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Wednesday, July 25, 2012


This is a good recipe for a hot summer day when you just don't want to cook or just need something fast to make.

15 ounce can black beans    If you dont like black beans buy organic refired beans
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 lg onion chopped
1 cup red wine (or broth if you desire)
1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
1 Pound ground beef
2 Tablespoons taco seasonings
3 C Romaine lettuce
2/3 Salsa
4 Tablespoons diced or shredded cheddar cheese
2 Dollips sour cream (your choice)
1 Avocado sliced ( or makd Guacamole dip by smashing up the avos and add salsa)
Tortilla Chips

Combine beans, brown sugar, onion, and wine (or broth) in small pot and cook till most of the liquid is gone. Salt and pepper to taste. Let them cool while you brown the meat mixed with taco seasonings.
Build your salad:
Half the beans on each plate
In order top beans with:
Half lettuce, one serving of ground beef, half salsa, 2 tablespoons cheese, 1 dollip of sour cream, 1/2 avocado sliced.
You can substitute ground beef for any meat.
Hubby adds Salsa Verde to his salad.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I am always looking for ways to not cook in my toaster oven, since my real oven is awful and only for pan storage.
This time I took a meatloaf recipe and tried it out in my "One Pot Pan".
I use a 2" chicken fryer pan, because it is deep enough for meat loaf logs.
I suppose I should have taken pictures but didn't. I will next time.
Putting both oblong meat loafs in this pan is just right. Remember not to handle the loaf much when mixing. Just get it together and softly form two loafs.

3 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion chopped                 
1 clove garlic
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tablespoon chili sauce
1/3 C chicken broth
3 tsp Worchester sauce
1/3 C chicken broth or left over tomato sauce
½ C dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2# 91% or higher ground beef ( you could subsitute 1/2 lb of lamb)
4 tablespoons ketchup
In large medium hot chicken fry skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion cook 2 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, chili sauce, broth, Worchester sauce. Cook 5 minutes. Take out of pan and set aside to cool.
In large bowl, combine ground beef, parmesan, bread crumbs, and eggs. Add onion mix. Be careful not to mix or pack meat.
Heat large chicken fry pan. Add 1 tablespoons olive oil. Make two large loafs and set side by side in pan.
Top with 2 tablespoons ketchup on each loaf. Cook on low for 1 hour. Add a little water in the beginning. Keep the lid on and cook until done.
Makes 6 servings

Saturday, July 21, 2012

White Bean and Ham Hocks

Now that I have a permanent job, I have to be far more organized. Choosing one-pot meals and using the slow cooker will be essential. My hours are either 8am-2pm or 3pm-9pm.

One good thing about finally being employed means that we can shop exclusively at Whole Foods and farmers markets. Now my challenge will be buying food frugally. Yep, meals that take only a few ingredients. I looked up the "Five Ingredient" girl on FoodTV, but the ingredients are just something I would only use once in a while. I try to keep ingredients I will use often. I even refill my spice jars with bulk spices in small quanities. This way my dried spices stay fresh. Occasionally I buy fresh herbs like basil for Itallian meals.

Tonights meal is a slow cooker meal. I forgot to soak my white beans last night so I cooked them on the stove.

White Beans and Ham Hocks

3C dried White Beans
1 onion chopped
3 celery stocks including the tender leaves (optional)
Ham Hock (what ever size you like)
salt and pepper to taste

You can either soak the beans over night in water, 4" of water above the beans, or you can cook the beans on your stove with water at least 2 inches over the beans. Heat on the stove until it boils then simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover for 2 hours.
Put Ham Hock in the slow cooker, add chopped onions, celery, and beans. Salt and Pepper to taste. Don't add much salt, because the ham hock is salty. Cook on high for 4 hours or until the beans are cooked. Test the beans and add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with home made cornbread and honey.
Makes 4 servings.