Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday: Beefy Bakes

What are beefy bakes? Think~ Mega Potato.

My beefy bake was so pretty and I did not take a picture! I am still getting back into the habit of taking pictures of my meals before consuming them. This week I have not done so well and I apologize!

What you will need:
Baking Potatoes, scrubbed and clean.
Favorite cheese, shredded.
Hamburger beef.
Tomato, diced.
Salt, pepper.

Step one: Clean the biggest potatoes that you have, one for each person eating. Pierce the skin and bake those bad boys in the oven until they are ready. Probably~ 45 minutes at 350.

Step two: Meanwhile, brown your hamburger beef, drain and set aside.

Step three: Shred your cheese.

Step four: Chop your tomato.

Step five: When the potatoes are cooked through remove them with a hot pad, give them a moment to cool and then open them up. Fill them, really pile it on, with the hamburger, cheese, and tomato. Put them back into the oven for about 10 minutes.

Sometimes, we like to add cilantro to this mix and of course a bit of sour cream can taste pretty yummy too.

We served "beefy bakes" with cottage cheese, apple sauce, and salad.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday: Black Bean Chowder and Corn Bread

I love black beans. I love black beans. I love black beans. I think I could eat them everyday, all day. Seriously. My family not so much...thus I am always on the hunt to spruce them up in some dish that sneaks them in and dolls them up a bit. I have come across a great one!

Once again, I have to give credit for this recipe to my all time favorite online Pioneer lady (Um, yes...The Pioneer Woman).

This is delicious!

Here is the link, see for yourself!!!

We made the relish topping with cucumbers from our garden and cilantro from my neighbor Jane. This meal made extra so we froze the remainder. A bonus. :)

Prepare to have your kitchen filled with amazing aromas and your tummy warmed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday: Lasagna

Oh, I do declare that I love freezer meals!
A couple of weeks ago I made a big batch of lasagna which filled up two casserole dishes. We ate one and froze the other one for a day such as this.

Officially, all I had to do today was remove the dish from my freezer and pop it into the oven. I then cut up some garden fresh lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes for an easy salad on the side.

My recipe for lasagna is amazing....but it is NOT my recipe. I am going to link you to the recipe that has won me over heart and soul. It makes a big batch, enough for an extra Lasagna to freeze!

Click here for The Pioneer Woman's Lasagna Recipe

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Apple Carrot Muffins

Do you ever have just a couple of carrots in your fridge, lingering, peering up at you wanting to be used, and you just keep ignoring them? I do!
So, if you happen to be like me then stop whatever you are doing and make these muffins now!

What you will need:

One apple
3-4 carrots (uncooked)
Pecans (about 1/2 cup)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup of sugar
3/4 Tsp baking soda
1 1/2 Tsp baking powder
1 cup of unsweetened coconut
Pinch of salt
Couple shakes of cinnamon
3 Eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup flax seed(optional)

What to do:

Step one: Peel your apple and carrots. Grate them. I used my great grandmothers grater. As I did this I wondered if she knew that someday it would be a staple in my kitchen and I would be using it to make muffins for her great-great grandsons. It made me think of her hands busy in her kitchen, which smelled permanently of pecan pie. It made me think of all the things that we don't need to buy new, but can use time and again for generations. But, if you don't have great-grannie's grater handy you can use a food processor. :)
Set aside when finished.

Step two: Place your pecans into a pan and cook them over the stove. Let them toast until a nice fresh aroma fills your kitchen. Cool and chop them up.

Step three: In a big bowl mix all your dry ingredients together. That would be your flour, baking powder, baking soda, coconut, sugar and toasted pecans.

Step four: In another bowl mix your oil, flax, egg, and vanilla together.

Step five: Add your apple/carrot shavings together with the wet ingredients. Stir. Now, add this to your dry ingredients. Stir.

TIP: Don't overmix your muffins. This will make them hard. Stir them just enough to have a decently blended batter.

Scoop the lumpy batter into muffin cups and bake at 350. I used the small muffin cups, cooked them for about 8 minutes. This recipe made 100 little muffins perfect for eating in the moment, sharing with friends, and freezing for later!

We found a special treat in putting a little dab of butter, followed by heap of peanut butter onto the piping hot muffin. MMMM, yummy!

Tuesday: Nacho Bar

What you will need:

Home made Pico de Gallo (Tomatoes, cilantro, onion, lime juice)
Taco Shells or Tortilla chips
Shredded cheese
Black beans

What to do:

1.I used meat that we had leftover from a previous meal. It was just hamburger meat that I had frozen. Either thaw your leftover meat (you could also use chicken) or brown enough hamburger for your family.

2. Meanwhile, cook a can of black beans on the stove. If you prefer (which I usually do) use uncanned black beans. They are cheaper in the long run and healthier as they do not contain any of the chemical residue from the can. However, when in a hurry canned beans will be more than fine!

3. Shred your cheese and put it into a bowl.

4. Cut up (or use a food processor) your tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. I had to buy cilantro because it is the one herb in my garden which did not come up this year! Dur.
After it is chopped and beautifully mixed together add just a bit of lime juice for some zest. I use about one large onion to every five tomatoes. You can make your pico de gallo any way you like, but do make it. It adds so much flavor!!!!

5. Cut up an avocado.

Place everything in bowls next to a bag of chips and have the family make their own nachos. It is fun, hands-on, and quick.

Nacho Bar Contains
Black Beans
Pico de Gallo

You could also add: taco sauce, sour cream, or anything else your family enjoys on nachos.

Click here to see another rendition of this meal.

ps....the tomatoes came from my garden. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

This is a meal I have made before so instead of re-posting I am simply going to add the link. I use home made whole wheat bread for the toast. Instead of making my soup from a can I make my own using tomatoes, milk, and basil.
It is delicious, incredibly simple, and a real crowd pleaser at my house.

To see this meal click on this link.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday: Pork Loin Roast and Biscuits

I don't have pictures because I am a nerd and forgot. Imagine coming home to a kitchen that smells delicious, taunting your hungry tummy the moment you step into the the picture?

What you will need:
Pork Loin
Vegetable Broth
Baking Powder

Here is what I did to make this meal~

1.Last night before I went to bed I took a pork loin out of the freezer and placed it into a big casserole dish.

2. Salt, pepper, and herb(various) it up real nice now.

3. Pour a couple cups of vegetable broth over it, cover with foil and let it marinate all night long.

4. The next day, about four hours before you are ready to eat, place it with foil on into the oven. Cook on 425 degrees for one hour, then reduce heat to 250 degrees until cooked through.

5. While this is cooking peel your carrots, potatoes, and chop up some onion. About two hours before you are ready to eat add these to the dish and recover with the foil. Make sure to pour some of the good juice over the top of the meat and veggies.

Now~ I made biscuits this morning for breakfast for a truly UNHEALTHY but delicious Sunday morning sausage gravy. I simply cut the biscuits in half, toasted them and buttered them to serve alongside this lunch.

When we arrived home from church dinner was ready to go!

Here is my biscuit recipe. It is decent, but I am still learning how to make the perfectly flaky soft biscuit!

Using a wooden bowl (metal tends to make the biscuits taste more acidic) mix the following:

2 cups of flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt

Now, cut in 1/4 cup of vegetable shortening until the dough is nice and crumbly.
Mix in 3/4 cup of whole milk (you made need to add a bit more) and work it all together until a nice sticky dough forms. The dough should hold together.

Place on a flour surface and pat it out 1/2 inch thick. Cut the biscuits (I use the top of a drinking glass) and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake at 425 for about 12-15 minutes.

Enjoy them warm!

Tip: The biscuits were used for two meals. The leftover meat can be frozen and used again to make delicious pulled pork sandwiches. I even keep the drippings/broth for future meals by freezing it.