Friday, March 29, 2013

Italian Vegetable Soup

All I can say is this soup is a winner. It took no more than 30 minutes from serving the family to the crockpot being empty. I'd call that a good meal.

Italian Vegetable Soup

1 lb Italian sausage
1 onion; chopped
3 potatoes; diced
2 carrots; sliced
4 stalks celery; chopped
1 can red kidney beans (if using dried - 2 cups soaked and boiled)
1 can garbanzo beans (if using dried - 2 cups soaked and boiled)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
6 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt & pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp Mrs Dash
1/2 tsp each dried Basil, Thyme, Parsley
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins)
5 Beef bullion cubes

Cook meat and onions together until meat is no longer pink and onions are translucent.

Prepare all vegetables.

Add everything to the crockpot. Mix well (especially the tomato paste).

Set crockpot to high. Cook 4-6 hours until all vegetables are done.

Season additionally if needed.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vegetable Bake

There are so many variations to this recipe. Basically, throw in whatever vegetables you have lying around. There is no set amount to it. It's not a 'pretty' dish, but it tastes good.

I normally use:
2 lbs Brussels sprouts (stalk end cut off and Brussels sprout cut in half)
3 carrots
4 large or 6 small potatoes
1 lb mushrooms
1 lb green beans (fresh or frozen; not canned)
2-3 sweet potatoes
1 rutabaga
1 large onion
3 stalks celery

I may not put all of these in at once. It's pretty close though.

Preheat your oven to 425°

Chop the vegetables into 1 inch chunks. Put into a large roasting pan (something you roast your turkey in).

You can easily add meat to this. Cube cooked chicken, beef, pork, sausage, etc... Add to finished vegetables and mix well.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sloppy Joes

I'm not much of a fan of the canned sloppy joe concoction. However, I do like homemade sloppy joes. I like to tinker with it some. This is how we make them at home.

Sloppy Joes

1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage
1/4 cup chopped dehydrated onion
1 Tbsp worcherstershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Brown hamburger and sausage. Add onions, worchestershire sauce, and a little salt to meat. Add all other ingredients. Simmer 10 minutes.

Serve on buns.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pork Stew

When I cook in my slow cooker, I like to just throw it all together. I would rather let the crockpot do the cooking for me. Here's my recipe for pork stew, using raw pork, instead of browning it first.

Pork Stew

5 lb pork steak, cubed
5 small-medium potatoes, cubed
2 large carrots, quartered and cut in 1 inch pieces
1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 cup frozen (or 1 can) peas
1 cup frozen (or 1 can) corn
1/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2-1 tsp Mrs Dash
1 bay leaf
2 cups water

Cube raw pork steak. Put in bottom of crockpot. Sprinkle with 1/2 Tbsp salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add 1/4 cup flour to pork. Stir until pork is covered with flour. Add bay leaf.

Add potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes on top of pork. Season with other 1/2 Tbsp salt, thyme, Mrs Dash, and Worcestershire sauce, and water.

Cover and cook Low 6-8 hours, or High 3-4 hours until meat and vegetables are tender.

When stew is finished, add 1 cup of frozen peas and 1 cup of frozen corn (or 1 can each - drained).

** I will stir the stew once at about 2 hours. That way the meat can be broken apart (as it sticks together), and all the vegetables are able to be submerged in the liquid. **

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bread Machine White Bread

I love making homemade bread. It's my favorite food. This is actually one I use in the bread machine. I'm not a big fan of bread machines, but the convenience aspect is great. Some days, when I'm doing a lot of cooking, or am out and about, I love the bread machine. This recipe is what my husband's grandmother.

3 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp butter
1 egg

Put on Large size, Light crust.
Put all ingredients in together. Even the yeast.
Push Start.
Mine takes about 4 hours.

Delicious Cinnamon Rolls

I have to say that cinnamon rolls might just be one of my favorite sweets. I am a sucker for bread. I could easily have bread with every meal for my entire life. I have eaten just plain bread as snacks for as long as I can remember. Basically, I'm a carb addict. Pasta, bread, and potatoes for a meal would be great. Unfortunately, my hubby won't let me binge on carbs for every part of every meal.

Today, however, I decided to cure that sweet tooth with some amazing cinnamon rolls.

I start with my basic bread recipe. Found here:

I add about 2-3 Tbsp of cinnamon sugar to the dough. After the second rise, lay the dough on a clean flat surface (lightly floured if needed), and roll about 1/4 inch thick in a rectangle. About 8"x12".

Butter the entire top, all the way to the edges. Then sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar (3 parts sugar, 1 part cinnamon), all the way to the edges. Roll tightly, longways, and cut in 1-1 1/2 inch slices.

Put in a buttered casserole dish, leaving about 1/2 inch between each one. Allow to rise until doubled (30 minutes to 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 350°. Cook about 30 minutes.

Let cool 5 minutes. Spread the top of the rolls with icing.

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-6 Tbsp water or milk

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Best Ever Coleslaw

Years ago we came across this recipe. It has since been an all time favorite to eat with our barbecue. Not only is it good, it is so easy to make. It is also best the next day or the day after, so be sure to make it ahead of time to allow the vegetables to soften and the flavors to meld together.

Best Ever Coleslaw


1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1 large red onion, diced
1 cup grated carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup white sugar
1 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
black pepper to taste (fresh ground is best)


In a large bowl, combine cabbage, onion, carrots, and celery. Sprinkle with 1 cup sugar, and mix well. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, oil, salt, dry mustard, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Pour hot dressing over cabbage mixture, and mix well.