Honeycomb CandyINGREDIENTS:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup water
3/4 tbsp baking soda

Over medium heat, stir together sugar, corn syrup, and water; heat to 298º.  Remove from heat; whisk in baking soda for 15-20 seconds.  Immediately pour into a foil-lined 9×13 pan.  Cool on counter for 2 hours.  Break into pieces.

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Chicken Fajitas

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder (opt)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp canola oil

1 1/2 lbs chicken

4 green onions
1 white onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper

chedder cheese
sour cream

Combine marinade ingredients in a large (1 gal) Ziploc bag.  Add chicken and mix until chicken is thoroughly coated.  Marinate for 1-4 hours.

Julienne peppers and cut onion into strips.  Add +/- 2 tbsp oil to hot skillet; add vegetables and cook on high for 7-10 minutes, until al-dente.  Place vegetables in a bowl and add chicken to skillet; heat over medium until fully cooked.  Add vegetables back to pan and heat.  Serve on tortillas with cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and cilantro.

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Carne Asada Tacos

5 lbs carne picada (diced beef)
1 cube butter
2 cans (220g each) El Pato jalapeño sauce
1 tbsp chicken Better than Bouillon
2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cumin

Combine carne picada and butter in an extra-large cast iron pan over high heat; brown.  Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once beef is sufficiently browned, turn off burner and stir sauce ingredients into meat.  The heat from the pan will evaporate most of the moisture from the sauce.

Serve on corn tortillas with white onion, fresh cilantro and the juice from a wedge of lime.

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Apple Barbecue Sauce

This is a work in progress…

2 cans (6-oz ea) tomato paste
3 cups apple juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chili sauce (1 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder)
2 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp Tahitian vanilla
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp galangal (or more ginger powder)
(1 tbsp honey)

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and simmer until reduced to desired consistency.

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Super Apple Barbecue Sauce

2 cups ketchup
1 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp galanga powder (or additional ginger powder)
1 can apple juice concentrate
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup burbon
1 tbsp liquid smoke

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Chili Barbeque Sauce

2 cup apple sauce
2 cans (220g each) El Pato jalapeño sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp chicken Better than Bouillon
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and heat thoroughly.

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Dr Pepper Barbecue Sauce

1 bottle (20-oz) Dr Pepper
2 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp galanga powder (or substitute an additional 1/4 tsp ginger)

Combine all ingredients and boil until thickened.  Root beer or cola could be substituted for Dr Pepper.

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Honey Barbecue Sauce

2 1/2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 cup honey
1 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup ketjap
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 tsp ground ginger
1⁄2 tsp onion powder
1⁄2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 ground cloves
1⁄8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat to boiling; simmer for 5 minutes.

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Corn Dog Batter

2 cups flour
2 cups corn meal
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla

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Cole Slaw

1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp celery seed (optional)
20 oz cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup carrots, grated

Whisk together dry mustard, salt, sugar and vinegar until dissolved; add mayonnaise (and celery seed) and whisk to mix. Stir mixture into shredded cabbage and carrots. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

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Crinkle Cookies

1 box (18.25 oz) devil’s food cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350º. In a large mixing bowl, stir (by hand) dry cake mix, oil and eggs until a dough is formed. Scrape onto parchment paper; wrap and chill for 3 hours. Dust hands with confectioners sugar and roll dough into small balls (+/-1 inch). Double roll balls in confectioners sugar and place spaced about 2 inches apart on uncreased cookie sheets. Bake for +/-7 minutes or until center is just set. Cool for a minimum of one minute before placing on wire racks to cool.

Betty Crocker Super Moist cake mix works best. Larger cookies will crinkle more but will require a longer baking time. Allowing rolled dough balls to sit for a few minutes prior to double rolling in confectioners sugar works best for coating the cookies.

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1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp marjoram
1 tsp sage
1/2 cup dried minced onion
2/3 cup dried minced celery
5 cups water
1-1/2 cubes butter
1/3 cup chicken Better than Bouillon
16 cups bread, cubed and dried
2 lbs sage sausage, prepared
2 cans (4-oz each) water chestnuts, chopped
1 lb mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
pine nuts, roasted

Combine Italian Seasoning (or substitute Herbes de Provence), black pepper, marjoram, and sage in a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder; pour into a small mixing bowl.  Stir onion and celery into the herb mixture.  In a large stock pot, bring water, butter, and better than bouillon to a boil; stir in herb mixture.  Remove from heat; add bread crumbs and stir to moisten.  Cover with lid and allow the stuffing to sit for five to ten minutes.  Stir in all remaining ingredients, reserving some of the pine nuts and dried cranberries.  Place mixture in two 9×13 pans and heat under broiler until the top is slightly browned.  Top with reserved pine nuts and dried cranberries.

(Updated 12/23/2018)

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Wheat Waffles

This, our favorite wheat waffle recipe, comes from Grandma Honey. When our kids wake to the sound of the wheat whirling in the blender they know that Grandma Honey’s wheat waffles will soon be on the table.

3⁄4 cup whole wheat
1 1⁄2 cups milk
2 tbsp corn meal
2 tbsp oat meal
2 tbsp oat bran
2 eggs
1 tbsp raw sugar
1⁄4 cup butter
1 tbsp baking powder

Blend whole wheat and milk in blender for 3 to 4 minutes. While still blending, add corn meal, oat meal, oat bran, eggs, raw sugar and butter. Turn off blender and add baking powder. Blend for 3 to 4 seconds. Cook in waffle iron. If batter rises too much, stir with spoon.

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Zucchini Cake

2 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup zucchini, grated

1/2 cup butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat eggs; add sugar, oil and cinnamon. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to eggs.  Stir in zucchini.  Place in a 8×8 baking dish and bake at 350º for 30 to 35 minutes.

Use mixer to combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla.  Mix in powdered sugar.

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Peanut Sauce

I learned to love peanut sauce (pindasaus) while living in The Netherlands.  An Indonesian meal just isn’t right without it!  This delicious sauce is a favorite of every member of our family.  We use it most often to smother skewers of chicken (Satay Ajam) or pork (Satay Babi), over vegetables (Gado Gado), or with mayonnaise and diced onions to top frites (Patatje Oorlog).  There are two kinds of people in the world; those who love peanut sauce, and those who haven’t eaten it often enough to crave it… yet!   

1⁄2 cup peanut butter
1⁄2 tsp garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
3 tbsp brown sugar
1⁄8 tsp hot curry powder
1⁄4 tsp sambal oelek (or to taste)

In saucepan, melt peanut butter; add garlic. Heat until texture is creamy. Add lemon juice and ketjap manis. Sauce will become quite thick. Stir in coconut milk, brown sugar, curry powder and sambal.

For a slight variation, I will often add a couple of teaspoons of fresh ginger, or even a little lemon grass.

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Clam Chowder

1-1/4 cups flour
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups clam juice
2 cups water
3/4 cup sherry
1 tsp Tabasco
4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
5 bay leaves
4 cups potatoes, diced
2 cups celery, diced
2 cup onion, diced
2 cup leeks, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 cups clams, chopped
2 qts half and half
2 tsp red wine vinegar

Combine melted butter and flour in oven-proof container and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. In a large saucepan, combine remaining ingredients except half and half and vinegar. Simmer until potatoes are thoroughly cooked. Add butter-flour mixture and stir until very thick. Remove chowder from heat. Stir in half and half until blended. Heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally.  Stir in vinegar just prior to serving.

(Updated 27 Oct 2018)

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Belgian Frites

Ok, my friends, don’t get me started!  Just believe me when I say, Fries are NOT French!  Whether it be because of the style of the cut (frenched) or the native language of many of their early purveyors, french and fries have been erroneously linked as the name of a true Belgian creation, Frites!  Calling these spears of deliciousness French is, well, just wrong. 

Real frites are double fried, delivering a soft and fluffy interior and crisp exterior.   They are traditionally salted and served with mayonnaise.  But, if you are feeling a bit more  adventurous, try some of the typical toppings for Frites from the Netherlands and Belgium found under Serving Suggestions at the end of the recipe.  My personal favorite…  Patat Speciaal!

Large potatoes
Pepper (optional)

Wash and slice potatoes (either peeled or unpeeled) into thick strips; place in a large bowl of fresh cold water and soak for 20 minutes or more.  Heat oil to 275° to 300°.  Line a large paper bag with paper towels.  Fry sliced potato fries in batches for +/-5 minutes per batch being careful to keep oil temperature in range.  Place fried potatoes in prepared paper bag and allow to cool.  Increase oil temperature to 375° to 400°; fry in batches a second time for +/-5 minutes per batch.  Place fries on a baking dish lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt (and pepper, if desired) immediately.  Devour.

Real Belgian frites (french fries) are always pre-soaked in water and then fried twice.  This results in a crisp outside and fluffy interior.

Patat Met – Fries with mayonnaise
Patat Speciaal – Fries with mayonnaise, curry ketchup, and topped with onions
Patatje Oorlog – Fries with mayonnaise, peanut sauce, sambal oelek, and topped with onions
Patatje Joppie – Fries with mayonnaise mixed with  yellow curry spices, and topped with onions
Frieten met Stoofvlees – Fries with Belgian stew

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2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ginger powder
3/4 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses

Combine dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl cream oil and sugar; beat in egg and add molasses.  Pour in dry ingredients and mix well.  Roll dough into small balls and roll in granulated sugar.  Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet (or on release foil) and bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly before removing cookies from cookie sheet.

(Updated 21 Dec 2018)

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Taco Sauce

1 can (7.75 oz) El Pato jalapeño sauce
1 can (7.75 oz) El Pato salsa de chile fresco
1 can (7.75 oz) El Pato salsa de tomate con jalapeño
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
black pepper

Combine all ingredients

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Chicken Gyro

On vacation in Corfu, Greece, we visited a small waterside restaurant where we ate the most amazing gyro.   Moist and tender, this true Greek gyro was nothing like the meatloaf-like gyro we find in the US.  This chicken version is a delicious reminder of our experiences on this family vacation.

4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 tbsp garlic, minced
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt

2 English cucumbers, diced with water squeezed out
2 1/2 cups plain greek yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp salt

1 English cucumber, diced
4-5 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 large red onion
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Flat bread or pita

Combine marinade ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag; add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator (3 to 24 hours[overnight is best]).  In a medium mixing bowl, stir together sauce ingredients a minimum of 30 minutes prior to serving.  Next, combine all salad ingredients in a separate bowl.   Refrigerate sauce and salad until ready to serve.

Grill marinated chicken.

To serve, place some of the salad mixture in the center of flat bread; top with chicken and sauce.

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