Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Red White and Green Jello

Originally the green jello was blue. This was a fourth of July recipe, but since I am going to an Italian Catholic Federation dinner tonight, I thought I'd change blue to green and make this the colors of the Italian flag. This works for Hungary, Bulgaria, and any other country with a red, white, and green flag, though you may want to change the order the jello is layered in.

USA Jello Mold Recipe

3 3/4 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (8oz serving size) red flavor gelatin
1 pkg. (8oz serving size) green flavor gelatin
2 cups cold water
1 pkg. (4oz serving size) lemon flavor gelatin
1 pint vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, softened

STIR 1 1/2 cups boiling water into red (8oz serving size) and the green gelatin (8 oz serving size) in separate bowls until dissolved. Stir 1 cup cold water into each bowl.

POUR red gelatin into USA mold. Refrigerate 1 hour or until set but not firm. Reserve blue gelatin at room temp.

Meanwhile, STIR remaining 3/4 cup boiling water into lemon gelatin in bowl. Spoon in 1 pint vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, softened, until melted. Spoon over red gelatin in mold. Refrigerate 30 mins. or until set but not firm. Refrigerate green gelatin 30 mins.

SPOON green gelatin over lemon gelatin in mold. Refrigerate 4 hrs. or overnight until firm. Unmold

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beef Tongue

I know. Beef tongue. Who wants that, it's been in somebody's mouth already? Well so what? Do you know where beef tenderloin has been? Yeah....Beef tongue sounds really good NOW, doesn't it? It really is delicious!

Beef Tongue

Beef tongue between two and three pounds
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic
two bay leaves
two pinches of salt

Place ingredients in the crock pot. Cover with water and cook on LOW for 7-9 hours.
Let the meat cool, then peel the skin off of the tongue.
Slice. Can be eaten like that, or fried in butter. YUMMY!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cranberry Sauce

Okay, I have a confession. I got this recipe from the back of a package of cranberries, except I substitute Splenda for sugar. I know it sounds lazy, but my best friend told me it was an easy recipe and turns out great, so I trusted her, and she proved to be right.

12 ounces of cranberries
1 cup of water
1 cup of Splenda

Boil the Splenda and the water. Add the cranberries and bring to a gentle boil for ten minutes. Stir occasionally. When done, put in a dish to cool, and refrigerate until you want to serve.

I like to make this a day ahead of time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sweet Potato Casserole

I love the fact that this is made in the slow cooker. It frees up the oven and stove burners, and makes the timing a lot more laid back. While this is not my momma's recipe, she is a big fan of it.

Sweet Potato Casserole
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and mashed (I usually bake them, but you can boil them if you prefer)
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 cup of canned crushed pineapple
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of Splenda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup of mini marshmallows

Lightly spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix the sweet potatoes, melted butter, pineapple, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Spoon half of the mixture into the slow cooker. Cover with ½ cup of marshmallows. Cover with the remaining sweet potato mixture. Cover and cook on high for 1 to 2 hours, or until hot in the center. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of marshmallows on top, cover, and cook 5 minutes longer or until melted.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mom's Turkey Stuffing and Broth

Today is your lucky day! I have decided to share my mom and dad's (they worked on it together for years to perfect it) turkey stuffing. Up until now, the only ones blessed with this recipe besides myself has been anyone who bought the Church Cookbook last go around. Now, I give it to the world! Bon Appetite, and start drying out the white bread now.

Mom’s Turkey Stuffing
3 cups of rice
10 eggs
1 loaf of Buttermaid white bread, minus 3 slices, dried and cut into cubes
1 Large onion, fried until golden brown
1 ½ cups of turkey broth (I guess I should include the recipe for thism huh?)
Salt, pepper, and paprika
Cooked turkey stomach, liver, and gizzard, from the turkey broth, chopped.

Mix the rice, eggs and bread together. Add onions and cooked stomach, liver and gizzard and mix. Add Turkey broth ½ a cup at a time, until the stuffing reaches the moistness you desire. Add salt, pepper, and paprika to taste (the stuffing MUST have a nice pretty orange color in order to make sure there is enough paprika in it). Stuff inside the turkey.

Mom's turkey broth is made with the wings, neck, and stomach liver and gizzards from the turkey. Of course you rinse them before putting it on a high fire with your chosen soup veggies and about two quarts of water. When you get a brown foam at the top, start skimming it off. Keep skimming the foam, even when it becomes white foam. Now cover it, and put it on low on a back burner for about three hours, and you'll have turkey broth and boiled innerds for your stuffing. You can also eat the broth with noodles or rice before your turkey dinner.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Apple Pie

I am not a dessert person per se only because I prefer meat and potatoes or a bowl of chips and salsa over chocolate any day of the week. But, if I have one signature dessert to my name it's apple pie. My mom made the best apple pie ever and over the years I've added 'this and that' to make it my own and it's safe to say that I can make a mean pie. Although, I never put my pie in a traditional pie dish, just because they are never deep enough. I prefer a good old fashioned 13 x 9 dish, but I have whittled this down to fit in either a deep dish pie pan or an 8x8 baking dish. Your choice. (And just so you know, I normally make a pie crust but today I cheated since I didn't have enough time.)

Oh, and make sure you have some vanilla ice cream on hand because you're going to need it.

Annie's Apple Pie
6 Large Granny Smith Apples - cored, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup Old fashioned oats
3/4 Cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon ground allspice

3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1/4 Cup butter
1 pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie

Preheat oven to 375. Place the pastry in an ungreased 8x8 baking dish, and press along the bottom and half way up the sides. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and oats. Pour apples into baking dish and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Using a fork or pastry knife, mix together the flour, brown sugar and butter until it is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture on top of apples.

Bake 40-50 minutes and cover half way through baking to keep the topping from getting too brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Today was definitely a chicken soup day. The wind was blowing, it's been colder than heck, my son ended up staying home from school with 'the fever' again, my DH was feeling crummy as well and requested some chicken noodle soup. So I did what I normally do on days like today and whipped up some homemade soup. There are a ton of short cuts for making soup that includes using store bought broth. This is something I just can't bring myself to do when making this soup, only because homemade stock is so easy to make.

When it came time to throw the soup together, I had the luxury of heading out to my garden and to pull some of the carrots that are still in the ground. There is nothing like fresh carrots in chicken noodle soup.

So here's the recipe from start to finish the truly homemade way.

Chicken Stock
1 3-4 lb Whole Chicken
5-6 Cups water
1 Onion coarsely chopped
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon ground pepper

Place whole chicken in a stock pot and add water. Add onions, salt and pepper. Place on stove over high heat, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Strain broth and set in refrigerator for 6-8 hours. Once chicken is cool, remove meat from bones and refrigerate meat until ready to use in soup.

Chicken Noodle Soup
3 Medium Carrots, diced
3 Stalk celery, diced
1 Medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon butter
Chicken stock
Cooked chicken, diced
6-8 Oz. wide egg noodles
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, carrots, onions and celery. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Add chicken, cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. (You can add a few cups of water if needed.) Add egg noodles and cook until tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hot Apple Cider

A few (maybe ten) years ago, Bob and I went to a little town called Oregon Illinois during their Fall Festival. I had HOT apple cider for the first time, and just couldn't get enough. Since then, I like to make hot mulled cider in the crock pot this time of year.

Hot Apple Cider

1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 quarts of cider
1 teaspoon of whole allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
Orange slices

Place whole allspice and whole cloves into a tea strainer. Put all ingredients into the crock pot. Cover. Cook on LOW for 2 to 8 hours. Use a ladle to serve cider directly from the crock pot.

@PamperingBecki on twitter gives a recommendation for making Pumpkin Pie Spice coffee on her blog here along with ten random things. Don't pat her on the but if you like it. Trust me...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lentils With Chicken and Kielbasa

It appears that we went straight from summer to winter as it is snowing like crazy outside and it was 80 degrees just a week ago. Hopefully we'll see some nice fall days and the snow isn't a sign of what kind of winter we will have.

The cooler temperatures call for some heartier meals and so last night I decided to make up a pot of lentils. I baked a few chicken breast that I had seasoned and added that to the lentils, but left over rotisserie chicken would work just as well. The sausage gives it just a little extra flavor and the home grown carrots, of which I have an abundance, provided a little sweetness to the mix.

Lentils With Chicken and Kielbasa
1 lb lentils
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large carrots, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large celery stocks, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 chicken breasts, baked,diced and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 package cooked kielbasa cut in half, sliced and sauteed until slightly browned
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
Salt and pepper

Rinse lentils, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes and drain. Set aside.

In a large stock pot heat oil and add carrots, onion, celery, red pepper and garlic. Saute vegetables until they are slightly tender, about 10 minutes. Add lentils, broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered (with the lid not completely closed) until lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, chicken and sausage. Stir well and simmer another 10 minutes (most of the liquid will be absorbed). Salt and pepper to taste and serve with sourdough bread.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Proper Use of Paprika: Think of the Children!

On Friday Bob and I took my uncle to Dunkin Donuts, where I saw the cutest t-shirt.

Little did I know that I'd be reminded of it on Saturday....

Saturday I went to the Supermarket, and while I was there, I was looking for paprika. You will not believe what they did! They hid the Pride of Szezed brand Paprika! I know! What a dasterdly deed! The domestic brands of paprika were in plain site, but I had to move stock around on the TOP SHELF to find the good stuff.

That's when I realized that friends don't let friends buy inferior paprika, either! And you, our blog readers, are our friends. The title of our blog suggests our love for paprika...really, you could add it to anything except dessert and coffee! My daddy used to add paprika to my baby food!

Folks, I don't care what coffee your drink. Really. I used to feel that Starbucks was only slightly better, but cost a heckuva lot more, but since then, the price of coffee at Dunkin Donuts went up. So really, do what you want there. I personally prefer to make my own pot. Of coffee...

But you must take care in the brand of Paprika you buy. It's for the good of the children...

My friend Wendy has a blog carnival called Life is Funny that she posts every Monday. Come check it out, and join the fun. Weeeeeeee!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lemon Basil Pasta

Unless it is this.

This is something I make when it is too hot to cook (which it has been) and while a stove is required, it's ready in about 15 minutes so I hardly consider that slaving over a hot stove.

My zucchini and squash aren't quite ready yet so I had to buy some, but yes, that is my home grown basil and it is pretty darn fantastic. (With the leftover pasta, I whipped up some homemade pesto and mixed that in the next day. Good stuff.)

Lemon Basil Pasta
1 Medium Zucchini, Sliced
1 Medium Yellow Squash, Sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Chopped
1 Lemon, Zested and Cut In Half
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Plus 2 Tablespoons
1 13 oz Box of Multigrain Penne Rigate Pasta
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated

Cook pasta according to directions (until al dente), drain and set aside.

In a bowl, combine lemon zest and the juice of the lemon. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add to pasta and toss to coat.

In a skillet, heat the two tablespoons of olive oil and add garlic. Heat for about 30 seconds and add zucchini and squash. Saute until vegetables are slightly crisp. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Add to pasta and stir. Top with fresh Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beer Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

Okay people, a recipe blog is not the right place for a life is funny post? Tough toenails! I had TWO glasses of scotch with honey, and I will post where I darn well please. Or at least where I have access!

Today mom wasn't feeling well, so I called Bob at work, and told him to come home with something simple to cook. I was supposed to go grocery shopping, but wasn't going to leave mom alone when she is sick. I had nothing in the house to cook. Nada. Zilch. Nunzig. Get the picture. I told him to bring home anything he wants that take less than thirty minutes to cook. The man of the house brought home bratwurst. An excellent choice. But did he bring home any side dishes to go with that. NO! HE DIDN't! He just figured we'd eat brats and bread. HELLOOOOOOOO! I'm on Atkins! I don't do bread! So I went to my cupboard, and found an emergency stash of sauerkraut. Who keeps an emergency stash of sauerkraut? Apparently I do, because there it was!
I made my famous (or infamous, depending the source) Microwave Beer Brats!
The recipe is:

Beer Brats with Sauerkraut
1 pound (or more, who cares so long as they fit in the container) fresh bratwurst
1 bottle of beer (the cheaper the better. Who wants to cook with expensive beer?)
1 can of sauerkraut.

Put brats in a microwave container. Pour beer over brats. Cover. Microwave on high for 10 minutes. Stir brats. Microwave on high, covered for another 10 minutes. Add sauerkraut and cover without heating for another 5 minutes. Serve. If your microwave is does not have a turntable, rotate the container about three times during the cooking time.

Why did I post this on life is funny? The fact that I have an emergency stash of sauerkraut is giving me the giggles...since my second glass of scotch and honey...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Potato Salad

OK, today's recipe is brought to you by my Captain Obvious persona.

You see, during the summer, I NEVER buy Potato Salad. I don't trust the stores to have properly refrigerated it upon delivery. If mayonaisse is left out for a couple of hours during the summer, say goodbye pool, hello salmonella.

My family, however, likes potato salad. They especially like my aunt's who was kind enough to give me her recipe. I trust me and my own kitchen, so I make my own potato salad during the summer.

Potato Salad.
*Six large Idaho Potatos (My aunt boils them. I prefer to bake them. It is easier, and the salad tastes more potatoey.)
Three hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 hard boiled egg, sliced
1 cup of mayonaise (Captain Obvious suggests less if you prefer it drier, and more if you prefer it creamier)
1 Tablespoon of Paprika
*Red potatoes are also good. They give an entirely different flavor, as do Yukon Gold. These are smaller potatoes, so Captain Obvious suggests you use more..

Peal the skin from the cooked potato. Cut it into small pieces. Mix in the chopped hard boiled eggs. Add the mayonaisse, and mix. Place the sliced hard boiled eggs over the potato salad. Sprinkle the paprika over it. Refrigerate until serving.

I hope you enjoy this family recipe. As is true of most of my family recipes, you have to use your own judgement to determine your own family's preferences. But then, isn't that what we all do with any of our recipes?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Eggs With Black Bean Salsa

Yesterday, I posted my recipe for Black Bean Salsa and since I love a good breakfast, this is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it. Here's how I prepare it.

Eggs With Black Bean Salsa
1 Whole wheat tortilla
2 Eggs, cooked to your preference
2/3 Cup Black Bean Salsa
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the tortilla in a skillet over medium heat, turning once. Prepare two eggs however you like them (I prefer mine sunny side up or over easy). Put tortilla on a plate and spoon 1/3 cup of Black Bean Salsa over. Top with two eggs and the remaining 1/3 cup of salsa.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Black Bean Salsa

This is an extremely easy salsa to make and I've been known to use it as a side 'salad' as well. Make sure you don't skimp on the fresh lime juice. That's what gives it the zip.

Black Bean Salsa
1 14oz can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 Cup frozen corn, rinsed and drained
2 Medium tomatoes, diced
4 Green onions thinly sliced
1 Jalapeno, finely diced
1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of one lime (two is better)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except cilantro and mix well. Stir in cilantro. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving so flavors can mix. Serve with chips or as a side dish.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla soup can be made a hundred different ways and I think I've tried them all. I finally came up with a recipe that I like (and one that my kids will eat) plus it's fairly easy to make.

Tortilla Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
5 corn tortillas, quartered
1 cup frozen corn
1 14oz can diced, peeled tomatoes, not drained
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 cups chicken broth

In a large stock pan, heat oil. Add onion, pepper, jalapeno and garlic. Cook, stirring often until slightly softened and then add the tortillas. Cook until tortillas begin to soften and brown. Add corn and tomatoes with juice. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add spices, cilantro and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool about 15 minutes.

In a food processor or blender puree cooled soup, working in small batches (about 2 cups at a time.) Reheat over stove. Can be served topped with any of the following: sour cream, cilantro, diced cooked chicken and crumbled tortilla chips. 8 servings.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Hummus

I asked my friend Candy to guest post today. She is an awesome lady, who apparently doesn't eat meat. Yet she often describes sumptous foods in her tweets and on her blog. I think she should start her own recipe blog. She makes everything sound so good. Even though I am a carnivore by nature, my mouth waters at her descriptions.

Her blog is a very upliftiing place to visit. Go ahead. Do so. And beg her to start her own vegetarian site. Or to contribute here regularly. Whatever grinds your garbanzos.

Spinach Artichoke Hummus

Recipe By : Candy Steele
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Appetizers, Dips

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 can garbanzo beans -- drained but not rinsed
5 Artichoke Hearts -- canned
2 Tablespoons Tahini
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Clove
Big Handful Fresh Spinach
Salt and Pepper

Steam spinach for 5 minutes until wilted. Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Stream in oil and blend until emulsified. Salt and pepper to taste.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 227 Calories; 9g Fat (34.8% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 10g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 80mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Barbequed Spareribs in a Crockpot

I know, it sounds like a contradiction in terms. Still, I don't know how to use an outdoor grill, and I am not about to lose out on a chance to eat BBQ ribs.

3 to 4 pounds of spareribs
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 sliced onion
16 ounces of favorite barbecue sauce

Place onion slices at the bottom of the crock pot.
Rub ribs with salt and pepper. The spare ribs, not your own. This isn't that sort of blog.
Place the ribs in a broiler pan under the broiler for 7 minutes. Turn over. Broil another 7 minutes.
Slice ribs into serving pieces and place in crock pot. My crock pot is 5 1/2 quarts.
Pour in barbeque sauce.
Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours.

I LOVE this recipe. Bob likes it well enough, but he isn't too fond of boney meats. Yeah yeah, that's what she said. Anyways, the meat does fall right off of the bone. I never order ribs out anymore, because it is always a disappointment to me when I compare them to this.

This post today inspired by friend Wendy at Weightwhat and her burnt offerings.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Elizabeth's Coleslaw

Click here to find out who Elizabeth is...."
Elizabeth's Coleslaw
8 cups finely chopped cabbage
1/4 cup carrot, shredded
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tbsp. white vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

Cut cabbage and carrots into small pieces about the size of rice kernels. (The
food processor is great for this!) In salad bowl, combine the sugar, salt,
pepper, milk, mayonaise, buttermilk, vinegar, and lemon juice. Beat until
smooth. Add the cabbage and carrots. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at
least 2 hours before serving. Serves 6 to 8

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Annie

I think I speak for all of our bloggity friends when I say, we wish we were spending it with you.

Any clues as to why....

Just kidding.... I heart cake way to much to waste that much of it. Well, maybe just a slice.....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

I was out with the girls a few nights ago and the soup du jour was Hungarian Mushroom Soup. I have never had this before and I'm glad I tried it. If you are a fan of mushrooms this is a pretty awesome soup and it's easy to make. This would be a great addition to a Sunday brunch.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 Large sweet onion, chopped
1 Lb. small mushrooms
2 Cups chicken broth
1 Cup milk
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Paprika (I doubled this)
1 Teaspoon fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons of dried)
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Teaspoons lemon juice

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in the butter (4-5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 more minutes.

Stir in broth, paprika, soy sauce and dill. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and flour together. Pour into the soup and stir well to blend. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in salt, pepper, lemon juice and sour cream. Mix together and heat over low heat about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring Day Chili With A Kick

It's spring in Bend, but you'd never know it by the snow that is falling fast and furiously this evening. In the spring I like to create a lot of dishes using fish, chicken, and bar-b-que and serve them up with various kinds of salads. But today called for something a little heartier and soul warming, considering the weather. And if warm is what you need, this will do the trick.

Spring Day Chili With a Kick
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Medium sweet onion, diced
2 Stalks celery, diced
2 Medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 Medium zucchini, quartered and diced
2 Medium russet potatoes, washed with skin on and diced
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon ground oregano
3 cups beef broth
2 cup water
1 14oz can black beans
1 14oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 8oz can tomato sauce

In a large stock pot on medium heat add butter and olive oil. When butter has melted and mixture is heated, add garlic, onion, celery and carrots. Stir until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add ground beef. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Add salt, cumin, coriander, oregano, beef broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Add potatoes, beans, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Add zucchini, and cover loosely. Simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes. Serve with warm tortillas.

** This can also be done in the crock pot. After the beef has been cooked with the vegetables, combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Layered Strawberry Shortcake

Yesterday was Jon's birthday and I made his favorite dessert, Strawberry Shortcake. I decided to do it a little differently and layer it into a trifle bowl. This recipe is amazingly easy to make and assemble and I promise that you will receive 'ooh's and ahhh's' over it.

Layered Strawberry Shortcake

1 Store bought Angel Food Cake
2 lbs Strawberries
2 Tsp Granulated Sugar
1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
2 TBSP Powdered Sugar

Wash strawberries, remove stems and slice into a bowl. Add granulated sugar and stir well. Pour whipping cream into a metal bowl and mix until nearly stiff. Add powdered sugar and mix until stiff. Cut up Angel Food cake into cubes. To assemble dish:

In a trifle bowl layer in order, approximately 2 cups Angel Food cake, 1/2 the strawberries (reserve a few for the top) and 1/2 the whipped cream. Repeat layer one more time. Top with a few sliced strawberries. Serves 10.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Franks and Beans in a Slow Cooker

My friend Katdish was over at Annie's site requesting kid friendly recipes. Her wish is my command. I think. It does kind of depend on your kids, don't it?

Franks and Beans in a Slow Cooker

2 16 oz cans of great northern beans, drained
1 16oz can of cut green beans, drained
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce (8 oz of salsa, your choice medium, mild, or hot, also works well)
1 chopped onion
¼ cup of sugar or sugar substitute
2 tsp of yellow mustard
A dash of black pepper
16 oz of frankfurters, cut into circles

Spray container with butter flavored cooking spray. Combine beans and tomato sauce in the container. Add onion, sugar, mustard, and pepper. Mix well. Stir in frankfurters. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Mix well before serving.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Crepes Anyone?


Annie, this is my not so subtle way of asking, how do you make crepes?
I know one of this blogs followers has the Hungarian recipe for palacsinta, which are like crepes, and absolutely awesome.
Anyone else out there have any answers?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Prayerfully Pasta?

I am a Catholic (in case you didn't know). And a conservative one at that. I love the Church, and therefore couldn't resist an opportunity to share with you all Grace Before Meals. No, I don't own the book. YET! I am so planning on getting it though. I will even review it right here on this blog. (I heard the collective "OOOOOOOOO" as I typed that, so thank you). Until then, take a peek at these videos.

We are in the Easter season until Ascension Thursday, which is obviously forty days after Easter. That means you will want to be making the white sauce. Red sauce is for Pentecost.
I love the Easter Season!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chicken Stir Fry

I know. Easter is a few days away. So why not traditional Easter recipes? Sorry folks. Helen is still doing Atkins, and while she shared a potluck recipe since SCL was commenting about potlucks, her heart isn't in sharing carbs with you just yet. She hopes you enjoy the stir fry chicken.

Chicken Stir Fry
You will need:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch
about 3 tablespoons of oil
1 teaspoon of chopped ginger
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
pea pods
water chestnuts
baby corn
1/2 cup of stir fry sauce (purchased, not homemade)

Cut 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts into tin slices and stir in 1 egg white and 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch. Mix well.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger and 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic.
Then add the chicken. Stir for 30 seconds and add 1/3 cup of pea pods, 1/4 cup of water chestnuts, and 1/2 cup of baby corn. Stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink. Then add stir fry sauce. Stir fry for about one minute.

P.S. If you were hoping for a ham recipe, Helen's only secret is baking it in a can of ginger ale (remember to pour it out of the can), and baste with the juices every so often. This year, Sherri at Everything In Moderation. has inspired Helen with her crock pot recipe to try the ginger ale in a crock pot instead of basting it in an oven. Let's wish her luck, and check out Sherri's blog as well. Let her know Helen sent you in her comment section. Then Helen can possibly win cool prizes. Hey, if you comment, it could be you winning instead. You never know unless you try.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Salami and Pasta Salad

Welcome to Paprika is Good, But Not In Coffee. Helen and Annie are regular SCL commenters who met there, became friends, and now share a recipe blog together. Please check out some of our other recipes.

Salami and Pasta Salad

1 8 oz package of pasta ( bow ties look prettiest, but I have made it with spaghetti when that is what I have handy)
1 8 oz package of hard salami
1 8 oz package of frozen vegetables, thawed
1 4 oz package of shredded mozarella cheese
1 bottle of of Kraft Light House Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
1 can of sliced black olives

Cook pasta as directed on the package. Cut salami into 1/4 inch strips. Separate the strips. Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl and cover. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or until ready to served. If you let it marinate a few hours, then stir, it is even better.

I made this recipe several times, and I really like it. More importantly, I have been asked for the recipe at potlucks, an important criteria in determining a repice's worth. The main reason I am choosing this recipe is that my printed copy is looking pretty bad, and I find that recipes which become illegible are usually the best ones. Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Barbequed Camel and Friends

This is not a joke, this is an actual recipe. This is a genuine Bedouin recipe translated into English. Who knows, next time you want to have a "different" type of barbeque, why not go for it?

100 servings
½ day 2 hours prep
1 whole camel, medium size
1 whole lamb, large size
20 whole chickens, medium size
60 eggs
12 kg rice
2 kg pine nuts
2 kg almonds
1 kg pistachio nuts
110 gallons water
5 lbs black pepper

Skin, trim and clean camel (once you get over the hump), lamb and chicken.
Boil until tender.
Cook rice until fluffy.
Fry nuts until brown and mix with rice.
Hard boil eggs and peel.
Stuff cooked chickens with hard boiled eggs and rice.
Stuff the cooked lamb with stuffed chickens.
Add more rice.
Stuff the camel with the stuffed lamb and add rest of rice.
Broil over large charcoal pit until brown.
Spread any remaining rice on large tray and place camel on top of rice.
Decorate with boiled eggs and nuts.
Serves a friendly crowd of 80-100.

I have never actually made this, so do let me know how it turns out.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shredded Pork With Black Beans

This is one of those recipes that came about because I had made my Margarita Pork Roast and had a bunch left over. I started opening my cupboards to see what kind of inspiration I could find in there and this is what I came up with. I cooked the leftover pork in a skillet to crisp it up and then added a few simple ingredients. I actually made this into a burrito for my son and I just ate it as is. Either way, it's pretty darn good and another super easy recipe to make using leftovers.

Shredded Pork with Black Beans
3-4 cups leftover Margarita Pork (recipe below) or any leftover pork roast
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles (or a can of plain diced tomatoes will do)
1 14 oz. can black beans, drained

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir. Add pork. Cook, stirring often, until pork is heated through and somewhat crisp (about 5 minutes). Stir in salt, cumin, pepper, tomatoes and black beans and cook until well heated. Serve with cheese, sour cream, cilantro and tortillas.

Everyone knows of my passion for all foods Mexican. I made this up when I wanted to do something other than the usual 'rubbed' pork roast. The tequila and lime help to tenderize the meat and the margarita mix adds a little sweetness.

Margarita Pork Roast
3-4 lb boneless pork roast
2 Teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup margarita mix
Juice of 1 lime

Rinse and pat dry the pork roast. Rub the salt onto the roast. In a skillet, heat the oil. Brown the roast on all sides. Place in a crockpot. Pour over the margarita mix, lime juice and tequila, in that order. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Shred and use for tostadas, tacos or in burritos.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Easy Cookies

Next week Thursday is St. Joseph's day, and the Italian Club I belong to (even though I am not Italian. Don't ask. It has to do with wine, and the common colors of our flags) is hosting a St. Joseph's table. I never heard of a St. Joseph's table that was a sweet table before, but, whatever, I can roll with the punches. Unfortunately I don't want to roll out any cookie dough. I plan on using this cookie recipe, which I have used in the past. It is really easy, and it tastes great!

Easybake Cakemix Cookie Recipe

1 package (approximately 18 ounces) yellow cake mix, the size you can bake in a 9 inch by 13 inch cake pan (I used Betty Crocker)

2 cups of Cool Whip (measure, my 18 ounce tub had about 3 cups in it)
1 large beaten egg
½ cup of powdered sugar (I did not use this because my mom is a diabetic and there is more than enough sugar for her in a box of cake mix)
Hershey Kisses
Marishino cherries.
Combine dry cake mix, Cool Whip, and beaten egg in a large bowl. Stir until it is mixed well.

Drop by teaspoon into the bowl of powdered sugar and roll to coat the cookie dough.

Place the coated cookie on a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, 12 cookies to a sheet.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F for10 minutes. Place one Hershey Kiss in the middle of some, one Marishino cherry in the middle of others. Let then cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes or so, and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield 4 dozen cookies.

Tip: I have used chocolate cake mix as well. This year I want to try lemon cake mix and see how that turns out.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lemon and Basil Roast Chicken

OK, it actually has some orange in there also. And garlic. But that makes for a long recipe title. Fact is, this is just some darn good chicken. It's lemony-basily-orangy-garlicy and very moist. I actually take the leftovers (if there are any) and make chicken salad sandwiches the next day. Yeah - this is a two-fer.

I'll let you in on a little secret of how I get it so moist. I brine it. I know, that probably seems like a lot of work for a little chicken, but that's how they turn out the best and when I cook, I want the best bang for my buck. That's just how I roll. If you don't want to go to all the trouble of making the brine and soaking the chicken overnight, you can put the thawed chicken in an ice water bath for a few hours and it will help to re-hydrate the chicken. Yes, unless you are independently wealthy and can afford fresh (which I cannot), then your frozen little bird is going to be a bit dehydrated. Give it a shot, what do you have to lose.

Lemon and Basil Roast Chicken
1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs
1 lemon
1 orange
1/4 c semi-dry white wine
3 cloves garlic,quartered
1 bunch fresh basil (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons butter (not margarine)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Rinse chicken well (remove all gizzards), pat dry and place in a roasting pan breast side up.

Quarter orange and halve lemon. Squeeze most of the orange juice into a bowl and the juice of half the lemon. Reserve orange. Slice the other half of the lemon. To the juice add white wine and stir.

With your fingers, very carefully separate the skin from the breast meat. Place 2 slices of lemon between skin and meat on each side of breast. Stuff the chicken (loosely) with a few reserved orange quarters, lemon quarters, basil, garlic and butter. Pour juice / wine mixture over chicken, getting some under the skin and in the cavity. Salt and pepper the skin.

Bake at 325° for approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours (basting at least once half-way through the baking time) or until a meat thermometer reads 165°. If the chicken skin becomes too brown, cover with foil for remainder of baking time.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chicken and Asparagus with White Wine Sauce

If you've never cooked with wine for one reason or another, you really should expand your horizons and give it a try. It may be intimidating at first, trying to figure out what kind of wine...red or white, Cabernet or Merlot? Pinot Gris or Chardonnay? While I prefer drinking reds over whites, I do more cooking with whites. Probably because I use it with chicken, soups, sauces and it works well with those.

This dish is super easy and you'll be amazed at how good it tastes. This takes maybe a half hour to prepare and uses just a few ingredients. So this is great for working moms/wives/bloggers like me who some days just don't want to slave for hours in the kitchen.

I like to use a nice Sauvignon Blanc for this. Chardonnay is too buttery/oakey/dry (do I sound like a wine-snob or what?) for this recipe, and so I go for the $8-$9 bottle of SB, they are usually pretty decent in that range. Lucky for me, I live in the proverbial 'wine belt' of the United States and the selection is pretty darn good.

Chicken and Asparagus with White Wine Sauce

4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
3-4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 lb. Asparagus, rinsed, dried and ends trimmed
Parmesan cheese

In a bowl, combine flour, salt, paprika and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge chicken in flour mixture and add to hot oil. Cover and cook approximately 7 minutes. Turn chicken, cover and continue cooking until cooked through - approximately 7 more minutes and each side is brown and crispy. Remove chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Keep skillet over heat and with a spoon, scrape up bits from the bottom of the skillet and add wine and chicken broth stirring well. Add asparagus. Cover and cook until asparagus is slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Uncover and grate some Parmesan over the asparagus and let cook for another minute.

On individual plates, put one chicken breast, asparagus and spoon over some of the wine sauce from the pan. Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese. Fabulous.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Easiest Spaghetti and Meatballs

This is the easiest ever Spaghetti and meatballs. Normally, I'm not a cheater when it comes to sauces like this. I usually start them early in the morning and cook it all day so that the flavors can make merriment in the crockpot and I get to enjoy it immensely at dinner. Unfortunately, that was not the case yesterday, but I have a long list of quick tricks that I use to make dinner in no time flat and it still tastes good. This is a pretty basic sauce and you can add vegetables and keep it vegetarian, or brown some hamburger and then add the rest of the ingredients, or, buy a Costco size bag of meatballs and throw some of those in for the ultimate cheater dinner. I am shameless. And no one in my house is starving.

Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14oz cans Italian Style Diced Tomatoes
1 14oz can Tomato Sauce
1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning (the secret ingredient)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Frozen meatballs (I use 4 per person)

Over medium-high heat, saute garlic in olive oil (do not let it get too brown). Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Stir well, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Carefully add meatballs to the sauce, stir to coat and cover. Let simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Serve over spaghetti noodles with sourdough bread and a nice Cabernet (yum!). Serves 4.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fish Filet

Today is Ash Wednesday. My fellow Catholics are meatless today, and every Friday until Easter. This here is a quick and easy fish recipe to make their lives easier. If you like fish, it can make your life easier too, because it is really quick, and tastes just like you ordered it from the restaurant!

Fresh Fish (perch, whitefish, tilapia, orange roughy)
fresh lemom

Place fish filets in dish. Put a pat of butter on each fish. Squeeze lemon over the fish. Cover with wax paper. Place in microwave. Microwave on HIGH for five minutes. Remove fish. If it flakes easily, you are done. If not, cover again and try for another couple of minutes. Fish is done when it flakes easily. Orange roughy takes less time than tilapia.
Serve with salad.

Too easy? Sorry. I am not good with fish, so my cousin gave me this recipe. Now, I appear to be good with fish, because this is really good!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Next week I start a psuedo ecoatkins diet. I am going semi vegetarian. What is semi vegetarian? Well, I will still eat chicken and fish, but only maybe once a week. True ecoatkins dieter are completely vegetarian, but want the benefits of the atkins diet. I couldn't be further from vegetarian. I like eatng meat. Yum. However, my thyroid is acting up again, and I read that a semi vegetarian eco atkins diet will help to rejuvenate it. I say it couldn't hurt, right. So I am coinciding my efforts with Lent. Probably not the most appropriate use of Lent, but maybe I can dedicate the extra energy to something particularly spiritual, and then all things come out even. Anyway, I know this is a recipe blog, but I thought I'd catch you up on why I may be posting recipes different from the usual fare.

I really can't wait to try these flourless brownies.
Black bean brownie recipe.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Super Easy Cinnamon Whatevers

Captain Obvious posting today.

You know, if you spray I Can't Believe It's Not Butter on refrigerator biscuits, and sprinkle Cinnamon and Splenda over it, and bake as directed, it tastes really good, and is no more fattening than the biscuits by themselves. It is not as good as real Cinnamon buns, but it is better than plain biscuits.
I am trying to get more Cinnamon in my mom and my diet. It's supposed to be good for preventing UTIs. TMI? Sorry....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spanish Rice With Black Beans

I used to hate rice as a kid. I don't know why, because I love it now and I use it in a lot of dishes.I prefer brown rice over white rice because it's a little more hearty, filling and it makes me feel like I'm eating healthier. This is a super easy versatile dish that I have finally perfected to my taste, and tonight, I braised some boneless skinless chicken thighs, shredded the meat when it was done and stuffed all of this goodness into some tortillas with cheese and salsa. You can also brown hamburger and then cook according to the directions below. Or, just enjoy as is.

Spanish Rice with Black Beans
2 Tablespoons Butter
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Cup Brown Rice
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Coriander
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
1 14oz Can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1 14oz Can Black Beans, Drained
1/2 Cup Cilantro

In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add rice and brown, stirring often so as not to burn rice. Approximately 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, water, cumin, coriander, chili powder and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add black beans and stir well. Cover and continue simmering until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Add cilantro and stir well to mix.

Serves 4-6.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tater Tot Casserole With Zip

I have been remiss in posting on this fabulous food blog because I've just been so darn busy lately. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of this dish, because by the time I was going to take a picture it was all gone. So, I guess you'll just have to make it and see it for yourself. This is super fast and easy to make, but when you pull this out of the oven you'd better grab some quick because if you turn around it's going to be gobbled up!

Tater Tot Casserole With Zip
1 lb. ground beef
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 14oz can cut green beans
2 cans Campbells Fiesta Cheese Soup
1 package frozen tater tots

In a skillet brown ground beef. Add seasoned salt and mix well. Add green beans and soup. Spray a 13 x 9 dish with cooking spray and add beef mixture. Top with frozen tater tots. Bake for 35 minutes at 400°, or until tater tots are nice and crisp.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Franks and Beans in a Slow Cooker

My friend Beth, at that's not me anymore, Beth's take on technology and microwave hot dogs. has initiated a conversation about gourmet hot dog suppers. I thought I would contribute this:

Franks and Beans in a Slow Cooker

2 16 oz cans of great northern beans, drained
1 16oz can of cut green beans, drained
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 chopped onion
¼ cup of sugar or sugar substitute
2 tsp of yellow mustard
A dash of black pepper
16 oz of frankfurters, cut into circles

Spray container with butter flavored cooking spray. Combine beans and tomato sauce in the container. Add onion, sugar, mustard, and pepper. Mix well. Stir in frankfurters. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Mix well before serving.

If you choose fat free hot dogs and use sugar substitute, viola (that sic is for you Annie), you have a diet supper.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Potato Skins a la Velveeta

These potato skins are just flat out awesome. If you are looking for a low fat version, I can not give you one. It would be a travesty to do such a thing to a potato skin. These are filled with butter, sour cream, bacon and two kinds of Velveeta. These will probably just osmosis right to your thighs, but it's worth it. I promise.

I'm going to give you the basics of the recipe and then you can adjust quantities for however many potato skins you want to make. And I don't have to tell you that you will get two potato skins per potato because you are smart that way.

Potato Skins A La Velveeta

Potatoes (either baking or Yukon Gold)
1 pkg bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 16oz carton of sour cream (NOT fat free)
1 pkg regular Velveeta
1 pkg Mexican Velveeta
Real butter
Salt and pepper

Bake the potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut in half and scoop out most of the inside, leaving some potato on the skin. To assemble, spread a small amount of butter over inside of skin. Then layer, salt, pepper, bacon, sour cream, Mexican Velveeta and regular Velveeta. Repeat until all skins are filled. Bake at 400 until cheese is bubbly, about 10 minutes.

The reserved potato can be made into mashed potatoes. Now that is a win-win situation.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Spinach Pesto Pasta Salad

This is a super easy meal that I make on the weekends. The pork sits in the crockpot all day simmering in a rub of minced garlic, cumin, seasoned salt, chili powder and cayenne(nothing says I love you like a touch of heat) and the pasta is tossed with homemade spinach pesto and sauteed red peppers and zucchini. I've brought my kids up on less traditional food and they love any kind of pesto. This is one of their favorite pasta dishes and the pulled pork, well, they smother it in barbecue sauce and hope like heck they get to eat this in heaven.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

2 pound boneless pork roast, trimmed of fat
3 garlic cloves minced
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup water
Sourdough sandwich rolls
Barbecue sauce

In a bowl, combine garlic, seasoned salt, cumin, chili powder and cayenne. Rub all over pork roast and place roast in crock pot. Add water. Cover and cook on low 8 hours.

When pork is done cooking remove from crockpot and place in a large bowl. Take two forks and begin pulling pork apart, shredding into small pieces.

Assemble sandwiches using sourdough rolls. Stuff with pulled pork, drizzle with barbecue sauce and top with lettuce, or topping of choice (my kids like Miracle Whip spread on the sourdough roll). Serve with Spinach Pesto Pasta (recipe below).

Spinach Pesto Pasta

2 cups spinach, washed, patted dry and torn
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red pepper, seeded and thinly slices
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 box whole wheat bow tie pasta

Combine the spinach with the garlic and pulse a few times in a food processor. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add red pepper and zucchini. Saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta according to direction and drain. Put pasta into a large bowl. Add 1/2 of the pesto and toss until well coated(you can add more pesto if needed). Add red pepper and zucchini and toss. Top with additional Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Store remaining pesto in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Giant Popovers

Giant Popovers

6 tbsp. butter, melted
6 eggs
2 cups of milk
2cups of flour
1 tsp. salt

Beat eggs until frothy. Add milk, butter, flour and salt. Beat well with mixer. Pour batter into well greased muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Make a slit in the top of each popover to let steam out. Bake a few more minutes. Makes 18.

No, this is probably not a good diet recipe. I ran out of bread today and did not want to make a trip to the store, so I made these. My family really likes them.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hamburger Vegetable Soup (Low Fat)

This food blog has been a challenge to me because I am a very 'fly by the seat of my pants' type of cook. I throw in this or that, season to taste and don't really think much about the amount of ingredients I use. I don't treat food as a science, it's more of a relationship of seasonings, textures and pleasing others. Sherri asked for some hamburger recipes and this is a soup that I like to throw together when it's bitterly cold outside (such as today when it's snowing) and I need something to warm everyone up.

Hamburger Vegetable Soup

1 pound extra lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
Dash of red pepper
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 14oz can diced Italian tomatoes
3 14oz cans low fat beef broth
2 cups water
2 cups whole wheat egg noodles or bow tie pasta

In a large stock pan brown hamburger with onions and garlic. Add seasoned salt, cumin, paprika, red pepper and stir until seasoning are well incorporated. Add carrots, celery and zucchini. Cook, stirring often for about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add noodles, cover and simmer until noodles are tender (about 10 minutes). Serve with a crusty loaf of sourdough bread for dipping.

**I put the leftovers in individual serving containers, freeze and take to work for lunch.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Casserole With No Name.....

A Casserole for Sherri
1 lb of ground beef
1 can of Healthy Request Tomato Soup
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
3 raw potatoes, diced
1/3 cup of instant rice, uncooked
1 chopped onion
1 and 1/2 cups of chopped carrots
1 cup of chopped celery
1 tsp of parsley flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef in a cooking skillet sprayed with butter flavor cooking spray. Spray the crock pot, too. Combine meat, tomato soup, and tomatoes. Sir in potatoes, rice, onion, carrot, and celery. Add parsley flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours.
Sherri, I have decided to let you name this casserole, since I posted it for you.

Can be a diet recipe if you use 90% lean ground beef.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Annie's Great Start Scramble

Jon and I started our 30-day diet. I know, diet is a horrible word, but when you say diet and eat something like this, it's not so bad. I like to make scrambles and throw in a mix of vegetables, meat and cheeses. For this one, I used what vegetables I had, topped it with some Parmesan cheese and salsa and this was enough for both of us. I also whipped up a fruit smoothie with mixed frozen fruit, yogurt and juice (I'll post that recipe later). It's a good way to kick start any day.

(For this recipe, I used only half of the vegetables I cooked so that I will have enough for another scramble.)

Annie's Great Start Scramble
5 eggs
1/4 cup low fat milk
1 medium zucchini
1 red pepper
1 cup torn spinach leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Combine eggs and milk in a bowl and whisk about 1 minute. Set aside. In a skillet, over medium-high, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add zucchini, red pepper, spinach leaves and season with pepper only (salt brings out water and the vegetables will be watery when added to the eggs). Saute until the red pepper and zucchini are slightly cooked, but still have some crunch, about 3 minutes. Spray another skillet with cooking spray, and heat on medium. Add eggs. Scramble until just soft and add 1/2 of the vegetables. (Set aside the other 1/2 for another scramble). Stir until well mixed and eggs are completely cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with shredded Parmesan and salsa. Serves 2.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sausage, Sauerkraut, and Noodle Bake

I told Annie I would post some recipes from when I was "being good" on a diet. This is one of my favorites. Of course, low fat sausage does not taste quite as tasty as regular sausage, but it beats carrots and celery with a stick!

Sausage, Sauerkraut, and Noodle Bake

1 16 oz package of low fat cooked smoked sausage or kielbasa, cooled and sliced
2 cups of cooked noodles, rinsed and drained
1 16 oz can of sauerkraut, drained
1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup (Healthy Request or 98% fat free)
1 small can of mushrooms, drained
A dash of black pepper
A dash of paprika (I know! Finally! You know, it's not like we could have put it in an Apple Pancake....)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the sausage, noodle, and sauerkraut in a bowl. Add mushroom soup and black pepper. Mix well. Pour into an 8x8 covered casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Food Joke of The Week : Brought to You From the Comic Strip Frazz

Child: How come milk goes bad but cheese doesn't?
Frazz: Because cheese already did.
Child: The stuff that makes milk bad makes cheese good?
Frazz: Sort of.
Child: So cheese is like the computer hacker who goes to work for the security company.
Frazz: Only with more Vitamin D.

Does cheese really not go bad? Sorry folks, if the cheese is supposed to be yellow, I'm not eating the green stuff. I wouldn't advise you to eat it either.
A Second Opinion on Cheese Spoilage.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Ramen Noodle Beef Toss

Since Annie brought up Church in her last post, I thought I would take the opportunity to mention I am Catholic. Why is that significant? Because I need to confess: I got this recipe from a Church cookbook from when I was a kid, and I tweaked it a bit to my family's liking. (Yeah, if you think I am cheating Annie, I understand if you want to delete this, but I will move it to my blog. This recipe turns out to good not to share.) It kind of remind me of Jop Chae (Korean beef lomein).
Ramen Noodle Beef Toss
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 T soy sauce
2 pkg. Instant Ramen noodles (Oriental Flavor works best, but I couldn't find a stock photo of it)
2 c. of frozen Asian vegetable mixture
1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger
2 c. of water
2 T. of sliced green onion

Brown beef over medium heat in a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the beef from the skillet after the meat is browned into a large bowl. Mix the soy sauce and one of the seasoning packets from the Ramen into the ground meat. In the same skillet, combine water, vegetables, noodles (broken into several pieces), ginger, and the left over seasoning packet. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 3 minutes, or until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally. Return beef to skillet, and heat thoroughly. Stir in green onion before serving.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Annie's Mexican Casserole

My husband grew up in a Mennonite family. If you know anything about Mennonites it's that the women can cook and throw one heck of a potluck. When I was growing up, during the summers my oldest brother worked on a grass seed farm owned by Mennonites. I loved to visit them and I had the awesome pleasure of attending one such potluck. Those women could make a mean casserole and marionberry pie.

Imagine my delight when I threw together this little casserole and after a few bites, Jon looked at his son and said, "I just had a flashback of sitting at the dinner table and eating something my mom made. This tastes just like it." That is a big compliment, to have my cooking compared to that of Jon's mother. So, of course, I wanted to share this easy to make dish with all of you.

Annie's Mexican Casserole

1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 small white onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium squash, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 19 oz. can black beans, drained
1 1/2 cups corn, frozen or fresh
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 corn tortillas, quartered
1 large can mild green enchilada sauce (you can also use red enchilada sauce)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown beef, pork, onion and garlic. Add zucchini, squash, tomatoes, black beans, corn, cumin, chili powder and salt. Mix well and let simmer, covered for 5 minutes.

In the bottom of a greased 13" x 9" casserole dish, spread 1/2 of the tortillas.

Then top with 1/2 of the meat and vegetable mixture.

Next, pour 1/2 of the enchilada sauce over meat mixture and top with 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat, layering the rest of the ingredients.

Cover with foil and bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes until the casserole is bubbling around the edges.


Vegetarian - Omit ground beef and pork and add a can of pinto beans.

Lo-Carb - Use lo-carb tortillas such as Mission Brand.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Smoked Sausage and Sauerkraut

Smoked sausage that you purchase at a good Polish (or Hungarian) deli can not be beaten, even with a stick. However, this recipe turns out just fine with a 16 oz package of whatever is on sale at Jewel/Albertsons.

Smoked Sausage and Sauerkraut in a Slow Cooker

3 cups of unpeeled raw red potatoes
2 cups of carrots
1 chopped onion
15 oz can of sauerkraut
¼ cup of water
1 lb of smoked sausage, cut into circles

Spray slow cooker with butter flavored cooking spray. Combine potatoes, carrots, and onion in the container. Mix in the sauerkraut and water. Add sausage. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Mix well before serving.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Green Chile Pork

I have had one affair in my life. Yes, it's true. But don't think less of me though because it just happened and it was love from the start. It's an affair that has continued to this day and there is no end in sight. My affair has been with Mexican food and it started because my best friend growing up has a mother who is from Mexico and she owned a Mexican restaurant in town. This was no ordinary 'Americanized' Mexican restaurant, this was the real deal. On Saturday mornings while the chorizo, eggs and potatoes were cooking, Rose was making homemade tortillas. As she pulled those awesomely warm tasty delights off of the grill, Nancy and I would smother them with butter and jam, roll them up and revel in the deliciousness. I became best friends with chicken fajitas, carne asada, tacos el pastor, chile verde and chile rellenos. Oh my.

One of my favorite dishes is chile verde. I have simplified the recipe (ok, I've Americanized it) and made it quick and easy to prepare before throwing it in a crockpot to cook so the pork can become fall apart tender. You can serve it in a tortilla with cheese, sour cream, tomatoes or whatever, but I prefer it in a bowl and scooping it up with a tortilla. Delish.


2 lbs. boneless pork roast cut into cubes
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt (heaping)
1 teaspoon cumin (heaping)
1 teaspoon chile powder (heaping)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large can (28 oz or so) green enchilada sauce
2 Tablespoons corn starch

Put cut up pork in a large bowl. Sprinkle with flour, salt, cumin, chile powder and pepper and stir to coat. In a large skillet heat olive oil. Add garlic and stir for about 30 second. Add pork. Cook in skillet until pork is browned, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a crockpot. Add green enchilada sauce and stir well. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Before serving, to thicken the sauce, put about 1/2 cup of sauce in a bowl and whisk in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or flour. Stir back into crockpot and let thicken for a few minutes. Serves 6.

(@ Katdish, this could be 'low carb' without the tortillas.)

Apple Puffed Pancake

Boy, it is a good thing that Annie and I are on the same team, because I could not compete with her recipe from yesterday. And those pictures! Heavens to Mergatroid, I was looking at those at 11:00 pm last night and got hungry. Don't worry, I waited until breakfast this morning to have a bite. Oooh what a bite.

Apple Puffed Pancake

6 eggs ½ tsp. salt
1½ cups of milk ¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup of flour ½ cup of butter
3 Tablespoons of Splenda 2-3 apples, peeled and sliced thin
1 tsp. vanilla 2-3 Tablespoons of Splenda brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix eggs, milk, flour, Splenda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Melt butter in 12- inch quiche dish or 9 x 13-inch baking pan in oven. Add apple slices to pan, return to oven until butter sizzles ( don’t brown). Remove dish, pour batter over apples, and sprinkle with brown sugar twin. Bake 20 minutes until puffed and brown.

Notice, there is no paprika in my first recipe post here. Now that is will power!

***I use Splenda because my mom is diabetic. You can use sugar instead.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Winter in Bend can be pretty chilly and this has become one of our favorites soups when the temperature seems to be hovering below freezing. Whether you are a wine aficionado or not, I highly recommend investing in a good bottle of white wine for cooking. The wine and Parmesan cheese take this from being a regular old cream of chicken and rice soup to a 'holy mackerel that is pure aweseomeness' soup that you and your family will love.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

2 Tablespoons butter
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 small sweet or white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
1 medium squash, halved and sliced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 package of long grain and wild rice, prepared according to directions
(I prefer to use Uncle Ben's Brand)
3 cups cooked, diced chicken
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk (preferably 2%)
Good white wine
Parmesan cheese

Prepare rice according to package and set aside.

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add zucchini, squash, parsley, salt and pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add chicken broth and chicken and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a large microwave proof measuring glass (preferably 4 cup), heat milk in microwave for 1 minute. Add flour and whisk until all of the lumps are gone. Add to soup along with the cooked rice and stir well.

Add a generous pour of good white wine, about 1/3-1/2 cup (this is a relatively inexpensive Sauvignon Blanc wine but it is good for cooking. Make sure you test the wine before adding it to the soup) .

Cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve topped with shredded Parmesan cheese and a side of crusty french bread. Serves 8.

**Note** If I have leftovers, I put it into single serving containers and put them in the freezer. I take these to work and pop them in the microwave for lunch.

Welcome To Our New Food Blog

Yes, it's true. Helen and I are in cahoots on a new food blog. I know, it's madness and craziness - kind of like east meets west - but it will be fabulous, awesome and all that is truly brilliant rolled into one little blog. There's bound to be a little bit Helen and a little bit Annie and a whole lotta simply good food. (Hey, there's even going to be stuff Kat can dish or a chicken can cook or..well, you get the picture.) Feel free to send us a request for a recipe you'd like to see posted, or maybe you need an idea of what to cook to impress the neighbors your having for dinner. You only like to cook simple, good tasting dishes? No problem. We're all about simple and easy and we never forget the good taste! Got a cooking question? We'll be the Dear Gabby Abby of food.

So, join us on our culinary journey of sorts as we cook our way through bloggerdom. I guarantee there will be some good eats goin' on!