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LJ stole my sticky note.

Basically, it said something along the lines of "this is a locked and mostly private journal, not because I'm afraid of letting people see what I say, but because this journal is for me". Or something like that.

Don't like that? I don't care. When you start paying for my account you can tell me what to do with it. Until then... go bug someone else.


PS - If you're trying to contact me to "tattle" on someone in order to influence my thoughts about that person, don't bother. I really don't care what you have to say. Yeah, I'm a bitch that way.

Recipe : Sweet Potatoes Tangerine

Sweet Potatoes Tangerine
(from The Good Sense Family Cook Book by Gaynor Maddox-cr1966)

4 large sweet potatoes (approx 2 pounds)
1/2 cup fresh tangerine
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
3 tbsp butter or margarine

Wash and cook sweet potatoes in water to cover until soft but still firm, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool. Peel potatoes and cut into quarters lengthwise. Arrange potatoes in a 12x8x2-inch greased casserole. Place 2 tangerine sections on each quarter. Combine honey and orange peel and pour over all. Dot with butter or margarine. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350F) for 30 minutes, basting frequently. (Makes 6 servings)

**My Notes: I simply adore this dish, and since I'm the only one that eats sweet potatoes in our household, I get this one all to myself! YaY! For those that aren't too familiar with cooking or at least with this style of cooking, you're boiling the potatoes first. Put them in a big pot, cover then with water, bring to a boil then turn the heat down so that it's a low boil. I have cooked the potatoes in the microwave before for this recipe (one night when I was really, really tired but needed to eat and didn't want fast food or a sandwich - nuked the potatoes while I got the rest of the stuff ready then took a shower and got more or less ready for bed while everything was in the oven), but they didn't come out as good, so I wouldn't suggest cooking them in the microwave. 


Recipe : Easy Salisbury Steak

Easy Salisbury Steak

1 1/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1 (10 oz) can beef gravy
seasoned salt

In a large bowl, combine beef, flour and egg.  Add a little seasoned salt and pepper.  Mix well. Shape into 5 patties and place in a shallow 7x11-inch baking dish.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes; drain off any fat.  Pour beef gravy over patties.  Bake another 20 minutes.  Serve with rice or noodles.

**My Notes: First of all, use whatever size pan you have on hand. After that comment... I highly suggest using LEAN ground beef. The leanest you can find. It's been my experience that if more fatty ground beef is used, the amount of beef used should be increased. If I absolutely do not have or cannot find lean ground beef (for a price I'm willing to pay which has not been more than $2.25 a pound for any meat except fish in the past three years) and use ground chuck, I use 2 pounds of meat as most of it is fat and gets cooked out and drained. As to the "seasoned salt", put whatever you want in it. What spices go into this depend on my mood when I'm cooking it. Oh, yeah, and the gravy: use what you have. If you *make* your own gravy or have something other than canned gravy, use it! Just make sure you're using approximately the same amount as the can would add.


Recipe : Orange dip for apples

Orange dip for apples

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8oz) carton orange yogurt
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
apple slices

In mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Fold in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate. Serve with apple slices.

**My Notes: It's not chocolate or caramel but it's still yummy.  I always get raves and people begging for the recipe when I feed it to folk outside my family.  I tend to leave the pecans out if fixing it for my crew, and make a bowl both ways for others.  Oh, and I think it tastes good on bagels and english muffins too. The little one claims it's not bad on pancakes (this is coming from a kid that acts like syrup is some radioactive poison that the public should never have been exposed to, let alone consuming...).


Recipe : Crockpot Beef Burgundy

Crockpot Beef Burgundy

1 1/2 lb beef for stew or stir fry beef
1 can french onion soup, undiluted
1 can golden mushroom soup, undiluted
1 small can mushrooms, drained
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 - 1 soup can full burgundy wine (to taste)

Mix all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

**My Notes: Use what meat you have. I tend to use london broils in this because I can usually get that cut of beef on regular basis for under the $2 a pound I allow in my budget for meat. Sometimes I cut it up into small chunks, sometimes I cut it up into bigger chunks. It really depends on how rushed for time I am and how much I want to spend standing around in my kitchen cutting up meat. French onion soup - about half the times that I make this recipe, I replace this one with something else (meaning whatever I have on hand). Canned mushrooms - yup. Use them. Make sure you rinse them well before you throw them in there. As for the wine, I've used everything from cheap cooking wine to the outrageously expensive bottle of wine someone gave us one year for our anniversary to make this. Use whichever wine you'll drink is the best advice I can give you. I've not tried substituting anything for the wine, though I have used less than half a can of it at times. This one comes out with a nice sauce (at least in my crock pot, not so much in my mom's) to pour over those noodles.  Never served it over rice, but I imagine it would be pretty good too.  Also, there's a fairly good chance that I'll try this with chicken one of these days, just as a "I wonder how this would taste..." sort of thing.


recipe : Golden chicken

Golden chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 stick margarine
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup water

Place chicken breasts in a greased 9x13-inch baking pan. In a saucepan, combine margarine, soup, almonds and water. Heat and mix just until margarine is melted. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour or until done.

**My notes: I use chicken with the bone in it all the time. And I use slivered almonds since, for some unknown reason, I have a huge bag of them in my freezer. Hey, gotta use 'em somehow, right? And yes, you can cover the pan with tin foil. Just make sure it seals very well.


Recipe : Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes

4 baking potatoes
1/2 stick margarine
1/2 cup milk
salt to taste (optional)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Bake potatoes. Cut cooked potatoes in half and scoop meat out into a bowl. Whip potato guts with margarine and milk, add a little salt if desired. Mound back into the potato halves. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

**My Notes: (This is from a few years back) Where to begin... where to begin. The kidlet lived on these one week while I was sick and thinking that death would have been a far kinder fate. I made a cookie sheet full of potatoes Monday night when I started getting sick, gutted them and mixed the stuff together and shoved it all in the refrigerator. When she would get hungry for dinner she'd get the stuff out, fill her potato, sprinkle it with cheese and have me shove it in the oven. Sometimes she'd toss in some cheesy broccoli (microwave!), bacon or ham, and one night she added tuna straight from the can and called it a meal.  Why not? Adults do, right? And it's not like she eats like that all the time. My point? THEY'RE EASY and great to have around. The kidlet prefers oven baked potatoes to those cooked in the microwave. She likes it when the skins get all "crunchy and yummy", and they hold their shape better too. I use the "small" potatoes that come in the 5 or 10 pound bags I pick up cheaply every few weeks. Even if you have someone (like some people I won't name) who eats two or three at a time, it's still cheaper than the frozen ones you can get at the store.

**My Notes (take 2):  They're still easy and we still love them.  What goes into the guts is almost limitless.  In the past year we've done flaked salmon, ground beef and salsa,  sloppy joe stuff, mixed veggies, chicken stroganoff (sans noodles and cheese), and so much more. 


Recipe : Saucy chicken

Saucy chicken

5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups thick and chunky salsa
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp dijon style mustard

Place chicken breasts in a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Combine salsa, sugar and mustard. Pour over chicken. Cover and bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve over rice.

**My notes: First...in case you haven't figured out this pattern with me yet... I use whatever chicken I have. Hell, I've even used pork chops with this one. In a pinch when I didn't have any dijon (apparently someone thought it made a great chip dip when mixed with sour cream) I used plain old yellow mustard and threw in some spices at random. This is also great over thin egg noodles.


Recipe : Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate chip banana bread

1 1/3 cup mashed very ripe banana
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 2/3 cup bisquick (or other bisquick like baking mix - I happen to make my own)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom of 9x5x3 loaf pan. Mix bananas, sugar, milk, oil, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in baking mix and chips. Pour into pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.

**My notes: It took a while for me to actually get a taste of this one.  It's a favorite around here.  We've also played with adding frozen blueberries, strawberries bits, peach bits, and raspberries instead of the chocolate chips and they work wonderfully.  Next I'll be playing with the extracts and flavorings.  I'd really like to get some kind of coconut, pineapple, exotic flavor thing going on. 


Recipe : Garlic Butter Mushrooms

Garlic Butter Mushrooms

2 dozen mushrooms
1/2 cup margarine or butter
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Remove mushroom stems. Wash & clean mushrooms. Combine butter, onions, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar. Mix well. Add lemon juice. Place mushrooms upside down in bottom of a casserole dish. Put approximately 1 tsp of butter mixture in each mushroom. Bake in preheated 400° oven for 10 minutes.

**My Notes: I leave the onions out and use about 1-1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley depending on my mood. These are like little bits of heaven... assuming you like mushrooms and garlic of course! Be careful not to overcook them. If they don't look 'cooked' to you at the end of 10 minutes, slap them back in and keep checking every 1-2 minutes until they do.


Pork chops with orange soy sauce

2 pork chops - boneless
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, low sodium
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper - to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil

Heat the skillet. When hot, add the oil. Salt and pepper the pork chops and add to the hot oil in the pan. Brown on both sides. Combine the juice, soy sauce, garlic and thyme and pour into the pan. Cook an additional 5 - 8 minutes until the pork chops are cooked. Serve immediately.

**My Notes: First note, I use whatever pork chops I have on hand in the freezer - bone or no bone, it still tastes good. You just have to increase the cooking time a bit if you use something with a bone in it. Second note, use whatever oil you have or want to use.  In my opinion, the canola just gives it a lighter flavor.  Third note!  Chicken works well in this recipe too. Just replace the pork with chicken. Fourth, pork or chicken, it goes well with rice. In a pinch I've even served it on small nests of angel hair. That works especially well if you cut up the meat first (as if stir frying).  Fifth note, the recipe is obviously designed for two, however I have cooked 3 boneless pork chops (or chicken breasts) without adjusting any of the other ingredient amounts with no problem.  You just have to keep an eye on it towards the end to make sure that it's not drying out and increase the cooking time by just a few minutes.  Um... can I make it to six?  Hmmm... no!  Well, maybe, if I say that the "low sodium" part of the soy sauce is optional.  I'm not real big on the whole salt/sodium thing anyway so I automatically reach for the low sodium soy sauce.