Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pressure Canned Ham and Butter Bean Soup

 I have recently ventured into the world of home canning.  I am already in love!  I made a huge batch of my Vegetable Beef Soup, substituting frozen vegetable for the canned vegetables so they wouldn't turn to mush in the canning process; and, of course, only heated it up rather than completely cooking it, allowing it to finish cooking during the processing.  Being able to just pop the lid off, stick it in the microwave for a minute and eat it is just amazing.  Totally worth the extra time in the cooking/prep phase.

For my next adventure, I decided to do something with butter beans, since I've been told by my doctor to eat more high-potassium foods thanks to one of my medications.  Some poking around online and recipe browsing, and the basis for this soup was born.  It's rich and hearty, without being overly complicated.  The 15 pints I made won't last long!  This is definitely going to be a regular addition to our menu.

I used speckled butter beans for this first batch; regular green butter beans (aka baby lima beans) should work just as well – and possibly be more visually appealing.  Some hot sauce, like Cholula, would be a great addition/substitution for the vinegar, but unfortunately I can't use it (allergies).  Celery or bell peppers, if you have some on hand, would likely also be good additions.




Friday, April 7, 2017

Hybridized Slovenian Style Goulash

Back when I was first learning to cook on my own, I conflated two recipes my grandmother made when trying to replicate her goulash.  It wasn't "right", but as often happens, I decided I actually liked this new hybrid recipe even better, and so it is how I have made it ever since.  It has the basis of goulash - a sauce primarily made of cooked down onion and paprika with beef - but then has the addition of some tomato, mushrooms, and peas, making it a bit more interesting to eat.

This recipe is for a large batch; we usually get several 'fresh' meals, as well as several portions to freeze, which it holds up to quite well.  




Friday, August 26, 2016

Freshly Review - Day 1 - Initial Impressions

So, with my health being so poor for so long, but now good enough for my spouse to go back to classes, we've decided to give Freshly a try.

If you aren't familiar, they are one of these new trends of  "meal box plans" by mail.  BlueApron and Plated are the more well-known, but they send you ingredients which you then have to cook.  Since in my case, the standing-long-enough-to-cook is the issue, we opted for Freshly, which is ready-made meals which you just have to heat up in the microwave.  You can choose from 6, 9, 12, or 21 meals.  We opted for 6 meals to give it a try before we committed to any more.  The meals aren't exactly "super cheap" (ranging from $10.75-$11.50 per serving depending on how many you get), but it's about equivalent to fast food, and looks to be a LOT healthier.  I do feel it's a tad overpriced for the serving sizes at full price, but not so much that it is a deal breaker by any means.

Freshly.com Flat Iron Steak


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Muffin Frittata Cups

These little cupcake frittatas are amazingly versatile, and even more tasty!

They are an easy way to 'sneak' in healthy veggies – you can change out what you use depending on your tastes, the season, or just what you have on hand.  They are also easy to make in advance – either a few days, kept in a bag in the fridge, or several weeks frozen!  Just pop them in the microwave when you're ready to eat them.

Delicious, nutritious, and made in advance; it just doesn't get much better than that.




Thursday, April 24, 2014

Slow Cooker Salsa Pepper Beef

This is another of those fabulous super-simple crockpot recipes that will have you going back for seconds.  Rich and flavorful, this Mexican fajita inspired dish pairs beautifully with saffron rice and a little sour cream.  I served it with garlic-buttered Italian green beans, whose calm flavor went quite well with the more lively dish.

(I used a bit too much salsa, and have already adjusted the recipe accordingly; you may prefer more or less than I do.)





Sunday, March 2, 2014

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Let's face it, most people love tacos.  I know my honey certainly does – tacos, fajitas, anything remotely Mexican.  But one of the things I hate most about making them is reading the ingredients list of the taco seasoning packets.  Ugh!

Luckily, I found, and modified for our use, a delightful recipe for home made taco seasoning.  And not only does it not have all the icky chemicals, it is by far the very best taco seasoning I have ever had!  It totally leaves the pre-made stuff in the dust.





Friday, February 28, 2014

Slow Cooker Balsamic Garlic Beef

This was quite tasty with a very different flavor than most of the crockpot recipes we've tried.  It was right on the edge of the level of sweetness I like meat to have, which was surprising since there was nothing particularly sweet involved except a little honey.  It combined marvelously with mashed potatoes with sour cream, and brussels sprouts with butter, salt and garlic powder.




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Baked Banana Pudding with Meringue Topping Recipe

This sounds a little scary for beginner cooks, but trust me, it's not hard!  The key is patience; two of the steps take longer than you expect.  But the result is so very worth it; a delightful dessert either hot or cold, that is not overpowering in either banana flavor or sweetness.




Monday, February 17, 2014

Slow Cooker Simplicity Ham and Potato Casserole

This is a slow-cooker version of one of my favorite meals as a child, my grandmother's Ham and Potato Casserole.  It's an exceedingly simple meal, more so even than the original already simple recipe, but the taste is wonderful.  Just perfect for a cold winter day!





Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Cup

I have a new passion – or perhaps it would be more accurate to say addiction – for single serve, microwave desserts in a cup.  This is absolutely the most brilliant invention ever.  It's quick - from the decision to make it, to eating is less than five minutes.  It's easy - all you need is a measuring spoon and a mug, really; and it leaves no more mess behind than that, either, and no extras to store.  And it's delicious!  It is easily as good as most storebought cookies, and better than many homemade ones I've tried.

This particular recipe is the first one I tried, and while it is not perfect, it is easy to try, and quite good enough to hook me!