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Favorite Recipes

Mediterranean Style Chicken

1 1/3 tbs. chopped garlic

5/8 tsp red chili pepper flakes

5/8 tsp salt

2 1/2 bay leaves

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 1/3 tbs. chopped basil

2-3 tbs.capers

5 or 6 pieces chicken

3/4 cup dried prunes

1/4 green olives

1/4 c. dry white wine

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

3 2/3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

3 tbs. chopped oregano

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Combine chicken, prunes, olives, wine, vinegar, oil, oregano, capers, garlic, chili pepper flakes, sale and bay leaves. Cover and marinate in refrigerator in zip lock bag for a few hours.

  3. Put chicken in single layer in casserole dish. Pour marinade over chicken. Sprinkle sugar evenly over chicken. Wipe edges of casserole clean.

  4. Bake chicken till golden brown, about 50 minutes.


Deb's real life tips:

Feel free to substitute kalamata olives for the green ones, raisins if you don't have prunes, dried herbs work as well as fresh and play around with the measurements. I rarely use measuring spoons - the palm of my hand works just fine!  This recipe is a variation on the one found in the Silver Skillet cookbook.

Kung Pao Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts – cut into thin strips
1 tbs oil
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 tbs fresh ginger
2 tbs water
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 cup chicken broth

3 tbs Hoisin sauce
3 tsp Rice wine vinegar
3 tbs. Soy sauce (low sodium)
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
5 garlic cloves minced
1/3 cup chopped peanuts

  1. Heat 1 oil, add broccoli and ginger.  Saute two minutes.  Add water, cover and cook 2 minutes more.  Set aside.

  2. Heat 2 other tsp oil, add the rest of the ginger, pepper and chicken.  Cook stirring constantly until chicken is browned, about 4, 5 minutes. 

  3. In separate bowl, whish broth, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and cornstarch. 

  4. Add garlic.  Add to chicken pan and stir until it thickens … one or two minutes.  Add broccoli to reheat. 

  5. Serve with peanuts and rice.


Deb's note:

Our local Chinese restaurant went out of business and the entire neighborhood has been in a state ever since. We’ve called around and tried to find a new favorite – but they all fall short.

That’s what prompted me to ‘go’ Chinese – and I’m developing some pretty delicious recipes.

Apple Walnut Cake

1 1/2 cups Wesson oil

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups chopped red apples (do not peel)

1 cup chopped nuts

2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Sift together dry ingredients; add oil, eggs, and vanilla.

  2. Stir in the apples and nuts. Grease, but do not flour a tube pan. 

  3. Bake at 350° for 1 hour.  Cool 10 minutes in pan and turn out on plate. 

  4. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.


Deb's note:

When Woman's Day was shooting a story for their February 2006 issue, they wanted me posed in the kitchen. How often does any mom just stand in the kitchen doing nothing? I felt like an idiot. I have never been idle in my kitchen and don't know any women who have been! So I grabbed a mixing bowl, cut up some apples and whipped together the Apple Walnut Cake you see here. It's a huge favorite of my family's. In fact, when my father-in-law comes to visit from Sweden, the first thing he does is search the kitchen for this cake. If it isn't there, he feels unwelcome! I bet anyone you bake this for will feel like they are very welcome in your home!

Banana Muffins

Mix these ingredients together the night before:

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup oats

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

ADD these ingredients just before

baking. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees:

1 stick butter, softened overnight

2 eggs

3 ripened bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Mix together. Batter will be lumpy.

  2. Fill lined muffin cups approximately 2/3 full.

  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes for standard sized muffins (10-12 minutes for mini-muffins).


Deb's note:

Sunday night, I was putting away fruit and decided the bananas had gone too mushy. Before I went to bed, I mixed up the dry ingredients for Banana Bread Muffins for the next morning. It was smiles all around at breakfast and because I had done the"thinking" the night before, I was able to finish up and get them in the oven while I was still half asleep! Note the addition of oatmeal to add to the fiber content.

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