Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pear Pie

This is an amazing tasting pie with multiple facets. It tastes somewhat like custard, caramel or pear, sometimes all of the above all at once. It is very simple and easy to make and a pie that I think you will enjoy.

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
2 pears - peeled, cored and cut in half (or thickly sliced)
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°. Press the pie pastry into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Flute the edges. Place the pear halves cut side down in the pie crust with the small ends toward the center (if thickly sliced instead, spread over bottom of pan). In a medium bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until smooth, then beat in the eggs one at a time until light and fluffy. Stir in flour and vanilla. Pour over the top of the pears. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until pears are soft and custard is set in the center. (If pears where thickly sliced instead, baking time may vary closer to 40 minutes. Top crust will be golden color when done and the custard will be set). Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Auntie Esther's Chicken-In-Foil

This authentic Chinese dish is an old family recipe of our Godmother, "Auntie Esther", who introduced it to us when we were kids. It is one of those culinary pieces of heaven that your tongue and mind never forget (at least we didn't). Please note that this recipe is definitely "old-school", meaning a little of this, a little of that, etc., mostly to your own personal tastes, so feel free to "play" with it a bit. It is also a bit of work, but once you get the hang of it, then it goes quicker. Either way, well worth the effort.
Personally, I think my brothers may owe me BIG time for this long-awaited-for recipe. Maybe not, they are good brothers!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tomato Basil Salad

Here is another easy salad to try in place of the usual macaroni or potato salad. Especially tasty if the ingredients are fresh from your own garden. Some fresh pulled Mozzarella cheese on the side may be just the thing to go with it. Sounds wonderfully like "summer"!

6 (1/4 inch thick) slices tomato
6 red onion slices
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar

Place tomatoes in a shallow dish; top each slice with an onion. In a small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine remaining ingredients; shake well. Pour over tomatoes and onions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Cucumber Salad

This refreshing salad is an excellent side dish for BBQ's and such. It has no cholesterol in it so you can eat it with absolutely no guilt!

2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt


1. Combine cucumbers and red onion in a salad bowl.
2. In a small bowl, stir together water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and seasoned salt. Pour over vegetables. Chill for 1 hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

This is always great for summer and it makes a nice alternative for when you are tired of eating macaroni and potato salads.

Sierra City Mountain Potatoes

This is an easy and tasty way to enjoy a hot and filling breakfast while camping or simply as comfort food at home.

Potatoes (usually Russett type, but any larger baking type will do)
Red onions (could probably use yellow ones, but we favored the reds)
Lawry's Garlic Salt
Sour Cream
Cheese (your favorite type, optional)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Aluminum foil

Mince the bacon into small bits and cook. Drain and set aside. Slice the potatoes and put butter and Lawry's Garlic Salt on them. Apply the onions, then add small, already cooked, real bacon bits to the potato. Wrap in foil, cook on the grill and then when done, add the sour cream and/or cheese to it.

The beauty of this is that you can play with the recipe once you get a feel for the technique by adding or changing the goodies that go on/in it. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Butter to Olive Oil Conversion Chart

Conversion Chart: Butter to Olive Oil
from The Olive Press - Sonoma, Ca

Butter = Olive Oil

1 teaspoon= 3/4 teaspoon
1 Tablespoon = 2-1/4 teaspoon
1/4 cup = 3 Tablesp
1/3 cup = 1/4 cup
1/2 cup = 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoon
2/3 cup = 1/2 cup
3/4 cup = 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon
1 cup = 3/4 cup

yours, for (occasional) healthy options

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lemon Verbena Butter

In our household, fishing season has begun (meaning that the water has warmed up enough to fish and it isn't snowing out). Trying to come up with new and interesting ideas for fish can be a bit taxing. However, I did come across this recipe that I tried awhile back and remembered that it was pretty tasty (at least with the trout and the bass we caught). I would imagine that it would work very well on any mild tasting fish (such as red snapper, sea bass or grouper) and should be good on shrimp as well. If you find other cool uses for it, let me know.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mom's Inside-Out Ravioli

This is a quick and easy casserole to make that is practically idiot-proof (I say that because there is always someone who has had a bad day, etc etc etc!). This is one of those wonderful recipes that can taste even better as reheated leftovers (and no one really knows why...just one of those simple acts of God...Thank you Lord!).

Friday, June 4, 2010

Help With: Onions!

I have a big bag of beautiful red onions in my pantry... normally we only buy a couple at a time. What kinds of things can I make with them? I don't want them to go to waste, so I'd appreciate suggestions...