Author Archives: Cheneyfamily

Fennel and Anise Snowy Crinkle Cookies

Fennel and Anise make these cookies ideal to eat after a big meal.  Their snowy look makes them perfect for winter baking. Ingredients Mix 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar with 4 eggs and beat well Add 2 tsp anise extract to mixture and blend Sift 3 cups of flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 teaspoon…

Swedish Meatballs

I think it was Helen who first introduced us to these divine meatballs.  They recipe has been a jumping off point for many other versions since the first time we had them, probably in the 1970s.  You can add grated veggies – bits of carrots or spinach or even corn.  But the basic recipe is…

Chocolate Almond Cake for Ben’s birthday

This cake recipe is very good – you need to under bake it so that the center is a little underdone.  The cake was decorated with almonds – and you can think ahead and make a pretty design too. First you cream together the butter and sugar, and then add the rest of the ingredients,…

Char’s Banana Bread

This is a “mix the dry then the wet ingredients, then put them together” recipe. Preheat the oven to 350 and bake for 55 minutes.  Depending on the type of oven, it could easily take more or less time, so make sure you check for doneness.  Makes one loaf pan – the bigger size. Mix…

Almond Cookies for Chinese New Year – and any other time!

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a cookie sheet, best with parchment. Ingredients: 40 whole almonds for the top of the cookies ** instructions for blanching below 2.5 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup sugar 2 cups blanched almonds, finely ground 3/4 cup butter (170 grams) 2 eggs, beaten 2…

Gingerbread Extraordinary

Yes, I mean that!  The best gingerbread I ever made, and I won’t be making any other recipes for the rest of my life I bet.  This one is top of the charts.  It is dark, moist, fragrant, spicy but not too spicy, and not too sweet. Divine.             Here…

Mika’s Marshmallow Crispy Treats Cockaigne

Do you like these?  I like Mika’s version.  The flavor is deeper and the kind of thing that you always want more of.  It is different from what is on the box.  Basically she doubles the butter, browns it, and then adds salt.  Something that simple takes an ordinary thing and makes it special.  Why…

Make spaghetti from vegetables – with pistachio sauce!

Pistachio sauce is a divinely nutty and fragrant topping for anything, but when you put it on noodles peeled from zucchini, squash, or other vegetables, it makes the dish dreamy.  You are actually eating a low carb lunch or dinner!  It is perfect for a spring dinner. This recipe has two innovations – +Noodles made from…

Celtic Knot Cookies – perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day tea!

These cookies are so beautiful and elegant!  They will be perfect for a Saint Patrick’s Day tea party, or just for simple but unusual dessert on Saint Patrick’s Day. You can use any cookie dough you like, as long as it can be rolled into long pencil thin rolls when you form it into knots.  I…

Valentine’s Day honey cookies

These cookies are so good we have made them for every Valentine’s Day since 1974.  They are not overly sweet, and if you want to have colors, you can make an icing glaze and add decorations like red hot candies, conversation hearts, sprinkles of all sorts.  Conversation hearts are fun because you can make messages…

Gavvy Cakes – Buttermilk Sour Cream Pancakes

These pancakes are the favorite from the Burns side of the family. Mix together: 2 egg yolks (the whites are added later) 1 ½ cups buttermilk ½ cup sour cream Add ¼ cup butter, melted Add 1 cup all purpose flour ¾ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt Beat until smooth.  Then add 2 egg…

MacInnis fondue

Fondue without wine was what I wanted when I began my fondue recipe hunt in the 1980s..  And I found several, but the one we all decided was the tastiest was from the More With Less Cookbook put out by the Mennonites.  It is a wonderful cookbook, and has served us well all these years…

SS France Rolls for Thanksgiving and Christmas

This roll, which we have made at our home for years, is perfect for a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.    I am going to make the recipe short, because we need it right now!   Ingredients:   2 packages dry yeast 1/4 cup warm water (95-100 degrees F) 7 cups all purpose flour, approximately 1…

Stollen for Christmas and Easter

The original recipe we used, many years ago, was from Paula Peck’s wonderful book, The Art of Fine Baking.  We have tweaked it, accommodating it to our various tastes, like Char’s dislike for citrus peel.  This is where the recipe stands at the moment. This recipe makes 2 big stollens.  You have to start the…

Outrageously Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Oh my, I love this stuff.  It isn’t just me.  It is anyone who has ever tried it.    There is a secret ingredient, which is evaporated milk.   This may sound strange to you, but it is the secret behind this mac and cheese recipe’s outrageously smooth and creamy texture.  Not only is this recipe…

Huge Molasses Cookies

Ingredients 12 T (1 1/2 sticks) sweet butter, melted 1 c granulated sugar 1/4 cup molasses 1 egg 1 3/4 c  all purpose flour 1/2 t ground cloves 1/2 t ground ginger 1 t ground cinnamon 1/2 t salt 1/2 t baking soda Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350° 2. Melt butter, add sugar and molasses, and…

Dad’s Springerle

Ingredients: 4 eggs 2 tablespoons butter 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups white sugar 4 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup anise seed Directions Beat eggs in large mixing bowl until very light. Add sugar and butter. Cream together until light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients and…

Dutch Babies

                  A cousin used to make this recipe all the time for her children.  Dad loves it.  It’s a bit like Yorkshire Pudding. This is a popover like batter baked in the oven. Butter 12  inch cast iron skillet, or 4 6 inch small skillets, small pie…

Russian Poppyseed Cake

Ginny is an ace at this cake. Heat the oven to 350F,  It will bake for 1 hour. This has preparation time, etc. so make sure you make it early.  You will need a buttered bundt pan or two loaf pans. This recipe has a step at the beginning that will take an hour –…

Cookie Science – how to make cookies more soft, chewy, fine, thin, cake-like and more

How to change the texture of your cookies Cook’s Illustrated and other cooking science books explain all this – I wanted it in one place so I could always find it. Here it is!  By adjusting key ingredients, you can change the texture of any cookie recipe. If you want chewy cookies, add melted butter….

Ginny’s Pecan Pie

I love this pie so much.  It is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.  We have made this for more than 40 years, and I have never found one I like better.  This is one pie that has a special crust – not our usual.  Since you need the crust first, here is the recipe.  It…

Best pie crust

When I made a pie for some farming relatives in Wisconsin, they laughed at my crust.  I guess they thought it was REALLY TERRIBLE.  It was.  And dear Great Aunt Dorothy bestowed her fabulous pie crust recipe to me on the spot. Here it is: This recipe makes two double crusts. Combine: 3 cups white…

Fragrant Eggplant – I would walk 20 miles for this dish

INGREDIENTS 1 pound plus a little eggplant, with some stripes made on the side by running a potato peeler down the eggplant sides the long way. SAUCE INGREDIENTS – combine and set aside 1/3 cup soy sauce 1/3 cup Japanese cooking wine – Mirin 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons sugar 2 and 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar…

Decadent Chocolate Cake

This recipe comes from the Silver Palate Cookbook. I have never found another recipe I thought was its equal. Ingredients 1 cup boiling water 3 oz unsweetened chocolate 8 T butter (1 stick) 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 cups granulated sugar 2 eggs, separated 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup sour cream 2 cups less…

An easy recipe to use for cleaning hardwood floors

The way we have been cleaning our floors here in Rhode Island is to mix 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water.  That’s 1/4 cup vinegar per half gallon, and 2 Tablespoons per quart/4 cups of water. We also like Murphy’s Oil Soap.

Scottish Oatcakes

Oatcakes.  Warm, from the oven.  They are designed to make you swoon. Mix: 1 cup flour 1 Tablespoon sugar ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 cups quick rolled oats, or you can mix half quick oats and half old-fashioned Add: ½ cup melted butter ½ cup milk Roll out to 1/8 inch thickness…

Mother Ann Lee’s Shaker Biscuits

Put in a big bowl: 2 cups flour 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 tsp sugar 1 rounded tsp salt Blend in: 4 tablespoons of butter or lard, Dad uses 4 tbsp lard and 1 tbsp butter. Enough milk to make a biscuit dough, about ¾ – 1 cup (If you use buttermilk,…

Double Almond White Cupcakes that Mika loves – tender, soft, and deliciously almond

These cupcakes have some basic tasks to consider: Preparing the cupcake pans and turning the oven on to 350 F (180 C).  Taking out all your ingredients to warm up a little, hopefully to room temperature. Putting the dry ingredients together. Putting the wet ingredients together. Beating the egg whites, and then mixing them in…

Angel Food Cake with Caramel Icing

Angel Food Cake with Caramel Icing Heat oven to 350 degrees Sift and re-sift: 1 cup cake flour 1/2 cup sugar, finely ground Combine and beat until stiff but not dry 1 1/2 cups egg white 2 1/2 Tablespoons cold water 1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar Then add: 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp almond…

Dragon Biscuits

                                What a great idea!  Dragon Biscuits/Rolls for the Harvest Festival time of year.  In the US, the harvest festival happens on St. Michaels festival day, called Michaelmas.  St. Michael was a “dragon-slayer,” which is why it is fun to…

Rose Beads – not to eat, but to wear

What you will need to make rose beads: Article and recipe by Elyn MacInnis at www.dadsblueberrymuffins.com For the dough: Petals from at least 8-12 roses Distilled water Frying pan – non-stick or cast iron Blender (critical for smooth, good-looking beads) Self-hardening clay – I use either “Standard Clay Mines Claystone” Brand  which comes in two…

Healthy and Light Oatmeal Waffles

Not-so-heavy waffle recipe.  Peter took a different recipe and one day substituted oatmeal instead of more flour.  It was a stroke of genius. Soak in a very large bowl: 4 cups milk 2 cups oatmeal  –  old-fashioned style needs to be soaked for half an hour.  If you are using instant oatmeal, it can be…

Tamale Pie – Chili with cornbread on top

Peter used to love to eat this when he was little. Amah made it often in Taiwan, and her Chinese friends always loved it. His brother Bruce, trying to learn how to cook as a little kid, once made it with a cup of salt instead of a teaspoon. Caused quite a stir. Preheat oven…

Thanksgiving Fragrant Sweet Potatoes with Apples

The sweet potatoes in Beijing are incredibly fragrant, but a bit heavy on the stomach.  If you add apples to lighten up the dish, you will be delighted with the result.  The Shanghai sweet potatoes are different.  Their skin is reddish, and the inside is yellow, not orange.  They are good, but not as good…

Paula Peck’s Stollen

This recipe has been tweaked by me and also by Mika.  I guess you could say it is our own, but I have to say that Paula Peck’s cookbook is the place we found this recipe, and I am deeply indebted to her.  She has a fabulous baking cookbook, and if you like to bake…

Scripture Cake

I know someone from Hong Kong who adores this cake, and always calls ahead of time when they visit in the hope that I will have time to make one.   I got this recipe from a very old cookbook, and one time checked all the references that are listed, but some of them are a…

Elyn’s Scottish Scones with dates and raisins

Ha! These truly have my name on them because the recipe is my own.  I made dozens of recipes before I settled on this one. They are airy and light, not sweet, and have a satisfying crust.  They are best hot out of the oven.  I have tasted better ones once, on the ferry boat…

Plum Torte

I have seen this clipping from the New York Times for years.  It has hung around the house, been carried back and forth from one house to another, and been made hundreds of times.  I want to send deep gratitude to the NYT for their wonderful columns over the years with dozens of amazing recipes. …

Divine Plum Sauce

This is good with just about any vegetable, and also good with meat. Take: ¼ cup dried apricots Cover with boiling water and soak them for 1 hour. Then chop them up finely and put them in a small pan. Chop finely 1 cup fresh plums and make sure you don’t lose the juice as…

Pinecone pancakes

If you want this recipe you will have to marry one of us!

Persimmon Pudding

Marilyn Hamilton made this for me when I was very little.  At that time I had never even seen a persimmon.  I have liked it ever since.   The most divine aspect of this pudding-cake is that it gets caramelized at the edges.  If you eat it with whipped cream or ice cream, you will pass…

Swedish Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

In a large bowl, combine oats and buttermilk. Soak at least 30 minutes. 2 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats 2 cups of buttermilk, plus more if needed If you have no buttermilk, you can put some yoghurt in instead, or yoghurt blended with milk.  If the yogurt is sweetened, then you should cut bakc on…

Mu Shu wrappers – Mu Shu Pancakes

Add to blender: 1 and ¼ cup flour 2 tbsp sugar 3 eggs 1 and ½ cup milk 2 tbsp. melted butter or oil pinch of salt Mix in blender until smooth. Pour a small amount into a teflon or non-stick frying pan and roll the batter around in the pan until you have a…

Bea Bars

Amah was the source of this recipe, and she got it from her friend Bea Gormley.  Amah left out the butter one time by accident, and the “new and better” version was born.  We called them Bea Bars for years, in honor of Bea. In Nanjing we had a guinea pig and named her Bea…

The best marshmallow recipe I could find

I believe this came from Maida Heater’s cookbook. The Best Marshmallow Recipe We tried all sorts of recipes for marshmallows until we found this one. Great for bored kids. Line a  9 x 13 x 2 pan with parchment paper, oil sides, dust bottom with cornstarch and icing sugar mixed. Put ½ cup water in…

Honey Hoisin Sauce

Honey-hoisin sauce Pour into a small pan: 2 teaspoon2 honey 1 Tablespoon Hoisin sauce 2 Tablespoons soy sauce 1 Tablespoon chicken stock or water 1 Tablespoon rice wine 2 teaspoons sesame oil Mix and boil, great over vegetables and all sorts of other dishes. We first tried this sauce on green beans.

Awesome popsicles

These popsicles are so much better than the average home popsicles, it is outrageous.  Of course, you can buy popsicle molds and just pour in orange or some other flavor of juice and the kids will be happy.  But if you make these, everyone will beg for them, not just the kids. Take 1 tablespoon…

Two biscotti recipes – Fig/Almond and Anise seed

Fig and Almond Biscotti This cookie is made by first mixing the wet, then the dry, and then putting the two together. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cream together until fluffy: 1 cup sugar ¾ cup butter Then add one at a time: 3 eggs  Mix all the…

Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

I have a secret to tell you. This recipe is called “Yu Xiang” eggplant in Chinese.  Yu means fish.  Xiang means fragrance.  Fish fragrance?  Sounds like smelly fish…  not tasty sounding at all.  But the name is actually referring to “the sauce that makes fish taste fragrant” and not smelly fish!  This sauce will make…

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

This is a very healthy way to eat pancakes, and they do not make you feel tired or like your stomach is too full. These are light, very healthy, full of protein, and make you feel wonderful! Blend in a blender: 1 cup cottage cheese 4 eggs 1 cup flour ¼ tsp salt ¼ cup…