amazing stories (Lisa!!) of births and love and life with kids!!

Loved the salad– easy and pretty healthy (to balance out the sour cream enchiladas and chocolate cake!)  And you can throw it together in about 10 minutes.  Add chicken and it would be a perfect summer supper.

BLUEBERRY BROCCOLI SPINACH SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING

Salad:
5 cups baby spinach
1 large heat broccoli, cut to bits
1  cup blueberries
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 dried cherries (or cranberries)

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. tarragon vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
1 tab. sugar or honey
1 tsp. poppy seeds
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Layer the spinach and other salad ingredients into a pretty bowl.

In a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the oil, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, salt & pepper until they are all thoroughly blended.  Pour over the salad when you are ready to serve it up.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Toffee Slice and Bake Cookies

Hey there– Been a busy week getting ready for Grammy Camp!!  I’m just jumping up & down excited for 4 grand-girls to get here.  I’ve got little tubs of activities tucked away all in a row and the “Welcome to Grammy Camp” poster taped to the front door. And cookies.

Baked these girl friendly cookies for picnic lunches for the days they are here.  Tiny bits of chocolate and crunchy toffee in a buttery cookie.  I think they’ll be a hit.

CHOCOLATE TOFFEE SLICE AND BAKE COOKIES
1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee bits*

With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Then beat in the flour, baking powder and salt until the dough looks like coarse crumbs.  Then beat in the chocolate chips and toffee bits until the dough is a solid lump.

Divide the dough into two halves.  Roll the first half into a log shape about 2″ thick. And then set them in the fridge for an hour (or up to several days).

When you’re ready to bake the, slice the logs into 1/4 inch rounds and set them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake them up at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are just brown around the edges.  Delish!

*the toffee bits I used were Heath “Bits O’ Brickle” — on the shelf were you buy chocolate chips.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken with Roast Zucchini


Hello all–  This supper is brought to you by Mr. Wicks.  He’s our next door neighbor with the virtual “farm” in his small back yard. It’s mid June and his tomato plants are 6 feet tall!   And we are the lucky recipients of his bounty.  This week it’s zucchini!  (thank you Mr.s Wicks!)

Add some super savory chicken– parmesan AND garlic– so much flavor!  Add some small ravioli and a bright salad, it makes a fine summer supper.

ROAST ZUCCHINI
3 medium zucchini, chopped to bite sized bits
4 tab. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil

Toss the chopped zucchini, oil, garlic, salt and dried basil into a mixing bowl and stir it up until the zucchini is thoroughly coated.  Spread the zucchini on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil.

Cook it up at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until it’s tender and just slightly browned around the edges.

While that’s cooking, make the chicken…

GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN
4 tab. butter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup parmesan
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried basil

Filet the chicken breasts, cutting them horizontally to make 4 thinner flat pieces of chicken.  In a shallow bowl mix together the parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and basil.

Melt 3 tab. of butter in a large nonstick skillet (do not let it brown).  Then coat the chicken filets with the parmesan mixture and then lay it into the hot skillet.

Cook the chicken about 3 minutes on each side until it’s nicely browned and the chicken is cooked through.  Add the 4th tablespoon of butter when you turn the chicken over.   Platter it up with the zucchini and serve it while it’s hot.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Fudge Bars


Hi all–  Tonight we’re wrapping up our Monday ladies study and prayer time for the year.  I love those ladies. When they walk in the door on Monday evening, my heart feels happy.  They come in for a mug of tea/coffee and a little something sweet– and then the talk begins.  Little groups of friends, catching up all across the room.  It’s the best.  And here’s what we’re snacking on tonight:

OATMEAL FUDGE BARS

Oatmeal Layers:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tab. milk
1 cup flour
1  1/2 cup whole oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup walnuts chopped for on top.

Fudge Layer:
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate chips (6 oz.)
3 tab. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Stir together the melted butter, brown sugar and egg until blended.  Then mix in the vanilla and milk until it’s thoroughly mixed.  Finally stir in the four, oats, baking powder and salt.

Spread 2/3 of the oatmeal batter in a 9″ square or 11″x8″ rectangular baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Then make the fudge layer.  In a sauce pan melt together the condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter and vanilla, stirring until it is all melty and blended.

Pour the fudge over the oatmeal layer in the baking dish, smoothing it with the back of a spoon to cover the whole layer.

Then break up the remaining oatmeal batter with your fingers to little bits and drop them over the fudge. It won’t cover completely, little bits of fudge will show through.  Sprinkle the chopped walnuts evenly over the top.

Pop the whole things into a 350 oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  Let it cool at least half an hour and then cut it into neat little squares.

Cream Biscuits

Good Morning!  I had a breakfast helper today– the “Mix it up” girl Lois (that is her only cooking vocabulary to date).  We made biscuits for breakfast– tender in the middle and a little crispy around the edges. They’re not the prettiest biscuits, but so delicious!  And then we sat down to eat them together with plenty of jam.

     

CREAM BISCUITS
2 cups flour
2 tab. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking power
1/3 cup cold butter (2/3 of a stick)
1 cup whipping cream

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Cut the butter into smallish pieces and then with a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in the whipping cream until you have a stiff ball of dough.  Flatten the dough onto the counter and cutout circles with a large cookie cutter (or like my grandma with a drinking glass).

Set the cut biscuits (about 6 large biscuits) onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and set them into a 400 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes until they are nicely browned.  Serve hot with honey or jam!!  yummm!

P.S. They’d be perfect “shortcakes” to serve with strawberries and cream.

Ginger Plum Chicken

Hi everyone– saw these plums at the market and couldn’t resist digging into summer fruit!  The best part of this dish is the sauce!!  We ate it with brown rice that soaked up the puddles of sauce for a delicious side dish.  Add a bright salad and a chunk of bread.  Delish!

GINGER PLUM CHICKEN
2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tab. olive oil
1 tab. soy sauce
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tab. brown sugar
1/4 cup plum jam
1 tsp. brown mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. corn starch
2 plums, seeded and sliced to wedges

Slice the chicken breasts horizontally to make 4 chicken filets.  Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Cook the chicken on medium high for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until it is cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the skillet.

While that’s cooking, combine the soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, jam, mustard, garlic, broth and cornstarch in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake the container until all the ingredients are well blended and then pour it al into the hot skillet.

Stir it up for a couple minutes until the sauce thickens. Then add in the cooked chicken and the plums.
Lower the heat to a low simmer and let it all cook for about 3 or4 minutes to warm the chicken and set the sauce.  .

Serve it all up on a pretty platter, topped with all the sauce and a sprig of something green.

Swedish Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce


Hi all– Mom came for breakfast last week and we sat down to these pretty pancakes. We spent the morning talking through every little thing.  And the pancakes were thin and tender and just sweet enough under that pile of berries and cream.  Great way to start the day.

Got the recipe from Mollie’s blog– The Frugal Hausfrau.  Mollie is forever posting recipes i can’t wait to try!  Love her sense of humor and straightforward helpful instructions and the wide variety of recipes she sends out.

SWEDISH PANCAKES WITH BLUEBERRY SAUCE

Blueberry Sauce:
1  1/2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tab. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla instant pudding mix

Pancakes:
1  1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
butter for the grill.

To make the blueberry compote, mix together the 2 tab. sugar and the cornstarch in a saucepan until there are no cornstarch lumps.  Then set the pan on medium-high heat and add the orange juice, water and 1/2 cup of the blueberries.  Cook stirring 3 or 4 minutes until the blueberries start to pop and he mixtures thickens.  Stir in the remaining blueberries and cook a minute more.

Whip the cream, powdered sugar and instant vanilla pudding mix (to set the whipped cream) with an electric mixer (the whisk attachment works best) until it is stiff and creamy.  Set it in the fridge until you are ready to eat.

For the pancakes, stir together the flour and salt. Then mix in the milk, cream and eggs until it is all blended.  Melt a tsp. of butter on the grill and then cook the pancakes over medium heat about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until they are lightly browned.  Set them on a baking sheet as you finish each one and put them in the oven on the lowest temperature to keep them warm.  Makes about 10 large thin. pancakes.

To serve them, fold 2 pancakes into fourths on each plate, and top with blueberry compote and whipped cream.  So pretty!

Thanks Mom for always having time to drop by for a meal and a talk.  You’re the best!

Broccoli, Chicken & Bacon Pasta


Hi friends–  We sat down to a luscious dinner at Paul and Sue’s house last week– and this pasta was on the table–  So back home, I had some Cappellacci pasta  that I’d picked up at Homegoods (Don’t you love that place??) and a huge Costco bag of pine nuts (thanks to my mom), and  I thought I’d try to recreate Sue’s wonderful meal.

It’s rich and savory and filling– the best sort of comfort food.  Add a bright salad and a chunk of sturdy bread.  Perfect.

BROCCOLI, CHICKEN & BACON PASTA
1 pound of your favorite pasta*
6 slices bacon, chopped to bits
1  1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut to bits
1/2 cup red onion, chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 small heads of broccoli, cut to bite size bits
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 cup pine nuts

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

Cook the chopped bacon in a large skillet until it just crispy and a lightly browned.  Remove it from the skillet, but leave the bacon droppings.

Cook the pieces of chicken in the same skillet, about 4 to 5 minutes until it’s browned and cooked through.  Remove it from the skillet.

Then drop in the chopped red onion and cook for 3 or 4 minutes until it’s tender and add in the garlic and cook a minute more.

While all that is happening, put the broccoli bites until a bowl of salted water and microwave it for about 4 minutes, until it’s done but still a little crunchy.  Drain off the water.

Now is the fun part.  Into the skillet with the onion & garlic, add the drained pasta, broccoli, chicken and bacon.  Then sprinkle on the parmesan and pine nuts and stir it all together over low heat to warm it through.  (If it seems a bit dry to you add a drizzle of olive oil as you stir it up).  Delicious!!

*I used Cappellacci, thin round discs that look a little like sunflowers, but any pasta will do.

 

Pear Berry Cake


Hey there– Don’t you love using up leftovers in a way that doesn’t taste like–well– leftovers??  We had some pears and berries languishing in the fridge from the weekend.  Mixed them into a little cake for friends.  I’d say the berries were much improved by a wrapping of sweet tender cake!

PEAR BERRY CAKE
1  1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. amaretto or almond extract*
3/4 cup canola oil
2 pears, peeled, cored and cut to bits
2 cup mixed berries**
1/3 cup sliced almonds

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the vanilla, amaretto and oil.  Stir in the pears into the stiff batter and then gently fold in the berries.

Then scoop the batter into a 9″ or 10″ springform pan (or cake pan). Sprinkle the almonds on top and then bake it in a 350 fahrenheit oven for 25 to 30 minutes more until the cake is cooked through and a sharp knife inserted to the cake comes out clean.

*I use amaretto because I can buy a big bottle for $7 at the market (so much less than almond extract.)
**I used leftover strawberries, blueberries and blackberries from a breakfast we had here a few days ago (see the Books & Breakfast post! )