Make Your Own Faux Shake ‘n Bake

I do not remember where I got this recipe but I do know my children were all small and they’re not anymore!  In fact, my children have children!

So it’s in the “oldie but goodie” category.

Because you make this yourself, you know there are no preservatives or ingredients that you can’t pronounce!

If you do make it, either divide it up into twenty portions and store in the freezer or take out a portion each time you use it.

IMPORTANT: Don’t just use the whole thing and save the rest.Take out just what you need for each batch of chicken.  You don’t want chicken (or fish or whatever) juices to get into it or you could end up sick as a dog.

Enough for 20 recipes of Oven Fried Chicken

4 cups flour
4 cups cracker meal
4 Tablespoons salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
3 Tablespoons paprika
1/4 cup oil

Mix thoroughly. Store in refrigerator.

To prepare, you’ll need 3 to 4 pounds of chicken pieces.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Wash, pat dry and roll in the shake and bake.  Arrange skin side up in a baking pan and bake for 30 to 45 minutes (turning once) until nicely browned and juices run clear.

You’ll find other “Make Your Own…” recipes <a href="http://www.squidoo navigate to these”>HERE.

Pepper Steak As You Like It

It was so hot the day before yesterday that the last thing I wanted to do was cook.  But we had gone out for dinner on Tuesday night for BOGO burgers at a newly re-opened lakeside restaurant here in Alexandria (Bug-A-Boo Bay) and I just knew getting Jack to spring for dinner, again, would be a lost cause.

I had a bit of sirloin steak in the freezer and hadn’t made Pepper Steak for ages so decided it would be just the thing…wouldn’t take a lot of time, therefore wouldn’t heat up the kitchen much.

Once again, I used what I had…the basic recipe is delicious but I needed to improvise since I had a little of this and a little of that.  I only had one green pepper so added the celery to increase the crunch factor.

The “as you like it” phrase is apt because you could use red, green or yellow peppers…you could add mushrooms…you could use regular tomatoes and quarter them.



1 pound boneless sirloin steak – about 1 inch thick
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 clove minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 Tablespoons lite soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 cup fresh or canned bean sprouts
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 or 2 green peppers, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup celery, sliced on the diagonal

3 Tablespoons water
1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch

3 or 4 green onions or chives chopped


Melt the butter in a heavy skillet.  Add the garlic, salt and pepper.  Brown the beef on all sides.  Mix the soy sauce and sugar and add to the skillet.  Cover and cook over high heat for five minutes.

If you are using canned bean sprouts, rinse and drain them well, then add to the skillet along with the tomatoes, green pepper and celery.  Cook an additional five minutes.

Blend the cornstarch with the water…add to the skillet and stir until the sauce has thickened.

Serve with steamed rice and sprinkle with the green onions or chives.

Inspired by a recipe in my very old copy of Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times International Cookbook.