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7-11 Chicken (ish) Tetrazzine

Sounds disgusting, right? Well in my line of work, I often cook dinner for the family in addition to taking care of their small children and yesterday the request was chicken tetrazzine. Which I made, to the letter I might add, having never made it before out of their lovely Casserole cookbook. But then I got off work at 5:30 and I was hungry for…you guessed it. So I stopped by the 7-11 at my bus stop (as I was far too lazy to make an extra trek to Trader Joes on the other end) and purchased one quart of milk, one can of condensed chicken noodle soup, and one pound of spagghetti noodles. After adding fresh zucchini, eggplant, onions, garlic and parmesan cheese my recipe most definitely turned out better than the one I made for my bosses…so here it is:

Veggie (but not vegetarian) tetrazzine:

1-2 c. chopped vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, squash, mushrooms)
1 small or 1/2 medium white or yellow onion
2-3 cloves garlic
4 T butter
about 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. milk or half and half
1 can condensed chicken noodle soup (or equivilent amount, about a cup of broth)
1/2 c. + shredded parmesan cheese
8 oz spagghetti (cooked and drained)
salt, pepper to taste
**Preheat oven to 350**
1. Sauté onions, garlic and vegetables in 2T (or more if you like) butter until vegetables are tender.
2. scoop them out and reserve for later
3. melt the remaining 2T butter in the vegetable pan and sprinkle in the flour to form a roux.
4. Add the broth, milk, salt, pepper, and parmesan and whisk until smooth and thick
5. mix the noodles and vegetables into the sauce and put the whole mess into a 9×13″ casserole pan.
6. bake, covered, about 30 minutes
7. uncover, top with more parmesan and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until bubbly and golden.
8. try not to burn your mouth eating it straight out of the pan!


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Good old fashioned pecan pie.

Well well, it has been far too long.  As we all know, last Thursday was the magical and perfect holiday of Thanksgiving.  Gratitude and gobs of good food are two things I can really get behind so I make a pretty big thing of Thanksgiving each year.  I have a standing agreement with my mother that puts her in charge of the bird and stuffing and me in charge of everything else – I tend to struggle through 4 or 5 of Gourmet’s best side recipes for the year but focus the vast majority of my energy on pies…This year there were 8 of them.  Chocolate pudding, Fig Walnut Crostata, Sweet Potato, two Pumpkin, Apple, Chocolate Pecan and of course regular old Pecan.

Pecan pie has to be the very best thing on that table each year, and it’s not hard to make a good pecan pie – but a great one, one with just the right proportions of goo, nut and crust, that can take some trial and error.  So, without too much braggery, I would like to propose that this recipe gets it all juuust right.

Pecan Pie:

For a 9″ pie

1 cup Corn Syrup

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans, chopped roughly

1  unbaked pie crust*

– Preheat oven to 350°F.

– Mix all ingredients but pecans together in a large bowl.

– Stir in pecans

– Pour into crust and bake for about 60 minutes or until done.  (When pie is done you can lightly tap the center and it will ‘bounce’ back)

*crust:  Use your favorite crust.  My current recipe is adapted from Deborah Madison and is as follows: 12T unsalted butter, 2 cups flour, 2T sugar, 1t salt, 1/3-1/2 c ice water.

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Mama Dip’s Pound Cake

Mama Dip is a celebrity where I grew up in Chapel Hill, NC. She is a no nonsense woman who makes soul food to die for…which is something I miss sometimes up here in the health conscious Northwest…so imagine my delight when I stumbled upon her cookbook at a local Barnes and Noble! I bought it and the first thing I made was this delicious sour cream pound cake…

Sour Cream Pound Cake

adapted from Mama Dip’s Family Cookbook

*Warning, Mama Dip’s recipes are some of those rarities that actually make MORE (not less) than they claim, this for example is supposed to bake in 1 10″ tube pan and I found that it easily filled that plus a regular bread pan*

2 sticks softened butter                             1/4 t. baking soda

2 3/4 cups sugar                                           1/2 t salt

5 eggs                                                                 1 cup sour cream, divided

1 t. lemon juice

1/2 t. vanilla extract

3 c. all purpose flour

– preheat oven to 325°

-In a large bowl (or your Kitchen Aid if you’re lucky) beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar gradually, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl often.  Add one egg at a time, beating each until well blended.  Add lemon juice.

– Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add flour mixture one cup at a time along with half the sour cream.  Mix the last cup of flour with the remaining sour cream and add.  Stir in the Vanilla.

– Pour into a greased and floured tube pan

(or two) and bake for about 1 hour.

– Drizzle with a glaze of your choosing, I prefer a lemon glaze:

lemon juice

powdered sugar

-mix about a teaspoon of lemon juice into about 3/4c. of powdered sugar. Add more lemon juice gradually until the consistency is pourable.

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