callie’s favorite – sweet & sour chicken

countyfair_ribbon_zpsd1937d631

Whenever the question comes up (which is quite often) – “What should we have for supper”? – Callie’s quick to say, “Sweet and sour chicken”.  I know it will never compare to some of her favorite Chinese food restaurants but it probably comes in a very close second. It wasn’t until this past summer that I came up with this “keeper”.  And, best of all, it’s not that hard to make. 

This recipe begins with cutting up chicken breasts into one inch chunks. I suppose you’re gonna ask, “how much chicken”? I usually make this by sight more than by recipe. So, I’m going to say three large breasts for the four of us. I put flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a large zip lock baggie and shake the chicken pieces until they’re covered.

IMG_3209I add Crisco to my cast iron skillet and preheat. When the oil is good and hot, fry the chicken pieces until golden brown and no pink center.

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callie’s favorite – sweet & sour chicken

countyfair_ribbon_zpsd1937d631

Whenever the question comes up (which is quite often) – “What should we have for supper”? – Callie’s quick to say, “Sweet and sour chicken”.  I know it will never compare to some of her favorite Chinese food restaurants but it probably comes in a very close second. It wasn’t until this past summer that I came up with this “keeper”.  And, best of all, it’s not that hard to make. 

This recipe begins with cutting up chicken breasts into one inch chunks. I suppose you’re gonna ask, “how much chicken”? I usually make this by sight more than by recipe. So, I’m going to say three large breasts for the four of us. I put flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a large zip lock baggie and shake the chicken pieces until they’re covered.

IMG_3209I add Crisco to my cast iron skillet and preheat. When the oil is good and hot, fry the chicken pieces until golden brown and no pink center.

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feeding 20 million

While we were in Limon, CO, the girls and I took our turn one evening to help with the supper meal. Although everything worked out just fine, it seemed like an overwhelming task considering we have a “Barbie” sized oven to cook in. After I mentioned the items the girls and I cooked in my post, it began only 17 days ago, I had a couple of people ask me for the recipes. If you read the post, you’ll also understand the title of this post.  I will share the recipes with you – but first, I have to tell a story about the cookbook they came from.

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Dutch Oven Pot Roast

One of our very favorite meals in the Z house is a pot roast. As far as the family goes, you can’t get any better than that (well…maybe a good steak).  So, when Mark agreed to cook the meal and I provided the beef, it was a good combination. Something interesting about the roast – it came all the way from Jordan, MT! Yep, we haul hamburger, roasts, steaks and few cube steaks all the way home from Jordan every year. Why? Well because they only have the very best locker in the entire world! We’ve got it down to a science as far as how that frozen meat makes the 2 1/2 day trip without thawing (even when the temps rise sometimes as high as 90+).

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As Promised…Cheesy Potato Soup (and more)

Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to share a couple of items I found the other day while looking for something else. Surely you’ve never done that! The other day, I said something to Callie referring to the tigers which turned to butter in the story, “Little Black Sambo”. That was one I remember my Grandma reading to me and it was a favorite of mine. Callie had no clue what I was talking about and I wanted her to read it. Well, for some reason, it wasn’t in the place I always thought I remembered it being in. Instead, I found these great reminders of days gone by:

This is an old postcard Grandma sent from Regina, Saskatchewan in 1972. Her friend, in turn, returned it to Grandma and then Grandma gave it to me (knowing my love for the harvest). This is what is written on the back in Grandma’s handwriting, “We’ve had a very good year. This is like our 3 machines and we pick wheat up like it shows here in the North Country. Only we have cabs. I LOVE it up here. Pauline”

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Time for a recipe (minus pictures)

I’ve just about got the cakes done! The layers have been put together and all I need to do is add the pretty “stuff” to the top. I think I’ll do that tomorrow. 11 cakes complete! When they’re all on the table looking beautiful, I’ll share a picture of them with you. This will happen on Saturday. I found one of my favorite Peach Pie recipes and wanted to share it with you. We’re slightly out of fresh peach season so print it off and save it for next summer 🙂

3/4 c. sugar

3 Tbsp flour

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

dash salt

dash nutmeg

Combine all the above ingredients and add to 5 cups sliced peaches. Pour peaches  into pie crust and dot with 2 Tbsp of butter/margarine. As I said in a previous pie recipe post, I use the cheap store brand pie shells which are pre-made, rolled and in a box.  Add the top crust, cut slits to allow the steam to escape. Bake 400 degrees for 40-45 mins. You may want to put aluminum foil around the edge of the pie to prevent the crust from burning.

The week is going to go by fast and I can’t wait to see everyone who’s coming to Jamie and Curt’s wedding reception. Pictures coming soon…

My family’s favorite meatball recipe and other ramblings

I have nothing fun and/or exciting to share with you tonight. I decided that while Jim was doing more combine clean up work, I would start working on the trailer house since I had hot water and a sewer drain. When we get home, I generally unload everything and then clean the trailer house from ceiling to floor. You would be amazed at how dirty this can get with road dirt and cooking. So, I try to thoroughly clean it before it gets put away for the winter. Last year, I put the trailer on a RV site thinking maybe I could sell it. I’ve had a couple of bites on it this summer so maybe if I get it cleaned and someone really wants to look at it, it’ll be in good shape. After it’s completely unloaded and cleaned, we’ll winterize it and put it in a shed we rent for the winter. If there was any one thing I wish Jim had it would be his own shed – with cement floor and heat. He can’t do anything with the equipment in the spring until it warms up and quits raining so he can work in the yard.

I guess the ideal time to have built a shed would have been when we started this business. At one time, our dream was to have 10 acres in the country with a shed and a newer home. At the time, we couldn’t afford 10 acres and then life just happened and the dream didn’t materialize. Now, we’re both older and getting older every day. I sort of think the shed idea probably won’t happen. So, we’ll just continue to rent one and hope that lasts a few years longer.

The house we live in is the one we moved into while I was pregnant with Jamie twenty six years ago. At the time, we thought it really seemed like a lot of house since we were moving from a one bedroom apartment. Then, Jamie came and Jenna shortly after. Taylor and Callie, too. So, at one time there was six of us living in a three bedroom house with just barely 1,000 square ft. But, as the sign in my entryway says, “Love grows in little houses” and it certainly did. Our little beginner home will probably be our finisher home. That’s ok, though, because unless we built a home on the acre we have, I would really HATE leaving my yard. Everything in my yard has been done with my hands except for a couple of nice oak trees that are in the yard. And Jordan is under one of those oaks. I wouldn’t want to leave her.

I made my family’s favorite meatballs for supper tonight. It was a little weird not making the amount I usually do. Even the pan I did make will take Jim forever to eat. Lots of meatball sandwiches 🙂 A funny story to tell you about meatball sandwiches. One of our hired guys came from around home. He was a good kid and would eat just about anything you put in front of him. He also went along with us for two summers. Anyways, it wasn’t until years after he was with us I learned that all the meatball sandwiches I fed him (using leftover meatballs) were eaten but hated. Poor guy! I wish he would have told me how much he disliked them! Sorry Homer!!

MEATBALLS (this recipe can be cut in half for a smaller batch)

3 lbs. ground beef                                          1 – 13 oz. can evaporated milk

2 eggs                                                                             SAUCE

2 cups oatmeal                                               2 cups catsup

1 cup chopped onion                                     1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. garlic powder                                   1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tsp. salt                                                          1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. pepper                                                    1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. chili powder                                          1 Tbsp. prepared mustard

Mix all ingredients together and form into balls. Place in 9 x 13 pan.  For sauce, combine all ingredients. Pour sauce over meatballs. For small meatballs, bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. For large meatballs, bake covered for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Small meatballs are great as an appetizer.

Jim was disappointed that I didn’t use the picture of him with his head down by the food with a huge smile on his face. The pictures of the flowers were taken this spring before we left home.