Thursday, February 28, 2019

My Grandmother's Green Beans

I think every family has favorite recipes which have been passed down generation to generation. One of our family favorites was my grandmother's green beans. She cooked them for years, as did my mother. I've played with the recipe a little over the years, but not too much. It's an oldie but a goody, and there are probably a lot of other grandmothers out there who made this dish as well. Here is my interpretation. Please consider this recipe a guide as I never make it the quite the same way twice. (And I don't think Grandma ever did either.)



   1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
   3 or 4 red potatoes
   3 or 4 slices of bacon
   1/2 cup chicken broth

Wash green beans, snap off ends, snap into bite-sized pieces and drop into a large mixing bowl. Scrub and dice the potatoes and add them to the beans. Cut bacon slices into small pieces and brown in a small stockpot. Once bacon is browned dump in the green beans and potatoes. Add chicken broth, stir, and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and cooked all the way through. Stir occasionally, and, if necessary, add small amounts of water or chicken broth to prevent the beans from scorching. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a side dish with pork roast, pork chops or fried chicken.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Rosie's Recipe -- Beef Chop Suey

The following recipe is based on a Heart Chop Suey recipe included in Rosie's Riveting RecipesHowever, I used regular beef instead of beef heart as many people may find organ meat less than palatable, and because beef heart may be difficult to find. I used stew meat, but I think chuck steak, flank steak or other cheaper cuts of beef would also work nicely. The end result was a tasty, easy-to-prepare meal that was both healthy and delicious; and somehow I think Rosie would approve.


   1 to 1 1/2 pounds stew meat or chuck steak
   3 tablespoons flour
   2 cups coarsely chopped onion
   1 cup chopped carrots
   1/4 cup butter or margarine
   1 cup diced celery
   1/2 coarsely chopped green pepper
   2 bouillon cubes
   2 cups water (or 2 cups of beef broth, omitting bouillon cubes)
   2 teaspoons salt
   1/4 teaspoon pepper
   2 tablespoons soy sauce
   4 cups boiled rice

Cut meat into 1/2-inch cubes and dust with flour. Place meat and onion in heavy frying pan and brown in butter or margarine. Add celery, carrots, green pepper and bouillon cubes and 2 cups water. (Beef or chicken stock can be used in place of water and bouillon cubes.) Cover and simmer until tender, about 1 to 1/2 hours. Add seasonings and sauce. Serve with boiled rice or fried Chinese Noodles. Yields 6-8 servings.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Fresh Fruit Cobbler

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint
The things you will find after your kitchen's been remodeled. This time it was scrap of paper with my mother's fruit cobbler recipe, written in her own handwriting. I'm so happy to have found it as I thought this was one recipe that was gone for good. Her fruit cobblers were amazing, and she often served them with breakfast. They're also super easy to make and fabulous for dessert too. 

Mom usually made hers with peaches, but other fruits, such as blackberries or raspberries, would also work.


4 to 6 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced, OR
3 to 4 packages fresh raspberries, blueberries or blackberries
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
pinch of cinnamon, if desired

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix fresh fruit, sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Add cinnamon, if desired. Pour into an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle on top.


1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg

Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Drop by spoonful over the fruit mixture. Bake for 30 to 25 minutes or until the topping is brown. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Alex's Macaroni and Cheese

© Can Stock Photo / MSPhotographics

When I'm not in the kitchen I write romance novels under the pen name Marina Martindale. So far, each novel has included a scene where my characters enjoy a home cooked meal, and I include the recipe in the back of the book.

In my second novel, The Deception, leading man Alex has just been reunited with Carrie, his long-lost childhood friend. When he comes to her apartment to prepare dinner he makes his mother's macaroni and cheese; their favorite childhood dish.

They say art imitates life, and macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite childhood dishes too. Problem was, I had no family recipe, and, ding, ding, ding, I'd been buying the prepackaged mac and cheese dinners for years. I confess. It was a bad habit I picked up back when I was a starving college student, and it was time to break it. So I compiled different recipes, did test runs and tweaks, and soon came up with a mac and cheese recipe that was absolutely delicious. No wonder Alex and Carrie loved it. You will too.



   2 cups macaroni, cooked and drained
   2 1/2  cups milk
   1 cup sour cream
   2 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend
   (or 2 1/2 cups cheddar)
   1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
   4 tablespoons butter, divided
   1 teaspoon salt
   1 teaspoon dry mustard
   1/4 teaspoon paprika
   1/3 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350F and cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. While pasta is cooking whisk milk and sour cream together in a medium-sized mixing bowl and add seasonings. Set aside. Chop two tablespoons of butter into small pieces. Chill in refrigerator until needed. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs, blend thoroughly and set aside.

Layer half of the cooked and drained macaroni, butter and cheese into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Top with the remaining macaroni, butter and cheese. Pour in the milk mixture and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is crispy and brown.

If desired, ham or sausage may be added. Low-fat milk, sour cream and cheeses may also be used.