Simple Salad Dressing

Salad Dressing

Someone said when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I say when a friend gives you lemons, squeeze and freeze the juice. Make a simple salad dressing and, maybe, a lemon meringue pie. Today I did both and want to share a simple salad dressing made with fresh lemon juice. (By the way, for reasons too numerous to tick off, I never buy supermarket salad dressing.) For the ingredient ratio in my recipe, remember one part lemon juice to two parts oil. I add split garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and sometimes herbs. Play around with flavors you like, including Dijon mustard and honey. For a perfect tart, crisp dressing simplicity wins.

Salad Dressing

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup canola oil (or similar)

1/3 cup olive oil

salt & pepper

peeled, split garlic cloves

Wisk and pour into a clean glass bottle. Refrigerate.

Flatware That Shines

Flatware That Shines

Here’s a simple method for removing tarnish from silver and silver plate. If flatware has tarnished, the sparkle is easily restored without using polish or elbow grease. Yes, I still have a jar of Wright’s Silver Cream under the kitchen sink. (Incidentally, toothpaste will brighten silver jewelry.) Back to the flatware. Soaked in a salty, hot water bath flatware takes minutes to shed tarnish, and I’m all about getting dull jobs done quickly.

  • Line a metal skillet with foil – press down to flatten.
  • Add water and heat until hot – water needs to cover the flatware.
  • Stir in 2 teaspoons baking soda & 1 teaspoon salt or,
  • 2 Tablespoons of each.
  • Add forks, spoons, knives, a few pieces at a time. Do not crowd.
  • Remove and rinse in cool water.

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Brownie Snaps

Brownie Snaps

I needed an easy, quick cookie recipe that would make an 8-year-old kid roll his eyes with yummy pleasure. Demarion and his dad were coming to Tucson for four days. We would be in the car driving from one attraction to the next. Since snacks were absolutely necessary, I wanted a thin, crisp cookie with a minimum of crumbs.

I worked with a Betty Crocker brownie mix to which I added a handful of chopped walnuts. Real brownies are great, but too messy for a kid in a car. Here’s what you can do to make snaps:

Measure two cups of mix into a mixing bowl.

Follow the directions on the box but divide the ingredients in half.

Grease and flour a pan that measures about 11 x 15 inches. Long and low.

Pour the batter spreading evenly and into the corners.

Heat the oven and set the timer for about 10 minutes.

Let the brownies cool and crisp in the pan.

Cut into tiles or squares.

Brownie Snaps
Brownie Snaps



Egg Me On

Egg Me On

A soft-boiled egg reminds me of my childhood breakfast with a warm, half-peeled egg sitting in a oval cup. My grandmother would drop a sliver of butter on the yolk and add a few grains of salt. Buttered toast and a glass of milk – oh, I loved those Sunday breakfasts. In my busy life, I do not want to boil water, set a timer for four minutes, and burn my fingers trying to open a hot egg shell.

Here’s a simple microwave method for making a soft egg. Credit goes to a guy named Norm Nelson who lives in The Villages.

Step 1 – Lightly butter a small dessert-size bowl. Crack and drop the egg into the bowl.

Step 2 – Make a few holes in a piece of paper towel or waxed paper and cover the dish. Put into the microwave.

Step 3 – Since microwave power varies, timing is tricky. I use 1 minute and 15 seconds on Level 3.

Step 4 – Start the toast, English muffin, or slice of cibatta. I cut the cibatta into three slices and use a toasted middle for my egg.

Step 5 – When done, remove the paper. Slide the egg on to the buttered toast, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. If you want a “real” soft-boiled egg, keep the egg in the bowl – break the yolk and chop the white. Dip pieces of toast into your totally delicious Sunday breakfast.





Pirohi – Shortcut in Wonton Wrappers

Peroghi                         Pierogie                               Perohi  

Pirohi is a comfort food familiar to Eastern Europeans. No matter the spelling, those scrumptious puffs filled with potato, sauerkraut, prune, farmer’s cheese, or other combinations were devoured with pleasure. Pirohi stir nostalgia for home cooking and bring back memories of childhood.

My mother and grandmothers spent hours making pirohi’s from scratch. My sister’s shortcut trims the time but not the flavor. Chris made potato pirohi that passed my taste test. Her shortcut?  She used wonton wrappers instead of the traditional flour dough! Here is her easy recipe:

Filling – boil Yukon gold potatoes. Mash with butter, diced scallions, and a few turns of peppercorns. (I’ll add grated sharp cheddar cheese to my filling.)

Prep – Place a small amount of potato mixture in the center of a wrapper.  Wet the wrapper edges with water and  seal tightly. Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil.  Add a few drops of oil. Drop in a few pirohi at a time. Don’t overcrowd. Stir occasionally, making sure none stick to the bottom. When a pirohi floats to the top, it is done.

The little darlings can be frozen on a cookie sheet and stored in freezer bags for a few months. Who could ever keep pirohi in a freezer for a few months? (I finished them in two weeks.)

Final touches  Saute thawed pirohi with oil and a little butter. Dice onion and add as the pirohi brown and crisp. To serve top with sour cream. Apple sauce is also a favorite.

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