Monday, December 11, 2017

Scotch Eggs

A very popular dish in Japan is Scotch Eggs.  It is a Scottish dish, but the Japanese have adopted it as their own.  It is basically meat-  ground pork (pork is the most used and popular meat in Japan) wrapped around a hard-boiled egg, then fried. Sausage is not available in Japan, but this is made with sweet (as opposed to spicy) sausage in Scotland. The Japanese just use ground pork.  These little jewels are delicious and are a fun surprise when you cut into them.

Here, the elders and Remi are forming and dipping the scotch eggs, preparing them to be fried.

Imi frying the scotch eggs.  Notice the special extra long chopsticks used for frying.


Scotch Eggs  
1 1/2 lbs sweet sausage or ground pork
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Pepper and Salt (If using ground pork- not necessary if using bulk sausage)


4 peeled hard-boiled eggs
flour on a plate
1 beaten egg in a bowl with a little bit of water added
Panko or other bread crumbs on a plate
Oil for frying, if you are frying
  Mix the meat with the Worcestershire sauce.  I just sprinkle the Worcestershire sauce on the meat in the tray the meat comes in.  Then I mix it with my hands, then flatten the meat back out into the tray and cut it fourths.  Divide the meat into four equal parts.  Shape each 1/4 around a hard-boiled egg by flattening the meat in a circle, then completely enclosing the egg.  Dip the balls into flour, then egg, then panko bread crumbs, coating well with each.  When well- coated fry the balls in hot oil or bake in the oven at 375 until lightly browned- about 25 minutes (much fewer calories, but not how it is traditionally done.)  Makes 4 scotch eggs.
Here are some pictures of some I made at home in America.  I used sausage and baked them in the oven.  They turned out really good!





Saturday, December 9, 2017

Chunky Spaghetti Sauce

I love this recipe for spaghetti sauce!  It is so delicious!  My favorite way to make it is in an enameled cast iron pan on the stovetop, but it also works great in a crockpot if you are going to be away from home all day.  It makes 4 quarts of spaghetti sauce- one for now and three for the freezer.  I LOVE recipes like that!  One quart is about right for about 3/4 -1 lb. of spaghetti or other pasta.



Chunky Spaghetti Sauce
Brown together in an enameled cast iron pot (or large fry pan if you are going to use a slow cooker):
1 1/2- 3 lbs. sweet sausage and/ or ground beef (you can use a mixture.  We like it with all sausage and like to use the full 3 lbs.)
1 large onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
When browned, add crushed or minced garlic and brown.
Drain the grease through a colander, then put all back in the pot or transfer to the crockpot.  Add:
2 jars or cans spaghetti sauce of choice
1- 28 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes (or one 14 oz. can of each)
1 can tomato paste
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T. Italian seasoning
1 pkg. spaghetti seasoning
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. beef bouillion

Cook on low for several hours.  About an hour or 2 or 3 before you want to eat, add:
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1-2 jars artichoke hearts, mostly drained
1 can olives, drained and sliced

Continue cooking until the mushrooms are cooked and all is blended together.
Fill three quart jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  When cooled, put in the freezer (or share.)

Serve over cooked, hot pasta with lots of grated Parmesan cheese.



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce


Need a delicious dinner in 20 minutes?  Here's the recipe for you, and it's delicious!  I got it from Cooking Without Recipes site.  That site just gives ingredient ideas and cooking methods- amounts and ingredients can vary according to taste.  I love that kind of cooking!
Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
1 lb pasta  (the site suggested orecchiette, which I love) I've used ravioli stuffed with chicken and cheese. That was good because it added a little bit of meat to the dish.   It was so delicious!)
Mushrooms, sliced  However many and varieties you like.  I've used a white button and creminis
Butter, a hunk- as much or little as you like
Cream (or you could use half n half)
Parmesan
Garlic (opt)
Chives or Parsley for garnish, opt.

In a large pot, boil water with a lot of salt. Cook pasta to el dente

In a large skillet, brown some butter and add mushrooms and garlic if desired. You may also add garlic salt. When browned and softened, add some cream to make a nice creamy sauce.  Drain the pasta and add the hot, cooked pasta into the sauce.  Season with some red pepper flakes and salt.  Add lots of parmesan cheese.  Stir and serve hot.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Grilled Chicken Caprese

This is a delicious, low-calorie main dish:
Grilled Chicken Caprese
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Mix some balsamic vinegar and oil to make a dressing, or buy a balsamic vinegar dressing.
1 box grape tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Fresh mozzarella slices

Place chicken in a gallon-sized zip bag.  Add Balsamic and oil or salad dressing to cover.  Marinate for 4-24 hours.
In a bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Grill the marinated chicken on a grill at medium heat.  Close the lid and cook about 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness of the meat.  During the last two minutes, put a slice of Mozzarella on each chicken breast.  Top each breast with the tomato/ basil mixture.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Sister Smith's Oatmeal Cookies


Each time we traveled to Yamagata for interviews with President Smith, Sister Smith brought all of the missionaries delicious oatmeal cookies.  She took them with her on her travels and gave two to each missionary.  That's 200 cookies!  The elders really looked forward to Sister Smith's Oatmeal Cookies.  They are just the perfect oatmeal cookie.  I finally asked her for the recipe.  I am so glad to get it, and thought you might like it, too. This is the perfect time of year for oatmeal cookies.

Sister Smith's Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups oats
Raisins or chocolate chips, opt.  (She never put in either)

Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes (depending on size.)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups oats (old fashioned or quick oats)
  • 2 and 2/3 cups flour (white, whole-wheat, or a mixture of both
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or butter (I used 1/4 cup applesauce with 1/4 cup olive oil)
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips
Combine the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and oil.
Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until moistened. Mix the chocolate chips in.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with the batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes, or until tops are light golden. I made mini muffins too and baked them for 8 minutes.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Corn Pasta Salad

This salad was so yummy I didn't even get a picture of it before it was gone. 
Ingredients
Salad
  • 1 lb bag or 4 cups miniature farfelle pasta, cooked, rinsed with cold water, and mostly dry
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans corn 
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 3-5 green onions, chopped (I like to slightly saute mine)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno (I did not add this, my kids don't like spicy food)
  • 6-8 strips hardwood smoked bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled (We don't love bacon, but 4 strips was a perfect addition)
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese (or queso fresco or feta -- add cheese to preference (we like 1/2 cup)
  • 1 can black beans, drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans if you make your own)
Dressing
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil Mayo
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or hot sauce
  • Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
  • Instructions
    1. Corn: if using regular canned corn: heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes or until very hot. Drain corn and place in a single layer and cook for about 5 minutes stirring once in between or until browned. Avoid stirring too often as this will keep the corn from getting a good roast.
    2. Meanwhile prep the veggies: chop the avocado into small pieces, chop the green onions, coarsely chop the cilantro, very finely chop the jalapeno, and cook then crumble the bacon. Crumble the cheese. Add black beans.
    3. In a large bowl combine the cooled pasta, cooled corn, avocado, onions, cilantro, jalapeno, bacon, and cheese. **If you don't plan on eating this in one sitting and immediately after making, don't add the bacon, cheese, or avocado. Add those in separately right before enjoying.**

    4. Toss together.
    5. In a small bowl combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together until completely combined.
    6. Toss with the salad and enjoy!
      The original source was from Chelseasmessyapron.com. I've changed quite a bit though. Hers is more of a corn salad and we like more pasta in ours.
    by

Monday, April 10, 2017

Gourmet French Toast & Cinnamon Syrup



Fluffy, thick and delicious french toast that sure beats the cheap wheat bread and eggs that I usually use to make french toast.  A friend from college made this for our dance team (Spring Performing Arts Co.) and I copied her recipe down at the time. I found it in my cookbook last week and was excited to try it again.

Gourmet French Toast

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
Mix and apply to sliced french bread. The batter will seem really thick, but trust me - it makes a yummy coating for your bread.

Cinnamon Sauce 
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2/3 cups water
Put the above ingredients into a pot and boil until thick.

My family was pretty excited about this switch-up from the usual maple syrup.  My daughter asked me to make it every time we have pancakes. It's easy and yummy enough that I just might oblige.



Hawaiian Pasta Salad

We love this delicious Pasta Salad.  It's a great way to use some of your leftover Easter ham.
Hawaiian Pasta Salad
8 ounces pasta (we like bow ties), cooked el dente and rinsed
2 cups diced ham
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained- save juice
1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
1-3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup reserved pineapple juice
1- 2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix together cooled pasta, ham, pineapple, pepper and green onion.  In a small bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the pasta.  Mix well and chill for at least two hours.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Egg Salad Sandwiches

 This time of year, we always have egg salad sandwiches made with all of those Easter eggs.  I tried this recipe from one of those cooking videos on Facebook.  It is delicious!  So, here it is, just in time for Easter.  Try it; you'll like it!
Egg Salad Sandwiches
6 large eggs, hard boiled
4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)
2 T. dried chives
1/3 cup shredded cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise (you may want to add a bit more)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mash together with a potato masher: Cream cheese, mayonnaise, chives, salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, mash the cooled, boiled eggs.  Add the bacon, cheese, and cream cheese mixture.  Mash all together.  Serve on bread, roll, or croissant. 


Friday, March 24, 2017

Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

These muffins are delicious and they're healthy too! I got it from ambitiouskitchen.com and have changed a couple of things but they're so good for you she recommends them as a breakfast muffin. I don't want to lose this recipe so I'm posting it on my blog-yum!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas
  • 1/4 cup honey or sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt (I used regular plain)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (I used 2% milk)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or use a silicone muffin pan and do not spray it. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. Add bananas, honey, vanilla, oil, egg, milk and yogurt to a blender. Blend on high for 1 minute or until well combined, smooth and creamy. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Divide batter evenly into muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool muffins for 5 minutes then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Muffins are best served warm and even better the next day.
Thanks ambitious kitchen.com!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Brown Butter Banana Bread Brownies

Ingredients:
Brownies:
-2 eggs
-3 bananas, mashed
-1 cup sugar
-1 cup sour cream
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-2 tsps vanilla extract
-2 cups white flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-3/4 tsp salt

Frosting:
-1/4 cup butter, softened 
-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
-1 1/2 TBSP milk
-3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13x9 inch pan.
For the brownie part:
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs until creamy.
3. Blend in bananas & vanilla.
4. Add flour, baking soda, salt and blend for 1 minutes. 
5. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 23-25 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Cool slightly (warm but not hot) and frost with frosting.
For the frosting part:
7. Heat butter while stirring in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
8. Watch it carefully when it reaches a medium brown color turn off heat, whisk in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, adding milk as it thickens, then add in vanilla.
9. Pour over the warm banana bread brownies immediately and smooth with a spatula.
10. Cool completely before cutting.

I got the original recipe from sugarapron.com, and I have made a few changes.

Breakfast quiches


Ingredients
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons onion, diced
  • 1 cup cooked ham, diced (could also use cooked bacon or cooked sausage)
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced small
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mushrooms, diced 
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach, finely shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray (the better you spray, the less it will stick!) or use thick muffin liners or silicone muffin tin.
  3. Saute onion & pepper, then add in seasoned salt & garlic powder, mushrooms & ham, and finally spinach until spinach is wilted and it's all hot.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add in hot onion mixture & remaining ingredients and mix together.
  5. Scoop 1/3 cup of mixture into each muffin liner. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center of the muffin is completely cooked.
  6. Serve with toast.
I got the original recipe from sixsistersstuff.com.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Japan Chocolate Chip Cookies




These really aren't a Japanese recipe.  I just make them a lot in Japan, so that's what I wanted to title it.  I need a recipe that works here.  I need one that just uses butter and that I can figure out the flour.  So I found this one online and have made it many, many times- so many I can't even tell you.   We provide refreshments for English class and we take treats to people we visit, so we churn out the cookies.  These are so easy and always turn out great.

Japan Chocolate Chip Cookies
¾ cup (170 grams) butter, melted

1 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup white granulated sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup hard flour

1 cup soft flour ( In Japan, they have many different flours.  It took experimenting to figure out what kinds to use and how much.  You can just substitute 2 cups all-purpose flour for the 1 cup hard and 1 cup soft.)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate bar)


Mix melted butter and sugars well.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Turn off mixer and add flours, salt, and soda.  Mix in with mixer.  Add chocolate chips and stir.  Put dough in fridge for about an hour (or more.)  You can keep the dough in the fridge for several days in an airtight container.  I do it ALL THE TIME. 

When ready to bake, heat oven to 325 F or 165 C.  Line pan with baking paper.  Drop spoonfuls of dough onto sheet.  Bake until set and slightly browned- about 7 ½ minutes for small cookies.  Let cool and store in airtight container. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Fiesta Lime Chicken

This marinade for chicken is so delicious. 

Fiesta Lime Chicken
In a gallon-sized zip lock bag, put the following:
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (or you can substitute fresh lemon juice)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Close bag and mix with hands.  Add 4 chicken breasts and marinate at least one hour.
Put some oil in a large skillet and heat.  Cook each breast on each side until no longer pink in center.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated cheese and cover with lid.  Turn off heat and let sit until melted.
Serve over rice or in a tortilla.  Top with the following pico de gallo:

3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup onion or green onion, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Chopped cilantro, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Top with corn tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips, lettuce and the pico.  It is also delicious with sliced avocado on top or guacamole. 
Serving suggestion:  I like to serve it burrito-style in a large flour tortilla.  I put about 1/4 rice on the tortilla, then the chicken, then lettuce, then the pico, then guacamole or avocado slices and roll it up.
I like to serve refried beans or black beans on the side.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mom's Crab, Cheese, and Tomato Sandwich

If you asked me what my favorite sandwich is, I would have a hard time choosing because I love a good sandwich.  But this is definitely in the top five.  It is easy to make and always, always makes me think of my parents because they made them often. 
Crab, Cheese, and Tomato Sandwich
1 slice good bread
Artificial Crab meat (or you could use real, I'm sure)
1 slice cheese of choice (my parents always used Swiss, but any cheese will do)
Sliced Tomatoes
Salt and pepper

Put bread under the broiler until browned.  Take out of the oven and turn it over.  Layer the crab and cheese on top.  Put back under broiler until the crab is warmed and the cheese melted.  Remove from oven and put sliced tomatoes and salt and pepper on top.  Yum!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Oatmeal Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

This cake is good; it's frosting is out of this world delicious!  It is quick and easy to make and uses common pantry ingredients.
Oatmeal Cake
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup uncooked oatmeal (either the quick oats or the regular oats work)
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 scant cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 beaten eggs

Put the oatmeal and the butter, cut up, in a large bowl.  Pour the boiling water over them.  Stir until the butter is melted.  Add the flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir until well blended.  Add sugars and eggs and beat well.  Pour into a well-greased 13x9 pan.  Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean.  Make little holes in the cooling cake by piercing with a fork.  While still a little warm, frost with the browned butter frosting.

Browned Butter Frosting
1/2 cup (115 grams) butter
3 cups powdered sugar (about)
Milk, as needed

Put the butter in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until the butter starts to turn brown.  Little flecks of brown will come up from the bottom and it will smell nutty and yummy.  Remove from heat before it burns!  Beat in the powdered sugar and enough milk to make a nice spreading consistency. 

Spread over the warm cake. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Noodle Ham Casserole

Comfort food at it's best!  If you love macaroni and cheese and you love ham, you'll love this creamy, delicious casserole.

Creamy Ham and Noodle Casserole
2 Tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1-2 green peppers, chopped
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
8 ounce package of noodles, cooked el dente
2 cups shredded cheese of choice
2 cups cubeb ham

In a large skillet, melt the butter and saute' the onion and green pepper on medium heat.  Stir and cook until vegetables are soft and onions caramelize.  It takes awhile.  Remove from heat and stir in the soup and sour cream.  Stir until all is melted and blended together, making a delicious creamy sauce.  In a greased 3-quart casserole dish, layer three times: Noodles, Cheese, Ham, and Sauce.  Bake at 350 until heated through and bubbly and cheese well melted- about 30- 45 minutes.




Sunday, January 8, 2017

Chicken Pesto with Green Beans and Tomatoes

I saw a recipe like this on one of those videos on facebook.  It looked yummy.  But I didn't save it and couldn't remember who posted it, so I just made this up as I went.  It turned out delicious! 

Chicken Pesto with Green Beans and Tomatoes
1 lb. chicken tenders
Salt and pepper
1/2-1 cup basil pesto
1 large package frozen green beans
1 lb. package grape tomatoes, cut in half
Cooked pasta

Salt and pepper the tenders (or I like to use Montreal steak seasoning)  Mix with your hands.  Put some olive oil in a large skillet and add the seasoned tenders.  Fry on each side for 3-4 minutes until browned and juicy.  Add the green beans and about 1/2 cup of water.  Cover and cook until green beans are done.  Take off the cover and let steam off until almost dry.  Add the tomatoes and about 1/2 cup of pesto.  Turn off heat and mix together.  Serve over cooked pasta (we like penne) that has some pesto (amount to taste) in it.  So easy, so quick, and so delicious!