Here’s some recipes you can try, from The Braces Cookbook: Recipes You (and Your Orthodontist) Will Love, by Pamela Waterman and Brenda Waterman

Marvelous Molasses Cookies

This was the very first soft-cookie recipe I collected back in the mid-60s. They smell wonderful even before baking, they melt in your mouth, and they never harden up. Yum – the best of gingerbread and ginger snaps in one!

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp salt
½ cup molasses
½ cup warm water
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
2 ½ cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Baking time 11 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine shortening, brown sugar, egg, salt and molasses, using an electric mixer and beating until fluffy. Add cinnamon and ginger. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir the baking soda into the warm water; add water mixture to the molasses mixture alternately with the flour until well blended.

Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 11 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes about 4 dozen. Store in a covered container.

Wonderful Waffles

Forget the recipe that came with your waffle iron – this is the one for fluffy, melt-in-your-mouthness. The secret is letting the batter “rest” for five minutes before using. Top with syrup, jam, fresh fruit or even ice cream. This recipe makes about five of the four-square style of waffles.

Preheat your waffle iron according to the directions. You may want to lightly spray it with vegetable oil before heating.

3 cups flour
2 Tbl + 2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbl sugar
4 cups milk
4 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl, whisk (or use electric mixer on low) together all ingredients. Let batter sit for about five minutes to activate the baking powder.

When waffle iron is ready to use, pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto each of the four squares (experiment with your iron – you don’t want the batter overflowing.) Gently close the cover and set your timer as the manufacturer suggests. Do not lift the cover while they bake. When done, carefully lift one edge with a flat spatula and pull the waffle away from the iron. Keep waffles warm on a plate under a clean dishtowel while the others bake.

Simmered Soy Chicken Wraps

Whether you use a slow-cooker or a Dutch oven, you just might want to double this recipe for seasoned, shredded chicken wrapped up to perfection in soft tortillas. The more you simmer the filling, the more melt-in-your-mouth tender it becomes. We love to use whole wheat tortillas, too.

3 to 4 boneless chicken breasts
2 large onions, chunked
Small flour tortillas (pkg of ten), wheat or white
(optional: cooked chopped broccoli)

¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup water
2 Tbl honey
1/8 tsp ginger
2 Tbl peach jam
1 Tbl cornstarch

In a slow cooker, or a large pot on the stove, layer the onions and then the chicken breasts. Allow at least three hours in the slow cooker on medium, or at least one hour on the stove – the longer the better, but you don’t have to do anything to it while it cooks.

Spoon out the chicken onto a cutting board, and with a knife and fork, shred the chicken as finely as you’d like. In a small saucepan, stir all sauce ingredients together over medium heat until it starts bubbling, then let it simmer for five minutes on low heat to thicken.

In a serving bowl, stir sauce and onions into chicken; if you’d like, add cooked chopped broccoli. Let your guests spoon the mixture into their own tortillas and wrap them up; eating by hand is encouraged!

Squash n’ Zucchini Stir Fry

For a zesty change from simple corn, broccoli and green beans, this try-something-different succulent combination produces a flavor that keeps them coming back for more. Call it ratatouille, call it gourmet; you’re sure to call it delicious.

1 medium zucchini
– peeled and ¼” sliced
1 medium yellow squash
– peeled, ¼” sliced, and each slice halved
1 small eggplant
– peeled, ¼” sliced, and then halved
3 small tomatoes (Romas work well)
– each cut in 8 pieces
1 onion, sliced or 1 Tbl dried onion
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp basil
½ tsp parsley
about ½ cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)

Toss all of the ingredients together, including the oil, in a large no-stick frying pan or a Dutch oven.

Saute this combination about 20 minutes over medium-high stove heat until everything is quite tender.

Butterscotch Brownies

My mother started making these “non-chocolate” brownies when I was a little girl. Since she in turn has lived with our family since our oldest daughter was one, our girls have renamed them “Grandma’s Tannies.” By any name, they’re fabulous, and oh so soft.

1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Baking time 40 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine oil and brown sugar, using an electric mixer and blending well. Add eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt, then add vanilla.

Spread batter into a greased 9?x9? pan. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cover pan with foil keep to brownies soft, or cut them in squares and store them in a covered container.