Friday, January 28, 2022

Asian Chicken Noodle Salad

 Super easy and delicious meal

6 ounces spaghetti

2 cups, fresh snow peas, cut into pieces

4 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped or shredded

1 cup red or yellow bell peppers, sliced thin

1/2 cup green onions with tops, sliced

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

3/4 cup teriyaki sauce

2 Tbsp dark sesame oil

Celtic sea salt and pepper

Break spaghetti in half and cook according to package directions, adding the sliced snow peas during the last minute. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain.

Combine pasta and snow peas with chicken, green onions and pepper in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine teriyaki sauce, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Salt and pepper to taste and pour over spaghetti. Mix well.

Store tightly covered for several days in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and bean soup.

I buy the dry Beans 'n Ham, a mixed bag with a seasoning packet.

Onion, garlic, carrots, bag of beans, leftover ham, celery, chicken broth, thyme, cumin, ham drippings, can of tomatoes, served with a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Soak the beans overnight and cook the soup 50 minutes. The flavor is amazing. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Chicken Enchilada Soup


This is one of our favorites soups.

Sometimes I make it it along with chili for Christmas Eve.


Chicken Enchilada Soup

Cook chicken first or a day ahead.

           3 double chicken breasts

Salt chicken* and lay on 2 or 3 stalks of celery in medium-size crockpot and cook until tender. Remove celery and shred chicken.

*I only use Celtic Sea Salt for health and flavor

Sauté 2 tsp minced garlic in 2 Tbsp olive oil

Place browned garlic and remaining ingredients in a large capacity (6 or 8 qt) crockpot:

2 or 3 - 32 oz containers of chicken broth

2 - 10 oz cans mild red enchilada sauce
16 oz shredded cheddar cheese

2 cans green chilies

1 or 2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 tsp salt 
2 tsp onion powder 
1 tsp chili powder 
1 tsp cumin


In a large measuring cup or bowl, blend:

2 c Maseca instant corn tortilla mix

         (available at Target or Walmart)
3 c water

Add this thickened mixture to the soup

Add the shredded chicken.
Heat on high and then turn to low until ready to serve.

Add a generous spoon of chunky salsa to each bowl and serve with tortilla chips.

This makes a huge pot of soup. Feed a crowd or freeze half for later.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Applebee's Crispy Orange Chicken Bowl

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken 

1 egg 

1 1/2 tsp salt 

1/4 tsp pepper 

1 Tbsp olive oil 

1/2 cup cornstarch, plus 

1 Tbsp cornstarch 

1/4 cup all-purpose flour 

oil (for frying) 

1 tsp garlic minced 

1 1/2 tsp orange rind, grated 

1 cup orange juice 

1/2 cup hoisin sauce 

1 dash cayenne pepper 

1/4 cup sugar 

salt and pepper 



Cut chicken into 2-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Stir in egg, salt, pepper and oil. Mix well and set aside.


Stir cornstarch and flour together in another large bowl and mix well. Add chicken mixture to the flour mixture, stirring to coat each piece well.


Pour enough oil to be at least 1/2-inch deep in a wok or heavy skillet and set over high heat. When it reaches 375 degrees F (hot!) carefully add chicken pieces in small batches and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden and crisp. Do not overcook or chicken will be tough.


Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue frying chicken in small batches until all are nicely browned and crisp.\


Set aside while you make the glaze: 

1 tsp minced garlic. 

1 1/2 tsp grated orange rind. 

1 cup orange juice. 

1/2 cup hoisin sauce. 

dash cayenne pepper. 

1/4 cup granulated sugar. 

salt and pepper to taste. 


Cool the oil in the skillet slightly, then remove all but 2 Tbsp of oil and set over medium heat. Sauté garlic in oil for 1 minute, no longer

Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Allow to boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens to your liking, stirring frequently.


Pour glaze over chicken. Serve chicken over a bed of cooked white rice and a side of steamed broccoli.

Garnish with slivered almonds and crispy noodles.


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Sticky Buns from the Great British Baking Show

I'm not appropriating this. It's Dan's recipe, from season 9, and I've converted the ingredient amounts to American terms and posted it where I can find it. Thank you Dan and TGBBS!

Dan's Sticky Spiced Orange Chelsea Buns


1 cup + 2 Tbsp whole milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
finely ground zest of 1 large orange
3 cups + 2 Tbsp white bread flour
2.4 tsp fast action dried years
2 large eggs
1 tsp orange extract


3/4 cup sultanas
3 Tbsp brandy
2 large oranges, quartered
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup soft light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

20-second icing:

2/3 cup sugar
a squeeze of orange juice

Step 1
Make the dough. Put the milk in a heatproof jug, add the butter and warm in the microwave on full power for about 15–20 seconds, until the butter is almost melted (or, do this in a small pan over a low heat).  

Step 2
Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the remaining dough ingredients and mix together on a slow speed for about 7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with cling film, then leave to rise for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.  

Step 3
Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the sultanas and the brandy in a small pan over a low heat. Heat for 1–2 minutes, until the sultanas are plumped up, then pour them into a bowl with any remaining brandy and allow to cool.

Step 4
Peel the orange quarters and cut the peel into 1/4 inch-wide strips (reserve the flesh to juice for the icing). Put the strips into a medium pan, add water to cover well, then place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Boil for about 10 minutes, until the white pith becomes translucent. Change the water and boil for another 10 minutes; then change and boil once more.  

Step 5
Drain the peel through a sieve. Rinse out the pan, add the caster sugar and 1 tsp of water. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then add the softened peel. Bring to the boil, allow to boil for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and drain the peel through a sieve again, reserving the syrup. Once the peel is cool, cut it into 5mm dice. Combine the brown sugar and spices in a small bowl, and set aside.   

Step 6
Tip out the risen dough onto a floured work surface, and punch out the air. Roll out the dough into a large square of about 13-14 inches. Preheat oven to 400°F. 

Step 7
Spread the 1/3 c softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle over the sweetened spice mixture, then gently press it down with your hands. Scatter over the sultanas and candied peel. 

Step 8
Take the edge closest to you and roll up the dough as tightly as you can. Trim the ends and cut the roll into 12 equal pieces along its length. Place the pieces in the buttered pan, cut-side up, to form 3 rows of 4. Cover with cling film and leave for about 1 hour, or until risen to the top of the tin. (When the dough is ready, it should spring back when lightly touched.) 

Step 9
Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave the buns to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out as one piece onto a wire rack. Warm a little of the reserved candied orange syrup and brush this over the buns, to glaze.  

Step 10
To make the 20-second icing, mix the icing sugar with 1–2 teaspoons of juice squeezed from the reserved orange quarters. Test the consistency by dropping a blob of icing onto the surface of the rest – it should take about 20 seconds (hence the name) to meld back into the rest of the icing. Place the icing in the piping bag, snip off the end and drizzle in diagonal lines over the buns.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Monday, April 11, 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Double Fudge Sheet Cake

This rich chocolate cake is similar to Texas Sheet Cake or Fudge Sheet Cake.

Grease and flour a half sheet cake pan or a 9x13" pan.

1 cup Coke
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla

In a saucepan, bring cola, margarine, cocoa and oil to a boil.

In a bowl mix sugar, sifted flour and salt.

Pour into the boiling mixture and combine with whisk.
remove from heat.

Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and soda and mix well.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Don't cool.

1 stick margarine
3 Tablespoons unsweeteneed cocoa powder (I prefer Ghirardelli)
pinch of Celtic Sea Salt
6 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar

Heat margarine, cocoa, salt and milk until melted and smooth. Beat in vanilla and powdered sugar. Pour and spread on hot cake. Cool.

Monday, February 8, 2016


frozen hash browns
salt & pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
16 oz sour cream
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup onion, diced
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Spray a 9x13" baking dish.
Spread frozen hash browns in bottom. Salt & pepper them.

Combine together soup, sour cream, butter & onion. Pour over hash browns.

Sprinkle with cheese,
Bake 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Glazed Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Glazed Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake

1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 15-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/4 cup canola or virgin olive oil
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 Tbsp pure vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp buttermilk
2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F -  Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray

Whisk together sifted purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

Blend 1 cup buttermilk, pumpkin puree and brown sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer on low speed. Beat in whole egg and egg white. Stir in oil, corn syrup and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.

Glaze & garnish:
Combine powdered sugar and 1 Tblsp buttermilk in small bowl, stirring until smooth. Place the cake on a serving plate and drizzle the glaze over the top; garnish with chocolate chips or chopped nuts while the glaze is still moist.

I have a whole STACK of gorgeous Bundt pans!
They make beautiful cakes.


After years of being asked for recipes, Cheryl St.John spent a summer writing down ingredients and baking times, baking and asking for beta testers in order to put together this collection of mouthwatering recipes for Bundt cakes.

Many of the recipes are labeled NO SKILL REQUIRED, indicating exceptional ease of preparation. If you don’t consider yourself a baker or if you’re an accomplished baker and simply want a quick recipe, you will find these cakes using box mixes are convenient and delicious. You don’t have to tell anyone you started with a mix—the cakes are so good that no one will guess preparation didn’t take hours. Bake with ease and enjoy serving a beautiful cake to family and friends.

Cheryl's philosophy: Eat cake! It's someone's birthday somewhere.


Need something decadent, yet quick and easy for your sweetheart? This cheesecake is the perfect choice.

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
3 Tablespoons margarine or butter; melted
16 ounces cream cheese; softened
14 ounces can sweetened condensed milk
3 Tablespoons Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa
3 eggs, whisked
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon almond or pure vanilla extract
21 oz can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Combine crumbs and margarine; press firmly on bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

In large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until
smooth. Add cocoa powder, eggs, cornstarch, and almond extract; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 55 minutes, or until center is set.
Cool; chill.
Top with cherry pie filling before serving.
Refrigerate leftovers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


After years of being asked for recipes, Cheryl St.John spent a summer writing down ingredients and baking times, baking and asking for beta testers in order to put together this collection of mouthwatering recipes for Bundt cakes. 

Many of the recipes are labeled NO SKILL REQUIRED, indicating exceptional ease of preparation. If you don’t consider yourself a baker or if you’re an accomplished baker and simply want a quick recipe, you will find these cakes using box mixes are convenient and delicious. You don’t have to tell anyone you started with a mix—the cakes are so good that no one will guess preparation didn’t take hours. Bake with ease and enjoy serving a beautiful cake to family and friends. 

Cheryl's philosophy: Eat cake! It's someone's birthday somewhere

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

THE JOY OF BUNDT CAKES: My Recipe Gift To You Citrus Bliss Bundt Cake

I have a passion for Bundt® cakes, so I'm working on a cookbook of the very best recipes. I need a clever title, so all suggestions welcome.

There is good news and bad news with this project. I have to make every cake to assure quality control, and some I haven't made for years--so the good news is revisiting and tweaking recipes is great fun!

The bad news? Well, there is always a Bundt® cake under the glass dome in my kitchen. So my plan is to only make one when I can take it somewhere. However I do need to taste test, so how rude is it to take a cake with a little slice gone?

This one is probably one of my very favorite recipes EVER and the family fights over the last crumbs. I've included tips at the bottom, because these type of cake bake differently depending on your pan and your oven, so experiment a little and watch the baking process carefully.

If you make this cake, do let me know how it was and if you made any time adjustments. I sent slices to daycare the other day, and the report was, "This cake is evil. It's the best I've ever had." I think that means it's a winner.

My gift to you! Many more to come.

 from the kitchen of Cheryl St.John...

Glazed Citrus Bundt® Cake

¾ cup softened butter
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 2 tsp lemon extract
3 cups sifted flour
1 cup Sprite or Squirt

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease and flour Bundt® pan well

Beat butter with hand mixer. Add sugar one cup at a time and mix until creamy.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing briefly after each.
Stir in lemon zest and extracts.
On medium speed alternate adding flour and Sprite. Don’t overbeat.
Pour batter into pan.

Baking time varies depending on your oven and your pan. I use my convection oven setting. My heavy NordicWare® pan bakes more quickly than my silicone pan. In the NordicWare® I bake this about 40 minutes, then cover with foil for another ten. Test and if a toothpick doesn’t come out clean, add more time. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack ten minutes. After ten minutes remove cake from pan and allow to cool.

2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp Rose’s sweetened lime juice (I find this in the liquor section)
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Whisk until desired consistency and drizzle over cooled cake.

Bundt Cake Tips:

·        There is a difference between a tube pan and a Bundt® pan. A tube pan is more shallow, while a Bundt pan has higher sides. Each will hold a different amount and will bake the same batter differently.

·        Cooking spray doesn’t cut it for a Bundt® cake. Grease with shortening and dust with flour to help the cake rise in the pan.

·        Always sift the flour.

·        Over mixing the batter gives cake a tough texture.

·        When creaming sugar and butter, have the butter at room temperature, mix on medium and add the sugar gradually.

·        Don’t overbeat eggs. Mix with a whisk or on low with the mixer, just until blended.

·        After removing from the oven, cool the cake on a wire rack for ten minutes. Any longer and you risk the cake sticking to the pan. Finish cooling on a rack.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

HERSHEY’S Chocolate Waffle Cookies

HERSHEY’S Chocolate Waffle Cookies
Prepared by Bill Justus Executive Chef at HERSHEY LODGE


2 ounce HERSHEY’S Special Dark chips
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar


· Preheat and grease waffle iron.
· In saucepan combine the HERSHEY’S chocolate chips and butter. Cook over medium low heat and stir until smooth.
· In stainless steel bowl mix together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until fluffy.
· Stir into chocolate mixture and then fold in the flour. Mix until smooth.
· Drop batter on to the waffle iron. Close and cook for 60 to 90 seconds or until firm.
· Remove from the iron, cool slight and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

cast iron skillet brownies

·       1 cup sugar
·       3 large eggs
·       1 cup all-purpose flour 
·       1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder 
·       1/2 teaspoon salt
·       4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
·       1/4 cup heavy cream
·       8 ounces chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs.
2.      In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt.

3.      In a medium cast iron skillet, bring butter and cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add chocolate; reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and let cool 5 minutes.

4.      Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture, whisking until blended (reserve skillet).
5.      Fold in flour mixture. Pour batter into skillet.

6.      Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
7.      (for a gooier brownie bake for about 35 minutes)

Serve from skillet, warm or at room temperature.