Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

saus3This is probably the easiest dinner I make. Yay for easy and tasty.

This is another recipe that can work for whatever ingredients are on hand. I usually use bratwurst and keilbasa, but any types of sausage will work. I also add bell pepper when I have it, but it’s good without too.

Could food possibly be less demanding?

This is good over rice, pasta, or by itself.

Sausage and Onions

6 links Bratwurst, cut in 1 inch slices
1 link Kielbasa, cut in 1 inch slices
2 to 3 onions, sliced (we really like onions)
1 bell pepper cut in strips
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp butter
Salt and Pepper

In a deep non-stick skillet heat butter. Add onions, salt, pepper. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add sliced Bratwurst. Cook until browned. Add Kielbasa, red pepper, garlic. Cook on medium heat until Bratwurst is nearly cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Add beef broth, bring to a boil, cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove cover and cook until liquid reduces an makes a gravy, 10-15 minutes.  Serve over buttered pasta, mashed potatoes, rice, or plain.

saus1The sausage is easiest to slice when it’s still partially frozen.

saus11Add Bratwurst to onions and cook until browned

saus6Add broth to pan after sausages have almost cooked through and seasonings have been added

saus4Boil seriously until sauce reduces to a nice thick, juicy gravy of oniony goodness.

saus5I had battery issues, this is the best picture I could get. Serve meat any way you’d like. Tonight I went with Latkes, Brotchen and Sauerkraut. Usually I make warm German potato salad but the kids wanted Latkes, so like a good (hungry) mom I gave in.


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nc3First of all, I’d like to apologize to my chicken for exploiting it this way. A poor, naked chicken always looks a little naughty. Or not, could just be me. Moving on now.

This 6-7 ish pound chicken is the base for three upcoming meals. Yay for endless chicken!

The best thing about a roasted chicken is that you can season it 20 different ways and it always tastes yummy.

I prefer fresh rosemary tucked under the skin and inside the cavity, but alas, Winter hath killed my herbs. I need an indoor window garden. Watching my plants croak was my welcome to non-Texas weather.

Some of the leftover chicken will become part of an egg-chicken-onion Naan sandwich thing that my husband learned how to make last time he was in Iraq. The remaining chicken, along with the carcass of my innocent bird, will be turned into Chicken and Barley soup. If I’m really stingy I can probably pull a chicken pot pie from this as well.

Endless Roasted Chicken (Warning: the following recipe is very loose, go with what you like. The key is in the cooking.)

1 huge whole chicken. I try to get one at least 7 pounds
1 med-large onion, cut into wedges
Carrots, cut cork size (however many you’d like)
4 or 5 large potatoes, cut into largish squares
1 cup beef or chicken broth
5-6 garlic cloves, minced, diced, whatever
1 stick butter, sliced into pats
Herbs: again, use what you like, don’t be stingy. (Oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, they all work for me)
1 Tbsp Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Wash chicken and pat dry. Season cavity with salt, pepper, wedge of onion (if I do a Rosemary chicken, I like a wedge of lemon). Rub olive oil over entire chicken, season to your liking. I don’t put salt on the outside because my mom said it dries out the chicken and what mom says goes. Gently slide a finger between the skin and the breast, making a pocket. Insert herbs and 2 pats of butter under skin of each breast. Ignore chicken.

Add potatoes, onions, carrots (and any other vegetables you’d like) to the bottom of a deep roasting pan. Add garlic and broth. Season with same herbs used on chicken. Drop remaining pats of butter randomly, or in a pretty little design if that makes you happy, all over vegetables.

Breast side up, add chicken (on a roasting rack if you have one) to pan.

Cook on 450 degrees for 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 375, and continue roasting for an additional hour to an hour and 40 minutes. The chicken is done when the leg wiggles freely in its joint and when the juices run clear from the thigh when you prick it and from the cavity when you tilt the bird. A thermometer inserted into the lower meaty part of the thigh should register 170°F. I like to cheat and use a chicken with a popper. It makes life easier.

When chicken is done, remove and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes to let the juice set. Stir vegetables and return roasting pan (sans chicken) to the oven to crisp up a bit while the chicken rests.

Pig out.

This is probably the most ridiculously least technical recipe I have ever written. This is how I give my girlfriends directions for cooking. No wonder they’re all so happy I started a blog. It forced me to write recipes like a grown up. This is my rebel recipe, but danged if it isn’t awesome, and pretty foolproof to boot.

nc1This is the recipe I have used for years. I always end up with a tender, super juicy and flavorful chicken. At least, that’s what my very smart husband tells me.

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cb21Hello, Winter. I love you. I love stews, soups, chili, casseroles, pretty much anything that can be cooked in one pot and double as a dip for bread.

I like a thick, chunky chili with lots of flavor. I also like bacon. I like bacon a lot. I like bacon almost as much as I like high heels, and that’s saying something. Oh, back to the chili. Chili with bacon thrown in is the best idea ever. Chili made with cheap meat is even better. Go cube steak, go.

The gorgeous, fluffy cornbread pictured is a deep dark secret. It’s um, well it’s fake. Not fake in the tricky plastic apple kind of way, but fake in that it’s from a box mix. Jiffy cornbread mix to be exact. Two boxes, half a can of corn (left over from the chili and baked in a cast-iron skillet with sizzling (you guessed it) bacon grease. OH. YES. BACON.

I digress, back to the chili … quick, cheap, easy and tasty. Kind of like me 🙂

Winter Chili

6 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 can diced green chilies

1 1/2 pounds cube steak, sliced thin against the grain

12-oz. beef broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon hot sauce or a few shakes red pepper

1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 a can of sweet kernel corn
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until browned. Remove half of the bacon grease and discard. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add in garlic and chilies and cook for 1 minute.

Add in cube steak and cook until browned. Add in beef broth; cook until liquid is reduced by about two-thirds. Stir in salt, pepper, chili powder, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, corn, cumin, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes – until mixture thickens. Stir in the kidney beans and cook until the beans are warmed through – about 10 minutes.


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Chicken Pot Pie for 7

cppTrying to feed 7 people every night is a challenge, epecially in a family full of foodies. I try to avoid making the same foods repeatedly while staying in a budget. I, like most people, don’t have the money for gourmet meals but my family wants excellent food that won’t leave them hungry an hour later. Making a dollar stretch is no easy task. The mothers of ol’ had it right when it came to putting food on the table and I’m doing my best to learn from them.

I had everything I needed for chicken pot pie, which helps me stick to my rule of not shopping in between big grocery store trips. The nice thing about a pot pie is that you can toss in whatever is on hand and it’ll turn out. I’ll include a basic recipe but feel free to add/omit as you need.

By the way, the measurements are pretty loose. I definitely cook by feel and taste so don’t hesitate to toss, pinch or throw to your own liking.

Chicken Pot Pie (adapted from BlogChef.net)

2 prepared pie crusts (homemade or store bought)

4 Tblsp butter
1 onion diced
½ cup diced celery
1 cup diced or sliced carrot
1 cup (or so) diced potatoes. I use red or white or whatever is on hand
4 cloves garlic minced, or a Tbsp jarred garlic
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 pinch red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon ground sage
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons flour

1 cup beef broth (I use a bouillon cube)
1 cup chicken broth (cube again)
2 cups cooked and diced chicken. I’ve used breast, tenderloin, thigh, whatever I had on hand.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and press one curst onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9” pie plate.

Step 2: In a large pan melt butter and add celery, onion, carrots, potatoes, and garlic. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Add parsley, red pepper flakes, thyme, sage, salt and pepper to the pan. Mix well. Sprinkle with flour and mix again. Add chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Add chicken bits to the mixture and mix well.

Step 3: Pour mixture into the prepared pie dish. Top with the second crust and crimp sides to seal.

Step 4: Bake in the oven at 425 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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