A small, family farm in Wisconsin

Posts tagged ‘Cook’

Baked Potato Soup

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This is a hearty and flavorful soup. Perfect for cold winter dinners.
My only note for this recipe is to use baked potatoes. Boiled potatoes won’t do the trick. You need that special, nutty taste that only a baked potato can give you. Trust me.
4 baking potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper, white
7 cups lowfat milk
1 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Bake potatoes at 350 for 65-75 minutes or until tender. Cool completely. Peel and cube.
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt butter and stir in flour, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth. Gradually add milk while whisking. Bring to a boil and simmer while stirring for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Add potatoes, bacon, onions, and cheese. Simmer and stir for 10 minutes.
Add sour cream and remove from heat.
Garnish each bowl as desired with bacon, chives, grated cheese.
Makes 8 servings.

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Tried and True, or not

rice cooker

Christmas is over and I had an Amazon gift card burning a hole in my cyber pocket. I’ve been wanting to buy a rice cooker and I’ve read and heard that they can be used for lots more than cooking rice. So not only did I order a rice cooker, I also ordered a recipe book, full of recipes for this particular brand of rice cooker. The book says right on the front cover that the recipes are “tried and true”. What does “tried and true” mean to you? To me it means that every recipe in this book (hundreds of them) has been tested by the author or her agents. Am I wrong?
This morning Lee texted me from the barn and asked me to make hot cereal for breakfast. Our temps are in the single digits. I remembered when paging through the recipes in my new book I saw a couple of oatmeal recipes, so since I had some time before Lee finished chores I decided to try the one I found using steel cut oats.cookbookOh my gosh! I put the ingredients into the rice cooker bowl and let ‘er rip. A few minutes later I heard a noise. It was the kind of noise that needs to be investigated quickly. Even though I was quick, I didn’t avoid THE MESS. The oatmeal was boiling over. It also boiled into. I managed to finish it by leaving the lid open. I ended up with a very small amount of oatmeal for us to eat, and a lot of oatmeal for me to clean up. It was all over the counter. It was running down the sides of the cooker. It had spilled into the heating area and burned there. It was under the lip of the lid. I blame the cookbook author. I followed her instructions to the letter.

I did google my predicament and I found that I’m not the only sucker trying to make oatmeal in a rice cooker and failing.
The whole “tried and true” phrase pulled me in and led me astray. The world is full of liars!
I’m going to stay with rice for a while. I’ve learned my lesson and I’m gun shy.

All You Can Eat Vegetable Soup

Eating lighter is usually a priority after all the heavy foods of the holidays. There is a delicious vegetable soup that pretty much anyone who has ever dieted has made or at least eaten. The recipe has been around for decades and it has many names. I just call it Healthy Veggie Soup.
The nice thing about making this soup is that you can put in the veggies that you like, and leave out the ones you don’t. It’s a very flexible and forgiving recipe. The idea is to use this soup to fill you up. You can’t live on it because it has no (or not much) protein and hardly any carbs. It’s not a balanced diet. It’s perfect for lunch, snacks, whenever you feel hungry and don’t want to eat junk. And you’ll definitely get all of your vegetable servings!
*To make the soup, use a huge soup pot. You’ll need at least 6 kinds of vegetables, fresh or frozen. Cabbage should be one of the veggies. Use broth or stock, beef or vegetable work best plus a large can of crushed tomatoes To season the soup you can use any of these dry mixes: onion soup mix, ranch dressing mix, vegetable soup mix, or just season the soup to your taste. Just fill up your soup pot with all of the goodness and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Eat it all week, or freeze some for later. Sorry for the lack of precise measurements.  It’s all up to you and your taste.
Choose from this list of vegetables. Don’t use starchy veg.
cabbage
jicama
asparagus
okra
green/wax beans
cauliflower
broccoli
peppers
summer squash
zucchini
brussels sprouts
scallions
carrots
leeks
spinach
mushrooms
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Whole Poached Chicken

chickenRachel Ray taught me how to poach whole chickens.  I have poached chicken breasts many times, but after trying this method, I will always poach the whole chicken.  It’s a big time saver, and the bonus is all of the home made chicken stock you get from doing it this way.
Here is the recipe for Rachel Ray’s poached chickens.

I modified it for our tastes (no lemon) and you should add or subtract ingredients for your own taste.  I love that I’m poaching 2 chickens at once, which yields lots of cooked meat and stock. I have a pot that’s large enough for 2 chickens.
I bought 2 approximately 4 pound chickens.  Using Rachel’s method I ended up with about 8 cups of meat, and 3 1/2 quarts of stock.  I portioned the meat into 2 cups per freezer bag, and froze the stock in quart jars.  I make soup about once a week, so I buy chicken stock every week.  From poaching my chickens I saved about $7.00 or so on purchased chicken stock.
There are so many things you can do with your cooked chicken.
Chicken Salad
Tacos and burritos
Casseroles
Here are 2 of our favorite casseroles using precooked chicken:

king ranch
King Ranch Chicken Casserole

 

 

 

 

 

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Pasta Cordon Bleu

 

 

 

 
You’ll love the convenience of having packages of cooked chicken and chicken stock in the freezer.  Don’t be put off by the thought of having to get all that chicken off the bones.  It took no time at all.  The chicken skin peeled right off, and the meat was falling off the bones.

Hearty Comfort Foods

I’m thinking that some hearty, rib sticking recipes are appropriate for this terrible weather we’ve been having.
I make lots of soups and casseroles when winter gets the best of us.  Here are some recipes that I’ve been using for many years.  They’re always a welcome and appreciated tummy warmer.

No Fuss Lasagna

No Fuss Lasagna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO FUSS LASAGNA
1 pound Italian sausage
1 jar spaghetti sauce, 28 oz
1 can diced tomatoes, Italian style, undrained
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 package frozen spinach, chopped, thawed and squeezed
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
10 lasagna noodle, raw
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1.    Brown the meat.

2.    Add sauce, tomatoes, and pepper.

3.    Combine spinach, ricotta, egg, and parmesan.

4.    Spread 2 cups sauce in bottom of 9×13 pan.  Cover with 5 noodles and press them firmly into the sauce.  Spread the entire cheese mixture over the noodles.

5.    Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella and top with 1 1/2 cup sauce.

6.    Cover with remaining noodles, and press them into the sauce.  Top with the last of the sauce.
Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

7.    Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Sprinkle with the last of the cheese.  Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
Makes 12 servings, 338 calories each

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NO PEEK BEEF STEW

2 pounds beef stew meat
2 onions, coarsley chopped
5 carrot, chunks
4 potatoes, chunks
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 Tablespoons tapioca
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
The tomato juice gives this stew a wonderful flavor, as well as being another vegetable, but you can sub beef broth if you prefer.
1.    Mix the seasonings and tapioca into the tomato juice.

2.    Pour over meat and vegetables in a 9×13 pan.

3.    Cover.

4.    Bake at 250 for 5 hours.  Or can do in slow cooker.
Makes 12 servings, 198 calories each.

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These are huge.  If you want smaller cookies,  cut down on the baking time.

HEARTY OATMEAL COOKIES

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins or craisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts.
Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla.  Beat until creamy.
Mix dry ingredients.  Combine with creamed mixture.  Add raisins and nuts.
Drop very large spoonfuls on sprayed cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly. You’ll get 12 cookies from this dough.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

S’Mores Cookies

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I’ve been pinning, saving, and printing so many recipes that catch my eye.  I want you to know that I do try many of those recipes.  I really enjoy trying new foods so I think I should share more of my adventures in cooking and eating.  I probably try a new recipe at least once a week.
This cookie recipe is one that has been flying around the internet via Pinterest and Facebook.  If it’s possible, I like to track down the originator of any recipe that I blog about, just so I can give credit.  This is no easy task.  I blog hopped to no fewer than 6 blogs looking for the person who came up with this recipe.  I think I’ve found  the originator.  Here is the recipe on her blog http://www.cookiemadness.net/2006/02/smores-cookies/
We think these cookies are pretty darn good.  A little putzy, what with having to pull them out of the oven to add the marshmallows and milk chocolate, but not terribly time consuming.  The recipe said I’d get 3 dozen, but I got 2 dozen large cookies.

 

 
S’mores Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
2 Hershey bars. broken into 48 pieces
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla.
Combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt and baking soda.  Add to creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by tablespoon onto sprayed or parchment covered cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and push 2 chocolate pieces and 3 marshmallows into each cookie.
Return to oven for another 3-4 minutes.

Cool on racks.  Enjoy 🙂

 

Crash Hot Potatoes

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This potato recipe has been making the rounds!  They’re called Crash Hot Potatoes, and it seems the recipe/cooking method originated in Australia.  I found that information on The Pioneer Woman’s blog, and the recipe I’m giving you is the one from her blog.  These are delicious and so easy to make.  I boiled the potatoes earlier in the day and that helped me out a lot when it came time to put dinner together.  Make extras because they’re that good.

Crash Hot Potatoes

12 whole new potatoes (2 or 3 potatoes per serving)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Rosemary, or other herbs of choice, to taste

 

Boil the potatoes in salted water until fork tender
Grease a sheet pan with olive oil.
Place the boiled potatoes on the pan, leaving space between them.
Use a potato masher to gently press each potato, then rotate and press again.
Brush potatoes with olive oil, and season with salt , pepper, and herbs.
Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes until golden brown.

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