Apr 292016
 

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Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 28 oz. can Rotel (diced tomatoes & green chilies)
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 package taco seasoning

Combine all ingredients except chicken in slow cooker and stir.
Place chicken breasts on top.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Prior to serving, remove chicken breasts, shred them, and return to soup.
Garnish with low-fat sour cream & shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, etc.
Serve with warm corn tortillas.

Adaptions
Oh boy did I adapt this recipe!
1. I used 3 large breasts.
2. I left out the can of tomato sauce and the onion.
3. I added a package of ranch dressing mix.
4. I used two cans each instead of one of the 3 beans and the corn.
5. I used 2 taco seasoning mixes.

When it was time to take the chicken breasts out and shred them, I took half the soup (no chicken) out of the slow cooker and put it in a container to freeze.

I garnished with sour cream, chopped onion, shredded mild cheddar cheese.

When I want it for dinner again I’ll take it out to to thaw, add a pound of browned ground chuck and reheat it.

 

Thoughts
This was really good, lots of taco flavor and the ratio of the ingredients was perfect. I was going to eat a hard crusty bread with it but we had some left over cornbread from the night before and Anthony said he was going to eat that instead. So I did too, not sure I’d like it with the soup. I shouldn’t have worried, they were really good together. Anthony buttered his and then crumbled it up in his bowl. I just ate mine buttered, but did occasionally dip it in the soupy goodness.

This got a thumbs up from both of us.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Souper_Sundays2

Hosted @ Kahakai Kitchen

Apr 262016
 

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I missed the I ♥ Heart Cooking Club theme for recipes by Curtis Stone that you can eat on the couch. Since I already bought the ingredients I decided to make it this week for Potluck.

I love healthier snacks to munch on while I’m watching tv,  and with it being so hot and humid these are perfect. Especially after a walk outside.

Frozen Chocolate-Peanut-Butter Banana Bites
Makes 30 pieces
3 ripe large bananas
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 percent cacao), chopped
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel bananas & slice them into 1/4-inch-thick rounds; you should have about 60.
Lay half the slices on prepared baking sheet.
Using 2 spoons, place 1/4 tsp. peanut butter on each slice.
Top with remaining banana slices.
Cover and freeze until bites are completely frozen, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, place chocolate in a small bowl and set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

Stir chocolate until it has just melted.

Spoon about 1/2 tsp. melted chocolate over each frozen banana bite and quickly sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. peanuts before chocolate hardens.

Serve immediately, or arrange the bites in single layers between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container and freeze until ready to eat. Bites will keep for 1 week.

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I adapted the recipe a lot. I used crunchy peanut butter because that’s the only kind I’ve ever bought. I used walnuts because I don’t really like peanuts, and I cut the recipe in half because I’m the only one who will eat them. I used two bananas and they made 18 bites.

Yummy, Yummy Yummy! And btw, my son did try them and he said they were really good.

Sorry for the out of whack photo.

Apr 162016
 

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Mexican Taco Salad

Taco Casserole (adapted from this Betty Crocker recipe)

1 lb lean ground beef
1 can (16 oz) Old El Paso™ refried beans
1 jar (16 oz) Old El Paso™ Thick ‘n Chunky salsa
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ 40% less-sodium taco seasoning mix
2 1/2 cups coarsely broken tortilla chips
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped (didn’t use)
4 medium green onions, sliced (I used a yellow onion)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz)
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives (um, nope)
1 cup shredded lettuce

Heat oven to 350°F.

In 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.

Stir in refried beans, salsa and taco seasoning mix. Reduce heat to medium. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.

In ungreased 2-quart casserole, place 2 cups of the broken tortilla chips.

Top evenly with beef mixture.

Sprinkle with bell pepper, onions, 1 cup of the tomato, the cheese and olives.

Bake uncovered 20 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

Top baked casserole with lettuce, remaining 1/2 cup tomato and remaining 1/2 cup tortilla chips.

 

Thoughts
This was really really good. Even my son who doesn’t like any kind of taco stuff other than the taco salad I made, liked this. He’s not a fan of tomatoes that are baked so did say next time he’d like the tomatoes added after it was baked. I love them baked so I’ll probably just leave them out of half when I make it again. If you like stuff like this, give this a try. It was so good.

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads
Apr 082016
 

CurtisStoneCollage

This week at I ♥ Cooking Clubs, we are saying G’day to Curtis Stone. We can make any recipe from online or one of his cookbooks to welcome him to IHCC.

Since I LOVE Brussels Sprouts and am always looking for new ways to make them, I decided to try this recipe but adapted it a bit:

Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved and tough outer leaves removed
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/3 cup diced Spanish chorizo
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small heavy skillet, stir the caraway seeds over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a powder.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, then add the Brussels sprouts, scallions, and chorizo and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are tender and beginning to caramelize. Mix in the ground caraway. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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BS

 

I can’t tell you how much I love Brussels Sprouts. Yes I can, a lot. A whole lot. A bunch.

So, I didn’t have any caraway seeds so I substituted curry. Yum! I also couldn’t find any fresh Brussels Sprouts so I used a bag of frozen, and I couldn’t find any bulk chorizo so I used chorizo sausage. I probably could have found these ingredients if I had wanted to store hop, but I didn’t. And I don’t think this could have tasted any better if I’d followed the recipe exactly as it’s written. It was yummy.

I had never had Chorizo before and wasn’t sure if I’d like it, especially with Brussels Sprouts, but this was so good. My son doesn’t like Brussels Sprouts at all and I couldn’t get him to try them, but he did try the chorizo. He liked it, said it was good other than it was tainted by Brussels Sprouts 🙂

I’ll be making this again, but will cut the recipe in half, maybe even in thirds, since I’m the only one that eats it. This was a win!

Also linking to
wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Mar 192016
 


08179569-be5b-4ee8-968b-2842b0e5426aKung Pao Pork Stir Fry

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
About 1 lb of boneless pork chops, sliced into chunks
10 tbsp Panda Express Kung Pao sauce
Half a bag of Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry frozen vegetables (2.25 cups)
1/2 onion cut in chunks

Put olive oil, garlic and a small part of the chopped onion in a large frying pan or wok to heat on medium.

Chop pork into chunks, removing large parts of fat as necessary.

Add to pan with olive oil and 2 tbsp of Kung Pao Sauce.

Once pork is cooked through, add remaining onions, frozen vegetables and remaining Kung Pao Sauce.

Stir and fry until vegetables are cooked and sauce is bubbly.

Serve with brown rice or noodles as desired.

 

We thought this was just ok. It didn’t have the kick we thought it would, the sauce was a bit too runny, and it didn’t have enough veggies. If I make it again, I think I’ll use chicken (just because I love chicken), use a thicker sauce, and double the veggies. Overall it was ok, but I think these changes will make it even better.

I know the photo makes it look like there was plenty of veggies, but that’s because I didn’t put many pork chop chunks in my bowl.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads
Feb 202016
 

ELLIE KRIEGER POTLUCK BADGE

This week at I ♥ Cooking Club we’re making any recipe by any of the IHCC chefs that you can eat in a bowl

I decided to make Giada’s One Pot Chicken Stew, and adapted it to suit us, of course.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)
Crusty bread, for serving

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Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat.

Add the celery, carrot, and onion.

Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme.

Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.

Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf.

Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.

Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts.

Shred or cut the chicken into bite- size pieces.

Return the chicken meat to the stew.

Bring the stew just to a simmer.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with the bread.

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So, I changed this recipe up a bit by putting all the ingredients into the slow cooker at the same time (instead of making it on the stove) and setting it on low for 8 hours.

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It turned out great and was very good. I couldn’t find any fresh basil at the store, so I used dried. The conversion called for 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons, but that seemed like way too much, so I only used 1 tablespoon.  That was plenty. Next time I’ll make sure I have fresh though, just to compare it.

We ate it with crusty bread and it was really yummy. It was quick and easy too, so I plan on making it again.

wkendcookingHosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Souper Sundays2

Hosted @ Kahakai Kitchen

Feb 062016
 

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This week at I ♥ Cooking Clubs we’re making Oodles Of Noodles with Ellie Krieger. After doing quite a bit of searching, I decided to make an adapted version of her Family Favorite Minestrone.

Family Favorite Minestrone
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced (1/2 cup)
1 large carrot, scrubbed well, then diced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
28 ounces canned, no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
48 ounces (6 cups) no-salt-added vegetable broth or chicken broth
15 ounces canned, no-salt-added small red beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dried, whole-grain elbow pasta
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish

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Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion, celery, carrot and bell pepper; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften.

Add the zucchini, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Partially cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, then add the beans and pasta.

Uncover; increase the heat to medium-high just long enough to return the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pasta and vegetables are tender.

Divide among individual bowls; garnish each portion with the cheese.

Serves 6

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So yummy!

I’ve only eaten Minestrone a few times, and that was canned. This recipe was so much better. I loved it. It was easy to make and didn’t take much time and it tasted so good! The next time I make it I think I’ll add garbanzo beans, corn and baby spinach. We had a French Baguette (you can see it in the first photo behind all the ingredients) to go with it and it was a very satisfying meal. I took the photo before adding the cheese, just so you could get a good look at the soup. I adjusted the recipe a bit by adding 2 cans of un-rinsed beans instead of one rinsed (I added the other can after the picture), and used plain Parmesan cheese. Also, I was going to use vegetable broth but the store only had chicken and beef with no-salt added.

wkendcooking

Jan 312016
 

ihcc-chefs

It’s time for the first Potluck of 2016 for  I Heart Cooking Club

I spent about 3 days searching through the recipes of the chefs and finally came across this one. We love mac & cheese so I was excited when I found it. I was extra excited when I realized I had all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry.

Rick Bayless: Salsa Mac & Cheese
Recipe from Season 7, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 8

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 to 2 cups Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa or your favorite salsa
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt
1 pound dried pasta (though elbow macaroni will do, I suggest you try cork-screw cavatappi or the spiral rotini or fusilli)

Directions:
Pour 4 quarts of water into a large pot, cover and set over high heat.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour and whisk until the mixture turns a deep golden, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and continue to whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil, 4 or 5 minutes. (Whisk diligently and there will be no lumps.) Stir in the salsa, remove from the heat, then stir in cheese. Continue stirring until all the cheese has melted. Taste and season generously with salt, usually 1 1/2 teaspoons. Cover to keep warm until the pasta is done.

When the water has come to a boil, add the dried pasta. Stir well to keep the pasta from sticking together and boil until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and add the pasta to the sauce. Stir until all the pasta is covered in the salsa cheese sauce. You’re ready to dig in.

Rick Bayless Mac & Cheese

Thoughts:
I substituted the salsa for my second favorite (my very favorite has corn and black beans in it and I wasn’t sure how that would work) and used elbow macaroni since that’s what I had.

The mac & cheese turned out really good and I plan on making it again. I also want to try some of his other recipes since this is the first one I made. You can visit his site here.

 

I made this for I Heart Cooking Club

 

Jan 162016
 

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This recipe is from Nestle’ Toll House Semi-Sweet Morsels Best Loved Recipes

 

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*Photo from the book*


Layers Of Love Chocolate Brownies

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup Nestle Toll House Baking Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut in pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet White Morsels
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
3/4 cup Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease an 8 inch baking pan
Combine flour, cocoa and salt in a small bowl
Beat butter, granulated sugar & brown sugar in a large mixer bowl until creamy
Add two eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
Add vanilla extract and mix well
Gradually beat in flour mixture
Reserve 3/4 cup batter
Spread remaining batter into prepared baking pan
Sprinkle pecans and white morsels over batter
Drizzle caramel topping over top
Beat remaining egg and reserved batter in same large bowl until light in color
Stir in semi-sweet morsels
Spread evenly over caramel topping
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until center is set
Cool completely in pan on wire rack
Cut into squares
Makes 16 brownies

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jan 012016
 

Every year for New Year’s Day, I make a pot of black eyed peas, cornbread and cabbage. This year I wanted to make them a little different so I searched online and found these recipes @ Mommy’s Kitchen

Southern Black Eyed Peas
1 – (16 oz) package dry black-eyed peas
4 – cups water or
2 – cups water and 2 cups chicken broth
1 – tablespoon vegetable oil
1 – ham hock
2 – cups cubed cooked ham
salt and pepper to taste
1 – pinch garlic powder
1/2 – 1 onion, diced
1 – (14.5 ounce) can whole or stewed tomatoes (pureed)

Sort through your peas for any pebbles or stones.

Cover the peas with water, you want to make sure there is enough water so they don’t dry up.

Soak peas overnight.

Drain the water from the peas and place peas in a crock pot.

Add the 4 cups water or broth and water, onions, seasoning, tomatoes, ham hock and ham.

Stir well to mix.

Cover and cook on high for 5 hours then turn to low for about 2 hours or until the peas are tender.

Remove ham hock and any meat from the bone and add to the peas.

Ladle into bowls and serve.

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Southern Pan Fried Cabbage
3 – 4 – slices bacon, cut into pieces
1/4 – cup vegetable oil
1 – teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 – teaspoon ground black pepper
1 – head cabbage, cored and sliced or cubed
1 – small onion, chopped
1/2 – cup water
1 – pinch white sugar
2 – beef bouillon cubes crushed or granules

Place the bacon and vegetable oil into a large pot over medium heat.

Cook for about 5 minutes, or until bacon is crisp.

Add cabbage, onion, sugar, salt, pepper, water and crushed bouillon cubes to the pot; cook and stir the cabbage as it cooks.

Cook until tender but still crisp, about 10 – 15 minutes on medium heat.

I’ve never soaked beans overnight and was a bit worried about them being bloated in the morning, but they weren’t. For the recipe, I used 2 cups of water and 2 cups of chicken broth. I’ve also never put any kind of tomatoes in beans, but since I love me some maters I was excited to see how they’d turn out. For the cabbage I used 1 large bouillon cube and crumbled it up. Man oh man, both the beans and cabbage were soooo good! My son ate two big bowls which surprised me since he’s not really a fan of tomatoes, and I always have to nag him before he’ll eat cabbage, but he tried it without me asking him to. And he ate it all!

We both loved these two recipes and I’ll  definitely be making them again.

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Dec 262015
 

23014004

Celebrating Family and Friends: Recipes for Every Month of the Year
by Kay Robertson

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; Reprint edition (April 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476795738
ISBN-13: 978-1476795737

From New York Times bestselling author, star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, and matriarch of the popular Robertson family, comes a savory new collection of recipes that gives you and your family plenty of reasons to sit down together and share a meal, love, and laughter.

Miss Kay is a master of the back-country, home-cooked meal. She has been cooking ever since she was a little girl and has perfected her skills through years of practice on the Robertson clan. After sharing some of her family’s favorite recipes in Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen, Miss Kay has gone back to her cupboard and pulled out more of her down-home, mouthwatering recipes, this time grouping her recipes around reasons to get together—New Year’s Eve spreads, special Mother’s Day meals, Fourth of July picnics, Christmas dinners, church potlucks, and everything in-between.

In addition to more than one hundred recipes, Miss Kay opens her heart to share hard-won wisdom and special memories, along with beautiful full-color photos and family pictures. And true to the Robertson faith, you’ll find scriptures sprinkled throughout Miss Kay’s newest collection of recipes.

Take a peek into the off-camera life of America’s favorite duck-loving family, the foods they love, and the wisdom and legacy that make a family strong.

Thoughts
This book is full of recipes for every month of the year starting with January. It has all the big days like Valentine’s Day, Mother & Father’s Day etc., but it also has recipes for other days like Wedding and Baby Showers, Picnics and Summer Fun, Grandparent’s Day, Family Reunions and Potlucks.

This is a book that I’ll go to from time to time when I need a recipe for a special occasion, and I would definitely recommend it to others.

I’ve made a pot of Black Eyed Peas every year for New Years day with only a few years missed. So when I saw this recipe in the book, I wanted to keep a copy of it and maybe give it a try because it has more ingredients than the one I have. I don’t know about your but it sounds really good to me. Check it out:

A Pot Of Black Eyed Peas
1 lb. dried black eyed peas
1 tbs. bacon drippings or vegetable oil
1 large or 2 small ham hocks
1 med. onion , chopped (about 2 cups)
2 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 green bell peppter, diced (about 1 cup)
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups chicken broth or water, plus more as needed
2 sprigs (3 inch) fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp. cayenne, or to taste

Place the peas in a large bowl and add cold water to cover by 3 inches
Let soak at room temperature overnight
Drain, rinse, and drain again
Heat the bacon drippings or vegetable oin in a large pot
Add the hock and sear until browned on all sides, about 1 min. per side
Remove from the pot and set aside
Add the onion, celery and bell pepper
Cook, stirring often until tender, about 5 min.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 min. more
Add the drained peas and enough broth or water to cover them by 1 inch
Return the ham hock to the pot and push down into the peas
Add the thyme nad bay leaves
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partioall cover, and simmer until the peas are almost tender, about 30 min.
Make sure the top of the peas don’t cook dry
Add more broth or water to keep them slightly submerged as they cook
Stir in the vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne, and continue simmering until the peas are tender and the liquid is thick and creamy, 10-20- min more
Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves
Remove the hock and pull any meat from the bones (discard bones)
Finely chop the meat and stir into the peas
Check the seasoning and serve warm

Tip:
It’s od to think that dried peas and beans can get too old, but they can. If they don’t get plump and tender enough to bite after soaking, then no amount of cooking wil make them fully tender.

A note from Miss Kay:
Black eyed peas are only one type of field pea. Try this recipe with others that you like, such as crowder peas or purple hull peas This dish is a must on New Years Day!

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Nov 132015
 

24867319

An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home by Ellen Stimson

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Countryman Press; 1 edition (November 2, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1581573286
ISBN-13: 978-1581573282

With its trademark snow, piney forests, sleigh rides and woodsmoke curling out of village chimneys, New England was practically invented for the Christmas postcard. It’s got your Christmas goose and the maple syrup with which to glaze it. It’s most of the reason author Ellen Stimson made Vermont her home. Here she shares recipes that have been in her family for generations, mixes up a cocktail or two, and invites readers to make their own traditions.

Thoughts
I love this book! I love the cover, the stories, the recipes and the photos.

This is one of the few Christmas-y books I absolutely love. It has a lot of great stories, some touching, some funny, and lots of yummy sounding recipes.

I grew up in Ohio where there was usually a lot of snow during the winter, and this book made me more homesick than I already was. I loved reading the stories and didn’t want the book to end.

One of my favorite stories was when one of the family members had been misbehaving and they all were feeling bad with colds and a little bit of fever. John got the book SantaLand Diaries by David Sedaris and they all took turns reading while eating cold fried chicken. What could have been a very bad day turned into a day filled with laughs and good memories.

This is the first book by Stimson that I’ve read, but I’d like to read her other two books. I like her writing style and her wit, and think I’ll probably enjoy them too.

This is a book filled with good memories, good food, and gives you a good feeling. Even if you aren’t a fan of Christmas books, I think you’d enjoy this book for it’s great sounding recipes.

I’ve never liked the taste of beets, but I’m willing to give them another try. Here is a recipe from the book:
Electric Beets
1 large bunch of beets
1 bunch of green onions
olive oil
1 tablespoon sour cream
sea salt

Fill a pot with enough water to cover the beets at a high boil
Rinse beets, cut off the top and roots
Place beets in boiling water and boil until fork tender
Drain beets and peel them with your hands under running cold water
Slice into 1/4 inch thick slices
Dice bulbs & tops of green onions, gently saute’ in olive oil for 3-4 min.
Add beets to the pan, toss, and saute’ until they are heated through
Add sour cream and mix until the entire dish is bright pink
Plate and finish with sea salt

 

6988633Ellen Stimson is a bread and butter homecook … possibly more butter than bread. Her house and table are usually full to overflowing with friends, family, and a whole bunch of folks who have come to Vermont just to eat at her table and listen to her stories. During one particularly misguided period, she churned out her justifiably famous mac and cheese from the kitchen of what was possibly the oldest country store in America. That tale was told in the hilarious bestselling Mud Season. She cooks and writes about the whole divine and delicious catastrophe from a farmhouse in Vermont.

For More Info:
Amazon | Goodreads | Author’s Webi | Facebook | Twitter

 

Giveaway: I have one copy of the book to giveaway (US/Canada)
To Enter:
Leave a comment with your favorite family Christmas tradition.
US/Canada Only
Don’t forget to leave your email info
Ends November 19

 

Tour Stops:

Monday, November 9th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, November 10th: (Never) Homemaker
Wednesday, November 11th: Bibliotica
Thursday, November 12th: Under My Apple Tree
Friday, November 13thI’d Rather Be at the Beach
Monday, November 16thI Wish I Lived in a Library
Wednesday, November 18thMajorly Delicious
Wednesday, November 18thOpen Book Society
Thursday, November 19thThe Things We Read
Monday, November 23rdSharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, November 24thTime 2 Read
Wednesday, November 25thSatisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Friday, November 27thJoyfully Retired
Monday, November 30thBroken Teepee
Wednesday, December 2ndgirlichef
Friday, December 4thA Chick Who Reads

 

tlc tour host (5)
wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads
Nov 072015
 

 

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I love lentils and don’t know why I don’t make them more often. When I saw this recipe @ South Your Mouth, I pinned it right away and added the ingredients to my cozi app under Shopping (if you haven’t tried this app, you should. It’s awesome!)

 Italian Lentil Soup with Sausage
15.5-oz bag Hurst’s Garlic & Herb Lentils
1.25 – 1.5 lbs. Italian sausage (I bought two packages of  this sausage and used 6 links)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced celery
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water

Remove casings from sausage (if applicable). Brown and crumble sausage over medium to medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large pot until cooked through (take care not to let the pot scorch or burn). Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from pot and set aside.

Add olive oil, carrots, onion and celery to pot and sauté until onions become translucent (about 4-5 minutes). Take a picture so you can show your friends you just cooked a classic French mirepoix. Boom.

Add garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes.

Add chicken broth, water, lentils (with seasoning packet) and sausage to pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 40 minutes or until lentils are tender. Turn off heat and let soup rest, covered, for 20 minutes before serving.

So did we like it?
You know when you take the first bite of something you pretty much know whether you’re going to like it, love it, or not like it at all? Well, when I took my first bite of this soup, I thought I wasn’t going to like it. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten soup with sausage in it and it threw me off. It didn’t taste like chicken :). That’s what I usually have in soup. But a few spoonfuls in and I was really loving it and am glad I made it. There was plenty left for dinner the next night and for my son to take to work. Like I said, I love lentils and this soup is a great way to make sure I eat them more often. My son thought it was good too, so it’s going on my dinner rotation list.

Just an FYI, if you decide to try this keep an eye on the liquid. After cooking it for the 40 min. it was a bit low so I added more chicken broth/water. My son likes his soup not so soupy and always uses a slotted spoon to get his soup out of the pot, so I didn’t have to add much.

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Oct 242015
 

I’ve been buying Jalapeno Pimento Cheese for about 25 years, and then all of a sudden a few years ago it disappeared from store shelves. Then one day I was hopping from one pin to another on Pinterest and saw apin for it. Such a small thing but it made me really really happy. So of course I had to make it and see if it was as good or better than I used to buy.

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese

4 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well until combined.

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It tasted good but was very dry.

I’ll have to figure out what to add to it to make it thinner.

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Oct 102015
 

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The Good Cook Pies & Pastries by Editors of Time-Life Books

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Time Life Education; 1st edition (March 1981)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0809428954
ISBN-13: 978-0809428953

This is a great book for anyone who loves to bake pies and pastries, and even for someone who is new to baking but wants to try it. There are many recipes in the book and a lot of them have step by step photos. There are even recipes for fondant and fondant icing.

Some of the recipes are Sheet Pie Filled With Apples, Japanese Fruit Pie, Latticed Chocolate One Crust Tart, Corsican Cheese Pie, Mocha Ricotta Pie, Eclairs, Stuffed Pastry Tubes, Thousand Leaf Pastries and all kinds of different dough.

You can find this book online pretty cheap. The book I have is a first edition and belonged to my husbands aunt.

My favorite fruit is Tangerine, and as I was going through the book I found a recipe for Tangerine Pie. Tangerine Pie? Never heard of it before. So I decided to share the recipe for Weekend Cooking. I might decide to make it sometime.

Tangerine Pie
To make one 9 inch pie
1 fully baked pie shell, made from 1/2 lb. short-crust dough
1 cup fresh tangerine juice
2 tbsp. julienned tangerine peel
3 tbsp. flour
3 eggs, the yolks separated from the whites, and the whites stiffly beaten
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
1/2 cup sugar

Heat oven to 400℉
In the top of a boiler, combine the tangerine juice, flour, egg yolks, lemon juice, orange peel and sugar
Stirring constantly, cook over simmering water until thickened – about five minutes
Remove from the heat and cool
Fold in the stiffened beaten egg whites, then pour the mixture into the baked pie shell
Sprinkle the top with finely julienned tangerine peel
Brown in a preheated 400℉ oven for 10 minutes
Chill before serving

I was going to add the recipe for the short-crust dough, but to be honest it was very long and I just didn’t feel like spending the time typing the recipe. But, you can search online for it or you might even have it in one of the cookbooks you own. Or, if you’re like me and not that big of a baker, you could just buy one already made from the local store bakery or in the freezer section.

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Sep 192015
 

I’ve had this recipe pinned for a really long time and finally decided to make it. It’s really quick and easy, and doesn’t cost much at all.

I know this photo is pitiful, but I couldn’t get the lighting right. My son and I were very hungry so I said the heck with it. Trust me, it was so so so much better than the photo makes it look!

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In A Hurry Chicken Curry
16 ounce package frozen stew vegetables
4 large chicken thighs, skin removed (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds)
Salt and ground black pepper
1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of potato soup
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro

Place frozen stew vegetables in a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker.
Top with chicken
Sprinkle with salt and pepper
In a small bowl, stir together soup and curry powder
Pour soup mixture over all.
Cover; cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 3 1/2 hours
Remove chicken from bones and, if desired, break into large pieces.
Sprinkle with cilantro.

Nutrition Facts Per serving:
200 kcal cal., 5 g fat (2 g sat. fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 2 g monounsatured fat)
97 mg chol., 734 mg sodium, 13 g carb., 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 24 g pro.

 

I left out the cilantro, but may use it when I make it the next time since it’s only a tablespoon. Also, I used boneless, skinless thighs instead of bone-in. The recipe says it makes 6 servings, but we must have used bigger bowls because my son ate 2 bowl fulls and I ate one and it was gone. I plan on doubling the recipe next time because we both loved it. If there had been any left, we would have eaten more the next day.

Also, I don’t know which stores are in your area, but I looked at Publix and Wal-Mart for a bag of frozen stew vegetables but neither store sold it.  I finally found it at Winn-Dixie.

 

wkendcooking      Autumn-2015-Pin-it-and-Do-it-Challenge

Weekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Pin It and Do It is hosted by Trish @ Love Laughter and Touch of Insanity

Sep 122015
 

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Latin Grill: Sultry and Simple Food for Red-Hot Dinners and Parties by Rafael Palomino and Arlen Gargagliano (Photographer: Dan Goldberg)

Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (March 24, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0811866602
ISBN-13: 978-0811866606

Bold flavors, minimal ingredients, and a passion for flame! Discover a new spin on grilling, Latin-style, with more than 70 recipes by renowned chef Rafael Palomino, a pioneer of the fresh culinary territory known as Nuevo Latino. A little bit French, a little bit South American, this cuisine is huge on flavor! Bring a fiesta to the table with uncomplicated recipes for everything from grilled Caesar salad to Palomino’s famous burger and deliciously simple desserts. Cooling ceviches and juicy cocktails such as Blueberry-Pisco Sours and Grilled Pineapple Mojitos make every meal a spicy sensation.

Thoughts:
I’ve never really eaten Latin food before so I thought this would be a good Latin cookbook to start with since I love cooking on the grill. To be honest, most of the recipes didn’t appeal to me a whole lot, but with some minor tweaking I think I could enjoy them. One example is the lamb recipes. I don’t like lamb so I’d have to use another kind of meat, probably chicken. If you ever find a recipe that sounds really good except that it has a meat you’re not really a fan of, you can use this chart to see what a good substitute is.

I do like the other ingredients frequently used in this cookbook, so I’ll probably be using it from time to time when my family gets together for a cookout. My son and his family are vegan, and there are also recipes that will work for them, or vegetarians.

The contents include Hola (Hello), The Big Decision: Which Grill?, Tools For Grilling EN Casa (At Home), and How To Use This Book

The Chapters Are:
Ceviches, Tortillas & Arepas
Salads & Sides
Meat & Poultry
Shellfish & Seafood
Bebidas (Beverages)
Basics (like chicken stock, suaces, simple syrup and sour mix etc.)
Index
Table Of Equivalents

I love the photos that are in the book. They make everything look yummy, even the Shellfish & Seafood, which I’m not a fan of.

Here’s an example of one of the Acompañamiento (sides) recipes:
Yellow Tomatoes Stuffed With Grilled Wild Mushrooms And Parmesean Cheese

NOTE: You need the recipe Sweet Shallot Vinaigrette also, and since you need to chill for an hour, I’m listing it first so you can let it chill while you’re making the tomatoes.

Sweet Shallot Vinaigrette (page 153)
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon brown sugar
12 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the shallots and sugar, stirring constantly, until the shallots start to soften and brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and combine the caramelized shallots, vinegar, and oil in a blender and mix until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for at leas 1 hour before using. Use immediately or keepfor up to two weeks.
Makes about 2 cups.
————————–
For the tomatoes:
1 cup oyster, shitake, or portobello mushrooms (domestic or imported)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 perfectly ripe yellow (or red) medium sized beefsteak tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan chesse
1 handful mixed baby greens
Sweet Shallot Vinaigrette

In a medium bowl, combine the mushrooms with the olive oil, shallots, rosemary, and thyme; let sit for about 10 minuets.

Light a fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Using tongs, renive thw muashrooms from the marinade and grill until slightly softened and browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Set them aside and. (You can also complete this step ahead of time, refrigerate the mushrooms, and then bring them to room temperature when you’re ready to stuff the tomatoes)

Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes so that you can use them to serve your salad in. Preheat the oven to 325F. Using a sharp knife, slice the tops off the tomatoes either flat or in a zigzag pattern/ you need them later so don’t discard them. Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop out the insides. (you may want to save the insides for a sauce or another salad). Set aside. Place the tomatoes into a 1 inch baking pan (you may have to adjust the bottoms-cutting carefully and only slightly-if they can’t sit upright) with their tops. Bake until the skins start to wrinkle, about 15 minutes.

When the tomatoes are finished, remove the tops and stuff with alternate layers of the mushroom mixture and the cheese. Place the tomatoes back into the oven (without the tops) just until the cheese starts to melt, about 5 minutes.

Top each tomato with a bit of the mixed baby greens and a drizzle of the vinaigrette. Cover with the tomato tops and serve.

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Sep 052015
 

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Weight Watchers 5 Ingredient, 15 Minute Cookbook by Nancy Fitzpatrick Wyatt

I don’t even remember where I got this book or how long I’ve had it. I saw it yesterday and thought I’d go through it since I’m trying to eat healthier and eat less carbs and sodium. And if you’re like me, you like quick and easy, few ingredient healthy recipes. This book is loaded with them.

I love cookbooks that include photos. While I would have liked more, the book did have some bright colorful ones scattered here and there. I always like seeing how my food looks compared to the photo. Of course most of the time mine isn’t as pretty.

The book includes a No Stress Shopping List, Handy Substitutions, Microwave Cooking Chart For Vegetables, and Metric Equivalents. I very rarely use my microwave, but the chart would come in handy if I wanted to microwave some veggies and the substitutions and metric equivalents are ones I need all the time.

Each recipe has nutritional information, WW points and exchanges. My book is the fifth printing (2005) and is in like new condition.

I don’t know why I haven’t been using the heck out this book. It’s great for anyone who wants to eat healthier, not just for someone wanting to loose weight.  I’ll be posting a few recipes from it soon.

Here’s one of the first ones I want to try:
Grilled Caribbean Chicken
4- 4 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (I’ll probably use canola)
2 teaspoons jerk seasoning
cooking spray

Prepare grill
Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap and flatten to 1/4 in. thickness
Combine the lime juice and oil, brush over both sides of the chicken and rub both sides with jerk seasoning
Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spry, cover and grill 5-6 min. on each side until done

Points: 3
Exchanges: 4 very lean meat
Calories: 153
Carbs: 1.4g
Fat: 4.2 (saturated 1.0g)
Fiber: 0.2g
Protein 25.9g
Cholesterol: 70mg
Sodium: 97mg

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Aug 222015
 

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Just Mini Cocktails: Cocktails and Party Drinks by Robert Zollweg

Photographs by Rick Luettke

Paperback: 127 pages
Publisher: Self-published (2011)
Language: English
ISBN: 878-0-615-49813-3

This book guides you with the proper glassware, tiered trays, recipes and, of course, presentation in the art of mini cocktails parties. This presentations are great for special parties.

Thoughts
I don’t drink, but some of my friends and family do so when I saw this book for only $1.00 at Big Lots I decided to get a copy. The book has quite a few sections. After an Introduction there is:

Glassware, Preparation, Garnishes and Servings
Martinis and Margaritas
Tropical Cocktails
Classic Cocktails
Party Punches
Smoothies and Non Alcoholic Cocktails
Coffees, Teas and Hot Chocolates
Beer and Wine Tastings

and then the index.

The author says “Just Mini Cocktails is a trendy way to serve ordinary cocktails at your next party or get together but adding a unique twist by serving them in little mini glasses for tasting or samplings.”

The first section on Glassware, Preparation, Garnishes and Servings will be a huge help to anyone like me who is not familiar with making cocktails. One of my favorite things about this chapter was learning which glassware to use for which drink.

The Serving Preparation section shows how to use a variety of mini cocktails and appetizers on different platters and servers so that it’s pleasing to the eye.

The book includes well known cocktails like Whiskey Sour and Singapore Sling, but also has some I’ve never heard of like Mango Bellini. Of course I don’t drink so you may be familiar with it.

I’d like to try some of the smoothies and hot chocolate recipes. The first one I want to try is the Mad Max Cocktail:

8 oz. blue raspberry cocktail mix
16 oz. lemon lime soda, cold
1 oz. lime juice
ice cubes
orange and lemon slices for garnish
mint leaves for garnish (optional)
for an alcoholic cocktail add 6 oz. vodka or light rum

Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher. Have an ice bucket full of ice available.
When serving on a tasting buffet, line the glasses up and add a few citrus wedges to each glass.
Let your guest add their own ice and fill the glasses.
This cocktail looks great in almost any sleek mini glass tumbler or stem.

I’m glad I bought this book, I liked learning about serving cocktails and see many I’d like to try. The photographs are great, just look at the cover and you’ll see what I mean.

 wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Aug 082015
 

This is a recipe that’s linked to two books. I first saw the recipe in

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Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes
by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

It was referenced to

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Geared for the Grave (The Cycle Path Mysteries #1) by Duffy Brown

I linked the books to my reviews in case you haven’t read them (I loved both of them)

Anyway, here is the first recipe I tried from Cozy Food.

Mackinac Island Soup
page 24

In a big pot, brown together the following:
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 pack Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix
1 packet Hidden Ranch Dressing Mix

ingredients

Add:
2 cans chopped tomotatoes

Add 1 can each, undrained:
1 can hominy
yellow corn
black beans
pinto beans

Simmer for as long as you have (smells great)

pot

 

soup

Serve with dollop of sour cream, spinkle of shredded cheddar, chopped cilantro.

finished bowl

I used ground chuck and didn’t use cilantro because my son and I aren’t really fans. We like it if there’s just a tiny amount, but I don’t see the point in buying it and throwing the rest out. I simmered it for a few hours and the house smelled so good.

This was really good,  even my picky son liked it and ate two bowls.

I’ll be making this recipe again for sure! Yum!!

 

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads