Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Frank and Bean Sandwich

It was one of "those" evenings where I had no clue what to make for dinner.  I stared at contents in my refrigerator for several minutes and had no inspiration for dinner.  Carryout had no appeal either.  I had a hungry family to feed and dinner time was fastly approaching.   So I turned to my "library" (as my husband calls it) of cookbooks.  I was sure I could find SOMETHING worth making.

And there, buried way back in the corner was the Campbell Soup "Cooking with Soup" cookbook.  As if ordained by the Cooking Angels, I opened up the cookbook to the page with this recipe.  Lo and behold, I had all the ingredients!!  It was a miracle!!  Once again my family would not go hungry!!

This is a real easy meal to make.  It takes about 10 minutes total to prepare this.

Frank and Bean Sandwich by Campbell Soup

Ingredients:

6 frankfurters (I used bun length hot dogs)
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 T butter
1 can (11 1/2 ounces) condensed bean and bacon soup**
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 sweet pickle relish
6 hot dog buns

Directions:

In a skillet, melt the butter and brown the frankfurters and onions.


In a separate bowl, mix together the soup, water, ketchup and pickle relish.



Pour the soup mixture over the frankfurters in the skillet and let simmer for several minutes.


Serve the frankfurters on the hot dog buns and spoon the bean sauce over the sandwich.



**I would think that you could easily substitute baked beans for the bean and bacon soup.

Entire Recipe:

Ingredients:

6 frankfurters
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 T butter
1 can (11 1/2 ounces) condensed bean and bacon soup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 sweet pickle relish
6 hot dog buns

Directions:

In a skillet, melt the butter and brown the frankfurters and onions.

In a separate bowl, mix together the soup, water, ketchup and pickle relish.

Pour the soup mixture over the frankfurters in the skillet and let simmer for several minutes.

Serve the frankfurters on the hot dog buns and spoon the bean sauce over the sandwich.

ENJOY!

Verdict:

My resident experts (aka husband and son) loved it.  I am not a big fan of hot dogs and beans.  I thought it was OK.  Will I make it again - yes because "the experts" loved it.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Blueberry Buns

I accidentally stumbled upon this recipe through another blog. I believe it was "Eat Your Cookbooks."  She was giving away several cookbooks and one of them was Joan Nathan's King Solomon's Table, a cookbook about Jewish cooking.  On my husband's side on the family, many generations ago, they were Jewish.  Not sure when or why they converted to Christianity . . .   

I digress  , , , I thought it would be interesting to look up the author on the Internet.  She does have a web page plus a facebook page and has written numerous cookbooks on Jewish cooking.  PLUS she has several recipes on her website.  This is where I found this recipe.  So I thought I would make these for my husband to honor his distant Jewish relatives.


Fortunately, I did have most of the ingredients (and blueberries are reasonably cheap in the supermarkets!).  I did not have sour cream, so I substituted plain yogurt).


Blueberry Buns by Joan Nathan

Ingredients:


2 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, divided, plus flour for kneading (I used King Arthur's UnBleached All Purpose Flour)
1/2 teaspoon of salt ** (I omitted)
1 c sugar, divided, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
1 T yeast
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 heaping T sour cream (I used plain yogurt)
1 1/2 C blueberries (about)
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger (optional) - I omitted

Directions:
Combine 2 1/2 cups of flour, the salt, and 3/4 cup of sugar in a mixing bowl. add half the butter. Mix well.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. 
Mix the yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water and stir into the flour mixture. 
Add the 2 whole eggs and the sour cream, mixing well with a spoon. (You can also put everything in a standing mixer.) Then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 2 hours until the dough doubles in volume.
Using your fingers, blend the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar with the remaining butter and set aside in a bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Dust a baking board with flour and roll out the dough to a circle about 1/8 inch thick, adding more flour if the dough sticks (the dough is VERY sticky!!!).


Cut into 12 three-inch rounds (I used the ring from a large mason jar) and press at least 12 blueberries** into each round of dough and sprinkle with a little of the remaining tablespoons of sugar and the candied ginger if using. Then, cradling the filled circle of dough in one hand, use your second hand to carefully pinch it closed into a 3-by-5-inch oblong shape. Repeat with the remaining dough and blueberries. Put the buns on the baking sheets.
Brush the buns with the remaining egg yolk, pat the streusel – the flour-sugar-butter mixture – on top of the buns, 
and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden – don’t worry if some of the juices boil over. That is part of the buns’ charm.
**Yield: 12 blueberry buns - I got 18 buns.
Entire recipe:
Blueberry Buns by Joan Nathan

Ingredients:


2 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, divided, plus flour for kneading (I used King Arthur's UnBleached All Purpose Flour)
1/2 teaspoon of salt ** (I omitted)
1 c sugar, divided, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
1 T yeast
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 heaping T sour cream (I used plain yogurt)
1 1/2 C blueberries (about)
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger (optional) - I omitted

Directions:
 Combine 2 1/2 cups of flour, the salt, and 3/4 cup of sugar in a mixing bowl. add half the butter. Mix well.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. 
Mix the yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water and stir into the flour mixture. 
Add the 2 whole eggs and the sour cream, mixing well with a spoon. (You can also put everything in a standing mixer.) Then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 2 hours until the dough doubles in volume.
Using your fingers, blend the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar with the remaining butter and set aside in a bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Dust a baking board with flour and roll out the dough to a circle about 1/8 inch thick, adding more flour if the dough sticks (the dough is VERY sticky!!!).
Cut into 12 three-inch rounds (I used the ring from a large mason jar) and press at least 12 blueberries** into each round of dough and sprinkle with a little of the remaining tablespoons of sugar and the candied ginger if using. Then, cradling the filled circle of dough in one hand, use your second hand to carefully pinch it closed into a 3-by-5-inch oblong shape. Repeat with the remaining dough and blueberries. Put the buns on the baking sheets.
Brush the buns with the remaining egg yolk, pat the streusel – the flour-sugar-butter mixture – on top of the buns, and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden – don’t worry if some of the juices boil over. That is part of the buns’ charm.
**Yield: 12 blueberry buns - I got 18 buns.
ENJOY!!
Comments:
I did drizzle these with a powdered sugar icing which made them WONDERFUL!!! These are definitely a winner!  My husband was snacking on them all night!!  And I put 3 of them in his lunch for today.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mini Strawberry Muffins

I love this time of year - BERRY SEASON!!!  Everywhere you go . . . you will see strawberries!!  Big beautiful strawberries!!  Oh how I wish I knew a strawberry farmer . . . hmmm (a light bulb goes off in my brain!!) - maybe I COULD be that strawberry farmer!!  (that's another blog!!)

Anyhow, my refrigerator has 3 box of strawberries - what is a person to do??  So off to the Internet I go.  One of the first recipes I found was on the Land of Lakes website is this recipe for mini strawberry muffins by Ree Drummond (aka the Pioneer Woman).

For those of you who don't have a mini muffin pan, you can find one at Walmart Mini Muffin Pan at Walmart

I did make a few minor changes and will note those with an *

Mini Strawberry Muffins by Ree Drummond

Ingredients Muffins
 ½ cup Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter, room temperature * (I did not have Land O Lakes butter, I used Kroger's Unsalted Butter)
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
3 to 5 drops red food coloring (optional, to give muffins a pink color)
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup buttermilk * (I didn't have buttermilk, I used goat's milk kefir)
½ cup finely chopped strawberries

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Spray one 24-cup mini muffin pan with baking spray. * I used mini cupcake liners from Wilton
Mini Cupcake Liners
Combined the butter and sugar until creamy.
Add the egg and beat until smooth.  If you are going to add food coloring, this is where you would add it.

Sift together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients to the mixer with the buttermilk, with the mixer on low.
Toss the ½ cup finely chopped strawberries with 1 tablespoon flour.
Fold the floured strawberries into the batter.

Drop tablespoons of the batter into the muffin tins. (I used a small cookie scoop - worked great!)

Bake for 14-16 minutes until muffins spring back when lightly touched and are light golden around the edges.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the pan for 15 minutes or until cool enough to easily remove from pan.

Entire Recipe:

Mini Strawberry Muffins by Ree Drummond

Ingredients Muffins
 ½ cup Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter, room temperature * (I did not have Land O Lakes butter, I used Kroger's Unsalted Butter)
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
3 to 5 drops red food coloring (optional, to give muffins a pink color)
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup buttermilk * (I didn't have buttermilk, I used goat's milk kefir)
½ cup finely chopped strawberries

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Spray one 24-cup mini muffin pan with baking spray. * I used mini cupcake liners from Wilton
Mini Cupcake Liners
Combined the butter and sugar until creamy.
Add the egg and beat until smooth.  If you are going to add food coloring, this is where you would add it.
Sift together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients to the mixer with the buttermilk, with the mixer on low.
Toss the ½ cup finely chopped strawberries with 1 tablespoon flour.
Fold the floured strawberries into the batter.
Drop tablespoons of the batter into the muffin tins.
Bake for 14-16 minutes until muffins spring back when lightly touched and are light golden around the edges.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the pan for 15 minutes or until cool enough to easily remove from pan.

ENJOY!!

VERDICT:

My husband loved them!!!  He thought they made the perfect snack.  Yep, we have another winner on our hands.   I thought they would also be great sprinkle with cinnamon sugar on top.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Goat's Milk Kefir Cheese



A customer of mine introduced me to kefir last year.  Though I am not a big fan of drinking it straight, I did find many different uses for it.  One of my favorite uses is to make kefir cheese.  Of course, the only available milk I have available to me (and it is free!) is goat's milk.   Pictured above are kefir grains.

For those of you who are not familiar with making kefir.   It is pretty simple.  I put the grains in a quart size mason jar, pour fresh milk (in my case) goat's milk over the top of the grains and let the milk "ferment" for a day or so at room temperature (not in the refrigerator.  When the grains come floating to the top, it is time to pour off the milk into a large container, straining off the grains. to start the process over again.

To make the cheese, I found this "nifty" greek yogurt maker on Amazon and it works great for making the kefir cheese.  I use a half gallon of milk.  Unfortunately, it only makes about 4 ounces of cheese :-(


I store this in the refrigerator while the whey is draining from the kefir.  

The cheese tastes very similar to sour cream.


I used it last night on a baked potato and it was really good!  I imagine on a bagel it would be great!

There are several good places you can find kefir grains - Culture for Health, the CheesemakerAmazon and you can't forget eBay!

ENJOY!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Eggplant, Zucchini and Mushroom Lasagna


You know how you get in "ruts" with making dinner - same old, same old, but a different day or a different week.  What I have been doing lately is opening my cookbooks and whatever page I open to, goes onto the menu for my grocery shopping.  We have had some really interesting (and good) dinners lately!! (and some that the chickens and dogs have enjoyed - LOL!!)

I found this recipe in the Weight Watcher's cookbook Weight Watcher's All Time Favorites cookbook - I LOVE this cookbook!!!  This is so easy to make!! And it makes your kitchen smell wonderful!!! And, yes, it does require a run to the grocery store for eggplant, zucchini,  mushrooms (I forgot those, so I just used canned mushrooms) and no-boil lasagna noodles.

Eggplant, Zucchini and Mushroom Lasagna by Weight Watchers

1 lb eggplant, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch slices
1 or 2 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 t pepper
1 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 10 oz. package of mushrooms (or a small can of mushrooms drained)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 T dried basil leaves
1/4 t crushed red pepper
6 sheets of no-boil lasagna noodles
grated Parmesan Cheese (I used the package shredded Parmesan cheese)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400

Spray a baking sheet and an 8 inch baking dish with Pam or something similar

Place the eggplant and zucchini slices on baking sheet, spray the vegetables with Pam and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake until tender, about 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes with their juice, mushrooms, bell pepper, basil, crushed red pepper and pepper.

Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is bubbly but no thickened - about 10 minutes.

Spread 1/2 cup of sauce in the baking dish and cover with 2 lasagna noodles.


Top with a combination of eggplant and zucchini.  Cover that with 1/2 cup of sauce.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Repeat this ending with a layer of noodles and sauce (I did put a final layer of cheese).


Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Uncover and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Let stand for 5 minutes,  then cut into four portions.

Entire Recipe:

Eggplant, Zucchini and Mushroom Lasagna by Weight Watchers

1 lb eggplant, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch slices
1 or 2 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 t pepper
1 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 10 oz. package of mushrooms (or a small can of mushrooms drained)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 T dried basil leaves
1/4 t crushed red pepper
6 sheets of no-boil lasagna noodles
grated Parmesan Cheese (I used the package shredded Parmesan cheese)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400

Spray a baking sheet and an 8 inch baking dish with Pam or something similar

Place the eggplant and zucchini slices on baking sheet, spray the vegetables with Pam and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake until tender, about 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes with their juice, mushrooms, bell pepper, basil, crushed red pepper and pepper.

Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is bubbly but no thickened - about 10 minutes.

Spread 1/2 cup of sauce in the baking dish and cover with 2 lasagna noodles.

Top with a combination of eggplant and zucchini.  Cover that with 1/2 cup of sauce.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Repeat this ending with a layer of noodles and sauce (I did put a final layer of cheese).

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Uncover and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Let stand for 5 minutes,  then cut into four portions.

ENJOY!

Verdict:

I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe.  Wasn't sure how this would taste because eggplant can be rather tasteless.  But I thought this was pretty good.  Opinion of my two "resident" experts - my husband thought it was really good.  My other "expert," my son thought it was OK.   So 2 out of 3 is not a bad rating.  Chances are I would probably make this again.





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I found this recipe in the current issue of Weight Watcher's Magazine.  It sounded good, but it did require a trip to the grocery store for most of the items listed in the ingredients.  The hardest part is cutting the silly spaghetti squash!!  I had to enlist help from my husband to cut it!  Fortunately, no fingers were lost in this endeavor!!  Other than that, this is a pretty simple recipe to make.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole by Weight Watchers

Ingredients:

3 1/2 lb spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 6 oz. bag baby spinach (roughly 6 cups)
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (the recipe calls for part skim mozzarella - they do not carry that in my store)
3 T grated Paramesan cheese
1/4 c chopped Basil - I just used 2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400

Put squash halves in a microwavable plate with cut sides down.  Microwave for about 12 minutes (or until the squash is tender and can be easily scooped out with a fork).

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add onion.  Stir until golden - about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and garlic.


Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the spinach and cook until the spinach just starts to wilt.


Remove the skillet from the stove.

Scoop the spaghetti strands into the skillet and toss with the spinach.

Mix in the ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup of the mozzarella, 2 T Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Transfer to a 2 to 3 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top of the casserole.



Bake for 15 to 20 minutes**  (I found that the casserole was still cold at 15 to 20 minutes, so I suggest 30 minutes for baking).

ENJOY!!

Entire Recipe:

Spaghetti Squash Casserole by Weight Watchers

Ingredients:

3 1/2 lb spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 6 oz. bag baby spinach (roughly 6 cups)
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (the recipe calls for part skim mozzarella - they do not carry that in my store)
3 T grated Paramesan cheese
1/4 c chopped Basil - I just used 2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400

Put squash halves in a microwavable plate with cut sides down.  Microwave for about 12 minutes (or until the squash is tender and can be easily scooped out with a fork).

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add onion.  Stir until golden - about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and garlic.

Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the spinach and cook until the spinach just starts to wilt.

Remove the skillet from the stove.

Scoop the spaghetti strands into the skillet and toss with the spinach.

Mix in the ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup of the mozzarella, 2 T Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Transfer to a 2 to 3 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top of the casserole.


Bake for 15 to 20 minutes**  (I found that the casserole was still cold at 15 to 20 minutes, so I suggest 30 minutes for baking).

Verdict:

This was good!  My husband loved it and thought it might be good with polish kielbasa added to it.  I might give that a try next time.  This is definitely a keeper recipe, just have to figure out an easier way to cut the squash!








Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tomato-Broccoli Quiche

I found this recipe in the Weight Watchers'All-Time Favorites Cookbook.  Last August, a blood test reveal that I was "pre-diabetic."  My primary care Physician told me that I should lose some weight.  So what better place to lose some weight than Weight Watchers.  So off I went to Amazon.com and ordered a bunch of Weight Watcher cookbooks (surprisingly the recipes are quite good!!!)

I didn't exactly follow the Weight Watcher guidelines on this recipe. but I will note my changes with  an **.  This is a pretty easy recipe to make.

Tomato Broccoli Quiche by Weight Watchers

Ingredients

2 t olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 10 oz. box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 9 inch refrigerated pie crust ** (I used my favorite homemade pie crust recipe)
3/4 fat free evaporated milk ** (I didn't have "fat-free" evaporated milk)
2 large eggs
1 egg white
1/4 cup fat free sour cream ** (didn't have fat free)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded reduced fat Swiss cheese ** I just can't find reduced fat cheese
2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 T Parmesan cheese
1 t dried thyme

Directions:

If you are making your own pie crust, have that ready before you start preparing the quiche ingredients, otherwise roll out a single pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate.

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic (nothing smells better than onion and garlic cooking together!!) for about 5 minutes.

Add the broccoli and cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.


Add the evaporated milk, eggs, egg white, sour cream, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and mix until blended.

Sprinkle the Swiss cheese over the bottom the pie crust.


 Top that with broccoli mixture, spreading it evenly,  Then pour the egg mixture over that.


Slice the roma tomatoes in thin slices and arrange them in a decorative pattern on top of the quiche.  Sprinkle  with the Parmesan cheese and thyme.


Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the quiche comes out clean.

Entire Recipe:

Tomato Broccoli Quiche by Weight Watchers

Ingredients

2 t olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 10 oz. box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 9 inch refrigerated pie crust ** (I used my favorite homemade pie crust recipe)
3/4 fat free evaporated milk ** (I didn't have "fat-free" evaporated milk)
2 large eggs
1 egg white
1/4 cup fat free sour cream ** (didn't have fat free)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded reduced fat Swiss cheese ** I just can't find reduced fat cheese
2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 T Parmesan cheese
1 t dried thyme

Directions:

If you are making your own pie crust, have that ready before you start preparing the quiche ingredients, otherwise roll out a single pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate.

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic (nothing smells better than onion and garlic cooking together!!) for about 5 minutes.

Add the broccoli and cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.



Add the evaporated milk, eggs, egg white, sour cream, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and mix until blended.

Sprinkle the Swiss cheese over the bottom the pie crust.

Top that with broccoli mixture, spreading it evenly,  Then pour the egg mixture over that.

Slice the roma tomatoes in thin slices and arrange them in a decorative pattern on top of the quiche.  Sprinkle  with the Parmesan cheese and thyme.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the quiche comes out clean.

ENJOY!!!

Comments:

Oh yes, this was good!  It was hit with both of my resident experts.  And my husband thought you could add almost anything to it and it would still be good. I agreed - pepperoni, spinach, etc., etc., etc.  And the great thing about the recipe is that it is so easy to make!