Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Apricot Balls

My grandmother acquired this recipe while staying at a B and B farm in New Zealand. Because they are so easy to put together there is no baking involved it quickly became part of her holiday cookie regime!


4 oz. butter
3 oz. brown sugar
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
2 plus cups crushed Nilla wafers
1 cup finely diced dried apricots
finely shredded coconut


Combine butter, condensed milk and sugar in a saucepan and melt together. Take off heat and add cookies and apricots. Mix well and form into balls and roll in coconut. Refrigerate until firm.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Treat Time!

These next few days are dedicated to my Grandmother, who, during the holidays, became a Christmas cookie and confection Queen! Each day I will be posting a different recipe from her green box that she lovingly prepared every year and sent out to her family and friends. To start off, here is my Grandmother's Chocolate Scotcheroos...

Chocolate Scotcheroos


1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups rice crispies
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips


Heat the sugar and corn syrup in a 3 qt saucepan until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and rice crispies. Press into buttered 13 x 9 pan and let harden. Melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a bowl over hot water. Stir until blended and spread over rice crispies. Chill until firm.

Makes small 48 bars or 24 large bars

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chipotle Turkey and Black Bean Chili

This is a great healthy chili with a nice kick from the Chipotle Chilies. For those that are not that familiar with chipotles, they are smoked jalepenos that come in a can in the Mexican section as Chipotle in Adobo sauce. I keep them handy by draining them, freezing them on a cookie sheet and then storing in a plastic bag in the freezer. They are much easier to handle and chop frozen!


1 pound ground turkey
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1 green pepper
1 medium onion
2 chipotles, finely chopped
2 cans black beans, drained
2 cans diced tomatoes, with onions and green chili
1 Tbs cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste


Sour cream, chopped green onions and grated cheddar cheese work great


Heat oil in deep pot or dutch oven and saute onions, green peppers and chipotles until onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add turkey and cook through, stirring frequently. Add in seasonings (chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper) and combine. Add in beans and tomatoes and taste (sometimes it needs more salt). Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes to thicken. Top with any combination of sour cream, green onions and cheese. I usually serve this with a side of warm, soft corn tortillas or tortilla chips as well.

Makes 4-6 Servings

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Boneless Skinless Fried Chicken

I came up with this quick and easy recipe for the men in my family who don't particularly like dealing with bones. To reduce prep time I replaced the traditional overnight buttermilk soak that accompanies true Southern fried chicken with an hour-long brine that imparts tons of flavor and creates a tender, moist piece of chicken.

2 pounds of boneless chicken parts (thighs, chicken tenders, breasts, etc)
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs garlic powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you want more heat)
1 Tbs peppercorns
2 eggs
1 cup of flour, seasoned with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne
Oil for frying, preferably Peanut, but Canola works fine

Place the chicken into gallon-sized sealable plastic bag and transfer bag to a tall bowl (for support) fill bag with cold water about two thirds of the way to cover chicken and then some. Add salt, sugar, garlic, peppercorns and cayenne pepper. Seal the bag, shake and "massage" until salt and sugar are dissolved. Place in fridge and let marinate for an hour.

In a dutch oven or other deep pot, put in about three or four inches of frying oil and heat until 375 (the temp will drop when you put in chicken). While oil is heating, drain chicken and pat dry, making sure to remove any lurking peppercorns (they like to hide). Beat eggs in one bowl and place seasoned flour in another. I find that pasta bowls work great for this. When oil is hot, dip the chicken in the egg, then dredge in the flour and gently slide into oil (and repeat). When all of the chicken has been added, cook for about 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and let drain on rack. Goes great with mashed potatoes and peas!