Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Midnight Snack Mac N Cheese

Ok, I made it at 6 pm, but then I ate it again at midnight...

Mac N Cheese
1 lb Macaroni
4 oz butter
1/4 c flour
1 c milk
2 TBSP mustard(I used plain old yellow already mixed up)
4 slices American Cheese(Its a processed cheese food!)
About a cup of Colby and Jack cheese mixed
1/2 c Cheddar cheese

Okay, toss the macaroni in a pot of salted water(abt 1 TBSP salt in the pot) and let it cook.
Meanwhile, melt the butter, add the flour and then milk to make a basic white sauce. Add the mustard, cheeses and salt to taste. Drain pasta, mix with sauce and taste. Add more cheese if it needs it. Salt and pepper. And then its good with turkey bacon and peas. Just trust me:D

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Slowcooking Posole

1 28 oz can hominy
2 chicken breasts
2 15 oz cans tomato products(I used some diced with garlic and onions)
2 cans chicken broth(about 32 oz)
1 can diced green chilies
2 TBSP mild chile powder
1 tsp cumin
1 TBSP salt
Place in slow cooker. It can cook all day and still be great. Seriously, for 12 hours or more. I started mine the night before it was to be eaten. I also cooked it on low, on high it would be faster.

Serving suggestions: Cheese: shredded or crumbled Mexican cheeses, Jack, Cheddar; chopped radishes, green onions, salsa, pico de gallo, crema, sour cream, chips... Its kinda like chili toppings, whatever you think would go good with a Mexican food.

Variations: Sometimes I will cook an entire chicken and use a gallon can of hominy. Basically quadruple the recipe.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Skillet Stroganoff

This is a very simple recipe. I'm sure there are endless variations out there, but I really like this one. Its kind of like Hamburger Helper, but not...

Skillet Stroganoff

1 lb hamburger
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pound pasta
1 quart water
1 can mushrooms
1 tsp salt

Brown meat. Add everything else. Cook until pasta is done. Turn off heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Done.

I like to make this when I want a hot meal and don't want to spend much energy or brainpower making it. Like after a long day trying to get my car inspected and licensed or shopping.
Variations: Do something else. Leave out the mushrooms. Change the kind of meat, use 2 cans of tuna instead, or 1 lb chicken. Change the kind of soup. Try it with rice or potatoes instead of pasta. It goes pretty good with a tomato sauce too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sometimes Sadness

I was going through some of the things I have let slide for a while in my kitchen lately. When Baby H showed up, it had been a hard month for me before and its been easier but still difficult since. I found a stash of fruit I had forgotten about. I remembered what was in it, but I haven't been able to remember WHERE it was for a month! Needless to say, most of it had gone bad. Some of it was still fine though. The pomgranate and apples were ok. The avacados and bananas were not.
It made me stop and think about some things I had kind of forgotten about. Some relationships I have let drop for the time being. I have a good friend I sometimes see whose birthday was couple of weeks ago. I neglected to call her and wish her well. We both have four children so its more difficult to get together than it used to be. Even though she only lives a few miles away, I try not to drive when its so icy in the winter. Many excuses for just not taking the time to say happy birthday. Sigh. I want to do better, but I actually have to BE better. Sometimes I forget that too.
I had another friend remind me that I am not perfect. Of course, I am not perfect, but in that moment before she said that, I was celebrating a small acheivement I have been putting off for a long time. I felt completely successful until she said that. Now with the feeling that she conveyed it feels like there isn't any point. Grr, MY SUCCESS, MY CELEBRATION!
So a reminder, celebrate you own successes and don't let anyone steal them from you. Don't let them tell they aren't good enough or what you should be doing. Do what you feel YOU should be doing, not someone else.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Epic Chili

I think every person with Texas roots has their own variation of chili. My father, who was born and raised in Texas, refused to eat beans in his chili. But the chili that is beanless in my neck of the woods is just a sauce, not a meal. My mother, who was born and raised in Kansas City, had a different version. Guess who cooked?


1 lb beans, black, red, pinto, kidney, whatever you like in your chili
1 lb meat, ground or cubed(again, I'm partial to buffalo, but beef is good, too)
16-32 oz tomato products(salsa, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, etc)
an onion or two, diced finely
3-6 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
diced green chilies(I use a small 4 oz can)
1/4 cup mild red chili powder
Salt to taste

First cook the beans. Its a popular misconception that they must be soaked first. Not true. Put them in about a gallon of water and cook for 2-3 hours. Cook them until they are starting to get tender. Then brown the meat with the onion and garlic in a separate pan. Add to the beans when browned. Add the tomatoes, green chilies, oregano and chili powder. If you have other seasonings you like to add at this point, go right ahead, like cayenne or something like that. Let cook for 30 -60 minutes longer until the beans are soft. Now, you can eat it now or allow it to continue cooking until the beans fall apart. The longer you let it cook, the more the flavors will meld and the better it will be. Serve with cheese, sour cream, crema Mexicana, rice, chips, tortillas, cilantro, radishes, green onions, or anything else you like to to doctor your chili with. Some people like to serve it with baked potatoes or cornbread. Again, what ever sounds good. Life is about feeling good about what you eat. This is a good meal because the beans are high in fibers that reduce the risk of colon cancer and illness over all.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hamburger Gravy

Truely, this I believe is just a variation on the sausage and cream gravy of the South and Midwest. It is a family recipe and I know its simple, but it is quite good to feed to picky eaters. Variations are to add vegetables that your family will enjoy, onions, garlic, green peppers, etc.

1 lb hamburger
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
any other spices you feel to add

Brown meat. The cheaper, fattier 70/30 works really well here because what you are going to do is turn the grease into a roux. Add the flour gradually and whisk it until all the grease is absorbed. If there is too much flour left, add a TBSP of vegetable oil. Let brown briefly and then add the milk. Start with one cup, mix it in well, and then as it thickens, add the second cup. Keep mixing until the gravy has no lumps. It will look a bit runny at this stage but will become very thick in the next 5-10 minutes. When it looks to be as thick as you want it, turn off the heat. We would serve it with mashed potatoes or rice. Even bread makes a good choice. Of course, any vegetable side would go well along side this. Peas, green beans or corn were a favorite choice.

If you want to make it more like a sausage gravy, use sausage or make your own by adding herbs and spices to a ground meat of your choice. Follow directions as for hamburger gravy.


This is about something that happens in my kitchen all the time: We pray. We pray blessings over our food, thanking the Lord for everything he has given us and asking for His help with our problems.

Its interesting but in my home there is always food. Even when we have nothing else, we have food. And love, but materially, concretely we have food.

A few weeks ago we were blessed to be able to share what we have with a family much larger than ours who was about to go without. They told us later that they had been praying for exactly what we provided. Imagine having the blessing of a large family and the difficulty that can come with that. My family growing up, the 14 kids plus occasional extras that lived with us from time to time, always had enough to eat. Enough.

The Lord will give us enough of what we need if we just thank Him for what we have and ask for what we need. My home may be small and commonly a mess, but it is a blessing. My vehicle may have its own issues, but we can always get to where we need to go. Sometimes it requires humbling ourselves to ask another mortal for help, but that can be how the Lord works.

Anyway, because of what we were able to share with others, we have room for some things that we have needed to move to different places, and be able to make space for new abundance. And we had a surprise blessing the other night that more than returned what we gave away. The Lord knows what we cannot.

'Spanish Omurice'

In Japan there is a dish called 'Omu Rice.' Its chicken fried rice inside of an omlette, always served with ketchup.
Well, using left over 'Spanish Rice', I made one for my husband who has recently decided after 20+ years of disliking eggs that he will eat them again.
Make an omlette.
Put about half to three fourths of a cup of leftover Spanish Rice on it. Fold and serve with Tonkasu Sauce. My family loves the Bulldog Brand.
Ahh, fusion cusine at its finest, a French idea taken to a Japanese-style Chinese fried rice but converted to an American-style Mexican rice. Haha! My life is so many different ieas all clashing and melding. Its great!

Friday, January 9, 2009

'Spanish Rice"

Its not paella. My mom used to mke this with leftover long grain rice, but its better with freshly made basmati...

2 cups rice(before cooking)
1 lb ground meat(my mom used beef, we like buffalo)
2 cups salsa(I use Pace's Picante sauce, but any one that is saucey and good)
garlic(optional) to taste
salt (also to) taste

So, cook the rice according to the directions.

Brown the meat. Add the rice, salsa, salt and garlic. If you are using fresh garlic, brown it with the meat.
Eat and enjoy!

Some variations,
My mom would chop up fresh vegetables, like tomatoes, zuchinini, peppers, other stuff and add them. She would also use tomato sauce in place of the salsa. Mine is the best though....
If you are feeding 14 kids, like my mom was, you might want to add more rice. Or just double the recipe.
Its easy, the longest part is the rice cooking or the meat browning. And its economical:)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Artichoke dip and Brie Omlette

Make an omlette. Put Brie cheese bits and artichoke-spinach dip as the filling. Eat and enjoy!
Its well good. Sounds odd, but it works!