Monday, March 17, 2008

Rice Pilaf

1 c long grain rice
1/4 c vermicelli, broken into small pieces
1/4 c butter
2 1/4 c water
2 t chicken bullion
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter in a pan. Add vermicelli and brown on medium heat. Add rice and brown a bit more. Add water, bullion, bay leaf, and a couple of shakes of salt & pepper. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or according to rice package directions or until all the water is absorbed.

This is a great side with any meat, chicken or fish entrée. My mom also likes to add diced bell peppers or mushrooms before cooking to add another flavor dimension.

Now you don't have to buy a box with a mystery flavor packet and a piddly amount of rice again! Enjoy!
Printable Recipe

Chicken Spinach Alfredo

2 chicken breast (from Costco)
1 t minced garlic
olive oil
seasoning for chicken
2-3 c milk
2 t chicken bullion
3-4 large handfuls of fresh spinach (I use the prewashed, bagged kind)
1/4-1/2 c Parmesan cheese (I use the shaky kind)
2 T corn starch mixed in 1/4 c cold water
pasta cooked according to directions

Heat large (12 inch) saute pan to med. high and add oil & garlic & frozen chicken breast (yes, frozen! On the bag there are directions and they really work). Cover with lid. Check after 15 minutes, add generous amount seasoning (I used lemon pepper this time) and turn chicken and cook 15 more minute or until juice runs clear. While chicken is cooking put water on to boil and add pasta when you start your sauce. When chicken is done remove from pan. there should be juices & seasoning in the bottom of the pan (yum), add milk & bullion. Stir well till bullion dissolves and get the good stuff stuck on the bottom mixed in to your sauce. Next grab handfuls of spinach and tear them into small pieces before you stir them in. Add Parmesan, stir to melt. Chop chicken into small bit size pieces and throw it in. When sauce is boiling add water with cornstarch and stir immediately, it will thicken fast! Pasta should be done about this time so drain it and put it in a pretty serving dish, then dump your chicken spinach on top. Serve with veggies, french bread or salad. Ta da! Delicious meal with a lot less calories!
Feeds 2 adults & 2 children plus 2 lunches for the hubby.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Steak 'n Potato Supper

We just purchased a 1/4 a beef (100 lbs) and I hit my mom up for recipes. We receive some cuts of meat that I'm not familar with but my mom is... she even hit Grandma up for an oldie but goodie. These recipes would be more in the "down home comfort food" category (aka we're going to fry it). I'm making the chicken that has no poultry tonight w/ mashed potatoes, gravy & whatever veggie we have in the freezer.

Steak 'n Potato Supper

From Grandma Ardis (Pharis)

1-1/2 lbs. round steak 1/2 in. thick
1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can beef broth
4 med. potatoes, cut in 1/4 inch slices
2 med. onions, sliced thinly
Cut steak in serving-size pieces. Combine flour, salt and pepper; coat the meat. In skillet, brown the meat slowly in hot fat--this should take 20-30 minutes. Add a little water if needed.Place potato and onion slices over meat. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add the beef broth.Cook slowly about 35 minutes longer or until potatoes are done. (Add chopped parsley if desired) I like to use an electric skillet.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

2/3 cup Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt or Garlic salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch strips.
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter or margaine, melted

1. Heat oven to 450. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.

2 . Mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt and paprika in 1 gallon resealable plastic food storage bag. Dip half the chicken strips into the egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.

3. Bake 12 to 14 minutes; turning after 6 minutes with pancake turner, until no longer pink in center.

... These are wonderful! They are quick and easy. For me these are good because I had all the ingredients on hand and there is no running to the grocery store. When I make them I usually double the recipe. I like to serve them with Pilaff and a fresh veggie. They are also wonderful as a left over. You can eat them cold....put them in a tortilla......make them into a sandwich.
... They would be a great appetizer. Something great for Sunday's Super bowl party.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ode to the Pioneer Woman

I've decided that the Pioneer Woman is an A+ cook. I've made her pot roast recipe and her lasagna. They were both AMAZING! So next time you're looking for a sure thing check her out.

Vietnam Fried Rice

Tonight my props go out to Pat Ostetter Martin of Quang Ngai, Vietnam. I used her recipe from More-with-Less and I really enjoyed Fried Rice made by me for the first time! You must know Fried Rice always reminds me of the summer we went to Nepal. I ate a lot of Fried Rice to try and blot dahl out of my memory and I LOVE IT! So here's the recipe with my modifications:

Cook 1 c rice or have ready 3 c leftover rice (I used leftovers).
Heat in a large skillet:
4 T oil
1/2 lb. any cooked or raw meat cut into thin strips (I used leftover chicken)
1 onion, chopped
(I used 1/2)
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 large spoonful from the jar)
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 t sugar
1 T soy sauce

Stirfry until meat is hot, 1-2 minutes. (I sauted the onions first, we're not fans of uncooked onions).
3 c cooked rice
Stirfry 5 minutes. Add:
1 c leftover or frozen veggies (I used frozen peas and I peeled a carrot into the mix.)
Stir well into rice-meat mixture.
Just before serving make a hole in the middle and add:
2 eggs, beaten
Over medium heat stir carefully until eggs are cooked. Chop in small pieces and mix thoroughly. Serve piping hot.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This week so far

Monday: Roasted Chicken, green beans, & rolls

Tuesday: Pasta w/Marinara, Chicken (leftover from Mon.), & Parmesan

Tonight: Tacos, granted there are about 1,000,000 ways to make tacos, but tonight it was "what's left in the cupboad" tacos. Here's the version I did tonight:

Meat Mixture:
1 lb ground beef, cooked & crumbled. Add 1/2 jar of salsa, 1 can of beans (drained), 1 can of corn (drained), & 1 t salt; simmer 10-15 minutes. Add a smidge of water if all the liquid cooks down, you don't want it to be dry. This eliminates steps and dirty dishes. Plus you get your veggies in w/o having to think about a "side."

Spanish Rice:
3 T Butter
1 c white long grain rice
1 t chili powder
2 t cumin
2 t chicken soup base (0r bullion)
2 c water

Melt the butter, add rice and let it brown a bit. Then add everything else, let it come to a boil. Then cover and turn to simmer for 20 minutes.

Other Ingredients:
Corn tortillas, wrapped in towl and microwaved till hot
Cheedar Cheese, grated
Sour Cream

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Black Beans & Rice

I must be my mother's daughter because I also made beans yesterday! I took ham to the church potluck sunday so I had a nice bone w/lots of meat left on it for my pot o'beans. Yum! Normally I just make the black bean and ham soup and corn bread like my mama, but this time I got to thinking about my favorite Brazilian-American Truda. She made black beans and then we would eat them on top of rice. And it was just as good as I remember it! (this picture isn't my dish but that what it would have looked like if I dished it up fancy.) Since it was a cold day and we were home I decided to make my beans on the stove to keep me warm :-)

Here's the Recipe:

Black Bean & Ham Soup

1 lb bag of black beans
Ham bone w/some meat on it
2 t Onion powder (my cheater method b/c I didn't want to cut up an onion)
Salt & pepper to taste

Soak beans as you prefer (back of bag has several options). I threw them in the pot the night before, then drained and rinsed the beans and added enough water to cover the beans & the ham bone. I simmered them for 3 or so hours. Then I removed the ham bone and picked all the ham off of it and put it back in the soup. There was too much liquid so I used my 2 c measuing cup to remove some. Then I added the onion powder, tasted the soup and added 2 t of salt. I wait to add the salt because the ham is salty and I don't want to over salt the soup. But you definitely need to add some to bring out the flavor like Mom said in the post below. I also added some leftover tomato sauce (1/2 c) for flavor. I like to take the potato masher and mash part of the beans so the soup gets thicker. I also cooked 1 1/2 c rice according to the directions. So to plate the meal or bowl it: scoop rice into bowl, ladel beans on top and enjoy!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Continuing to use that left over ham - - BEANS!

Ok....I know, I know. But we love Beans. And there is nothing like a good pot of beans made with ham and of course some freshly baked corn bread to go along. My mom used to make this for our family. It was one of my daddy's favorite meals and I admit it's one of mine. I made this Sunday afternoon. Of course Tex loved them. OK - - - he loves just about everything I cook. Thank goodness for crock pots because they make cooking a pot of beans so easy. First I must say that beans are very good for you. And they make a good filling meal. Plus it's one of those meals I call "cheap eats".

I also just read in the Fresno Bee a way to cook those beans so you don't "toot" all day long. Soak them in hot water. Lots of oligosaccharides (try to say that one!) the complex sugars in legumes that cause intestinal gas, leach out of legumes in a hot-water soak. If you're really worried about these sugars, drain the soaking water and replace it with fresh water before cooking. Sounds pretty easy doesn't it?

Here's my basic recipe for beans.

3 cups of Pinto beans. Wash thoroughly.
Put into a 4 qt. crock pot.
Cover beans with water (hot if you want) and fill to about 1" above the beans.
Add 1 diced onion.
Add what ever amount of ham you like or need to use up. Another good meat in Hot Links. It will make your beans a little spicy but good.
Add salt and pepper. The amount of salt depends on how salty your ham is. Remember that beans are basically bland and will need salt to bring out the flavor. My Nana spice is also good to add. Also good is bell pepper (diced of course).

I start my beans in the morning on low and they are done by dinner time. I many times start them when I come home for lunch. I put them on high and they are done when I get home. I don't soak them overnight like I use to and they turn out just as good.

This is also my basic bean recipe for making refried beans. When I am making refried beans I also add Garlic and a few pieces of bacon. Drain the water off when they are done cooking and then mash them up and there you have it - - Refried Beans! Don't hurt to add a little Lard or butter either.

Ok - - I know this can't be complete with out that famous poem...............

Beans, beans the musical fruit.
The more you eat, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel.
So - - - let's eat beans for every meal!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Year of the Pot Roast

After reading this recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks I just had to try it... and I must admit it's as good as she makes you think it is! Yummy! Here's the link to the recipe. Enjoy!

Friday, January 04, 2008

O Happy Day!

Many of you know my distain for my stove. I avoided cleaning it because of the lovely coat of paint that slowly came off as I cleaned it...PLUS the brand new stove/oven that has sat in my garage for 4 years, but thats another story and more $$$. Today Steve installed my brand "new" $35 Craigslist stovetop! Hooray! It's so nice and did I mention it only cost $35!!!! Yippeee!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Creamed Ham and Eggs

I am a big believer in not wasting any food. Over the years I used to spend hours looking through recipe books to find ways to use food that I had on hand. Ok - - I admit I hate to go to the grocery store. With the holidays just passing I had a lot of left over ham. Years ago I came across this recipe. It is quick and easy. I know it sounds a little strange but it really is good. Ask Tex ....we had it for dinner tonight. I thought Tricia would also enjoy this one too as it is a way to use eggs. I know that someone with as many chickens as she has ....she has a lot of eggs.

3 tablespoons butter or margaine
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp. dry mustartd
1/4 tsp. salt (or use onion salt)
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 1/4 cups milk
1 cup diced cooked ham
4 hard-cooked eggs, quartered

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour and seasonings. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remover from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Gently stir in ham and eggs; heat through.

Serve over rice, toast or biscuits.

6 servings.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What to do with Frying Oil?

I need suggestions on what to do with

oil that has been used once to fry fritters... it seems wasteful to throw out 2.5 bottle of oil but I'm not sure if I have other options. Help!

Check out more kitchen related dilemmas at Tammy's Recipes

New Year, New Inspiration

I get the rss feed from Tammy's Recipes and she has inspired me to revive Dinner Dilemma. Plus, I got a new cook book from Steve's mom, More-with-Less, which I'm eager to try out(Thanks Mom)! Hopefully my mama will join me on this adventure because she is the best cook I know. She's inventive and always on the lookout for something tasty. I'd also love to get your ideas/recipes so send 'em in!