Chef Mom

I've collected these recipes from family members, out-of-print cookbooks, magazines, and the backs of food cartons. I've modified quite a few of them and, I think, made them even better. I only put my family's favorites on this site, because I'd like for my friends to have as many good food memories as we do. Enjoy...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Boyscout Burgers

You'll never go back to ordinary burgers again. Great on the grill or sauteed on the stove, topped with a little smoked gouda and sandwiched in King's Hawaiian buns if you can find them. WOW!


for hamburger patties:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 egg
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup crumbs (may be made from 8 Saltines)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard

for hamburger sauce:

1/4 cup ketchup
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Combine burger patty ingredients and form patties 3/4" to 1" thick.
Combine ingredients with sauce and coat one side of patties.
Cook with sauce side to fire or pan. Add sauce second time before turning. Cook 7-8 minutes on each side, about 4 inches from medium flame if you're grilling. Turn carefully with two spatulas.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: about 15 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Monday, August 29, 2005

Ritzy Chicken

This recipe is in honor of MommaK, who wrote a little blurb this morning about cooking and not always having the best results. I know how you feel! So here is one of my favorite foolproof recipes. It's pretty enough for company, yet cheap and easy enough to feed your family on an ordinary night. And it tastes GREAT.


2 cups Ritz cracker crumbs (I use one individually-wrapped "package" from a Ritz box of four)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sherry (I use cooking sherry from the supermarket)
8 boneless chicken breast halves


With food processor, blend Ritz crackers, cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic. Place in shallow dish.
Mix butter and sherry in second shallow dish.
Dip each chicken piece in butter mixture, then roll in crumb mixture. Arrange in shallow foil-lined pan. Drizzle remaining butter mixture over chicken, then sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, for one hour at 350 degrees.
Serve over angel hair pasta or rice.

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

Friday, August 26, 2005

Thai Shrimp and Noodles-or how I trick the kids into eating their broccoli

I love this recipe. It's quick, easy, cheap and a great one-dish dinner. You got your protein, your starch and your vegetables. And did I mention it tastes GREAT? I get serious cravings for this all the time and its sweetness makes the girls and the baby love it, too. I bought a few special ingredients just for this dish, but now I have them on hand every time I make it.


8 oz. spaghetti, broken in two
1 1/2 pounds frozen broccoli florets
1 lb shrimp, peeled
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4-1/3 cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 Tablespoon chili oil (or one Tablespoon cooking oil with a dash of Tabasco)
1 Tablespoon grated ginger (or a liberal sprinkling of powdered ginger)
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup chopped cashews or almonds


In dutch oven, bring water to a boil and add pasta. Cook four minutes.
Add broccoli, cook two minutes.
Add shrimp, cook 2-3 minutes or until pink.
Meanwhile, in bowl, combine peanut butter and soy. Stir in vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, ginger and garlic.
Drain spaghetti mixture. Stir in sauce.
Chow down.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Serves: 4

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Crispy Roast Chicken

This recipe isn't hard, but it looks very impressive. Tasty and low-cal too. And I like having roast chicken for leftover sandwiches and other recipes. It's in honor of Penny Pressed. Read her blog on chicken today and you'll see why!

*Bonus Points: Cut two heads of garlic in half, drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Put the heads next to the chicken while it's roasting. Spread the soft roasted garlic onto crusty french bread as a side with this dish. Mm Mm good. If you like garlic, that is.


1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup scraped diced carrot
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh (or 1/2 Tablespoon dried) parsley
3 Tablespoons dry white wine (I just use the cheap supermarket cooking white wine)
1 (3-3 1/2 lb) broiler-fryer
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons chopped fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) oregano
2 teaspoons chopped fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Combine first five ingredients, gently toss. Set aside. Remove giblets and neck from chicken, reserve to send COD to Penny Pressed. Rinse chicken, pat dry with paper towels. Lightly stuff body cavity with reserved vegetable mixture. If you want tie ends of legs together with heavy string. Lift wingtips up and over back of chicken, tucking wingtips under chicken.
Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Combine butter and next five ingredients. Brush chicken with butter mixture. Roast at 375 degrees one hour or until a meat thermometer inserted in thigh is at 180 degrees. Serve on a platter.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Day-Old Spaghetti

This is a combination of a family recipe and a dish I had at an Italian restaurant on Catalina Island. The result, I think, is unbeatable. My husband hates spaghetti, but he loves this dish. Make this the day before for an easy supper the next night- or make it the same night if you don't have time. This is always the dish I make for new moms and shut-ins, too.


1 large onion
Garlic Salt
olive oil
Montreal Steak Seasoning
minced garlic
1 large jar of pasta sauce
1 lb ground beef
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
3/4 box angel hair pasta


Dice onion and blacken in dutch oven or large saucepan in small amount of olive oil (I think blackening the onion is one of the secrets to this turning out so good).
Add a heaping teaspoon of minced garlic.
Add in the ground beef, sprinkle liberally with garlic salt and steak seasoning and brown.
Add the pasta sauce, bring to a simmer and add the mushrooms. Allow to simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook 3/4 of a box of angel hair pasta al dente. Drain pasta.
In large bowl, mix together pasta and spaghetti sauce.
Dump the whole thing into a lasagna pan, cover with 2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese. Refrigerate overnight if you have the time.
When ready to serve, cook spaghetti at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Scrumptious Pumpkin Bread/Muffins

This is my mother-in-law's recipe and man, is it ever good. Here's my favorite part-- Every slice is more than a full serving of Vitamin A (the vegetable vitamin) and beta carotene for the day- So my baby, who won't touch carrots, is getting her beta carotene groove on because she can't get enough pumpkin bread. If you really want to make this special, add yummy drizzly icing (see recipe posting below).


3 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 beaten eggs
1 cup vegetable or corn oil
2/3 cup water
1 large can or 2 small cans pure pumpkin


Mix in one bowl all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg).
Mix in one bowl all wet ingredients (eggs, oil, water, pumpkin).
Pour wet ingredients into dry and blend.
Pour into loaf pans (This makes one large and one small loaf or three small loaves or 24 regular-sized muffins).
Cook at 350 degrees for about one hour (small loaves take a little less time, large loaves take a little more time- I insert a long toothpick into the center to make sure it's done) or 25 minutes if making muffins.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 12 or more

Yummy Drizzle Icing

Send your favorite pumpkin or banana bread over the top with this cream cheese drizzly icing.


3-4 Tablespoons cream cheese (room temperature)
3 Tablespoons milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Use wire whisk and beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Spread over just-baked banana or pumpkin bread. Now that's good eats.