Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


Homemade Churros

IMG_8617Inspired by a photo of my daughter at Disneyland eating a nice big churro, I wanted to make them at home.  It could not be that hard right?

I spent much of this week looking through old cooking magazines that I had in a box, looking for inspiration of new recipes to try, when I came across churros in the Feb/March 2016 edition of Cook’s Country. It did not look difficult to make.  They did not turn out an inch thick though, more like half and inch thick and some of them bubbled and looked like cacti by the time they were finished cooking, but they were delicious.  My hubby, who is not normally a fan of churros, really liked these, so I guess they are a winner.

The first time I made this, I forgot to add the sugar to the water – and as I was filling the piping bag with dough, I realized this… I threw out the dough and started over.  Churros are pretty easy to make. A few tips, don’t overfill the piping bags – I had a hard time piping it with a tip on, so I just removed the tip so they did not have the fancy ridges, but they were still quite delicious – and I would make them again.  The recipe said to refrigerate them before cooking, but I found that the ones that had come back to room temperature had fried up puffier and had a better texture, so I would skip that.  Also don’t use a candy thermometer that does not have high temperatures… I overheated the oil and my thermometer broke! So, don’t do that!

So-Cal Churros

adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine (Feb/Mar 2016)

Makes 18 Churros (depending on thickness and length)


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil
  • Coating:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray liberally with a cooking spray.

In a medium pot, over medium-high heat, bring water, butter, salt, butter, and vanilla to a boil.  Turn off the burner and pull the pot off heat.  Add the 2 cups of flour and use a rubber spatula to combine the flour until there are no more white streaks of flour.  Transfer the dough to a stand mixer and beat on low for one to two minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until it is combined before adding the second egg.  Increase speed to medium and beat for one minute.

Fill the piping bag with half of the batter and pipe 6 long logs on the  parchment lined pan, cutting the ends with kitchen scissors. Cook’s Country magazine had a step to refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes to an hour, but I think they fry up better when the dough is at room temperature.

Preheat 2 inches of oil in a heavy skillet to 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fry 3 to 6 at a time in the oil. You may need to use tongs to separate them as they fry so they don’t get stuck together.  Fry them about two to three minutes on each side before removing them to a paper towel lined plate to drain some of the fat off. Repeat with remaining churros.

In a glass pie dish or large shallow bowl, combine the half cup of sugar and 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Once the fried churros are cool enough to handle toss them in the cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

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Mohnflesserl – Austrian Poppy Twist



Growing up in Austria, I loved the fresh baked breads.  My absolute favorite was Mohnflesserl – a savory roll that had been braided and was topped with poppy seeds.  Recently I wanted to make my own at home.  I found a recipe in German and translated it into English.  Before I post the recipe, I have to share a funny story.  My mother would pronounce it Mohnfresserl – and growing up that is what I called it.  Upon my return to Austria in 2011, I landed at the airport in Linz, Austria and promptly ordered myself one, since my ride had not arrived yet.  I did not understand why the lady behind the counter was smirking.  Later I learned, I had been saying it wrong all my life – fressen means to eat like an animal would, flesserl is a braid; I laughed at myself (and my mother).  No wonder my web searches to find a recipe for Mohnfresserl gave me no results…

I realize my last blog post was in October of 2017 – life has been keeping me busy with homeschooling and a new passion for quilting. I still love to cook, so this year I hope to post a few more recipes than I did last year.

Mohnflesserl – Austrian Poppy Twist

Serves 8

translated from German by Becky Pallmann


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon malted barley flour
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • additional:
  • egg white
  • poppy seeds, salt, other bread topping


Place warm water, yeast and malted barley flour (available at Amazon – get diastic type- it adds sweetness and flavor to your bread- if you cannot find it, use sugar in its place).  Add flour, and salt to the yeast and knead until it becomes one ball of dough and pieces have pulled off the sides of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Divide into 8 sections and roll each piece out into a snake. Form into a braided twist ( has a great series of pictures that illustrate how to do this.)

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Add a little water to the remaining egg white and beat. Brush your twists with egg wash and sprinkle them with poppy seed, kosher salt or other bread topping seeds you may have on hand.

Place a pan of hot water in the bottom of your oven for steam or spray the twists with a mist of water during the baking process.

Bake at 425°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

I love these with a nice slab of butter while they are still warm.

translated from:

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Roasted Corn and Poblano Chowder

Well, my blog has been seriously neglected lately.  I have quite a few recipes that I wanted to blog, but homeschooling has kept me quite busy.  Here is a recent recipe though, that I really wanted to get on my page.  As we move from Summer to Fall, I always enjoy getting soups into my menu planning more frequently.


Roasted Corn and Poblano Chowder

adapted from Cook’s Country (June/July 2016 issue)  | Serves 6-8


  • 3 poblano peppers, stemmed, halved from stem to tip, seeds removed
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from cobs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped fine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb Yukon potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp minced cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice


  • lime wedges
  • reserved bacon bits
  • sour cream for serving, optional
  • fried tortilla strips
  • crumbled queso fresco


Adjust the oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler element in your oven.  Line a cookie sheet with foil, rub poblano peppers with oil and place skin side up on your cookie sheet.  Broil for 10 to 15 minutes until the skin of the peppers have blistered and browned, turning with tongs from time to time.  Remove the peppers to a bowl immediately and cover with plastic wrap to steam the skins for easy removal.

Place the corn kernels on the same pan you used for the peppers and season with a teaspoon of salt and add 1 teaspoon of oil, stirring the corn. Broil them for 10-15 minutes, stirring from time to time and until the corn is browned and tender.

Remove the skins from the poblano peppers and chop the peppers.

In a large stock pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve for serving.  Add onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt to the bacon drippings.  Cook the onion, stirring frequently until the onion is tender and browned.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Drain any excess bacon drippings.

Add chicken broth, potatoes, corn kernels, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Stir the soup, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer just under a boil for 20 minutes.  Test the potatoes to see if they are done – cook longer if necessary.  Off heat, add half and half.  Scoop out about 2 cups of soup to a large measuring cup along with the 2 corn tortillas that you have cut up;  use your immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth.  (Use a blender if you do not have an immersion blender)  Return the puree to the soup and add the chopped poblano peppers to the chowder.  Bring to a slight boil.  Add minced cilantro, lime juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt if necessary.

Serve with crisp bacon bits, additional cilantro, lemon wedges, sour cream and grated queso fresco if desired.

To make tortilla strips, cut some remaining corn tortillas into strips and cook them in a small frying pan in small batches and in hot oil, until the tortillas are golden brown and crispy.  Remove with a slotted spoon and season with salt immediately, draining on paper towels.  Serve them with the chowder.



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Sesame Chicken Egg Rolls with Hoisin Sweet and Sour Sauce

I found this lovely recipe for Sesame Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce on the food blogger Carlsbad Cravings site.  She has some delicious looking recipes.  We especially liked the Hoisin Sweet and Sour Sauce that went with this.  It is easy to make and tasty.  The tricky part is wrapping them in the egg roll wrappers, and remember not to stack them, or they will stick together. Let’s not ask why I know this! hehe  I think next time I will add garlic to the chicken mixture.


Here is the recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings.

Sesame Chicken Egg Rolls with Hoisin Sweet and Sour Sauce

Serves 8-12 egg rolls | adapted from Carlsbad Cravings


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 bag stir fry vegetables (broccoli, carrots, snap peas, sprouts)
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts (my stir fry did not include them)
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 package McCormick brand  Sesame Chicken Stir Fry Skillet Sauce (available at Target)
  • 2 tsp Sriracha or Sambal Oelek (ground chili paste)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste


  • egg roll wrappers
  • vegetable or canola oil for frying


  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce (Lee Kum brand)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar


Make the sauce: Dissolve the cornstarch in the white vinegar and add the Hoisin sauce and sugar to the ingredients.  Stir until well combined.  Refrigerate until serving.

Trim the chicken of any fat, slice into thin strips and lightly season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a  non stick skillet over medium high heat and cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, for 3 or 4 minutes.  Add stir fry mix vegetables, bean sprouts, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring for an additional 2 or 3 minutes.

Add McCormick’s Sesame Chicken Stir Fry Skillet Sauce, Sriracha (or Sambal Oelek) and cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the chicken filling to a food processor. (You do not want the filling to be overly wet).  Pulse the food processor about 10 times to chop the filling, scraping down the sides about half way through.

Fill each egg roll with about 1/4 cup of the chicken filling and fold the top corner over the egg roll over the filling rolling down about 1/4 turn.  Wet the remaining three corners with a little water to help the egg roll seal.  Fold the two side corners over the filling.  Continue rolling the egg roll and seal to close the final corner.  Do not stack the egg rolls as you make them as the warm filling will cause the egg rolls to stick to one another.

Heat about 1/2 of an inch of canola oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat (about 350 F). Fry 4 egg rolls at a time (or as many as you can comfortably fit into the skillet) turning them over with tongs until all sides are golden brown.  Place the cooked egg rolls on a wire rack to drain any excess oil and keep warm in an oven until all the remaining egg rolls are cooked.

Serve with the Hoisin Sweet and Sour Sauce and enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Bowls

img_4384You know when you take that first bite and there is an instant party in your mouth that has you in love instantly?  Well, this recipe falls into that category. What is not to love? A kick of spice with warm flavor of cumin over seasoned rice with black beans and minced jalapeno and cheese with a lovely green chili sauce and a squeeze of lime! Hey, I left out the fact there is chicken in that — fall apart chicken because you make it in the crock pot!  Yes, it is love all around!

I found this gem of a recipe at budget bytes it is friendly on the budget and yummy to the taste buds!  Here is my slight adaptation. Originally called Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Verde Bowls… to me the salsa belonged with the verde… but either way it is a keeper!  I used slightly more chicken and upped the spices as a result.

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Bowls

adapted from | Serves 6-8 | Prep time 15 minutes.  Cook time 4-8 hours (depending if on high or low)


  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 3 lbs total)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 (17 oz) jar Goya Brand Salsa Verde


Slice the onion into rings and place in the bottom of the crock-pot (I like to use a liner in mine, because it makes clean up much easier, and the food does not stick to the sides)

Add chopped bell peppers and place the large chicken breast on top of the veggies.  Season with cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Pour the Goya Salsa Verde over the chicken.  Cover the crock-pot with the lid and turn to high for 4 hours (8 on low).

My chicken was actually cooked through at 3 hours and I removed the chicken breasts and cut them into bite sized pieces and put them in a serving dish.  I poured the sauce and peppers and onions over the diced chicken.  Ready to serve!

Additional ingredients:

  • hot cooked rice (I seasoned mine with a tablespoon of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped)
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed, drained and heated
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and mined finely
  • shredded Mexican cheese (like Oaxaca or Queso Fresco)
  • 1 lime, cut in quarters
  • fresh chopped cilantro

Layer your bowl with cooked rice and beans and serve a ladle full of chicken with salsa verde sauce over the top.  Garnish as desired with jalapeno, cheese, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.  Enjoy!

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Chipotle and Lime Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp TacosThis recipe is from Cuisine at Home Magazine (June 2010 issue).  My husband and I have been on a chipotle pepper kick – especially if it also has adobo sauce. I think my husband must have told me these tacos were good about a dozen times tonight.  Since we are trying to limit our calories in an effort to lose weight, this recipe was appealing since 2 tacos has 462 calories and did not feel like we were starving. You most certainly can cook the shrimp by grilling them on skewers – I opted for the cast iron skillet. Photo credit: Hubby – thank you!

Shrimp Tacos

adapted from Cuisine at Home Magazine (June 2010 issue) | Serves 4

For the Shrimp Tacos:

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 8 (6 inch) flour tortillas

For the Chipotle Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup crema, sour cream, or mayo (or combination of two)
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste

For the Red Cabbage Slaw:

  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage (about 1/2 a small head)
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar, or white wine vinegar
  • salt to taste


Marinate the shrimp in the refrigerator in a marinade made with lime juice, olive oil, and chili powder. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.  In the meantime, make the chipotle sauce: Combine the mayonnaise (Mexican crema, or sour cream) with the minced chipotle peppers, honey, tsp lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate the sauce until serving.

Combine the ingredients for the slaw in a medium bowl.  Toss to coat the cabbage.  Refrigerate until serving.

Skewer the shrimp on wooden skewers and either cook them on the grill or cook in a cast iron skillet for 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Lightly sprinkle a few paper towels with water and place on a plate.  Top with 8 tortillas and cover with another damp paper towel.  Microwave the tortillas to soften them for 1 minute.

Assemble the tacos: Place a flour tortilla on your plate.  Spoon 2 to 3 spoons of red cabbage slaw in the center of the tortilla.  Top with 4 shrimp on each taco and spoon a few tablespoons of chipotle sauce over the top of the shrimp.  Enjoy.

2 tacos with sauce and slaw 462 calories according to Cuisine at Home Magazine (June 2010 issue p 9)

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Italian Meatballs

img_4050I have recently made a few new recipes.  Two of them by Bobby Flay – and both of them outstanding! This one is for Spaghetti and Sauce.  We LOVED the meatballs!  I will be making them again in the future – maybe even in bulk to freeze them for the future.  I did  not use veal as it is sometimes hard to find.  I doubled the recipe because we had more than 4 people eating dinner… Now I wish I had made even more!

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

adapted from Bobby Flay

Serves 8

Meatballs Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced and sauteed
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil/canola oil

Homemade Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 (28 oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid, pureed in a food processor
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 small bunches fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • basil leaves for topping, optional


For the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, eggs, grated Parmesan, cooked garlic, dry bread crumbs, minced fresh parsley, salt, and pepper.  Use two large serving forks to break up the meat and mix all the ingredients until it is evenly seasoned.  Do not overwork it as it will become tough.  Form 1 to 1 1/2 inch meatballs with your hands.

Heat a non stick skillet with 1 cup of cooking oil over medium high heat.  Cook the meatballs in batches, turning them over with tongs and continue cooking until golden brown. You do not need to cook them through entirely, as you simmer them in the sauce.  Drain the meatballs on a wire rack for a few minutes while you finish cooking the remaining meatballs.

For the sauce:

In a large stock pot, cook the onions in olive oil over medium heat and cook until softened.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add processed tomatoes, bay leaf, parsley, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring the sauce to a boil and add in the browned meatballs.  Reduce the heat to just a simmer and cook the sauce and the meatballs for 45 minutes or longer.

Serve over cooked pasta and top off with basil and additional grated Parmesan cheese.

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