Egg Drop Soup

One of the simplest soups one can make, this remains one of my all time favorites.

Egg Drop Soup

Ingredients
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
2 teaspoons water (optional)
1 egg, beaten
1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (optional)

Directions
In a small saucepan, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Bring to a boil.

Stir together the cornstarch and water to dissolve cornstarch; pour into the boiling broth.

Stir gently while you pour in the egg and yellow food coloring if using.

Season with chives, salt and pepper before serving.

Egg Drop Soup

Egg Drop Soup

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Mac and Cheese for One

This is quick and easy, but because we’re dealing with a recipe for one, and a microwave, it is fairly precise, so listen up carefully — you’ll need just a few simple things to get started.

large mug
liquid measuring cup

1/3 cup dry measuring cup
1/3 cup elbow noodles
1/4 cup pre-shredded cheese
dash of milk
1/2 cup of water

Once you’ve got it down, you can experiment with variations, but for the first time I suggest trying it this way. I found that store bought finely shredded cheese worked best, and made the creamiest sauce. I used cheddar cheese. I used whole milk. My mug had a 1 2/3 cup (400 ml) capacity. My microwave is a fairly standard 1000 watts.

Put 1/3 cup of elbow noodles into your mug. Add a scant 1/2 cup of water to it. Be sure to use a liquid measuring cup to measure your water. And by scant, I mean just shy of 1/2 cup. Basically you will microwave this mixture until the water has evaporated. In my microwave this takes about 4 minutes. Microwave it for 2 minutes to start, then stir. Then another minute, and stir again. Then a final minute, and the water should be absorbed. If not, microwave a bit more until it is.

Stir in a dash of milk and 1/4 cup of cheese, microwave for a final 30-60 seconds. Stir well to blend everything together into a creamy sauce, and enjoy.

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

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Biscuits

It’s been cold here, too cold for my tastes.

So I decided it was time to make the ultimate in comfort foods: biscuits.

These are simple, so very simple.

Try these, you will love them!

Easy and quick to make, never use canned biscuits again!

Easy and quick to make, never use canned biscuits again!

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening with fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Pour milk into flour mixture while stirring with a fork. Mix in milk until dough is soft, moist and pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and toss with flour until no longer sticky.

Roll dough out into a 1/2 inch thick sheet and cut with a floured biscuit or cookie cutter.

Press together unused dough and repeat rolling and cutting procedure.

Place biscuits on ungreased baking sheets and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Notes:
I used a pint glass I floured as a biscuit cutter.
I used parchment paper on my baking sheet.
I sometimes brush the tops with a butter/garlic/salt mixture for even more goodness.
These freeze well.
With that in mind, you can easily make breakfast sandwiches and freeze them for use later.

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Crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese

This is an awesome way to make homemade macaroni and cheese. You’ll never want to serve the boxed type again.

Ingredients
2 pounds elbow macaroni
4 cups milk
1 cup half and half
2 12 oz cans of evaporated milk
6 cups shredded cheese
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons paprika
2 8 oz bricks cream cheese

Directions
Place the elbow macaroni into your Crock-pot. I have a 6-quart model.

Add the milk, half and half, and evaporated milk to the macaroni.

Add the shredded cheese to the Crock-pot. Note, you can use just cheddar cheese or a mixture. I used Mexican blend, mild cheddar, and and colby jack.

Add the salt and the paprika.

Mix everything together at this point.

Cover and set your Crock-pot to Low.

After 1.5 hours, stir the mixture together carefully, the cheese should be melted by now and will combine easily with the dairy products.

Cover again and let it cook for another hour.

Stir again.

Cover and increase the temperature to High for 30 minutes.

Stir one last time and serve.

Crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese 01

Crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese 01

Crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese 02

Crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese 02

Crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese 03

Crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese 03

Crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese 04

Crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese 04

Crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese 05

Crock-pot Macaroni and Cheese 05

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Los Pollos Hermanos Oven-Fried Chicken

Zesty oven-fried chicken inspired by Los Pollos Hermanos.

Zesty oven-fried chicken inspired by Los Pollos Hermanos.

Those of you that know me know that I have been a fan of the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul TV series since they started.

One of the protagonists on the shows is a character name Gus Fring. Gus, among other things, has a chain of chicken restaurants named Los Pollos Hermanos.

This is a rendition of the chicken that was described in the show as “Your chicken, it’s so…zesty. Piquant.”

8 Boneless chicken breasts
2 eggs
1/4 cup sriracha
5 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons cumin
3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons crushed red pepper
3 cups flour

Mix chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and red pepper with 2/3 cup flour.

Mix sriracha with eggs.

Dip breast in egg, then in flour then cover in pepper/flour mix.

Preheat oven at 375°.

Cook for 25 minutes. Carefully turn and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy with a side of red beans and rice, fries, or biscuits and gravy.

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3 Ingredient Biscuits

3 Ingredient Biscuits

Yield 4

Ingredients

1 cup self-rising flour
1 Tablespoon solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup buttermilk
2-3 tablespoons flour for kneading

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine shortening and flour with a fork in a bowl.

Add buttermilk and mix.

Turn dough out onto a sheet of waxed paper that’s been dusted with flour.

Dust top of dough with flour and press into a disc about 1 inch thick.

Cut dough into 4 equal sections.

Form each section into a circle and place in oven-safe pan.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes at 425.

Bake until browned. Serve hot!

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Self-Rising Flour

Self-Rising Flour

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt

Instructions

Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl.

Add the baking powder and salt.

Whisk to combine.

Use or store in an airtight container.

Self-rising flour can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 year.

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Sun Tea

Not really a formal recipe here, but more for reference.

Freshly brewed sun tea is a staple in the summertime.

Freshly brewed sun tea is a staple in the summertime.

Take 7 tea bags and place them into a 1-gallon jar of cool water.

Place the jar into a sunny place and leave to brew for 4-6 hours.

Move the jar to keep it in the sun as much as possible.

Server over ice, lots and lots of ice.

Note, you can substitute different kinds of tea into the jar. I recommend green tea as well as any herbal tea you enjoy.

Experimentation is a good thing.

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Watermelon-Mint Iced Tea

This is a Greek-inspired drink and is very refreshing.

Watermelon Mint Tea, photo from http://flusterbuster.com

Watermelon Mint Tea, photo from http://flusterbuster.com

Ingredients

8 cups chopped seeded watermelon
7 black tea bags
2 tablespoons clover honey
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish, optional

Directions

Puree the watermelon in batches until smooth, then strain into a pitcher. Cover and refrigerate until very cold.

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags and honey and let steep 5 minutes. Add the mint leaves, cover and refrigerate until cold. Discard the mint leaves and add the tea to the watermelon juice. Serve over ice in tall glasses with mint sprigs, if desired.

I have made this with 3 green tea bags substituted for 3 black tea bags.

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Southern Pimento Cheese

Ingredients

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 4-ounce jar diced pimento, drained
salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Place the Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, minced jalapeno, and pimento into the large bowl of a mixer. Beat at medium speed until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve as spread on a sandwich or as a vegetable dip.

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