Solano County Library Community Recipe Exchange
Food has its way of bringing people together. Traditionally, families gather during special occasions, casseroles in hand; ready to share it with those they love. Without fail, they all begin to share stories, history, and best of all connect with one another. Like stories, food is also passed down to keep the lineage of a family, community, or a culture alive.
Solano County is a unique place populated with people from all over the world. Let us connect and preserve the history of this community by creating a collection of Solano recipes that will reflect the diversity of the people who live here.
Share your favorite family or personal recipe and enjoy a new dish from a Solano neighbor.
- Bread: Cinnamon Rolls
From the kitchen of Nash BW. - Vallejo, Ca
Serves: 8 or more
Dietary Info: Things taste good because there is a lot of fat. The coconut oil is a very healthy fat and can entirely be substituted for the butter.
water (115° F. feels not quite hot to touch)
liquid (almond milk, milk, coconut milk)
vegetable oil (coconut oil is best)
cardamom or nutmeg
cinnamon butter (sweet, and get the real stuff for this)
In 1/4 cup of water, mix in a teaspoon or two of sugar and sprinkle the dry yeast over to proof the yeast (it should get bubbly and fresh looking within 15 minutes). Add cardamom or nutmeg to taste.
In large bowl, mix 1 cup of liquid with 2 cups of flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and about 1/2 cup of fat. (I have used as much as 1 cup of coconut oil, but that is a lot and risks recipe failure unless you really know baking).
Use electric mixer on medium high speed and beat for two minutes to develop gluten/fat balance. Then use large wooden fork to blend in more flour (about 2 - 3 cups additional) until it becomes a shaggy mess.
Turn out on lightly floured surface and knead the dough until smooth. Then flip into an oiled bowl and let rise an hour or two.
Punch it down, knead again, then rest it for 10 minutes to relax the dough.
Cut into halves with pastry knife and roll each half to an oblong rectangle 1/8" thick (12x20 or slightly less)
Spread with a lot of butter, cinnamon sugar, raisins, almond paste and other goodies.
Roll it up and cut into 3/4" slices and bake in 375 degree oven for 12 minutes.
Drizzle with icing and grab two because they will be gone when you get back to the kitchen.
- Breakfast: French Toast with a Twist
From the kitchen of Nefertari G. - Fairfield, Ca
1 loaf texas toast (6-8 slices)
2 tsp vanilla flavoring
1 cup fat free milk
Butter-flavored cooking spray
Spray large fry pan with butter-flavored spray.
Combine milk, eggs, & vanilla together in a bowl. Whisk them together.
Add plentiful layers of cinnamon to top layer of mixture.
Soak 1 piece of bread (1 slice) at a time in mixture.
Flip over for more soaking. Add new layer of cinnamon for each slice.
Cook thoroughly 3 minutes/side-flipping once.
Repeat steps for other slices.
- Breakfast: Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal
From the kitchen of Debbie W. - Fairfield, Ca
Prep time: 20-25 minutes
Dietary Info: They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
1/2 cup dried fruit (such as goji berrie, cranberries, or barberries)
1/2 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 cup well-rinsed quinoa
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
Toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Bring 1/2 cup dried fruit ( such as goji berries, cranberries, or barberries), 1/2 cup steel-cut oats, 1/2 cup well-rinsed quinoa, 1/4 cup raisins, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, and 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Cover and let sit off heat overnight.
(Alternatively, bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until grains are tender, 20-25 minutes.)
Before serving, reheat cereal in saucepan, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and adding water if needed, until warmed through, 5-8 minutes.
Serve with milk, maple syrup, toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepetias), and toasted walnuts.
- Breakfast: Swedish Rice Porridge
From the kitchen of Peggy S. - Vallejo, Ca
Prep time: 20 min + 45-60 min to cook
1 large apple
1 cup rice
1 cup water
3 inch cinnamon stick
5-6 cups milk (the extra cup makes it softer and not as thick)
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Put the water, rice and cinnamon stick in the pot (3-4 quart). Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook on low for about 10-15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed.
2. Pour in the milk. Keep an eye on it as it comes to a simmer.
3. While it comes to a simmer, peel, core, quarter and grate the apple onto wax paper or a plate.
4. When the milk begins to simmer add the apple and sugar. Stir gently to blend.
5. Cover the pan and simmer for about 45 minutes (up to an hour if very low heat). Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. It will thicken as it cooks.
6. Turn off the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the vanilla. Pour into a large bowl to serve or store.
7. Serve warm or chilled with additional milk if desired.
Keeps well and microwaves nicely.
Can be made the night ahead and microwaved (single servings) in the morning.
Can be made with 100% lactose free milk if desired.
1 Tbsp. of oil (or butter) can be put in pot to coat bottom at the beginning to reduce sticking.
- Main Dish: Angelina's Chicken Salad
From the kitchen of Peggy S. - Vallejo, Ca
Prep time: 1 hour
Dietary Info: Gluten Free
4 to 6 Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (about 1.5 to 2 lbs.)
1 to 11/2 c. celery, finely diced
1 to 11/2 c. red seedless grapes, rinsed, dried (cut in ½ if large)
2/3 c. almonds (slices or slivers) toasted in a pan on low heat
½ to 2/3 c. mayonnaise
1 c. Greek yogurt sour cream or start with 2 cups of regular yogurt drained through cheese cloth lined strainer - directions below*
½ to 1 tsp. tarragon, dried or 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped Salt and pepper to taste plus about 3 tbsp for cooking chicken
1. Rinse the breasts and separate the tenderloins. Set aside.
2. Bring a large pot with about 3 quarts of water to a boil. Use one tbsp. of salt for each quart of water.
3. When the water boils add the largest pieces of chicken and then smaller ones. Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the tenderloins and set aside. Cook 2 minutes more and then test and remove chicken breasts as they finish—from smallest to largest. Return the barely cooked chicken to the pot; pour off excess liquid but leave enough to cover all the pieces. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to cool.
4. Toast almonds over low heat for 10-15 minutes until just slightly pinkish beige. Set aside to cool.
5.Rinse grapes; lay on paper towel to drain. Cut in ½ if needed.
6. In a small bowl stir together the ½ c. mayo and 2/3 c. yogurt. Taste--it should taste more of yogurt’s tang than of mayo. Add more yogurt or mayo to your taste. Stir until smooth.
7. Add chopped tarragon to dressing. Add a few grinds of pepper and salt.
8. Dice cooled chicken into about ½” chunks. Add celery, almonds, grapes and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Check for balance of ingredients. Add more celery, grapes or almonds if desired.
9. Stir to mix the dressing and add about ¾ of dressing. Add the rest if needed. It should just coat nicely and not be soupy. Refrigerate. Serve chilled with bread and plain salad greens.
Keeps several days in refrigerator.
You can prepare ahead or do everything except cutting up chicken and assembling the day ahead.
*Drain 2 cups of yogurt though a cheese cloth lined strainer or colander for about 2 hours or overnight in refrigerator. Place drained yogurt in a bowl.
- Main Dish: Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar Chicken
From the kitchen of Peggy S. - Vallejo, Ca
Prep time: 20 min
Dietary Info: gluten free, dairy free, low fat
¼- ½ c. blackberry jam, seedless
1-2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Rosemary
crushed salt and pepper to taste
6 Boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into ½ inch slices
Blend together the coating mixture until smooth.
Rinse, pat dry and slice chicken breast.
Pre heat the broiler
Toss the chicken with the coating; make sure all pieces are coated. Let rest while broiler heats.
Lay chicken pieces on broiler pan in one layer.
Broil 4 inches from heat for 4 minutes. Check for doneness and turn if desired then broil 1-2 minutes more.
Nice with rice pilaf. Great leftover on top of baby spinach or green salad with vinaigrette dressing.
- Main Dish: Chicken Parmesan
From the kitchen of the Greaves family - Vacaville, Ca
Prep time: 20 min
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
Pinch sugar, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
Freshly grated Parmesan
1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente
Coat a sauté pan with olive oil and place over medium heat.
When the oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft.
Add the olives and some hand-torn basil.
Carefully add the tomatoes, cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line.
Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them.
Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/2-inch thick.
Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly.
In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy.
Put the bread crumbs on a plate, season with salt and pepper.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs.
When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.
Remove chicken to lasagna pan.
Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil.
Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
Serve hot with spaghetti.
- Main Dish: Mom's Tuna Sandwich
From the kitchen of Nefertari G - Fairfield, CA
Prep time: 15 minutes
1 can of tuna
1 hardboiled egg
1 tsp mayonnaise
1 tsp mustard
Dash All Seasoned Salt
(Optional) 1 pickle or 1 Tbsp relish
Chop pickle into small 1/2-1" size bits.
While boiling, combine other ingredients in bowl #1.
Cool hardboiled egg in bowl #2 of cold water for 5 min.
Remove egg shell & slice hardboiled egg into 1/2"- 1" bits.
Combine sliced egg with ingredients in bowl #1 & mix ingredients.
- Dessert: Dutch Apple Pie
From the kitchen of Elizabeth D - Benicia, Ca
Prep time: 2 hrs. (total prep & baking)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. real almond extract
7 peeled & sliced Granny Smith apples
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 Tbs. sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon
Mix flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and almond extract together for crust.
Save 1/4 of the crust for the top.
Press remaining in bottom and up sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
Sprinkle sliced apples with the lemon juice.
Mix the 3 Tbs. sugar with the 3tsp. cinnamon and add to the apples, coating them evenly.
Put apples in springform pan that has been lined with the crust.
Roll out remaining crust and place on top of apples.
Sprinkle sliced almonds over crust.
Sprinkle small amount of sugar over almonds and crust.
Bake 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees or until crust is brown and apples are cooked.