Friday, February 15, 2019

Chicken and dumplings, the easy way

When you’re actually sick, you need fast, simple and soothing. 

20-30oz cooked chicken breast meat
2 cans 10oz flaky refrigerated biscuit dough
2 cans cream of chicken soup
40oz chicken broth
Lemon pepper to taste

Put soup/chicken broth in large pot; bring up to simmer on medium heat. Season. Cut biscuits into dumpling-size pieces; add to pot. Reduce heat and cook 12-15 min until dumplings are not doughy but also not dissolved. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

South Beach-friendly “chili”

Everything here is South Beach phase one except the small amount of flour in the chili mix! This isn’t chili because it has beans and tomatoes, but it’s still very good.

2.5 lb top sirloin roast (dice and brown)
1 can Swanson beef broth low sodium
1 can Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes, with its liquid
1/2 packet Albert Agnor’s chili mix
(Beans; see below)

Dump in oven-safe pot, bring to a boil, cover pot and put in a 325 oven for an hour

then add 1 double-size can Bush’s pinto beans, rinsed and drained, and cut it back to 275 for 3 or 4 hours

Friday, December 21, 2018

Final Exam Cookies

The second finest cookie known to humankind. These are Land O'Lakes "Buttery Jam Tarts" except with black cherry preserves instead of raspberry. And try some ground almonds, too.


1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
2/3 cup butter, softened 
1/2 cup sugar 
1  large egg
2 tablespoons milk 
1 teaspoon almond extract 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup black cherry preserves

How to make

  1. STEP 1
    Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. STEP 2
    Combine all ingredients except preserves in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
  3. STEP 3
    Roll out dough on well-floured surface, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. 
  4. STEP 4
    Place half of cookies, 2 inches apart, onto greased cookie sheets; place 1 teaspoon preserves in center of each cookie. Make cut-out with very small cookie cutter in tops of remaining cookies. Place on top of preserves; press edges together with fork. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Buttermilk pie + lemon chess pie

Since they sell pie shells in packs of 2 :) 
Bake 9” pie shells at 425° for 7 minutes or until light golden brown. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Bake both the pies at 350° for 40-60 min or till firm in center.


1.5 cups sugar
3 Tbsp flour
3 eggs
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 to 3 Tbsp lemon juice

Combine sugar and flour, then rest of ingredients. Pour into 9” pie shell.


1.5 cups sugar
1 Tbsp cornmeal
4 eggs
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest

Cream the butter and sugar; add rest of ingredients just until blended. Pour into 9” pie shell. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sausage-egg "muffins"

Possibly the laaaaziest of Lazy Chef recipes! This is the super-lazy version of this perfectly reputable recipe.

1/2 lb sausage
12 eggs

Cook the sausage until evenly brown; set aside and drain.
Beat the eggs; add the crumbled sausage.
Pour into greased muffin tin. (Makes 12 in my pan)

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

To freeze for future breakfasts:

Let the muffin tin cool, then pop it straight in the freezer for about 20 min. Pop out the individual "muffins," double-wrap each in plastic to avoid freezer burn, put them in a plastic bag with the air squished out, and freeze up to 3 months (that's because of the sausage; eggs alone could freeze 6 months to a year).

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Easy boudin kolaches

Just had the best start to a workday I'll have in a long time -- a dear colleague brought us boudin kolaches. I quote her:

"They are SUPER easy – it’s just 2 boudain links taken out of the casing (DJ’s is my favorite, but Zumo’s is also delicious!), two cans of crescent rolls, and if you want to add it, cheese!"

Preheat oven to 375 
Cook boudin in a pan over medium heat until done, about 8 min
While the sausage is cooking, open the crescent roll can and spread pieces out in a sheet pan
Put a large spoon-sized amount of boudin on each roll, wrap dough over it 

Bake 11-13 min

Carry to tailgate and trade for beer!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

In search of a Faux Dr Pepper Smoothie

This isn't a smoothie that replicates the taste of a Dr Pepper, but it is a smoothie that I could happily substitute on a 1-to-1 basis for Dr Pepper in my life. Which is a boon, because of course soda = bad and fruit = good.

For experimentation purposes, below this smoothie recipe are speculative ingredient lists for the Jamba Juice smoothie that originally gave me the idea and for the secret flavors in Dr Pepper. :)

To make a one-blenderful batch (two 15-oz portions):

  • 1 cup pomegranate-cherry juice, chilled
  • 2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen fruit -- cherry/blueberry/currant mix
  • 1 cup frozen fruit -- blackberry/blueberry/raspberry mix

Because HEB sells the latter mix in a wonderful 36-oz bag, here is the shopping list for four batches:

Two 16-oz bottles pom-cherry juice ($4 each, totals about 4 cups)
Two 32-oz containers nonfat vanilla yogurt ($2 each, totals about 8 cups)
Two 14-oz bags frozen cherry/berry/currant mix ($3.50 each. The cherries are pre-pitted! And in this mix, currant means "blackcurrant" berries rather than zante grapes. Totals about 3.5 cups)
One 36-oz bag frozen blue/black/raspberries ($9, totals about 4.5 cups)

That's a total of $28 to make eight smoothies, which comes in about 25% less than buying eight Jamba smoothies (though note these are not the same ingredients, notably lacking such things as crazy expensive acai juice).

It's probably worth digging around to find some yogurt and some juice that isn't 300 calories per serving, because those two items put the sugar and calorie load up near that of an actual Dr Pepper. Still,

WTH does one do with four batches? Well, one can freeze the juice and the yogurt separately in ice cube trays, to make smoothie packs. The yogurt should be good a month or two and the juice possibly four to six months. Or one can do all one's blending at once, which saves on cleanup and makes subsequent mornings go faster, and freeze the smoothie itself in cubes. (My trays make 2-Tbsp cubes, so 15 cubes would make a 15-oz smoothie.) Advice I found online indicates if you put the cubes in a water bottle or something, roughly an hour later it will have thawed into smoothie consistency (give the bottle a couple good shakes). It takes more than two hours for the smoothie mix to freeze in my fridge, so I'm considering buying more trays.

Here are the official ingredients of the Jamba Juice Acai Super Antioxidant smoothie...

  • "Acai juice blend, strawberries, raspberry sherbet (contains milk), soymilk (contains soy), ice, blueberries, antioxidant boost (contains soy)"

One bootleg version of this Jamba drink:

  • ½ cup frozen blueberries, ½ cup frozen strawberries, ½ cup acai juice, ½ cup lime sherbet, ½ cup raspberry sherbet, ½ cup soy milk, 1 cup ice

Acai juice, it appears, is crazy expensive, so I am very glad that it is unlikely to be a Dr Pepper flavoring.

Here is a popular rendition of the secret 23 flavors in Dr Pepper (bear in mind it was invented in 1885):

  • Cherry, vanilla, almond, plum, blackberry, raspberry, apricot, coriander, clove, amaretto, anise, caramel, molasses, birch beer, allspice, ginger, sarsparilla, sassafras, juniper, spikenard, wintergreen, burdock, dandelion.
Bear with me as I write out the instructions for my own blender here, as this is the blog post I actually call up and refer to when blending, and I am a pre-flight checklist kinda person. (Note: The directions also say to load the blender with liquids/soft foods on the bottom and progress to dry and/or frozen bits or ice at the top, so if one is blending a preassembled pack with frozen cubes instead of liquids, remember to adjust.)

Useful to have handy: Half-cup measure and spatula to load ingredients into blender; glass to hold the blender tamper once it comes out with smoothie all over it; plate or something to set the implements on, because all of these berries make a very effective burgundy dye. :) Also, doesn't hurt to have the ice cube trays out and ready. And baggies to put the frozen cubes into afterward, so they don't pick up other smells in the freezer.

Load ingredients (liquid at bottom, frozen on top). Snap lid on (securing its port cover with a half-turn); set to Variable and speed 1; switch on and quickly range up to speed 10, then flip to High; take out the port cover, insert the tamper and poke the ingredients down toward the blades; recover the port and blend 30-60 sec until the mix starts surging up in four mounds. Don't blend too long or it'll get melty/runny. Flip back to Variable, scroll down from 10 to 1, then Off. (Afterward, a couple drops of dish soap and a spin up to High basically equals a dishwasher cycle, if needed.)