Monday, April 6, 2009

Simple Shredded Pork

After seeing these sandwich rolls I knew I had to make them, so I was on a mission to find a way to serve them. I decided they would be perfect for a shredded or pulled pork sandwich, but I didn't want to do a typical bbq pork that my son wouldn't be able to eat. I surfed for some recipes to get ideas of times and amounts, and ended up coming up with the following recipe. It is a very simple but flavorful pork that falls apart when done and can be dressed up any way you like. We made sandwiches and added a little bbq sauce to the top, but it could easily be used for Mexican dishes or any other recipe calling for shredded pork.

Simple Shredded Pork
  • 1 pork loin, approximately 4 pounds
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • broth to make 1/2 cup

Place the pork loin, fat side up, in a crock pot or slow cooker. Sprinkle thyme, salt and pepper over top. Spread onions out around the pork. Measure Worcestershire sauce and vinegar into a liquid measuring cup and add broth until it measures 1/2 cup. Pour this and the water around the pork. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 4 to 5. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred with two forks.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Rolls

When I saw these rolls on Lovestoeat's Weblog, I knew I had to give them a try. So far my baking with yeast has been limited to pretzels and pizza dough. So I was a little nervous attempting something more bread-like, but they turned out great. We used them for pork sandwiches the first night, had a couple of weekend breakfasts with egg sandwiches, and will be finishing them off tomorrow with some hamburgers. These are a delicious and versatile roll, and I'll definitely be making them again.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Rolls
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (1 1/2 packages) - I used the equivalent in instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds - I left these out
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour - I used about half of each

Pour the water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of brown sugar over the surface of the water. Stir to combine and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 10 min. In a large bowl using a whisk, combine the milk, butter, brown sugar, salt, seeds, and whole-wheat flour. Beat hard until smooth, about 3 min. Add yeast mixture and the unbleached flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, dusting with flour only as needed, to make a smooth, soft, slightly sticky dough. Place the dough in a greased deep bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in bulk, 45 min. to 1 hour. Gently deflate the dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Grease or parchment-line 2 baking sheets. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions and shape each into an oblong oval. Place the rolls 2 inches apart on the baking sheet, cover, and let rest until puffy and almost double, about 30 minutes. Brush with the egg glaze. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Egg glaze: 1 large egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

My boss gave me a couple of lemons recently from a large bag she had picked up at the store. I have never really done anything with whole lemons before, but these smelled so good I knew I had to find something to bake. Annie from Annie's Eats suggested the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins on her blog, originally found on the Joy of Baking website. The first time I made these I followed the recipe exactly (except I used non-fat yogurt because that's all I could find and they still turned out great). The second time my lemon wouldn't zest well, so instead of making the glaze I used the juice of the lemon in the muffin itself. Both versions turned out equally well.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together flour, poppy seeds, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon zest, yogurt and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in the flour mixture until just moistened. Do not over mix. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan and glazing.

Glaze: If glazing, while muffins are baking stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. The mixture should be runny. Once the muffins are removed from the oven, wait five minutes and then drizzle the glaze over the muffins with a spoon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Tale of Two Fannies

My hubby gave me a Barnes and Noble gift card for Valentine's Day this year. I knew that I wanted to get a cookbook with it, but was tossed up on which one. I wasn't sure if I wanted one for a specific type of food, like the ice cream book I had been eyeing, or if I wanted a go-to book that would cover a wide range of foods. I finally decided on the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, because it has been my dad's kitchen bible for years and years. The photo above shows my shiny new book alongside his with a copyright from the sixties that he got shortly after he and my mom married in 1970. It has tape holding the spine together and is in danger of falling apart at any moment. I think this is the sign of a good cookbook. The books have changed over the years, the newer ones containing recipes for microwave cooking and eliminating recipes for dressing game, but many of the recipes are still the same. I recently made corn bread and the only difference in the recipes from the two books is that the older one called for 1/4 teaspoon more salt than the newer one. So if you're in the market for a new all-around cookbook that has stood the test of time for more than 100 years, consider Fannie Farmer.

Corn Bread

I've never made homemade cornbread before, I have always started with the box from Jiffy. After making it from scratch once, I doubt I'll go back to the box. There is not much extra work involved, and it tastes so good. This recipe from my Fannie Farmer Cookbook had the perfect sweetness to accompany a meal. If I were going to make muffins I would probably up the sugar just a bit.

Corn Bread
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 2 tablespoons melted shortening or bacon fat

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square cake pan. Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the milk, egg and shortening or bacon fat and blend well. Spoon into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes. Cool and cut in squares.

Whole Wheat Baking Powder Biscuits

One of our favorite weekend breakfasts is sausage gravy over biscuits. My husband makes a mean sausage gravy and I make the biscuits. I got this recipe from my Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and the only alteration I made was to do a mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour instead of only all-purpose. If you are someone afraid of doing breads, give this recipe a try. It's very easy and makes some tasty biscuits.

Whole Wheat Baking Powder Biscuits
  • 2 cups flour (I used about 1 1/2 cups all-purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease two 8-inch cake pans (I used my pizza stone, un-greased). Put the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour with two knives or a pasty blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the milk all at once and stir just until the dough forms a ball around the fork. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead 14 times. Pat until 1/2 inch thick. Cut into rounds with a 2-inch cookie cutter (I used our biscuit cutter, not sure how big it is). Place touching each other in the cake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes (again, I placed spaced apart on the pizza stone and baked for approximately 12-15 minutes).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Whole Wheat Waffles

One of my son's favorite breakfast foods is waffles. I've been buying the frozen kind, which taste alright, but really wanted to make my own. My mother-in-law gave us their old waffle iron this weekend, and I tried my hand at waffles. I used the recipe from my Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and they turned out great. Joey and I tested one when it first came out, and can't wait to have them for breakfast tomorrow morning. I froze the waffle quarters and will heat them in the toaster just like the store-bought kind. The only change I made was to sub 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour for the all-purpose, as reflected below.

Whole Wheat Waffles
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the eggs, milk and oil in a large bowl or pitcher. Stir in the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix until blended. Heat the waffle iron and pour in enough batter to just fill. Close and bake until the steaming stops and the waffles are crisp, tender and brown.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

After my first success with yeast, I thought I should try something else. I decided a homemade pizza dough would be a good second attempt. I found this recipe and had all the ingredients, so it was the winner. I loved the additions of the seasonings, this dough smelled so good as it was baking. I would make this again, but will be trying other recipes as well to see if I find something I like better. I made this into about a medium pizza, but think that it was a bit thick after cooking and would probably either spread it thinner into a large, or make two smaller pizzas out of it.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
  • 1 package fast rising yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme

Combine the yeast and water, stir until dissolved. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine all remaining ingredients. Add in the yeast mixture and mix using the dough hook. Knead until the dough forms a nice ball, using extra flour if necessary. Let rest for at least a half hour. Spread out on a pizza stone or pan lined with parchment paper, bake at 450 degrees for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with your desired pizza toppings, then bake for an additional 7 to 9 minutes or until the crust is crispy and the toppings are browned.

Homemade Rice-A-Roni

I set out to find a recipe for a homemade version of Rice-A-Roni for my sister. Her boys love the stuff and she wanted a healthier version she could prepare for them. Stephanie Cooks had a recipe on her blog from Recipezaar that seemed pretty simple so I thought I'd give it a try. I haven't had Rice-A-Roni in years, so I can't say how close it comes, but it is a tasty side dish and my ten month old son polished his plate. I followed the recipe pretty closely, using angel hair pasta instead of spaghetti, adding in some parsley, and adding instructions to cover the dish during cooking.

  • 1/2 cup raw angel hair pasta broken into 1/2 inch long pieces
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 14 1/2 ounces broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • dried parsley

In medium skillet saute broken pasta pieces in butter, stirring constantly, until the pasta begins to brown. Add rice, stirring until the rice is well coated with the butter and the pasta browns a little more. Carefully pour in broth. Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed. Stir in some parsley to give it a more authentic look.

Soft Pretzels

I've been meaning to both try to bake with yeast and use the dough hook on my new stand mixer, so when I saw the recipe for Alton Brown's Soft Pretzels on Le Petit Pierogi I knew I had to give them a shot. I only made a couple of minor changes from the original recipe (the changes are what are in the recipe below). First, I used instant yeast instead of active dry. Second, I subbed about 7 ounces of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour. Lastly, I made a few of the pretzels with cinnamon sugar instead of the salt (inspired by Le Petit Pierogi).

These turned out really well, I was pleasantly surprised. Next time I would make sure I had a whole lot more room to work, as these take up a lot of room when trying to get them into the long ropes. Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing and will definitely be making these again.

Soft Pretzels
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespooon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 15 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 7 ounces whole wheat flour
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • vegetable oil, for bowl
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • coarse sea salt for topping
  • cinnamon sugar for topping

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the dough into a bowl coated inside with vegetable oil, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt or cinnamon sugar. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I was bringing a dessert to a party and really wanted to make some peanut butter swirl brownies. The only recipes I could find for them only made an 8x8 pan, which wouldn't have been enough for us to take to the party. So I used this recipe I had for brownies that made a 13x9 inch pan, and this recipe for the peanut butter swirl. It made a dense, rich brownie with plenty of peanut butter flavor.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Swirl

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg


Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan. In a heavy saucepan, bring butter, sugar and water to a boil, stirring constantly until the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted. Cool slightly and mix in vanilla. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs. Slowly add in the chocolate mixture until completely mixed. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture and mix well to combine.

Peanut Butter Swirl

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix on medium speed until well combined.

To prepare: Pour half of the brownie batter into the baking pan. Using a spoon, dollop the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter. Top with remaining brownie batter. Using a knife, cut through the batter to create swirls of the brownie and peanut butter. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

I had a whole pork tenderloin thawing in the fridge today and wanted to do something different with it. We usually do our tenderloins with a Cajun rub and serve it with beans and rice. Tonight I was in the mood for something Asian-inspired, but couldn't find quite what I was looking for. I decided to find a teriyaki sauce recipe and go from there. The only change I made to the original was to omit the ginger, as we're not big fans and don't keep any on hand. This was one of our "throw together" meals, served with leftover rice and some frozen broccoli, but we'll definitely be making it again. The pork was unbelievably tender, even for a tenderloin, and the teriyaki sauce was delicious.

Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound, cut into 1 inch thick medallions

Combine the 1 cup of water, soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Dissolve the cornstarch into the 1/4 cup cold water and add to saucepan. Stir constantly and allow the sauce to thicken. Pour half of the mixture over pork medallions in a container and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Over medium heat, cook the pork for approximately 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to an oven safe dish and cook in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until it reads done on a meat thermometer. Serve topped with remaining sauce.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Stew

Yet another recipe from Kmay's blog, Food alla Putanesca. This is easy to make, hearty, and we almost always have all the ingredients on hand. The only changes I made to the source recipe was to use our home canned tomatoes and a can of chile peppers in place of the canned tomatoes with chiles. The recipe below reflects the changes.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Stew
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 16 ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 16 ounce can red beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 16 ounce can corn (drained)
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 quarts canned stewed tomatoes (roughly 30 ounces)
  • 1 8 ounce can chiles
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Mix everything together in a slow cooker except chicken. Lay chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. 30 minutes before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.

Spinach Risotto

I recently bought some medium grain rice by mistake. While it tasted alright and my son loved it, I figured I would try something different with it. I found out that a lot of people use medium grain rice to make risotto. I'd never eaten risotto before, let alone cooked it, but I thought I'd give it a try. I used a recipe I found on Joelen's Culinary Adventures because it was simple and I had all the necessary ingredients already. The only variations I made from the original recipe was using the medium grain rice instead of the arborio rice, and I used more broth (probably because of the different rice). The recipe that follows is the recipe as I prepared it.

Spinach Risotto

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups medium grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped frozen spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil over medium heat. Add rice to pan and allow to toast up for a few minutes. When rice has turned slightly golden, add 1/2 - 1 cup of broth. Allow rice to absorb the broth and stir. Continue to add small amounts of broth slowly to the rice when its been absorbed. When all the liquid has been used, fold in spinach. Check for doneness and serve.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Best Ever Homemade Pancakes

So, there is no photo of the pancakes. First, we all know what pancakes are supposed to look like. Second, I can't make a pretty pancake to save my life. They taste good, they just don't have that uniform golden brown-ness that makes a pancake look good. So you'll just have to trust me and make these for yourself. I found this recipe a few years ago. It was probably the third or fourth pancake recipe I tried, and it's the only one I've made since. It's easy and delicious, what more can you ask for?

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mix the butter, milk and eggs. Slowly stir into the dry ingredients. Let sit at least ten minutes before cooking.

As for cooking directions, trial and error is best. I use an electric griddle that works best when set around 350 degrees. Do not try to flip the pancakes until the bubbles pop and the holes remain (if that makes any sense to you, I don't know how to describe it better).

Chicken Fried Rice

I have made this recipe a few times now. I originally got it from Joelen's Culinary Adventures. If you haven't checked out her blog yet, you should, she is quite the busy foodie. I never thought that I could make a decent fried rice until I followed her instructions. The other night we were stuck on what to prepare for dinner, and we realized we had leftover chicken, rice from the Pork Chops in Tomatoes we'd just made, and veggies in the freezer. So we made up a quick Chicken Fried Rice that hubby says is better than at the restaraunts. I skipped a few ingredients from the original (because of an upset stomach from too much movie popcorn and laziness), which is listed above, and have the recipe we used below. Even with the limited seasonings in my version it is an incredibly flavorful dish. You could easily make this with any variety of meats and veggies.

Chicken Fried Rice
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cups day old rice

Heat oil in a wok or large fry pan. Stir fry chicken until crispy, push to side of pan. Crack the eggs into the pan and scramble until cooked through. Add rice to the pan, crumbling it up as you do so to seperate the grains. Add soy sauce. Add frozen vegetables and heat through.

Pork Chops in Tomatoes

This is a simple and tasty meal that's also extremely healthy. It tastes even better when made with home-canned tomatoes, but would work well with store-bought as well. This is a dish that my parents made all the time while I was growing up that I would never eat, but I love it now.

Pork Chops in Tomatoes
  • 6 pork chops from loin
  • 1 quart canned tomatoes (mine included celery, garlic, peppers and onion)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pork chops into small chunks, approximately 2 inches by 2 inches. In a Dutch oven, brown the pork in some olive oil. Remove from heat and pour tomatoes over top. Cover, and bake for approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Pork pieces should be fork tender at this point. Serve over rice.

Frito Soup

This is a quick and easy meal to prepare, and is one that we usually will make on our camping trips (we're RV campers). My husband got the recipe from one of his coworkers, and after a couple of slight modifications this is the way we prepare it. For me, it's essentially an excuse to dump all sorts of Fritos on top of my dinner, and don't let the photo fool you - I added more Fritos after I took the picture.

Frito Soup
  • 1 pound ground beef, browned
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 bag Fritos

Combine all ingredients except Fritos in a saucepan and heat through. Depending on the consistency of the salsa you use and desired thickness, you may want to drain the corn or add water to the soup. Serve topped with Fritos.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

My husband is allowing me to blog one of his meals tonight. This is a recipe that my husband got from a co-worker years ago. The original recipe was different and over the years it has morphed into what we make today. It's not your traditional jambalaya, but it is a very tasty one-pot meal. Here at home we usually serve it with tortilla chips, when my husband makes it at work he usually serves cornbread.

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken (can be a whole chicken or boneless, skinless breasts)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 16 ounce cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 hot pepper, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste

Boil the chicken in the water along with salt and pepper. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken, strain broth. If using a whole chicken, remove meat from bones and skin. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. If using chicken breasts you may want to add some bouillon to the water to make a more flavorful broth.

In the same pot, brown the sausage. Drain fat. Add in the chicken, broth and all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

For the best flavor, use the same pot for all steps of the recipe.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Whiskey Slush

This is a drink recipe that comes from my husband's family. I'm not sure where it originated, as they have been making it for years. It's something he likes to make every year around New Year's.

Whiskey Slush
  • 1 12 ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 12 ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 cups water
  • 7 tea bags
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 cups Kessler's whiskey
  • Faygo Rock N Rye

Brew the 7 tea bags using the first 2 cups of water. Mix all remaining ingredients except the Faygo together in an empty, plastic one gallon ice cream pail (or other large freezer safe container). Freeze. Serve by scooping some of the slush mixture into a glass and topping with Faygo Rock N Rye.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Tortilla Black Bean Soup

I found this recipe on Martha Stewart's webpage. We're currently trying to cut down on the meat we eat, so this seemed like a good soup to try. I made very few adjustments, but it would be good with some ground sausage or shredded chicken added in if you wanted a heartier meal.

I made tortilla strips instead of crushing tortilla chips to make it more like a restaurant soup.

Tortilla Black Bean Soup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 14.5 ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 10 ounce package frozen corn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • tortilla strips

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook garlic and chili powder until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beans, tomatoes (with juice), broth, corn, and water; season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Let simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until flavors are well blended. Serve topped with tortilla strips.

Semi-homemade Tortilla Strips

  • corn tortillas
  • olive oil in a mister or cooking spray
  • seasonings of your choice (I use a combination of things like chili powder, cayenne, pepper, garlic powder, salt)

Cut tortillas into strips. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spray tops of tortillas with olive oil or cooking spray and shake on seasoning. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 8 minutes, chips will crisp some as they cool (if using a dark baking sheet you may need to cook less).