Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 small onion, chopped (~ 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 oz green chile, chopped
2 Tbsp oil
15 oz can diced tomatoes
10 oz can chicken, undrained
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder (not ground chile)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 corn tortillas
1 cup grated cheddar or jack cheese

  1. Saute onion & garlic in oil until soft.
  2. Add chicken, chile, tomatoes, broths, spices & Worcestershire. Simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Cut tortillas in quarters, then into 1/2″ strips.  Add 3/4 of strips to soup & simmer 10 minutes. Fry remaining strips until crisp.
  4. Serve topped with crisp tortilla strips & cheese.
  5. Makes 4 servings.
  • I use “Petite Diced” tomatoes that are about 1/2″ cubes – the regular canned “diced” tomatoes are what I would call coarsely chopped – about 3/4″ cubes.
  • You can substitute leftover chicken, shredded.
  • If you don’t have beef broth, you can substitute chicken broth, but the flavor will not be as rich.

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Peanut Blossom Cookies

adapted from Joy of Baking

These are the most tender cookies of this type that I have ever tasted.  I switched to dark brown sugar because I like the deeper flavor it adds.  I prefer creamy peanut butter because they have such a wonderful texture.  I also prefer not to roll them in sugar which gives them a crunchy coating.

peanut_butter_blossom

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
48 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

  1. Beat butter until creamy and smooth.
  2. Add peanut butter and sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
  4. Beat in milk.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add to the peanut butter mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.
  7. Cover and chill for about an hour, or until firm enough to roll into balls.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 and place rack in the center of the oven.
  9. Roll the batter into 1″ balls.
  10. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper or silicone mat, spacing about 2″ apart.
  11. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned.
  12. Immediately after removing from the oven, place a Kiss into the center of each cookie, pressing down gently until the cookie just starts to crack.
  13. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
  • You can substitute any type of chocolate candy for the Kisses – Dove Promises, mini peanut butter cups…

Judy’s Easy Microwave Potatoes

recipe courtesy of Judy Trimarchi

potatoes, peeled or unpeeled
garlic salt
fresh rosemary, chopped (or dried rosemary, crushed)
olive oil

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  1. Cut up as many potatoes as you want into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Place in a shallow glass baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle with garlic salt.
  4. Sprinkle with rosemary.
  5. Sprinkle with anything else that sounds good.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil.
  7. Stir until potatoes are coated.
  8. Microwave for around 10 minutes – less if you like them a little crunchy inside.
  • I use garlic powder, then add salt to taste so that I can control the amount of salt. 

Judy’s Hamburger and Potato Stuff

recipe courtesy of Judy Trimarchi

2 lb ground beef
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 med potatoes, coarsely chopped

  1. Put a tea kettle of water on to heat up.
  2. Brown ground beef until fairly brown, keeping pieces fairly large.
  3. Towards end of browning process, throw in onions.
  4. When onions are soft, add garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add potatoes to pan and add water to cover the potatoes.
  6. Salt to taste.  Check the salt again during the cooking process as potatoes absorb a lot of salt as they cook.
  7. Bring to a low boil and cook until the potatoes are done but not falling apart.
  8. Serve in a shallow bowl, mash the potatoes when eating and let them absorb the broth.
  • Feeds 6-8
  • Judy says “the browner the meat, the better the broth”
  • I add fresh ground black pepper, also.

Judy’s Northern Chili

recipe courtesy of Judy Trimarchi

2 lb ground beef
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp chili powder
2 – 28oz. cans whole stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 – 16oz. cans light red kidney beans
salt, to taste

  1. Put a tea kettle of water on to heat up.
  2. Brown ground beef until fairly brown, keeping pieces fairly large.
  3. Towards end of browning process, throw in onions. When onions are soft, add garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add chili powder. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Open tomatoes and drain juice into pot. If using whole tomatoes, use kitchen shears to cut into large, bite-sized chunks and drop into pot.
  6. Add beans.
  7. Add hot water until you have a thick or thin soup, whichever you like.
  8. Salt to taste.
  9. Bring to low boil.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Serve with saltines or cornbread.
  • Keeps well in fridge or freezer.
  • Substitute canned or fresh diced tomatoes.
  • Substitute pinto or white beans.

Amish Friendship Bread – Instructions for Friends

Do not refrigerate.  When air gets in the bag, let it out – this will also allow new yeast spores to get in.  It is normal for the batter to thicken, bubble and ferment – this is what we want it to do.

Day 1 – You receive the bag from a friend.
Day 2 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 3 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 4 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 5 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 6 – Feed the starter: add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Squeeze the bag several times to combine.
Day 7 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 8 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 9 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 10 Pour the batter into a large non-metal bowl. Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.

Sharing
  1. Pour 1 cup starter each into 4 gallon zipper bags. Keep one for yourself and give three starters with instructions to friends.
  2. Use the remaining batter to make Amish Friendship Bread.
  • For a successful fermentation process, the starter should not come in contact with any metal (spoons, bowls, etc.)
  • After fermenting for 10 days, you can freeze this starter for later use. Frozen starter will take at least 3 hours at room temperature to thaw before using.

Amish Friendship Bread

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
5 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Lightly grease 2 large loaf pans. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  3. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix.  Make a well in the center.
  4. Add Amish Friendship Bread Starter, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  5. Stir in nuts.
  6. Pour batter into pans.
  7. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.
  8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Variations:

  • Lower fat: substitute ½ cup oil and ½ cup applesauce for 1 cup oil.
  • Apple Cinnamon: add 2 apples. peeled, cored and finely chopped when you add the nuts.
  • Banana Nut: reduce cinnamon to 1/2 tsp and add 3 large ripe bananas, mashed.
  • Chocolate: substitute chocolate pudding mix and “flour” the pans with cocoa – omit cinnamon or leave it in for a Mexican chocolate flavor, omit nuts if desired.
  • Lemon Poppy Seed: substitute lemon pudding mix, reduce cinnamon to 1/2 tsp, omit nuts and add 2 Tbsp poppy seeds.
  • Muffins: pour into greased muffin tins and reduce the baking time to 23-25 minutes.
  • Pistachio: substitute pistachio pudding mix and pistachios.
  • Raisin or Date: add 1 cup raisins or dates.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

This recipe was passed along to me years ago by a friend at work. I have also been given a new starter by my daughter, Marissa Davis Hefner, after mine expired in the refrigerator from neglect.

This is a sourdough starter and can be used for other sourdough recipes also.

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk

Mix flour & sugar. Stir in milk. Pour into a gallon zipper bag several times.

Growing the Starter

Do not refrigerate. When air gets in the bag, let it out – this will also allow new yeast spores to get in. It is normal for the batter to thicken, bubble and ferment – this is what we want it to do.

Day 2 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 3 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 4 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 5 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 6 – Feed the starter: add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Squeeze the bag several times to combine.
Day 7 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 8 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 9 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 10 – Pour the batter into a large non-metal bowl. Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.

Sharing
  1. Pour 1 cup starter each into 4 gallon zipper bags. Keep one for yourself and give three starters with instructions to friends.
  2. Use the remaining batter to make Amish Friendship Bread.
  • For a successful fermentation process, the starter should not come in contact with any metal (spoons, bowls, etc.)
  • After fermenting for 10 days, you can freeze this starter for later use. Frozen starter will take at least 3 hours at room temperature to thaw before using.

Lemon Butter Tart

recipe courtesy of Mary Kay Korn
Mary Kay is the mother of my daughter Alycia’s friend and kindly shared her recipe when Alycia fell in love with these tarts.

Shortbread Crust

3/4 lb butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar

  1. Cream butter & pwd sugar.  Add vanilla and blend.
  2. Sift flour, butter and sugar, add to butter mixture.  Stir to combine.
  3. Cover dough in wax paper, chill 4-6 hours.
  4. Press into tart pan.  Bake at 325 until golden brown – about 27-30 minutes in a silicone pan.
Lemon Butter Filling

finely grated zest of 7 lemons
1 cup granulated sugar
9 extra large eggs
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp, cut into 6 pieces
powdered sugar

  1. In a food processor, combine lemon zest with 1/4 cup sugar.  Mix for several minutes, until fine and moist.
  2. Combine eggs, remaining sugar and zest mixture in a medium bowl.  Whisk until well blended, then stir in lemon juice.
  3. Cook in a double boiler, stirring frequently until mixture thickens to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-8 minutes.
  4. Stir in butter one piece at a time, mixing until melted and smooth.
  5. Immediately pour into tart shell and set aside.  Filling will set as it cools.
  6. Cool completely before serving.
  7. Just before serving, dust the edges of the tart with pwd sugar.
  • Makes two 9″ Tarts, 1 1/2″ deep. You can also make individual tarts.
  • The amount of juice needed is about what you’d get from 7 lemons…convenient.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Lyn Ortega, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1980)

Lyn was a friend of my mother’s – a fun person and a wonderful cook.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup green chile, roasted, peeled and chopped
5 tomatoes, diced
1 med onion, chopped
1# chicken breast, cooked & shredded
1 pint sour cream
1/2 lb grated cheddar or cheddar/jack blend
12 corn tortillas or 8 flour tortillas

Directions

  1. Combine garlic, chile, tomatoes & onion in a saucepan. Cook until onions are tender & sauce is thickened.
  2. Combine chicken, cheese & sour cream. Fill tortillas with mixture & roll up. Top with sauce & sprinkle with more cheese.
  3. Bake at 350 until browned & bubbly, about 30 minutes (45 min if refrigerated before cooking).
  4. Serve with sour cream.
  • You can substitute 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained.
  • I use nonfat sour cream or plain yogurt.