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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

New Cooking Adventures

by lizsy101 @ webshots

Our meals at home usually consist of the same “recipes.” Don’t get me wrong, they taste great and we do not get tired of them, but we seldom venture away from the usual. I wanted to try some new things, but I have to tell you that I do not cook conventionally—like following a recipe…not verbatim. I find what I like and enhance it whether it is starting from scratch or from someone else’s recipe.

My entrée recipes are named  ___(fill in the blank)___ SURPRISE, like Chicken Surprise or Beef Surprise… and surprise never means the exact same thing. Many times I start making one thing and turn it into something else. I can never pass these recipes on because I cook until I like it—whatever surprise I make. About the photo:  I could not locate my photo of the Big Chicken in Marietta but thought it looks better than chicken pieces. If you have never heard of the Big Chicken, here is info at Wikipedia – Big Chicken.

I want to tell you about the two new recipes we have recently tried (links are listed at the bottom of this post). Both were chicken. One was called Beer BBQ Chicken which is cooked in the crockpot and the other was Teriyaki Chicken which was marinated and then cooked under the broiler. In the past, I would buy Teriyaki marinade to use, so this was new for me. I really looked forward to the BBQ one, but I did not like it (is hate too much?). Before I served it, I doctored it up adding vinegar, letting it soak and then adding my BBQ sauce. The family loved it. So, if I do that recipe again, it will have to change—immensely. Notes have already been made and saved for next time.

Now, the Teriyaki Chicken was superb-just excellent, except…I did not have all of the ingredients the recipe called for. So, I improvised. Improvising can be risky but this turned out so good. Yum-my!!! It called for fresh ginger and rice vinegar—I substituted a little apple cider vinegar and orange juice and then added a bit of honey. I know that doesn’t sound right, but we loved it. I also left out the sherry, peppercorns, and sesame seeds. The family wanted to know when the next time we were having it…and that was before we finished eating. The recipe said to marinate no longer than 4 hours, but I think it needs to marinate 8 hours.

Here are the links for the chicken recipes and an alternate for the Teriyaki one just in case you want to give it a try. During the summer, we will probably grill the Teriyaki Chicken which will taste great.

Or, you can try experimenting on your own like I do…

Happy Gardening in your kitchen with whatever you try!

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Banana Rum Cake

I usually start cooking this recipe in the fall and continue through New Year’s because I love the smell not to mention the fact that I think the cake tastes good. I sometimes give these cakes as Christmas gifts or take them for get-togethers during the holidays. My oldest daughter helped make these. Aren’t they beautiful? I have been making this cake recipe for 30 years now. Has it really been that long? The pan on the right is over 30 years old and is looking its age.

The recipe begins with a boxed pound cake mix (oh, horrors 🙂). Betty Crocker’s Pound Cake mix is what I start with. Besides an egg, I add rum, sour cream, a well-ripened banana, and nutmeg (freshly grated). If I don’t have a well-ripened banana, I have been known to ‘squish’ a banana before peeling and add to mix, but it doesn’t have the same exact flavor. Here are the ingredients if you would like to make this cake-ignore the ones on the box.

Banana Rum Cake

  • 1 1-lb box of pound cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c dark rum
  • ½ c sour cream
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (I use freshly grated)

I first grease a loaf pan. Then I pour the mix in my bowl using a fork to break up lumps and ‘sift’ through the mix. I then add the next 3 ingredients and stir vigorously. You can use a mixer, but I never do with this recipe. Lastly, I stir in the darkened banana-not rotten-followed by the freshly grated nutmeg. I make sure the large banana lumps are broken up and mixed in well. Next, I pour the mix into my greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees according to the size pan you are using and the time on the box or just a little more. You may want to decrease the temperature ever so slightly if using a dark pan. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove cake from pan. This is where I take a big sniff. It should smell absolutely delightful.

You can try a piece while the cake is still warm and then compare it to one from the next day to see how you like it. I like it both ways. This recipe came from a college friend’s grandmother many years ago. It was a simple way to make an enhanced pound cake that I still enjoy making. The fresh nutmeg is so aromatic and really makes the cake come alive, so to say.

Happy Gardening and may your kitchen yield many lovely baked goods this winter!

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