Sunday, January 11, 2009

Nancy Keyser's (Grandma's) Lemon Bars

2 c flour
1 c butter
1/2 c powdered sugar

Mix and pat gently into 9x13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
3 tsp baking powder
5 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

Pour over crust and sprinkle some powdered sugar over the top. Bake at 350 deg for 20-25 minutes.

Samoan BBQ Chicken

1 part low-sodium soy sauce (we prefer Kikkoman)
2-3 part water
brown sugar to taste
large pulverized onions (we use a food processor or chopper)
fresh garlic buds (crushed)
fresh ginger root (peeled and crushed/ground)
frozen, boneless chicken thighs (Sysco has boxes of flash-frozen thighs for cheap if you're cooking for a big crew)
Calrose white, short-grained rice
shredded cabbage

Mix the soy sauce and water first. For a 3 lb bag of thighs, we mix up about 1/3 of a 26 cup bowl with the water/soy sauce mix first in a large tupperware bowl. I've never measured the exact amounts but it doesn't really matter - it should be to taste. Add the brown sugar and stir until it's slightly sweet. We add about a fistfull or so for a large bowl. Add the onions, garlic and ginger root. Again, it's to taste, but we like the mixture to be fairly full of these to add additional flavor.

Once you're satisfied with the flavor of the sauce, dump the frozen chicken in and let it sit overnight (or about 6 hours if you're prepping on a schedule) in your fridge. The longer you let it soak, the better. If you're only doing it for a few hours, you may not need to refridgerate it. We often do this in a cooler (for mutual activities) and don't refridgerate it at all - just remember to close the lid!

Once it's done marinating, BBQ it (all our Samoan and Tongan friends only use charcoal - gas doesn't give it the right flavor). We pull each piece out dripping wet and baste the others that are on the grill already as you put the new one on. Repeat for all pieces. Flip them often - you're not looking for blackened or dry, just bouncy, juicy meat. If you cook it too long, it'll be too dry. When they're done, toss them in a pan/bowl with a bed of shredded, slightly boiled cabbage on the bottom. Put a lid on to keep them hot and steam the cabbage a bit. It'll absorb the juices too and tastes amazing with the meat and rice.

We use this a lot for our "youf" (Samoan for 'Youth') in our ward. It can easily be made in a large cooler or multiple coolers for any occasion and tastes great with Calrose white rice, and macaroni salad in the true island way. Makes an awesome beach bbq bonfire dinner.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

For the Cafe Rio lovers....

**I stole this from a friend and am making it for the first time this Sunday for Kelsie's blessing. She said the recipe is REALLY good. Enjoy! Here is the link to the original post with more details:


2 pounds pork
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

OR, if you prefer chicken:


1 (8 ounce) bottle Kraft zesty Italian dressing
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 lbs chicken breasts

  1. Cook all together in a crock pot for 4 hours on low.
  2. Shred meat.
  3. Cook 1 additional hour.
  4. Enjoy!

1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.


2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro. (**NOTE** we added a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder, it was AWESOME! We recommend doing this even though it's not "traditional Cafe Rio")


1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno (we like it SPICY so we kept the seeds in it, if you like it mild, just remove the seeds)

Mix all ingredients together in the blender. That's it!