When my mother came up with the name of her first cookbook the term "All-American" only seemed fit. After all, she was 1st generation Chinese married to an American, Irish, Norwegian man living in Nebraska where traditional Chinese ingredients were not made readily available. It isn't until now that I truly understand the meaning of the All-American... (read more)

Archive for December 19th, 2008




Happy Holidays & Candied Pecans!

Happy Holidays! I am addressing my holidays cards now and thought I would share Austin’s first visit with Santa! He was super…

And here’s another one of Lucy’s easy recipes that may come in handy. Candied Pecans are wonderful snack served alone or with ice cream and yogurt. In Chinese restaurants, the pecans are deep-fried. Baked pecans however, are just as tasty.

1 pound package planter’s pecan halves (16 oz.)
4 cups water
1 cup sugar

To Cook

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium size pot, bring pecan halves and water to a full boil over medium-high heat. Boil uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove the pecan halves from the stove and drain through a colander. In a bowl, toss the hot pecan halves with sugar. Line tin foil on a large cookie sheet. Place the sugar coated pecan halves evenly and flat on the cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir the pecans twice after baking for 15 minutes. This is to prevent the pecans from sticking to the tinfoil while baking. After baking for 30 minutes, the pecans will turn slightly darker and the sugar will dry, sticking to the pecans. Remove the pecans from the oven, stir and let the pecans cool for at least one hour. When the pecans are cooled to room temperature and they will become crispy. Store pecans in an air tight jar. Pecans can be kept for many weeks.

Boiling time: 5 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes




Baked Stuffed Mushrooms

The holidays are upon us and it has been such a busy time (hence the lack of posts)! Our traditional family Christmas Eve dinner planning is in full swing by Grandma Lucy and we wanted to share a light and healthy hors d’oeuvre that your family may also enjoy.

1 pound fresh mushrooms, (1.5 to 2 inch diameter / about 20 pieces)
½ pound small or medium size raw shrimp
1/2 can sliced water chestnuts (2.5 oz. drained & approx. ¼ cup after finely chopped)
1 oz. fresh cilantro (approx. ¼ cup after finely chopped)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon rice wine or cooking sherry wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
Canola oil or Pam cooking spray

Wash mushrooms thoroughly and carefully remove the stems. Finely chop the stems. Peel and devein the shrimp, rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Use a heavy knife to finely chop the shrimp. Finely chop the water chestnuts. Wash and trim the cilantro, finely chop.  In a bowl, combine the chopped shrimp with the mushroom stems, water chestnuts, cilantro, cornstarch, rice wine, salt and sesame oil. Mix together thoroughly. Fill each mushroom cap with 1 tablespoon of the shrimp mixture. Pack tightly so that top of filling is rounded like a miniature cupcake. You should be able to use up all the mixture.

To Cook:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange stuffed mushrooms into a 9×12 baking dish. (There will be some liquid from the mushrooms while baking.)
Spray a little cooking spray on top of the stuffed mushrooms. Bake the stuffed mushrooms uncovered for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the baked mushrooms onto a serving plate and serve it warm.

Makes about 20 mushroom caps
Preparation time: 20 to 25 minutes
Cooking time: 18 to 20 minutes

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