Saturday, August 30, 2008

16 Bean Soup

This is a recipe that I make up as I go. Depending on what I have on hand and my mood for the day. The soup was really tasty and everyone, including the kids, ate it all up. We had no leftovers.
1 lb 16 bean soup mix (don't use the packet that comes with it if you bought the mix and didn't make your own), soaked overnight and drained
1 ham hock
1 onion chopped
2 green bell peppers chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock
tabasco sauce
salt and pepper
In a stock pot cook onion and peppers in oil until tender. Add garlic, cook until fragrant.
Add can of diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then add beans and ham hock. Cook 2-3 hours on low or until the beans are tender. Add water to keep the beans and ham hock covered if needed.
After beans are tender, remove bay leaves and ham hock. Shred the meat on the ham hock and return to pot. Taste soup and add tabasco sauce, salt and pepper until it reaches the taste you like.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Spaghetti Salad

This is a favorite of my husband and mine. Actually the kids really enjoy it too. Honestly you could serve this as a main dish, and I have at various times, or you can serve it as a salad or side dish. This recipe lends itself to whatever you have on hand and like. I prefer using a salad dressing that I make but I'm posting this recipe using a packet of Italian salad dressing.
1 lb cooked spaghetti noodles- rinse with cold water and drained
1 packet of Italian salad dressing made according to directions
3-4 different vegetables, I used green bell peppers, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes
I threw in some Kalamata olives but you could use black olives or no olives
about 1 tablespoon Salad Supreme seasoning
grated cheese- of your choice I prefer parmesan reggiano cheese, if desired
Mix everything together and put in the fridge for several hours to let the flavors blend. You can skip the fridge if you want.

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Red Beans and Rice

I just made this one up as I went along. The dish itself turned out really good.

I'd say that this isn't your typical red beans and rice dish but overall it was liked in this house.

1 lb small red beans-soaked overnight

1 ham hock

1 onion chopped

3 garlic cloves minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

6 cups chicken stock

2 bay leaves

hot sauce

salt and pepper

3 cups cooked rice

Cook onion in oil over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the chili powder and stir until combined. Add beans, chicken stock, ham hock, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until beans and ham hock are tender. Add water if needed.

Remove ham hock and pulled meat off. Place the meat back in the pot. Remove bay leaves. Add cooked rice. Add hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cool Cucumber Pasta

This recipe was in the local newspaper on Tuesday, the Standard Examiner who I believe found the recipe at Taste of Home. I love cucumber and onions together and this sounded very similar to a recipe of mine that I posted last year. Mine called for tomatoes instead of pasta and it had alot less dressing but very similar. Overall we liked the recipe. I used bow tie pasta instead of the penne pasta because that's what I had on hand. Next time I make this though I will omit the dried parsley flakes and used dried or fresh oregano and/or basil. I'll also add a garlic paste since I like the taste of garlic.
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Place pasta in a large bowl; stri in the oil, cucumbers, and onion.
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients; shake well. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Cover and chill for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with a slotted spoon. Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 8-10.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Crunch

I noticed these in the lastest Rachael Ray magazine and I had all the ingredients so I decided to make them. They were easy to make and the kids helped make them. They are very tasty but way sweet. The recipe says it makes sixteen pieces but I think it would be more like 32 pieces since they are quite sweet.
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks (8 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
one 16 ounce jar creamy peanut butter
3 cups crispy rice cereal
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, melt half of the chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter over low heat. Remove from the heat; stir in 1 cup peanut butter, then 2 cups rice cereal. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan; refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Wash out the saucepan.
2. In the saucepan, combine the remaining 2 sticks of butter and the salt; melt over medium heat, stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining peanut butter and the confectioner's sugar. Spread half the peanut butter mixture over the cereal layer. Top with the remaining 1 cup cereal.
3. In a small bowl, microwave the remaining chocolate at medium power until melted, 1 1/2 minutes. Stir into the remaining peanut butter mixture. Spread evenly on the cereal topped peanut butter layer; refrigerate until set, about 45 minutes. Cut into 16 pieces.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Pork chops, green beans, and potatoes

I found the recipe for the pork chops in the Taste of Homes Healthy Cooking July 2008 magazine. The pork chops were easy to make and very tasty. They reminded me of the old packaged mixes you bought at the store. I didn't make the gravy that was included in the recipe. I serrved the chops with green beans and baby red potatoes.

Pork chop recipe

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs

3 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced

1 teaspoons fresh tyme, minced

4 bone-in pork loin chops, about 7 ounces each

2 tablespoons butter

In a shallow bowl, whisk egg and milk. Combine the bread crumbs, parsley and thyme in another shallow bowl. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. Dip chops in egg mixture, then in crumb mixture.

In a skillet over medium high heat, cook pork chops in butter for 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to an ungreased 13X9X2 inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until a meat thermomter reads 160 degrees.

Green Beans

enough fresh green beans for your family

cover in water and bring to a boil

cook until tender but still with a little bite to them

drain then add 1 tablespoon butter and a sprinkle of garlic salt


about 10-15 baby potatoes (more of less just depends on your family)

add to pressure cooker cover with about a tablespoon of kosher salt

add about 1/4 cup water to pressure cooker

bring cooker to pressure and cook for about 15 minutes

drain potatoes and cut in half

add about 2 tablespoons butter and stir

add about 1/2 teaspoon dill weed and stir

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Roquefort Dressing

Just a few years ago you couldn't get me to eat blue cheese salad dressing or anything with blue cheese in it. My taste buds must have grown up as I know can stomach eating blue cheese. Now I'm very picky about my blue cheese and it must have a mild flavor to it but I really like the stuff. So Saturday I was at Harmon's and craving blue cheese salad dressing. They have a really nice gourmet cheese bar at the Roy store and I really love the cheese bar. I ask for a mild blue cheese and the lady behind the bar suggested Roquefort. I'm quite pleased with the taste and I have to say I really like the dressing I made with the roquefort. I found the recipe on epicurious and after reading the comments I changed a few things. I'm posting the link to the recipe:
but I am posting the recipe in the form that I used.

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste
5 ounces Roquefort, crumbled coarse (about 1 cup)

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients except Roquefort until smooth and stir in Roquefort and salt and pepper to taste.

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Beef and Noodles

This is one of those recipes I came up with myself. Its well liked in this house and is very easy and quick to make. This is another pressure cooker recipe. You can adjust flavors for your taste easily. I usually serve it with a vegetable dish or you can add vegetables to the dish.
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
either a packet of aujus with the accompanying about of liquid OR make your own recipe below:
15 ounces beef broth, canned
1 1/4 cup water, warm
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash onion and herb seasoning
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
When making this dish I just mix it all up together and dump in the pressure cooker.
salt and pepper
12 ounces cooked egg noodles
Brown the stew meat in the pressure cooker and sprinkle salt and pepper as your browning. Add the aujus sauce to the pressure cooker. Close the lid and bring to pressure. I like my meat really tender and as such I cook it at pressure for about 45 minutes.
Relieve the pressure on the pot. Open and add cooked egg noddles and serve.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Another recipe that I've put togther myself. I should warn that I've found that stuffed peppers, like some other dishes are taste specific so you may have to adjust seasonings and such to your families taste. You can do these in the oven or crockpot (oven 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, crockpot on low for 6 hours) but during the summer I prefer using the pressure cooker.
1lb pound ground sirloin (or round or beef whatever suits you)
1 cup long grain or short grain just not instant rice (I use brown but you can use white, cooking time for brown is a little longer)
1 onion minced
2 garlic cloves minced
4 ounces tomato sauce
Mix together and then fill up 6 bell peppers (red, green, orange, or yellow doesn't matter) and place in the pressure cooker.
Top with another 4 ounces of tomato sauce.
Add 8 ounces water to the pressure cooker and seal.
Bring to a rattle and allow to cook 30-45 minutes. You may find that it takes less time or more time depending the grain and type of rice you use.

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