Weatherford Living

‘Trial’ recipes that become tried and true ones to keep

The Mikester and I often stop by our favorite bookstore as I'm always looking for cookbooks that reward me with new or different recipes to try. Last week, while staying with our son and his family, I tried out a new recipe to see if I liked it. Sometimes these "trials" work well; some we won't mention! I'm dedicated to publishing "keepers." Please remember, if you see a recipe you want in my column, please clip and save it in a place where you can find it. I simply cannot resurrect a recipe from the past because I don't have the computer storage space.

Everyone is talking about spring already and also the need for rain on our gardens. I'm trying to be positive but we still have many more cold days left before much garden sprouts will appear. With the colder weather, I have seen some of my daylilies appear dead, but I know some are not evergreen. However, there are several that look really good in spite of the ice that covered them for so long. We're looking forward to our upcoming tulips to pop up. The pansies are slowly picking back up but another ice storm will do more harm. I fertilized them last week and watered them today-here's hoping!

What grandma didn't teach me:

Liquid Measures:

1 Tablespoons=1/2 fluid ounces

1 cup=1/2 pint or 8 fluid ounces

2 cups=1 pint, or 16 ounces

2 pints (4 cups)=1 quart or 32 fluid ounces

4 quarts (16 cups)=1 gallon or 128 fluid ounces

Southwest Green Chili Quiche

Pastry for 9-inch pie

4 large eggs, beaten

1 Tablespoon butter

1/2 white onion, chopped

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Prick bottom and sides of pastry shell and bake (empty) for 14 minutes.

3. Brush crust with egg and bake 2 minutes longer. Remove from oven.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

5. Melt butter in small frying pan and stir in onions and chilies and sauté until soft.

6. Layer onion mixture and cheese in the pie shell.

7. Beat remaining eggs with sour cream, milk, salt and pepper.

8. Pour into shell and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

This serves 4-6, and is so good when served with a salad and maybe a piece of Garlic bread.

Dee Dee's Blue Cheese Dressing

I love this one, and it's so fast to make!

4 ounces blue cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise (We like Duke's OR Hellman's.)

1/2 cup sour cream

3 Tablespoons whole milk

*2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients and put on tossed salad.

Thompson's Homemade French Dressing

I keep experimenting with this one. Taste as you go, as you may want to add or delete some of the flavors.

1 cup salad oil (I like Grape seed.)

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons vinegar

2 teaspoons catsup

2 teaspoons chili sauce

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 small onion-grated

Mix all ingredients well and shake before pouring over the salad.

I have experimented using white vinegar and Dijon mustard and it's still very tasty.

Dee Dee's Lemon Chicken

Here is another recipe I have been using and changing up from time to time. We prefer to buy organic chicken, free of hormones and chemicals. I buy a chicken weighing about 3 pounds.

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil

*1/2 cup FRESH lemon juice

3 Tablespoons grated lemon peel

2 cloves garlic-minced or crushed

Combine soy sauce, salt, pepper, oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, and garlic. Mix well. I refrigerate this mixture for about an hour before using.

I prefer a 3 pound chicken (whole), but you can make this with cut up pieces or 8 chicken breasts.

1/2 cup flour (no sifting needed)

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine flour, salt, pepper and paprika.

3. Coat chicken with flour mixture.

4. Arrange chicken, skin side down (if using pieces), in a single layer in a shallow pan.

5. Brush chicken with butter.

6. Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Turn chicken.

7. Pour sauce over and bake 30 minutes longer OR until golden brown.

8. Adjust length of cooking time if using a whole chicken. I always use a meat thermometer.

*Tip of the week:

A warm lemon will always render more juice than a cold one. I prick the lemon with a sharp knife a couple times, place on a paper plate and microwave about 8-9 seconds. When you cut into it, it will be very juicy.

No desserts featured in this column today, as we are eating fresh fruit instead, the entire month of January. YES, the holidays packed on a couple of extra pounds we want to "leave."

What a wonderful time to order and study those seed catalogues, and even visit your local plant nurseries. There's still some real good buys on pottery and other items. Seeing the tropical plants for sale always remind me there is SPRING coming up before we know it!