Thursday, January 11, 2007


Aisian Garden Salad

In this case, the dressing of the salad MAKES the salad.

Salad Greens
1 can of mandarin oranges
1/4 C chopped pecan

3 T orange juice
2 t balsamic vinegar
1 t olive oil
1 t honey
1 t Dijon mustard
1 t soy sauce or worshestershire sauce
1/2 t fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, minced

Pour the dressing over the salad, toss and enjoy!

Sunday, April 30, 2006


Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns

For at least six years we have been searching for the perfect Hot Cross Buns recipe...and this year we have found it. We have been making Hot Cross Buns for years, and in the more recent years I have taken over most of the project. We have tested many recipes, but most frequently used a Betty Crocker recipe that was good...but not our favorite. Now our search is ended, thanks to our dear friend, Mrs. R. The buns are absolutely delicious, much worth any trouble, beautiful to look at and they are gobbled up despite still being, well, hot! The only reason my brothers decided not to eat the buns right out of the oven is because they had to be left to cool before I put the white icing on.

...BTW, I do know that this recipe is late, but I really don't want to wait 'till next year to write it in.

Hot Cross Buns

2 C raisins
1 C dried apricots
1 C walnuts (I used pecans, but Mrs. R. says she never uses nuts)
2 t active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water
6 C finely ground whole wheat bread flour
2 t salt
2 large eggs
3 T honey
1 C water, very hot
1 C cold buttermilk
1/4 C butter, room temp.
more water as needed
1 egg for egg wash

Prepare the fruit: steam the raisins and the apricots. Drain. Then cop the apricots into raisin sized pieces. Toast the nuts and chop into small pieces.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside. Mix the flour and the salt in a large bowl, making a well in the center.

Beat the two eggs in small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the honey and the hot water, add the buttermilk, then ass in the beaten eggs.

Pour both of the liquids into the well in the flour. Mix, then knead. Keep your hands wet as you work the stiff dough, letting it take up as much water as it requires to become soft and supple. Add the butter by smearing it on your work surface and then kneading it into the dough. Gently knead in the fruits and nuts.

Form the dough into a ball and place it smooth side up in the bowl. Cover and keep in a warm place. Let rise for about 1 and 1/2 hours until well risen. Press it down and let it rise again for about 45 minutes.

While the dough is rising, prepare the pans. This recipe will make 30 large buns, and will fill two 12x18 inch cookie sheets, three across, five down.

Shape the dough into smooth balls, about a little larger than a golf ball. When formed. Put the buns in straight rows on the cookie sheets.

Something optional, but good, that I usually do is to sprinkle a spice mix (1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, plus some cardamon and ginger) on the greased baking pans.

Shape the dough into balls and arrange them into rows on the pans. They should be about an inch apart. Let the buns sit for about 10 minutes, then flatten them slightly with the bottom of a quart jar or your palm.

Let them rise in a warm place for 1/2 hour. Preheat the oven to 375. Make an egg wash using 1 egg beaten with about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of water. Just before going into the oven, take a spatula or dough cutter and mark each bun with an indented cross, pressing down about halfway. Brush with the egg wash, then bake. (oddly enough, this recipe never had a baking time listed, so I start checking them after about 15 minutes.) Make sure that they are not burning on the bottom.

Immediately after taking them out of the oven, brush them with the cinnamon-honey glaze (see below). After they are cool, mark them with white crosses with any type of simple powdered sugar frosting.

3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Microwave all ingredients just until the butter melts

This sounds complicated and it is a bit of work the first time you make them, but they are very good and it actually goes pretty fast for me now. -Mrs. R.

This recipe is very rewarding!

Monday, April 24, 2006


Roasted Potatoes

This is my absolute favorite potato recipe...and I love potatoes. It's probably from my Irish roots. Anyway, this recipe has been around our house for over five years. We have brought it to potlucks countless times and just today, we brought it as part of a meal for our friends who just had a baby.

Roasted Potatoes

5 lbs. red potatoes, washed and cubed
Mayonnaise to coat

Preheat oven to 425

Place the potatoes in a nonstick roasting pan. Mix as much mayo into the potatoes as needed to coat. Sprinkle enough spike on top and mix to thoroughly distribute. Bake for around 40 minutes, stirring at least once during baking. Serve immediately or keep in a warm oven.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


No Heat Salsa

Growing up in the Pennsylvania, we didn't eat Mexican food. What a loss! I found Mexican food for the first time when we visited relatives in Kansas when I was twenty. My cousin made us authentic tostadas and I was an immediate Mexican food fan. A few years later I moved to California with my husband and, well, let the Mexican fiesta begin!

Back then, jarred salsa was cheap spaghetti sauce with some jalepeno. Yuck. I started a quest to re-create a salsa that we found at a local mom and pop restaurant. To this day, I rely on this easy salsa that is so mild, young children lap it up.

No Heat Salsa

1-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 handful of cilantro
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 squirt of lime juice (optional)

Place garlic into blender and whir until contents is stuck to the side of the container. Stick a handful of cilantro into blender. Add tomatoes (and lime juice) to blender and blend until smooth. Serve at room temperature or cool in refrigerator. Will store in refrigerator for a few days if uneaten... a rare occurrence here.

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