Monday, December 29, 2008


Even the name is daunting. Who would know just by sight that we actually say it "port-zel-chuh"? Out of love for my sweetheart and love for the little yummies themselves, I devote an afternoon or two each year to making these treats.

A neighbor of ours in Agassiz brought a bowlful over for us a few years ago, calling them "Olle bolle" which I can only imagine means "oil balls" in Dutch. Aptly named, you could wring the grease from them and fill a glass. (though the thought was very appreciated, since I know how long I spend at the fryer to make ours!

This recipe is fantastic. The trick is all in the oil temperature. I received a deep fryer for Christmas this year, so I tried it out at Mom H's with these beauties and set the dial at about 365 or so. When one side is nice and brown, you flip them over with a spoon until done.
I always eat them with a little bowl of sugar to dip as I go. My dh is a purist... down the hatch they go. So that they stay yummy after the first day, I pop the rest into a freezer ziploc and stow them in the freezer. A little microwave zap brings them to a yummy perfection.

Portzelky (New Years Cookies)
4 eggs

2 c. scalded milk 6-7 c. flour (approx)
1/2c. melted butter 2 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 c. warm water 2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt 2 c. raisins (approx)
1/2 c. sugar

Beat eggs in really big bowl while milk is scalding (in microwave) and butter is melting (also in microwave). Add sugar and salt to eggs. Slowly beat in butter, milk and water. Add 3 cups of flour, with baking powder and yeast on top. Beat this together and then continue adding flour until your dough is soft but a touch sticky. Cover bowl and place in warm oven to rise. (Tip: Mom always said to let the oven heat just long enough so you can keep your hand on the rack comfortably)

When dough has doubled, drop spoonfuls into hot oil until done.

Just try not to eat too many! I dare you.

The dough after it has risen

Frying the first side.

After the flip.

The finished product!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jan's Munchies

Oh - these are so good. I've gone through a pail at our house already. Brace yourself.

2 cups Golden Grahams
2 cups Cheerios
2 cups peanuts
2 cups pretzels

Combine in large bowl.

Melt 2 cups of white chocolate dipping wafers in a pot on low-med, stirring constantly. Once it's all melted, pour all over the bowl contents. Stir well, spread on a wax paper or parchment lined cookie sheet. Once cool, break into pieces and store in an ice cream pail in a cool spot. DO NOT EAT ALL IN ONE DAY. Your stomach will despise you. Just eat a little every hour, and you'll be fine.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

These were a raving hit. I think. My family LOVED them. I think they were divine. If only I had working tastebuds. This killer of a cold has wiped out my olfactory factory. (did I get that right Pchick?) Anyways... even though there's three separate parts, it doesn't take long, and it's all worth it. (I think) This comes from the Apr/May 2007 Taste of Home cupcake special. How can you go wrong with Taste of Home? It's adapted a little, but generally the same.

Lemon Curd:
3 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. lemon juice (one lemon's worth)
4 1/2 tsp. butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

3/4 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp b. powder
1/4 tsp. b. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. buttermilk (I used 1 tbsp. vinegar and 2% milk)

2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. icing sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. lemon extract

In a small pot, cook and stir sugar, lemon juice, butter, egg and lemon rind. Bring to a gentle boil, cook 2 minutes longer. Cool 10 minutes.

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon peel. Add flour,`b. soda, b. powder and salt, mixing while adding the buttermilk.

Fill cupcake papers... I used 15, so I filled the remaining 9 on the second pan with water. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely.

Make frosting while you wait, but DO NOT FROST YET. (avoid my mistake) I filled my cake decorator tool with the lemon curd, and with a long skinny tip, I poked into each cupcake, squirting enough curd to gently round the cupcake. THEN you frost the cupcakes, and they look and (I hear) smell wonderful.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Tell me what's wrong with this recipe:

Crunchy Barbecued Chicken

Barbecue flavored potato chips add a crunchy texture to this dish. Serve it at your next 4th of July party or Labor Day picnic.

Serving: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

5 cups low-fat ranch salad dressing
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 10-oz package fat-free barbecue potato chips
4 halved boneless skinless chicken breast

Okay... anyone spotted the ridiculousness yet? (okay, already with just 5 ingredients I am naturally a bit skeptical) How about the 5 CUPS of dressing? This seems a bit inane.

I was surfing for some ideas of good meals for a busy week... looks like I'll keep surfing... I love ranch, but that seems excessive.... anyone?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Parmesan Chicken

This little number is an easy fix on a weeknight, or any night! I served it to some friends tonight, with spaghetti, Greek tomato sauce and Caesar salad. I found it on the Taste of Home website.

1/2 c. parmesan
1/4 c. fresh breadcrumbs (I used one bun)
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. paprika
parsley, salt & pepper
1/4 c. butter (approx)
6 chicken breasts (fresh or thawed)

Mix dry ingredients. Dip breasts in butter (snicker, snicker), dredge in flour. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. (I flip after 18 minutes or so)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bev's Licorice Snaps

These are from my Mom. (also here) Got raves at Mom's n Tots this morning with this recipe. These are great served with tea.

1 c. margarine, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 Tbsp. anise seed
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients, blending well. (chopped up the anise seed a bit with a knife first (mortar and pestle would be great!)) Divide dough in half, shape into two 10 inch rolls, flattening the sides to make square cookies. Wrap in wax paper and chill for at least 4 hours. Slice into 1/4" slices, place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes (should be just slightly brown around the edges).

Glazed Banana Spice Loaf

1 large banana (or 1 1/2 small bananas)
1/2 c. margarine or butter
2/3c. sugar
2 eggs (3 small)
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (less)
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2/3 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
icing sugar (I can't remember how much - 1/2 cup?)
1-2 tbsp. lemon juice

Mash banana, set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour, salt, soda and spices, stir to combine. Add sour cream, banana and vanilla, mix just enough to blend. Pour into greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan (I use glass). Bake at 350 for 45-50 (mine took over an hour - test with toothpick) minutes. Mix lemon juice with icing sugar (regular sugar works well too), stir until smooth. I poked holes with a toothpick all over the top loaf and then poured the glaze on. (I used parchment paper to line the pan, so it was easy (easi-er) to remove.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

It may be too late for this, but this is a recipe I created from a couple different ones.

Pumpkin Seeds (little over a cup)
2 Tbsp. salt
4 c. water
1 egg white
Cayenne pepper.

Bring the water and pumpkin seeds to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes. Drain water off, dry with paper towel a little bit. Whisk 1 egg white in bowl until foamy. Toss seeds with egg white foam, then spread on parchment paper lined pan (largest). Sprinkle with sugar, salt and cayenne pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until seeds are dry and starting to toast. After about 20 minutes I took the toastiest ones out and made sure to break up the clumps and evenly spread the rest out to dry. Since i had to leave the house for a bit, I turned off the oven and left the door open a crack with the pan still inside. They were a hit! Very tasty.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Amazing Fish

The recipe for the crumbs below comes from our friends outfitting company (the pictures are from our weekend trip to their earthly piece of paradise.) The fish I used was Northern Pike (Jackfish), and it was the one that is shown here. The butter sauce is my own creation, since you all know how much I love diet food.

Amazing Fish

25 saltine crackers
1/8 c. cornstarch
1 c. flour
salt & pepper

Juice of 1 Lime
lemon juice
fresh parsley

Crush crackers with rolling pin, mix with cornstarch, flour & seasonings (can add lemon pepper if desired). Dredge fish in crumbs, fry in butter in pan. Pile fried fish on a pan, cover & keep warm. Add more butter to the pan, scraping the bottom and edges of the pan. Add juice from the lime, a tbsp or two of lemon juice, pepper and fresh parsley. Cook for a short time, then pour this all over the fish. Serve immediately.
My expert fisherman.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ice Capp's by Me

1 great blender

1-1 1/2 trays ice cubes

Nescafe Ice Java syrup

Ice cream


Leftover coffee

Simply put, using the above ingredients in moderation will create the ultimate iced cappuccino. Seriously. It has been said that these trump those sold by the leading chain in Canada. It is true, that in the middle of summer it's hard to find the perfect slushy cappuccino, due to the constant use at these particular restaurants.... when you make these at home, you can adjust it to absolute perfection.

Amounts? Depends how many you want! For 2 people with big cups, I start with one full tray of ice cubes. Then I add the leftover coffee (the more, the merrier, if you get my drift) (prob. no more than a cup) Next, blend a bit to break up the big chunks. Add 2 tbsp. of syrup, some ice cream and milk. Then, as I said, adjust accordingly upon sampling.

This is truly a bliss-drink. It is not to be gulped in a desperate hurry, lest you forget the magic of this stress-reliever and heat-buster. It is satisfying and delicious.

Dora and Diego Rolls (aka Chicken Enchiladas)

This is a terrific dish to bring for potluck. If there is not already a signature enchilada-maker already at your gathering... or even if there is!!
Today we renamed it for our guests, though with a whole teaspoon of chili powder, it was a little spicy for the little ones.
Chicken Enchiladas
1/2 c. creamcheese
1/2 c. sour cream
3/4 c. salsa
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
1/3 c. chopped green onions
9 flour tortillas
In medium bowl, stir creamcheese, sour cream, salsa, chili powder and salt. Mix in half of the cheese, chicken and onions. Lay out tortillas on table or big counter and divide mixture between them. I spread about 1/3- 1/2 c. on the side, tuck in the sides and roll. Place seam side down in greased 9x13 dish. I fit 7 down the middle, and two squished down the sides. Sprinkle remaining cheese all over the top.
1/8 c. margarine
1/8 c. flour
2 c. milk (approx)
1 can green chiles
either 1/3 can cream of chicken soup, or a little chicken stock powder for flavoring.
Melt margarine, stir in flour, stir in milk to make a roux. Microwave until thickened, add green chilies with some of the liquid from the can, and the chicken flavoring of choice. Pour sauce all over enchiladas.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, if cooking right away. If refrigerated, bake at 325 for 1/2 hour.

Die Happy Brownies

Feeding one, or a crowd, can get mundane with the same repetoire of dishes.... and the dishes never quite get completely done before the next meal is expected.

I hope you'll find a great assortment of tasty treats and sumptuous meals to feed whoever comes to your table for company and conversation.

The first recipe is for the to-die-for brownies that my high school girls got at small group this week. I realize this doesn't mesh with the new title, but you can take it up with me only if you don't like the recipe. :P

Die Happy Brownies

1 c. margarine
3/4 c. cocoa
2 Tbsp. oil
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan. In large-ish pot, melt margarine, stir in cocoa and oil. Remove from heat, cool slightly. Blend in sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Stir in remaining ingredients, spread in greased pan, bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. When I see the brownies starting to rise in the middle, I pick up the pan (with pot holders) and bang it on the rack or the counter to let it fall. This keeps the brownies moist and chewy like you've never had. Mmmmmmmmmm. Cut into eight pieces to feed the men (with ice cream) or about 24-36 if you're serving ladies (who will just take a lot of tiny pieces to be not so obvious.