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!!

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!


Stacked Green Chili Enchiladas

Hola!  Here’s dinner with a crowd of friends who came in last week.  Happily, it was pretty easy to make two big pan-fulls–using pre-roasted chicken from the market.  Instead of rolling all those enchiladas, you just stack the ingredients in a baking dish and pop it into the oven.

And I think they all loved it because there was only 1 serving leftover to take a picture to show you!

1 grocery store roast chicken,
deboned & cut to bits
1/4 cup butter
2 tab. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup flour
14 oz. can chicken broth
1 cup milk
4 oz. can diced green chilis
1/2 cup salsa verde
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated cheddar jack cheese
12 to 14 corn tortillas
garnish: avocado and a little more sour cream

Remove the skin, debone and cut the chicken to small chunks.  Cut the tortillas into 6 triangles each.

Melt the butter in a large skillet of pot.  Add the olive oil and garlic.  Bring it to a simmer and stir in the flour until it’s a thick paste.  Keep simmering and stir in the chicken broth a bit at a time.  Then add the milk the same way.  Continue to stir until it thickens.

Mix in the green chilis and salsa verde. Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream.

In a 9″x13″ baking dish, pour 1/4 cup of the sauce to coat the bottom of the dish.  Layer 1/3 of the tortilla triangles to cover the bottom the baking dish.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the chopped chicken over the tortillas.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese on top.  Then drizzle 1/3 of the sauce over the cheese.

Repeat the same layer process two more times, topping with a full cup of cheese.

Tent foil over the baking dish, so that it doesn’t touch the cheese on top.  Bake it all up at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Take off the foil and cook 10 minutes more to melt the cheese completely.

Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a little avocado.

Green Goddess Veggie Dip


Hi all– I think I’ve already told you about the group of 20 somethings who drop in every Monday night to meet up, talk, laugh, plan, pray.  The don’t knock–just drift in 2 or 3 at a time, stop in the kitchen to say they’re here, to catch up.  It’s great. And I get to feed them– just a little snack to get us going.   I love our Monday nights.

So this week (too hot to bake!) we had the coffee table full of veggies, dip and some crackers on the side.  Here it is:

2 ripe avocados
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
salt (about 1/2 tsp.) and freshly ground pepper to taste.
garnish: chopped green onion

Just drop all the ingredients into a blender or use a stick blender until it’s smooth and creamy.  Set it out with a board of veggies and maybe a few crackers.  Done.


P.S.  I know this recipe is nothing like the traditional Green Goddess dressing– I think the name was just stolen because it’s green!

Chicken Stroganoff


Hello there– I’ve got a BIG project on my plate right now… I’m going through our 10,000 slides/photos of the years when our kids were growing up so we can send of 2,000 of them to be digitized.  Whew!  It’s taking forever and these days I’m awash in nostalgia– so many photos of kids blowing out birthday candles or building villages from legos.  Photos of days in the countryside with dear old  friends and vacations across Spain (our home then) and points beyond…  It’s been grand.

So here’s a nostalgic dish– the kind my mom used to make– chicken in a rich gravy over creamy noodles.  Good (and delicious!) old fashioned food.

10 oz. medium egg noodles
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tab. olive oil
1 boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1″ bits
2 cup sliced cremini mushrooms (about 8 oz.)
1 small onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tab. butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup sour cream
tab. fresh thyme leaves for garnish

Cook the egg noodles according to the directions on the package in salted water.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the garlic powder, dried thyme, paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper.  Cut up the chicken and drop the small pieces into the mixing bowl with the spices.  Turn them with a spoon until they are thoroughly coated.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet and drop in the chicken.  Cook 5 to 6 minutes until the pieces are toasty brown and cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the pan.

In the same skillet cook the sliced mushrooms for 4 or 5 minutes until they are tender and savory.  You may need to add a bit more olive oil to the pan. Take out the mushrooms and set them aside with the chicken.

In the skillet, now drop in the chopped onion and cook until they bits are al tender and slightly browned.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Put in the butter.  When it’s melted, add the 1/4 cup flour and stir to make a paste in the skillet.  Then add in the white wine and cook one minute.  Add the chicken broth and stir until the sauce thickens.  It will take a couple minutes.

Taste the sauce in the skillet.  Add salt & freshly ground pepper until it’s perfectly seasoned (about 1/4 tsp. each).   Then stir in the chicken, mushrooms and sour cream.

Layer the noodles on a large platter.  Spoon the stroganoff over the top.  Garnish with fresh thyme leaves. So delish. Serve it up hot from the stove top with a crisp salad– dinner!



Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

IMG_2725Hello there– I made a couple of these coffee cakes for a Thanksgiving breakfast with about 30 girl friends from church.  It was a grand morning.  They all streamed talking and laughing and pulling out phones to show the the latest grand-kid pics.

We sat down to breakfast all over the house and spilling out from room to room.  Then Sue and Carol tuned up their violin and guitar for some sweet Thanksgiving hymns and we talked and prayed through all our Thanksgiving blessings.  I love those friends– so thankful.


Cranberry topping:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tab. cornstarch
1  1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup water

Cream cheese layer:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

Cake layer:
1  cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

IMG_2731Make the cranberry topping first.  Stir together the 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a stove top pan until the cornstarch is all dissolved into the sugar.  Then drop in the cranberries and water and bring it to a simmer stirring for 5 or 6 minutes until the cranberries all pop their skins and the sauce thickens.

Set it aside to cool.  (I put it in another cool pan and stuck in the fridge to cool– just because I’m impatient!)

Next, make the cream cheese layer.  With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, 1 egg and 1/4 cup sugar until it’s smooth.  Set that aside as well.

For the cake, Stir together the 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the oil, sour cream, egg and vanilla.

Spray a 10″ round pan or a 9″ square (I used my 11″ flatter tart pan) with cooking spray.  Then spoon the cake batter into the pan.

Gently scoop the cream cheese mixture over the cake batter.  Then drizzle the cranberry sauce over the top of the cream cheese layer.

Put it into the oven at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Vanilla Sour Cream Waffles

IMG_2650Hello breakfast lovers– It’s the best morning here.  It’s a school holiday so I’m home alone.  Sun coming in the kitchen windows and an empty day ahead.  I’m lazily content.

I’ve had this waffle recipe tucked away for a while so today is the perfect day to pull it out and give it a try.  And now I’m savoring every bite, warm and tender, at the kitchen table while I type this out to you…

1 1/4 cup flour
2 tab. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tsp. vanilla
3/8 cup canola oil
Toppings: sour cream, blackberry jam, powdered sugar


IMG_2645Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the eggs, sour cream milk, vanilla and oil– into a thick batter.

Heat your waffle iron and cook the waffles according to your machines instructions.

When they are cooked, set them on a wire rack to keep them crisp and set the rack on a baking sheet in a low set oven to keep them warm while you make more.

Serve them dusted with powdered sugar and slathered with sour cream swirled with blackberry jam.

This recipe made 2 large waffles on my waffle maker. I think standard waffles makers would make more.

P.S.I have a Nordicware hand held waffle iron that cooks on a stove top burner.  It makes big thick sturdy Belgian waffles– love that thing.  It was a wedding shower gift and it’s been cranking out waffles for 40 years!


Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake


IMG_8319Hello friends– this little coffeecake comes to you thanks to an earthquake.  It’s a long story.  But after our recent big shake here in California, another school in town was closed and their students moved in with us.  We went from 315 to 800 students overnight!

So it seemed like everyone had the same idea– fill the teacher’s room with goodies every day to keep us all going.  This was my little contribution to the “Welcome Fanning School Food Fest!”  We nibbled our way through the first week together with those intrepid Fanning teachers and bonded over bagels and berry cakes. It’s gone just fine.


1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1  1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup (or more if you love almonds like I do) slice almonds

3/4 cup canola oil
1  1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tab. vanilla
1  1/3 cup sour cream
2  1/2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cups blueberries*
powdered sugar to dust the cake after it bakes

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter, 2 sugars, flour and almonds.  Set aside.

For the cake, mix together the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and sour cream.  Then blend in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Finally fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into a 9″x13″ baking pan (or a 11″ springform pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle the streusel on top, breaking it up with your fingers.

Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes– until it’s firm to the touch.  After it’s cooled, dust it with powdered sugar through a sieve.

*You can fresh or frozen berries– I like the frozen tiny berries from Trader Joe’s.  But if you used frozen berries, add them in frozen.  Defrosted berries will color the batter purple!


Sour Cream Maple Muffins

IMG_5920Hey friends– I had completely forgotten about these muffins, when Ani called this week.  She was making a Thanksgiving dinner for her office full of engineers and asked for the recipe.  We used to make these cozy things all the time a few years back– so it was so nice to get reacquainted with them.  They’re homely, bumpy
muffins, but smell so maple-y good coming out of the oven.  So right with a big bowl of soup– or a Thanksgiving dinner.

1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
1/2 cup pecans, chopped to bits
a spinkling of brown sugar
more pecans to top off the muffins

Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in oil, maple syrup, sour cream and egg.  Fold in the 1/2 cup pecans.  Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with muffin wrappers.*  Sprinkle on a little brown sugar and few more pecans to top off the muffins and make them pretty as they come out of the oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until they are toasty brown.  Makes 14 or 15 standard muffins.  Perfect with Thanksgiving turkey or for a big Thanksgiving weekend breakfast with family in to stay.

IMG_5897I divided this recipe in half, made 6 standard muffins for dinner and baked the rest into these mini muffins for friends coming for coffee in the evening.

*If you live in Socal– Sprouts has the best cupcake wrappers.  They are a soft brown color a lightly waxed so your muffins never stick!  Love those little guys.

Cranberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

IMG_5462Hi there– All the years we lived in Spain we had a fun friend Carolyn, who mailed us peanut butter and books for kids and best of all– fresh cranberries every Thanksgiving!  They were a treasure!  –a little worse for wear having come through the postal systems, but we loved those things  — and all the cranberry bread and cranberry sauce and cranberry cheesecake they would provide.  Thanks once more dear Carolyn!

Now this old family recipe doesn’t use fresh cranberries.  You can just buy a can of them any old time of year and have your cranberry coffee cake.  The sour cream makes it tender and it has frosting!  Who doesn’t love frosting?  Hope you like it as much as we have over the years…

1/2 cup margarine, room temperature*
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream (8 oz.)
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. amaretto or almond extract
1 14 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
1/2 cup walnuts (or more if you like nuts as much as I do)

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. amaretto
few drops of water

IMG_5453With the electric mixer cream cream the butter, eggs, sugar and sour cream together.  Then mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and amaretto.  Spoon the stiff batter into a 10″ springform pan (or a 9″x13″ pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Top the cake with the cranberry sauce– I spoon it out and break it into small pieces with my fingers to cover the cake.  Sprinkle on the walnuts and pop it into a 350 degree oven for about 35 to 40 minutes until it is cooked through.

When the cake is cooled mix the powdered sugar and amaretto and a couple drops of water to mix up a thick glaze (just keep adding water one drop at a time until is is the consistency you want).  Drizzle it over the cake and serve it up with something hot to drink.  Perfect.

Chicken Paprika Soup

IMG_4756Hello all–  I just have one word to say– SOUP!!   Have you been longing for soup as much as I have?  It’s been a hot, hot September here, so when the weather took a slight dip this week, I wrestled out the soup pot and set to work.

This recipe must to modeled on some Hungarian sour creamy dish– It really is warming and delish.  I know it was a winner when my usually unemotive Larry (bless his heart) said, “hmm nice.”  translation: “This tastes fabulous!”

2 tab. olive oil (or butter)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tab. paprika
2 tab. flour
14 oz. can tomatoes with garlic
1 14. oz. can chicken broth
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 roasted chicken, boned and cut to bits (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup sour cream
salt & freshly ground pepper
marjoram for garnish

Heat the oil in a soup pot and drop in the chopped onion.  Stir and cook on high heat for 5 minutes until it is tender. Stir in the paprika and flour to make a paste in the pot.  Then pour in the tomatoes and chicken broth.  Simmer 3 or 4 minutes until it thickens.  Then add in the red bell pepper, cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes until the pepper is tender.  Add in the chicken and cook just a couple minutes more to warm it all through.  Taste and then season with salt and pepper until it tastes just right.

Just before you are ready to serve it, stir in the sour cream and heat on low heat til it’s just hot enough to enjoy (please don’t boil the sour cream).  Swish a little sour cream on top of the bowls of soup as you serve them and sprinkle on a bit of your favorite herb to garnish.  Soup!

Mexican White Bean Soup

Hey friends–  Here’s a light soup for a blustery day.  Well, it’s not exactly blustery here, but soup still tasted great–white beans and carrots with all the added flavor of garlic, cumin, salsa verde and lime– and topped off with the smooth richness of sour cream and avocado…  oh, and a bit of cilantro.

splash olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, cut to cute little bits
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. red pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
14 oz. chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cans white beans, rinsed
1 lime
7 oz. can salsa verde
1 tsp. cornstarch
sour cream (we like non-fat just fine)

Heat your soup pot with a splash of olive oil in the bottom.  Throw in chopped carrots and onions and cook until soft.  Take the lime and finely grate off 1 tsp. of the peel and squeeze out just a tsp. of lime juice.  To the pot, add in the minced garlic, cumin, red pepper, salt, chicken broth, water, beans, lime peel and juice and salsa verde. Heat it to come to a friendly low boil.  Let it simmer about 15-20 minutes to meld the flavors.  If you want the broth a bit thicker, shake up 1 tsp. cornstarch with 1/4 cup water in a closed container and stir it into the bubbling soup. Serve it up steaming hot with a blob of sour cream, chopped avocado and bits of cilantro.

With a big salad of fresh greens, orange wedges and radishes– along with a pan of cornbread, this is a warming winter meal.  Enjoy!

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Hey friends–  We have the happy circumstance of having both our mothers just 10 minutes down the road, so on Mothers’ Day, they just drove on over for a little early Sunday supper together. And I tried out a new recipe on them–mothers are so encouraging no matter how the meal come out.  But it turned out just fine and here it is:

2 boneless chicken breasts, filleted lengthwise
1 tab olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 clove garlic, minced
14 oz. can chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 small can diced green chilies
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup bottled salsa verde
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated colby cheese
18 corn tortillas

Cook the filleted chicken breasts in a skillet with the olive oil.  When they are cooked through, remove them to a cutting board and chop them to bits.  Empty the fat in the skillet and melt the butter in the pan.  Then add the flour and garlic.  Stir to make a paste and then pour in the chicken broth and milk slowly as you continue to stir to make a white sauce.  After about 3 or 4 minutes, when it thickens, mix in the green chilies, cilantro and salsa verde.

Then dip the tortillas in the hot sauce to soften them.  I usually put a tortilla in the sauce to be warming while I’m rolling up the previous one.  Set the saucy tortilla on a plate and put a heaping tablespoon full of chicken and a pinch of cheddar down the middle.  Then roll up the tortilla and set it into a baking pan sprayed with Pam.  Continue until the enchiladas are all rolled up and laying shoulder to shoulder in the baking dish.  (While you’re doing this if the sauce thickens too much, add a bit more milk.)  Mix the sour cream into the sauce that is left in the pan. Then spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.  Cover them with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  The last 5 minutes of baking, take off the foil and sprinkle a little more cheddar on top for a nice color.

Hope your like these as much as we did.  With a big spoonful of Mexican rice and a bright green salad, it makes a pretty plateful.