Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Taco Salad...


Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
salt, pepper, garlic, chili powder

lettuce mix (I like Italian blend)
1 can Ranch Style beans, drained, room temperature
1 can ripe olives, drained
1 to 2 tomatoes, diced (or a basket of cherry tomatoes)
2 avocados, cut in large-ish chunks
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Catalina dressing
Nacho flavored Doritos, crushed but not too small

Directions:
Brown ground beef, with diced onion, salt, pepper, garlic, and chili powder (in amounts to your preference). Set aside to cool somewhat so it doesn't wilt the lettuce.

In salad bowl place:
lettuce mix
Ranch Style beans
ripe olives
tomatoes
avocados
shredded cheddar cheese
browned and cooled ground beef

Toss with a little Catalina salad dressing.

Serve with more Catalina dressing for individuals to add as preferred, and crushed Nacho Flavored Doritos to sprinkle on top of servings.

My notes:  I had Taco Salad at a party once with Catalina dressing, and have never wanted it any other way since. Sounds weird, I know, but it is surprisingly good.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Chicken Provolone...


I was conflicted when it came time to prepare dinner.  I wanted to cook from ingredients on hand, but I wanted something out of the normal rotation and filling and that would freeze well for Carey to take to work.  I really wanted Chicken Parmesan, but had no Parmesan.

I did have boneless/skinless chicken breasts in the freezer, spaghetti in the pantry, a half sleeve of crackers, a jar of spaghetti sauce, and sliced Provolone in the fridge.

Ingredients:
4 or 5 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1/2 sleeve cracker crumbs (Ritz or Club)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 jar spaghetti sauce
Provolone cheese (I used slices)
3 Tablespoons butter
16 ounces spaghetti 

Directions:
Pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a skillet and heat to medium high.  Crush the crackers into a pie plate and add flour, salt, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder and stir to mix well.  Dredge the chicken breasts in the seasoned crumbs and place them into the hot oil and brown both sides.

Melt butter and pour it over the remaining seasoned cracker crumbs.  Mix well so that all the crumbs are buttery.

Spray a casserole dish (large enough to hold the chicken breasts in a single layer) with nonstick spray and pour about 1/4 cup of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the casserole and spread it out.  When the chicken breasts are nicely browned, place them in the casserole and top with slices of Provolone.  Pour about 1/2 the remaining spaghetti sauce over the chicken breasts/cheese so all were covered.  Then sprinkle the buttered crumbs over the top and bake uncovered at 350° F for 45 minutes to an hour.  

Cook the spaghetti as per package directions and drain when done.  Return spaghetti to pan it was cooked in and pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over it.  Place over very low heat to warm the sauce. 

Serve the chicken alongside the pasta.  Add a salad, vegetable, and/or garlic bread.  

My notes:  Carey really liked this.  I told him I just made the recipe up as I went along, and he asked if I would write it down so we could have it again.  :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dublin Coddle with Kale...



Ingredients:
1 pound smoked sausage
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon
3 cups beef broth 
   (* or 1 can condensed French Onion Soup plus 1 1/2 cans water) 
6 potatoes
3 large carrots (In photo above I didn't have whole carrots and used matchstick instead.)
2 onions
1 bag of kale
salt and pepper

Directions:
Slice the sausage and chop the bacon.  Place in a pan and add 3 cups beef broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Scrub the potatoes and carrots well (or peel if you prefer) and slice 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.    Thinly slice 2 onions.  Wash the kale, discarding large stems, and chop roughly.

Preheat oven to 425° F.  Spray a large casserole with cooking spray, or coat bottom and sides with olive oil.  

Layer:
1/3 of potato slices in the bottom
1/3 of the sliced onions
1/3 of the carrots (in photo above I used matchstick carrots instead of sliced)
1/3 of the kale
1/3 of the sausage and bacon
a sprinkle of salt and pepper

Repeat layers twice more, then pour the hot broth over all.  Cover with a lid or foil, and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove lid.  If it looks too dry add 1/2 cup of water.  Leave uncovered and bake for 20 more minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender.


My notes:  *The second time I made this (3/16/2017) was for an early St. Patrick's Day supper.  I didn't have any beef broth, but I did have a can of Campbell's Condensed French Onion Soup that had been languishing in the cupboard for a long time.  I don't remember when or why I bought it...probably should have checked the use-by date.  :)  I used it (plus 1 and 1/2 cans of water) in place of the 3 cups of beef broth.  The coddle tasted even better than I remember it tasting the first time.  Yum!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Green Vegetarian Cuisine's Raw Pecan Hummus...


INGREDIENTS:
3 cups raw pecans
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sea salt
water, as needed, to correct consistency (I didn't need to add water)

INSTRUCTIONS: 
Place pecans and garlic in bowl of food processor. Process until mixture is reduced to small chunks. Add olive oil, vinegar and salt. Process and slowly add water, a few tablespoons at a time, until a thick hummus-like consistency is achieved. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and chill thoroughly. Serve chilled with pita chips or vegetables, and makes a great addition to a wrap.

My notes: This is a totally different take on hummus since there is no garbanzo beans or tahini, and it uses apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice.  SO GOOD!  It makes me want to have a party just so I can serve this and see the response.  :)  I think it would also make awesome tea sandwiches on white bread with cream cheese on one side and pecan hummus on the other.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken with Broccoli...


Other than cropping, no adjustments were made to the photo above...straight out of the camera.  I was happily surprised with the brown glazing of the chicken thighs.

I found the same recipe in quite a few different websites, so I can't give an original attribute.  And anyway, as usual, I adapted it to what I had on hand and what our preferences are.  My version follows:

Place 4 to 6 chicken thighs in the slow cooker. (I used boneless/skinless, and I put them in frozen.)

Whisk together:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Pour this over the frozen thighs, covering them evenly and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. 

 About 30 minutes before we were ready to eat, I added 2 to 3 cups broccoli florets and stirred them into the sauce.  Then I sprinkled 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds and 1/2 teaspoon dried chives over all, covered, and continued to cook for 30 more minutes while I prepared rice.

The broccoli looks a little overcooked in the photo, but it was actually just done with a little bit of crunch still.  I'll be making this again. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Haluski with Sausage...


Ingredients:
wide noodles
1/2 to 1 lb sausage
1 onion (roughly chopped)
1 head cabbage (roughly chopped)
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon carraway seeds (optional)
salt and course-ground pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat water to cook the noodles in, and heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  

Place the noodles into the boiling water.  

Brown the sausage in the skillet, stirring occasionally.  Add the tablespoon of butter.  Add the onion and let cook a bit, then add the cabbage and caraway seeds to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally.  I like to let the cabbage caramelize a little.  Add the cooked noodles to the skillet and toss to combine.  Salt and pepper to taste.

My notes:  I used link sausage, so I sliced the links in half lengthwise and then sliced the halves into bite-size pieces.  When adding the cabbage to the pan, you may need to add part and let it cook down a bit before adding the rest.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Homemade Pizza with Easy Crust...


Crust Ingredients:  (makes 2)
2 cups warm water
2 packages of yeast (or 4 1/2 teaspoons from jar)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon honey
5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Toppings:
sauce (I had bottled spaghetti sauce on hand, it was fine)
mozzarella cheese, grated
onion, sliced
green bell pepper, sliced
black olives, sliced
green olives, sliced
Italian sausage, removed from casings and browned
pepperoni
cherry tomatoes, halved


  • Add water, yeast, and sugar to a bowl.  Stir and let proof for about 5 minutes.
  • Add salt, honey, and about 2.5 cups of flour.  Mix by hand.
  • Add remaining flour a half cup at a time until it doesn't feel 'sticky'
  • Knead a few times
  • Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise at least 30 minutes, the longer the better
  • Preheat oven to 425° F
  • Pat dough out to fit pizza pan or cookie sheet
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Add sauce, cheese, and toppings, then bake at 475° for 15 minutes
My notes:  Any combination of toppings can be used.  These were what I had in the fridge today, and it turned out so delicious.  I forgot to pre-bake the crust, and it still turned out fine and cooked through.