Saturday, January 30, 2010

Delicious Pinto Beans

Wash and look thru beans, removing any bad ones.
Cover in several inches of water in pot with lid to soak overnight.
OR the fast-soak method - bring to boil, cover and let simmer 10 minutes, turn off heat and let set for an hour.
Drain water and rinse beans.
Note - 1 lb dry beans = about 2½ cups dry, about 8 cups cooked.

Put into crockpot, and fill with fresh water 1 inch or so from top.  Add a piece of hamhock or any other meat you like.  Cook on high for about an hour-and-a-half, turn on low for 6 hours.

Add hamhock, beans, and fresh water.  Bring to a boil.  Turn on low, covered for about 3 - 4 hours.  Add a little water if it gets low.

Add salt to taste when beans are fully cooked.

►Serve with pan-fried cornbread.  Yummy!  =)
We mix cornbread as usual, and fry in a pan with a little butter.  We like it this way because you get more of the outer crust.

Some people like to cook pintos with chopped onion, or a couple of jalapeño peppers with seeds scraped out and discarded (I've read you should wear gloves!), and/or a few peeled cloves of garlic.
I'll be trying some of these next time.  =)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my Grandma's recipe!
Well, I changed a couple of things awhile back, but I can't remember what.
  • ¼ c. white sugar
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 c. self-rising flour
  • 1 c. chocolate chips
Cream shortening and sugars.  Add beaten egg and vanilla.  Then add flour to creamed mixture.  Finally add chocolate chips. 
Spoon-drop cookie dough onto greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350º for 8-10 minutes.

When my aunt was little, and she had to bring a snack to school, the teachers and kids in the class would always tell her to ask my Grandma to make these cookies.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Upside-Down Chicken/Broccoli Pizza

  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped, about 1 cup
  • 2 c. cubed chicken, not cooked
  • 2 t. Italian seasoning
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. pepper
  • 4 oz. mushrooms, optional
  • 3 cups (16 oz. frozen bag) cooked broccoli, chopped
  • ½ c. ranch dressing (leaving this out next time)
  • ½ c. white Alfredo sauce (using 1 cup next time)
  • 2 c. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 11-oz. tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1 egg, beaten
~Preheat oven to 400º.
 ~If you have one, use a skillet with oven-safe handles.  Heat oil in skillet, add onions, mushrooms, seasonings, and chicken.  Cook until chicken is cooked through.
~Cook broccoli, drain.
~After chicken is cooked, stir in broccoli, ranch dressing, and Alfredo sauce.
~In oven-safe skillet, sprinkle cheese over mixture and remove from heat.  Or pour mixture into a casserole dish and sprinkle cheese on top.
~Unroll dough and lay over top of skillet or casserole dish.  Fit dough over the edge of pan and cut off corners of dough.  Create a crust by rolling any excess dough down, and then stuffing along inside the edge of pan.  (My edges that were higher browned first.)
~Brush with beaten egg and bake for 18-20 minutes.  Let rest a few minutes before serving.
Source:  adapted from Hidden Valley Ranch recipe in Woman's Day magazine.
I knew JohnDavid probably would not like this, so I made him one without sauce. (I cooked more of everything in the recipe)  He liked it. (ETA: not as much as I thought.  Prob just make him a pizza next time =) I topped it with the dough I cut from the edges.  His was done in 16 minutes.
The dough was much bigger than I realized, and it would easily cover a rectangular dish, with leftovers for JohnDavid's.  I still have a little in a zip-loc baggie in the fridge.  2/12/10 ETA:  I looked again at the pizza dough at the store, and saw another tube, and realized I'd gotten the thin crust -- slimmer, longer tube.
I didn't care for the slight ranch taste, and will probably use all the Alfredo mix next time.  I bought McCormick's, and it makes one cup.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bacon, Egg, (& toast) Cups

Sooo yummy!
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • ½ c. cheddar cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 slices of bread (optional - I didn't use it this time)
Cook bacon until just starting to brown, about 3-5 minutes or so.  This will help get rid of some of the grease.  Place on a paper towel to drain.
Spray or grease cupcake pan.
**If using the toast, cut 3 inch rounds out of the bread with a cookie cutter or lid.  Press toast into the bottom of each cup.
~Wrap bacon around the edge of the bread, either inside or out, or if not using bread, just curl the bacon around the well of each cup.
 ~We didn't use cheese this time, but if you want to scramble the egg with cheese, that sounds like it would be delicious!  I've read this way takes a couple of minutes longer to cook.
Otherwise, put the cheese in before the egg.  Some websites used bread, so I'm not sure about putting in the cheese directly against the pan.  Probably be ok, tho.
~Break an egg into each cup.  If using toast, you'll need to remove about half of the white.  I guess so there will be room?
~Bake at 400º for 8-10 minutes.  It will not look done!  I cooked mine a little longer, and it cooked the yellow.  But it was still good.
Use a spoon to remove and serve.  Season w/ salt and pepper to taste.
Sources: Stacy Snacks (no bread), The Noshery, Annie Eats

We didn't use the toast this time. (just can't see wasting part of the bread and part of the egg, too!)  Since I was making gravy with the bacon grease, Rebekah made pan fried biscuits.  Biscuits and gravy just go together!  =D

Friday, January 22, 2010

Salad tonight

Salad and garlic toast tonight w/ yesterday's leftover spaghetti's.
Yes, spaghetti's!
We had regular spaghetti, and baked white chicken spaghetti!
Ummm, yes, I love cucumbers!  Rebekah looked at this pic and said, "Do you have any lettuce in there?"  =D

I just forgot to make croutons!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Baked White Chicken Spaghetti

Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!
  • 2 c. cooked chicken, cubed
  • 3 c. chicken broth
  • 1 8-oz box spaghetti
  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 1/3 c. sifted flour
  • 1 c. cream or half & half (I used 2% milk and thickened later)  ETA: You could also add 2 - 4 T. butter.  I guess to make it richer?  I'll try that next time.
  • 2 T. parsley (I had none, and used 1 T. basil. I think 2 tsp. wd have been enough)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 c. chopped mushrooms (optional - I didn't have any)
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
~Cook chicken, cut into cubes, saving 3 cups of the broth.  Cook spaghetti and drain.
~In pot, melt butter and add flour, stirring with whisk.  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on low.  Take off heat and stir in the warm broth.  Blend well and return to heat.
~Stir in cream or milk, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Cook until you have a creamy sauce.
~I used milk, so with a whisk I mixed about 2 T. flour into 1/4 c. COLD water.  I got the sauce nearly to boiling and slowly poured in the flour/water, mixing altogether with a whisk.  The sauce should thicken immediately.  If it doesn't, repeat with the flour/water.  Remove from heat.  It looks like alfredo sauce.
~Add spaghetti, chicken, and mushrooms.  Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish.  I used my glass oval dish that has a lid to put into the refrigerator later.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and extra parsley on top.  Cover with foil and bake at 350º for about 30 minutes.
~Top with mozzarella or Provolone cheese.
Source:  The Homemaking Helper

I knew JohnDavid wouldn't care for this recipe, and maybe not Travis either (but he did =).  So I cooked 16 oz of spaghetti and made regular spaghetti with half of the noodles.  Boy I had to juggle my pots back and forth, and wash them to reuse while cooking.
Here's my kitchen before and after.  =)
See the clean/dirty sign above the dishwasher?  =D
I love the sound of a dishwasher, hahaha!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

15-Bean Chili

Okay, this chili did NOT end up the way it started!  But it ended up sooo good (according to my family), I'm posting it.
But eventually I'll redo it and get down an exact recipe that I'll use every time.  This recipe... is... scattered!

Yesterday, groceries getting low, I decided to have hot dogs, but didn't have any chili. Travis hadn't taken his phone, so I couldn't call him to pick up some on the way home. So I decided to try to make some.
Never having made hot dog chili, I looked up 4 or 5 recipes online, and sort of put together what I thought would work.
  • 1 lb. ground deer burger (next time I'm using beef - I like deer meat, but not so much deer burger)
  • 1 med. onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed/chopped
  • 1½ T. chili powder (that's all I had)
  • ½ c. brown sugar (One recipe I was looking at called for 1 1/4 cups!!!)
  • 3 tomatoes run thru the food processor (I had no canned tomatoes, and didn't measure how much this made) 
  • I think I put in 1 t. salt
  • And today I added beans to change the recipe from what I first intended. =)
~I browned the meat, onions, and garlic together.
~Then added a little water, about a cup, and added in the chili powder, and sugar (leaving this out next time!).  It was too sweet!!!
~Some recipes said ketchup, but I knew that would be sweet too, so I added 3 tomatoes (that's all I had. I'll used canned, diced tomatoes next time).  It was still too sweet, so I read online to add a potato and let it cook for awhile, then remove it.  Still too sweet, in my opinion.
~I let it simmer awhile.  I wanted to thicken it a bit, so I used a whisk to mix a 1/4 c. water and a small amount of sifted flour, and added it to the hot chili.  Looked like hot dog chili, but didn't exactly have the taste like what I think of hot dog chili. 
It was not what I wanted.
Then Travis called from a borrowed phone before he headed home, and I asked him to get a can of chili.  =)

But Travis liked what I cooked and used it instead of the canned chili!
Then I put it in the fridge w/ plans to work on it some more later.

~Today, I added beans to have chili beans instead of hot dog chili.  I had a 20 oz. bag for 15-bean soup, and decided to use those.  =)
Well, I let the water get too low... and the beans stuck in the pot.  So I transferred them to another pot, and continued.  But I ended up with less beans than I intended.
~Finally, I added the beans with liquid to yesterday's chili, and since it was past time for supper, microwaved them together for about 8 minutes to heat the chili and hopefully blend the flavors.
I added a bit more salt, and it turned out great! (according to my family)
Me? I liked it better after I added the sour cream, ha!   
I think it was the deer burger and sugar...
Serve with tortilla chips and top with shredded cheese and sour cream.  Yum, yum! (according to my family! =)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chicken Crescent Pockets

  • 1 t. garlic salt
  • ¼ t. pepper
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 T. butter, softened
  • 2 T. milk
  • ½ c. onion, chopped
  • ¼ green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • ¼ red pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 2 c. chicken, cooked and cut into cubes
  • 2 cans (8 count) refrigerated crescent rolls
~Mix together cream cheese, butter, garlic salt, pepper, and milk.  Add in onions and peppers, then add in chicken.
~Open and roll out crescent rolls.  Separate each can into 4 rectangles (8 for both cans).  Pinch together perforations to seal.  Spoon in about 1/3 c. mixture onto each rectangle, fold over and pinch to seal shut.
~Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake 350º for about 22-25 minutes until lightly browned.
~To reheat: 350º for about 10-12 minutes.  It will brown a little more.  If you don't want it any more brown, cover lightly with foil for the first 5 or 6 minutes.  Remove foil and finish heating to crisp the bread.
Great with seasoned rice and broccoli.  =)
LOL!  JohnDavid tasted it and told me I'd better write that boys probably wouldn't like it.  hahaha!  =D 
I'll have to make him a pizza pocket.  

For appetizers, these can be made by using each triangle.  Spoon some of the mixture near the end of the triangle.   Fold over the two short ends, then fold the long end all the way over the top and tuck under.  
 Garlic Cream Cheese Spread    
If you have a little leftover, you can use as a spread for Ritz or any vegetable cracker.  Good even without the chicken and peppers, as shown here.  →  The above recipe without the chicken will top about 30-35 crackers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Peppers & Onions French Bread Topper

WOW!  Look what Rebekah made for lunch!  =)
  • 1 large onion, sliced/chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 3-4 slices of ham, cut into pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed/chopped
  • 1/4 t. oregano
  • 1 t. Italian seasoning 
  • 6-8 slices of French bread
  • 6-8 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 large tomato, diced
In skillet with a little butter, cook the onions, green pepper, ham, and seasonings.  Spoon onto slices of French bread on a cookie sheet.  Top each with a slice of Provolone cheese.  Bake at 450º for 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted.
Top with diced tomatoes.  Sprinkle with pepper or oregano.  Makes 6-8, yum yum!

We didn't have any French bread, so Rebekah just made theirs with loaf bread.  Mine in the picture has no bread.  (and no, it's not a plateful!  that's a saucer.  =)

Monday, January 11, 2010

cooking Canned Ham

The label on Hormel's Black Label ham says fully cooked, but it's so much better after cooking in the oven awhile.

-Preheat your oven to 325º.
-Cut the ham lengthwise to allow the center to cook more thoroughly, and turn one half around so the centers aren't touching.
-Add about 1/3 c. water, and cover loosely with aluminum foil.  This prevents the top from getting burnt-looking. 
-Put the lid of your casserole dish on, and into the oven it goes!
If you don't have a lid, just cover tightly with foil.
I like to cook mine for about 1 hour, 15 minutes, then turn the oven OFF for about 3 hours.  This is the best cook time in my opinion, and I've even done it when headed to church on Sunday morning, and reheated the ham along with any casseroles I have prepared.

If you don't have that much time, I would cook the ham about 2 hours, and leave the oven OFF for an hour.

You can vary back and forth between the cook and OFF times, and even cook it for 2½ hours straight.
But the longer it gets to slow-cook while the oven is turned OFF, the better.
If you don't care for it being so juicy, right after re-heating, drain some of the liquid before it has time to soak back into the ham as the ham cools.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Oven Baked Salmon

I never cook salmon, in any way.
I had some salmon fillets in the freezer, and Travis had been wanting me to cook them.  So I googled it and found so many different recipes -- some for 8-10 minutes, or 15, and one for 45!  I decided to bake it, and this is what I came up with.
  • 1 lb salmon
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • garlic salt
  • oregano or basil
Line baking dish with foil and pour in a couple of tsp. of oil.  Place salmon in pan skin side down.  Drizzle a little lemon juice on the salmon, rubbing it in.  Liberally sprinkle on garlic salt and oregano or basil.
Cover loosely with foil.

I baked it at 350º for 17 minutes, then uncovered it and put it on broil on HIGH for 3 minutes to get it a little brown.
(ETA: If frozen, it will take at least 45 minutes at 350°.)

I ended up letting the thawed salmon sit in the lemon juice, etc. for around 20 minutes before baking, because I still had potatoes in the oven, baking on a different temperature.  I also read that it can be baked at 450º, so next time I may just add it to the oven after my potatoes have baked a little and adjust the cook time.  Also great with slaw, although I didn't have any on my plate when I made this picture.  Slaw does not make a great picture!  =)

The kids did like it, but I couldn't say it was a real hit with anyone but Travis and me.  =)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Southern Cole Slaw

Why is it called "cole" slaw???  WiseGeek says, “The word 'coleslaw' most likely came from the Dutch word koolsalade, which means 'cabbage salad.' However, in Dutch, koolsalada is often shortened to koolsla. It is easy to imagine how the Dutch koolsla was translated into the English 'coleslaw.'”
When I was a kid, I thought it was 'cold' slaw!  =)  'Cause it is!
  • ½ head of cabbage, cut into several chunks
  • ¾ c. mayonnaise
  • 2 t. vinegar
  • 2 T. sugar
  • ½ t. salt (as if this matters? lol)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
~Run the cabbage and carrot thru the food processor until the right size you like for slaw.  I prefer not to get mine too small, or it feels "grainy" when I eat it.
~Use spatula to get cabbage off the sides and pour into a bowl that has a lid.
~Add mayo, vinegar, sugar, and salt.  I usually skip the salt.  Stir well.  At first, it may seem that it's too dry, but stir a little longer.  If it's too wet, chop a little more cabbage to throw in.
Put on the lid and keep in the fridge for awhile before serving.
Serve on hotdogs or hamburgers, with barbaque, or at the next cookout you have.  Goes great with baked beans and potato salad!  We also like to have it at a meal when I have green beans.  I like slaw when I have green beans!  =)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Deer Stew!

With the help of my brother-in-law who loves to hunt and is a great cook, we made this fabulous deer stew tonight. Mmmmmm!
  • 3 lbs deer stew meat, drain blood, don't rinse
  • one large onion, chopped into small chunks
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed/chopped (or 1 tsp of garlic powder)
  • about 2 T. seasoning salt
  • about 1 t. salt
  • 2 T. olive oil
Add oil to large non-stick pan and turn burner to medium heat (6:00 position).  When oil is hot, add in meat and thoroughly sprinkle on seasonings.  Add in onions and garlic.  Cook together, uncovered, until meat is browned, about 20 - 25 minutes or so.

Then add to pan:
  • 1 package Lipton onion and mushroom soup
  • 1 large (26-28 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can (26-28 oz) of water
  • 3 T. Worcestershire sauce (I added this to the recipe - SO much better!!)
Mix w/ whisk, turn on low (9:00) for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, covered.

Now you'll need to transfer to a large soup pot.  Add any vegetables you like.
  • 5 lbs red skinned potatoes, cut into chunks (I don't usually about 3 lb)
  • 4 stalks of celery, cut into large pieces (I didn't have any in these pics)
  • 2 12-oz bags of baby carrots (or 10-12 large carrots, peeled and sliced)
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) mushrooms
  • Add about 2 cups of water.  Vegetables should not quite be covered.  
Stir as best as you can - it will be full with not much liquid!  Some liquid will come to the top, but will not cover the vegetables.

Cover and cook on medium-low (7:30) for about an hour or hour-and-a-half.  This allows time for the heat to build to a low boil (takes awhile) and for the vegetables to cook.  Deer stew will be done when vegetables are tender.  Makes about a gallon and a half.  Great served with rice and/or biscuits. 

Tastes best when made a day ahead.
We cooked it tonight, and we will eat it tomorrow at lunch.  But we did sample a bite or two.  =)

Re-heat on med-low (7:30) for about 45 min or more while making biscuits and/or rice.
Yum yum!!!
12/17/10 age 13, JohnDavid made deer stew from start to finish on his own.  =)

Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread

Great quick party snack.  My sister made this while she was here this weekend.
  • 1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple in heavy syrup
  • 1 8-oz. block of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
Drain pineapple, then use electric mixer to mix pineapple and cream cheese.  That's it!  You're done.
Serve on Ritz crackers or other vegetable snack crackers.  My sister's family likes it on white bread with the crusts trimmed off.  I like it with... a spoon!  lol.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Pigs in a Blanket

So easy and simple, most everyone can make these with no instruction.  =)
  • 1 pkg Li'l Smokies sausages
  • 1 roll Pillsbury crescent rolls
Unroll the crescent rolls, and use a pizza cutter to cut each roll into 5 pieces. (FIVE  - I know! I didn't believe it either when I first heard it!) It's easier to handle the dough if it's fresh out of the fridge.
Lay the sausage on the large end of the dough, and roll it up, pressing slightly to make the pointed end of the dough stick.
Arrange on greased/sprayed large baking sheet.
Bake at 375º for 12-15 minutes.   Makes 40.
These can also be made with layered canned biscuits (peel the layers), or with the Li'l Smokies weiners, or sausages that have cheese in them.

Free Tip:  If you've peeled the outer layer off the crescent roll tube and set it beside the hot stove for a minute, then when you're leaning down to get a pan out of the stove drawer, the crescent rolls might POP off the stove and hit you on the head, HA HA HA!