Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday 1/31

We are going to Michigan for the day only. Tom's mom is in rehab from her last fall. She is at the point where she is to live with someone or go to a nursing home. Well, we get her! So we are going home to see how far she has to go in rehab and see what all we will have to bring back here for her to live comfortably. We are all looking forward to this actually. I think her quality of life will be better and who wouldn't want to be around 3 lovely grandsons????

What does this have to do with food? Well, there is a tavern, yes a tavern, we like to eat at back home. Dan's Tavern. We go early and suffer through the smoke to get their burgers. They are make fresh daily with fresh Ann Arbor Meat Market ground beef. We have found NOTHING like them anywhere. So we will no doubt stop on our way back to Indiana for dinner at Dan's.

Friday 1/30

Merlot Braised Short Ribs

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
5 pounds boneless beef short ribs, or 7 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil; divided use
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 small yellow onions, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 bottle (750 milliliters) merlot
4 cups Beef Stock
12 ounces cipollini or pearl onions (12 to 16 onions)
1/4 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar

1. Soak dried mushrooms in 1 cup warm water until soft, at least 5 minutes. Drain mushrooms in a sieve set over a small bowl. Set mushrooms aside. Strain soaking liquid through a paper coffee filter, then set aside soaking liquid.
2. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
3. Dry ribs with paper towels, then liberally season them with salt and pepper.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy ovenproof pot or roasting pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches if needed to avoid crowding the pot, add the ribs and brown well on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Using tongs ora slotted spoon, transfer ribs to a platter and set aside.
5. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot. Add carrots, celery, yellow onions, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to caramelize, 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Add bay leaf, thyme, and tomato paste to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
7. Return ribs and any accumulated juice to the pot, stacking them to fit, if necessary. Add soaked mushrooms, mushroom soaking liquid, and merlot. Add 3 to 4 cups of the stock, enough that ribs are covered. Heat ribs over medium-high heatuntil liquid begins to simmer.
8. Cover the pot tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake ribs until tender when pierced with a fork, about 3 hours. Check the pot about every 30 minutes to make sure the sauce is gently simmering but not boiling. If needed, adjust the oven temperature to maintain a slow simmer.
9. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl of water with ice cubes and set aside.
10. Bring a medium-size saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until their skins loosen, about 2 minutes. Drain onions, then plunge them into the bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, peel onions, cutting a small sliver off the root end and pulling the skin off. Set onions aside.
11. Remove ribs from sauce, place them on a platter, and loosely cover them with aluminum foil to keep warm.
12. Let sauce rest for a few minutes until the fat rises to the surface. Degrease the sauce by skimming off the fat with a metal spoon or ladle.
13. Pour sauce through a strainer and discard the solids, including the bay leaf. Wash the pot and return thesauce to it. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat.
14. Add vinegar and onions to sauce,then let it simmer gently until it is concentrated and the onions aretender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add ribs and let simmer until they are warmedthrough, then serve.

Thursday 1/29

Lentil Soup - again!

a different recipe though.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin

Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.

Wednesday 1/28

I hate we missed breakfast night lastnight! So, we are doing it tonight! Hurray!

Eggs Benedict

4 English muffins, split in 1/2
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 (6-ounce) beef fillets, split in 1/2 or Canadian Bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
Pinch cayenne pepper
8 eggs, individually cracked into a cup
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Creole mustard or other whole-grain mustard
1/2 pound butter, melted and warm
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley leaves
Preheat a griddle or large skillet. Brush the muffins with the butter. Place the muffins on the hot griddle and pan-fry for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the muffins from the griddle and set aside. Using a sharp knife, split the fillets in half, horizontally.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the fillets for 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Remove the fillets from the pan and set aside.
In a large skillet, combine the water and vinegar. Season the water with salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Slide 4 of the eggs into the water. When the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the eggs are set, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Watch carefully and remove the eggs when the yolks are still soft, and drain on a paper-lined plate. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Return the water to a boil and repeat the process with the remaining eggs.
In a stainless steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water over medium heat, whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice, water, mustard, and parsley. Season with salt and cayenne. Whisk the mixture until pale yellow and slightly thick. Be careful not to let the bowl touch the water. Remove the bowl from the pot and, while whisking vigorously, gradually add the butter, little by little, until all is incorporated. Season, to taste, with salt and cayenne.
To assemble, place the steaks on the English muffins. Top the steaks with the poached eggs. Spoon the Hollandaise sauce over the eggs.

Tuesday 1/27

Book Club Night.

We are finishing up a book we started before the holidays and are now finished with it. So I will be gone. I am taking carrots and blue cheese dressing. Yes I make it fresh and I gave it to you before, search for it. I am making cheese pizza's for Tom and the boys. I also gave you the recipe for crust so go search for that too.

My schedule may get to busy to participate again so I am really looking forward to dinner with the girls.

Monday 1/26

I buy dry goods from a co-op. So at any given time I will have 5# of beans, rice, oats...I have a 5# bag of lentils and a 5# bag of bulgar. This is why I am making them so often. I found this recipe for tomato bulgar soup and oh yeah, I also have a case of tomatoes on hand!

Tomato Bulgar Soup

3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 c finely chopped onions
1 c peeled and diced carrots
3/4 c diced celery (2 medium stalks)
2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp ground fennel
2 c undrained canned tomatoes, chopped (16-ounce can)
1/4 c bulgur
ground black pepper to taste
[lemon wedges (optional)]
In a large soup pot, combine the vegetable stock, onions, carrots, celery,garlic, salt, dill, and fennel. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover,and simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice.Add the bulgur and mix well. Return to a boil and simmer, covered, foranother 15 minutes, or until the bulgur is tender, stirring occasionally.Add pepper to taste.

[I served each bowl with a wedge of lemon to be squeezed into the soup asdesired.]

Sunday 1/25

Crockpot Meatloaf

2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup breadcrumbs or crushed crackers
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 small onion (diced)
1/4 cup water
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into a meatloaf shape that will fit into your crock pot. Cut a strip of foil and place under the meatloaf in crock pot. Cut it long enough to cover the bottom and sides of meatloaf. Place meat loaf in crock pot and top with an additional 2 tablespoons ketchup. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Saturday 1/24

French Onion Soup

Rich thick onion broth, buttery crusty bread soaking up every ounce of rich goodness, hot melty, bubbly swiss cheese oozing off the side of the bowl.

Okay remember when we first began this blog I warned you I hated to write. I am not a writer. That was not a good sentence. Adjectives....oh my.

BUT the soup IS good.

Ha...and I use the one Emeril Lagasse did many years ago so another easy typing day. I sure hope all this simple stuff isn't setting me up for a hectic week! How ironic that would be.

Friday 1/23

Tom is home on Fridays now. I am so thankful for that. It is nice to have him home every week or a 3 day weekend. We still do school but it is nice to get up and have coffee before we start school. And hey I will be honest here, he is a big help and will do most anything I ask of him! He is a great principle!

So today is another simple day for me as far as typing out the recipe. Because it is yet another foodtv recipe.,1000060,FOOD_30878_100778,00.html

And simple because you throw it in the crockpot!

I will come up with a good dessert recipe or find one anyways to give you during the week to start the weekend of right!

Today is only Friday and I only have one more day to give you for the week. Now what am I going to do the rest of the week? Yeah right!

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

This week is simple for me. We are having a lot of repeats. I don't do that to often because I love to cook so I am always cooking new things. But this week is simple. Simple is good. Ever notice how when things aren't simple it is normally because of something we have done to complicate it. Stop the insanity!

Monday is leftovers - done, simple
Tuesday is pizza - use that search button again at the top of my blog, search pizza - done, simple
Wednesday is baked potatoes for the boys, out to eat for Tom and I - done, simple
Thursday is lentil stew - again use that search button - done, simple

Sunday 1/18

Chicken Noodle Soup

We are starting fellowship with some families in our Sunday school class. We plan to eat together and pray. With the extreme cold weather it is just fitting to have chicken noodle soup. So we are. You can find the recipe by using the search button on the top of the blog.

Need a church home?

Saturday 1/17

We are having some friends over. They are remodeling their kitchen so kitchen service is minimal at their house for now. So how does BBQ chicken sandwiches sound? Ever been to those fancy cook in front of you Japanese restaurants? Their salad dressing is my favorite, I use to crave it when I was pregnant with Dalton. Tom would go and buy it by the quart, well now I have the recipe and can make it by the quart! And to finish it out, red velvet cupcakes.

So first get 2 whole chickens in the crockpot until fall off the bone done. Save the skin and bones to make broth! This is enough for 2 families and leftovers for Monday night.

Pull the chicken and shred with your hands and cover with homemade BBQ sauce. Cook another 2 hours on low in the crockpot. Serve with slaw on a bun.

BBQ Sauce
12 oz tomato paste
3/4c apple cider vinegar
1/2c water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp pepper
2 tbsp mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
6 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp brown sugar

Benihana Salad Dressing
In a blender add:
1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 c olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp chopped celery
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
Process until smooth.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

*** Amendment*** These are great but let me tell you to 1/2 the frosting recipe. I only made half of what it said to make and I even had leftovers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Friday 1/16

Yes, this is what I am making tonight with left over bean soup, if that is even needed. I am going to bet this is one filling hamburger!

My question to you is, "Seriously, what adult has never had pimento cheese growing up?" I think that is unheard of!

Thursday 1/15

Well, we have been shoveling for the past few days and I have just been to sore to even sit. Add Tom going back to work and changing to 4 - 10 hour days, which I love. But just those few hours I am use to him being home has been an eye opener. He really does do a lot for our family in those hours. Like take Dalton to guitar, run to the grocery store, stop at the library and yes wash dishes from the day. So if you have one of those helping husbands, bake him some cookies today and says Thanks, honey!

So where are we?
With all the errands I have run and all the driveways I have helped the boys shovel these last two days I have NOT been to the grocery store. And I am NOT going today. I like the one guy who said, "Well I can't really use this word but, it is going to warm up to 0 today." I am not going out, I even rescheduled Dalton's ortho appointment so we could stay home today, all day. So I am making what we have at home.

Stone Soup
I soaked a cup of each dry bean I had

I added to the crock pot fresh water this morning along with 3 tbsp salt, red pepper flakes, a few pieces of bacon and some bacon grease. After about 5 hours I will add
soy sauce
crushed tomatoes
a few potatoes
pepperoncini peppers
some left over frozen swiss chard from the garden
cook another 4 or so hours

I am going to make some fresh bread today and some chocolate chip cookies for daddy.

Stay warm, sip the coffee or hot chocolate! Read something! Enjoy the day that the Lord has made!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday 1/12

Sorry I didn't post over the weekend until today. I am sure you survived and ate! Just when I have a plan to help me plan out my menu for the week like breakfast night, bean night, beef night and so on I have to go and watch the food network and I go and get all hungry. They had a food challenge to make hamburgers. We are also getting more snow today along with another blast of single digit temps. So I am thinking soup and sandwiches with sandwiches getting the attention. I plan to make 3 big pots of simple soup and really accentuate the side. that I made you all excited about sandwiches tonight I am doing breakfast. I know...I know...but I was in the grocery store without a list and when I am under that kind of pressure I always resort to breakfast.

We will have the regular fried eggs, biscuits, pig and more pig and now that I am forever hooked (thanks a lot Tricia) grape salad. I gave you the recipe last week so go check it out. I will try to plan out the rest of the recipes later tonight.

While you are waiting why not subscribe by email, I have that option now, I think.

Week Plan 1/11/09

Sorry, so what did you have?

eggs, sausage & bacon, biscuits, jam
grape salad

Tomato Bisque

Baked Potato~out to eat

Bean Soup

Pimento & Cheese Hamburger

BBQ chicken sandwiches
Benihana Salad

Friday, January 2, 2009

Saturday 1/10


We are privileged to have a rotisserie grill. We have some friends who moved to England that had to down size before they left and we were blessed with it. It runs on gas and is for outdoors but we can use it in the garage during the winter. You can however put your whole chicken in the crockpot with salt and pepper for a few hours and it will be fall of the bone tender. The main recipe I want to share with you for today is the grape salad. You are quite welcome in advance. Believe me you will LOVE this one.

Grape Salad
Wash 2 lbs green seedless grapes
wash 2lbs red seedless grapes
Dry well.
Mix with a blender-
8 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix grapes in this and put in a casserole dish.
Mix up in a bowl:
1 c brown sugar
1 c chopped walnuts or pecans
Add to top and refrigerate over night.

Friday 1/9


I have a pan of leftover baked spaghetti in the freezer. I will give you my spaghetti sauce and all you have to do is mix it with noodles put it in a casserole pan top it with real fresh mozzarella cheese bake it until hot and bubbly. Roast some garlic butter up some bread and spread the garlic on and you have your self a real Italian dinner! Well, by my standards anyways.

Spaghetti Sauce
Brown 1 lb ground beef, drain add to big sauce pot.
Brown 1lb Italian sausage out of the casings, drain add to big sauce pot.
Brown with some bacon grease, 1 onion chopped, 4 carrots diced, 3 celery stalks chopped, 4 cloves garlic minced. Add to big sauce pot. Add 3 big can of either or a mix of tomato puree, tomatoes crushed, tomato sauce. Add 1 can tomato paste. Add dry oregano, dry basil, dry thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer for several hours adding water and olive oil as needed to keep it moist.

Now the only thing you can do to make this better is to use real Parmesan cheese,not the fake stuff.

Thursday 1/8

Bean night.

Black beans & rice. Drain your beans from soaking overnight. Add them to the crockpot, cover with water and cook 4 hours on high.

Then add:
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dry oregano
pepper flakes
1 can crushed tomatoes
Cook on high for another 3 -4 hours.

Serve on top of rice in a bowl. Top with cheese and sour cream.

Wednesday 1/7

Wednesday nights are Awana and Alive at church for the boys. Tom and I use this night for our out to eat together night while the boys are at church. So I make the boys baked potatoes and use a variety of toppings depending on what we have as leftovers in the fridge.

Tuesday 1/6

Breakfast Tuesday, yeah!

Pancakes and real, pure maple syrup. Sausage links, either pork or turkey whatever you like.

Mix all just until combined. Fry on a hot griddle.
2 c whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sweetener of choice
1 tbsp aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 egg
2 c raw milk, okay whatever you use

I also double this recipe and freeze the few that are left for the boys.

Monday 1/5

This is my husbands favorite way to have chicken breasts. I am not sure where I found it so many years ago.

Mayo Chicken

I use 3 huge boneless skinless chicken breasts and fillet them into 6. Take a plate and put about a cup of mayo on it. Take another plate and put bread crumbs and salt and lemon pepper on it. You will have to use your hands now. Take a breast and coat it good with mayo. Dredge it in the bread crumbs. Place it on a baking dish. Bake at 375 until done. Now my husband does not like mayo and this chicken does not taste like mayo. It just adds moisture.

Down in Florida there was a great restaurant called Hops. It was a microbrewery. But they had these steaks that were soaked for 3 days in pineapple juice and honey crescents. So I also serve the crescents with the mayo chicken. I do cheat and us the can. Bake them drizzle them with honey butter. Oh so good.

Roast some potatoes with salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and rosemary and you have yourself a major meal!

Sunday 1/4

Along with a couple families in our church we are starting a small Bible study. We are going to meet after church on Sundays have lunch and do our study. I am really excited about spending time with friends and being held accountable. We plan to take turns bringing the main dish and this week is my week. I am taking:

Beef & Bean Burritos and rice
Brown 2lbs. ground beef with 1 onion and 4 garlic cloves, minced. Drain any fat and add 2 tsp. cumin, salt, 2 tbsp. chili powder. Add 2 big cans of refried beans and mix. I use whole wheat flour tortillas, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, rice and sour cream for my burrito but use your favorite toppings.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 2009

Happy New Year !
How many days does it take to get use to writing that on your checks???
What does time look like to God?
I mean as I sit like most everyone, I wonder where it all all goes. My husband and I were talking about Y2K. Remember that? Our youngest son was almost born. He is now going to be 9! 9 years ago! That is a lot of time to pass. Yet as I look back it seems to have passed by in a flash. All those trials, happy days, unhappy days, learning. What knowledge have I gained in 9 years?! I am wondering what does it look like to ponder and treasure up. In the first 2 chapters of Luke he tells us twice that Mary pondered and treasured in her heart these things. I pray for myself and all my friends to ponder and treasure in your hearts the good things of each day this year. 365 days of treasures stored up.
Love to you all.