Posted in Asian, Gather Together, Matters of the Heart

Sharing the Goodness

pattyschell.com

My daughter and I are currently writing a cookbook. It all started with the idea of giving her son’s soon-to-be bride the family recipes. It has since turned into a serious project and will be available sometime in the fall. This week we are working on a section we have named What to Eat Before You Eat. It will contain starters and snacks that will satisfy your appetite until the “real” meal comes. Egg Rolls are something that everyone has their own version they like. Our family keeps it pretty simple using pork sausage, cabbage, carrots, and onions. Although we prefer fried, you can also bake them. Just spray them with a little oil and bake at 400 degrees until browned.


Egg Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • drizzle of oil
  • 6 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • soy sauce, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Cook sausage in large skillet until no longer pink. Remove from pan onto paper towels to drain some of the fat.
  2. In the same skillet add a bit more oil if needed. Cook cabbage, carrots, and onion until tender. Return sausage to pan and stir to incorporate. Add soy sauce and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat.
  3. Fill and roll the egg roll wrappers, using scant 1/4 cup of filling for each roll. Working with 1 egg roll wrapper at a time, place the wrapper with one corner of the diamond closest to you. Place scant 1/4 of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Roll the corner closest to you over the filling. Brush the top corner with water. Fold in the sides of the wrapper and continue rolling the egg roll up until it is closed. Press to seal, set aside, and continue with the remaining ingredients.
  4. In a skillet set over moderately high heat, heat the oil and sauté the egg rolls until golden brown on all sides, using tongs to turn them.
  5. Enjoy!

The sharing of food is the basis of social life.

Laurie Colwin

Posted in Asian, Matters of the Heart, What's for Dinner, WW Freestyle

Good Food Memories

https://thepartysinthekitchen.me/2018/06/12/good-food-memories/

When I was a little girl, my Aunt Mikki came to visit us all the way from Japan. I wasn’t sure where exactly Japan was, but I knew it was far, far away. While Aunt Mikki was with us, she prepared Chicken Chow Mein for our family. The whole process included a trip to the market for fresh ingredients and a lot of chopping. I have loved Chicken Chow Mein since that day. I cook it often for my own family. It’s one of those dishes everyone around the table stops talking and just eats. My Auntie’s version included crispy fried noodles. I now make it with regular boiled noodles and sprinkle some wonton strips or sliced green onions to add some crunch. I also use cabbage in place of bean sprouts because it is more easily available, but you can certainly use bean sprouts if you desire.


Chicken Chow Mein
Ingredients
• 2 pounds chicken breast sliced in 1-inch strips
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 tablespoon mirin or sake
• 2 teaspoons minced garlic
• 2 teaspoons minced ginger
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon garlic chili paste
• 3 tablespoons oil, divided
• 1 onion, sliced
• 2 ribs celery, sliced on diagonal
• 2 carrots, sliced
• 2 cups chopped cabbage
• 8-ounces spaghetti, cooked according to package directions and drained
Serve with soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce, sliced green onions, fried wonton strips.
Instructions
1. In a medium bowl mix together soy sauce, mirin or sake, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and chili paste. Add chicken to marinade while you chop the vegetables.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to large skillet or wok. Add ½ the chicken and quickly cook. Remove from pan. Repeat with second half. Set aside.
3. Heat last tablespoon of oil in skillet. Quickly cook the vegetables, starting with onion, celery, and carrot. Adding the cabbage after vegetables soften a bit.
4. Return the chicken to the skillet with the vegetable mixture.
5. Add spaghetti and toss.
6. Serve with desired toppings.
7. Enjoy!


“Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table.”

Charles Pierre Monselet (1825-1888)


Weight Watcher friends: 7 Smart Points. If you use edamame spaghetti you can take it down another point. It has 24 grams of protein and only .5 grams of fat and 3 sugars. It has 4 Smart Points for a 2-ounce serving. I used the Seaport Farms brand.

Posted in Matters of the Heart

Friends Around the Table

 

new dishes

Exciting things are happening in the Schell household.

Some of you may have heard we have purchased a house near our children in Oklahoma. (See my post Adventuring On) We are pretty excited to be the owners of red dirt and look forward to experiencing all that comes with it.

We just made our very first purchase for our new place—we bought dishes. How can you provide hospitality without the right tools? I can’t wait to serve a meal around our table there. That is what will make the new house a home. (Don’t worry SoCal friends. We are not moving. We are just expanding our borders to include the Midwest.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in California . . . 

we are hosting a small group of friends who gather once a month to fellowship, share a meal, and discuss a portion of the Bible. Our discussion will be on the stories found in Luke 8. I always look forward to our time together. It not only strengthens my knowledge of God and His Word, but also my connection with the other people around the table. This may be why the Bible tells us to “always be eager to practice hospitality”. (Romans 12:13) Good food and good conversation go hand-in-hand in developing good friendships.


Here is the recipe for what I am fixing for dinner tonight. It is easy and delicious. Perfect for your next dinner party. Don’t hesitate to invite others to your table. Relationships have a way of growing strong there.

Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms

Ingredients

2 tablespoon olive oil, divided, I used 2 teaspoons
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound chicken pieces, I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and minced garlic bowl. Add chicken and marinade for a few minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and marinade to pan. Cook until chicken is browned. Remove from pan and finish cooking in a 400 degrees oven.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add mushrooms. Cook until browned and released liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add chicken broth and thyme. Heat and reduce slightly. Place chicken on serving dish and top with mushroom mixture. Enjoy.

Note: I chose garlic mashed potatoes to serve this with, but rice or noodles would work, too.


Olive oil and balsamic vinegar shops have been popping up everywhere offering a variety of flavors. This would be a good dish to try some out.


Good food and good company are two of life’s simplest yet greatest pleasures.

Posted in Matters of the Heart, Warm the Soul

Warm and Comforting

20171004_132813

My kids that are local are coming for dinner tonight so I thought I would whip up a pot of Pumpkin Chili. Pumpkin may seem like an odd addition to you soup pot but in this recipe, it adds richness making it very hearty and comforting. For those eating less/no meat or avoiding gluten in their diet, it is a dish that satisfies. Enjoy

Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 15-ounce can corn
  • 12-ounce beer or 1 1/2 water (for gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon each, salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in spices and garlic. cook another minute or two until spices are fragrant, stirring often.
  4. Add tomatoes and pumpkin. whisk to combine.
  5. Stir in black beans, corn, beer or water, and salt and pepper.
  6. Reduce heat to low, simmer covered for at least 30 minutes, stirring often. The longer it cooks, the more flavor develops, so feel free to get started in the morning for a day full of the comforting smell of something yummy for dinner.

 

Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.

Ina Garten

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Baked Perfection, Matters of the Heart

Fond Food Memories

https://thepartysinthekitchen.me/2017/09/30/fond-food-memories/

My daughter called today and requested a recipe this morning. “You know, that yummy cake you used to bake when I was little.” This one was a family favorite for sure. It’s from an old cookbook, The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook, that still resides on my bookshelf. It is without a cover, well used (especially the page with the applesauce cake), and reminds me of days gone-by. It was fun to pull it out and reminisce a bit.

Applesauce Cake

Ingredients
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions
1. Mix oil and sugar well.
2. Add applesauce and remaining ingredients. Beat until smooth.
3. Pour into 8-inch baking pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes until browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
This cake is even better the next day so you might want to get started. Yumminess awaits. Enjoy!

“Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.”
Joseph B. Wirthlin

 

Posted in Matters of the Heart

Fellowship: Nourishment for the Soul

 

thepartysinthekitchen.me
A gathering of women from three years ago. This one was in Radeburg, Germany. It was a welcome party for this group as they started a ten-day mission where they would work in the community with women and youth. We had a wonderful time. Germans know how to do hospitality.

 


Recently, I joined a group of lovely ladies to celebrate a year well-lived.

They had just finished their session of serving the women at our church as group leaders for a Bible study. It was their turn to be served a little and just spend time together before the summer started. I was honored to provide a variety of quiches for their brunch. It was a wonderful morning where fellowship was the main event.

Fellowship is one of those words we don’t hear too much outside the church, but it goes on nearly everywhere we look. People coming together to be together is its loose definition. Dictionary.com calls it friendly relationship or companionship. It’s something that is essential to a good life. The problem is, it’s the first thing that gets thrown out of the schedule when life gets busy. We need to be intentional and make time to gather with our fellows, our friends, our chums and not let the demands of life be our only companions.

If fellowship is going to happen in our fast-paced world, we will need to be intention in our planning. Put fellowship on the calendar. Instead of viewing as another demand, protect it as a time of much needed refreshment.

We know that without food we would die. Without fellowship, life is not worth living.

Laurie Colwin


For the brunch, I took a basic quiche recipe and then switched it up to create several different flavor profiles. I made them with a crust, but you can cook them without a crust for a grain-free version. I do it quite often with the Spinach and Feta version.

Basic Quiche

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • ¾ cup half and half or heavy cream (Milk can be used or even a combination of cream and milk.
  • 2 cups of cheese
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and sautéed in a little butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 9” frozen deep dish pie crust.

Directions

  1. Mix eggs, cream salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Mix in sautéed onions and any additional ingredients*.
  3. Pour into pie shell.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it and if it begins to get too brown on top, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil to protect it. Check for doneness by inserting a knife in the center. If it comes out clean, it’s finished.

ENJOY!

Additional ingredients

Bacon and Cheddar Quiche

  • 2 cups cheddar
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

Mushroom, Leek, and Prosciutto Quiche

  • Omit onion.
  • 2 tablespoons butter for sautéing
  • 16 ounces mushrooms, washed, sliced and sautéed. Do small batches so they don’t get too soggy.
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced and sautéed.
  • 2 cups Swiss cheese
  • 8 slices prosciutto, chopped

Spinach and Feta Quiche

  • Olive oil for sautéing
  • 6 cups baby spinach, sautéed until just wilted
  • 2 cups crumbled feta cheese

The sky’s the limit with the types of quiche you can come up with. Here’s one I especially like.

 Tomato Basil Quiche

  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil

Fry tomato slices that have been lightly breaded in Italian breadcrumbs with extra dried basil. After pouring egg and cheese mixture in pie crust, arrange slices on top and sprinkle with additional cheese, and bake.

Please tell me your favorite creation. I would love to hear from you.

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Join the Party! The More the Merrier!

 

Posted in Easy Recipes for Busy Days, Matters of the Heart, Warm the Soul

Dumping Dinner: Chicken and Rice Soup

thepartysinthekitchen.me

I received this text this morning from my daughter, Charity—

Hey, Mom, we all got sick last night and were wondering if you could go to the store for us.

When my daughter says all, she is talking about a lot of people. You see, she has six children, age 10 and under. The flu at her house is serious business especially when she has it, too. So, I did what any mama/grandma would do. I brought her requested items of chicken soup, saltine crackers, and ginger ale to her front door, peeked in, hugged the one non-sick child, and said a quick prayer for their recovery on my way back to my car. Oh, man, it’s gonna be a long day over there.

I wish I had been more prepared. It would have been much more comforting to have some homemade chicken soup to take, but I didn’t have what I needed so I bought the canned instead. Now that I’m back home, I have come up with a Chicken and Rice Soup that can quickly be cooked up on the stove-top or in the crockpot. I have included directions for freezing as well. That way, when you or someone you love comes down sick, in a very short time you can have some comfort simmering away.


Chicken and Rice Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 8.5 ounce pouch shelf-stable rice or rice-mixture of your choice or 1 ½ cooked rice.

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients except rice into a 6-quart crock pot then cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken breasts are cooked through. If using stove-top, simmer everything except rice until chicken is tender.
  2. Remove chicken and shred. Stir back into soup along with rice.
  3. Serve.
  4. Enjoy!

For freezing:

Dump all ingredients except chicken broth and rice into 1 gallon freezer bag, close, label and freeze. To cook follow directions above adding 2 hours to your cooking time.

Extra:

This soup can be easily transformed into what you crave or adjusted to what you have in your pantry. Experiment and let me know how it turns out.