Friday, October 16, 2009

Pinto Beans....Poor Man's Dinner

This came from Emily's blog, it's Mandy's recipe and I've had it for almost 2 years now. It is finally making it on my food blog because I served it for dinner last night, and for the first time......the kids ate it. I probably doubled the garlic, pepper and tomatoes.

Pinto Beans (poor mans dinner)

1 (1 lb.)bag of dried pinto beans
1 large can of diced tomatoes
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp garlic minced
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf

1) rinse beans and pick out foreign material. Place in crock pot and add remaining ingredients.

2) cover with water plus 2 inches above beans.

3) Cook on low all day (8-9 hours) adding more water when necessary..

Fiesta Chicken Burritos

Fiesta Chicken Burritos

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans (I cook a batch of these up these from scratch and keep them in the fridge to use through the week)
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies
3 T ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper flakes
1 pkg. (8 0z) cream cheese
8 flour tortillas

Place the chicken in the slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients except cheese and tortillas and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 4-5 hours (better use high if your chicken was frozen). Remove the chicken and shred, then return to slow cooker adding the cream cheese. Cook for about 15 minutes more or until everything is warmed through.

We ate this on four tortillas the first night, over mashed potatoes a few nights later and then I cooked up the leftovers last night with corn tortillas in casserole of sorts.

Tex-Mex BBQ

Tex-Mex BBQ

3 1/2 lbs beef roast
1 jar (18 0z) hickory smoke-flavored BBQ sauce (or make your own)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 envelope chili seasoning
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. lemon juice
14 hamburger buns (make your own....YUM!)

Cut the roast in half and place in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over beef. Cook on high for 5-6 hours. Remove beef and shred then return to slow cooker. Serve on the buns.

This made enough for dinner one night and Sunday lunch. I'm sure it would go farther if you actually feel well enough to serve it with a side dish or some vegetables.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Whole Wheat Pancakes

This is my sil's recipe....a fact which convinced my oldest that using all whole wheat flour could still be yummy.

1 Cup whole wheat flour
1 Cup milk
*mix together til there are no lumps, then add:
2 eggs
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil
Mix well and cook in frying pan over medium heat.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F . In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. (At this point make sure you put the baking soda back in the cupboard so your two year old doesn't grab it when you're not looking and pour it all over your living room)

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and sour cream until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until the edges start thinking about turning golden. Let cool a few minutes on the sheet then remove to wire rack.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oh So Simple Tomato Sauce

I love this sauce. I have used it to add zing to canned spaghetti sauce, as a starter for pizza sauce (add some oregano and onion), and as a topping for chicken Parmesan (I'll post that another time). Last fall I canned a few pints using tomatoes and basil from my garden and it has been so handy and delicious, that I'll be doing a LOT more this year, and hoping to use my own garlic also.

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cloves minced garlic
1 T tomato paste
1 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1T minced fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper

For a smoother sauce use a blender to chop tomatoes until mostly smooth, set aside. Cook garlic, tomato paste, oil and pepper flakes in a saucepan over medium heat until the tomato paste begins to brown, just a few minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatoes (or chunky if you like) and cook until the sauce is thickened and measures about 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and add basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cloves on Loaves

This is a simple, but stinky, life saver. This week I started to feel the flu coming on, but I was determined to not let it get me, so I turned to my dad's tried and true method. He has always told me to load up on garlic when I feel the aches and pains coming on, and I do.....I use the sweet little garlic pills, no after taste and no stink....and I still get sick.

This time I was feeling bold so I mashed 5 cloves of garlic on to 2 pieces of toast with butter and chomped them down, and went to bed.

It worked. The next morning I was a little aromatic, but I felt so good; like miracle good. I think the trick is to eat it as soon as you feel yourself getting sick and lay it on! Too much garlic can lead to an upset stomach, so take it a few cloves at a time, and I think a little bread and milk help soothe as it goes down.

As an added bonus, I haven't had any trouble with vampires this week either....

Monday, March 2, 2009

Semi-Homemade Chesseburger Mac

I got this recipe off the back of cheddar cheese soup and sort of changed a bit... I love this recipe because it is healthy for the kids, they love it, it's easy to make, and it didn't come out of a box. Since being pregnant and doing so much lately I have come accustomed to quick fix meals like box and can stuff...

  • 1 lb. burger
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups fun pasta
  • Italian seasoning or any of your favorite herbs
to make:

  • brown beef and drain. Add rest of ingredients and bring to boil. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes stirring often until pasta is tender.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pinto Beans

I made pinto beans last night, actually it was the last three days, because that's how long it took to cook them! I like buying beans hard; they're cheaper and last forever. I usually just use the quick soak method and they are ready for dinner. This has worked for all my beans except my pintos. They always end up a little too crunchy and I can never get the flavor right. So this week I did a little google work and found several very similar recipes that gave me some ideas. I started cooking the beans on Tuesday. I cooked them all day....still hard. So I pulled them out on Wednesday and cooked them again...a little better, but still hard. I was about to throw them all out when I read something about the hardness of your water affecting the cook time. I knew not to put salt in them until they were done, but I hadn't thought about the water I was using. So on Thursday I put them on the stove again. I added half a pound of bacon (doesn't that have salt?), three cloves of chopped garlic, and one onion. It cooked, and it smelled good, and the beans softened. I added a dried jalapeno pepper, some basil and salt. I was very pleased with the result. Not delicious, after all, they are just beans, but they were very satisfying.

2 cups hard pinto beans
1/2 lb bacon
3 cloves garlic
1 onion, diced
1 hot pepper
basil (optional)
2 tsp salt (added when beans are soft)

*So, you may be wondering why I didn't use my slow cooker for an overnight simmer. Simple, the next days dinner never crosses my mind when my tummy is full and ready for bed.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Steel Cut and ready.

I got this easy you can hardly call it a recipe....from (smart, funny & oh so well written )Ann Kroeker.

I have never been a fan of mush...gooey, slimy, ugh. I have always undercooked my oats to keep them a little more chewy. Steel cut oats are awesome because they take so long to cook that I always have plenty of chewy goodness. I tried this idea with a little hesitation because it fully cooks the oats, but I love the idea of waking up in the morning to a warm breakfast ready. I mixed it with blueberries*, almonds and honey; it was quite tasty. The texture was more creamy than slimy, and I even had two bowls.

Enough chatter, here's the info. Pull out your crock pot...yep, your crock pot...and pour a couple inches of water in the bottom. Find a glass bowl that will fit inside your crock pot with the lid on and hold 4 cups water and 1 cup steel cut oats. Add the oats and water to the glass bowl and put the glass bowl in the crock pot....think double broiler. Put the lid on your crock pot, turn it on low and go to bed. In the morning it will be hot and ready. If you don't all eat together just scoop out what you need and put the lid back on to keep it hot and moist.

*if you use frozen berries, take them out the night before, or it will be like putting ice cubes in your oatmeal, and I don't care how creamy it is, cold oatmeal is...well, for the dog.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Not Feeling It...

What do I do when I don't feel like cooking anymore, when I just want to do microwave food, when I can't stand the thing I love the most makes me sick...

I have found that my favorite foods with this baby are sweets, and quick cook foods... I'm hoping all this is just the loss of energy because I really want to make Italian bread and baked ziti, but know what I'm having for dinner tonight? Frozen, breaded chicken nuggets and box mac-n-cheese...oh yeah and I bit and bought a slice of red velvet cake from the deli which I won't like cuz it isn't as good as mine, but I have to have it... :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Italian Bread

This recipe takes a long time but is easy to do as the day goes along...if you remember soon enough.

Italian Bread

1 tsp white sugar
1 T active dry yeast
3 C warm water
7 C all-purpose flour, divided
1 T salt, divided
t T cornmeal

Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water and allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.

Sir in 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Beat in the salt and then add enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Knead until soft. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Once doubled, punch down and divide into 3 pieces. Place back in the bowl, cover, and let rise.

Once doubled again, punch down and form into 3 fat oval shaped loaves. Grease baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place the bread on the sheets, cover with a towel, and let rise.

Preheat oven to 450. Once risen, mist loaves with water and bake in the preheated oven. Mist loaves again with water and turn occasionally while they bake. Bread is done in about 30 minutes (the recipe said 1 hour, but it was definitely done in half that) or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. (If you tap them and they don't sound hollow, don't be afraid to just throw 'em right back in the oven til they're done)

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

1 T oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (4.5oz)can chopped jalapeno peppers (or not)
1 (4.5oz) can chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 (10.5 oz) can s chicken broth
3 C chopped cooked chicken breast
3 (15oz) cans white beans
1 C shredded Monterrey Jack or something similar

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly cook and stir the onion until tender. Mix in the garlic, jalapeno peppers, green chilies, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken, and whit beans. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the mixture from heat. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted. Serve warm.

*If your going to freeze it wait until you reheat to mix in the cheese.

Chicken Manicotti

Emily, this recipe was made for the freezer. It's designed to make to cook up for dinner and one to freeze for later, but it does make a lot so you might even get away with splitting it in thirds and freezing two. We have also frozen successfully sloppy Joe's, the meat mixture for taco salad, taco soup, and burrito filling (Bean Burritos in Mandy's cookbook p.41). I'm also going to post a Italian bread recipe, as most bread freezes well, and a white chili recipe that should freeze well also.

Chicken Manicotti

1 T garlic powder
1-1/2 lbs boneless chk
16 uncooked manicotti shells
2 jars 26oz each spaghetti sauce, divided
1 lb bulk Italian sausage, cooked and drained
½ lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 C shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 C water

Rub garlic powder over chicken; cut into 1 in strips. Stuff chicken into manicotti shells. Spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce in each of two 13-in x 9-in x 2-in baking dishes. Place eight stuffed manicotti shells in each dish. Sprinkle with sausage and mushrooms. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over the top. Sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle water around the edge of each dish. Cover and bake one casserole at 375 for 65-70 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and pasta is tender. Cover and freeze remaining casserole for up to 1 month. Yield: 2 casseroles (4 servings each).

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 30 min. Bake as directed.
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