Saturday, April 19, 2008

Homemade Beanie Weanies

This was a fun meal to do, making it from scratch and using better ingredients than what comes out of the can. I got the idea from Homesick Texan, and I modified her recipe by using my crockpot instead of baking it. I have the type of crockpot that the inside ceramic can be removed and put in the oven if necessary. I believe that I used a little too much water, but since I was gone for the day, I didn't want to come home to dried out beans. We brought this to a friends house, and everyone ate most of it up, including my husband, who is not a big fan of beans. I will put this recipe in my folder of winning recipes - it was a great crockpot meal!

Beanie Weenies from Scratch
-adapted from Homesick Texan


  • 1 pound of pinto beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 pound of salt pork, diced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3 T chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup of black coffee
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 8 hot dogs (I like Schweigert Old-Fashioned Coarse Ground Weiners), sliced into ½ inch thick slices
  1. Soak the beans in a pot filled with 8 cups of water overnight, or do a quick soak by boiling the beans in 8 cups of water for 2 minutes, then covering the pot with a lid for one hour.
  2. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat and saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook for a couple minutes.
  3. Add onion garlic mixture to crockpot and stir in molasses, chile powder, cayenne, mustard powder and brown sugar. Add the soaked beans and stir in coffee, baking soda and diced salt pork. Add enough water to cover beans with 2 inches of water.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours. Test bean done-ness and cook longer if necessary.
  5. Preheat oven to 400. Uncover pot, remove ceramic, and add hot dogs and put in oven uncovered for 30 minutes - 1 hr until sauce has thickened (if the inside of your crockpot cannot be removed, then try just uncovering the lid, and cook uncovered on high for 1+hrs.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Middle Eastern Rice & Beans

I went to the health food store today with my shopping list and meal plan, and got an expected call to go pick up one of Zoe's friends, so had to stuff my cart as quickly as possible, checkout and leave. When I got home, I realized that I ended up with many things that were not on my list, and not enough ingredients to cook anything planned for my meal plan! I was swayed by great sales, and came home with 12 cans of beans!
So, I found this recipe on allrecipes decided to try it out. The recipe calls for fresh cilantro and parsley, which I did not have, so I threw in a little dried parsley. I also omitted the ground turkey, and thought it worked well without it, although if I make this recipe again I will include it. This meal was very spicy, but Zoe said she loved it, and Ben went back for seconds. Well, that's not saying much since I didn't put much on Ben's plate to begin with, thinking that he wouldn't like it. I also served green beans that I sauted an onion before throwing in the frozen green beans, and Zoe ate a ton of it, and she never eats alot of veggies! I'll remember that!

Middle Eastern Rice with Black Beans and Chickpeas
-adapted from allrecipes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute. Stir in rice, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, then pour in chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.
  2. Place the turkey in a skillet over medium heat, and cook until evenly brown.
  3. Gently mix cooked turkey, garbanzo beans, black beans, cilantro, parsley, and pine nuts into the cooked rice. Season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sausage and Peppers

This picture was taken with my phone, so it's not the best quality. The meal was great, though!

Sausage and Peppers


  • 16 oz short pasta (I used Campanelle)
  • 1 package Hot Italian Sausage Links
  • 3 assorted bell peppers (red, green, yellow), seeded and sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan
  1. Cook pasta according to directions. Set aside.
  2. While the pasta is getting started, remove the casings from the sausage. Brown sausages in a large skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of the olive oil. They do not have to be fully cooked. Remove sausages to a platter. Add the bell peppers, garlic, onion, oregano and basil to the skillet, and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Saute over medium heat until peppers are tender. Slice sausage and add to the pepper mixture. Saute until sausage is fully cooked.
  3. Toss the pepper mixture with the drained pasta until well blended, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more olive oil if needed, and serve with parmesan.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thai Chicken with Basil

I made this a couple nights ago, and it was excellent! I substituted dried basil for the fresh basil that the recipe called for. I also used the leftover coconut milk, watered down to make the rice.

Thai Chicken with Basil
- adapted from allrecipes


  • 2 cups uncooked jasmine or basmati rice
  • leftover coconut milk and water to make 4 cups
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil, or 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, minced or grated with microplane
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts - cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (I used button mushrooms)
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  1. Empty can on coconut milk in glass container and heat slightly in microwave or on stovetop to melt the top layer of coconut oil. Set aside 3/4 cup.
  2. Take remaining coconut milk and enough water to equal the correct amount of liquid for the rice. Cook rice according to directions. The longer the rice grain, the more water is needed. I use basmati rice, which is one of the longest rices and calls for 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice.
  3. In a bowl, mix the coconut milk, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, red pepper flakes and dried basil (if using fresh basil, do not add now, add with green onions).
  4. In a skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, ginger, and garlic, and cook until lightly browned. Mix in chicken, and cook about 3 minutes, until browned. Stir in the coconut milk sauce. Continue cooking until sauce is reduced be about 1/3. Mix in mushrooms, green onions (and fresh basil if using), and cook until heated through. Serve over the cooked rice.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cooking For Families

This Monday, I invited families from our homeschooling group to come over and cook for a couple families that have been going through some difficult times. We made 6 trays of lasagna, a big pot of soup, some olive cheese bread, garlic bread, and veggies and dip. It was so much fun! I don't have any pictures, but I wanted to share these great recipes that we made.

Pioneer Woman's Lasagna - this recipe called for ground beef and hot sausage, but I used all ground turkey and seasoned it like sausage, from this recipe: Mom's Turkey Sausage Patties
I also used shredded mozzarella instead of deli sliced cheese, and used some "no-cook" lasagna noodles. The baking time was almost doubled because of the noodles, but it turned out fantastic! It turned out so much better than I imagined it would!

White Chicken Cheese Lasagna - We made 3 trays of this lasagna, and omitted chicken from one to make it vegetarian, although it still had chicken broth in it. I also substituted cottage cheese for the ricotta, since that is what they had at Sam's. We ate the version without the chicken and it was just as good or better than the Pioneer Woman's Lasagna!

Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread - This recipe is sooooooooo good! It's by no means healthy, but it is mouth-watering good. It's important to bake this long enough so it all melts and melds together.

Pasta E Fagioli - This is a great Italian soup! I substituted the pancetta with some bacon, and used small shell pasta instead of ditalini, since that's what was at the Super Target. Serve this with parmesan and crusty bread.