Szechuan Green Beans

Recipes in This PostSzechewan Green Beans

This is for my friend, Adel Luzuriaga of Realty Benefit Systems, who introduced me to these wonderful beans at Harvest Inn in Glendale. Sadly, the restaurant is now closed, but the recipe lives on. I love beans made this way, and I’m glad that Adel and I were able to share them together.

I just finished reading 9 Dragons, a Harry Bosch novel. This time, Harry is in Hong Kong trying to rescue his kidnapped daughter. This book made me think about a few things.9dragons

  1. My son Spane, how I would react if something like that happened to my child.
  2. Eleanor Wish – I feel bad about what happened to her. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happened. No spoilers here!
  3. Chinese Food! Gosh, when I was reading this book all I could think about was good Chinese food, specifically, Szechuan Green Beans!

We missed Chinese New Year in 2014, but we’re making our own Chinese New Year with Szechuan Orange Pork Loin Roast, Fried Rice, Asian Coleslaw, and Szechuan Green Beans. I’m going to get out the wok my friend Joan Gearing gave me 20 years ago, and get cooking. I can’t wait!

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Gambas Al Ajillo – Barbecued Chili Garlic Shrimp

Recipes in this PostGambas Al Ajillo - Barbecued Chili Garlic Shrimp

I will admit I have been remiss at not sharing this recipe earlier. As I was going through photos that my friend sent me from Memorial Day, I happened upon this one, and forgot that I had never shared this with any of you. This dish is so simple, great as an appetizer, or you could have it with rice and something green as a main dish. I actually made this on my Weber, but you could also make it on the stove top.

I subscribe to Saveur Magazine‘s digital edition, and was thrilled to find this recipe in their June/July edition. I adapted it to the ingredients I had available, and it was fantastic.

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Nancy’s Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes

Recipes in this Post Nancu's Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes

I have a wonderful friend, Nancy, who makes the best chicken, Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken. Nancy was a Pan Am stewardess, so you know that chicken had to be good. Now, Nancy is a member of Kiwanis. As part of her volunteer work with Kiwanis, she invited my son to help her be Guest Chef at Ascencia. My son was too interested in playing with the other children who had also been invited to help her. I don’t think the kids did much helping, they just did a lot of playing.

She made this moist, crusty chicken that everyone loved. I got to be on the clean up team, but I’m not a forensic chef, so I didn’t know quite how she made it. None of those children made any notes on how she prepared that chicken, either.

Nancy;'s recipe for Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Nancy’s Recipe for Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Well, I saw Nancy a few days ago, and she wrote the recipe down for me. I asked her if it had bread crumbs, and she said no. Well, I decided to change the recipe, just a bit and add Panko bread crumbs. I like Panko bread crumbs because they stay nice and crisp, and they have very little flavor of their own.

My local corner store had some lovely fingerling potatoes at the counter when I was checking out a few days ago, and I picked some up. Potatoes go very well chicken, and these little ones will be done at the same time the chicken will be done. Tonight, when I was washing them, I noticed one of them had grown a few eyes. I put it back in the bag and put it in the dry goods drawer. It will be going out and living in the Apartment Vegetable Garden when its roots get a little longer.

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Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Recipes in this PostBiscuits and Sausage Gravy

When I was in college, one of my friends introduced me to another girl, Biba Hughes, who would become my best friend. I dated her brother, I got the father/daughter talk from her father because my father had died, and I was privileged to be in the kitchen with her mother, who made the absolutely best food. One of our favorites was Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. Her mother made the best, and still does. Mine is good, but Jeanne Hughes has some mother thing going that just makes hers the best.

With that in mind, and a package of raw bulk sausage in hand, I decided to make sausage gravy for dinner. I will happily admit that I am biscuit challenged, so I just got a package of refrigerated biscuits. No recipe for those here, yet.

Jeanne Hughes usually uses Italian sausage, but I had regular bulk sausage. I still wanted to make my gravy like hers, so I added the missing ingredients, garlic and fennel seed. She also has a secret ingredient that I am about to share with you…

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Stuffed Ciabatta Garlic Bread

Recipes in this PostStuffed Ciabatta Garlic Bread

We are very lucky living in Glendale, where there is a wonderful bakery that makes the best breads, including a Ciabatta bread. When I picked Spane up this afternoon, and needed some things at the store, I passed by the bread aisle and couldn’t help smelling the fresh bread.

This bread was pillow soft with a crisp crust very reminiscent of the true Ciabatta bread found in the Lake Como region of Italy. It is nothing like the stuff that comes from mass bakeries.

Since the breads are small but rather flat and elongated, I knew it would be perfect for Stuffed Garlic Bread to go with our Antipasto Salad with Original Brown Derby Dressing.

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Apartment Vegetable Garden

Plants in this PostApartment Vegetale Garden in a Drawer

Has this happened to you? Have you had a vegetable start growing roots in your refrigerator? Green onions have done that to me numerous times, and I have always thrown the root part out. This time when that happened, I said “If you can live in my refrigerator, then you can live outside in dirt.”

We live in an apartment, and we don’t have a patio or yard, and yet I have always wanted to grow at least some of my own food. Well, Charlie, as my friend called him, started me on our apartment vegetable garden. I will be updating this post regularly as the vegetables grow.

We already had a basil plant that was doing fine living on top of the outside of the air conditioner. We even named her Lucille, but her name is pronounced the way that Little Richard did it in his song by the same name, Lucille. I have provided a video if you don’t remember it.

My good friend, who is the director of United States Soldiers Assistance Center and board member of Heal Children with Cancer Worldwide, suggested I use an unused dresser drawer for my garden. She was right, and the garden is doing fine.

Apartment Vegetable Garden

Apartment Vegetable Garden


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