Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Some of my favorite recipes are from my childhood. Some things just can't be changed and some things will always remain perfect. My comfort foods if you may.
I remember eating these a lot growing up. When my siblings would come into town, as we all became adults... my mom would always make these. She would pull out some freezer jam she had made in the summer, and we would all patiently await them as she cooked them. They are wonderful.
They are nothing like a pancake. They do not become light and fluffy. That is a plus in my book since I absolutely hate pancakes with my whole being. They soak up the syrup and are like little sponges. Makes me want to scrape my tongue on cement. EWWWWWW... BUT THESE, are a little bit of heaven. Each bite.
They are somewhat like a crepe, but they are thicker and have more flavor. My family loves them as well.
I need to say, my Aunt Becky gave this recipe to my mom. They were best friends for many years, and then they lost contact. I recently found her daughters through facebook, and found out that Aunt Becky had died. She was hit by a car in a parking lot at her job and she died. My heart hurt for her daughters and to know I didn't find them in time to say hello and good bye just one last time. Aunt Becky was a great cook and had a great smile and liked to laugh. She and my mom met through some sewing conference or something like that when I was in kindergarten. We shared holidays together and I used to go to their house in the summer now and again. I really liked her, and her family and I am blessed to be reunited with her daughters.
So, enjoy these breakfast goodies and raise your glass of milk and salute my Aunt Becky....
1 c. flour
1 T. sugar
3/4 t. salt
1 c. sour cream
1 c. small curd cottage cheese
4 eggs well beaten
Mix all the ingredients and cook on a griddle, or in fry pan sprayed with nonstick oil. These are very moist...and yummy, but...make sure that the bottom side has set up before you flip them. Great to eat with jam and jelly, or fresh fruit and whipped cream.
Friday, July 29, 2011
I have been going through some things with my son... or rather... the house my son lives in for disabled adults. One really has to keep an eye on them as it is very easy to get taken advantage of the people within the home. I sit and think of all of the young adults that don't have someone there to help them with their voices that often are left unheard. It is amazing to me how this would happen, and so very sad. I start getting gloomy. I start getting disheartened by how it all goes... how we seem to always have to fight for those we love.... why are they not treated with just as much dignity and respect. I will continue to fight for my son's rights... even when they tell me to be silent. I will continue to stand for his rights, even if I am the only standing against a sea of people against me. This is my son. He didn't ask to be born this way. I will not back down. Until the last breath I breathe, I will advocate for my son's needs.
I have been keeping in very close contact with a friend of mine. She is a young lady, a mother, a friend. Her mother lives in another state, and the love she has for her mother is like many feel, strong, and confident. Her father lives in a nearby town, and she loves him as well... but there are issues.
I am withholding the names as this is real... this is so real.... and it has touched my heart. I have learned something new. I am going to learn from this and let it make me a stronger person and friend.
My friend... the kind of friend that never cries. We are so alike, yet so much different. She is strong, I am weak. She can hide her feelings, I can't. God, I so wish I had that ability... but not me... I am the crier... the cry til your nose runs kind of gal.
This young lady has taken on the responsibility to the best of her ability to lead her brother back to a sober life. Sober... what do I mean by sober? Her brother started using a cough and cold syrup to get high, a little bit over a year ago. I am not worried about the circumstances. We all need an escape, and this was his escape? What was this boy like before the self medicating? I am not sure... I didn't know him... but I do know my friends strengths and abilities and they are from the same cloth... so I am assuming that this young man had the same qualities. Right?! I mean, of course. I have seen photos. I have gone through the photos... all the photos she has. He was young. He was handsome. He had a smile on his face. He was surrounded by friends. He had great teeth. He looked, groomed... nice clothes... cared about his appearance. He was a typical teen and young man... we see them everywhere. I am not sure what happened after that, and I am not sure anyone does. However, he got into using meth to get to that escape. Is he a bad kid? No... not at all... never. Is he a confused young man? Probably! I mean aren't we all? We all are. Even as adults... we might seem like we have it all together. Our friends might look at us as strong and as an example of whatever normal might be... and yet, every one of us... even you, has a part of us, that is broken. It might be needing to be in control. It might be not knowing who we are as a person, rather than a mom, or a sister, etc....
So when I got to meet this young man... I went to court with my friend. There had been a disturbance and he was arrested. Nothing big... he didn't stab anyone... he didn't do a drive by... just a disturbance. He had to stay in jail over the weekend until he could go before the judge on Monday. I went with her... for support. The night before, since sis was out of town, I went and met her for a quick drink. She was so matter of fact... these were the charges... this is what is happening... she was getting him help into drug rehab when he was released. She is young. As young as my daughter... and here she was, not only his sister... but a woman that cared enough to not give up. They say we need to let them hit rock bottom. How the hell do we know someones rock bottom? Seriously... WTH? Is rock bottom being homeless or can it go beyond? Can it be taking one's life? It happens all the time. You can turn your back and think I am ridiculous... but this is a real question. How would I know when my son's rock bottom was? Would I just step out of the way and let him be suicidal? Or either of my daughters? NO! HELL NO. And although I can't be with them every waking hour... I would remind them, daily, how much I really love them... how special they are... how they have a purpose... how I love them so very much..... So here she is... the pillar of strength. She pulls out her phone to show a photo of her brother to us. First it was a mug shot... and those are really hard to really tell how someone looks.... and then, there was one of the BEFORE PHOTOS. Was she drunk? Certainly not... in fact so far from it... yet... here was this wall of strength crumbling around her... where I saw my friend in such a raw and tender form. She cried for the brother that she so loves. She cried for the memories of her and him growing up as children... vacationing, living in Mexico, moving to Vegas. I am sure holidays must have run through her mind... being his older sister, and his protector.... and yet, I can tell you that if anyone did something to harm this young woman, they would see the rage of her protector of a brother.
I am not trying to glorify an addiction, and not one of this extent. I was telling her, that we all have addictions... every single one of us. Some are maybe good for our bodies... like a physical sport... some may be sewing or crafting... some may be reading... some may be shopping... gambling, smoking... sex... shall I go on? Some may be secluding themselves from the world. We all have addictions that take us to a safer place in our minds, an escape. Some are worse for our bodies than others... but are any of them ever really good? Is the single mother out drinking on the weekends to escape motherhood for a few hours any better than someone doing drugs? Is someone putting quarter or penny after penny in the slots looking for the next win any better? Is the woman that makes next to nothing waiting tables running from yard sale to yard sale looking for the next score on a great deal although she doesn't need another thing any better? I think not. Maybe better for the body physically, but again, an obsession... an issue of control... it is not good. I am side tracked again... here she sat... a bubbling mess... JUST LIKE I DO! Her walls crumbled and for once, she wasn't the wall. She was a hurting sister reaching for answers. She was a person that loved her brother and would do ANYTHING to help him. That was always evident but not so raw. NOW... she was raw.
We went to court. He was released with a court date. He would now be going home with his sister. She was so upset as the court was by television. He was at the jail and the judge was in the courthouse. She wasn't able to sit in the place where he would be able to see her via television. We sat... we waited... and we whispered questions to each other waiting... and... we sent good healing vibes. We thought about nothing but her brother. We weren't on the floor shouting the praises of Jesus with our hands in the air. We weren't defensive to those around us about him being innosent and we weren't remarking on what an asshole the judge was as some of the people behind us did. In fact, he was the kindest judge I have ever met... not that I have met too many... but he was kind and really tried to protect the rights of the inmates and not throw them under the bus. They really were innocent until proven guilty. We just sat in silence... and thought about this young man... that needs help.
His name was called... he walked to the podium and he spoke clearly. His words were like music to our ears. He was not irratic. Meth can make people do things that are not of them. He did not do this. He spoke strong, and he spoke confident. He spoke respectfully. In fact out of all nine people seen that day, he did the best job. It was evident, that under the drugs... he is so the same cloth of my dear, sweet friend.
We headed to the jail for his release. They said it would take an hour... it took three and a half. We sat... we ate jelly beans... we went and picked up Chinese food for our families and for her brother. She thought of his favorite dish and had it waiting for him. We were stressed about the long wait... but, we were there. She made calls to her family. She waited. We went to pick up the Chinese food ... we were running late... and when we got back, as she walked up the sidewalk, she saw her brother, and she said... there he is. He walked up to her and hugged her with a term of endearment. He said to her, in a somewhat calm, but also, kind of a nervous state... I thought you turned against me. I saw her face... and the look was of reassurance and grace to this young man, needing some sort of love at the moment. Is he proud? I think not. He told us over and over on our way home he was never doing that stuff again. Do we know better? Of course we do. That is what meth does. Within a day or two, his behaviors returned. It could be lack of sleep as he wasn't using. However, she also knew she needed to do what was best for him... and what was best for her family... and that was to send her brother back home to her mom. That is courage... I know she wants to help him herself. She knows nobody can right now other than God and rehab. She rounded the money up herself... got him a hotel and found a plane ticket for him... and last night, she took him to the airport.
My thoughts on it all. I am a better person to witness such a love and hope for someone we love. I am a better person to see what drugs can do to someone. They scare me. Drugs scare me so much... I see I need to work on my addictions... do I really need hundreds of cookbooks? Especially with the internet... do I need them??? Nah... nor the best deal around the corner... there is nothing I need in this world but the love of my children. Well I need a coca cola now and again as well. OK OK OK... something else I need to work on...
What do I think of the young man that is her brother. I think he is a child of God. I think I am no better than he is. I think he has so much potential in life. He has this personality that is so approachable. I seriously can see him getting treatment and helping those in need of counseling with drugs... as he will have been there and done that. He is the frame of the young man he used to be physically. He is thinner... way thinner. He still has a square jawline and a drop dead smile... like his sister. He has eyes that want love, as we all do. He has a great laugh. He is cut of good cloth, and I have no doubt that when this young man is ready to make the changes... he is going to be so successful. I look forward to meeting this young man again. He will most likely not remember me. But, I will forever remember him. I am thankful for the lesson I just learned.
To my friend, as you read this... I want you to feel surrounded in love and support... as you did good girly girl... and I am so very proud of the woman that you are... but more importantly... the sister that you are to him.
I love you... Wendy
To the soon to be sober young man...
She needs a son...
She needs a brother...
They need their grandson...
He needs an Uncle...
Get clean buddy... you have the world at your fingertips... We will celebrate... and I will fatten you back up with some cupcakes... SMILE... and I will sit here in silence... rooting you on... as I know you have it in you... you are cut from fine cloth....
Above all, when you feel alone, and troubled... turn it to Jesus... you will never be alone.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Muffins.... Do you know how many muffins there are? Tons... and they are so good. One of my favorite things to eat are muffins. I search for new recipes all the time. They are simple to make and wrap individually for a quick breakfast. They are always welcomed by neighbors as little tokens of kindness. I never have had anyone turn down muffins. When Taylor was in the hospital for that year (nearly a year) and I was raising money to take our family to a Southern California vacation for him when he got out... I would hold bake sales at work... where most of the money came from. Muffins were one of the best sellers. They are loved by many.
I recently ran across a new recipe from a fellow blogger at Never Enough Thyme. Her recipe was for Peaches and Cream muffins. PERFECT. I love peaches... and it sounded interesting, so I prepared them for a potluck I was going to. They were a hit. They were moist and wonderful. I actually doubled the recipe which you can find here... Peaches and Cream Muffins (check out her recipes. They will not disappoint you.) When I doubled the recipe... instead of doubling the sour cream, I actually used a container of peach yogurt. It tasted good as well. I also added a little bit of cinnamon to the batter to make it a little bit like a peach cobbler flavor.
Here is the recipe. Again, please go and visit her. I have her added as a favorite and am following her yumminess. The reason you don't see muffin papers on my muffins is I used a Demarle baking piece that you don't have to, they just slip out. I don't sell for them... just love their products.
Peaches and Cream Muffins
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 30 min
Makes: 9 muffins
- 1 egg
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup chopped, fresh peaches
- Cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the egg, sour cream and oil.
- Combine dry ingredients and sift into the wet ingredients. Stir together just until moistened.
- Stir in the peaches.
- Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and place a paper liner in each cup.
- Fill cups ¾ full with batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out nearly clean.
I love pasta salads as they are so diverse and can be made so many different ways and are easy to change up. I recently went to a potluck for my daughters reading club. She asked me to bring FRUIT? What the heck? Fruit? My heart sunk... I need to cook... I need to, it is not a choice... it is just how my brain works. I compromised and took peaches and cream muffins. The recipe is soon to follow. They turned out great. But... I wanted to take more, so I made a batch of chicken orzo salad with dill. It received many compliments. I just threw things in it that I had in my pantry. Again, all of my cooking are not measured out well... I just throw this and that in and play with it as I go. These are approximate and I know you will play with it as well to your liking.
1 box of orzo cooked and cooled and placed into a bowl
1/2 bottle ranch dressing
1/2 bottle Bernstines cheese and garlic fat free dressing
1 can asparagus
1 can olives sliced
1 can garbanzo beans
1 large can of chicken packed in water (it is found near the tuna in the grocery store... and tuna is fantastic in this salad also)
1 carton grape tomatoes halved
1 zucchini sliced
1/2 onion diced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 bunch of fresh dill chopped
Mix all the above ingredients and place in large bowl and chill. It is great with feta cheese as well, but I didn't have any on hand. Enjoy. Fantastic. Makes a big salad for potlucks.
There is something about Hawaiian Mac Salad that beats all other macaroni salads. There are many different versions. As, me, I have tried most of them. I like the creaminess of the Hawaiian Style mac salad. No plate lunch would be complete with mac salad. I have adapted from all the salads what I like best about mac salad and combined it into my own. We make it in large quantity when I do make it, which isn't nearly enough.
I hope you try this and enjoy. I don't have the exact measurements as I play with it to have it just come out so. You do the same... but these are approximate measurements. Enjoy... and mahalo for coming back to my page.
Wendy's Hawaiian Mac Salad
1 pkg macaroni noodles cooked and drained. (I never use salad macaroni size, full size so it holds
the dressing better.
Place noodles in a large bowl and cool completely.
4 red potatoes cubed and cooked. Don't cook them to be mushy... No bueno... tender but not mushy....
1 handful of matchstick carrots. You will find them in the produce aisle already cut for you, they are very small... like what you would find in an iceburg lettuce salad mix.
Six hard boiled eggs cooled, cracked, peeled and sliced.
2 cans of tuna fish drained and shredded well with a fork, no big chunks....
1 can olives sliced
1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
Just throw all of this in the big bowl with the noodles.
For the dressing, I toss the mixture in the bowl with about 6 Tbls milk. This gives it that extra creamy I spoke about.
I then mix 1 and a half cups of mayo to start into the salad, and if needed, I will add more. I put in a couple of Tablespoons of mustard. It will not be enough to turn the noodles or mixture a yellow color... it is just for a little zip. Fold all ingredients well, add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy. With left overs, you may want to add more mayo if it has been soaked up by the noodles.
In my home... just know, if you make Au Gratin potatoes, and the whole family is here, there WILL NOT be any left overs. We like them just that much. My grandpa used to have a HUGE garden... he could have fed many, many families from his garden. He loved potatoes. He had an abundance of potatoes... always. I seem to just love SPUDS... love, love, love them. A part of my carb addiction I suppose. I look for different ways to serve them from time to time... but many of the dishes are my comfort foods, and you just don't mess with comfort foods.
I found a great recipe for Au Gratin potatoes here, at, Get Off Your Butt and Bake! I knew I must try it. I added a bit more salt and pepper to the recipe that was posted, as that is the way we like ours. These were so good though. Please visit the blog as she has some FANTASTIC recipes there. I could just wander from blog to blog reading all their recipes.... for days... just the way I role. SMILE....
Here is the recipe posted. It is good... enjoy... I did not add the ham, but will if I have it as a main dish.
Lionhouse Au Gratin Potatoes
- 4 large potatoes peeled and diced or sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped (opt) – use 1 tsp. Onion powder instead
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons margarine or butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups cubed cooked ham (read notes below)
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place potatoes, onion and 2 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. TURN OFF THE HEAT and let sit for 5 minutes, covered. DRAIN the water off the potato mixture and spread potatoes in a 9×13 inch glass baking pan; set aside.
Make a white sauce by melting margarine or butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. When the margarine or butter starts to foam, stir in flour to make a smooth roux. Cook and stir constantly until the roux is nice and smooth, about 30 seconds. Mix the milk, cream, salt and pepper together and slowly add the milk mixture to the roux. Stir this constantly until sauce has thickened nicely. Reduce heat to low and stir in cubed ham and half of the grated cheese. After the cheese has melted, pour sauce over the potatoes. Top with remaining cheese. Bake 40 to 45 minutes. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
NOTE: With either recipe, you can also make it a main dish. Just take 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or boneless pork chops and dredge them in a dusting of flour. In a heavy skillet, melt margarine, butter, olive oil or Crisco oil and brown the meat on both sides, until it’s nice and golden brown. Just mingle those browned chops or breasts in the potatoes and Au gratin sauce or potatoes and whipping cream . . . before baking. The meat will be tender and delicious and it flavors the Au Gratin Potatoes perfectly!
Friday, July 22, 2011
I have two daughters that love rice. Their dad actually makes the best fried rice out of anyone I know. Mine is never as good as his, although I don't get it quite there. I was amazed at the ease of making fried rice, as, well... I hadn't cooked it before I met him. He likes to cook it on a Friday or Saturday morning, and then he will get up and cook some over easy eggs on the following morning and place it upon the rice he made the previous night. This is what his mom did for him as he grew up and now he likes to do it for his kids. Our son loves this as well... but my girls... if it has rice in it, they love it.....
You can use any kind of meat you want with fried rice really... ham, chicken, spam... well to you spam is not a meat but to many people I know from Hawaii... it is. GRIN... ono grinds. It is a diverse dish where some put in peas... cubed carrots, etc. I put in shoestring carrots from time to time but not a lot of time. Peas... we don't... but not that I am against it. I use pretty much what I have on hand.
So... for us... bacon is the way we like it.
Bacon fried rice
Prepare enough rice that you would like to use. I am told it is very important that you rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Put it in a bowl... cover with water, and then swish it around... empty water... add fresh water... swish it around... empty. Do this as many times as needed to have the water run clean. It rinses the starch off... and I have been told by my Japanese mother in law... and many, many Hawaiian friends that this is very important. Cover the rice with water to about an inch over the rice. I use a rice cooker. I had never heard of a rice cooker before I met their dad. I swear by them. I am not sure what I did before I had one... so good.... It is best to cook the rice in the morning or the night before and let cool and keep cold until time to use. I am not sure why... but again... that is what they have told me and it has turned out great every time.
When ready to prepare the rice.... in a large skillet place...
1 pkg hickory smoked or plain bacon. (You wouldn't want maple... )
1 large sliced onion
1 zucchini sliced
1 handful of shoestring carrots
Saute until you are satisfied with the readiness of the bacon.
Sliced mushrooms (we love mushrooms so we use a whole package of them (fresh, not canned)
stir until everything looks done to your liking. Turn burner onto a medium or low setting so this won't burn at this point.
Add rice by the cupful... one cup at a time and cook after each addition to make sure it doesn't clump...
add soy sauce...
This is totally by taste... don't start out with a lot. Start out very sparingly as soy sauce is very salty as well as the bacon. Add some, stir, add some stir... until your liking.
Move all the rice towards the middle from one side to give you some room for scrambling your eggs. I use about 6 eggs. I just crack them into the pan and just stir them until they are scrambled and fluffy or in chunks. I then fold them into the rest of the rice. Add pepper to taste.
Garnish with sliced green onions.
This is a fun and easy dish. If you make this... be sure to make enough for left overs the following morning. Cook an egg over easy and eat on top of a bed of heated up friend rice.... pure heaven.