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Archive for February, 2009

Crash Hot Potatoes

crash_potatoes_platedI first saw these potatoes on The Pioneer Woman‘s blog. She has some really amazing looking recipes, but this one just jumped off the page. We really like potatoes and what could be bad about combining them with some olive oil and rosemary, one of my favorite herbs. These are really easy to do, but you do have to start them in advance since you’ll be cooking them twice.

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Slow Cooked Oatmeal

crockpot_oatmealIs there anything better than warm, creamy oatmeal on a cold winter morning? Not much, in my opinion. Even better is waking up knowing that that warm, creamy oatmeal is already waiting for you. If you plan ahead and make your oatmeal in the crockpot the night before, all you have to do is put on your warmest robe, start the coffee pot, and grab a spoon.

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Cooking Tip – Bacon

bacon_platedIt’s no secret that I think bacon must be the food of the Gods. I’m firmly convinced that bacon is what they greet you with when you get to heaven. It’s also no secret that I hate cooking bacon on the stovetop. The grease gets everywhere and pops all over the cook. So, I was very happy to learn sometime in the past the way that bacon is prepared in restaurants is by baking. In the oven. No popping and no grease to clean up from the stovetop afterwards. I can’t express how happy I am to know this secret. So, I’m passing it on to anyone else who needs to know.

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beans_tomatoes_finishedThis is a very easy, very quick side dish that compliments almost anything but is particularly good with roasted or baked chicken. I got the original recipe from allrecipes.com and have tweaked it only slightly. I cut the amount of butter in half. Also, the original used a tablespoon of sugar in the sauce and I omit that. But if you like sweet tomato sauces, go for it.  Something about sugar and tomatoes together is just a “no” for me. Tomatoes were meant for salt and pepper and herbs. No sugar, but thank you anyway.

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Springtime in the South

narcissus1One of the sure signs of Spring’s imminent arrival is the bright yellow narcissus. It’s a tenacious little thing, pushing its way through the neglected garden debris of the previous year to pop its vibrant, golden yellow self out into the sunlight.

narcissus2Reminds me of my daughter, L, when she was a baby and climbed the stairs all on her own for the first time. Proud of her accomplishment, she sat on the top stair and shouted, “See me! See me!” until attention was duly paid.

narcissus3Hurry up, Spring! It’s been a long, cold winter.

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Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans & RiceLest you think that we consume a stick of butter daily in this household, and based on the recipes I’ve posted so far you could easily reach that conclusion, I’m going to try to post some lower-in-fat recipes that are more typical of the way we really eat around here. This is a quick method for making Red Beans & Rice that I’ve tweaked to our personal tastes over the years.

Today being Monday and me being tired, I neglected to take photos of the ingredients and steps. I’m starting to think all those photos may be overkill anyway. But this one is easy, so here we go.

Here’s what you need:

1 tblsp olive oil
1 medium or 1/2 a large onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 medium or 1/2 a large bell pepper
2-3 stalks celery
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tblsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 cans light red kidney beans, drained
2 cans diced tomatoes in juice
14 oz package turkey kielbasa, sliced
2 cups water
1 cup rice
salt and pepper to taste
Tabasco (optional), to finish

Here’s what you do:

I use a large, deep skillet with a cover (like a chicken fryer) for this recipe. Start by chopping the onion, bell pepper and celery and mince the garlic. Heat the olive oil, add the chopped veggies and saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the thyme, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Add the beans, tomatoes with their juice and kielbasa. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let it simmer while you prepare the rice.

Bring the water to a boil, add salt (about 1/2 tsp) and rice. Stir well. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook approximately 20-22 minutes until all water is absorbed. Remove the pan from heat and fluff the rice with a fork.

To serve, spoon 1/2 to 1 cup rice into each individual bowl. Spoon the red bean mixture over the rice. I add 4 or 5 splashes of Tabasco to mine. But then I like spicy food.  BeeBop, not so much.

Serve some crusty garlic bread on the side.

Enjoy!

Download a printable version of this recipe here.

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Herbed Baked Eggs

bakedeggs_final1This recipe from Ina Garten is one that BeeBop and I enjoy frequently. It’s a great brunch dish for a lazy Saturday morning or good for breakfast anytime with some sausage and toasted sourdough bread (or rye would be good, too). I think it would also be good for a spring time supper with sauteed spinach on the side and some crusty french bread. BeeBop, on the other hand, doesn’t think much of anything would be good with sauteed spinach on the side.  He’s a real meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. But he likes the baked eggs for breakfast…as long as there’s some sausage or bacon on the plate.

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