Saturday, February 3, 2018

Oven (or slow cooker) Jambalaya

(apologies for the poor photo quality)

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
3 to 6 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 pound fully cooked smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
2 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cups chopped green onions
2 Tbsp minced dried parsley
1 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoons hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. In a large skillet, saute the sliced sausage.  Stir the onions, green peppers, celery and garlic in with the sausage until crisp-tender.  Add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine.

2. Transfer to a greased shallow 3-qt. baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until rice is tender.


Transfer to slow cooker and cook on HI for 4 hours.

My Notes: I have a Ninja cooking system, so I did all steps in one pot. After adding rice, I set it to 'oven' setting at 250° for about 2 hours or until rice is done.

You can also add shrimp to the recipe, but wait until the last 20 minutes of cooking time before stirring them into the casserole/pot, so they don't overcook.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Slow Cooker Dublin Coddle...

I've blogged before about Dublin Coddle.  My friend LB reminded me that it needed trying in the slow cooker.  It turned out SO delicious and was so much easier since I didn't bother with the layering and oven-cooking steps.

Part of what makes it so easy is my Ninja Slow Cooker.  (not a sponsored recommendation, I just LOVE my Ninja.)  It has stove-top settings, which makes browning of meat in its non-stick liner so convenient, and no extra pan to wash.  I just sliced the sausage and bacon and put it in the liner and set on 'high' stove-top setting.
While the meat started cooking, I chopped the onions and sliced the potatoes.  Carey had picked up baby carrots instead of whole carrots, so I used those straight from the package.

As soon as the vegetables were prepped, I stirred them into the liner with the bacon and sausage.  The bacon and sausage weren't fully cooked yet, but that was okay since it was going to slow cook for four more hours.  

I poured a can of Campbell's Condensed French Onion Soup over the top.  Then I almost filled the empty soup can with water and poured that over the top too, twice (or about 2 cups of water).  I pushed the potatoes down into the liquid as much as possible.  The soup is salty enough that I don't even add additional salt...maybe just some ground black pepper if I think of it.

Then I added as much torn kale (with large stems removed) as I could fit into the room that was left at the top of the pot to steam.  I put the lid on, and switch from stove-top setting to the 'high - 4 hour' slow cook setting.  When it's done, I stir the kale into the rest of the ingredients before serving.

It is SO good, and it is everybody's favorite...much more flavorful than it is photogenic.  Jared said he could eat it every day, so I make it often, as I almost always have everything on hand.  And now it's even easier in the slow cooker!

1 pound smoked link sausage, sliced
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, roughly chopped
5 to 6 potatoes, washed and sliced (I leave peel on)
3 carrots, washed and sliced (I leave peel on) or baby carrots
2 to 3 cups tightly packed torn kale, 
      washed and large stems removed
1 can Campbell's Condensed French Onion soup
2 cups water

Cook the sausage and bacon a bit.  In the slow cooker liner mix the onion, potatoes, and carrots to the meats and toss.  Pour soup and water over top.  Top with kale.  Cover and cook for 4 hours on high slow cooker setting.  Stir the kale into the rest of the ingredients before serving.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hungarian Goulash Fusion...

3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 lb beef stew meat (or roast cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder (or 3 cloves garlic finely diced)
2 large onions, roughly diced
2 bell peppers (optional)
     2 - 3 Tablespoons paprika
     2 teaspoons caraway seeds
          1 can tomato paste, 6 ounces
          1/4 cup brown sugar
          1 can mushroom stems & pieces
          1 can Campbell’s Condensed French Onion soup
          1 cup water
          1 or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
               ¼ cup golden raisins

Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan.  Add stew meat to the pan without crowding.  Season meat with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Once seared, add onions and bell pepper to the pan and stir; let cook for a few minutes until onion is translucent.  

Transfer all to a slow cooker.  Add paprika and caraway seeds and stir well so the spices don’t clump.  Add tomato paste and brown sugar, and stir to distribute.  Add mushrooms, French Onion soup, water, and sweet potato.  Let cook on high for 8 hours or low for 4 hours.  About 15 minutes before end of cooking time, add raisins and stir to distribute. 

Serve over rice.

My note:  This is started out as a Hungarian Goulash, but when I came across missing items in my spice cabinet and noodle canister, it became somewhat of a curry-less curry with the addition of sweet potato, raisins, and served over rice.  But the family loved it!  :)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie...

I found this recipe at Very Best Baking by Nestlé.

The filling ingredients for one pie are:
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts ( I left these out since not all our kiddos like nuts.)

You will also need an unbaked pie crust (I use My Favorite Pie Crust), and some good vanilla ice cream is strongly suggested.

Beat the eggs till light and fluffy.  Add the flour, white sugar, and brown sugar, and mix well.  Add the softened butter, and mix thoroughly.  Stir in the chocolate chips (and walnuts if using) till spread evenly throughout the filling.  It will be very cookie dough like, but not quite as stiff.  

Spread the filling evenly in the pie crust.  Bake at 325° F for 50 to 60 minutes.

Remove from oven, and let cool for about 30 minutes before serving warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

My notes:  It turned out fabulously yummy.  And the scoop of vanilla ice cream puts it over the top!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pasta Caponata with Chicken Breast...

1/2 sleeve of Ritz or Townhouse Crackers, crushed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Garlic & Herb seasoning
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium eggplant (cut into about 1 inch dice)
1/2 red onion (1 inch dice)
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper (1 inch dice)
2 Tablespoons capers (drained)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup water

1 box penne pasta

parsley for garnish

Fill a large pot with water, and allow to come to a boil while cooking chicken and sauce.  Keep hot in preparation to cook pasta.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Stir together cracker crumbs, Parmesan, and Garlic & Herb Seasoning mix in a dish.  Dredge chicken breasts in cracker crumb mix and place in hot oil.  Brown lightly on both sides.  Remove from pan, and set aside on a paper towel.

Add eggplant to the skillet.  (Eggplant will absorb all the oil in the pan, but it will release it again as it cooks.  Let cook about five minutes, stirring occasionally until brown on all sides.  Remove to a plate covered with a paper towel.

Place onion in skillet, and cook stirring occasionally until tender and beginning to caramelize.  Add the celery, bell pepper, and capers and cook, stirring occasionally, about five minutes.  Add the tomato paste and stir to coat vegetables.  Add eggplant back to pan.  Add raisins, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, and water, and stir to blend all.   Place the chicken breasts on top of the caponata sauce, cover, and simmer on low while cooking the penne pasta.

Cook penne as per package directions.  When penne is done, plate chicken and penne, and ladle caponata sauce over the penne.  Garnish with parsley.

Friday, June 16, 2017


Sauce Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon whole basil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cans (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 cans (6 ounces) tomato paste

1 box lasagna noodles (I use about 8 noodles, and save the remaining)

Cheese Layer Ingredients:
3 cups cottage cheese (I puree in food processor, but that's optional)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons parsley flakes
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 pound Mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced very thin


Brown the ground beef in a large, deep skillet.  Stir in remaining sauce ingredients, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Place a large pot of water on heat, and bring to a boil.  Cook the lasagna noodles as per package directions.  Once done, drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process.

Place all the Cheese Layer ingredients in a bowl, and stir to combine well.

Preheat oven to 375° F.
Grease a 9" x 13" pan.  I put a very small amount of thinned sauce in the bottom.  
Place 4 lasagna noodles in the pan, sides overlapping slightly if necessary.
Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles evenly.
Top with half of the Mozzarella cheese.
Dot the meat sauce over all, and carefully spread to cover evenly.
Repeat layers ending with sauce.
Bake for 30 minutes, then let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

My notes:  This is from a community cookbook I received as a wedding gift.  Back then ethnic food ingredients were not as readily available in local grocers as they are today.  Ricotta is probably a more authentic cheese choice, but cottage cheese is probably less expensive so I continue to use it.  My kids never liked the texture of cottage cheese, so I have always pureed it in the food processor so it wasn't easily identified.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cornbread Salad...

2 6-ounce packages corn bread mix
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 eggs, hard boiled and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup chopped green onions (bulbs and stems)
¼ cup chopped green pepper (optional)
1 cup mayonnaise, or to taste
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Bake cornbread as directed and let cool.  When cool, crumble in bowl.  Add eggs, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, bacon, and mayonnaise to the cornbread (reserving very small amount of tomatoes, green onions, and crumbled bacon to garnish top if desired).  Stir to combine well.  Chill until ready to serve.  Serves 8

My note:  I don't make this often (probably because I think of it as a summer salad, and I usually only bake cornbread in the cooler months), but if I find myself with leftover cornbread in the spring or summer, it makes a great side.