They’re too good. Too good for my own good! If you can imagine the perfect ginger snap or molasses cookie—only soft and chewy—these would come as close to the top of the list as you can get! Just my opinion, of course. But I can’t quit making them and I can’t quit eating them! The black pepper in this recipe threw me off just a bit, even though it’s just a half a teaspoon. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but when I sunk my teeth into this moist, full-of-flavor cookie, I realized exactly what the pepper contributed to the recipe—a cookie with a spicy kick and the perfect chew. In doing a little research about the Black Pepper Cookie, I discovered that just about every nationality has its own version on this scrumptious munchy. Now you have a recipe with the description that that is spoken is every language and culture on earth- “Mmmm!”
I rarely throw out old cookbooks. On the contrary, the older and more worn they are, the better. But recently, I had to toss out a cookbook that I found at a garage sale only because it had completely fallen apart at the seams. It was from 1964 and simply called “Delicious Asian Recipes.” This tattered little book served its purpose, though. Out of it came two of my favorite dressings. Both go splendidly with a refreshing and healthy chicken salad that is perfect for spring and summer!
It’s not very often that I am gifted a sensational recipe from an exquisitely talented master chef. In this case, it’s a chef who is an inductee into the American Academy of Chef’s Culinary Hall of Fame, and the man who started the culinary programs at both The Art Institute of Phoenix and The Art Institute of Tucson. Now retired, Chef Bill Sy still guest teaches Asian Cuisine at the Art Institute of Phoenix, and if you want to learn the art of making a perfect pot sticker, he’s the man. Fortunately for all of us, Chef Sy believes in passing along ancient Chinese secrets. I was lucky enough to watch him in action years ago, and I’ll never forget the authentic flavor of the pot stickers and his simple technique for mastering those billowy pockets of goodness. So here is the recipe, from the chef who has won the respect and reverence of his peers, and who believes that cultivating talent and passing on traditions is his lifelong duty. Make him proud!
Church fund-raising cookbooks are generally compilations of recipes by the family and friends of the church-goers. But in the case of “The Bishop’s Bounty Cookbook: Food from Heaven that Tastes Divine,” the book highlights the life, accomplishments, and abundant recipes of the Bishop himself, The Most Reverend Charles Pascal Greco from the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana. I like to think that finding this old cookbook was a gift from above, since it has so many easy and delicious dishes in it, many of which are Father Greco’s authentic recipes.
Throughout the chapters, you not only get great meal ideas, but also a glimpse into one life that accomplished many things. Father Greco, born in 1894, built churches, schools, camps, and even a ninety-six foot ship for “children to play and adults to sit and relax.” The Star of the Sea took five years to complete. But, more than anything, the Bishop loved to cook and share his recipes with anyone and everyone. I chose the Chinese Barbecued Ribs because it’s so simple and savory! It makes enough to load up a platter and share, a notion that I think Father Greco would find absolutely heavenly.