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Check out my science fiction series - The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Ramen Chicken Salad

This is a weird sounding recipe, but it works and it's pretty tasty. Feel free to substitute the vegetables in this for others.

Ramen Chicken Salad

2 packages ramen noodles, uncooked (save the seasoning packet for something else)
1 c. cubed cooked chicken
1 small can sliced water chestnuts
1/4 c. diced sweet onion OR green onion OR red onion
1 c. shredded cabbage (I prefer napa cabbage for this)
1/2 c. thin sliced carrots
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 c. blush wine vinaigrette OR raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing
OPTIONAL - other veggies cut into bite size pieces, i.e. broccoli, zucchini, snow peas, radishes, etc.

Break up ramen noodles into small chunks and place in a large bowl. Add chicken, water chestnuts, onions, and vegetables. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce and salad dressing. Pour over the other ingredients. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, better overnight.

Stir before serving.

If you don't want to use the vinaigrette salad dressing, substitute in 2 T. vegetable oil of your choice, 2 T. vinegar (rice or red wine are both good), and 1 t. sugar. Mix well with the soy sauce before pouring over the salad.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Chilled Monkey Brains (dessert from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom)

I adore the dinner scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I love it so much, I created my own version of all the recipes. Kid safe, family approved, and easy-to-find ingredients, though. Still fun to serve. Here's dessert:

Chilled Monkey Brains

2 small boxes of raspberry gelatin, the four serving size
2 c. boiling water
1 c. frozen blueberries, strawberries (chopped or sliced), raspberries, or any combination of frozen berries
1 c. very cold water
1 c. vanilla yogurt
1 8 oz. tub whipped topping

Mix gelatin in the boiling water. Stir at least 5 minutes until completely dissolved. Add frozen berries and cold water. Stir until it starts to thicken. Stir in yogurt and whipped topping. Pour into nice dish or mold. Brain molds are really nice. Refrigerate until set. Hide at the back of the table when serving so you have half a chance of leftovers. Take home the empty bowl and mix up another batch just for yourself.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Blueberry Cake

Not too sweet and so easy! You can make it with frozen blueberries, but it's best with fresh ones.

Blueberry Cake

1/4 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. nutmeg
2 1/2 c. flour (I recommend all white for this one)
1 c. milk
2-3 c. blueberries

Cream butter and sugar, add egg. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in baking powder and nutmeg. Add 1 c. flour, stir. Add 1/2 c. milk, stir. Add another cup of flour, stir. Add the rest of the milk. Add the last 1/2 c. flour with the blueberries. Stir gently to mix.
Grease and flour a bundt pan. Do this well or it will stick! Pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Orange Dreamsicle Dessert

I was going to call this salad, because that's a Utah thing, but it's definitely more of a dessert. Sweet and luscious and reminds me of an orange creamsicle.

Orange Dreamsicle Dessert

1 4-serving package orange gelatin
1 c. boiling water
2 8-oz cans mandarin oranges
1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
1 8-oz tub whipped topping

Mix gelatin with boiling water, stir until completely dissolved, at least 5 minutes. Drain mandarin oranges, saving the juice! Measure out 3/4 c. juice and add to the gelatin. Stir around. Set it aside until it starts to thicken and set up. This usually takes about 30 minutes in the fridge or 1-2 hours on the counter. Once it starts to thicken, stir in the orange slices, yogurt, and whipped topping until blended.
Refrigerate until set, at least 1-2 hours.

This recipe works great in a jello mold. I love my smaller one from Tupperware with the heart or star in the bottom.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Bavarian Cream Salad

This one is in honor of Utah, where I spent much of my life. The ONLY recipe I can think of that uses lime jello that is actually edible, although I personally prefer the orange creamsicle version (which I'll post next).

Bavarian Cream Salad

1 4-serving package of lime gelatin
4 oz cream cheese (1/2 of a regular package)
1 16-18 oz can pears
1 8-oz tub whipped topping

Drain pears, saving the juice! Bring the juice to a boil and stir in the gelatin. Keep stirring until the gelatin dissolves completely, this should take about 5 minutes. Add cream cheese to the mixture. Beat, with a mixer if needed, until the mixture is creamy and thick. It should look like a disgusting mess of green gelatin and cottage cheese at this point. Smash the pears and add them. Stir it together. It should look like pale green cat vomit. Stir in the whipped topping. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

You know what? Never mind on this recipe. Anything that looks like cat vomit while you're making it is probably not a good idea. I'll just pass on the green jello....

Saturday, April 4, 2020

One-Hour Cinnamon Rolls

Plus a little baking time.

One-Hour Cinnamon Rolls

2 c. hot water (like really warm bathtub temperature)
1/2 c. powdered milk
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
2 T. yeast
1 t. salt
1 egg
3-4 c. flour
1/3 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon (or up to 4 t. if you really like cinnamon)

You can use 2 c. milk instead of the hot water and powdered milk - just warm it in the microwave. Stir it well, and check the temperature. If you can't put your finger in it, it's too hot. Let it cool back down until it's really warm tap water temperature.

Mix hot water, powdered milk, sugar, butter, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir it well. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir in salt, egg, and 2 c. of the flour. Beat by hand until well mixed. Add another cup of flour. Knead until a soft dough forms, adding more flour if needed. It should be sticky and very soft but not impossible to work with. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

Beat together 1/3 c. butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Lightly flour the counter or a large cutting board. Roll out the dough on the floured surface into a rectangle about 10x15 inches. Spread the filling mixture over the dough. Roll, using the long edge, to make a roll about 15 inches long. Cut into 15 rolls.

Grease a 9x12 cake pan. Place the cut rolls into the pan. Cover and let rise for about 15 minutes while the oven heats to 375°F.

Bake for 14-17 minutes, until golden brown on top. Frost if you want. Serve warm or cold.

Frosting for sweet rolls:
Melt 1/4 c. butter. Beat with 1 c. powdered sugar, 2 T. milk, and 1/2 t. vanilla. Spread over cinnamon rolls as soon as you pull them from the oven. It will melt into the rolls, mostly, so don't worry if it seems thick.

Pantry Salad Dressing

I think the original of this one was published in a Taste of Home magazine years ago. It's a basic red dressing, easy to whip up from things most people keep in the pantry.

Pantry Salad Dressing

1 c. sugar
1 c. ketchup
3/4 c. white vinegar
3/4 c. oil
1/3 c. diced onion
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. ground black pepper

Dump everything into the blender and give it a good whirl or three. Store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before using so the onion isn't so overpowering.