Thursday, March 31, 2011

Porcupine Meatballs

These bring back old memories... I remember making these in Jr High school in my Home Ec class.... Mrs. Kenworthy's class.  I haven't had these in absolute years and came across an old recipe which I tweaked and made my own.... These are basically meatballs with uncooked rice in them, that cooks while it bakes and has rice sticking out of the meatballs like little porcupine quills.. LOL 
You can add diced vegetables (celery, peppers, carrots etc to the sauce mixture or add a can of petite diced tomatoes to the sauce mixture..
I served these over mashed potatoes...

Porcupine Meatballs

3/4 lb. ground sirloin
1/2 pkg. dried onion soup mix (such as Lipton)
1/2 cup uncooked, raw rice (NOT instant)
2 cans tomato soup
1 can beef stock
1/2 soup can of water
seasonings of your choice ( I used just a little seasoned salt, a few shakes of celery seed, pepper and a pinch of sugar)

In oven safe dish, whisk together the tomato soup, beef stock & water (SAVE 5 Tbls. of mixture and add to meat mixture).  In bowl place, meat, onion soup mix, raw rice, and 5 Tbls, of tomato mixture and a little cracked pepper, mix with hands well and shape into meatballs placing raw meatballs on top of tomato sauce turning to coat each one.  Continue until all meatballs are made and placed in sauce.  Cover pan with lid or aluminum foil and cook at 350 for 1 hour .  Uncover turn meatballs over in sauce, and bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes until sauce is a little thickened and meatballs are completely cooked checking to make sure rice is done.  Serve over mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hobo Packets

I was wondering what to do for dinner... something different...somthing other than the same old thing....thought I have these boneless pork chops,  & some vegetables..hmmmm... got it.. Hobo packets... my mom used to make these when we would go camping.. sometimes she did it with hamburger patties for the meat, sometimes chicken... I have made these countless ways with almost every type of meat and sauce, pork chops (both boneless & bone in) chicken (again, both boneless & bone- in), hamburger patties, cube steak patties (use what you have)... I would not recommed doing this with fish fillets though, the fish cooks much quicker than the vegetables and you end up with mush for fish (I have done vegetables in their own packet and cooked them for about 45 minutes, and then cooked the fish in their own packet for the remaining 15-20 minutes and that has worked just fine, it just means that each person won't have their own packet (which is no big deal). 
I have used every vegetable imagainable as well, potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, peppers (green, red, yellow whatever works,) summer squash, zuchinni, aspargus, baby tomatoes... use what you have on hand and like... if your not using really hard vegetables like potatoes and carrots you can adjust the cooking time (less cooking) for the vegetables that you choose.
Also for the seasonings sauce, this is just the start, I have put just worchester sauce, and a pat of butter, put just ketchup (on the burgers), or just a little BBQ sauce, I have mixed it up like here.. it all works.. for an Asian flair, I have used soy and a couple of drops of Sesame oil... again mix up and use what you like...
For the dried seasonings use what you like, mine is just a suggestion I have used every imaginable seasoning, seasoned salt, red pepper flakes, rosemary, parsley, thyme whatever, again use what you like... Make these soon.... you will love them:)

Hobo Packets

4 meat servings  (meaning 1 pork chop, piece of chicken, hamburger pattie per person)
1 potato, quarted and thinly sliced per person
vegetables of your choice ( I used 1onion, cut in half then quartered and thinly sliced, 1 stalk celery thinly sliced,1/2 green pepper thinly sliced, 1 1/2 cups baby carrots sliced)
1 pat of butter per packet,
seasonings ( I used garlic & herb no salt, pepper, & seasoned salt)
seasoning Liquid mix ( I used worchester sauce, steak sauce, BBQ sauce & Lawry's sesame ginger marinade about 2 T. each)
1 T. water per packet
1 clove of garlic for each packet, cut in half lenthwise, then thinly sliced

Using  Heavy duty aluminum foil ( or you can double regular foil) cut 4 pieces big enough to be able to wrap up and items won't fall out.... spray foil with nonstick spray.  Place piece of meat on foil sprinkle with seasonings.  Divide vegetables up by 4 and place vegetables on top of meat.    Drizzle with seasoning liquid mix, spoon 1 T. of water over veggies & place pat of butter on top.  Sprinkle with seasonings.  Taking the foil , fold both sides together and crimp down sealing the packet and twisting both ends.  Continue with remaining packets.  Place packets on foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 1 1/2hours at 375.  Remove from oven and open one packet check for vegetable and meat doneness.  Enjoy

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cookies... 2 ways

I was in the mood for homemade chocolate chip cookies... but wait also for monster cookies since I didn't get to make them for my son's senior project.  I really didn't want to make 2 whole batches of cookies (since I am trying to lose weight:(  ... which is by itself a never ending project... so I thought why don't I make a basic chocolate chip cookie dough and make half just regular ole' chocolate chip cookies and add extra ingredients to the remaining 1/2 batch of dough and make monster cookies.... so that's what I did and they turned out great.  Put what you like, M & M's, butterscotch chips, cranberries, raisins whatever YOU like... :)  enjoy


2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup softened butter or margarine
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.
In small bowl whisk together flour, soda, & salt.  In other bowl put butter and both sugars in.  Mix with a wooden spoon until creamy and well mixed.  Add eggs & vanilla mix well.  In 3rds, add flour mixture mixing well.  Mix in chocolate chips and nuts.  Scoop onto greased cookie sheets (or use silpat liners) and bake for around 13 minutes or until light golden brown. **Only use 1/2 batch if you want half Monster cookies.. see recipe below.

Monster Cookies
1/2 batch chocolate chip cookie dough
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup shredded coconut

Mix well together and scoop onto baking sheets.  Bake for around 13 minutes or until golden.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore

I had some boneless chicken thighs that needed to be cooked up.... was thinking hmmmm...what to do with them?  Stir making that this weekend along with homemade egg rolls, stuffed chicken thighs.. no didn't sound good,  shish ka-bobs nope like those on the grill (**note to self get some gas for the grill so that you can actually use it!!!)  I got it something Italian... like Cacciatore...  which is just chicken, cooked with vegetables and tomatoes & wine into like a chicken stew.  You can serve this over pasta (which I did, or rice, coucous etc.) anything goes.... make whatever you like :)  that is what is great about cooking... cook and serve what you makes dinner so much more enjoyable.  I also serve this with warmed crusty bread to sop up the yummy juices (don't want to waste a drop of this :) 
I used dried herbs but you can also use fresh (again use what you have) If I do have fresh, I save a couple of tablespoonfuls of chopped parsley to put over the cooked dish. 
Also I made this with boneless chicken thighs, but you can use chicken breasts, boneless chicken tenderloins or a whole cut up chicken ( for the whole cut up chicken I would probably reduce the cooking time, you want the meat tender almost falling off the bone but not quite to that stage if you are using bone in chicken, cause you don't want bone fragments in your dish)...NOT a good thing....


Chicken Cacciatore

1 pkg. boneless skinless chicken thighs, (my pkg had 6 thighs)
1/2 green & red pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup carrots, chopped (I used baby or can use one big carrot,chopped)
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and cut in half
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained (or can use fresh sliced as well)
1-2 tablespoons granulated beef base (or buillon, or 1 can beef stock instead of the water)
1 1/2 cups water
1 small can tomato paste
1 tbl. Worchester sauce
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbls oil
Pasta or rice (cooked)
bread (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

To season the chicken I used seasoned salt & garlic salt (a little of both), italian seasoning, pepper & a little paprika
To season the dish I used (1 bay leaf, crushed red pepper flakes, pinch of rosemary, pinch of thyme, Italian seasoning, parsley flakes, paprika & a pinch of salt)

In very large skillet with deep sides place oil over medium high heat.  Add both red & green peppers, onion, carrot & celery season with salt & pepper.  Let vegetables cook for a couple of minutes then add smashed garlic.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  Season chicken on both sides, move vegetables around so that you can add chicken to the pan to brown.  Cook and brown chicken on both sides for 5-10 minutes.  In large pyrex measuring cup, add tomato paste & buillon  whisk together(if you have stock whisk tomato paste and stock together), add seasonings of your choice, brown sugar, diced tomatoes & worchester sauce.  Pour wine over browned chicken stirring and deglazing the pan.  Pour tomato mixture over top of chicken stirring slightly until chicken and vegetables are covered.  Bring mixture up to a rolling simmer stirring occasionally, turn heat down to low place a lid on pan and simmer for 1-2  hours or until meat is falling apart and sauce is thickened.  I usually during the last 30 minutes of cooking (which is the time I cook mypasta) take the lid off to thicken the sauce.  Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings if necessary.  Serve over cooked pasta or rice, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve with bread.  Enjoy

Friday, March 25, 2011

BBQ Chicken pizza with Carmelized onions & garlic

My son had his senior project due and we were going to make Monster cookies (see my last post) but unfortunately I was sick out of nowhere and he chose BBQ chicken pizza instead.  He had practiced making several things and took pictures (thank god) while he was doing it.  He scored an 88% on his project...Way to go Charlie... I am proud of you and I love you....

You can use leftover rotiserrie chicken, or get the kind in the deli made to put on salads, or leftover roasted chicken etc.. use what you have anything will work.  This pizza is also great with leftover BBQ pulled pork....YUM instead of the chicken...again use what you have.
Also, you can add other toppings to this, mushrooms, bacon anything.... it is all good :)

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Carmelized onions and garlic

Pizza dough (you can use your favorite, frozen, or make your own, my very first blog is about pizza dough, you can reference that look in the 2010 folder)
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 cups shredded mozzerella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, (save 2 tablespoons)
1 T. butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced green pepper
2 cups cooked leftover chicken, chopped
seasonings of your choice ( I used garlic & herb no salt seasoning, salt & pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Oil pizza pan and sprinkle with cornmeal.  In saute pan heat 1 tablespoon both olive oil & butter in pan, add onion slowly carmelizing onion for about 4-5 mintues, add green pepper and cook for around 3 minutes.  Add sliced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until garlic softenes and  becomes fragrant.  Turn off heat and let mixture cool slightly.  Place dough and press out in a layer with a slight lip on edge of pan.  Poke dough with fork (to avoid over rising when baking). Take 1-2 tablespoonfuls BBQ sauce and mix with chopped chicken add seasonings to chicken mix well ( I don't heat the chicken up because it will heat up when it bakes).  Take remaining sauce and spread in a thin layer over pizza crust.  Sprinkle cheese over top.  Sprinkle chicken & onion mixture over top.  Bake for around 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.  When pizza comes out of the oven sprinkle with parmesan cheese. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monster Cookies

My oldest son has a Senior project due this week.  He had to pick a future career that he thought that he might like to do and he has to "job shadow" an individual in this field.  He decided to do his project on culinary arts.  He "job shadowed" at a local restaurant and liked it.  Then he has to prepare a huge research project on this, put together a binder, set up a display and give a presentation to judges in their prospective fields and to the entire senior class (which is several hundred students and parents).  He decided to make Bread pudding and Monster cookies. These cookies are favorites at our house and they make absolutely tons of cookies.  So tomorrow we will be preparing all of these cookies (making small ones so everyone can taste one) , taking pictures, and getting the final touches done for his presentation.  He is very nervous but I told him he will do just great... Knock 'em dead Charlie, I love you :)  I will post his bread pudding recipe (which is yummy) later this week...

Monster Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine ( I use a mixture of both),softened
2 cups Brown Sugar
2 cups White Sugar
4 eggs
4 cups flour
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup ( EACH) chocolate, white & butterscotch chips
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 cups M & M's
1 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  With an electric mixer, beat together butter/margarine and both sugars until light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs, peanut butter & vanilla  mixing well.  In additional bowl, whisk together the baking powder, soda, salt & flour.  With heavy duty spoon (this mixture will become very thick) mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients a little at a time until just mixed.  Add the remaining ingredients mixing well.  Scoop out (I use a ice cream scoop) or using 2 spoons spoonfuls of cookies on pan ( I use a silicon liner that I do not grease) or you can grease your baking sheet.  With damp fingertips press down on each cookie flattening out and cook these for around 8-11 minutes depending on your oven until done & light golden brown.  Let cool and enjoy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bean Soup w/ ham

I made a huge ham this week... Now what to do with the leftovers...... I made western omelettes (green pepper, onion, ham, cheese & eggs ), made ham sandwiches,  ham & sweet potatoes... lots of ham this week... now I have about 1 1/2 cups of ham left, along with a huge ham bone and about 1/8 cup of that sweet stickly glaze... PERFECT for bean soup..... I love bean soup with ham.  It is warm, yummy and delicious... You can put your own spin on this, put vegetables you like in it... also I know this sounds weird, but my mom taught me to put V8 juice, along with molasses & a little brown sugar in the soup.  She told of a story of a man who made the best bean soup ever!!! He told her to put those 3 things in and it absolutely makes it... My dad made bean soup a while ago and while it was good, I told my mom it didn't "taste" like bean soup... she said do you know why?  I was like nope it looks like bean soup, she said look closer... I was like closer??? Hmm... ham, beans, vegetables, seasonings, broth = bean soup.  She said nope, look at the broth it was kinda clear.  She said your dad didn't put the molasses & brown sugar and the really "secret" ingredient in it.  I was like alright what secret ingredient are you talking about.. like beer or something?  She's like nope V8 juice... I was like really??  Who on earth would have thought to put that in soup?  Then she told me the story which I loved.  I love the "secret" ingredients that make things taste extra yummy and delicious!!!  Lots of people leave "out" the secret ingredient when they are giving a recipe away and it never quite tastes the same.... Well not me... here it is .... enjoy

I serve this with cornbread....

Bean Soup w/ Ham

1 package dried beans ( I use a variety blend of beans, for bean soup that comes with a little ham seasoning package (which I throw away)
1 ham bone
1 1/2 cups cubed ham
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1/4 green pepper chopped
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup of V8 juice
Water to cover 2 inches above the beans
Seasonings of your choice ( I used salt, pepper, bay leaf, garlic powder & a splash of worchester sauce)
leftover Ham glaze from baking pan

In big bowl cover beans with cold water and let sit overnight.  Drain beans in a colander rinsing well.  Place beans and ham bone in big soup pot along with the cubed ham, onion, carrot, celery, green pepper and seasonings.   Bring to a rapid boil then turn down heat and simmer for around 2 hours (*** See note below) stirring occasionally or until beans are tender.  (Don't have the heat up too high or the beans with burst and turn into mush), some beans broken are fine.  You might have to add a little more water to the mixture cause you want the beans covered at all times. **NOTE*** Add remaining ingredients (molasses , brown sugar & V8 juice about 1 hour into cooking).  Taste test to adjust if you need to add more salt or seasonings.... Remove ham bone and enjoy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sweet & Spicy Glazed Ham

I have been wanting to cook a big ham, not just a ham steak which I usually do cause it is fast and quick to get on the table.  I bought a Smithfield ham 1/2 one.  I love sweet, sticky and spicy glazes for ham.  It makes the average into something yummy :)  you can adjust this to suit your tastes, you can add a little molasses or honey to the glaze use what you like.  Also, the ham takes about 20 minutes per pound to cook at 350 degrees.  Score the ham (which means cut slices about 1" in both ways into the top of the ham so that the glaze can drip in and carmelize ...... mmmm makes me want ham right now :)  LOL
I serve this with baked sweet potatoes and vegetables....

Sweet & Spicy Glazed Ham

1/2 Ham
1/3 cup orange marmelade
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup spicy mustard
1 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced

In large roasting pan place ham.  Score the top of the ham.  Pour in the water around the ham, cover entire pan with heavy duty foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours ( my ham was 6 lbs so adjust your time accordingly see about note about how long to cook it, leaving about 45 minutes before it is done to add the glaze). Remove all but about 1/4 inch of water in pan. In bowl mix well,  marmelade, preserves, mustard, brown sugar and garlic.  Spoon glaze over entire ham, using a brush getting the marinade all over ham and into the score marks on top of the ham.  Bake for about 45 minutes until done, spooning the liquid from bottom of about every 20 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and spoon liquid over ham, slice and serve. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

I have been wanting to make Irish goodies for upcoming St. Patrick's day.... Well my husband told me that he doesn't like Corned Beef & Cabbage... I am like wth..... are you kidding me???? so onto other recipes for St. Patrick's day.... (yeah my parents are making us corned beef and cabbage... thanks mom & dad love ya :)

Shepherd's Pie

1 lb ground beef
1/4 green pepper, chopped fine
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
2 T. red wine
1 T. worchester sauce
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed & drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
prepared mashed potatoes (around 3 cups)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese ( I used swiss & co jack)
seasonings of your choice ( I used seasoned salt, onion & garlic powder, Mrs. Dash, paprika)

Cook ground beef, green pepper, worchester sauce, onion & garlic until done.  Drain if necessary.  Deglaze pan with wine.  Add mixed veggies, mushroom soup and seasonings, mixing well.  Place in sprayed casserole dish.  Spoon mashed potatoes over meat mixture.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and hot.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted.  Enjoy

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Beef Stir Fry

My wonderful husband loves chinese food... on the rare occasion that we go out to eat (I know I'm weird cause I hate going out to eat ) he always wants chinese food... I am so less than impressed with any of the chinese places around for the exception of Cantonese Gourmet in Flint but it is so far away from my home and with the price of gas we hardly ever go there...we have tried some other places in our area and all I can say is yuck.... overcooked, greasy, bland tasteless food....not my idea of good chinese... I so love Chinatown in Chicago... but again long, long way from my house... so I have been trying to make more chinese food at home... starting with my homemade egg rolls (check them out from my blog's archives).  
I found fresh stir fry vegetables on sale (which is a bonus) don't know if you've seen them before they are next to the bagged salad mixes at my store.  They have broccoli, carrots & snow peas all precut and ready to go...I double check the snow peas for "strings"though...... which are fiborous string like pieces of the pea....  take each end and peel it across and sometimes the "strings "are not removed.  They are not edible and should be disgarded.  Sometimes I also cut the big broccoli pieces in half as well.  Use whatever vegetables you like.  I sometimes add green pepper slices, and sliced mushrooms to this recipe... use what you have or like.. (or you can use a frozen bag of stir fry veggies, thawed and drained).  Also, the recipe calls for apple juice, use what you have, you can use all apple juice, all orange juice, white grape juice etc... I just like the way a little orange & a little apple tastes... Marinating the meat really makes a big difference as well.  I have made it without marinading it with just mixing the seasoning up and then cooking the meat right away and the marinading makes the meat much juicier and more flavorful.    You can spice this up too by adding a little heat (hot sauce etc....) Totally up to you... This is just a base and you can go from there.  Enjoy

Beef Stir Fry

6 T. Oil (divided)
1 T, minced garlic (1 clove)
1 T. chili garlic sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger (can use fresh also)
2. T. soy sauce
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup apple juice
2 T. white wine
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb. sirloin steak (I buy the thin version of this, makes it much easier to slice)
1/2 onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 package fresh stir fry vegetables
cooked rice

In bowl whisk together, 2 T. oil, garlic, chili sauce, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, wine & orange juice. Thinly slice across the grain the steak.  Place steak in marinade mixture tossing with a fork coating all of the meat.  Let marinate for around 1/2 hour. 
Prepare rice according to package directions.  In large wok or frying pan place 2 T. oil on medium high heat.  Heat pan until hot and add stir fry vegetables, celery & onion, adding salt & pepper to taste.  Stir vegetables and seasonings coating with the oil.  Cook 1-2 minutes then cover and turn heat down to medium for 3-4 minutes or until veggies are about a little over half done.  Remove veggies to a bowl.  In same skillet/wok turn heat to medium high adding remaining 2 T. of oil.  Heat until oil is hot, add meat mixture stirring the meat well.  Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring to cook meat.  Add apple juice to deglaze the pan, and add veggie mixture back in.  Stir mixture together and cook for 2-3 minutes , then covering and turning pan down to medium for 4-5 minutes or until meat is cooked, sauce is thickened and veggies are crisp/tender.  Turn off heat.  Serve over prepared rice.  Can add extra soy sauce as desired.  Enjoy

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Strawberry Poke Cake

Yeah I just saw strawberries & asparagus in the store... that means spring is here.. (well almost...still snowing today tho :(
So onto spring like recipes.... my husband has been wanting cake and I have been waiting patiently for strawberry season to make Strawberry Poke cake and strawberry jam.... yum....  This cake is super easy and super yummy...enjoy

Strawberry Poke Cake

1 yellow cake mix
ingredients for the cake mix per the package directions
1 container cool whip, thawed
1 container strawberries, washed and thinly sliced
2 T. sugar
1 big package strawberry jello ( I use sugar free)
1 cup boiling water

Prepare cake mix according to package directions.  Place in a sprayed 13 x 9 pan and bake according to package directions.  When cake is done and just comes out of the oven poke all over the top of the cake with a fork.  Mix jello with boiling water and stir until dissolved.  While the cake is still very hot , pour slowly ( I make the jello in a pyrex glass measuring cup with a pour lip on it) over the top of the entire cake covering all the top.  Place for 2 hours in the fridge or until cool (be careful handling the cake it is still hot & I put a dish towel on the fridge shelf to protect it).  When cake is cool frost cake with cool whip.  Mix sliced strawberries and sugar.  Place strawberries scattered over the top of the cool whip.  Refridgerate about 30 minutes to let the cake set.  Enjoy.  Place any leftovers in the fridge covered.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


This is my first attempt to make Gumbo.... I kinda have a feeling that it is gonna become a hobby of mine... I was a little intimidated by attempting to make it for the first I called upon my friend Rob to give me a hand.... he is such an amazing cook...check out his blog here... he makes the most amazing stuff ever thank you my friend....
I did have a small gumbo mishap well two mishaps...I bought Andouille sausage and it was spoiled... (so back to the store it goes,,,, it is not a cheap ingredient)... and when I cooked the rice it boiled over fun either....

The gumbo turned out good... I served it over cooked white rice with hot sauce on the side... when I was doing my research almost everyone said to serve it with hot sauce and crusty bread for soaking up the juice...I did both... yum yum yum...

Thanks Rob ;)


3 cups cooked white rice
3 chicken thighs & legs together
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper,chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots ,chopped (optional)
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup white wine(can use a dark beer as well)
1 package frozen gumbo vegetable mix
8 cups water
1 T. worchester sauce
salt & pepper to taste
2T. oil
1/4 cup each oil & flour
1 piece of Andouille sausage sliced

1 cup rice
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
To cook rice in covered sauce pot, bring water & salt to a boil add rice, stir then bring back up to a boil, turn heat down and cover pan.  Cook without stirring for around 20 minutes....
(seasonings of your choice, I used a bay leaf, crushed red pepper flakes, dried parsley, soul food seasoning, seasoned salt, thyme)

In large pot, place 2 T. oil, add onion, green pepper, celery,carrot & smashed garlic cloves and salt & pepper to taste.  Saute veggies over medium heat until soft..  Remove veggies from pan.  Add sausage and saute until browned.  Remove from pan and place in same dish as cooked veggies.  Remove all but 1-2 T of oil.  Add chicken and salt & pepper brown chicken.   In  another pan add oil heat until hot, sprinkle flour in and whisk constantly for around 15 minutes of until mixture is darkenWhen chicken is browned add remainer of ingredients (EXCEPT:  Frozen veggies & wine).  Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, add frozen gumbo veggies and simmer for around an hour (until chicken is tender and okra is disingrated and chicken is almost falling apart.  Make rice around this time.. Remove chicken from broth and remove skin and shred and put back into pan.  Add wine and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  Serve in bowl over cooked hot white rice.  Serve with crusty bread and hot sauce... Enjoy

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Creativity and lots and lots of ideas for leftovers.

In my friend Angie's blog check it out here she was talking about people not having creativity and that she went to the grocery store and saw the person ahead of her buying over $200 of food that is not healthy like frozen dinners, french fries, frozen pizza etc and that she saw nothing healthy.  She was stating that people need to focus a little more on what they feed their families and themselves... I made a comment that I used to have one afternoon on my day off that I would cook alot and have a bunch of stuff for the week when it was crazy busy...I told her I was gonna brainstorm and come up with some basic ideas.  Here are what to do with the leftovers.. look later this week on the cooking one afternoon and eating all week.  None of these things take more than 30 minutes (except the potpie depending on your oven).... there is no excuse to eat bad.... plan ahead... I used to shoot for eating at home 5 days a week, eating take out one day and then maybe going out to dinner one day a week... come up with whatever works for you...It's not hard and I welcome your comments or do you get creative and how do you get dinner on the table quick.....

Ideas for leftover Chili:

Chili Topped baked potatoes:(microwave cleaned potatoes poked with a fork until soft), heat leftover chili and spoon over potatoes, sprinkle with grated cheese and microwave until cheese is melted.  Serve with sour cream & green onions (optional).. also crushed fritos on top are yummy too...
Chili Mac: Boil macaroni according to package directions in salted water, drain.  Mix with leftover chili heating until hot.  Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Frito Pie: In oven safe dish line bottom of dish with fritos, heat chili and spoon over the top. Sprinkle grated cheese over top and bake (or microwave) until cheese is hot.  Serve with sour cream
Chili Dogs:  In frying pan melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat add hot dogs, cook turning until hot add chili and cook until chili is heated through and bubbly.  Serve in hotdog buns, with mustard and onions. 
Nachos: Preheat broiler.  Place aluminum foil on baking sheet.  Heat chili in microwave. Line sheet with tortilla chips.  Spoon heated chili over chips.  Sprinkle with lots of grated cheese and place under broiler (watch carefully) until cheese is melted.  Serve with sour cream, jalapenos and hot sauce...
Taco Salad: Heat chili.  In large bowl place a bag of precut salad mix.  Add washed halved baby tomatoes, sliced green onions.  Spoon over chili.  Add shredded cheese.  Top with french or ranch dressing and crushed Dorito chips.  Serve immediately with additonal chips.

Chicken leftovers:

Chicken pot pie:  Mix together, 2 cups shredded leftover chicken, 3/4 cup milk, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup cooked veggies ( can use leftovers, 1 can drained mixed veggies or 1 cup frozen veggies, thawed( splash of worchester sauce and seasonings of your choice.  Place in greased dish.  Mix 2 cups bisquick, sprinkle of garlic & onion powder, 1 egg  and 1 cup milk pour over chicken mixture bake at 400 for about 30 minutes or until done. 

Chicken enchiladas: 3 cups shredded cooked enchiladas, 3 cans mild enchilada sauce, 1 small can tomato sauce, seasonings of your choice,1 pkg torillas, shredded cheese.  In saucepan  mix  2 cans enchilada sauce (our 1/4 cup in bottom of oven safe dish), tomato sauce seasoning and chicken heat through.  On plate (for easy cleanup) place torilla and 2-3 tablespoonfuls of chicken mixture sprinkle with cheese roll up.  Place seam side down in dish continue until all torillas are used. Pour remaining can enchilada sauce on top sprinkle with cheese and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. 

Chicken Ceasar Salad:  Take leftover cooked chicken heat thru sprinkle with seasonings of your choice.  Place over bagged salad mix.  Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and drizzle with bottled ceasar salad dressing and cracked pepper.

Black Bean, corn & chicken enchiladas:  Mix 2 cups heated cooked shredded chicken, one can each drained and rinsed black beans & corn.  Add 2 cups salsa,a pinch of sugar, seasonings of your choice.    Roll about 3 tablespoonfuls up in a warmed tortilla, sprinkle with cheese .  You can also skip the torillas and serve this mixture spooned over mixed salad green & tomatoes.  Drizzle with your favorite dressing and sprinkle with cheese.  Eat with warmed torillas.

Chicken Salad: 3 cups shredded cooked chicken, 1/4 cup each finely diced onion & celery, 1/2 tsp mustard 3/4 cup mayo and seasonings of your choice ( I use garlic powder, onion powder, Mrs. Dash, seasoned salt & pepper) 2 T. of either banana pepper juice, or dill pickle juice.  Mix well and serve on lettuce lined rolls, or bread of your choice (or you can use a wrap)

BBQ Chicken pizza:  2 cups shredded chicken, BBQ sauce, 1/2 finely diced onion, shredded mozerella cheese, your favorite pizza crust or can use a pre-baked shell.  Spread BBQ sauce over pizza crust, sprinkle cheese over top, sprinkle chicken and onions over top.  Bake until pizza crust is done and cheese is melted.

Easy Chicken fried rice:  3 cups leftover rice, 1 1/2 cup shredded chicken, 1/2 cup frozen peas & carrots mixed, green onion tops thinly sliced, 3 T. soy sauce, 2 T. sesame ginger marinade ( I use lawry's find it in the bbq/ketchup sauce aisle), 1 t. brown sugar, 1 clove garlic minced salt & pepper to taste, 1 beaten egg.  In large skillet place 2 T. olive oil heat add, garlic cooking for around 1 minute, add chicken heating through..  add remaining ingredients (except egg & green onion tops) stir around and saute until hot and heated thru.  I sometimes add a little more soy sauce and sesame ginger marinade.  Move rice around making a small well in the middle of the mixture add 1 teaspoon of butter and melt.  Add beaten egg and stir (just in the well leaving the rice mixture alone) cooking egg.  When egg is done mix all together and add green onion tops. Taste and adjust salt & pepper if needed.

Meatloaf leftovers:

Meatloaf sandwiches:  Spread bread with mayo.  Slice cold meatloaf and sprinkle with seasoned salt & pepper.  Place on bread.  Eat with a dip made of equal parts mayo & ketchup & a splash of hot sauce. Serve chips and coleslaw on side.

Tacos:  Crumble leftover meatloaf in a skillet drizzled with olive oil.  Sprinkle with a packet of taco seasoning mix, and a little ground cumin, and 1/4 cup beef broth.  Serve with tortillas or corn shells, and taco fixings.

Spaghetti:  Crumble leftover meatloaf adding a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce.  Serve over cooked pasta and sprinkle with mozarella and parmesan cheese.  Serve with salad and garlic bread.

Roast Beef or Pork Ideas:

Shredded BBQ sandwiches:Take shredded meat and mix with BBQ sauce and a little ketchup, mustard, worchester sauce and a splash of hot sauce. Serve on buns, with mustard and a little onion (my husband likes cheese not me :)

Shredded Pulled meat tacos: Take shredded meat, can of enchilada sauce, hot sauce, pinch of sugar and a samall can tomato sauce, sprinkle with cumin, paprika & chili powder.  Serve in tortillas with lettuce, tomato and cheese.

Stew:  Take one box of beef broth, a couple of cups of shredded meat, 1/2 package of frozen mixed vegetables, 1 package dried onion soup mix, splash of wine (optional) seasonings of your choice. Add all ingredients and simmer until hot and bubbly for simmer for around 10 minutes.  Add dumplings (think Bisquick ) or noodles and cook until done.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Homemade brownies

A few weeks ago I posted a "doctored" up brownie recipe stating that I would post a homemade version shortly... Well here is the homemade extra chocolatey (is that even a word??? LOL) version... Again feel free to add in whatever you you like... you can do what my last post can add almonds & coconut and make Almond Joy brownies, or put small spoonfuls of peanut butter and swirl it in... whatever.. I just made plain brownies today.  These are kinda fluffy almost cake like....... enjoy :)

Homemade Brownies

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 T. karo syrup
1/4 Hershey's chocolate syrup
5 heaping T. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp.baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (mixed with 1 T. flour to coat them, so they don't sink to the bottom of the pan)

Preheat oven to 350 (325 for glass)  Spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray. In large bowl mix applesauce and oil.  Add cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, vanilla, regular & brown sugar, karo syrup & eggs, mix well.  Combine salt, baking powder & flour in small bowl, add chocolate chips.  Add to chocolate mixture stirring until just mixed.  Pour into greased baking pan.  Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in pan comes out clean.... Enjoy