Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chicken and Sausage with Greens and White Beans

I love everything about this meal!  The taste, the colors, you name it.  Definitely a keeper.
Chicken and Sausage with Greens and White Beans
Recipe modified from Brandon Boudet

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt
red-pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb. andouille sausage, sliced (I used turkey sausage)
1/2 c. yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. fennel seed
1 can chicken broth
1 bunch kale, trimmed and chopped
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Season chicken with salt and red pepper flakes.
Heat large pot on medium high before adding oil.
Add chicken to hot oil and cook until seared on one side, about 3 minutes.
Turn them and add the sausage, cooking and stirring about 5 minutes more, until sausage is browned.

Add the onion, carrots, garlic, and fennel seed, sauteing until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add the broth and bring to a boil.
Rinse and drain beans.
Add beans and kale to the pot, and stir gently.

Simmer about 30 minutes, until kale and carrots are tender.
Stir in lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve over noodles or with bread to soak up the juices.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bottled Apple Pie Filling

Every year I make a dozen or so jars of this:

Truthfully, I NEVER use it to make apple pie.  I always end up using them to make THE BEST TASTING apple crisp!

There are two recipes below.  One uses Cornstarch, and the other uses Ultra Gel.  (Ultra Gel is a modified corn starch).  The Ultra Gel recipe is much better - better tasting, better looking, and no clumping.
I've included both because sometimes I don't have one or the other ingredient.

Apple Pie Filling (Ultra Gel)
5 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. modified corn starch (ultra gel)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 c. cold water
5 c. apple juice
3/4 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. nutmeg
Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large pot.
Add water and apple juice.
Stir and cook on medium-high until thick and bubbly.
Add lemon juice and boil for 1 minute.

Pour over peeled, cored and sliced apples in jars.
Makes 7 quarts.
Steam for 25 minutes.
Remember to adjust for altitude.

Apple Pie Filling (Cornstarch)
1 tsp. salt
4 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon
10 c. water
Mix all ingredients together and cook until clear.
Then add:
6 Tbsp. lemon juice

Pour over peeled, cored and sliced apples in jars.
Makes 7 quarts.
Steam for 25 minutes.
Remember to adjust for altitude.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad

This doesn't really taste like pizza (at all), but it has all the same ingredients.  Switch out the noodles for the crust and you are good to go.
Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad
Menu Managed Original
1/2 lb. pasta (I used elbows, but I think I'll go for rotini next)
2 c. mozzarella cheese, cubed or shredded
5 oz. mini pepperoni's
1 can olives, sliced
1/4 c. red onion, diced
1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/2 - 3/4 c. Italian salad dressing (to taste)
salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and place in large bowl.
Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Grape Juice (Bottled)

Grape juice is my absolute favorite thing to can!
So much better than what you can get in the store.
Bottled Grape Juice
Rinse grapes in sink full of cold water after removing all leaves and the majority of the stems.
Place rinsed grapes in juicer and fill the bottom half with water.

Steam grapes for 1 hour (do not start timer until steam is consistently coming out).
Juice may start to overflow before 1 hour; check after 20 minutes, and fill one or two jars.

Place juice in sterilized bottles and top with sterilized lids.  They will seal themselves.
For a much more detailed description of how to bottle grape juice (with lots of pictures), click here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Vegetable Ribbons

I like preparing veggies this way, simply for the fact that they look more exciting.
I especially love doing this with carrots.  They taste way better to me this way.
Vegetable Ribbons
4 carrots
2 small zucchini
2 small summer squash
1 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper to taste

Use a vegetable peeler to strip vegetables into thin slices.
Fry in butter until warmed through.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cowboy Omelets

The husband went out for breakfast and ordered the Cowboy Omelet.
He came home and made one himself;
Again, and again, and again...
These are definitely filling enough for both of us.  Last time we made these it was for dinner.

Cowboy Omelets
scrambled eggs
hash browns
red and green bell peppers
ham, sausage or bacon
shredded cheese of choice (we like cheddar and pepperjack)
diced red onions
salt and pepper

Scramble as many eggs as you prefer (I can't even eat a whole omelet made with 2 eggs), with a splash of milk.
Fry hash browns.
Pour egg mixture into a large, greased skillet over medium-low heat.
Season with salt and pepper.
On one half of the egg mixture, spread browns, peppers, meat, tomatoes, onions and cheese.
Cover with lid until egg is cooked through.
Remove lid and sandwich egg over the filling.
Cook until cheese is melted.
Serve with salsa, if desired.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stuffed Grilled Burgers

Stuffed Grilled Burgers
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef or turkey
4 slices bacon, cooked
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices cheese, cubed
4 slices onion
liquid smoke (optional)

Mix meat, salt and pepper, and divide into 4 balls.
Make a well with your fingers in each ball, and shove a piece of bacon, cheese and onion inside.
Close the meat around the insides; you should be left with a large stuffed meatball.
Flatten out and cook on grill until done; sprinkle liquid smoke on while cooking.