Monday, February 23, 2009

Fantastic Black Bean Chili

{So good. So easy.}
  • 1 Tbls. Oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Ib. Ground Beef
  • 3 (15 oz) Cans Black Beans
  • 1 (14 oz) Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tbls. Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbls. Dry Oregano
  • 1 Tbls. Dry Basil
  • 1 Tbls. Red Wine Vinegar

In large pot, heat oil. Add beef, onion, and garlic. Cook until meat is done. Add all other ingredients and simmer 1 hour or more.

{This is a good 3 month supply recipe, since most of the ingredients are easy to store.}

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Old Black Pot

I have poo, poo'd the idea of having seperate pots for sweet and salty dishes but last night's meal has helped me see the light! Previously I baked cinnamon rolls in my 10 inch oven (see below post) then last night I baked chicken breasts with green chili, onion and garlic. This dish had a very strange taste...I mean it's edible but where is the "Spanish" flavor. I doctored it with cumin, oregano, garlic salt and yet there persisted an oddly sweet taste. Perhaps this dilema can be solved by using foil as a barrier for sweet dishes. I'll update this after I experiment a bit more.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Crockpot Banana Nut Bread

This is a recipe, that has been altered just a tad, from 365daysofcrockpot.blogspot.c0m. This is the bread baking nicely...notice all of the moisture on the lid.Bread is very moist. If you increase the size of the picture you may wonder what in the world I have added to the recipe...that would be cracked wheat and pecans.
Original Bread Recipe
1/3 c. butter
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
1-3/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
I added 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 c. pecans. I also substituted flour; 1 c. white, and 3/4 c. cracked wheat. The longer this sat on the cutting board the softer the wheat kernals bacame. I liked it, Mel was iffy.
Spray crock with nonstick spray and dust with flour.
In mixing bowl; cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar, eggs, mashed bananas, vanilla; beat til smooth. Sift dry ingredients together then add slowly to cream mixture. Add nuts last.
Pour into crock, cover with lid and bake on high 2 to 3 hours. Test with toothpick for doneness.
Let cool in crock then tip out on plate, cutting board or whatever.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

In mixing bowl put...1 C. Regular Shortening, 1 C. White Sugar, 1 C. Brown Sugar, 1 tsp. Vanilla Flavoring, 2 eggs....Mix well. Add: 1 C. Peanut Butter (creamy or crunchy) Blend well.
In a seperate bowl put 3 C. sifted flour and 2 tsp. baking soda. Mix this then add to batter mix.
In a muffin tin for mini muffins drop dough balls...I think these are about 1 &1/2 tsp.

I then pressed them flat.
Bake these in 375* oven. Approx. 8 min. These will puff up and then fall in the middle...just right for these...

As soon as you place cookies in oven get busy unwrapping cups! When cookies are baked or nearly so remove from oven and let cool just a bit then pop the cups in the center.
Or just make plain old peanut butter cookies! These are fantastic!

What you need for Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Mini muffin tin
Peanut butter cups
1 cup regular shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking soda
Bake @ 375* between 8 - 10 minutes.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Easy Oniony Crockpot Porkchops

4 half inch thick porkchops
1 10.5 oz. Can Cream of Mushroom Soup, undiluted
1/2 pkg. dry onion soup mix
Mix the last 2 ingredients together in the crockpot. Add meat layering the soup in between pieces, like so-

Cook on low 4 to 6 hours. Serve with mashed pototoes and veggies.

This is an easy meal to throw together before church, and the sauce makes a great gravy.

College brainiacks say, "Yum!"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Meatloaf...alittleofthisandthat Syle

In a large bowl mix 3 lbs. ground meat (this happens to be oryx), 1/4 lb. sausage, 1pkg. onion soup mix, 1 large carrot (grated or chopped fine), a handful of oatmeal, 2 Tbls. dried onion, 1 slice bread, 1 egg, 1 Tbls. worchestershire sauce, 2 Tbls. catsup, 1 Tbls. mustard, 1/2 cup milk, pepper and seasoning salt. Oops...I almost forgot....parsley flakes. Mix until well blended.
Use half of the meat mix and mold it to your pan...again I love this in cast iron.

On top of this I sliced about 1/4 lb. of cheese, 1 can sliced mushrooms, and green chili.

Top it with the remaining meat mix. It should be like a big, stuffed hamburger patty. Pull it away from the sides of the pan and with the edge of your hand divide the patty into quarters. Not too don't want to expose the stuffing.

Top the patty with bacon and place in the oven and bake for about an hour at 425 degrees. Uncovered.

In a small sauce pan mix equal parts catsup and honey. Heat to blend. When the meatloaf is done spread this mix on top and turn on the broiler for a few minutes. This is also good to spoon over individual servings.

I apologize...I totally forgot to take a picture until after we served up to the Elders. Now I know this looks really oily but it's not (I mean after all it's still in the pan not on your plate.) If you are concerned about that sorta thing use low fat cheese and leave off the bacon.

I love this! I hope you do too. Let me know your variations and/or stuffing ideas.

Cinnamon Rolls

Using the Monkey Bread recipe below: I used the other half of the bread dough and made cinnamon rolls. Roll out dough approx. 1/4 inch thick and spread butter on it. Top with cinnamon, brown sugar...if you spill toppings don't worry just toss it on with the rest. ;) Add raisens, and nuts.
Roll up.

Now get some fishing line (preferrably clean) and use it to cut your rolls. Take an end in each hand, pull it taut and slide under roll approx. 1 -1/2 inch, cross string over top, switch hands and pull.
Viola...this will give you a clean cut.
Place in oiled pan. Smash down to about 1 inch thick. Let rise and fill pan.

Half of the dough filled 2 ten inch dutchovens.

With lids on bake at 375 degrees until done (just until beginning to turn tan on top..20 to 25 min.). (Don't over bake because they will finish on the cooling rack.)
While still warm but not hot take out of dutchovens and place on foil. When cooled, add icing.
Have you ever tried elastic in the waistband? ;)

Monkey Bread...MmmmmMmmmm!

In mixing bowl place 2 cups HOT water, 2 Tbls. butter flavored Crisco shortening, 1/2 cup sugar, 1&1/2 tsp. salt. This should bring water temp down enough that it will not kill your yeast. Add 1 Tbls. or 1 package yeast. Let yeast dissolve and begin to work. I then put 5 cups flour in and begin to mix.I continue to add flour by half cups until I get to the right texture. (Usually about 6 to 6-1/2 cups...of course because I don't measure very well you may need more.) You want the dough to be soft yet not sticky.
This recipe will make 2 loaves of bread. But this is usually how I use the dough. Divide the dough in half. Roll it out on a floured surface until it's about 1/4 inch thick. Take your pizza cutter and very carefully cut it into strips about 2 inches wide, ...

Then cross cut at an angle. (Use your own judgement while cutting, just be gentle with your counter top!)
Melt a cube of butter (or whatever amount you will need.)

Dip individual pieces of dough in butter then place in baking pan. (These will be swimming in butter by the time you're done.)
I like crunchy crust so cast iron is my favorite pan to bake this bread in. Layer pieces...I generally don't do more than 3 or 4 layers. What I learned last night....I baked this on the top shelf (right under the broiler) because I had two other dutchovens in the oven also...more on that later. The top was really crunchy and the bottom pieces were very nicely baked, soft and saturated with heavenly butter! Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes.

You can use this recipe for rolls, loaves, and another favorite of mine...roll out, use a drinking glass (whatever works and depending on how large you want) cut into circles. Again, dip in butter and bake....great little snackers, if larger; hamburger buns.
Hope you all enjoy!
PS. You may want to buy a larger size pair of pants! ;) And keep the lecithin handy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Refried Beans without the Refry

Today I learned to make refried beans, and my husband can't stop raving about them, so I thought I'd share the recipe. I'll post a picture when I figure out how to take a semi-cute shot of a food that is not very picturesque. Until then, please use your imagination!

Here's the link to the allrecipes recipe I followed.

And here is what I did after reading the comments:
Refried Beans without the Refry {crockpot recipe}
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 C. dry pinto beans, rinsed
1 C. dry black beans, rinsed
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 Tbls. minced garlic
1 Tbls. Salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
9 C. water
Step 1: Sort the beans carefully, looking for rocks or anything else that shouldn't be there. It only takes a minute and could save a trip to the dentist! Rinse the beans.
Step 2: Peel and halve the onion.
Step 3: Seed and chop the jalapeno, using a plastic baggy as a glove.
Step 4: Add minced garlic - I use the pre-minced stuff from a jar (walmart brand) and I love it. So much quicker than mincing by hand or using one of those press thingies. But if you must, mince away!
Step 5: Add seasonings.
Step 6: Add water.
{Maybe I should have clarified that you would be putting all of these things in a crockpot, preferably a 6 quart, but it might fit in a four quart if you are a very lucky person.}
Step 7: Turn crockpot to high, cover and cook for eight hours adding water as needed.
Step 8: Strain the beans, saving the water by catching it in another bowl under the strainer.
Step 9: Mash, adding reserved bean water as needed. I used my kitchenaid mixer for this and added about one and a quarter cups of water.
I think all those steps might make it look harder than it actually was. Short story: Put a couple of things in the crockpot in the morning. Let it simmer all day. Mash in kitchenaid. Feast. Easy- peasy. You can freeze some of this if you need to. It does make a lot.
I don't know why, but I was intimidated by the thought of making refried beans for a long time. Maybe it was the whole lard thing. Seriously, what is lard and where do you find it? This recipe is great in it's simplicity, and it tastes wonderful. The jalapeno gives it just enough kick without being too spicy - for adults that is. My two-year-old didn't seem to dig it, so maybe next time I'll try it without the hot stuff and see how it tastes.