Chicken Lo Mein

by Renae

  • 12 oz. angel hair pasta
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 5 T chicken broth
  • 5 T soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 6 chicken breasts halves, boneless, and cut into thin strips
  • 3 C cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 C mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 C onions, chopped
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Transfer pasta to a large bowl; add sesame oil and toss until coated. In a small bowl, stir together the broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and pepper, set aside.
2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
3. Add chicken strips and stir-fry about 3 minutes or until no longer pink; remove from skillet and cover to keep warm.
4. Add cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and onions to the skillet and continue to stir-fry another 3 minutes. Add broth mixture to the skillet. Stir-fry, mixing well, for 2 minutes more. Return chicken and garlic to the skillet and heat through. Serve.


by Renae

  • 2 14.5 oz. cans chunky pasta-style tomatoes
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
  • 1/4 C thinly sliced green onions (2)
  • 1/4 C snipped cilantro or parsley
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1/5 tsp pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

1. Drain tomatoes, reserving 1/3 C juice; discard remaining juice. Combine tomatoes and reserved juice, chili peppers, green onions, cilantro or parsley, lemon juice, pepper, garlic, and 1/4 tsp salt.
2. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving. Makes about 2 3/4 C salsa.

Chicken Fajitas

by Renae

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut in strips
  • 4 slices sliced red onion
  • 2 T each olive oil and lime or lemon juice
  • 2 bell peppers, cut in strips
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 C salsa (optional: homemade recipe here)
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 C shredded cheddar cheese

1. Combine chicken, onion, oil, lime juice, peppers, garlic, and salsa in a sealed plastic bag. Marinate in refrigerator 2-24 hours.
2. Place chicken and vegetables in a large baking dish. Broil 4-5 min. from heat 5-8 minutes per side.
3. Put chicken and vegetables on tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll up and enjoy!

Serve with guacamole and any leftover salsa.

Favorite Cookbooks

by Renae

I've gone through every cupboard and closet pulling out as much stuff as I can. Prying things out of my fingers and my mind. Letting things go so there is less to pack. Today I stalled at the kitchen cupboard. My cookbooks take up half a shelf. Many of them are old friends.

They've taught me how to cook. They've introduced me to spices and healthy, homemade food. The following are a few of the well-worn, food splattered cookbooks being carted to Idaho:

Kitchen Wisdom by Pamela Cross- One of my first cookbooks. It is now out of print, but perhaps you can find it in a used bookstore. The recipes are delicious although few. They are scattered amongst helpful information like how to set up a pantry, essential kitchen tools, and introductions to various spices. An inspiring introduction to cooking.

More-with-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre- A Mennonite cookbook focusing on healthy meals with low cost, low fat, and low sugar. Real food. My first introduction to recipes based on something besides meat.

A Taste of Country- A wedding gift I still use. Contains a variety of recipes, and my family likes every dish I've cooked.

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book- Inherited from my grandmother last year. A wonderful resource with delicious recipes for everything. Lots of basics and picture tutorials.

What are your favorite cookbooks? Please leave a comment to let me know!

Four Layer Cincinnati Chili

from Renae

I just got an email requesting this recipe from my husband. He's staying with Julie, Jodi, and Jessica's mom while I paint and pack. (Yes, we are moving back to Idaho, in case you haven't heard.) It must be his turn to cook.

This meal is one of our family favorites. Combining beans and pasta may seem strange, but it's tasty and inexpensive. A great way to feed a family or a homesick husband.

  • 1 lb ground beef (optional)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can (28 oz) stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 C water
  • 2 Tbls chili powder
  • 1 tsp each: salt, cumin, and paprika
  • 8 oz think spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans (or equivalent cooked dried beans)
  • 1 C finely shredded cheddar cheese

1. Brown ground beef (if using), 1 chopped onion garlic in a Dutch oven. Drain fat (if using beef). 2. Stir in tomatoes with juice, water, spices, and beans. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 45 min.
3. To serve, layer spaghetti, chili, chopped onion, and cheese on individual plates. Serves 6.

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

from Renae

My sister sent these cookies. They are delicious! I'm so glad she included the recipe.

  • 2/3 C butter, softened
  • 2/3 C brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 C old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 (6 0z.) package sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2/3 C white chocolate chips

1. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix well.
2. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition.
3. Stir in cranberries and chocolate chips.
4. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 min. or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes 2 1/2 dz.

Birthday Cake

from Renae

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 egg whites (I usually add the yolks)
  • 1 1/3 C buttermilk or sour milk (add a 1 Tbls vinegar to the milk)

1. Sift dry ingredients.
2. Beat butter. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat until mixed. Add egg whites and beat one at a time.
3. Add dry mix and milk alternately.
4. Pour in a prepared pan and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Makes 2- 8 1/2 inch cakes.

Tip: I tried many ways to prevent the finished cake from sticking to the pan. Nothing worked well. The butter and flour baked into the cake, and the wax paper pulled the cake apart. It's not ideal because of the ingredients, but baker sprays work the best.

Do you know of another way keep cakes from sticking to the pan?
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