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Monday, June 24, 2013

Nellie: Homemade Chicken/Turkey Soup Stock


1 chicken or turkey carcass (or use the bones from chicken pieces, left over from dinner)
turkey or chicken broth left over from roasting (if you have it)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
1-2 heads of garlic 
(separated into individual cloves; there is no need to remove the skins) 
(use only if you like garlic)
salt and pepper

Wash and coarsely chop all the vegetable. There is no need to discard the ends or tops; use them as well.

Place the carcass in a large oven proof dish (or use the pan that the chicken/turkey was roasted in). Add all the vegetables and the garlic around the carcass.

Bake the carcass on low heat (250-300 degrees) for several hours, 3-4 hours. The vegetables and carcass will become quite brown; this is what gives the stock a nice brown color and a wonderful rich taste.

Allow everything to cool enough that it can be handled easily.

Place every thing (including any grease and crispy bits from the bottom of the pan) into a large stock pot along with some salt and pepper, and cover with water. Add any left over broth from roasting. Boil for several hours, until the broth has a nice brown color. Add water as needed to keep the bones and vegetables covered with water.

Strain out all the bones and vegetables and place the remaining water back on the stove and cook down until the broth is a rich brown.

Allow the pot to cool enough that you can place it in the refrigerator.

Refrigerate over night.

Next day, skim all the fat from the top, and then store in the freezer until you are ready to make soup.


This stock can be used in any number of recipes. It is especially good when making rich brown soups or gravies. If you want more of a clear soup, do not bake the bones and vegetables before they're boiled.

Nellie: Tortilla Soup

This is a good soup for cold winter days, and it's healthy (well, if you go easy on the cheese and sour cream).  


- two chicken breast
- a big container of chicken stock (those boxes of stock work well, and they’re organic)
- one zucchini or yellow squash
- one onion
- garlic (one heaping spoonful of the chopped garlic in the jar)
- one stalk of celery
- one can of pinto beans or black beans (or grabanzo beans)
- half a bag of frozen whole kernel corn
- 1/4 bag of frozen cut green beans
- a large jar of Pace medium picante sauce (instead of tomato sauce)
- one package of soft corn tortillas


shredded cheese, lime, avocado, cilantro, sour cream (for the faint hearted)


Cook (boiled or roasted works) the chicken separately and then rinse and shred or chop in bite size pieces.

Chop up all the veggies.

Then throw everything into a large pot and cook for a couple of hours.

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About 30 minutes before serving time:

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Take a stack of the soft corn tortillas and cut them into strips. Coat an oven pan with Pam (or something like that) and toss the strips in the pan; they’ll look like noodles. Bake in the oven until crisp, stirring occasionally to allow all the strips to get crisp.

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Dish up the soup and top with the tortilla strips (and cheese if desired).


Sour cream (or any dairy product) will blunt the chili heat.

This can be a clean-out-the-pantry soup. Add whatever vegetables are available.

Nellie: Potato Soup

I can't really make this soup much anymore due to cholesterol issues.  But it's really, really good on a cold winter evening with some crusty French bread and a nice glass of red wine.


1/2 pound of lean bacon (or substitute 1 large can of chicken or vegetable broth)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
4-5 fresh mushrooms, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped (or one heaping teaspoon of chopped gralic in jar)
6 medium potatoes, diced (peeling is optional)
1/2 cup each of any other vegetable you like (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
1 quart of half & half (milk or heavy cream can be substituted)
(Using milk to replace the half & half will make the final product considerably thinner; flour or cornstarch can be used to thicken the soup if milk is used.)
chopped scallions for garnish


Fry the bacon until crisp, and set aside. The bacon can be used as a garnish on the soup when served or as a sandwich fixin’ to be served with the soup.

In a large dutch oven or soup pot, use several tablespoons of the bacon drippings (or olive oil if you are not using bacon) to saute the onions, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, and garlic.

Add the potatoes to the soup pot, and cover with water.  (If you are using chicken or vegetable stock instead of bacon drippings for flavoring, use the stock instead of water here.)

Add the rosemary to the pot.

Cook the potatoes at a boil until they are tender, until a fork can easily break the potato pieces. Be careful not to over cook the potatoes, or they will turn into mush. Add the salt and pepper at this stage. Allow the water to cook down in the pot.

Once the potates are tender, add the half & half. Do not boil; gently simmer from this stage on or the milk will tend to separate.

Serve garnished with cheese, crumbled bacon, and chopped scallions or serve with BLTs.


Worries go down better with soup. ~Jewish Proverb

Nellie: Harvest Pasta

This pasta is good any time of year.  Just use what's fresh at that time of year from your market.


1 1-pound bag of your favorite pasta 
                 (mostaccioli / penne pastas work great, spagetti not so great)
1 large onion, finely chopped
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, separated into individal cloves, chopped
                (or one heaping tablespoon of chopped garlic in jar)
4-5 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup of pine nuts
olive oil  (or substitute bacon grease)
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese

1/2 cup each of any (or all) of the following vegetables, chopped:

red bell pepper, yellow squash, zucchini, black olives, artichoke hearts, carrots, spinach, asparagus, fresh tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes (or anything else you like)


Bacon (of course)


Heat a large pot of water to boiling.

In a large skillet, in olive oil (or bacon grease) saute the onions, garlic, basil, pine nuts, and mushrooms, until the onions are translucent.

After the onions are well cooked, add all the other vegetables. (Reserve vegetables that cook quickly, like spinach and tomatoes, until all the other vegetables are nearly cooked.)

Cook the pasta until it is al dente and then strain out all the water.

Toss the hot vegetables with the hot pasta, and serve in a large, festive pasta bowl.

Salt and pepper to taste.  Top with lots of parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty bread and a nice red wine.


Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch. --Orson Welles

Nellie: Cornbread Dressing

In the South, stuffing isn't put in the bird.  It's served as a side dish and typically made with corn bread. This is my mother's recipe, with a few embellishments from me.


one 9“x9” pan of previously baked cornbread
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1-2 can of chicken stock
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 stalks of celery, chopped finely
2 cups of pecans, chopped
1 lb of sausage, preferably hot/spicy
2 tablespoons of dried sage or poultry seasoning
salt and pepper

fresh mushrooms, chopped finely
red bell pepper, chopped finely
chili seeds/flakes


Crumble the cornbread into a large bowl and add the non-liquid ingredients. Toss until evenly mixed. Add the mushroom soup and stir. It will be thick and difficult to stir, but try to get it distributed evenly. Add chicken stock until the mixture is moist throughout. If it is dry before it goes into the oven, it will be even drier (and unpalatable) when it comes out of the oven.

Cover with foil and bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes or until brown on top.

Nellie: Southern Baked Beans

I tend not to measure ingredients because I was taught to just eye-ball it [maybe why I can't bake], but I'm going to try to provide a good estimate.  You can always add a little more of this or that to change the flavor.


3 (regular) cans of pork & beans
             (doesn't matter who makes them)
1/2 pound of bacon, chopped into bite size pieces
             (my mother used to put strips of bacon across the top instead, either way works great)
1 small onion, chopped up
2/3 of one of the p&b cans full of maple syrup
             (more if you like 'em sweet)
1 of the p&b cans full of ketchup
1 teaspoon of mustard
2 heaping tablespoons of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 chopped jalapeno or a tablespoon of red chili flakes (can be omitted)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Throw everything in the baking dish and stir it around till it mostly mixed  up -- or you can mess up an additional bowl if you're worried, but by the time this bakes, and you've stirred it a couple of times during the process, things should be evenly distributed.

Bake uncovered.

The baking time depends on how thick you like your baked beans.  I would check them every 15 minutes.  The ones I make usually take about an hour to bake.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jalapeño Popper Dip

6-8 slices of bacon, diced and cooked crispy
2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, soft
1 cup of mayonnaise
4-6 jalapeno's, chopped and deseeded. The seeds will make it fiery hot.
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup diced green onion


1 cup of crushed crackers ( I used Ritz)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 stick of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all of the ingredients into a medium bowl. Stir well.

Transfer to an oven proof dish. The size of the dish

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mochiko Chicken

Mochiko Batter
4 Tablespoon mochiko flour
4 Tablespoon cornstarch
4 Tablespoon sugar
4 Tablespoon shoyu
2 Clove garlic minced
1⁄2 Teaspoon grated ginger
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
1⁄4 Cup thinly sliced green onions
1⁄2 Teaspoon Salt
2 each eggs beaten

Chicken Preparation
2 Pound deboned chicken thighs
each oil for frying

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces (or slightly larger).
In a bowl, mix together mochiko batter ingredients.
Marinate chicken for 5 hours or overnight in refrigerator.
Fry in hot oil (about 1 inch deep) until thoroughly cooked and golden brown on both sides.

Serve hot or cold.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ahi Poke Oyster Sauce

8 oz. tuna sashimi block, cubed
⅛ tsp. kukui nut oil (optional)
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. green onion, chopped
1 Tbs. onion, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, chopped
⅛ tsp. Hawaiian salt
Pinch chili flakes
Season Ahi with Hawaiian salt, mix well. Combine all ingredients in stainless steel bowl, chill well. Best when served immediately.

Kimchee Bacon Fried Rice (kimchi bokkeum bap)

1/4 head cabbage Kimchee, chopped, about 1 1/2C
4-6 bacon strips
2 C cooked rice heated
1-2T Kimchee juice
1t sesame oil
1t sesame seeds
dash black pepper
2 eggs
Some spring onion chopped for garnish, optional

Dice the bacon strips into small pieces, set aside.
Discard stuffing from the cabbage Kimchee and chop them into small pieces.
Brown the bacon pieces in the fry pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.
Using a paper towel remove half of bacon fat from the pan. Add the chopped Kimchee into the pan and saute them well until nice and tender, about 5 minutes.
Add rice and combine them well with Kimchee mixture over the medium heat. Add the reserved Kimchee juice to moisten the fried rice. Continue to stir until heated through.
Turn off the heat.Add sesame oil, sesame seeds, and the bacon pieces. Mix well.
Fry eggs into sunny side up and place on top of the fried rice.
Serve immediately.

Heavenly Oreo Dessert

1 (15.5 oz.) package of Oreo cookies
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 pkg. (3.9 oz each) Chocolate Instant Pudding
3 1/4 c. cold milk
2 containers (8 oz. each) Cool Whip
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar

Crush all Oreo cookies in a food processor until crushed. You could also put the cookies in a large resealable bag and crush using a rolling pin. That's what I did. I don't have a food processor and a blender definitely does not work for this job. Nope, it sure doesn't. Save 1/2 c. of the crumbs for the topping.
Pour the remaining crumbs into a 9x13 dish and add the melted butter.
Stir and press into the bottom of the dish to make a crust. 
In a bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and milk.
Set in the fridge for now.
Blend cream cheese until smooth.
Add powdered sugar.
Mix and fold in one container of Cool Whip.
Spread over the crust.
Add pudding and spread over the cream cheese mixture.
Top with the other Cool Whip.
Sprinkle the 1/2 c. Oreo crumbs over top.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

Shortbread Cookies

2 cups flour
Pinch salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour and salt. Set aside.

Cream the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir flour mixture in butter mixture, just until incorporated, do not over work. Cover and let rest in fridge, for 1 hour.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Transfer to baking sheets, leaving a 2-inch space between cookies. Using the tines of a fork, press into cookie to make a decorative pattern.

Bake cookies until top is firm when lightly pressed and lightly golden on the bottom, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Yield: About 2 dozen cookies.

Butter Mochi

1 pound Mochiko (Glutinous Rice FLour)
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
2-½ cups White Sugar
3 cups Whole Milk
5 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ cups Butter, Melted
1 cup Sweetened, Flaked Coconut

Preparation Instructions
Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl combine Mochiko, baking powder, and sugar. In another bowl whisk together your milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.

Combine your dry and wet ingredients into one bowl and stir until blended. Add in the melted butter and coconut flakes, again stirring until combined.

Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and bake in the oven for one hour until the top looks golden brown.

Allow to cool completely before you cut into squares and serve!

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
One 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate with the butter, stirring a few times, until smooth, about 7 minutes.

In another large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into a shallow baking dish, cover and freeze until well chilled and firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working in batches, scoop 2-tablespoon-size mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are dry around the edges and cracked on top. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before serving.