Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cajun Black Beans with Sausage and Corn

This is a Betty Crocker recipe that I acquired recently. I thought it sounded like a nice, quick, healthy, easy weeknight meal so I gave it a try and as always made it my own with the ingredients I had. Honestly, I didn't really think that my family would care for it that much, but I was luckily wrong! It was very flavorful with the smoked sausage. I used some leftover corn off of the cob and fresh tomatoes from the garden. It would be good served alongside some rice. I don't want to forget about this one-so tasty.

2 T oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, any color, diced
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 c corn, frozen, canned, off cob, whatever
16 oz. smoked Kielbasa sausage, sliced
1/2 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 c fresh tomatoes, chopped (could use canned)
1 can black beans, drained, rinsed

-In large skillet heat oil then add garlic. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add peppers and onions and continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.
-Stir in corn, sausage, salt, and pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Stir in tomatoes and beans. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot.
-Serves 6-8.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Erika's Fresh Pear Tart

PhotobucketI have pears coming out of my ears! Our kind neighbors across the street let us have all the pears on their tree. To thank them, I have been looking for a nice little something to make them. After looking at several recipes online, I took a little of this and that from them and made my own recipe. Not only is this dessert impressive and nice to look at, it also tastes fabulous and it's so easy to make--fool proof! You can use fresh or canned pears, whatever you have.

1/2 c cold butter
1/3 c sugar
1/4 t almond extract (or vanilla)
3/4 c flour
2/3 c quick oats

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 t almond or vanilla extract
3-4 fresh pears, peeled and sliced
cinnamon sugar
whipped cream

-Mix all crust ingredients with a pastry blender until small crumbs. Press into a 10" tart/flan pan (with removable sides) covering bottom and up the sides.
-With an electric mixer, beat first 4 filling ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour into crust and spread evenly.
-Arrange pear slices in a pretty design on top and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.
-Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Then turn down heat to 400 and bake for another 25 minutes.
-Place on cooling rack and let cool slightly. Remove sides and serve warm with whipped cream for garnish, if desired.
-Serves 8.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Home Canned Salsa ala Erika

PhotobucketThis is a recipe I got from fellow blogger Afton last year. My family really enjoys it and since our supply is diminishing I was excited to make it again. I got a bunch of free produce from a neighbor with an incredible garden so I incorporated some of the things he gave me into the recipe and switched it around a bit. This is now homemade salsa ala Erika. I double this when canning, but it's wonderful fresh in a single batch and keeps in your fridge for a while. My thoughts are that if you're going to make the mess, you might as well make it worth your while and double it. One batch fits in my 4.5 quart pot, and when doubling I simply use two pots. I'd rate it medium in hotness. If you want it more on the mild side than I would take out the jalepenos and maybe even reduce chile peppers to one.

2 4.5 quart pots roma tomatoes (can use regular but drain really well)
15 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 large onions, chopped (any color will do)
2 jalepenos, seeded and diced
1 1/2 bunches chopped cilantro
2 chile peppers, seeded and chopped
2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped (red or green)
1 1/2 T salt
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c white vinegar

-Fill your 2 pots about 2/3 full of water. Bring to a boil. Put as many tomatoes as will fit in. Romas are so flavorful and not as watery as regular tomatoes so I prefer them.
-Leave tomatoes in for a few minutes.
-Take tomatoes out in colander, run under cold water, or you can dump them in sink full of cold water.
-Peel tomatoes. You can chop by hand, but I just put them in my blender (it worked better than my food processor.)
-In the pot that you used to boil the tomatoes, dump out water and you can now dump chopped tomatoes in. I like to keep a little of the tomatoes in the blender to help blend the other ingredients in better.
-To a little of the tomatoes, now add garlic, peppers, cilantro, and onion. Pulse to chop up. I like to hand chop some of the onions and all of the bell peppers so they are a little bigger and add some chunkiness to the salsa.
-Once all veggies are chopped and in pot, add salt and vinegar.
-Stir and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
-Pour salsa in jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles with non-metallic spatula. Clean rims of jars with clean rag and put on lids and rings.
-Process 15 minutes in boiling water canner.
-Yield about 7 pints.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Best Steak Marinade EVER!

PhotobucketThis is the best steak marinade I've ever tried. No need for steak sauce when you have something this flavorful! The longer you marinate, the better flavor but I don't need to tell you that! Recipe and picture from Allrecipes.

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1. Place all ingredients in blender. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.
2. Pour marinade over desired type of meat in large Ziploc bags or in a dish. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired. Best on grill.
3. This is for 8 servings, which I used 8 steaks and it was enough marinade for that much meat.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Broccoli Chicken Potato Parmesan

From Dick's market and Holly!

2 T oil
1 lb. chicken cut into strips (2 breasts)
1 1/2lbs red potatoes sliced thin
2 cups broccoli, chopped to bite-size
1 can broccoli cheddar soup
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup fresh parmesan
Heat oil in skillet. Add chicken, season with what you like, and cook stirring till just done. Remove from pan. Add potatoes to left over oil. Cover and cook 10 mins stirring occasionally. Add a little more oil if getting too brown. Add broccoli, cook covered 5 mins. In a bowl, combine milk, soup and garlic powder. Pour into skillet along with the cooked chicken. Heat to boil and cook 5 minutes. Add parmesan and toss then serve. Makes 6 servings. I'm keeping this one in my binder! Fast and easy.