Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

I don't think I'll ever bother to buy pre-made breakfast sausage again.

2 lbs ground pork*
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well.  Shape into 2 1/2" patties, about 1/2" thick.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Cook half of patties until well browned and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.  Wipe out skillet and repeat with remaining butter and patties.  Yield: 16 patties.

*You can usually find ground pork next to the ground beef.  Do NOT use lean or extra lean ground pork--it won't have enough fat in it to cook up properly.  You can also check the butcher's counter in your grocery store for ground pork breakfast sausage, which usually has just sage added; reduce the sage in the recipe to compensate.

Crockpot Pulled Pork

1 pork tenderloin (1 lb)
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cut the tenderloin in half; place in crockpot.  Whisk remaining ingredients together and pour over tenderloin.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours, until pork is cooked through and tender.

Remove pork from crockpot and use two forks to shred.  Stir sauce in crockpot, then add pork back to pot.  Toss well and allow to heat through.

Serve on hamburger buns or split kaiser rolls.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Shinsel spaghetti

I know, I should have posted this a long time ago. I just always fudge the amounts, so it's hard to say how much of everything I actually put in! Here's a good guess anyway!

1-1.5 lbs. ground beef (or sausage)
2 cans Stewed Tomatos (15 oz cans)--can use italian style or regular, but DO NOT DRAIN
2 cans tomato sauce (8oz cans--or 1 15 oz can)
1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp. salt OR 1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp oregeno
2-3 bay leaves
2 beef bullion cubes
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 lb. grated cheese (or to taste)
8 oz package of spaghetti noodles (regular--thin doesn't turn out so well)

Start water to boil in large pot. In a large skillet brown hamburger. Drain excess fat and add tomatos, sauce, sugar , herbs, etc. (Can also add other add in's as desired--tomatos, peppers, etc.) Simmer sauce while your noodles are cooking. Drain noodles. Return to pot. Pour sauce into pot with noodles. Add cheese. Stir. Enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Healthified Crispy-Coated Chicken


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

1 c finely crushed multigrain tortilla chips
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
shredded romaine
salsa (I really like it with Mango salsa, my husband liked regular)
Avocado slices
In a shallow bowl combine tortilla chips, oregano, cumin and pepper. Place egg in another shallow dish, beat lightly. Dip chicken in egg and then chips.
Place chicken on a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake about 25 minutes until chicken is no longer pink. Serve on a bed a shredded romaine with salsa and avocado slices.
* Whenever I make any type of crispy, breaded chicken I put a cooling rack on my pan and put the chicken on top of it. This cooks underneath and keeps the bottom from getting soggy.

Go-To Meals

Quesadillas- cook and shred chicken, add taco seasoning. Use chicken, cheese, black beans, veggies- whatever you like and heat between 2 tortillas either in microwave or on griddle. (I make the chicken ahead of time and freeze it and then this is very quick and easy).

Quick Chili

Tiny Spicy Chicken

Cranberry Meatballs

Soup- just add browned ground beef, a large can of tomatoes or water, whatever veggies I have (carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, peas, corn, beans, etc) and some seasoning (salt, pepper, bay leaf, garlic- whatever your in the mood for) and let simmer until veggies are tender.

I also think taco soup is very quick and easy- everyone seems to have their own favorite recipe

Quick Chili

This isn't my favorite chili recipe, but it only takes about 15 minutes and I always have the ingredients on hand.

browned ground beef
1-2 cans kidney beans
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
diced onion
chili powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Mix, heat and eat.

Tiny Spicy Chicken

It's not really spicy- more like sweet and sour.

3/4 c sugar
4 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 c vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
* 1 undrained can pineapple tidbits (the recipe doesn't actually call for this- I just add it and really like it)

Mix all ingredients and pour over 2-3 chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

request: aimee's spaghetti

This is a pretty-please request for Aimee.  Will you post your famous spaghetti recipe so I don't have to call you every time I want to make it? I swear I had it written down but can't find it for the life of me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sweet Potato Minestrone

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large stalks celery, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
5 cups vegetable broth
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, sliced thin
1 can cut green beans
5 cloves garlic, minced

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion, celery, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, with the juice, broth, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans and garlic. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

The sweet potatoes make this a little bit sweet (go figure), and it's actually pretty filling. You can also add a can of cannellini beans to it if you like that sorta thing.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Go to Meals- Beef Stroganoff

This is one of my favorite and easiest recipes. We'd have it a lot more often if I could just remember to thaw some hamburger before I leave for work. When I make this, I serve it with bright colored veggies- just so it is prettier.

Here's the recipe...

1 lb of ground beef (I always go as lean as I can find)
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic
Strain the beef grease before you add...
2 cups sliced mushrooms (there aren't any in the pictures because I was out)

Saute until the onions are clear and then add

1/3 c red wine
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Continue cooking until the meat is cooked throughout.

Then add...

1/2 c sour cream
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook until heated throughout. Serve on noodles or rice.

PS if you don't cook with wine, use 1/3 of a cup of beef bouillon.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Go To Meals

Howdy all,

We have a few go to meals, some which I do in the crock pot in the morning when I know I have a busy day ahead.

Creamy Chicken--You can just bake this for an hour or put it in the crock pot and cook all day. I take chicken breasts and 1-2 cans of Cream or Chicken or Mushroom (whatever I have) and throw them in the crock pot with a can full of water, sprinkle with salt, pepper, maybe some powdered Italian dressing mix, and let it cook. About 20 minutes before you are ready to eat, throw in a half a block of cream cheese or a whole block if you have many chicken breasts and 2 cans of soup. At this point I take my tongs and break up the chicken, it is so tender it just comes apart easy and then stir up the mixture with cream cheese and cook for about 20 more minutes. Once it is all ready, I either pour it over rice or mashed potatoes and open a can or corn or carrots or something for the side, or a salad. Its really creamy and yummy and so easy. If you do it in the oven, just cook it for 45-60 minutes and add the cream cheese with 20 minutes left.

We also do nachos a lot for go to meals, you can do them vegetarian and just open a can of black beans or whatever kind of bean you have (refried is great too), sprinkle them on tortilla chips that are spread out on a cookie sheet, top with your favorite toppings, we do cheese, sauteed onions, sometimes add chicken or beef, then pop them in a 325 oven for a few minutes until it is all melty and yum.

Another favorite of mine is Monterrey Chicken found here
I like this because I can make twice as much as I need and then take a leftover breast and shred it for Barbecue Chicken Pizza the next day or add in some Frank's Red Sauce after you shred it and make a really yum Buffalo BBQ Chicken and serve it on a green salad with ranch, or a sandwich/wrap for a great little kick.

I agree on the omelets comment made before, they are cheap and easy and fast!

I also keep tomato soup and cheese on hand for tomato soup and drilled cheese sandwiches.

I also love to make chicken salad. I keep some cans of cooked chicken on the shelf from Sam's. They are quite good and great for quick meals. I can take a can or two of chicken and drain it, then add a can of chopped pineapple, 1/2-3/4 cup of Mayo (lite is okay), salt, and pepper and sometimes a little lemon juice. Throw that on some bread and its a great sandwich.

Another crock pot one is for soup. I take a couple of chicken breasts, about 6 cups of water, and a cup or so of dried Great White Northern Beans. I put them all in the crock pot with a medium sized can of chopped green chilis. Add spices, like cumin, Mrs. Dash, etc and just cook on high all day. There is no need to pre-soak the beans, just sort them, rinse them and put them in the crock pot. This make an easy and tasty White Bean Chicken Chili. I serve it with a dollup of sour cream and tortilla chips and shredded cheese.

Hope that helps!