Post # 360 Old Friends

April 8, 2015 at 10:32 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 360 Old Friends

EnjoyYesterday, I needed some information for the project I’m currently working on (and you’ll hear about it soon, I promise.)  I had to go through the 7 boxes (that’s right, 7) of cookbooks searching for one in particular that held the info I wanted.  I ended up bringing close to a dozen into my office.  Not that I needed the info, I just wanted to look at them again.

It was like opening boxes and seeing old friends again.  Each title brought back memories and warm feelings.  I remembered when we got each of the books, and why.  I remembered the recipes each book held and which ones held my attention.  I found my digital scale for measuring ingredients.  I found my brass book holder for ease of reading recipes while cooking.  I also found a ton of shirts that I’d used for packing around the books to keep the weight of the boxes down.  Some of those, I could have used this winter.

I found all of The Two Fat Ladies books we had, although they stayed in the boxes.  It was good to see their smiling faces and to laugh at remembered recipes like Penis Soup and Braised Rabbit Balls.  Just FYI, it’s a bull’s penis and supposedly a very rich soup.  They don’t waste anything on a farm.  And the Rabbit Balls are made from ground rabbit meat.

I found all the America’s Test Kitchen books which did come inside with me.  I’ve already scanned through most of them since I was looking for a technique they had in several of their recipes.  I also found recipes for meals we’ve enjoyed, and some to look forward to.  But I also found my Kitchen Journal.

I knew it wasn’t lost, but I also hadn’t really gone looking for it.  And now I have it.

kitchen journal

Waaaaay back in post 31, I explained in some detail what a kitchen journal is.  It’s just a book to write down recipes that are told to you, or you’ve modified, or you’ve created, or cut from magazines, etc.  It’s like the old recipe box your grandmother and great-grandmother had.  You can see from the pic that I got this one when I was going through my Paula Deen phase.  Or maybe it was given to me when I was going through my Paula Deen phase.  You can also see that I have a lot of work to do on it to get the recipes from their original writing/printing into the notebook.  By the time that’s done, I’ll need another one, I think.

But I grinned as I went through them.  I found my yellow cake recipe, so riddle solved.  But I also found a couple of recipes I’d forgotten about and thought I’d share here.  They’re very good.

When I was traveling in Africa a while back, one of the few restaurants we could go to due to curfew restrictions was an Asian restaurant across the street.  The food was very good and I had one dish a couple of times.  It was Stir Fried Beef and Onions.  It used two different kinds of onions, but the twist was it used commercial french fried onions in the mix and then on top as a garnish.  Over time, I added to it and here’s the result.

Beef in Garlic Sauce

  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak sliced into thin bite-sized strip
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1/2 onion, chopped small
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, just the tips
  • 1/2 cup cashew pieces
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • commercial french fried onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat a large skillet to very hot.  Add olive oil and swirl in pan.  Add beef and fry until brown, then add garlic.  Cook for about 30 seconds, then remove beef with a slotted spoon.  Drain off fats and oil.  Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Add asparagus and cook for 3 minutes.  Return beef to pan and add soy sauce and corn starch.  Cook until sauce thicken, stirring constantly.  Turn off heat and add cashews and mix.  Serve hot over rice with french fried onion over top.

beef stir fry 1

The other recipe may surprise you, coming from me.  It’s made from Bisquick.  Yup, once in a while, I take the easy route.  Mostly cuz this recipe is so good.

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

  • 2 cups Bisquick (or other biscuit mix)
  • 2/3 cup milk or water (I typically use water to steam the biscuits and get a higher rise.)
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (to your taste)
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Heat oven to 450.  In a medium bowl and using either a large metal fork or heavy wooden spoon, mix Bisquick, milk/water, and cheese until a dough forms.  Try not to over mix.  Drop dough by large spoonfuls onto a non-stick baking sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and fluffy.  While biscuits are baking, melt butter in a microwave in a microwave safe bowl.  Add garlic powder and mix well.  When biscuits are done, remove from oven.  Brush with garlic butter a couple of times and serve hot or warm.

Enjoy

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