Category Archives: Family Recipe

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Bruce and I lead very busy lives so cooking dinner on weekday evenings can be a crazy mad scramble. I’ve learned over the years to prep what I can in the morning before work and by the time I get home in the evening all I have to do is toss together a salad, make a quick side dish and grill up dinner.  Done.  If there is any one dish that tastes great and easy to make, my Lemon Rosemary Chicken is one that fits the bill.

Fresh picked Rosemary from my garden.

To make the Lemon Rosemary Chicken, all you need is boneless skinless chicken thighs, fresh rosemary, fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and some spices.  Toss all the ingredients in a covered container in the morning before work, cover and refrigerate.  Come home, pull the chicken out of the fridge, toss on a grill or grill pan, and cook until the juices run clear.  See?  I told you that it was easy…  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbs rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Toss all ingredients in a covered container and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  Toss any remaining marinade.  Place on medium hot barbecue grill or grill pan.  Turn chicken when halfway cooked.  Cook until juices run clear or the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Pull from grill, let chicken rest for about 5 minutes covered, garnish with sprigs of rosemary and plate up.  Serves 4 – 6 people.


Indonesian Meatballs

Indonesian Meatball

I found this little gem of a recipe for Indonesian Meatballs while digging through my old ugly recipe box the other day.  The recipe is from my family and I vague remember them sharing this dish years ago at family gatherings.  I’ve had this recipe for Indonesian Meatballs saved for a number of years and since I had a pound of ground beef stashed in my freezer I thought I’d give it a shot.  Indonesian Meatballs are made with ground beef, minced onion, garlic, nutmeg, cloves and finished with Indonesian soy sauce and fresh chopped tomato.  These meatballs are moist, flavorful and tastes delish!  Makes 2 dozen meatballs.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
  • big pinch of cloves
  • 1 slice of bread soaked in 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 2 Tbs butter for frying (or more)
  • garnish with thinly sliced green onions

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbs Indonesian Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 tomato chopped into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbs butter

In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together all of the meatball ingredients (except butter).  Roll beef mixture into 24 golf ball sized balls.  If the meat is too sticky to handle add a bit of bread crumbs to the mixture.  Heat a large frying pan on a medium flame and add butter.  Add meatballs to the pan, careful not to let them touch.  You may have to brown the meatballs in batches if your pan is too small.  Once the meatballs are evenly browned, add all the meatballs back to the pan, add sauce ingredients and cover.  Cook on low for about a half an hour or 45 minutes, until the tomato has cooked down.  Add additional water if necessary.  Taste the sauce, correct your seasonings and serve.  Makes 24 little appetizers.

Indonesian Corn Fritters (Perkedel Jagung)

Indonesian Corn Fritters

I have an ugly old recipe box that I have hidden away in the back of a cupboard in my kitchen.  The box is well over twenty five years old and was originally designed to neatly hold 3 by 5 recipe cards.  Instead it is stuffed with recipes written on various sizes of paper of all shapes and color…  If you look closely, I even have a folded up paper plate with a recipe for shrimp sauce from a local restaurant jammed in the front of the box.  My recipe box with its mishmash of old scraps of paper is truly a treasure trove.  While digging through it this morning, I found an old family recipe for Indonesian Corn Fritters.   I had a bag of corn in my freezer and I knew what I was going to make…

My Ugly Old Recipe Box

It’s been years since I have prepared Perkedel Jagung or Indonesian Corn Fritters.   Indonesian Corn Fritters are little fried cakes with whole kernel corn, chopped celery leaves, minced green onions, garlic, coriander, and other spices.   You can eat them plain, drizzle them with sambal oelek or my all time favorite, sweet chili sauce.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 pound frozen whole corn kernels (defrosted)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 5 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper or to taste
  • oil for frying (I used canola)
  • cilantro for garnish

Grab a food processor.  Add all ingredients except 1/2 of the corn, oil for frying and the cilantro garnish.  Pulse ingredients until well blended.  Don’t over mix.  Add contents of processor into a medium sized bowl.  Add remainder of the corn.  Mix well.

Heat a non stick frying pan.  Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil on medium high heat.  Fry until golden brown and flip to cook other side.  Cook until done and drain on paper towels.  Add more oil as needed. Garnish with cilantro and drizzle with your favorite sauce.   Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 dozen fritters.





Years ago when my sister and I were growing up, our father would occasionally prepare dinner.  He had two “signature” dishes.  We either got creamed chipped beef on toast (aka S.O.S.) or Slumgullion.  We did not have a choice but when we knew when he was cooking dinner we hoped and we prayed that we would get the Slumgullion.

Slumgullion is a warm, beefy, tomato based macaroni noodle stew with humble roots.  Many versions of this dish have been around for seventy five plus years.  You may also know this dish as American Goulash or Slumgull.  This version comes from my father who grew up during the great depression in Omaha, Nebraska.  His family did not have much money and this is what they often served at their dinner table during those rough times.  Slumgullion is amazingly simple, tastes really good, and can be easily made with ingredients you may already have.  I sometimes substitute ground bison for the beef for a leaner dish.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2/3 c. tomato ketchup
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 c. water
  • 8 oz. dried large elbow macaroni pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil

In large sauté pan add canola oil and onion.  Cook the onion until opaque.  Add the ground beef and cook until lightly browned.  Add the stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, garlic, oregano, chili powder, water, salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.   Stirring occasionally.  Cook pasta to the manufacturers direction (about 6 minutes).  Drain.  Add macaroni pasta and simmer for about 10 more minutes.  Ladle into bowls.  Serves 4 – 5 people.

Easy Bami Goreng

Easy Bami Goreng

Bami Goreng is an Indonesian fried noodle dish.  Quite frankly, I think that there are as many versions of this dish as there are islands in all of Indonesia.  This recipe for Bami Goreng is what I used to make for myself and friends while I was away studying at college.  My Easy Bami Goreng is ridiculously inexpensive, simple to make, and tastes wonderful.  Not to mention, when you prepare this dish, people really think that you are an exotic cook.

My Easy Bami Goreng is prepared using cheap Oriental flavored ramen noodles, fresh vegetables, garlic, Indonesian soy sauce, cilantro and  fiery sambal oelek.  That’s about it!  You can add cooked chicken, shrimp or tofu if you would like or you can even use whatever vegetables you have on hand.  The flavor combinations you can make with this dish are endless.  Makes 1 big serving. Enjoy! Tessa


  • 1 package ramen noodles (Oriental flavor)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup leeks (cleaned well, white part only, thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (shredded or sliced into match sticks)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbs cilantro chopped plus more for garnish.
  • 1/2 tsp sambal oelek (optional and to taste)

Begin by boiling the water in a saucepan.  Cook ramen noodles for  about  2 1/2 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Do not overcook.  Set aside the spice packet.  In a medium hot wok, add canola oil, onions and leeks.  Stir fry for about 2 minutes or until onions are tender, adding a bit of water if necessary.  Add the carrots, bell pepper, garlic, spice packet and sambal oelek.  Stir fry another 2 minutes.  Add the cooked ramen noodles and Indonesian soy sauce.  Cook until noodles are warmed through.  Add the cilantro.  Toss and serve.  Garnish with fresh sprigs of cilantro.  Makes one big flavorful bowl of cheap tasty noodles!

Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes

I love living in Southern Oregon.  We may not have the fanciest of restaurants like faraway places such as New York, Los Angeles or even Paris but we do have some amazing local ingredients at our fingertips.  And fresh salmon is definitely one of them.

I remember the very first time I caught a salmon on the Rogue River not far from my home.  The Chinook salmon that I caught was almost three feet long and it pulled so hard that it felt like I was reeling in a Volkswagen bus. It took me about twenty minutes (it seemed like an eternity) and all of my strength to successfully land that fish.  I will never forget that day.  I had such a great time!

Well, it has been many years since I caught a fish that big but I know that if I want to prepare fresh salmon, all I have to do is stop by my local grocery store or butcher.  Even if salmon is not in season, I know that I can always find a good quality frozen salmon filet in the freezer section of my local grocery store.  My Salmon Cakes are a wonderful representation of Southern Oregon cuisine.  They are light, flavorful and have a wonderful salmon flavor.  They are made with delicate panko bread crumbs, onion, celery, shredded carrots, fresh herbs and spices.  You can make about 10 large (3 ounce) cakes or two dozen smaller cakes for tasty little appetizers.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 3/4 pound cooked flaked salmon (no bones)
  • 1 cup celery and leaves (diced fine)
  • 3/4 cup white onion (minced)
  • 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrot
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • canola oil for frying

In a nonstick fry pan, on a medium flame, cook the celery, onion, parsley, carrots, butter and Old Bay seasoning until the onions are cooked or about 5 minutes.  Let cool. In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and eggs.  Gently fold in the salmon, the vegetable mixture and the panko bread crumbs.   Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

Using a 3 ounce scoop, form mixture into 10 patties.  Fry patties in a small bit of canola oil in a non stick pan.  Use only a tablespoon or more of the oil because you want the nonstick pan to do all the work.  Cook about 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.  Remove from heat.  Serve with lemon wedges or your favorite dipping sauce such as tartar or cocktail sauce.

Mixed Bean Soup

Mixed Bean Soup

It’s been two weeks into 2012 and I am happy to say that I am doing a fairly good job of living up to my New Year’s expectation of being less wasteful in the kitchen.  Often times when I make soup from dried beans that I purchase in those little plastic bags, I have some leftover beans.  So, I keep a jar in my cupboard just for that purpose.  I toss the leftover dried beans into the jar and I give it a gentle shake to mix them up, taking care not to break the beans.

My little jar of mixed beans is proof that cooking a great bowl of soup is not rocket science.  Every time I make my mixed bean soup, it is not exactly the same as the last time and in fact may taste a bit different than the last time I made it depending on the mixture of the beans.  I say so what and who cares?  The point is to use what you have, make it taste great and be less wasteful.

I bet you may be wondering what’s currently in my mixed bean jar?   There are some black beans, pinto beans, brown lentils, great northern beans, split peas both green and yellow, lima beans, black eyed peas, garbanzos, and red beans.  After I shot this photo, I removed 2 cups of beans from this jar for my soup and  I then tossed in some Anasazi beans and lima beans for later use.

My recipe for Mixed Bean Soup is hearty, good for you and very easy to make.  You can use whatever mixture of dried beans you have on hand or if you want, you could buy a more expensive premixed blend of beans.  My Mixed Bean Soup has Italian style tomatoes, beef stock, onions, celery, carrots, oregano, basil, cumin, and I even tossed in a bit of leftover ham that was tucked away in my fridge.  You could even make this in a slow cooker if you would like.  Just toss in all the ingredients, place on low, cover, and walk away for about 8 hours.  Cooking time may vary depending on the type of beans that you use.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 cups dried mixed beans (picked over and soaked in water overnight)
  • 2 quarts of beef stock (use more if desired)
  • 1 – 28 ounce can of Italian style crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup carrot (chopped)
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped ham (optional)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Place all ingredients in a large pot.  Cover, cook low and slow for about 2 hours or until beans are tender.  Stir occasionally. Be sure to taste the soup and correct your seasonings.  Dish up, garnish with parsley and serve.  Makes about 8 servings.  Can be frozen for later use.

Note: This is a really good recipe for busy college students.  It’s easy on the wallet and you can get a few good meals out of this…

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs…  No holiday party at my home would be complete without them.  I guess it’s because both my sister and I just love them.  Whenever my sister sees them out on the counter in the midst of all the appetizers, she says “Oooh! deviled eggs!”.  On the other hand, my husband Bruce says “Eeyooo!, deviled eggs!…”  I gotta laugh at Bruce for the poor man does not know what he is missing.  I look at it this way.  Fine with me!  More deviled eggs for my sister and I.

I purchase my eggs from a family who has a farm a few miles from my home.  Their chickens are what many purists would consider “free range organic”.  In other words, the chickens run around their back yard, eat what they want, and are not given a bunch of antibiotics or other medications to help make them stay healthy.  The only worries these chickens have are what kitchen scraps they are going to get that evening or watching out for the little grey foxes that live in the nearby apricot orchard.

My deviled eggs are easy to make, taste great and fit nicely at any occasion.  They are creamy with a green onion, mustard, relish and a hint of Madras curry powder.  Makes 2 dozen deviled egg appetizers.  Enjoy! Tessa


  • 1 dozen hard cooked eggs
  • 3/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbls. minced green onion
  • 1 Tbls. yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbls. sweet relish
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. hot madras curry powder
  • a big pinch of white pepper
  • a pinch of sugar
  • paprika for garnish

Begin by making your hard cooked eggs.  Let cool.  Peel eggs slowly under cold running water.  Slice each egg in half lengthwise.  Remove the yolks and place in a medium sized bowl.  Place egg whites on a plate.  Use a fork to smash the egg yolks into very fine pieces.  Add remainder of ingredients with the exception of the paprika.  Use a hand mixer and whip together the yolk mixture until light and fluffy.

Take egg yolk mixture and either spoon it into the the egg whites or do as I do and pipe it into the eggs.  If you like the piping effect and you don’t have a pastry bag and tip, simply put the egg yolk mixture in a plastic bag and snip a corner off the bag.  Then pipe…  It’s easy.  When you are done, garnish with a light sprinkling of paprika and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Makes 24 deviled egg appetizers.

Herb Rolls













Herb Rolls

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  It is without a doubt the perfect excuse to spend quality time with family and friends.  This year were invited to spend the Thanksgiving holiday at my brother in law’s parents home.  We always love going to Jim and Kathy’s house.  It seems like nearly everyone in the house is an amazing cook and it’s always fun to see what dishes others have to contribute.  This year we had both turkey and ham, stuffing, potatoes, yams, ginger carrots, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce, chicken livers, bruschetta, pumpkin pies, apple pie, cookies, whipped cream, cheeses, and so much more.  Their house is noisy with dishes clanking, champagne bottles popping, people laughing and the sound of football on the TV.  There was so much food that I think I gained 5 pounds yesterday…

One of my contributions to this year’s  great feast was my fresh baked herb rolls.  I’ve been making these savory little herb rolls for nearly 25 years.  I’ve baked them for countless holiday dinners and it’s to the point that no dinner is quite complete without them.  What makes these rolls so special is that I like to use fresh herbs snipped directly from my garden.  I have planted rosemary, parsley and chives next to the back door specifically for this purpose.  I would love to take complete credit for this fabulous recipe but I can’t.   This recipe was originally adapted from my Good Housekeeping Illustrated cookbook.


4 1/2 cups flour
1/3 c. baking sugar
2 packages quick rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. nonfat milk
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
2 eggs
1/4 c. finely chopped mixed herbs  (parsley, rosemary and chives)

1 egg beaten with 1 Tbls. nonfat milk for the glaze

In a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl, add your sugar, yeast, salt and 1 1/2 c. flour.  Put the milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave about 1 minute until milk is very warm and butter is melted.   Add the milk and butter to mixing bowl.  Using a dough hook on your mixer, slowly mix for about 3 minutes, meanwhile scraping the side of the bowl.  Add another 1/2 c. of flour and the eggs.  Keep mixing for about 2 more minutes.  Add the remaining flour.  Mix for another 8 minutes or until the dough is mixed well and elastic.

On a lightly floured surface add the dough from the bowl.   Flatten dough with your hands and knead the fresh herbs into the dough for about 2 more minutes.  Turn the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.  Punch down the dough and let rest for about 10 – 15 minutes.  Separate dough into 24 even sized pieces (1 1/2 ounces each).  Roll into balls.  Place on silpat lined or greased cookie sheet and cover with a cloth.  Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Uncover the rolls and brush with the egg glaze.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden.  When the herb rolls are done, pull from oven and let cool for a bit on wire racks.  Serve warm with fresh cream butter.  Makes about 24 herb gems.

Persimmon Cookies

 Persimmon Cookies

Fall in Southern Oregon brings a bounty of locally grown fruits and vegetables.  Yesterday, when I stopped at one of my favorite produce stands, I found some gorgeous hachiya persimmons.  Hachiya persimmons are fist sized heart shaped fruits that have a beautiful deep orange color.  You have to know that in my opinion, persimmons don’t get a lot of credit and are often overlooked by those who don’t know what they are or how to use them.

Hachiya persimmons must be fully ripened before you consume them.  With this fruit, fully ripe means seriously mushy.  Whenever I get a bunch of unripe persimmons, I prefer to set them on the kitchen counter and use them as they ripen naturally or as I just learned today, toss the unripe persimmons in the freezer and use them the very next day.  I obtained that helpful hint from an elderly produce man who obviously spent his entire career working with fruits and vegetables.  Pretty smart eh?













Hachiya Persimmons

My recipe for Persimmon Cookies was handed down to me from my Aunt Eunice.  I gotta tell you, Eunice was such a character.  She never learned to drive a car, loved to wear bright pumpkin colored lipstick,  and walked everywhere she needed to go.  As long as I knew her she always had an orange cat and no matter how many cats she had, the cat was always named Lucky.  She had at least 3 cats named Lucky that I knew of in my lifetime…

Aunt Eunice’s original persimmon cookie recipe included 1 cup of raisins and 1 up of walnuts. However, I changed up the recipe a bit, eliminated the raisins and walnuts, and added sweet dried Oregon cranberries.  I never did care for raisins and I am unfortunately allergic to the walnuts.   Add them if you like, especially if you want to get the flavor of the original recipe.

If you have access to hachiya persimmons, without a doubt you gotta make these cookies.  They are moist, cakey and have a wonderful spiciness to them.  Thank you Aunt Eunice!  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 cup persimmon pulp or puree
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • or omit the cranberries and add 1 cup each of raisins and walnuts for the taste of the original recipe.

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl cream together the persimmon pulp, sugar, egg and shortening.  In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.  Add the vanilla extract and cranberries until well blended.  Drop by teaspoon or using a small cookie scoop on a silicone lined or greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.  Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on a wire rack.  Store tightly covered.  Makes 3 dozen cookies.