Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sun-dried Tomato Angel Hair Pasta

I have gone on a tangent the last couple years over buying processed food. I wont even bore you with the details but in my tangent I have been working on replacing those box noodle side dishes with my own version. No powdered seasoning packet need apply. This happens to be my favorite version. I am crazy over sun dried tomatoes and cheese mixed together. This one makes enough for four as a side dish. It is not low carb nor is it low fat which is probably why I like it.

Sun-dried Tomato Angel Hair Pasta
1/2 box angel hair pasta
1/2 jar or 1/2 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes (leave the oil out of this recipe)
1 cube of cream cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

In a little sauce pan combine the cream cheese, sun dried tomatoes and the garlic powder. Heat together until it all melts into a sauce. This is best done over a low heat.

Cook up Angel hair while cheese sauce warms up.

Mix all together and serve

Monday, February 21, 2011

Apricot Ham and Broccoli Saute

I am almost embarrassed writing a post this simple but most of our meals lately have been this simple. Most meals consist of just meat and veggies. This meal is using leftover ham which you do not need to wait for it to be a leftover. I just happen to have some in my freezer.

Apricot Ham and Broccoli Saute
2 cups of ham in chunks
1 large bag of frozen broccoli
2 TB Saucy Susan or just Apricot jam
1 tsp red pepper flakes

lightly coat bottom of a frying pan with some canola oil. Toss in the frozen broccoli and the chunk up ham and fry until browned. I like it brown but if you like it more al dente, by all means make it the way you like. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the Saucy Susan and heat til warm. And serve. Hello Dinner!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chili Dogs

There are meals that my family love that are just sinful. Chili dogs are are probably one of their favorites. With baseball season around the corner again, I am reminded of the meals that I can make in little time after a cold game. I am usually the parent that has dinner ready or just about ready so we are swept into going out to eat after. Saves money that way! I am low carbing so there will be no bun for me tonight.

Ultra Easy! I like to slice all the dogs long ways and toss in a frying pan or even on a grill pan.

Cook until crispy and brown.

Heat up some bean less chili. I happen to be using Hormel tonight. Really I am wishing I had some of my homemade in the freezer. No such luck!
Grate up some cheese, chop some onions and find the nacho jalepenos that are stashed in the frig. I have to hide joke!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ham and Bean Soup

The East Coast has been hit hard this winter. Snow....I don't do snow. Really I don't do cold either. I live where cold is 40 degrees. We are really spoiled here. While the East Coast has been rocketed with cold weather, it has been summer like here. But having grown up half my childhood in cold winter weather, I am so supportive of what you are going through and want to post a warm meal.

Ham and Bean Soup is truly an old fashioned recipe. I grew up on this. It is very cheap, feeds and army. This is not a thirty minute meal. You could make in your crock pot and have it ready once you get home from your day. I am home today so I am making on the stove.

I made Ham at Christmas. Instantly I froze the bone. This is the sole purpose I froze the bone! There is ton of flavor in the bone and meat for the soup. If you don't happen to have a ham bone lying around in your freezer, buy a ham hock.
Ham and Bean Soup

1 ham bone or 1 ham hock
1 onion quartered for stock
3 carrots cut in half for stock
3 stalks of celery cut in half for stock
1 clove of garlic minced for stock
1 bay leave for stock
water for stock

1 package of navy beans
water to precook beans

1 cup carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
1 cup of celery chopped

Here is where multi tasking comes into hand. You are going to pre cook the beans in one pot and make stock in another. You can by pass this process and toss everything in a crock pot but this way is worth the extra work.

In one very large pan would will combine the beans and water. Make sure you rinse and pick at the beans making sure there are no stones. Cover with the beans with about 2 quarts of water. Bring to a rolling boil, cover and remove from heat. Leave covered and let stand for one full hour. Another way to by pass this step is to cover the beans with water and let stand overnight. I never plan that far in the future to remember to do this.

While the beans are sitting lets make the stock. Take the ham bone, all the veggies for the stock and cover with water. I didn't measure the water but its about 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours
.Drain the beans. Set aside.Strain the stock (keeping the stock) and place the ham bone and any loose ham aside. Dump the veggies used to make the stock.Skim the top of the stock for fat.

Take the ham off the bone and chop upPlace the beans, veggies for the soup and the chopped ham back into the pan. Cover with the stock. Bring to boil and let simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are soft.

I like to serve it at this point. I like the broth clear but if you like a thicker consistency, take 2 cups of the soup and blend in a blender and add back to the pot.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pan Fried Steak

Still eating just meat and veggies. Boring, I know. The upside is that meals have been very quick to prepare. I can get meals out in under thirty minutes. Take that, Rachel Ray! With baseball around the corner, my life is about to get very busy again. The Ballplayer is quite happy. My excitement will come later.

The Fireman loves when I pan fry a steak. It's special to him and makes him feel like we are not only splurging on a more expensive cut of meat but he is getting a chunk of beef on his plate. I most definitely will get some criticism from my local readers that I am not cooking them outside on our pit over some oak. Sometimes I just do not have the time for that.

These steaks are New York Strips. Not my favorite cut. Totally The Fireman's favorite. I prefer a Ribeye. I think they are more flavorful and tender but these were on sale for a steal. Honest! I grabbed ALL the packages that were in the case and tossed in the freezer. The trick is to share a steak. I can feed four adults with two big steaks.
Season both sides of meat with kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder.
I like to cook my steak on a HOT cast iron pan. Get it smoking HOT!!

Let cook for a good five minutes before flipping.
I like to add a small pat of butter to the top and serve with veggies

Friday, February 11, 2011

Roasted Chicken Quarters with Veggies

A girlfriend sent me a Facebook message the other day "are you still blogging?"

Yes! I just have been eating very simple lately. Meat and vegetables. Boring. Not really blogging material.

So my friend chided me! "moms like to read about the simple meals as much as your multi step meals"

Point taken!

Roasted Chicken Quarters with Veggies
Normally, I buy chicken breasts but my local store had these quarters on a buy one get one free. Meat for the whole family under four bucks. Sold.
These are already seasoned but I find they dont use any salt or little so I add kosher salt.
I place on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees until thoroughly cooked.
Add veggies...I like these. They are perfect for two servings (despite what the bag says) and you cook them in the bag in the microwave in 3 minutes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chocolate Crinkles

Why I am looking forward to college....

Anyone who REALLY knows me, knows how insanely close I am to The Tortured Teenager. But she is a teenager so that said, one minute we are sisters and the next we are going for the jugular. times.

I can not wait for her to move away to college. I am sure I will get hate mail for this. I will miss her desperately no doubt. But this momma needs some sleep. Having teenagers is a lot like having newborns that can drive. My sleep is so affected and I worry non stop.

And then there are my feet. Yes my feet are affected by having a teenager. One that wears the same size shoe as I do but is practically flat footed. I have the highest arches a girl could have. She steals my flaps (why is another post) and is flattening out all my shoes. It's killing my feet. Literally.

Then there is my makeup! I don't wear much makeup. I'm home a lot so there isn't s need for mascara or lip gloss to check the mail but the one afternoon I am going out, my brushes are no where to be found. And then I find them...with her stuff.

Laugh. It's ok. Someday she will have children. I tried to not pass on that curse my mother used but I had no choice. One day she will have a daughter. It is inevitable for I have passed the curse.

Until then, here is one of her favorite cookies. These remind me of teenagers. They are a little work but if you take the time, you just might come out with a great outcome.

Chocolate Crinkle

4 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (melted)
2 c. sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 c. flour
1/2 c mini chocolate chips (I only had regular)
1 c. powder sugar

This recipe is mixed by hand. Its work but worth it.
Melt your 4 oz of chocolate chips. I do this in the microwave slowly.Mix sugar and oil until it resembles wet sand.Add eggs and vanilla.Add the melted chocolate and salt.Add baking powder to the flour and slowly add to the mixture.Add the mini chocolate chips. cover the bowl with wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. You could even refrigerate overnight.

I like to use a mini ice cream scoop to make my balls. Roll each ball into powder sugar and place on a cookie sheet leaving 2 inches between each cookie.Bake 10 minutes. Be careful to not over bake.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blue Moon with Orange Pork Tacos

Am I the only one who is obsessed with this beer? I love it with a chunk of orange or even a shot of Orange Juice. It is not some girly beer either. The Orange does something to it. It's just good! Give it a try!

A high school friend of mine made my Beer Pulled Pork Tacos the other night. His wife used Blue Moon and that got my mind just racing! What if I add some Orange Juice? It was Heaven!

First, buy the largest Pork Roast you can find. Trust me! The leftovers are amazing. You can make Pulled Pork Sandwiches! This time, I just froze the leftovers for another night. It will make for a very easy night one day next week.

Season your roast with salt and pepper. If you happen to get the counters a bit you know you did well.

Oil a pan and get it smoking hot. Brown up all sides. I could have found a larger pan!

Put the whole roast into the Crock Pot. Cover with a onion sliced, 1 bottle of Blue Moon and 1 cup of Orange Juice.

Cover and cook for four hours on high.

While it is cooking, consider making some homemade refried beans. Just dump 1 bag of rinsed pinto beans, 4 pieces of bacon, a handful of nacho jalepenos and cover with two inches of water. Boil for about an hour and half or until tender. Smash up and serve with dinner.

Once the pork is falling apart, shred the pork into a bowl. I jump the fat.
It may not be pretty but your family wont complain.

Heat up some corn tortillas. I like to use this cast iron griddle. It's my favorite.
Serve all your favorite condiments like avacado, cheese, Homemade Salsa, sour cream and green onions.

Or make a burrito..
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