Cake-Topped Blueberry Dessert

3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 T butter

3 T shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp grated orange peel

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup orange juice

In a saucepan, combine the blueberries, brown sugar and butter; cook for 5 minutes or until saucy. Pour into an 8″ square baking dish coated with Pam. In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Beat in egg and orange peel. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with orange juice, beating just until combined.

Drop batter by spoonfuls over blueberry mixture. Bake at 350 for 30-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

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Jello Poke Cake

beautiful image from http://www.psiquilt.com

This is my favorite summer dessert, and you can make it many different ways. Here’s how I prefer it.

Bake a white cake in a 13×9 pan according to box directions. Cool.

Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the top of the cake.

Make a box of strawberry jello (4 servings size), except cut the cold water in 1/2 and don’t bother pouring it into a mold or refrigerating it.

Pour the jello liquid all over the cake. Frost with a tub of whipped topping. Refrigerate overnight.

*I red jello the cake to death. No pretty red marbleization for me. Give me that jello soaked goodness instead.

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Apple Stuffed Chicken Breast

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1/2 cup chopped apple

2 T shredded cheddar

1 T Italian-style dried bread crumbs

1 T butter

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup water

1 T water

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

1 T chopped fresh parsley (or garnish) (but seriously, who adds garnish?)

1. Combine apple, cheese, and bread crumbs.

2. Flatten chicken between wax paper to 1/4″ thickness.  Divide apple mixture between breasts and roll up each breast. Secure with toothpicks.

3. Melt butter in a 7″ skillet over med-high heat.  Brown stuffed chicken. Add wine and 1/4 cup water. Cover. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until no longer pink.

4. Transfer chicken to platter. Combine 1 T water & cornstarch; stir into juices in pan. Stir and cook until thickened. Pour gravy over chicken. Garnish with parsley (if you’re fancy like that).

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Easy Thai Chicken

image from www.lafujimama.com

Many years ago a customer at work told me this recipe:

Mix red curry paste in a sauce pan with coconut milk. Grill chicken, then cut into pieces. Pour sauce over chicken and rice.

Can’t get much simpler!

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Warm Asian Salad

This would be good cold, I’m sure, but I made up the recipe tonight and didn’t want to sit around waiting for it to get cold!

Vinaigrette:

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp fresh ginger, minced

2 tsp sugar

3 T soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Mix these ingredients in a jar with a tight lid.

Put some spaghetti (we used whole wheat) on to boil.

In a large skillet, saute a package of cole-slaw vegetables (we used the broccoli-slaw variety) and cooked, shredded chicken in olive oil. (We used leftovers from this, which was originally cooked up for pot pie this week.)

When the spaghetti is done and the veggies & chicken are browned to your liking, add the vinaigrette to the skillet over med-low heat. Then stir in the spaghetti. Yum!

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Toasted Walnut Hummus

Mike has been on a real hummus kick lately, making all different kinds. This is a real winner. He prefers it when the walnuts get a tiny bit burned, but I prefer it the way it is written.

1/2 cup California walnuts

3 T walnut oil

1 garlic clove quartered

1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed

1/4 tsp orange zest

1/4 cup orange juice

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1. Toast walnuts in 350 degree oven for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature.

2. Combine toasted walnuts with oil and garlic and puree in food processor until smooth.

3. Add chickpeas, orange zest, orange juice, salt and pepper and continue to blend to an even, smooth consistency. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

4. Wow your hummus-eating friends.

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Hard Boiled Eggs

Image from cottageinthemaking.blogspot.com

I don’t eat eggs.  For that reason I always have to look up how to properly cook eggs for Easter.  Here’s how:

1. Place eggs in a heavy saucepan in a single layer and add enough cold water to cover the eggs by an inch.

2. Bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Lower to just below a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

4. Immediately remove each egg with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl filled with ice water.  (This helps to make sure the yolks won’t get the unattractive green ring.)

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