Red Hot Fried Chicken

My little brother, Chad, is obsessed with this meal! It is amazing, I won't lie about that... but he really really loves it! He is in town right now, and today is my youngest daughters 3rd birthday, so for her birthday dinner I made Chad's favorite (because when I asked her she said "I just don't know") and it was a hit!
4 Chicken breasts
1 lg. bottle Frank Red Hot Sauce
1 C. Egg Beaters (you can use regular egg too, but it doesn't work as well)
3 C. flour
1. C. Milk
Vegetable Oil

Place each individual chicken breast in a gallon zip loc baggie and pound chicken until it is the same thickness throughout being careful not to tear the chicken. Place in a separate ziploc baggie, continue with the rest of the chicken. Add enough franks red hot to the baggie of chicken to coat all the pieces heavily. Let it marinade overnight or at least 6 hours.
Divide the flour in 3 separate shallow dishes (pie plate work well), put the egg beaters and milk in shallow dishes too and put them in the following order on the counter: flour, milk,flour, egg beaters, flour. Salt and pepper the flour between the milk and egg.
In a large pan with high sides heat several cups, about 2 inches, of vegetable oil over med-hi heat (I actually prefer to use the burner on our BBQ grill because the flame gets big and hot and then my house doesn't smell like fried food)
Using one hand (keep one hand clean so you can turn on the sink to rinse your other hand) take the chicken from the bag and immediately dredge in the first flour pan, coating everything, then into the milk, then flour, then egg, then flour. Place on a baking sheet that has been covered with wax paper and a sprinkling of flour. Continue with all chicken.
Fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked throughout, using a meat thermometer if needed. When it is completely cooked place on a baking rack in a 200 degree oven to keep warm while the other chicken is being cooked.
Serve with mashed potatoes and a simple white gravy (we like to add about 1/3 c. Franks to our gravy.)


Lightning Spicy Chili

I am sad to say that I don't remember where or who I got this recipe from (so if it is you, let me know!) but it is of course quite yummy.
1 lb. mixed beans   (I use white, garbanzo, and kidney)
2 cloves garlic
1 med. Onion
olive oil
4 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. chili powder (or more)
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
dash or two of cayenne pepper
1 T. parsley
2 T. lemon or lime juice
fresh cilantro (maybe 1/3 a bunch chopped?)
¼ c. sour cream (optional)

Cook beans*.   After beans are cooked, drain and rinse them gently.

Use a pot big enough for all the beans here.   Sauté garlic and onion in a small amount of olive oil.   Mash 1-½ cups of the beans.   Add to pot with the rest of the beans and the rest of the ingredients.   (Except sour cream.)   Cook until warmed through.   Stir in sour cream and serve.

Spicy and yummy!   ***Play around with the spices.   I never measure

*my favorite way is to sort and rinse them and put them in a crock-pot with at least 6 cups of water.   Cook on high till done.   Which is about 4-6 hours, depending on your crock-pot.   If you are only doing 1 pound of beans, perhaps use only 1 tablespoon of salt.  


Corn Chowder

6 ears fresh sweet corn
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 in dice
2 cups milk
salt/pepper to taste
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4 in dice
1/4 pound slab bacon (rind removed) cut into 1/4
 inch dice
4 medium sized ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut
 into 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup slivered fresh basil

1.   Strip corn form cobs, set aside (I did this by opening a kitchen towel and cut the pile right on it.   Easy to handle this way).   Bring the broth to a boil, turn down to simmer the cobs and garlic, partially covered for 10 min.   Discard the cobs and garlic.   Stir in the potatoes and half of the reserved corn (divide pile with long knife and spoon in one half).   Simmer partially covered, until potatoes are tender, 10-12 min. Puree: transfer to a bowl (if you don't have a way to do this you can use a potato masher in the pot).   Add the milk, salt and pepper, stir and set aside.   2.   Cook the bacon in a pot over low heat to render the fat, about 6 min.   Add the onion and cook for 10 min.   Add the reserved soup and remaining corn; simmer for 8 min.   Stir in the tomatoes and basil.   Serve immediately
Number Of Servings: Eight
Preparation Time: 40 min beginning to end


Oahu Salad

Add sliced Grilled Chicken breast for a more hearty meal.
Dressing (combine and chill while making salad):
1/2 tsp. salt and a dash of pepper
1/4 C, vegetable oil
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Dash of Tabasco sauce

1/2 C. sliced almonds
3 Tbs. sugar
-In a small pan over medium heat, cook almonds and sugar, stirring constantly until almonds are coated and sugar is dissolved.   Cool until needed.

1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
2 cups spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 c. chopped celery
1 green onion, chopped
1 (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, well drained (and/or sliced strawberries)
-Combine in a large bowl.   Do not add dressing until serving


Ham and Potato Casserole

 I am not generally great friends with the casserole. I have long felt that it was purely a Hodge-podge of ingredients that were never meant to go together with a 'cream of' soup mixed in. Generally they are just gross. This one is an exception! My oldest daughter LOVES this recipe and in fact, for years she requested this dish for her birthday dinner - but this year, she just informed me,  is going to be something different so I can post this now!

10 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed and cooked
1 10-¾ oz can Cream of Chicken soup
¼ cup butter, softened
1-½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-pint sour cream
          Chopped ham

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Pour into a 9 x 13.  Bake for 45 at 350*.  Put extra shredded cheese on top before baking.



 Okay, this recipe is actually for the dough, but I think you are smart enough to figure out how to get it to pizza form. This recipe is our family favorite, and we consider ourselves pizza connoisseurs. The hotter you can get your oven the better it will turn out. When my family had the pizzaria we could cook a pizza in less than 6 minutes because the oven got so hot, don't be afraid of that! Crank that baby up! Also, if you can get a stone for your BBQ, that works AWESOME!
1 envelope dried yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
1/4 tsp sugar
3/4 c lukewarm water
1 3/4 c bread flour (high gluten)
1/2 tsp salt
olive oil

Stir yeast and sugar into warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes or until "bloomed". In food processor or mixer with a dough hook add flour and salt. Slowly pour in water mixture and mix until dough forms a ball. Dough will be sticky. Remove from bowl and knead on a floured surface until smooth and no longer sticky. Divide into 2 balls and place on oiled cookie sheet turning to oil the balls. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at least one hour. Form pizza's using a small amount of flour and place onto a board covered with corn meal. Top with sauce and   ingredients and gently slide onto a pre-heated baking stone in a very hot oven (450-500) baking until crust is brown and crispy, approx 10-15 minutes.


Cori's Kalua Pork

My Aunt made this for a family get together several years ago and it was absolutely delicious. The Hawaiian sea salt can be purchased online, and really is needed for this recipe, don't attempt regular sea salt, it won't be the same.
5 lb. boneless pork roast
1 Tbs. Liquid Smoke flavoring
2-1/2 Tbs. Hawaiian sea salt, divided

Preheat oven to 325° F. Rub Liquid Smoke and 1-1/2 Tbs. sea salt into pork roast.   Wrap well in heavy-duty foil, and seal completely.   Place in roasting pan.
Roast in preheated oven until an internal temperature of 160° F is reached; about 5 hours.   Remove from oven and let cool slightly before shredding.   Sprinkle meat with remaining 1 Tbs. sea salt.

Number Of Servings: 12 servings


Lemon Chicken Picatta

Lemon isn't the first word in this recipes title for nothing! The flavor of lemon is strong and, I think, delicous. My family is a hung jury on this one. Some like the lemon flavor and others find it too overpowering.

4 chicken breasts

½ c. dry white wine
½ c. lemon juice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 lemon – sliced paper thin


Sauté chicken in olive oil until cooked throughout. Set aside. In a saucepan cook ingredients “A”, reduce to ½ cup, add “B” then add the chicken lay lemon slices on top of breasts, cover and simmer for 15 more minutes.


Deep-Fried Turkey

 Okay, okay... So I have to admit - I have never actually made a deep-fried turkey. My dad always does it. I do know, rest assured that it is absolutely delicious. Also, get online and read some deep-fried turkey tips before you start. Every single year geniuses across this great land burn down their house and the neighbors house by doing this indoors or on their dead grass lawn. So read up - so you know how to do it properly. please.

Ingredients:1 (10-pound) turkey
2 tablespoons House seasoning, recipe follows
2 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub
3 to 5 gallons peanut oil

Cooks Note: To measure the amount of oil needed to fry the turkey, place turkey in fryer, add water to top of turkey, remove the turkey and the water line will indicate how much oil will be needed to fry your turkey. Having too much oil can cause a fire. The pot should not be more than 3/4 full or the oil could overflow when the turkey is added.
Wash bird inside and out, and allow to drain. Rub turkey all over with House Seasoning. Coat turkey with dry rub. Allow the bird to sit until it reaches room temperature.
Heat peanut oil in a turkey fryer or a very, very large stockpot to 350 degrees F. Lower turkey into hot oil, making sure it is fully submerged. Fry turkey for 3 minutes per pound plus 5 minutes per bird. Remove turkey from oil and drain on paper towels.
Serve with favorite Thanksgiving sides and salads.

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.


Fry Bread

I chose to post this recipe today because it is the perfect companion for yesterdays, Pinto Beans. mmmm.....

4 c. flour
4 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
¼ c. low fat powdered milk

Mix together all ingredients. Add enough water to make a soft, but not sticky dough. Pinch off golf ball size balls and flatten with a rolling pin or by hand – until about ¼ inch thick. Fry in HOT oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. For a desert treat sprinkle with powdered sugar or for dinner top with homemade pinto beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa.


Pinto Beans

Beans are universally delicious. They are fantastic in many different ways. This is a basic recipe for Pintos that can be eaten as is, or mashed for burritos, or topped on Fry Bread... plus this makes a ton - and unless you are a family of 12 you should have leftovers for several more meals.


Pinto Beans

1lb. Pinto beans
1 small onion – diced
½ package salt pork
Salt & pepper
Red pepper flakes

In a large stockpot combine the beans, pork, and onions cover with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer, stirring often and adding more water if necessary, for several hours (about 5 hours) when beans are almost soft add salt and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes.  Beans take about 2 seconds to burn! So watch them carefully and simmer on a low heat, and make sure you have plenty of water in the pot to prevent them from sticking to the bottom.

Note: If you are not a fan of the whole beans, then mash them (like you would mashed potatoes) until they are the consistency that you desire. First remove some of the liquid though, but keep it near by just in case you need to add some back in, because gluey beans are a no-go. 


Beef & Barley Stoup

1 (12oz) can beef chunks
6 cups water
1/4 cup carrots
3 tbsp minced onion
3 tbsp celery
2 tbsp red or green pepper
2 tbsp beef bullion
2 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup pearl barley

Combine all ingredients except barley in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add barley and simmer, covered for 45-55 minutes until barley is tender. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Can be adapted to the crock-pot and or pressure cooker.


French Onion Soup & Pressed Caprese Sandwiches

What goes better together than soup and sandwiches? This is a great quick dinner, and no complaints from the kids (well at least no complaints about sandwiches). The french onion soup is a recipe that I have been using for a while, straight from the Food Network - Tyler Florence's recipe actually, and I have found very little that needs to be changed. In fact, I would recommend leaving it as is, but sometimes it is nearly impossible to find or afford Gruyere cheese, if that is the case then just go with Swiss (if you like the sharp flavor) or Muenster (if you like it a little more mild).

French Onion Soup


1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere


Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.
Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

Pressed Caprese Sandwiches

These are also called Pannini's but since I don't have a pannini press I prefer to call them "pressed". I am weird I know. I love the simplicity of the caprese match up - thick ripe tomato slices, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil..... mmmm... For the bread - you need a heartier bread than a french or Italian loaf. Look for a pugliese or something similar in the bakery department of the grocery store and the bakery people will slice it for you with their handy dandy slicing machine if you ask nice.


1 loaf crusty artisan bread
3 Ripe red tomatoes (never refrigerate, unless you like mealy flavorless tomatoes)
1 pkg FRESH mozzarella (don't buy precious brand, it is strangely bitter, and mozzarella should be almost     sweet)
12 Leaves of fresh basil
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper


Heat a George Foreman grill, or whatever you would use to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Slice tomatoes and mozzarella to the same thickness, about 1/8" thick. Wash and dry the basil leaves. Using a basting brush lightly coat one side of a slice of bread and set on the hot pan or griddle. Layer the cheese,then basil then tomato, lightly salt and pepper the tomatoes, then put on the top slice of bread, that has also been oiled. Press the sandwiches with the lid of the foreman or with the back of a heavy spatula. You want then to look a little flat and semi-smashed. Cook until both sides are a beautiful golden brown. Cut down the middle and enjoy. 
Small variation: One day, I was feeling especially creative and I put these sandwiches on our gas BBQ, and let me just tell you - it was the best way I have ever had these sandwiches! If you are up for it - try it!


Shredded Beef Tacos

I love love love shredded beef tacos and find them especially enjoyable when eaten away from the house. For whatever reason I have never loved a recipe from home. They always seem so watered down and bland. This recipe is the exception to that rule. I swiped this recipe from the website http://gimmesomeoven.com/ and I am excited, after trying this, to check out some of her other recipes.
1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds beef (boneless chuck roast)
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 cup beef stock
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Flour tortillas
Favorite taco toppings (**ideas below**)

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, combine the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.
Rub the spice mix into the beef, covering each side evenly. Once the oil is hot (it will shimmer a bit in the skillet), place the beef in the skillet and sear on each side.
Remove the beef from the skillet and place in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Leave the pan on the heat, and add in the beef stock to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the tomato paste and minced chipotle and whisk into the pan sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
Add the diced onion and minced garlic on top of the seared beef in the slow cooker.  Pour the pan sauce down over the onions, garlic, and beef.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred with two forks.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the slow cooker, and mix into the shredded beef.
Serve the beef in the flour tortillas, topped with your favorite taco toppings.
Some topping ideas include:
guacamole or avocado
fresh salsa
Mexican rice
grated cheese
fresh lettuce
squeeze of lime juice


Flounder with Lemon and Fresh Herbs

You know... I am not much of a fish eater, I think it is more of a textural dislike than a flavor dislike, unless it is really fishy - then it is a flavor thing. That being said, occasionally I will come across a recipe for fish that is actually quite delicious, and this is that case. You can also substitute the flounder for talapia or halibut.

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 flounder fillets, about 4 to 6 ounces each
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
flour for dredging
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or fish stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped, fresh chives

Cooking Instructions
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet until hot. While the oil is heating, season the flounder with salt and pepper and dredge it in flour.
2. Sauté the flounder over high heat, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a warm platter and keep warm.
3. Quickly add the chicken broth or fish stock to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon to release any caramelized bits that may be stuck to the pan. Cook until the broth has reduced by half. Add the lemon juice. Pour the sauce over the flounder, sprinkle with parsley and chives and serve.
NOTE: You may have to sauté the flounder in two batches. If so, use a clean pan for each batch. Make the sauce in one of the pans.


Party Chicken

I really really love this dinner, the only bummer about it is that it takes 2 days to make! But don't be alarmed - it is actually really simple to make, you just have to plan ahead because it has to sit in the refrigerator overnight.

4 Chicken breasts
4 bacon strips
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
16 oz sour cream
1 pkg Onion Soup Mix

Pound the chicken flat and roll up with a strip of bacon, poke a toothpick through it to keep it tight. Mix the soups, and sour cream together and pour over chicken. Cover and refrigerate over night or AT LEAST 4 hours. Bake at 275* for 3 hours.


Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pesto Butter

6 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless
1/2 C. fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C. butter, room temperature
1/3 C. all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt & pepper
1 egg, well beaten
3/4 C. fine dry bread crumbs (made from french or Italian bread)
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil

Place the chicken between sheet of wax paper and pound with a mallet until very thin, being careful not to tear meat.

In a food processor or blender, combine basil, cheese and garlic. Mix until a thick paste is formed. Add butter and blend. Shape into a 3 inch square. Chill until firm. Slice chilled butter into 6 sticks - 1/2" thick and 3" wide.

Lay out the flattened chicken breasts. Place a stick of the pesto butter on one side of the of the meat (preferably to the larger side). Fold the remaining side over butter, then fold down the two ends. Press meat together on all sides to securely enclose butter.

Using 3 separate pie plates, place seasoned flour in one, beaten egg in another and bread crumbs in the third.

Dredge each chicken breast in flour and shake ff excess. Dip in egg and roll in bread crumbs. Firmly press bread crumbs into chicken.

Refrigerate chicken rolls for at least 1 hour to allow crumbs to adhere. At this point chicken rolls may be frozen, but thawed completely before cooking.

In a large saute pan, heat butter and olive oil. Saute chicken on medium heat for about 15 minutes, turning chicken until golden brown on all sides and meat is white all the way through.

Put cooked chicken in a 200 degree oven to keep warm while the others are being cooked.


Burgandy Beef Stew

AHHH....stew. The ultimate if comfort. What is not to love. Okay, when I was a kid I HATED stew, but I think it was because the ratio of vegetable to beef is lopsided. But I love it now!

1/2 C. olive oil
3 lbs. top round, cubed
3 C. full-bodied red wine
8 C. beef broth
1 T. tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. thyme
1 bay leaf
2 large carrots, washed and sliced
4 small (pearl) onions, cut in half
3 large quartered potatoes (Yukon golds are best)
3 stalks of celery, washed and chopped
In a large stockpot, heat the oil. Add beef and brown evenly on all sides. Add wine, 2 cups of broth, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, until beef is tender and liquid is thickened and dark. Add in the rest of the broth and the onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes.
If broth needs additional thickening, mix 3 T. water with 1-2 T. flour and whisk until smooth. Add to stew. Let boil until thick.


December Goodies

There is something about the holiday season that allows cookies and treats out on the counter at all times - the whole month long. It isn't the same when you go to someones house and all they have is a bowl of M&M (red & green) and a dish of holiday Oreo's. It has to be homemade goodies. So - I have decided to post a yummy treat everyday in Decemeber.

Happy Holidays!

Cilantro Chicken

Eleven years ago when I got married I receive a cookbook from my new in-laws. It was full of recipes from their city that they love so much. Portland, Oregon. I really like this cookbook in the 3 months that I can cook out of it (December, January and February). Unfortunately Oregon has this weather that promotes warm, comfort foods - not so much in Arizona. Most of the year I am looking for recipes that require little or no oven/stove use and this cookbooks requires much of it. However, with December being tomorrow and the weather unusually cool lately, I decided to bust the book out early. So the next three days are all from Portland's Palate.

1 lbs chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1/2 C. dry white wine
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed, washed and dried
4 garlic cloves
4 T. freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 tomato, skinned, seeded and diced.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat, brown chicken on both sides. Transfer chicken to a casserole dish with a cover or a dutch oven.

Pour white wine into saute pan and scrape pan to remove any browned bits. Bring wine to a boil. Pour over chicken.

In a food processor or blender, combine cilantro and garlic. Mix well. Sprinkle over chicken and add lime juice and tomato. Bake. covered, for 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.