Category Archives: Recipes

Mom’s Stuffed Green Peppers

4 med. Green Peppers
1 # Ground Beef
1/3 c chopped onion
salt
pepper
1 # can tomatoes
1/2 c water
1/2 c uncooked long grain rice (not the minute rice)
1 tsp worcestershire (I tend to use a lot more than that!)
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese

Cut off tops of peppers; remove seeds and membrane. Precook green pepper cups in boiling salted water about 5 minutes; drain. (for crisper peppers, omit precooking)

Cook ground beef and onion till meat is lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add tomatoes, water, rice & worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer till rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cheese, shredded (about 1 c) Stuff peppers; stand upright in baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.

I love this dinner! I like to add baked potatoes and a salad to finish it off, and some fresh baked bread! If you know the next day is going to be busy and you may not have time to get dinner together, this is a great one to do. Make it up the night before and put it in the fridge. Add just a couple extra minutes onto the cooking time!

***Notes

  • Mom has renamed her recipe to “Hidden Pepper” and uses only 1 pepper these days. She puts the single pepper in the middle of the pan, fills it with the mix and surrounds it with the remaining mix. I mostly do it this way, also, except that I use 2 peppers, but I usually double the meat mix, and it’s a great lunch the next day. 🙂
  • I often make life easier for myself and cook up a large amount of rice on a weekend for use throughout the week. Then I’ll just use a few big scoops of the already cooked rice, omitting the extra water in the recipe. I’ve also been known to skip the canned tomatoes and chop up the tomatoes that are sitting on the counter, begging to be used.
  • Admittedly, I don’t follow this (or most) recipe exactly. I add things all the time, or change it here and there. But this is the basic recipe and a good starting point for budding cooks.

4 Comments

Filed under Main Dishes, Recipes

Gettin’ Pickled

Two weeks ago was “pickle-makin’ weekend” at my sis’s house. I joined my parents, my sis and her foster daughter, and my own kids (who had arrived on Friday afternoon with my parents, as I was at a training and not arriving until nearly midnight) for the weekend on our quest to get pickled!

Mom & Dad picked up the cukes and other supplies needed for the pickling extravaganza, including snipping all the dill from the plants in my garden (I was hoping that big ol’ thing that was out-of-control was going to be useful!)

We had a great time all day, the kids were helpful… the girls were helpful by staying out of our way (at least I think that’s what they have made themselves believe. 😉 ) and the boy was helpful and learned how to make pickles, like my Great Grandma used to make!!! I’ll share the recipe with you, and you can see my sis’s video in her post about the weekend (linked in the first paragraph). As a reward for the all the boy’s hard work, the girls did all the dishes while he got to sit and relax. And he got to be the one to try the very first pickle out of the jars!!!

So, why did I wait 2 weeks to tell you about gettin’ pickled? Because it is 2 weeks from pickling day that the hard work pays off and you get to open the first jar and give them a try. Which means that TODAY, while my sis and her foster daughter were here, we opened the jar and watched as the boy child chose his pickle and took the first bite. And it was good. (And he is still alive, so we must have done it right, huh?)

 

 

Want to make your own pickles? Here’s the recipe:

Mom’s Dill Pickles
(Well, my Mom’s Mom’s… so that would be my Great Grandma)

Put 1 quart cider vinegar, 1 quart water, and ½ cup pickling salt together in a non-reactive**** saucepan and boil for a few minutes. Then pour the mixture over small cucumbers which are packed tightly into jars along with garlic, peppers, and fresh dill. (Ratios to your taste.) Process in water bath for 15 minutes.

I got to take home 28 of the 54 jars of pickles, because of my larger family. For those of you who think this sounds like a lot of pickles… well, today for lunch, we ate half a jar. My kiddos love to take pickles for their lunches and I like to put them out as a snack when we have people over, and then of course there is potato salad, sliced pickles on sandwiches, chopped pickles in tuna sandwiches… the list could go on and on… So… I think we might have enough to last us the year…

::Notes taken from my sis’s post:

** We are not bound by these guidelines, but if we want to enter things in the county fair, they must be made to USDA standards. Oh, and it’s meant to be safer.
*** Ratios of water/vinegar have been changed from the original to be in line with what we made. Dad also points out that some of the reasoning for this is that ‘in the olden days’ vinegar was more acidic that it is today.
**** Non-reactive saucepans are a stainless steel, chip-free enamelware pan, or glass pans.

3 Comments

Filed under Canning, Cooking With Love, Recipes

Hearty Breakfast Cookies

It’s time for Back-to-School! With Back-to-School comes the recreational soccer league for my kiddos. To me, this means getting the freezer stocked up with easy to grab-no-go snacks, breakfasts and lunch items. I planned on doing some of that this past weekend, however, when I went to make my baked goods, I discovered I was out of flour (by out, I mean I only had a few cups left… plus lots of whole wheat flour…), so my baking endeavor has been postponed until Labor Day Weekend (a fitting weekend for laboring in the kitchen, wouldn’t you agree?).

I have been asked many times for the breakfast cookie that I use. Since I have not posted it on this blog yet, I will do that today so that you can all join me in making these cookies for yourself and your families next weekend. I generally double the recipe and then I wrap each cookie in wrap and bag them all up for the freezer. Wrapping them individually allows you to grab 1 and not have to thaw the whole bunch of them. They thaw quickly, but you can also pop them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds (1 or 2 cookies at a time, just what you need for the day). These are a favorite for the kiddos for breakfast, lunch and after school snacks. I like to grab one for a late-afternoon pick-me-up at the office.

Enjoy! (This recipe was originally posted at AllRecipes.com and when I printed it for my recipe box, it called for buttermilk instead of water. I suggest using buttermilk!)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup raisins

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs and water.
  2. Mix together flours, oats, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix into peanut butter mixture. Stir in raisins. Drop by ice cream scoopfuls 2 1/2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 18 – 20 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Store in an airtight container.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Breakfast, Cooking With Love, Recipes

Jerk Chicken Salad

I am just back from a wonderfully relaxing weekend at the beach with some of my favorite people! While there, I made dinner one night for everyone (Does that surprise you? I’m at the beach and I wanted to cook for my friends…) So… one of my favorite summer meals is Jerk Chicken Salad. It is simple and versatile.  The recipe is from The Pampered Chef and calls for serving with romaine lettuce. You’ll see in the Cook’s Tips at the end of the recipe that you can serve with pasta instead, which is what I prefer. On this occasion, however, we had a friend with a wheat allergy, so stuck with the lettuce version. When I do this at home, I like to use whole wheat rotini (corkscrew) pasta and then the leftovers are quite good served cold for lunch the next day.

And now, ON TO THE RECIPE!!! (As requested by some of the ladies this weekend…)

The Pampered Chef ®
Jerk Chicken Salad
Recipe
 1 tablespoon  Garlic Oil or olive oil 
 1 tablespoon  Jamaican Jerk Rub 
 1 pound chicken tenders 
 1 medium pineapple 
 1 red bell pepper 
 3 green onions (white and light green parts only) 
 2 heads romaine lettuce 
 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained 
 6 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled 
Dressing
 2 limes 
 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise 
 2 tablespoons pineapple preserves 
  1. In Classic Batter Bowl, whisk together oil and jerk rub with Stainless Whisk. Add chicken tenders; mix well to coat and set aside. Peel pineapple and cut in half lengthwise with Santoku Knife; reserve half for another use. Cut remaining pineapple in half lengthwise and remove core. Slice crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Heat Grill Pan over medium heat 5 minutes. Add chicken; cook 3-5 minutes on each side, turning once. Remove from pan. Add pineapple to pan. Cook 1 minute on each side, turning once; remove from pan. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces using Utility Knife; set chicken and pineapple aside.
  2. Thinly slice bell pepper and green onions on Cutting Board with Measure Cups using Santoku Knife. Arrange 12 large lettuce leaves around Simple Additions® Large Round Platter. Chop remaining lettuce; set vegetables aside. Drain and rinse beans using Strainer; set aside.
  3. For dressing, zest one lime using Microplane® Adjustable Grater. Juice both limes into Small Batter Bowl using Citrus Press. Add lime zest, mayonnaise and pineapple preserves to batter bowl; mix well.
  4. Layer chopped lettuce, beans, bell pepper, chicken, pineapple, bacon and green onions over each lettuce leaf. Drizzle dressing over salad.
Yield: 6 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 320, Total Fat 16 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 60 mg, Carbohydrate 24 g, Protein 24 g, Sodium 580 mg, Fiber 5 g
Cook’s Tip: If desired, 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips, can be substituted for the chicken tenders. To microwave bacon, line Medium Bar Pan with sheet of Parchment Paper. Arrange bacon slices in a single layer on bar pan; cover with another sheet of Parchment Paper. Microwave on HIGH 4-6 minutes, checking after each 30-second interval and turning once with Bamboo Tongs. Remove bacon to paper towel-lined plate to drain. For a kid-friendly version of this recipe, prepare recipe as directed, omitting lettuce. Cook 1 pound rotini pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and toss with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add remaining ingredients; drizzle with dressing and toss gently.
© The Pampered Chef, Ltd., 2001

6 Comments

Filed under Cooking With Love, Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads

Perfecting Perfection

You hear it all the time… things like “Why mess with perfection” and “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”… well, tonight I not only messed with perfection, I fixed it! I’d love to just let this picture speak for itself, but I’ll tell you what is in the sandwich so you can create your own “Perfected Perfection”…

Perfected Perfection

To create your own melt-in-your-mouth perfection, start with your favorite bread (we used a whole grain wheat bread). Toast it, if desired. Spread some avocado onto the bread (I use this in place of mayo), then layer it with bacon, lettuce, more avocado slices, tomato, and sprouts. Tonight I had some arugula and asian greens left from the weekend, so I topped it off with extra greens!  Now THAT’S “Perfected Perfection ”

Leave a Comment

Filed under Cooking With Love, Sandwiches

What’s in the Freezer?

I’m in “stop spend” mode right now. I go through these cycles of buying too much food… and when I realize I can no longer fit anything else into the pantry and/or freezer (and often refrigerator), I put the family on “stop spend” and then we take stock of our food and create our menus using only what we have in the house, going to the grocery store for only milk, bread and possibly some fresh produce.

So… what does a “stop spend” menu look like, and is it really possible to create a full week of meals without going to the store?! Keep reading this week to see what we create from our “stock on-hand”. For those of you that did not follow my previous blog, you may be wondering if it’s really possible to have that much food in the house, and really not need to go shopping for a whole week. Let me tell ya… I’ve done this challenge in the past for 2 weeks and longer! It’s an awful, wonderful thing, my love of all things food!

On to tonight’s “stop spend” dinner: Creamy Pasta with Roasted Vegetables! This dinner required nothing from the store, because I had it from last week’s shopping trip (or from previous trips…that pantry is pretty full!)

  • Whole Wheat Pasta (pantry)
  • Shrimp & Scallops (freezer) cooked in butter & garlic (fridge & fresh garlic keeper)
  • Asparagus, Zucchini, Mushrooms (fridge), drizzled with Olive Oil & tossed with garlic (pantry & fresh garlic keeper)– roasted on stoneware bar pan at 425F for about 25 minutes
  • Whipping Cream (fridge)– simmered on low to thicken
  • Fresh Basil (snipped from my window container of herbs… but you can use dried also, just simmer it in with the cream)
  • Tomatoes (sitting on the counter–did you know tomatoes lose much of their flavor and they have a different texture when stored in the refrigerator?)
  • Fresh Parmesan (fridge)

Toss all this together for creamy goodness! Serve with a salad and/or garlic toast, if desired. I like this with whatever vegetables I happen to have on-hand, and usually don’t add any kind of meat. I compromised with the family and added the shrimp & scallops this time… but next time, it will be a perfect “Meatless Monday” kinda meal!

3 Comments

Filed under Eating What we Have, Main Dishes, Menus, Recipes

Baked Walleye

Recipe published in The Best of Country Cooking 1998
 
BAKED WALLEYE
Joyce Szymanski, Monroe, Michigan
 
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4cup chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 cup V-8 juice
  • 1 pound walleye fillets

In a saucepan, combine first eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Place fish in a greased 13-in.x9-inx2-in. baking pan. Pour vegetable mixture over the fish. Cover and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

::::NOTE FROM CELESTE:::: I used Tilapia for the fish, and doubled the juice and vegetables, because it is really great served over rice! 🙂

Our dinner was rounded out by rice, a big salad and some rosemary & garlic bread!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Recipes

Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast Burritos
  • Large Flour Tortillas (I bought 2 packs of 16 each, but did not use them all)
  • Breakfast Sausage
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 2 cans black beans
  • Salsa
  • Colby-Jack cheese
  • Plastic Wrap

Gather all ingredients in one place

Brown sausage in a large skillet (mine is 12")

While the sausage is cooking, grate cheese (or set the kids to work on grating the cheese, which is what I always do…) and drain & rinse the black beans

Set browned sausage aside. Scramble eggs in a large bowl. Heat the same skillet used for the sausage and pour the eggs in. Cook and stir until cooked/scrambled.

Pour the beans and sausage on top of the eggs in the skillet and mix well. (Why bother dirtying another bowl for mixing, right?)

Warm tortillas so they fold easily (You’ll want to warm just a few at a time so they don’t cool before you’re ready for them). Lay 1 tortilla out on your counter, and scoop about 1/2 cup of the egg mixture onto one side (don’t use anymore than that, or they won’t roll very well, but you could do a little less and get more burritos out of the mix, if you wanted to)
 
 
Top with a little salsa and shredded cheese. Then fold, starting at the end with the "stuff" on it, then folding in the sides and roll until it looks like a burrito. Once it’s all rolled/folded up, wrap in plastic wrap.
 
 
Continue until all the mixture is gone, or until you run out of tortillas, whichever comes first. You can, of course, personalize these to suit your family’s tastes. Leave out the salsa, leave out the sausage, add veggies, add shredded potatoes… you are limited only by your imagination!
 
Once you’ve finished all the rolling, place the wrapped burritos into a large freezer-safe container or freezer bag. When ready to eat, just unwrap, and wrap in a microwave-safe paper towel. Microwave on high 1-3 minutes (You’ll have to test it, and it will depend on how much or how little stuffing you put in, and on your microwave, too….)
 
Enjoy for breakfast, after-school snacks, or late-night snacks!
 
This is a perfect recipe to have on your "Power Cooking" rotation, and is very budget friendly!!!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Breakfast, Recipes

Scalloped Brussels Sprouts

Scalloped Brussels Sprouts Recipe
(From Canadian Living Holiday Best Issue)

2 lb brussels sprouts
2T butter
1 onion, chopped
1/4 t. dried thyme
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

TOPPING:

1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/2 c. shredded Gruyere, Cheddar or Gouda cheese
2T butter

Trim brussels sprouts; cut X in base of each. In saucepan of boiling salted water, cook brussels sprouts for 7 to 9 mins, or until tender-crisp. Drain and chill under cold running water; press out excess water with towel. Cut in half if large; place in shallow greased 8-cup casserole dish. In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; cook onion and thyme, stirring occasionally for 5 min or until softened. Sprinkle with flour; cook, stirring, for 1 min. Add milk; cook, stirring, for 6 to 8 mins or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, salt and pepper; pour over brussels sprouts.

TOPPING: In bowl, stir together bread crumbs, cheese and butter. (Make ahead: Cover brussels sprouts and topping, refrigerate for up to 1 day.)

Cover and bake brussels sprouts in 375°F oven for 30 mins. Uncover and sprinkle with topping; bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

 
::Notes from Celeste– I don’t really enjoy bread crumb toppings, so we just topped this with the cheese for the last 20 minutes, completely skipping the breadcrumbs. We plan to make this again, adding different cheeses, or using different cheese altogether (Gruyere is a bit pricey… but I had some left from Holiday cooking). We also think it would be really great with sliced garlic added in with the onions.
 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Recipes

Tamale Pie

Here’s an oldie from childhood. It’s always been a good "go-to" meal for me. Adding salad to the side and/or chips & salsa rounds out the meal for us. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
 
1# ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 12 oz can (1 1/2 c) whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 c pitted ripe olives, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbl sugar
2-3 tsp chili powder
dash pepper

6 oz sharp process American Cheese, shredded (1 1/2 c)
3/4 c yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
2 c cold water
1 Tbl butter

Cook meat, onion, and green pepper in a large skillet till meat is lightly browned and vegetables are tender. Stir in tomato sauce, corn, olives, garlic, sugar, 1 tsp salt, chilipowder, and pepper. Simmer 20-25 min or til thick. Add cheese; stir til melted. Turn into greased 9x9x2" baking dish.

Make cornmeal topper: Stir cornmeal and 1/2 tsp salt into cold water. Cook and stir til thick. Add butter; mix well. Spoon over hot meat mixture.

Bake casserole in moderate oven (375°F) about 40 minutes.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Recipes