Saturday, January 10, 2015

Spicy Navy Bean Soup

When I was a kid, my mom made Navy bean soup frequently during the winter months.  I HATED it.  It was bland and starchy and smelled horrible.  I'm not sure if my mom still makes it.  Fast forward to present day....Hubby and our youngest daughter LOVE Navy bean soup.  Not my mom's recipe, a new twist I have recently developed.

2lb bag of dried Navy Beans
1 lb roll cheap breakfast sausage
2-4 Tablespoons Asian Garlic Chili Sauce
3/4 cup unbleached flour

Follow the directions for quick soaking on the package of dried beans.  While they are sitting,  crumble and brown the sausage.  Do not drain the grease from the sausage.  When the sausage is browned set it aside until the beans are done soaking.
Rinse beans and pour them into a 5 quart or larger crockpot. 
Add the sausage and sausage grease. 
Add enough water to completely cover the beans.
Add an additional 2 cups water
Add Garlic Chili Sauce.
Cook in crockpot on low 8 to 10 hours
Add Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
Mix flour with 1 cup cold water
Spoon 2 cups of broth into a saucepan and bring to a boil
Add flour mixture and allow to boil for 3 minutes while stirring.
Pour the thickened broth back into the crockpot.
Soup is now ready to eat, but can be left on warm in the crockpot for up to 2 days before serving.
After that, allow to cool and store in refrigerator or freezer

This tastes better and better after sitting for a few days!


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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hubby's Caramel Pie

Hubby found this recipe a few years ago, it is soooo delicious.

2 cans sweetened condensed milk
Prepared graham cracker crust (homemade or store bought)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
chocolate bar for shavings

Remove labels from the can.

Get a large pan with a rack on the bottom to lift the cans up.

Put the cans into lightly boiling water for 2 1/2 to 3 hours making sure they never come out of the water while cooking (add water as needed)

Remove from water and let cool until you can handle the cans.

Pour caramel into pie pan with a graham cracker crust (handmade or store bought)

In a mixing bowl combine 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 1/2 cup sugar. Add 1/4 cup confectioners sugar to taste and mix to very stiff peaks.

Top caramel with the whipped cream.

Use a grater and grate chocolate onto the whipped cream or you can shave chocolate curls.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours

Serve chilled.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hubby's Butter Tarts

Hubby's Mom was from Canada and this is an old family recipe.  They are not the prettiest, but they are melt in your mouth delicious.

Pie Crust  for  tart shells

1 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup water

Cut shortening into flour with pastry cutter and slowly add water.  Once
dough is formed, pinch small amounts off and place into bottom of tart cups.
Press dough up sides of cup and flute edges.  Set shells aside

Butter Tart Filling

2 cups brown sugar
2 Tablespoons vinegar
2  eggs
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup nuts (pecans are preferred but can use walnuts)
3/4 cup each raisins and currants ( you may use 1 1/2 cups raisins and no

Melt butter and mix together all ingredients.  Pour batter into prepared
shells (between 2/3 and 3/4 full).
Bake at 450  for the first  10 minutes
Finish baking at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chili Verde

I have been making this for quite a few years and it is still one of my family's favorites. I've also won several church chili contests with this

It is not what most people think of when they think chili. It has no beans, it is not red or white and it uses pork instead of beef or chicken. Many people are afraid to try it because it has a very green (verde) color, but those brave enough to give it a try soon become fans. It is an adaption of a popular dish served in many traditional Mexican Restaurants in the Central Valley in California. The restaurant version is more of a soup with a very thin watery broth

Approx 5 lb pork roast (pork shoulder, Boston butt, etc)
2 cans  Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
1/4 cup flour or corn starch
salt and pepper

Over the years, I have developed a method of making it that is very easy and convenient for me. It takes two days. I buy the cheapest and biggest pork roast I can find. It doesn't matter if it has a bone or not. Pork shoulder roast or Boston butt work great.  I start by putting the roast in the oven at 350 for 3 to 4 hours. I season it liberally with salt, pepper and garlic. Don't add any water and just let it cook. When it is brown all over and juices flow clear when you poke it with a fork, take it out of the oven and let it cool for an hour or two. When the pan is cool enough to pick up without potholders, put it in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, I take it out and scoop all the congealed fat off the broth. The fat will be white and very much like shortening. I put the fat in the trash. Then, I remove the roast from the pan and put it on a plate. Transfer the broth (it will be congealed) to a medium size sauce pan and heat on low.

Cut the roast into large chunks, removing the fat from the meat and discarding as I go. Depending on how long the roast was cooked, it may cut into chunks easily or it may shred...either works fine. If I see a vein of fat running through a piece of meat, I cut on that vein to remove as much of the fat as possible. Chunks should end up being about the size of a six sided die. Once the meat is all cut up and as much fat as possible has been removed from it, I put it in the crockpot. Pour the cans of enchilada sauce over the meat, replace the lid and turn the crockpot on low. Bring the broth to a boil then thicken to a gravy consistency with either flour and water or corn starch and water. The gravy can then be added to the meat in the crockpot. Allow to cook in the crockpot for 3 to 4 hours. Serve with grated cheddar or jack cheese and flour tortillas.

A crockpot of this will feed quite a crowd, it also freezes well and is great to use in burritos or over rice for lunch or a light dinner.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Preparing for Thanksgiving

For the first time in several years, we will all be off work on Thanksgiving.  It is my favorite holiday, I LOVE spending the whole day cooking with and for my family.  This year we are going to be making a few changes to the standard menu.  Several of my kids have been less than enthusiastic about Thanksgiving.  I sat down with them and found that most of the kids dislike almost everything we usually serve.

2014 Tentative Thanksgiving Menu
My Mom and I will do the majority of the cooking, but Hubby and each of the kids will have jobs to complete to get this feast on the table.