"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Chicken Curry over Rice

We have developed a taste for curry foods over the past several years. One quick and easy meal we prepare with curry that our kids enjoy to is S&B Golden Curry--a box of curry that can be found in your authentic cooking food section of the grocery store (We even have it at our little Red Apple--impressive)

1 to 1 1/4 lbs Chicken (lean beef, lamb or shrimp)
1 large onion finely chopped
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
2 1/2 cups water (I always add more 3 to 3 1/2 cups)
1- S&B Golden Curry sauce mix (We like to use 1-box mild and 1/2-box hot. We think this is the perfect balance or heat.)
Vegetables as desired--we use potatoes, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, etc. My brother-in-law served in Japan on his mission and he even enjoys tossing in a tart apple diced from time to time.

Cut meat into cubes and finely chop onions. Stir-fry mean and onions in oil or butter in a large skillet until onions are lightly browned. approx 3 minutes. If you wish, add carrots, celery, bell peppers or other vegetables. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is tender, approx. 10 minutes. Remove from heat, break curry mix into pieces and add them to the skillet, stir until completely melted. Simmer 5 minutes stirring constantly. Serve hot over rice or noodles.

Sweet Potato Crunch

Okay so this is more like Sweet Potato Pie in my opinion, but I enjoy it all the same. I got this recipe from my sister-in-law whom I think is a great cook; she serves this as a side dish at the Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts.  I don't usually like Yams or Sweet Potatoes made with the brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows, but this recipe is a keeper for me. I only make it during the holiday season when calories don't count and there is ample of good company to help the yummy concoctions disappear!

2 cans sweet potatoes, undrained and mashed
3 eggs
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla

Mix sweet potatoes, eggs, sugar, milk, margarine, and vanilla together and pour into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup margarine, melted

Mix brown sugar, flour, pecans, and margarine together. Put over sweet potatoes. Bake in preheated over at 350 degrees for 1 hour. (Can be made ahead and reheated).
Yields 8-10 servings

Grapefruit Slush-Thanksgiving and Christmas Must

My Grandma Bartholomew always served this slush at every holiday for as long as I can remember. We had it at all our family holiday feast. It is one tradition from my family that I continue to carry on with my own children and even my in-laws are hooked. If you like grapefruit you will enjoy this appetizer. I have cut the sugar in half from my grandmothers original recipe and I don't notice much of difference, but I am hoping my hips will. ;-) I enjoy this with more slush that soda pop in my glass and like to eat it with a spoon like a Slurpee. Find your favorite way of spooning, slurping, or drinking this recipe. Cheers-Enjoy!

2 cup sugar (I have cut it back to 1 cup and think you can taste the grapefruit flavor more)
2 cups water
2 cans grapefruit with juices/syrup (another reason to cut back on the sugar) *remove the seeds**I love to use Red Ruby grapefruit, but any will do.
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
Maraschino Cherries (optional) We cut these in half and blot on paper towel add as many as desired.

Blend grapefruit in blender. Combine with all other in ingredients freezer safe container and stir until well mixed. (I personally like to heat the sugar and water together until I know the sugar is dissolved) Freeze well. Serve with sprite or 7-up.

New England Clam Chowder-Christmas Eve tradition

While living New England area for a few years we gained an appreciation for a good bowl of Clam Chowda. Our favorite recipe comes from "The New Best Recipe" cookbook p.69. This has become our traditional Christmas Eve meal accompanied by good bread/rolls. This is a quick make too which is nice for the busy holiday season.

4 Slices (about 4 oz) thick cut-bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (or 4 oz finely chopped salted pork)
1 Large Spanish Onion
2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
1 1/2 lbs red potatoes (about 3-4 medium), scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 Large Bay Leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups boiling water
2 (8 oz each) Bottles Clam Juice (Snow's brand is our fav)
4 (6.5 oz each) cans minced Clams (Snow's brand too)
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Salt and Ground (black or white) Pepper

Fry the bacon in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir until lightly colored, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the water and clam juice (clam broth) Add the potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved minced claims, the cream, parsley, and salt (if necessary) and pepper to taste; bring to a simmer, but do not boil. Remove the pan from heat, discard the bay leaf, and serve immediately.

Serves 6

If we are having company we always double this recipe if it is the main course. Clam Chowder is always best when served fresh, because reheating makes the clams tough and chewy. We personally don't mind the few leftovers zapped in the microwave, only because it is nice not to have to cook every mealtime.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

3 Eggs
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Margarine
3 Cups Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
Mix Together.

Alternately mix together sour cream and dry mixture.

1 Cup Sour Cream

5 1/2 Cups flour
1 tsp. Soda
2 tsp. Baking Powder
A Pinch of Salt

Chill at least 2 hours. Roll out evenly and cut into desired shapes--using uniform sized cookies on each cookie sheet insures no over baked goodies.
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, or until edges just begin to brown, on a greased sheet.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 -8oz Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Butter or Margarine
1 tsp Vanilla
7-8 Cups Powdered Sugar
Mix gently until smooth.