I post recipes here the way that I make them, so of course you should feel free to adapt these to what your family likes!
To make this blog user-friendly, I put tags for each major ingredient of each recipe, as well as for type of dish, and ethnicity, so you can go to the list on the side here (scroll down) and search for specific things.
If you like a recipe, please comment! If you have a yummy adaptation, please leave that in the comments as well!

Spinach Stuffed Pork Loin

If you have never made stuffed meat before, I heartily recommend watching this youtube tutorial for how to slice open the meat. It was very helpful for me.
I started with this recipe as a basis, but altered it a lot.
I think this same filling combination would be awesome in a turkey breast, although you'll have to do your own research on how to slice the sucker. ☺

1 pork loin (I don't know how many pounds, but mine was about 12inches long..3ish pounds maybe?)
1 c sour cream
1/2-3/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2-3/4 (10 oz) package of frozen spinach, thawed (about 1 1/2 c cooked and chopped), and well drained
1/2 c diced onion
2-3 cloves minced garlic (I did 5...)
1/3 c dry bread crumbs
a few Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
string (I made due with thread, but that tends to cut into the meat, so string is much better)

Cut open roast according to directions in tutorial, so that is lays flat.
Spread sour cream evenly over meat.
Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over sour cream.
Saute onions in a little olive oil until they get soft and glassy--but not browned (optional), then mix spinach, garlic, onion, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Put in the olive oil from the onions, plus a little extra as needed to make the mixture stick together (it should not be crumbly nor slimy, but just kinda gooshy...) Sprinkled spinach mixture evenly over the mozzarella on the meat.

Roll up the meat log, and tie closed to secure it. Then carefully transfer it to a pan.

Bake, uncovered, at 325 for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. It is done when the internal temperature reaches 160* (use a food thermometer, if you overcook it it will be very dry, but if you undercook it it won't be safe). I hear that you can cook it to about 135 or 140, then take it out and 'tent it' (cover it with foil while still in the hot pan) and let it sit for about 15 minutes, then it will finish cooking in its tent. I have not done this personally, so I don't know. ☺

"Breakfast Cake"

Most folks in the world call these coffee cakes, but in a coffee-free household, I grew up calling it breakfast cake, because that was when we usually ate it. ☺
This cake--especially the sugar topping/filling part--is moister than most other coffee cakes I've had. I like it that way, but if you like the really dry/crumbly ones then this probably isn't the recipe for you. If you melt the butter in the topping, it will be moist but also sink to the middle or bottom of the cake. If you use just softened butter it will be a dryer topping and will stay on top better.
One of our favorite things to do is layer sliced peaches in the bottom of the pan before pouring in the batter (if you use canned, which I usually do, be sure to drain them first!)

[sorry I don't have a photo here, this was posted spur-of-the-moment specially for SamauriMom who needed a coffee cake recipe!]

Makes 1 8x8 pan (double recipe for a 9x13 pan) (I admit I usually do 2x the cake and 3x the topping in a 9x13...)

1 egg
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c milk
2 Tbs melted butter (the original recipe says shortening, but eww!)
1 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
Cream egg, sugar, milk, and butter. Add flour and baking powder. Mix well and pour into greased pan (over peaches or other soft fruit if desired).

1/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs flour
1 Tbs softened or melted butter
Mix together with a fork, and sprinkle over top of cake batter (or drop in more-or-less-even little blobs all over).

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Basic Bread

I usually make this half wheat/half white, because I've had troubles with it being too heavy when I did 100% wheat. However, I've recently begun using white wheat from the LDS church cannery and I am able to do 100% with that. The more whole wheat you use, the longer rising time it will need compared to if you do white.
This is my basic bread recipe, and the one I use to experiment with alternative flours, such as oat flour. Whenever exchanging in a new flour remember that not all flours have the same gluten content, so not all of them will rise very well. Oat flour for example won't hardly rise at all, and needs to be mixed with at least an equal amount of wheat flour or else have gluten added separately.
These photos happen to be of a rare white batch.
2 Tbs yeast
1 cup warm water
3 Tbs sugar (the original recipe called for more but I cut it back. I've tried leaving it out and it really seems to feed the yeast and help the whole thing rise--without the sugar I had flat bread--so I have settled on using this amount)
3 cups warm water or milk
4 Tbs oil or melted butter
1 Tbs salt
12 cups flour (white, wheat, or other)

Soften yeast in 1 c water with a little of the sugar. Set aside until it gets frothy (about 5 minutes). Put remaining water/milk, oil, salt, remaining sugar, and 2-3cups of flour in a very large bowl and mix well. Add frothy yeast and mix. Put in remaining flour and mix. Knead until smooth--about 10 minutes (don't short yourself here, a good knead makes a huge difference in the texture of your final outcome!). Grease or lightly flour the bowl, return dough to bowl and cover with a clean towel, and set somewhere warm to rise until double. Punch down the dough, then re-cover and let rise until double again. Divide into 4 parts, shape each into a loaf and place in pans. Cover with a towel and let rise again. (As a tip, whatever height the bread is at when you put it in the oven is roughly what it will be when it comes out of the oven...)
Bake at 400* for 25-30 minutes

See the light fluffy texture? (yes it gets that whether it's white or wheat, it's all about thorough kneading and having enough rise time!)


I am often an "eyeball measurer" meaning that I just dump a bit in and guess, rather than actually measuring. However sad experience has shown me that this recipe is one where it is worth measuring everything!!

1/2 lb ground pork (I recommend unseasoned, as maple or italian seasoning would be a bit weird for this!)
1/4 c chopped scallions (or onion, or green onion)
2 Tbs chopped red pepper
1 egg
2 tsp ketchup
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)

1 package potsticker or wonton wrappers (you can also use eggroll wrappers cut in quarters if you can't find the small ones)

Brown pork and remove to a paper towel to drain off grease (you can save the grease for frying the potstickers, or just drain it and fry with something else).
Mix pork with all other ingredients in a bowl (except the wrappers of course).

Put about 1 tsp of filling in each wrapper and close the edges (the packages usually have directions, otherwise see below). Fry in a little oil/grease for a couple of minutes--until browned on 2-3 sides. If desired, add 1/2-1 c water and put on a lid to steam them through, (some recipes say to boil them but I think they get waterlogged)

**To seal potstickers:
  1. Put filling in the center of the wrapper
  2. Moisten your finger in a bowl of water, then run it along the edges of the wrapper to make them sticky
  3. Fold the wrapper in half (with the filling in the middle) and stick the edges together. If you're feeling daring, try one of the fancier ideas below
  4. Squeeze out any excess filling juice as you seal it.
Envelope fold: bring one corner across the middle, then the opposite corner across the first. Finish by bringing the other pair over one at a time. This makes a flat little "package" that looks like an envelope.
Square Purse or Pyramid (shown above): pull all four corners together at the tips, then seal down each straight side (so it makes a little pyramid with the filling in the base).
Round Purse or Pyramid: find three roughly equally-spaced points around the edge, and bring them up to the center, sealing the edges between them. (I will try to remember to take pictures next time!)

Sesame Chicken

I adapted this recipe from the ones I found at allrecipes and recipezaar. It has a lot of ingredients, and no, you shouldn't leave anything out. There's a delicate balance at work here, and everything plays a part. The sauce is very sweet, and it needs the salty chicken to balance it; if you use the sauce alone you'll need to add some salt.
I like steaming some broccoli, onions, and carrots and serving them with the rice/sauce as well. Alternately, make just the sauce, and use it as a stir fry sauce (rather than making the fried chicken part).
Cornstarch can usually be replaced by using double the amount of flour...I don't recommend that for this recipe though because the thickening properties of the cornstarch are really important to the texture, and flour really doesn't do it as well.
To make this dish gluten-free, replace the flour with half the amount of cornstarch OR (better) with rice flour or a GF flour blend.

Chicken Marinade
mix in a medium sized bowl
2 Tbs soy sauce
3 drops *toasted sesame oil
2 Tbs flour
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs water
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vegetable oil
*the "toasted" part is important, it means the seeds were toasted before the oil was expressed, and it has a much stronger flavor. It's available in the asian section of the grocery store

Use fresh or thawed chicken--about 3 breasts or 4-5 thighs. Cut it into 1 inch chunks and then put into the marinade to sit for about 20 minutes (the marinade is thick so the chicken is not so much 'soaking' as it is 'coated' with the marinade).

Meanwhile get some rice going. ☺

Sesame Sauce
mix in a medium sized saucepan
1 1/2 c chicken broth
6 Tbs cornstarch dissolved into 3/4 c cold water
1/2 c sugar (this could probably be reduced, but I haven't played with that yet)
3 Tbs soy
2 Tbs rice wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
3 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp chili paste (or same amount of chili oil, or you could probably use red pepper flakes)
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
2 Tbs sesame seeds (you can sprinkle them on top at the end, but I find it easier to just mix them right into the sauce)
Mix over high heat, stirring continuously, until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low so that the sauce stays warm and thickens while you fry the chicken.

To Deep-Fry the chicken, I recommend using a wok if you can, because of its shape you'll be able to use less oil. To be really authentic, use peanut oil. Vegetable oil also works fine. (Light olive oil might be ok, but don't use EVOO--extra virgin--as it has a stronger flavor that just won't work for this.) Put enough oil in your pan to be about 1 1/2 or 2 inches deep, and heat it until very hot. Carefully add the chicken pieces a few at a time--they will want to stick together if you add them at once, so add them individually. Cook for 3-5 minutes (I always cut open the largest chunk from my first batch or two to check for doneness). Remove chicken from oil and set on paper towels to drain. You can set the cooked portions in the oven on low to keep warm while you cook the remaining chicken.

Place chicken on a large platter and pour sauce over it, then serve over rice.
Or, if you're like me, just serve everything in it's own dish and let people choose their own ratios. ☺

Honey Oatmeal Bread

This is light and yummy, but really fills you up.
As photographed here, I baked it in one big loaf in a deep cast iron pan. It came out really well that way. If not using stone or cast iron, then make sure to make two loaves rather than one, otherwise it will be too big to get cooked through evenly.
1/2 cup warm water
4 t yeast
Put together then set aside

1 1/4 cup water or milk
3 Tbs oil
6 Tbs honey
2 cups dry rolled oats
Mix liquids in a large bowl, then add oatmeal, and allow to soak for a few minutes before adding additional ingredients.

4-5+ cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
(if desired) enough powdered milk to make the water be 'milk' instead
Add some flour, then the yeast mixture, then the rest of the flour etc.
Stir until well mixed. It is a somewhat sticky dough, but add flour until you are able to knead it.
Set in the bowl in a warm place with a towel over the top and let rise until double.
Punch down, divide if necessary, and put into well-greased pan(s). Cover with towel and let rise a second time until double.
Bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes.
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