Goodcookbecky's Blog

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

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Beef Bourguignon Revisited

Image 2-1-15 at 7.16 PMWhen I first watched the Movie “Julie and Julia”, I knew I had to make Julia Child’s recipe for Beef Bourguignon.  I did make it and several times since (and blogged it in 2010), but I wanted to update the recipe and streamline the steps to make it even easier for myself (and others) to follow.  Today, I made this recipe for my husband’s birthday.  His birthday is not until Tuesday, however this recipe is not one to put together on a busy day – it demands 2 1/2 to 3 hours of cooking and about an hour in prep time.  There are a lot of steps to this dish, but it is well worth the effort.

Notes:  There are two sub recipes that go into this recipe that can be made ahead.  They are listed first. Baby onions are NOT the pearl onions (the size of marbles), I made this mistake they are about 1 inch in diameter.  I peeled double the amount and they are quite tedious when you use the pearl onions – save yourself!  If you have a large enameled cast iron pot (6 1/2 quart Le Creuset works great for me) it would be ideal, but you can use a heavy bottomed oven safe pot with a tight fitting lid instead.  It is important to dry the meat before you sear it, and important to not over-crowd the pot while browning the meat (and mushrooms).  I usually cook about 7 to 10 pieces at a time.

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

Serves 6 adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking p 315

Sub-recipe: Braised Baby Onions

  • (18-24) 1 inch white onions, peeled
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • sprigs of fresh parsley
  • sprigs of fresh thyme

Instructions for Braised Baby Onions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Heat butter and canola oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat until the butter is melted and bubbles a bit.  Add the peeled onions and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring them gently, so as not to break up the onion skin, until they are lightly browned.  Transfer the onions to a small baking dish and add the beef broth and sprigs of parsley and thyme.  Roast the onions in the oven for 40-50 minutes, turning them once.  Remove herbs.  Set aside until needed (after cooking the Beef Bourguignon)

Sub-recipe: Sauteed Mushrooms

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs mushrooms, clean and dry, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp oil

Instructions for Sauteed Mushrooms

Place skillet (same one you used for onions) over high heat and heat butter and oil.  Once the foam from the butter subsides, saute the mushrooms in small batches about 4 to 5 minutes per batch.  Remove the cooked mushrooms to a bowl and set aside until needed.  Repeat with mushrooms until all are browned.

Beef Bourguignon

  • 8 oz thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 3 to 4 lbs chuck roast, trimmed of large pieces of fat and cut into 2 inch pieces, blotted dry with paper towels
  • 6 large carrots, peeled, and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 3 cups red wine (Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Chianti work nicely)
  • 4 cups beef broth (or more if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • and sub-recipes for onions and mushrooms (as prepared above)

Instructions for Beef Bourguignon:

In a large heavy bottomed pot, over medium-high heat, saute the bacon in 1 tablespoon of canola oil, until it is browned and crispy.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon.

Turn the heat up to high and brown your pieces of meat, in batches, in the rendered bacon fat, turning them over to brown other sides until you have a nice crust.  Remember not to crowd the meat, or it will not brown properly. Repeat until all your meat is nicely browned.  Remove the meat to a medium bowl.

Brown the onion slices and chunks of carrot in the same bacon drippings.  Pour off any excess bacon fat (though I rarely have any).

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Add the bacon and beef to the carrots and sliced onions you just browned.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper and combine.  Sprinkle the flour mixture over the beef and toss to coat the mixture.  Place the pot (uncovered) in the preheated oven and cook for 4 minutes.  Remove from oven, toss again and return to oven for an additional 4 minutes.  Remove the pot from the oven and place back on the burner, over medium heat.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.

Add the red wine into your beef and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits.  Add 4 cups of beef broth (or as much as you need to cover the beef completely). Add tomato paste, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and stir to combine.  Bring the stew to a near boil.  Turn off your burner.  Place a lid on your pot and transfer to the oven.  Allow to braise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring once half way through.

Remove the beef and carrots to a large bowl.  Pour your broth through a colander into a 4 cup capacity gravy separator.  Allow the gravy to separate and skim off the excess fat. Adjust the seasoning of the broth (add salt if necessary) – I rarely need to do so.

Clean your pot and return the beef and carrots back to the pot.  Add your baby onions and mushrooms and stir to combine (if you made them ahead and refrigerated them, reheat them in the microwave before adding).

Serve with cooked baby potatoes,  egg noodle pasta, or steamed rice and green veggies.  Pour the gravy over the Beef Bourguignon and enjoy!

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Chinese Beef Broccoli

Chinese Beef Broccoli

Chinese Beef Broccoli

I have blogged for several years now and often get inspiration from other food bloggers.  One blog that I am particularly fond of is that of Jaden Hair – Steamy Kitchen.  Her posts are interesting and pictures are stunning.  She has published two cookbooks now, and I emailed her once regarding some questions I had about publishing a cookbook and she was friendly and helpful.  As for my cookbook aspirations, I have made cookbooks for friends, but none of them with elaborate pictures and often with errors in the recipes (oops!). Anyway, my dream of publishing a cookbook is on hold for now. I digress. Jaden’s first cookbook is beautiful and informative.   One recipe that I had been wanting to make for some time was her Chinese Beef Broccoli.  I doubled the recipe because I wanted leftovers, and it is a good thing I did, because there was one serving left.  My children, who occasionally like to be picky, gave this dish a thumbs up.  I used flat iron steak for the meat and it was an excellent choice – the meat was tender and delicious.  Here is my (doubled in volume) adaptation of Jaden’s Beef Broccoli.  It rivals that of PF Chang’s Beef and Broccoli dish in flavor.  I look forward to adding this to my regular rotation.  You do not have to use a wok for this wonderful dish, I used my large cast iron skillet and it came out beautifully!

Chinese Beef and Broccoli

adapted from Jaden Hair of

Serves 8


  • 2 lbs flat iron steak, thinly sliced into 1/8″ thick strips (or use top sirloin, flank steak)
  • 3 lbs broccoli, cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 Tbsp canola or peanut oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic, or increase if you like lots of garlic

Beef Marinade:

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • freshly ground black pepper to season the beef

Stir Fry Sauce:

  • 6 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 4 tsp dry cooking sherry
  • 4 tsp balsamic vinegar


In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the beef marinade and add the sliced steak to the bowl.  Toss to coat.  Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes.  I actually packaged mine in a zip-lock bag and threw it in the fridge because I realized I didn’t have the oyster sauce for the stir fry sauce, and because I had JUST gotten home from the store, did not want to go back so we had stir fry the next day and it turned out great anyway!

Bring about one inch of water to a boil in your cast iron skillet (or wok) and cook the broccoli florets, covered with a lid to trap steam, for 3-5 minutes over high heat. I like mine a little more cooked, so went with 5 minutes.  Drain immediately and reserve the broccoli in a separate bowl.  While the broccoli cooks, prepare the stir fry sauce.

Dry the skillet with a paper towel and heat over high heat until very hot.  Add the oil and make sure it coats the bottom of the skillet evenly. Add the garlic and cook it for 30 seconds.  Add the strips of meat and cook for about 30 seconds on each side.  Remove to a platter as you finish the batches.

Add the broccoli and beef back to the skillet and add the stir fry sauce.  Toss the broccoli and meat to coat with the sauce and serve with steamed rice (Jasmine is my favorite).

I highly recommend Jaden’s book, but her blog is also wonderful. So zip over to I know you won’t regret it!

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It is my blogging Anniversary!

Becky at Peohe’s in San Diego, which inspired the Avocado-Mango Salsa Stack

In October 2008 I posted my very first blog entry on – which means that this is my 4 year Anniversary blogging — and my 200th post since moving my blog to wordpress in February of 2010!  Wow, time sure does fly.  I asked some of my friends what they wanted to see in my anniversary post and they made some suggestions.  Where was I when I started blogging?  Where to I intend to go from here on out? What are some of my favorite recipes?

What first led you to blogging?

I first created my blog to share my favorite recipes with friends.  I never really desired to be the top food blog, or to have it act as a source of income.  I wanted to keep my blog clean from ads, so I never added any advertisers.  I do however refer others to blogs that I also enjoy.  I used twitter briefly to try to attract more foot traffic, but in the end it did not matter to me how many people came to my page.  I have seen my readership grow though, and it has been interesting to me what subjects or searches draw people to my blog.  Mostly though, I was just wanting to share my cooking with friends. It has been fun to see the amount of visitors grow from a few hundred hits in the first year to now having had 28,000+ hits! 🙂

The movie, Julie and Julia inspired me to be more consistent in blogging.  I had already blogged some by the time the movie came out, but it inspired me to do more of it. And it inspired me to tackle a recipe that had been on my bucket list of cooking: Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon!  I made it several times since… as a matter of fact, my son who is now 9 years old asked for it for his 6th Birthday!  And he pronounced it like Julia Child would have, which further cracked us up!

Food that I have had at restaurants have made me seek to try various things – for instance the Avocado Mango Salsa Stack was a result of such – it was inspired by a Chart House Restaurant in San Diego, CA.

What are some of your favorite recipes that you have posted?

Well, this is a longer response.


Amuse-Gueule Au Roquefort (Julia Child recipe for a blue cheese ball appetizer- one of the best I have ever had)

Tomato-Parmesan Appetizer

Cheesy Sausage Dip (great with a sliced fresh French Baguette- no picture but a great dip)

Avocado Mango Salsa Stack (served with Tortilla chips)

Southwest Egg Rolls (like those served at popular restaurants- for that super bowl party)

Hot Buttered Pretzels


Turkey Cranberry Wreath

Chicken A La King (or use Turkey)


Whiskey Chicken

Boston Market Meatloaf

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Asian Onion Soup


Paula Deen’s Jacket Potatoes with Bacon and Mushroom Sauce

Ina’s Chicken Piccata

Ina Garten’s Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta

Ina Garten’s Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake

Wolfgang Puck’s Beef Goulash

Martha Stewart’s Macaroni and Cheese

Cat Cora’s Avgolemono Soup


Slow Cooked Swiss Steak

Hawaiian Chicken


Pepperoni Calzones

American Chop Suey

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Baked Ziti


Blueberry Coffee Cake

Apple Muffins

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast (or Strawberry French Toast)

Pumpkin Waffles


Aunt Nancy’s Chicken Bites

Angels on Horseback



Cajun Chicken Club Sandwiches


Italian-Style Pasta Salad

Frieda’s Coleslaw

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato


Basil Cream Chicken

Chicken Piccata


Avgolemono Soup

Asian Onion Soup


Hazelnut Chewies (made with Nutella)

Black Dog Restaurant Ginger Cookies

Hazelnut-Lemon Curd Cookies

Lemon Bars


Hawaiian Chicken

Salmon Cakes

Slow Cooked Baby-back Ribs (in oven)

BEST GERMAN FAVORITES: (see my German Food Tab)





German Beef Rouladen

German Red Cabbage


Buttered Potatoes

Wolfgang’s Beef Goulash and Spaetzle (Wolfgang Puck)

MOST INVOLVED: but it is worth the effort

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

Apple Strudel

Where do you see yourself going in the next 200 posts?

I would like to incorporate more Germanic foods into my blog.  These would be recipes that I have translated into English from various cookbooks that I own.

I hope to lose some weight- it has become a curse to be a good cook.  My husband and I both face some serious health issues that we need to address with more healthy eating.  And eating like the recipes on this blog will not aid in that too much!

My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th Anniversary next March – we will take our family to Maui for a week to celebrate this event.  Later in the summer we will be traveling to NJ to visit my parents, who will celebrate their 50th Year of marriage.  Good stuff!

Thank you readers for reading my blog and cheering me on.  Okay, that is a lot of recipes… what are my absolute top favorites?

Chicken Piccata, Hazelnut Chewies, Basil Cream Chicken, Cajun Chicken Club Sandwiches and Italian Style Pasta Toss.  For the kids, even the pickiest guest I have had likes Aunt Nancy’s Chicken Bites.  It is a much healthier option to chicken nuggets.  I hope you learn to love some of these recipes as much as my family and I have and hope I have inspired you to cook for your loved ones.

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A Different Coleslaw

Are you tired of the over-dressed coleslaw that is heavy and ‘same old same old’?  Here is a wonderful coleslaw that has pineapples and raisins in the mix that gives it a refreshing twist on a old and tired salad.  I found this jewel at a choir gathering.  I had thirds of the salad before I found out who brought the dish.  Finally, I found my friend Frieda, who had brought it… after some discussion she told me what was in the salad, but not the amounts- she is one of THOSE cooks (dump and taste), this was something I had to play around with a little to get it to the flavor I liked.  This time I wrote it down so you also can make it without all the guess work.

I call it Frieda’s Pineapple Coleslaw.  Thank you Frieda for sharing your passion with me.  My family really enjoyed it as well.  My husband even declared, you need to make this again… really soon!  This is a super easy recipe to make too – you could even have your upcoming cooks make it.

Frieda’s Pineapple Coleslaw

Serves 6-8


  • 1 (14 oz) bag Coleslaw Mix (without dressing)
  • 16 oz can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained- reserving 2 Tbsp juice
  • 3/4 cup raisins


  • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp reserved pineapple juice
  • 3 Tbsp sugar


Combine the coleslaw with pineapple tidbits and raisins in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, reserved pineapple juice and sugar and stir to combine.  Taste and add more sugar if desired.  (I don’t like it super sweet – the raisins and pineapple bring plenty of that to the table).
Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mixture and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate.

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Many of you are familiar with Cheese Fondue which has its roots from Switzerland.  Raclette is another Swiss innovation.  It is melted cheese (broiled) that is served over boiled baby potatoes and accompanied by pickled vegetables, pickles and olives.  A few models of Raclette ovens have a grill pan on the top of the broiling elements where you can cook meats, seafood, bacon or grill vegetables if so desired.  My parents gifted us with a wonderful Raclette oven a few years ago (link) and we have enjoyed it over the past few years.  My daughter especially likes shrimp and though I know that shrimp and cheese do not typically get served together I do make some for the kids.  There is even a Raclette cheese.  I buy mine at Trader Joe’s, but you can find them at well stocked grocery stores from time to time.  I have had success in freezing the cheese too – to keep it until the day I make it. If you cannot find Raclette cheese Gruyere will make an excellent substitute as it is similar in taste and texture.  Preheat the Raclette oven for about 10 minutes before using.  The cheese is melted in non stick trays under the broiler.  The meats and vegetables are grilled above on the grill pan if your Raclette oven has that option.

Melt the cheese and serve over boiled baby potatoes that you have roughly mashed with your fork. Season with caraway seed if desired, and dried minced oregano.  Serve with pickled vegetables, roasted bell peppers, pickles and an assortment of olives.  For meats I cooked Filet Mignon cut into 1 inch pieces and jumbo shrimp that had been peeled and cleaned.









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Wow, the year is going by fast.  Thanksgiving is almost upon us.  I thought I would post some of my favorite recipes that work for me.  I make my turkey (always a Butterball) in a oven roasting bag and it turns out succulent every time!  Just follow the directions on the roasting bag you will get great results!  I season my turkey with salt and pepper, and sometimes rosemary.  Stuffed with my mother’s recipe for stuffing.  Accompanied with Parmesan Topped Broccoli, Cranberry sauce or relish – I have two recipes I really like and typically will make one recipe for Christmas and one for Thanksgiving.  One of them is from a Martha Stewart cookbook and the other is my Grandmother’s recipe for cranberry relish (which only needs a food processor to make it – no cooking involved).  I always have giblet gravy and of course mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, desserts vary.

Turkey and Giblet Gravy – Source: The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook Copyright 1989  This cookbook was a wedding gift from one of my sister in laws and I used this recipe my very first Thanksgiving.  It has become my traditional recipe every year!


  • 1 (15 lb) Turkey
  • 1 Tbsp  Canola Oil, to brush
  • 1 packet Turkey Giblets (this is found both inside the carcass as well as in the pouch section where the neck used to be!)
  • 1 stalk Celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onion
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water, to cover
  • 4 cups  Turkey pan drippings
  • 6 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour



Remove giblets and neck from inside turkey and reserve for gravy.  Rinse bird with running cold water; drain well.
Spoon some stuffing lightly into neck cavity (do not pack).  Fold neck skin over and fasten with 1 or two skewers.
With Bird breast side up lift wings up toward neck and fold under back of bird so they stay flat and keep neck skin in place.
Spoon remaining stuffing lightly into body cavity.  Close by folding skin lightly over opening; skewer closed.
Tie legs together.
Place in Turkey Roasting bag and follow instructions for roasting times. (Takes less time in convection oven)  The temperature of the bird should be 165 when the meat thermometer is inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching the bone) otherwise it is not safe to eat!

Giblet Gravy:

Giblet Gravy

While turkey is roasting, heat giblets, neck , celery, onion, 1/2 tsp salt and water to cover to boiling.
Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 hour (or more) till giblets are tender;  Drain reserving broth; discard celery and onion.  Chop neck meat and giblets.  When turkey is done, remove rack from pan; pour pan drippings into a 4 cup measure; let drippings stand until fat separates from meat juice.
Skim 1/3 cup fat from drippings into 2 quart saucepan; skim off and discard any fat remaining on surface of drippings.
Add reserved broth to meat juice in cup to make 4 cups (add water if necessary)
Into fat in saucepan over medium heat, stir flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt.
Gradually stir in meat-juice mixture; cook stirring until thickened.
Add reserved chopped giblets and neck meat; cook until heated through.


Martha Stewart’s Cranberry Compote – adapted

Cranberry Compote

Source The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook Copyright 2000 p 486

I double the recipe,(amounts are doubled) because the single recipe never seems enough for more than a meal.  I also reduced the sugar amount because I found it plenty sweet with less sugar.

  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 6 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups sugar (originally 2 cup)
  • 1/2  tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to pop but are still whole (7-10 minutes).  Transfer to a bowl to cool.  Good hot or cold.


My Grandma’s Cranberry Relish (no picture yet)


  • 1  lb fresh cranberries
  • 2 (14 oz) cans Pineapple chunks, with juice
  • 2  Apples, washed and cored with peel
  • 2 Oranges, washed with peel
  • 1/2 cup Sugar

Blend ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Best when prepared a day in advance or more.  It keeps in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

My Mom’s Stuffing (for one 12 lbs bird plus a little extra)

Mom's Stuffing


  • 3/4  cup chopped Onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Celery
  • 1/3  cup Butter
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2  quarts Bread cubes (see note)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Celery Seed
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped Parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


Combine first 3 ingredients together and cook until onion and celery are softened.  Add water and bring to a boil.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add other ingredients and mix together to make the dressing

(NOTE: Bread recommendations:  Rye, Pumpernickel, Whole Wheat and white bread) Yield: enough to stuff a 12 lb. Turkey.

Parmesan Crumb Topped Broccoli

Broccoli with Parmesan Crumb Topping

Serves 6


  • 1 bunch broccoli, washed and cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 inch water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup seasoned Progresso bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

Put the broccoli in a covered pot with an inch of water and seasoned with salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low, cover and steam for about 10 minutes until it is a nice dark green.
Drain the broccoli and transfer to a baking dish.  Melt the butter and combine with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle over the broccoli.  Bake at 325-350 for 15 minutes until the crumb topping is golden brown and the cheese melts a little.  Enjoy.  If you wish sprinkle more freshly grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle some lemon juice over the dish.


Glazed Carrots

  • Carrots, peeled and sliced into coins (however many you need to serve your crowd)
  • Water to cover
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp honey

Place the carrot slices in a pan.  Cover with water and add salt.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and cover.  Cook for 15 minutes (test them at 10 minutes – depending on the size of the carrot slices they make be done early and we don’t want them to boil to mush!)  Drain water.  Add butter, nutmeg and honey.  Stir and serve.


Fresh Baked Bread

At Thanksgiving shortcuts are sometimes necessary and if the shortcut is really good, why not go with it?  I like the frozen dinner rolls you can get in your local grocery store (Rhodes brand is my favorite) They are raw and just need to be baked.  I like to dress them up with Sesame or Poppy seeds, or sprinkle with a Garlic Parmesan seasoning.  If you buy the dough ones you can form them into different shapes as well.  Here I made a “worm” and then tied it in a knot before brushing with egg white and sprinkling with poppy seeds and baking according to package directions.

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Chicken Kiev

You know you have a winning recipe when you look over at your usually mild mannered  husband and see him licking the plate!  Yes, it’s true — he was licking the garlic sauce off the plate!  Well, today’s recipe of Chicken Kiev fell into the category of “why have you not made this before? What has taken you so long to try this recipe?”  Once again it was something that was a little bit of a pain to assemble, but the end result was well worth the effort!

Chicken Kiev has a fond memory for me too.  When I was in England for a year I had my first taste of really good Chicken Kiev.  I was supposed to be attending a class, but a few friends and I cut for the evening — upon our return it was hard to hide the smell of garlic on our breath.  It was well worth it then, and well worth it now.

I have purchased the pre-made Chicken Kiev that they sometimes sell at the grocery store, but it does not come close to the goodness of this recipe.  This one is a WINNER!  I know at this point, I am gushing and you are wondering if I will be okay in knowing that we ate it all and that there is nothing left over…  I will be okay.. my husband wants it for dinner tomorrow.. but I have a date with another family favorite: Avgolemono Soup (Chicken Lemon Soup).

The recipe came once again from my favorite site for recipes: allrecipes, and because I did not have all the ingredients I changed it up a little.  Here is my adapted version:

Chicken Kiev– adapted from allrecipes

Serves 6


  • 8 slices of boneless, skinless chicken breast (I buy them thin sliced)

Butter Compound:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste (Napoleon brand is good and comes in a tube)

Coating ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed (I used 1 Tbsp fresh chopped)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs


  • 2 cups vegetable oil


  • lemon slices (optional)
  • fresh chopped parsley (optional)

I used the thin sliced chicken breasts because I don’t like pounding chicken out thinly. It made for an easier process, but the slices are smaller than if you used the full breast and the garlic butter may be harder to put in, but it worked for me, so I will likely do exactly as I did this time.

Make the flavored butter: 1 stick softened butter with 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 2 tsp garlic paste.  Combine with a fork.  Place 1/4 of the butter compound on a small strip of foil. Form into a “cigar” and then roll the foil around it to secure the roll and shape it. (I used the quick release foil and the butter was easy to remove from it later.) Repeat with the remaining butter until you have 4 butter “cigars” wrapped in foil.  Freeze them for at least an hour.

After the butter has frozen remove it from the freezer and open the foil. Cut the butter into two pieces.  Place one chicken breast slice on the plate.  Place the butter long wise in the middle of the breast.  Roll the sides around it.  Then fold the end pieces over the seam and secure with toothpicks.  I found longer toothpicks at a kitchen store that are almost double in length from the normal toothpicks, and they worked perfectly.  Some pieces did not come together as smoothly (one chicken breast had 4 toothpicks, whatever it takes to secure it.

In a shallow bowl, season the cup of flour with the remaining 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and dill weed.  Stir to combine.

In a second shallow bowl combine the eggs and water and beat with a fork until combined.

Use a third shallow bowl for the dried breadcrumbs.  Now you are ready to coat the bundles of chicken.

First coat the chicken in the flour mixture, then dip in the egg, and finally roll in the breadcrumbs, making certain it is well coated.  Place on a plate, repeat with other chicken pieces.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour.

Heat the oil in a shallow fry pan over high heat.  When the oil is hot, carefully add the chicken pieces to the hot oil (Careful as oil may splatter some).  After a few minutes the bottom should be golden brown, this is when you carefully use a slotted spoon and a fork to turn  the chicken over and fry until golden brown on this side.

Remove to a paper towel covered plate and remove the toothpicks carefully.  I like to hold a fork against the chicken as I pull the toothpicks loose so the chicken does not pull apart.  Remove the paper towels and serve with lemon slices and parsley if desired.

If you were successful at sealing in the butter, the garlic-y goodness will flow out onto your plate and you too may look at your spouse or guests and find them licking the plate with delight.

The original recipe called for 1 tsp garlic powder and no paste, but I actually ran out of garlic powder while making this, so I used the garlic paste and it was a happy mistake!  It’s delicious!

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Eggs Benedict

If I was stranded on a deserted Island– I wish it was desserted 🙂 — this would be the food I would take with me!  Eggs Benedict has been a favorite of mine for years now.  When we eat out for breakfast, and this item is on the menu, I typically order it.  This is my ultimate comfort food.

What is the special occasion?  Well, my husband is working from home today – the kids are back in school– and I wanted Eggs Benedict- so, I made them.  Making my own Hollandaise is intimidating to me, so I cheat and use prepackaged sauce mix and it’s still quite delicious (Knorr Hollandaise Sauce Mix)  It isn’t the most amazing Eggs Benedict in the world, for that you would need to travel to the Bouchon in Vegas.  See Las Vegas Baby!

Eggs Benedict

Serves 2

  • 3 English Muffins, split and toasted (6 halves)
  • 6 slices of quality Canadian Bacon ( like Boar’s Head Brand)
  • 6 poached eggs (I fry mine)

For the Hollandaise:

  • I packet Knorr Hollandaise sauce mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp butter (half a stick)


Cook the Knorr Hollandaise Sauce mix according to package directions, using the cup of milk and 1/2 stick of butter.  Bring to boil, whisking constantly.  Cook for 1 minute.  Turn off heat and use the sauce.

Place 3 English Muffin halves on each plate.  Place a slice of Canadian Bacon on each toasted English Muffin half.  Top with a poached or fried eggs. Pour Hollandaise sauce over the Eggs.  Serve with coffee.

Tip: To get the poached texture of fried eggs, I start them in a pan until the whites have set some, then I add a few Tablespoons of water to the edge of the pan and cover with a lid and it will give the yolks a poached look.  Just until the yolks have a film over them, then use them before the yolks cook completely through.  I learned this trick from my fellow blogger Pam at her site: For the Love of Cooking.  Thank you Pam.

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Angels on Horseback

My husband grew up with this  sandwich and now it is one of my family’s favorite sandwiches as well.  It consists of toast, topped with American  Cheese slices, sliced tomato, and cooked bacon which is then broiled  for a few minutes until  the  cheese is melted.  We made this while we were vacationing in NJ on the shore and wanted something easy to make that did not take long.  Clean up is easy if you use those convenient (all be it expensive) Microwavable bacon.

Angels on Horseback

Serves 4

  • 8 slices white bread, toasted
  • 8 slices american  cheese
  • 8 slices tomatoes
  • 8 slices bacon

Toast the bread and top with American  cheese slices, tomatoes, and bacon.  Broil under a watch full eye.  Once the cheese melts and  bacon bubbles it is ready to eat.

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Aunt Nancy’s Chicken Bites

These wonderful little Parmesan and cracker crumb coated bites of chicken never last long around my house!  My husband says they are much better than anything McDonald’s serves up (yeah, of course they are made from scratch and not “pre-chewed” patties of chicken).  I was cleaning out my pantry and fridge today to make lunch.  I served them with couscous.

I got this recipe from one of my aunts.  Thank you Aunt Nancy!  I get my kids involved in the process.  Crushing the cracker crumbs in a bag and adding seasonings and cheese…

Aunt Nancy’s Chicken Bites

Serves 6-8

  • 6 large chicken breast halves, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups Ritz Crackers, crushed with a rolling pin
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3/4 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted


  1. Heat oven to 400 F
  2. Cover two baking sheets with foil. Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.
  3. Mix cracker crumbs with cheese, seasoned salt, thyme, basil and pepper. (You can just add them to the bag you used to crush the cracker crumbs)
  4. Dip chicken pieces into melted butter and add a few pieces at a time to the bag of crackers.  Close the zip lock and have a child shake the bag to coat the chicken.
  5. Place the chicken pieces about 1/2 inch apart from each other on the baking sheets.  Repeat process until all chicken pieces are coated and on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake uncovered until golden brown 20-25 minutes.  Yields about 9 dozen pieces.

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