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Category Archives: Cooking

This recipe goes back to 1997 when I found it on the back of a cornstarch box. I adapted it to my family’s tastes and we all loved it. 

DILLED CHICKEN MEDLEY

  • Servings: 2 generous servings
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3 medium potatoes, quartered

1 cup green beans

14.5 oz chicken broth, divided

2 Tblsp. cornstarch

1 Tblsp. fresh or 1 tsp. dried dill weed

1 Tblsp. oil

1 medium onion, sliced

1 cup shredded, cooked chicken breast

 

Precook potatoes and green beans to fork tender. Reserve

Stir together in a small bowl:   ¼ cup  of broth, cornstarch, dill until smooth. Set aside

In large skillet: Heat oil, add onion, cook for 3 minutes. Add chicken and cook until heated through.

Add remaining broth, potatoes and green beans to skillet. Simmer covered about 5 minutes or until heated through. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to skillet. Stirring constantly, bring to boil, boil 1 minute.  Serve immediately. 


Hershey’s makes delicious salted caramel chips which are available in our area only during the Christmas season. I buy three or four bags and squirrel them away for use during the year. This is a blonde brownie that I have made in various ways,  made even more delicious with these chips.  Of course, any kind of chips would be fine – dark or milk chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc., but the salted caramel version gives a special flavor to these easy-to-make bars.

Salted Caramel Bars

  • Servings: 12-16 bars
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2 eggs, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of Hershey’s Sea Salt Caramel Chips
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

9 inch square pan, lined with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla. Whisk in the baking powder and salt. Stir in the flour, chips and pecans just until blended.

Spread in prepared pan. Dampening your fingertips will help spread the batter in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F until top is light-golden brown – don’t overbake.

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove by lifting parchment paper and cool on wire rack.

Tip: Before cutting, remove parchment paper and place it under the rack for easy cleanup of crumbs.

 


Tuesday was a bitterly cold day here in southwest Ohio, the second of two heavy snowfalls imminent, and I was craving macaroni and cheese.  I normally make a reduced-fat version (https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/shannons-macaroni-and-cheese/) but on a day like this, I wanted all of the cheese I could get. I came up with this version which my daughters and I really enjoyed.

Lillian’s Macaroni and Cheese

1-½ cups dry macaroni, cooked in boiling, salted water al dente, drained
4 oz. cream cheese
1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dry mustard
A few grindings of black pepper
½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In the bottom of a microwave-safe baking dish, place the cream cheese and microwave for 45 seconds, until cheese is very soft. Stir in the grated cheddar, milk, salt, dry mustard and black pepper.

Add cooked, drained macaroni and stir to blend. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

The macaroni was served with chicken breast which had been sprinkled with olive oil and herbs, and baked a covered pan at the same time as the macaroni casserole. We also had some steamed broccoli and carrots. Delicious snowy-day meal.


I’ve been making a version of this kuchen for many years. Originally, it was a German recipe which used quark, something that is not available in most of our Cincinnati-area grocery stores. I’ve found that sour cream or yogurt are good substitutes. This is very easy to put together with a variety of fruit toppings, not too sweet and a consistency that I haven’t found in other cakes. This was a good version with some leftover blackberries and a big Bartlett pear.

Blackberry Pear Kuchen

  • Servings: One 9-Inch cake - 6 servings
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3 Tblsp. sour cream
3 Tblsp. milk
3 Tblsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup + 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 cup blackberries
1 cup pear slices

Cinnamon-Ginger Topping: 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
and 1/4 tsp. each of cinnamon and ginger, mixed together

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch baking pan

In medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, oil and sugar.

Mix together the salt, flour, baking powder and baking soda, and gradually stir into sour cream mixture. Place batter in greased pan. The dough will be stiff and somewhat sticky. Dampen your hands with water and then press the dough into the pan.

Arrange the blackberries and pear slices over the top of the cake.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Sprinkle Cinnamon-Ginger Topping over top of cake and continue baking for 5 more minutes.

Place on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 servings.


Delicious as a breakfast coffee cake or as a dessert. Especially good warm from the oven.

 


For Sunday dinner, I had intended to bake an old favorite, Peach Lasagne, using leftover Italian bread and some beautiful peaches from the farm market. Unfortunately, the peaches I had bought most recently weren’t ripe enough and the three peaches leftover from the previous week didn’t equal the four cups I needed for the recipe. I decided to add some leftover strawberries and drained, canned pineapple tidbits. I also substituted toasted pecans for the almonds in my original recipe and the dessert was delicious. My daughters loved it.

This is the original recipe: https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/peach-lasagne/

Mixed Fruit Lasagne

Fruit Layer:
4 cups mixed fruit (I used equal amounts of strawberries, peaches and pineapple)
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Bread Layer:
6 Tblsp. butter
8 slices hearty bread, sliced fairly thin
1-1/2 Tblsp. granulated sugar

Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tblsp. dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
4 Tblsp. butter
3 Tblsp. toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven @ 350 degrees F

Cut fruit into bite-sized pieces, add granulated sugar, mix and set aside.
Spread butter on both sides of 8 slices of bread. Place slices in a large skillet over medium heat and brown on each side.

Line the bottom of a 9 inch baking dish with half of the browned buttered slices – just cover the bottom without overlapping. OK to break the bread into smaller pieces to fit them in. Sprinkle ¾ Tblp. sugar over the slices. Spoon half of fruit mixture on top of bread slices, spreading to cover.

Repeat with another layer of bread slices sprinkled with sugar and the remaining half of the fruit mixture.

Crumb Topping: Mix together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt and cut in butter. Sprinkle the topping over the last fruit layer and top with chopped pecans.

Cover and bake @ 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more.

Serve warm.

 


I started out intending to make a completely different orzo salad but was lacking some of the ingredients. I changed to what I had on hand and made a very delicious and filling lunch or supper salad.

Orzo Chicken and Artichoke Salad

4 cups boiling water
1 cup dry orzo pasta
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 cup chopped, cooked chicken breast
7.5 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped

Red Wine Dressing:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tblsp. honey
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp chili powder or cumin
¾ cup plus 2 Tblsp. light olive oil

Cook orzo in boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain and stir occasionally until pasta is slightly warm. Add tomatoes, chicken and artichoke hearts.

Place dressing ingredients in a one-pint jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake vigorously to mix ingredients and pour over chicken/orzo mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Remove from refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving and stir.

4-6 servings

 


Each summer I look forward to the wonderful, flavorful blueberries grown by a local farm/market – Blooms and Berries (Loveland, Ohio). I was looking for a sauce to be used on ice cream that would not detract from the natural flavor of these berries and came up with this very simple recipe which everyone loves. I make the sauce as I’m finishing cooking the meal, turn it off and allow it to set until we’re ready for dessert. That makes it just the right temperature for serving.

Fresh Blueberry Sauce

  • Servings: 2 cups - 4-6 servings
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2 cups (one pint) fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
¼ cup plus 1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. water
Dash of grated nutmeg
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Place berries, sugar, water, nutmeg and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil – approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for a half-hour or so to cool a bit. Spoon over vanilla ice cream. 

Blooms and Berries just announced that their U-Pick session for blueberries begins tomorrow.  My daughter will have to get down there early to pick berries and I’ll be sure we gave enough ice cream on hand.  Summer is here!

 

 

 

 

 

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