Thursday, August 18, 2011

A New Arrival

You may have noticed how us posters here at Paisley are a little distracted with life and not too consistent at posting lately. Look and see what a beautiful distraction we have... Happy BIRTH-day to Amber's new daughter and Lorie's new granddaughter, Lil' Lady G! She weighed in at 7 lbs and 8oz. She was delivered at home and her and her mama are doing GREAT!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Homemade Sweet & Sour Sauce

When I was a girl, my mother frequently brought home Chinese takeout and my favorite was the sweet & sour pork. As a young wife and mother, I wanted to learn to make my own, and got this recipe from a friend many many years ago. It has become a family favorite of ours.

  •  1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 TBSP corn starch
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 6 TBSP soy sauce
  • 3 clove minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP fresh grated ginger
Mix brown sugar and corn starch in small sauce pan until well blended. Then add liquids and other ingredients. Heat until thick. Use for dipping egg rolls, won tons or chicken nuggets, or add pork or chicken and vegetables for a main dish.

Traditionally, sweet & sour pork is made with marinaded pork (Marinade raw pork chunks in garlic and soy sauce) drenched in corn starch and then deep fried. It's delicious if you want to go to all that work and have the extra calories. I've gotten lazy and more calorie conscious over the years, though, so I usually just use grilled chicken or slow cooked unseasoned pork, which is also very tasty. I like to add red and green bell peppers, onion chunks, carrots, celery and pineapple tidbits to my dish. Stir fry the vegetables in a bit of olive oil, add the cooked meat (I used pork here, but boneless grilled chicken works well too).

Then pour over the prepared sauce and serve over steamed white (or brown) rice.

I love this sauce! I've been using this recipe for over 20 years and have always had good results with it. As a bonus, it's much lower in sodium than bottled sauces and there's no MSG, for folks who are concerned about that.



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Raspberry Coconut Cookies

I tried a new cookie recipe from Taste of Home. They are so yummy. A little crunchy on the edges and soft and chewy in the middle. I made these with my homemade raspberry jam and they were a BIG hit!


1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam


In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, water and extract. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in coconut (dough will be sticky).
Set aside 2/3 cup dough; roll remaining dough into 1-in. balls. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make a 3/8-in. deep indentation in the center of each ball. Fill each with 1/2 teaspoon jam. Cover jam with a teaspoonful of reserved dough; seal and reshape into a ball. Repeat.
Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did.
Happy Baking