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May 19, 2013
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Handcrafted Wood Carvings, Clocks and Cribbage Boards

I just finished making a batch of these. The dough is sticky, so I like to refrigerate it for several hours or overnight to make it easier with which to work. I often skip sifting ingredients in recipes, but I prefer to sift my cocoa with the other dry ingredients. The cookies are always eaten quickly.
Robbie IN

Sour Cream Cocoa Cookies

1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. nuts- optional

Cream shortening, stir in sugar and beat until light. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Sift flour, cocoa, salt and soda together; add sour cream and mix well. Stir in nuts. Drop by spoon 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Robbie IN
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Re: Now I have another request. We just bought a smoker. The couple of recipes that came with it make no sense at all. I think something happened in the translation. Does anyone have any recipes?
Thank you, Maggie B in AZ

Maggie, what type of smoker do you have, it makes a difference on how they are used. Gas, Electric, Charcoal, Pellets, Wood fired?

I would suggest you go to the following two sites:

Smoked Food Recipes - Allrecipes.com Easy every day Smoking recipes.

But for First class award winning BBQ, and Smoke cooking information and recipes, I would check out: Recipes - Patio Daddio BBQ

There is so much information here on both BBQ, and smoking that it takes a while to find and digest it all (pun intended)
bill, Alb.

For Irene in FL
Does anyone have a suggestion as to how to get the moisture out of spices? I have several containers that are full but the spice won't shake out anymore due to so much dampness in them; the spices are still good; I assume! One of the many joys of living in FL.

Put rice or popcorn in the containers to absorb the moisture. If your containers are too full, you will need to divide them up to make room Replace every few days until you are happy, this usage does not effect the future usability of either the rice, or corn.
bill, Alb.


For Judy in Montana; this is my version of green bean and potato soup. Very delicious.

Sour Bean Potato Soup

I used chicken stock in place of water, added parsley and/or cilantro, and 3 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced. I use evaporated milk in the milk / thickening mixture.

4 - 6 Medium potatoes, diced
1 Medium onion, diced
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 carton 32 oz. box of chicken stock
2 Cans Green string beans - cut, 15 oz. (or 2 cups Fresh)
1 tbsp Parsley, chopped fine (approximately 1 tablespoon) optional
Salt and black pepper
Greek seasoning (optional)

Milk mixture:
2 cups Evaporated Milk (1 can)
1 cup water
4 TBSP Flour
1 Egg
3 - 4 TBSP Vinegar – more or less to taste
1 Stick Butter ( I use real butter for the taste)

Cut potatoes in cubes and place in pot (add fresh beans also if using). Cover with 32 oz. chicken stock). Add onions and minced garlic. Add chopped parsley (Optional).

Add Greek seasoning, salt and pepper. Boil until all are tender. Do not drain.

Add 2 cans of canned cut string beans.
Bring back to a boil.

Make milk mixture:
Blend the ingredients in blender. (Milk, water, Egg and Flour)

Slowly add the milk mixture to potatoes and beans, stirring continually and bring to a boil slowly at medium high heat.

Make sure the milk mixture that is added boils for at least one minute. Take off heat.

Add vinegar to taste (3-4 TBSP or more to taste), and add salt and pepper to taste.

Brown one stick of butter, and add to the soup. Stir into soup. Serve hot.
Servings: 10
George Bradenton FL
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Shrimp Jambalaya

1 large onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 green pepper chopped
1 large celery rib, diced with tops
¼ cup bacon drippings
2 tb minced parsley
½ lb ham cut into ¼ inch cubes
½ tsp dried leaf thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Tabasco
1 can tomatoes
½ cup tomato sauce
2 cups rice
2 lbs shrimps, shelled and deveined
(you can substitute chicken and sliced Polish sausage for the ham and shrimps and then you have a Chicken Jambalaya)

Sauté onion, garlic, green pepper and celery in the bacon drippings at moderate heat, till onion is golden. Add parsley, ham thyme and bay leaves; cook 5 minutes stirring often. Add Tabasco, tomatoes and juice, tomato sauce, 2 cups water and 2 tsp salt. Simmer 5 minutes. Add rice, reduce heat to very low and cook, covered, 30 minutes. Add shrimps and simmer, covered 10 to 15 minutes longer, till rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed. Check seasoning and add more salt and Tabasco, if preferred. The secret for a Paella like Jambalaya is to be very careful with amount of liquid used, not more than 2-1/2 cups liquid and to move the rice only once, when you add the shrimps, from the bottom up.
Bren in North Louisiana
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Hardee's  Walmart 

Chinese Style Baby Back Ribs

1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sweet sherry
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Chinese brown bean paste (or Chinese chile paste with garlic)
2 teaspoons Asian peanut oil
4 racks baby back ribs

Combine oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, soy sauce, ginger, sherry, garlic, bean paste or chile paste and peanut oil in bowl and blend well. Place ribs in zipper-lock bag or shallow bowl and pour marinade over them. Cover if necessary and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days, turning the meat occasionally to coat well.

About 30 to 60 minutes before cooking:
Remove ribs from refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place a baking pan of water on a rack in the lower third of the oven to increase humidity.

Remove ribs from marinade; reserve marinade. Lay ribs, meat side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan.

Put them in top third of oven and roast 1 1/2 hours, basting ribs from time to time with reserved marinade. Stop basting ribs the last 20 minutes of roasting. The ribs are done when meat nearest the end begins to shrink away from the bone. The internal temperature should read 165 to 175 degrees F.

Slice slabs into individual ribs and serve.
Makes 8 servings
Bren in North Louisiana
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Baked Eggplant Sandwiches

1 medium eggplant (1 lb.)
5-6 oz provolone cheese, sliced thin
1 small jar (8 oz) sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
1/2 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley, divided
3/4 cup breadcrumbs or 1 ½ cups almond meal (if nut free, do not use almond meal)(For gluten free or low carb, sub almond meal)
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (if using almond meal, 1 1/2 cups)
2-3 eggs
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 cup marinara or arrabiata sauce (optional)
Nonstick cooking oil spray or more olive oil for greasing the baking sheet

Slice the eggplant into rounds slightly thinner than 1/4 inch.

Place the rounds into a colander and sprinkle them with salt. Let the eggplant sit for about 30 minutes to draw out moisture and bitterness. Rinse the rounds and pat them dry with paper towels.

Place rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Place the eggplant rounds on a flat surface, lining them up in rows with like-sized slices paired together. Tear the provolone into small pieces. Cover half of the eggplant slices with a layer of the torn provolone.
Drain the sun dried tomatoes of their excess oil. Place a sun dried tomato on top of each of the provolone-covered eggplant slices. Divide half of the fresh chopped parsley between the eggplant slices, sprinkling a little parsley onto the top of each sun dried tomato. Season the piled slices with salt and pepper.

Use the rest of the empty eggplant slices to cover the piled slices, making small eggplant sandwiches.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs or almond meal and grated parmesan. If using almond meal, you will need twice as much of the breading mixture (twice the almond meal, twice the parmesan), as the almond meal tends to clump a bit during the breading process. The parmesan should be finely grated to a powdery texture; if your parmesan is shredded, pulse it in a food processor till powdery. In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs (start with 2—you may or may not end up needing one more). Grease a nonstick baking sheet. Gather the eggplant sandwiches, two bowls, and baking sheet together.

Grab one sandwich at a time, grasping firmly in the center to hold it together. Dip the sandwich in the beaten eggs, making sure it is completely covered on all sides with a thin layer of egg. Let any excess egg drip back into the bowl.Immediately coat the sandwich in the breadcrumb or almond meal mixture, making sure to coat the sides and edges evenly.
Place the breaded sandwich on the greased baking sheet. Repeat till all sandwiches have been dipped and breaded.

Drizzle the coated sandwiches lightly with the olive oil, dividing it evenly between the sandwiches.

Bake in preheated oven on the middle rack for 35-40 minutes, flipping once halfway through baking, till the sandwiches are golden brown. Serve them warm sprinkled with the remaining chopped parsley.

Optionally, top each sandwich with 2 tbsp warm marinara or arrabiata sauce, then with parsley.
Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Servings: About 10 eggplant sandwiches
Bill, Alb
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Cheesy Breadsticks

1 (10 ounce) cans prepared pizza crust
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup provolone cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Preheat oven to 425.

Unroll pizza dough onto a greased cookie sheet or Lg. Bar Stone, and brush with butter.
Sprinkle cheeses and spices evenly over the dough.

With a pizza cutter, cut dough lengthwise into 12 long strips. Then cut those in half to make 24 strips.

Do not separate strips. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Recut along each strip and remove from cooking sheet. Serve sticks warm with marinara sauce.
Bren in North Louisiana
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Lubbock, Texas 79499

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