Oct 172020
 

Chili Hash

1 pound medium potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup water
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) chili starter
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sour cream, optional

Place potatoes and water in a microwave-safe dish
Cover and microwave on high for 7 minutes or until tender
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain
Drain potatoes and add to the skillet
Stir in the chili starter, peas, parsley and salt.
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes
Serve with sour cream if desired

Thoughts
I adapted this by adding a can of stewed tomatoes (I LOVE tomatoes), I used frozen cubed potatoes and frozen diced onions.

This was so good! The only thing I’ll do different next time is add a little chili powder.

This recipe is quick and easy, not expensive at all, and it tastes very good. I will definitely be adding it to my list of favorites.

Weekend Cooking

Sep 182020
 

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

3 Pounds Chicken thighs, About 6-8
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
2 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup and set aside

Remove the chicken thighs from their packaging and pat them dry with paper towels

Arrange the chicken thighs on prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil rubbing the oil into the chicken to coat

In a small bowl mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and paprika

Sprinkle the spices over the chicken evenly

Bake chicken in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes

Adaptions
I only had 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs so I cut all the spices in half and baked them in my Instant Omni Plus Air Fryer Toaster Oven using this air fryer calculator and did them at 370 for 28 min.

Thoughts
These chicken thighs were so moist and tender and the seasoning was very good. I also made Vigo Yellow Rice and fried green beans. The thigh recipe was so quick to put together. This was a very good meal, I’ll be making it again!

Weekend Cooking

Sep 112020
 

Excuse the messy bowl, it was round two

8 Can Slow Cooker Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 can ro-tel tomatoes and green chilies
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can veg-all brand vegetables
1 can chili without beans
1 can chili with beans
1 can diced tomato
1 can campbell tomato soup
1 can campbell vegetable soup

Brown and drain ground beef
Add to large slow cooker

Add:
Ro-Tel tomatoes
corn
Veg-All
both chili’s
diced tomatoes
both soups

Stir

Turn Slow Cooker to low; may simmer all day if desired

Notes: I didn’t have any hamburger so I used Uncle John’s Pride Mild Country Sausage

Thoughts
I love soup and vegetables so I knew I’d love this. My son doesn’t like soup or vegetables but he said he’d try it. And he shocked me when he went back to get more! That’s why the bowl is so messy. He said it was really good.

This is so cheap, easy and quick to put together that I’ll definitely be making it again, especially since Anthony liked it so much.

Weekend Cooking

Souper Sundays

Sep 042020
 

 

The Hillbillies Meatloaf

3 lb. hamburger
3 eggs
13oz, bag Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips
2 bunches green onion
3/4 c. milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Ketchup (as much as you want)
2 spoons brown sugar

Put some butter in pan and saute onions
Crush chips & put in big bowl
Add milk
Add some salt & pepper
Add eggs
Add cheese
Add onions
Add hamburger
Mix well
Put in glass pan
Make loaf w/gaps on side for grease
Bake at 350 for 45 min.

While it’s in the oven:
Put ketchup in a bowl
Add brown sugar
Mix

When the meatloaf is done:
Spread ketchup/brown sugar mix on top of meatloaf
Put back in oven for 15-20 min.

Thoughts
When I first saw this recipe I thought “Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips in meatloaf? Yuck!” I don’t like cheddar or sour cream chips and thought that it would taste terrible but I thought I’d give it a try.

Adaptions: I used more brown sugar

The recipe was easy to make and not very time consuming. I was going to cut the recipe in half since there are only two of us but decided to not to and just freeze the leftovers, which will make two more meals.

I was very surprised that the meatloaf was so good! It’s one of the best I’ve ever had and I’m glad I didn’t cut the recipe in half. Now all I have to do is take a bag out of the freezer to thaw and then reheat it.  Will be making it again!

I love when I’m not sure about a recipe and it ends up being a favorite!

Weekend Cooking

Aug 292020
 

Chicken Burrito Skillet

1 pound boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 -15 oz  whole Black Beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original
Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
1 cup water
1-1/4 cups instant brown rice, uncooked
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
Chopped cilantro, optional: do not like cilantro so didn’t use

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat
Add chicken and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add onion and taco seasoning; cook 2 minutes more
Stir in black beans
Add tomatoes/green chilies & water; bring to a boil
Stir in rice, cover, reduce heat, simmer 7 to 10 minutes or until rice is tender
Stir in 1/2 cup cheese
Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and cilantro, if desired

Thoughts
This was really good. We don’t like cilantro so I didn’t add it. It was quick and easy to make and I only used one skillet, a spoon, a measuring cup and a measuring spoon. I bought chopped onions in the vegetable section (I recently started doing this because it saves time and I have chopped onions in my fridge for whenever I need them)

I will definitely make this again.

Weekend Cooking

Jul 032020
 

 

Pork tenderloin (1.25lbs – 1.75lbs)
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs smoked paprika
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
1/2 tbs olive oil
400° for 20 minutes

Run water over the tenderloin and pat dry with paper towels
Mix all the spices together and rub on the meat
Put the rotisserie spit through the middle of the tenderloin
Secure the rotisserie forks at both ends of the meat

Thoughts
You can rub your favorite bbq sauce on the tenderloin and then rub the spice mix on but I wanted to try the recipe with just the spices. I didn’t have any cayenne powder, so I used cayenne pepper.

My tenderloin was about 2 lbs. so I did it at 400° for about 40 minutes, checking every 5 min. or so after the first 30 min. until the temperature reached 165° and the skin got crispy.

The roast was very tender and we thought it tasted really good, but next time I’m going to marinated it overnight and see how it turns out.

In the photo it looks like the meat is burnt on the bottom, but that’s just where the juices/seasoning dropped on the foil in the bottom. Both of us liked this so I’ll be making it again.

Weekend Cooking

Apr 042020
 

Instant Pot Freezer Fix Chili

1 lb frozen 93% lean ground turkey
1 1/2 cups frozen corn divided
1 can no salt added black beans rinsed and drained, divided, 15 oz
1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes 14.5 oz
1 cup Water
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp salt

Place the frozen ground turkey in the Instant Pot and top with the remaining ingredients, reserving 1/3 cup of the corn and 1/3 cup of the black beans for garnish

Seal the lid, close the valve, and set the Manual/Pressure Cook button to 25 minutes

Use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid and stir, breaking up the turkey

Before serving, garnish each portion with the reserved corn (thawed) and black beans

Did I Make Changes?
I didn’t have any Black beans so I used Kidney beans

Like It?
Nope

Why?
It tasted VERY different than any chili we’ve ever had before. I love all the spices in the recipe but the flavor was way too strong for us. If I ever try it again I’ll use less of each spice and maybe add a bit of sugar, since I always add it to my personal chili recipe.

You may love this recipe so if it sounds good to you give it a try, and please let me know what you thought.

Weekend Cooking

Souper Sundays

Jan 312020
 

Recipe for a Perfect Wife audiobook cover art

Recipe For A Perfect Housewife by Karma Brown

Narrated by: Jorjeana Marie, Mozhan Marnò
Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 12-31-19
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Audio

When Alice Hale leaves a career in publicity to become a writer and follows her husband to the New York suburbs, she is unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house. But when she finds a vintage cookbook buried in a box in the old home’s basement, she becomes captivated by the cookbook’s previous owner – 1950’s housewife Nellie Murdoch. As Alice cooks her way through the past, she realizes that within the cookbook’s pages, Nellie left clues about her life – including a mysterious series of unsent letters penned to her mother.

Soon, Alice learns that while baked Alaska and meatloaf five ways may seem harmless, Nellie’s secrets may have been anything but. When Alice uncovers a more sinister – even dangerous – side to Nellie’s marriage, and has become increasingly dissatisfied with the mounting pressures in her own relationship, she begins to take control of her life and protect herself with a few secrets of her own.

Thoughts
WOW… but first let me say I LOVED this book!
I loved that it took place in the 1950’s and again in the 2000’s.
I loved that the two stories took place in the same house.
I loved that Nellie’s story influenced what happened in Alice’s story.
I loved all the 1950’s recipes.
I loved that the recipe book was Nellie’s mother, then Nellie’s, and then Alice’s.
I loved the ending!

This book was a bit scary/freaky, it was part love story & part out of love story, a few of the characters were manipulative, but they were all a great addition to the story. The pace was steady and it kept me interested. I didn’t want to stop listening so I could find out what was going to happen next.

I’ve read some reviews where people didn’t like one of the story lines, but I thought both were very good. The author did a great job of linking them together, and the narrators did a great job!

This was my first book by this author but I plan on reading more from her.

Some of the recipes in the book had “special” ingredients like rose petals etc., but I decided to make the  Tuna Casserole. My mom made this when I was growing up and I made it when my kids were growing up, but we used noodles too. We never used potato chips.

Chapter 24
Nellie

July 30, 1956

Tuna Casserole
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
2- 7 oz. cans tuna, drained
3 hard cooked eggs, sliced
2 cups cooked peas
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 cup crushed potato chips

In a casserole dish blend mushroom soup and milk
Stir in tuna, sliced eggs, cooked peas, salt, & pepper
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes
Top with potato chips and bake 5 minutes longer

Foodies Read

Audiobook 

Weekend Cooking

Jan 242020
 

Instant Pot White Beans with Smoked Sausage
(I moved the sausage out of the way so you could see everything else better)

2 tsp olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage cut into 1/2 inch disks, pork or turkey
1 small onion finely chopped
2 carrots diced
2 celery stalks diced
4 cups chicken broth (low-sodium), warmed
1 lb dried small white beans rinsed and picked over, like navy beans
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme OR 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning

Add olive oil to the Instant Pot. Using the display panel select the SAUTE function.
When oil gets hot, brown the cut sausage on both sides. Transfer browned meat to a shallow dish and cover loosely with foil.
Add onion, carrots and celery to the pot and saute until onion is soft, 3-4 minutes.
Add broth to the pot and deglaze by using a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
Put the sausage back into the pot, add sorted and rinsed beans and stir to combine.
Turn the pot off by selecting CANCEL, then secure the lid, making sure the vent is closed.
Using the display panel select the MANUAL function*. Use the +/-keys and program the Instant Pot for 60 minutes.
When the time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
Serve hot, alongside fresh cornbread (optional).

Thoughts
This was quick and easy meal to make. I left the celery out because I didn’t have any and I used Cajun seasoning because I love it and anyway I didn’t have any fresh thyme.

My son doesn’t like his food very spicy so I thought using 1 tbsp of Cajun seasoning might be a little too much for him but decided to give it a try. When I asked him if he liked it he said it was a bit spicy but really good.

My favorite thing about making this recipe in the Instant Pot was that I didn’t have to boil the beans and let them sit for an hour or so. Just pick, rinse, and add to the IP. So easy! So good!

Weekend Cooking

Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Dec 062019
 

Slow Cooker Chicken Breast Dinner

1 pound boneless skinless chicken strips
4-6 red potatoes washed and cut into wedges
1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
1 small can sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 packet chicken gravy mix
1 cup water (or chicken broth)
2 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Spray, butter or oil your crock pot insert.
Combine the water/broth, melted butter and seasoning packet and Italian seasoning. Set aside.

Layer chicken, potatoes, green beans and then the mushrooms.
Pour liquid mixture over the top.
Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Freezer Meal Directions:
Place chicken strips, green beans and mushrooms in a large freezer bag.

Mix the broth and seasonings as in step #2 above. Pour over chicken mixture.
Make a note on your label (and maybe your calendar) that you’ll need the potatoes to make this recipe.
Lay flat, squeeze out as much air as possible, label and freeze for up to 6 weeks.

To Cook:
Defrost the chicken mixture overnight in the refrigerator. Wash and cut the potatoes and lay in the bottom on the slow cooker. Pour chicken mixture over the top. Cook as per step #5 above.

Thoughts:
I used boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, a small bag of Honey Gold Potatoes, and carrots instead of the chicken strips, red potatoes, and green beans. I didn’t use mushrooms and didn’t add salt and pepper until my food was plated. I really liked the flavor, and the chicken was extremely tender.

I will make this again.

Weekend Cooking

Sep 142019
 

Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Chicken
Serves 6

1/2 cup Root Beer
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons Prepared Yellow Mustard
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Ground Ginger
2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cut into 2 – 3 inch cubes

In a medium mixing bowl mix together all of the ingredients except for the chicken until well combined to create the sauce

Add the cut up chicken to a gallon zippered storage bag

Pour the sauce over the chicken in the storage bag and gently massage the chicken into the sauce & zip the bag closed

Allow the chicken to marinate overnight in the refrigerator

Pour the ingredients into a 6 – 7 quart slow cooker

Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours

Serve on buns or rolls (gluten-free if you are on a GF diet) as sandwiches

You can click on the link to the recipe for how to freeze/cook this

Thoughts
This is so quick and easy to get ready for the fridge, and tastes really good. The only things I did different was that I used Costco Rotisserie Chicken Breast Meat instead of chicken breasts which made it much easier than cutting the chicken into cubes. I also used my 8 qt. slow cooker instead of a 6 – 7 qt.

I also didn’t  serve on buns, I ate a scoop of it on a plate and ate it with a baked potato.

It was very good but since the flavor wasn’t quite as bold as I like, when I make it again I’ll double the sauce ingredients. The recipe says it makes 6 servings but for us it was a lot more than that. The two of us ate it twice and there was still enough for another two meals. The next time I’ll put half in a separate baggie and put it in the freezer to make later, and I plan on using the Slow Cooker program on my Instant Pot.

Weekend Cooking

Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Aug 312019
 

I found this recipe at The Blond Cook 

So, I finally used my Instant Pot and I LOVE IT! So easy and quick. It only took 25 min. to cook once it came up to pressure.

1 pound dry baby lima beans
4 cups cubed, chopped or shredded fully cooked ham
1–1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
Optional: fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Rinse and sort beans in a colander, removing and discarding any debris

Place beans and remaining ingredients (except parsley) in the insert of your Instant Pot and stir well to combine

Place the lid on and lock, steam release knob should be set on “sealing”

Cook on manual setting (high pressure) for 25 minutes

Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release remaining pressure

Carefully remove lid and stir

Remove and discard bay leaf.

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.

Thoughts
I didn’t follow the instructions 100%. I used chicken bone broth instead of chicken broth and didn’t use the bay leave (I forgot about it even though I stopped at the store specifically to get some), and didn’t use the parsley.

I had baked a ham a few days before so I used the ham bone and cut up a bunch of ham to go in it.

The beans were SO GOOD! Next time I’ll double the recipe because we only got 3 big bowls from them and we like eating them more than one day.

It was easy to store the leftovers in the inner pot that comes with the IP, and I used an Instant Pot Silicone Lid. I love this lid, it’s thick and is a really tight fit.

I’ll definitely be making this recipe again!

Now I need to figure out what to make next!

Weekend Cooking

Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Jul 072018
 

Sorry I don’t have a photo to share. I took one but it was too dark and it was late and we were starving so I didn’t take any more. You can click the link below to check out some great photos

Doritos Chicken Casserole

1 bag (10 oz) Doritos Cool Ranch flavored tortilla chips, coarsely crushed (about 6 cups)

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese (8 oz)

1 jar (15 oz) four cheese Alfredo pasta sauce

1 tablespoon Old El Paso original taco seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)

3 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

Heat oven to 350°F
Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray
In large bowl, toss Doritos and melted butter until well coated
Sprinkle 4 cups of the Doritos evenly in bottom of casserole
Top with 1/2 cup of the cheese
In large bowl, stir pasta sauce and taco seasoning mix until well blended
Add chicken, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the cheese; stir until well mixed
Spoon evenly over Doritos in baking dish.
Bake uncovered 30 minutes
Sprinkle with remaining Doritos and remaining 1 cup cheese
Bake about 5 minutes longer or until hot and cheese is melted

 

I used frozen pulled chicken and couldn’t find that brand of fire roasted tomatoes so I bought a different brand. Other than that I followed the recipe.

This was really quick and easy to make and we loved it! My son even got seconds, so that told me he really liked it. I’ll definitely make this again but I think I’ll make it with ground beef,  more taco seasoning,  and nacho cheese Doritos and see how we like it that way. Either way, I’m adding this recipe to my dinner rotation.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jun 232018
 

Easy Chicken & Yellow Rice
I found this at allrecipes

5 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 green bell pepper, diced (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (16 ounce) package yellow rice
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch poultry seasoning, or to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

Bring water and chicken bouillon to a boil in a large skillet

Add chicken breasts and bell pepper; simmer over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 20 minutes

Remove chicken and pour remaining broth into a 9×13-inch baking dish

Stir rice, plus the included seasoning packet, and olive oil into broth

Arrange chicken breast over rice and season with black pepper and poultry seasoning

Bake in the preheated oven until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 45 minutes

Fluff rice with a fork before serving

Thoughts
When my kids were growing up I made chicken & yellow rice all the time using leg quarters (I removed the skin, bones, and yuck before adding it to the yellow rice) and it tasted amazing.  I stopped eating it when I started eating boneless skinless chicken breasts years ago. The other day out of the blue I got a craving for it so I decided to find a recipe for that used boneless skinless chicken breast and was quick and easy. I wasn’t sure how it would taste without the skin, bones & fat but thought I’d give it a try.

I didn’t use bell pepper but other than that I followed the recipe. We both thought the chicken was too dry but the flavor was good & the yellow rice tasted really good. We had leftovers so the next night I shredded the chicken and put it and the rice in a saucepan. Then I brought a cup of water  to boil and  added 1/2 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules, stirred well and poured it in the saucepan with the chicken & rice and heated it. This time it was a big hit! So, the next time I make it I’ll use shredded chicken instead of breasts and make it on the stove.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jun 162018
 

Pizza has always been my favorite food, for as far back as I can remember. Then about 2 years ago I started not liking the taste of the sauce and/or crust, depending on where the pizza was from. Now the only pizza I really like is CiCi’s  which is 45 min. away.

The other day when I was at Publix I saw some  Mama Mary’s Pizza crusts hanging on an end cap and decided to try them. There were 3 in each pack, 7″ original crusts. I didn’t see any thin crusts which is what I prefer but next time I’ll try to find them. I bought some Boar’s Head Turkey Pepperoni & Ragu Pizza Sauce to top it with. I had some Provolone cheese that I’d bought a few days before in the deli and decided to use it. I had planned on making it one night when my son Anthony wanted pizza, but last night I was on my own for supper so I decided to make one of them.

Brush with olive oil

Spread on pizza sauce

add pepperoni (I like a lot)

and cheese (don’t care if it’s not pretty)

Preheat oven to 450°

Turn oven down to 425°

Bake for 8-10 minutes on pizza pan or oven rack

I baked my pizza on the rack in a toaster oven for 8 min. So did I like it? That would be a big yes. The crust was crispy and golden brown just the way I like it. The sauce had a good flavor, not too spicy or acidic, and of course the provolone added a very nice taste and brought back good memories (I grew up in Ohio where they use Provolone on pizza). Next time I’ll try the thin crust though, less carbs 🙂

YUM!

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jun 092018
 

Jack’d Up Smoked Meatloaf @ Hey Grill Hey

Servings: 6 people

2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 medium red onion grated
2 cloves garlic minced
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons Jack Daniels whiskey
1 Tablespooon homemade steak rub (recipe  below) or favorite steak rub
1/4 cup milk
6 oz pepper jack cheese cut into strips

For the sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Jack Daniels whiskey
1 Tablespoon homemade steak rub (recipe  below)
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

Homemade Steak Rub
2 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsbp crushed coriander seeds (not ground)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well to combine
Press into steaks or use as desired
Store unused rub in an airtight container for several weeks

Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F for indirect smoking. This meatloaf is awesome with hickory or oak wood.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, red onion, garlic, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, Jack Daniels, and milk.

Mix gently with your hands until just combined. Don’t overwork the meat or your meatloaf will be tough and chewy, just gently mix.

Spread half of your meatloaf mixture on the bottom of a grill basket.

Layer on the pepper jack cheese, leaving about an inch of meatloaf on all sides.

Top with the remaining meatloaf mixture and press the edges together to seal completely. Any exposed holes and the cheese will leak out while cooking.

In a small bowl. combine the ingredients for the sauce and then pour over the top of the meatloaf, letting it run down the sides a little bit.

Place the meatloaf on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 4 hours or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.

Let the meatloaf rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Thoughts
My son found this recipe and said he wanted to try it. I was skeptical because he does NOT like hamburgers or anything with cheese melted inside, or spicy food.

I didn’t follow the recipe 100%. I used less garlic and baked it (350° for an hour) instead of smoking it.

I couldn’t find ground corriander so I had to buy the seeds and crush them myself. And since I don’t drink I got the whiskey from my daughter & son in law who love JD.

The meatloaf turned out really good. I thought it was really spicy but my son loved it. He also didn’t mind the cheese melted inside, so it was a big hit. Since there are only two of us I think if I make it again I’ll half the recipe.

If you like meatloaf and wouldn’t mind it a bit spicy, you should try this.

 

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

May 052018
 

When my kids were little I used to make Johnny Marzetti and they loved it. I haven’t made it in years . The other day my son Anthony said he’d like me to make it again, so I did. I used a different recipe, one that calls for baking it. My old recipe didn’t have you bake it.

Johnny Marzzetti
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 tablespon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
2 lb. ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
2- 14 oz. cans tomato sauce
1- 14 oz. can dived tomatoes, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian herbs
Pinch of sugar
2 cups Cheddar cheese
2 cups Italian Blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350°
Bring a large pot of water to boil
Add maccaroni and boil for 7 min. or until almost al dente
Drain pasta and return to the pot, set aside
Heat olive oil in a large skittle over medium heat
Add the onion, bell pepper and saute until soft, about 5 min.
Add the meat and cook unil no longer pink
Drain off fat & season with spices
Simmer for five min., stirring occasionally
Pour the meat in with the noodles, mix well
Add 1 cup of each of the cheese & mix well
Pour mixture into a 13×9 in. casserole dish
Top with remaining cheese
Bake for 30 min. or until cheese is golden brown & melted

Adaptions:
Didn’t use the olive oil, green pepper, mushrooms.
Used ground chuck instead of ground beef
Used 1 can of tomato sauce
Used 1 can of diced & 1 can of stewed tomatoes-didn’t drain
Used 1/4 tsp. garlic poweder instead of 2 cloves

I didn’t follow the directions either. I browned the ground chuck with the onions, drained it and added the spices, then added it to the macaroni, added the cheeses, poured it into the dish and topped with remaining cheese.

I thought this was really really good, but my son said he liked my original recipe more. I plan on eating some more tonight and since there’s just me and my son I’ll be freezing the rest for later. Next time I make Johnny Marzetti I’ll cut the recipe in half.

 

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Dec 022017
 

Last weekend I needed to make some baked beans for a cookout and wanted to try a new recipe. I found this recipes for Anastasia’s Best-Ever Baked Beans, and thought it sounded good. My son who isn’t a big baked bean lover, loved them. He ate two helpings and then the next night ate the leftovers. I have to say I agree with him, they were really good.

Anastasia’s Best-Ever Baked Beans
5 cans of pork and beans (15 ounce cans)
2 medium or 1 large onion, chopped (yellow or sweet onion, not vidalia)
1 to 2 tablespoons butter (for sauteing onions)
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar (use less for less sweetness)
6 to 8 slices uncooked bacon, each cut in half or thirds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees f. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Saute onions over medium to medium-high heat in butter until onions are tender and translucent.

Mix beans, sauteed onions, ketchup, mustard, molasses and brown sugar until blended well. Pour in prepared baking dish. Top with uncooked bacon in single layer. Bake on middle rack of oven uncovered for 2-3 hours. Beans are ready when the top is dark and caramelized. Serve warm. Enjoy!

TIP
These can also be thrown together and cooked in the slow cooker set on low for 6 to 8 hours as well. It won’t get that nice caramelize top, but it will still be delicious if you’re in a pinch for time. Be sure to saute you onions!

 

Weekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Nov 112017
 

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Amistad (August 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062379291
ISBN-13: 978-0062379290

A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who “owns” it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.

From the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields, Twitty tells his family story through the foods that enabled his ancestors’ survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia.

As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep—the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.

Thoughts
This is not a true cookbook, it’s also a mix of historical non-fiction, the African Slave experience, how and what the slaves cooked and what they used to cook it. It’s about how the author became so obsessed with food and his need to to learn about his ancesters who were slaves.

The book is funny, sad, thought provoking and at times a tough read. I learned a lot from this book. But the library wanted it back sooner than I wanted to let it go, and so I rushed through it. Because of that I feel the need to re-read it, slowly next time. I want to take my time and enjoy it completely.

I love the photos that were in the book.

Here are the first two things I plan on making from the book:
Kitchen Pepper: Goes in everything in place of just pepper
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground mace
1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground ginger

Mix together and store in a cool place

 

Mr. Wesley Jones’s Barbecue Mop
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 large yellow or white onion, well chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 pod long red cayenne pepper or 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried rubbed sage
1 tsp dried basil leaves or 1 tbsp minced fresh basil
1/2 tsp crushed coriander seed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar or 4 tbsp molasses (not blackstrap)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan
Add onion and garlic and saute on medium heat until translucent
Turn heat down slightly and add vinegar, water, and the salt and spices
Allow to cook gently for about thirty minutes to an hour
To be used as a light mop sauce or glaze during the last 15-30 minutes of barbecuing and as a dip for cooked meat.

I highly recommended this book, and I also recommend his blog, Afroculinaria 

 

Weekend Cooking

Oct 212017
 

Brunswick Stew from The Blue Willow Inn Bible of Southern Cooking

 
My husband loved Sonny’s  and really loved their Brunswick Stew (not all Sonny’s have it). I never made it at home, but when I saw this quick and easy recipe I decided to make it. I can’t imagine any restaurant making it with just canned ingredients, but I like quick and easy.

Brunswick Stew
2 (15-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
2 (15-ounce) cans creamed corn
2 (13-ounce) cans chicken
2 (10-ounce) cans BBQ pork
1 (14-ounce) bottle ketchup
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for two to three hour

Serve with Jiffy cornbread  or Ritz crackers

Thoughts
Since this was made with canned ingredients my expectations weren’t that high. Plus, it uses a 14 oz. bottle of ketchup. I like ketchup, but…

I was really surprised at how good it was. Even my son Anthony said it was pretty good, and he’s never been a fan of any kind of stew.

It couldn’t have been any easier. Open some cans and measure in some salt, pepper, garlic powder, and apple cider vinegar. Heat. Voila.

I was going to use my slow cooker but decided at the last minute to make it and it would have taken too long, so I just did it on the stove, and we loved how it turned out. I also used saltine crackers because that’s what I had on hand.

I plan on making this again. Quick, easy, and yummy!

I just wish my husband was still here so he could try it 🙁

 

Weekend Cooking

Souper Sundays