Koffee Klatch...for Thursday!

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Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 2/25/2010 12:49 AM (GMT -6)   
What is your latest "Secret Ingredient"? We all need to cook from time to time. Some of us actually enjoy it. tongue But I'm one who just can't make a recipe exactly as written. So when I try new recipes, which I do a lot, I always seem to mess with them or resort to a few ingredients I like. Once in a while I pick up on a new way to make something and try it in other dishes. Here's an example.

I made some banana bread a couple of months ago that was called Maple Walnut Banana Bread. Wow, that sounded yummy and it is! It's like a basic banana bread but the one ingredient that was different was a 1/2 teaspoon of Maple Flavoring, which I just happen to have. It was sooo yummy. Well, next time I made some oatmeal cookies I put just a bit of the maple flavoring in them and wow, they were so much richer tasting. Any recipe that uses brown sugar for a sweetener might benefit from just a bit of this yummy flavor. So that's my latest "Secret Ingredient'. smilewinkgrin

What's new in your cooking techniques? Are you into balsamic vinegar? What about something new to spice up a barbecue sauce? Is grilling your latest thing? Let's share and help spice up each others meals and lives...

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

(> <) Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, PTSD, UC, Diabetic on insulin, collapsed disk, arthritis scattered around and a few other delights.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 2/25/2010 1:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm famous in our family for my pumpkin pies! I have a "secret" ingredient that if my Mom-in-law knew she was partaking of, she'd have a cow! I use Kaluha instead of some of the fluid it calls for and those flavors just mix and meld and melt in your mouth! Yes, I know that as it cooks, it cooks the alcohol out, but she'd never understand it! I haven't tried it in anything else, but I can imagine it would be good in my zucchini bread this summer!
DXed-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes Type II, Adhesive Capsulitis "aka" Frozen Shoulder, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC (Interstitial Cystitis), Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Muscle Spasms
Too many meds to name/Too many allergic reactions/sensitivities to too many drugs to name. Meds for Panic Disorder, Pain, Bipolar, IBS, Hypothroidism, Diabetes, Insomnia and then some.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 2/25/2010 4:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Secret Ingredients

Meatloaf....I like to add steak sauce to the mix

Fried chicken or pork chops I take a sleeve of saltine crackers that I have run through the blender or electric chopper and add it to the flour. Makes for some extra crispy food.

Chili: I add a little bit of sugar to it. Makes it very smooth tasting.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 2/25/2010 4:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Yum Jim!
I'm going to have to borrow the chicken or pork chops idea with crackers! I have always added a touch of sugar to my chili as well as to my spagetti sause and I thought I was the only one. It's nice to know I'm not! LOL! Also in my spagetti sause I add a touch of cinnamon! MUUUAAHH!
I'm called Cat, but as there are few other Cat's on here, I put the number of cats I have and combined it to spell out Catz4
DXed-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes Type II, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC , Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Muscle Spasms, Torn Rotator Cuff in Left Shoulder, Had emergency surgery for ruptured bowel in '05 w/colostomy and takedown in '06.
Too many meds to name/Too many allergic reactions/sensitivities to too many drugs to name. Meds for Panic Disorder, Pain, Bipolar, IBS, Hypothroidism, Diabetes, Insomnia and then some.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/25/2010 5:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I concocted a chili recipe by combining a bunch of interesting ones from the foodtv website. The two ingredients I use (besides 1/2 bottle of beer! LOL) right at the end are a dash of cinnamon and a small piece of dark chocolate. Makes for an interesting flavor! Also add a dash of cinnamon to my blueberry pie filling.

And we always added sugar to our spaghetti sauce to take the edge off the tomato acidity (and this was learned from an Italian Mom!)

Of late with my banana bread I've been adding extra banana and it comes out super moist and really yummy, but Chutzie I'd love that recipe you have!


Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 2/25/2010 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok, everyone, here it is......

When you make Fried Chicken, instead of using the normal flour, cracker, etc....

USE the bagged Bisquic biscut mix! They come in Many flavors (in the cake mix isle) and all you do is roll in egg then in the Bisquic.
This will be the BEST fried chicken you will EVER make!
I guarantee it!!!
Tethered Spinal Cord~1.5x1.2 cm spinal cord cyst at L5/S1  (Lumbar Laminectemy completed 9/10/09)~Scolosis~Migrains~Leg Deformity~Foot Deformity~Knee, Hip, Back, Neck Pain~Severe Depression~Insomenia~DDD~Artheritis (Spine)~Spinal Bone Spurs~NEW: Herniated Disc T5/T6 
"I'm not going to vacuum 'till Sears makes one
you can ride on"
~Roseane Barr~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 2/25/2010 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
My secret ingredient is Grill Seasoning from Watkins. I use it on any meat (chicken, roast, pork chops) and also will sprinkle it on potatos, rice, corn on the cob...you name it. It just adds a nice touch of "summer" to food, without over-spicing, or over-powering the natural taste of the food.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pelvic Pain, FAI, Reynauds, IBS, Interstitial Cystitis, Surgical Adhesions, Ophthalmic Migraines, Severe Hot Flashes (Surgical Menopause and drug related), plus physically unable to vomit due to Nissen, and I have extremely tiny veins...a joy for blood work or IV's)
Surgeries: Appendix, Uterus, Nissen Fundoplication for GERD, Left Ovary, Gallbladder, Right Ovary, TVT
Medications: Oxycontin, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Nortriptyline
Other: Vitamin D, Multi-Vitamin

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 2/25/2010 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Garlic! It is the key ingredient for many of our dishes. Every once in a while we will use Madeira Wine in some of our sauces, and on meats as well. But really, when we cook an a grill, we use Lump Charcoal, and it makes a huge difference on steaks. Capers is another item used in many of the dishes, but must be married up to the right dish.

DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/25/2010 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
GM Friends ~

My newest secret ingredient is SMOKED CHEDDAR & SWISS CHEESE! I have been using it in all types of dishes! Anywhere your recipe calls for cheese, simply replace 1/4 of your called for amount with it. You'll be amazed at how much it changes things up! Yum-O!

Also, I enjoy using left-over mashed potatoes by making up "Spud Patties" - a quick and easy (not too healthy) side dish! ;) Simply roll your potatoes into a patty, dip in egg/milk and then into ritz crackers and flour - drop into oil and fry for 3-4 mins per side. Delish!

One last secret of mine is Smoked Paprika. Try it....you'll be amazed at the difference!

I LOVE to cook and enjoy trying new dishes......I'm always on the HUNT for something different!

Hope everyone has a great day ~

Cardiomyopathy, Celiac Disease, High Blood Pressure, 2 Fusions @ L4, L5, S1, 2 Fusions @ C7 & C8, Implantible bone growth stimulator cervically, and soon to have Neurostimulation Therapy to treat lumbar, Chronic Pain Sufferer for 8 years, take several meds daily to survive! Looking for a miracle I think ~

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 2/25/2010 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I use a dash of sugar also in our spaghetti sauce, tuna salad, fried potatoes. Not enough to make them sweet but enough to enhance the flavor. I also use a bit of corn starch in my flour when I fry chicken or chicken fried steak...makes them crispier!! My kids always get frustrated because I rarely maked the same thing over and over because I throw in what my mood calls for. They are both cooking like that too...
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