Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Breakfast Hash

My husband makes the best breakfast hash ever. We like it even more than the Mountain Man Breakfast that Boy Scout camp outs are so famous for. It's also fun to make together.

3 potatoes, grated
4 eggs
3 sausage patties, diced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1-2 Tbs butter
1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1 C grated cheese

Grate the potatoes, chop the onions, and dice the sausage.

Saute onions in butter until translucent.

Add sausage and potatoes.

Cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Add eggs.

Mix and cook thoroughly. Grate cheese and add to pan. Mix in or let melt on top, whichever you prefer.

Serve hot.

Printable version

Monday, November 14, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots

I've been experimenting with different herbs and spices, and I'm now ready to declare my favorite method of roasting chicken in a covered roaster.

1 whole chicken
6 potatoes, cut
6 carrots, cut
6-8 cloves of garlic
3-4 Tbl crushed rosemary
1-2 Tbl fresh thyme
1/4 C lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375F.

Remove the giblets and neck from inside the chicken and rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water. Pat dry with paper towel.

Mince or crush 3 cloves of garlic. In a small bowl, combine minced garlic, thyme, 2 Tbl rosemary, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Pour mixture into the chicken cavity. I didn't have string to truss up the chicken, but you can do that if you want. Put chicken breast side down in your roasting pan. This makes the chicken breast amazingly moist and tender.

Peel the remaining garlic gloves and cut them in half (if large enough). Carefully cut slits in the loose parts of the skin, and put the remaining garlic under the skin.

Cover the chicken with the potatoes and carrots. Sprinkle with remaining rosemary and more salt and pepper (if desired).

Cover and bake for 1-1/2 hours. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before carving. There should be enough juice to make a very tasty gravy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

I found this recipe on Jamie Cooks It Up. It was an experiment for a church ladies' social, and it went over so well, I was barely able to save a piece to bring home to my husband (who really deserved it, because he helped make it).


1 pre-baked 9" pie crust

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 C powdered sugar
3/4 C sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped
dash salt

3/4 C sugar
1/4 C cornstarch
10 Tbl water
2 Tbl fresh lemon juice
3 C fresh or frozen blueberries
dash salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbl butter

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well. Add the sour cream, whipped cream, and dash of salt. Mix until well combined, and set the mixture aside.

In a medium sized saucepan mix the cornstarch and sugar together.

Add the water and lemon juice and stir until smooth.

Bring to a slow boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the blueberries.

Note: If you are using frozen blueberries, heat them in the microwave for a couple minutes so they aren't ice cold when you add them to the saucepan.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. It should thicken up after a couple of minutes. You want it to be the consistency of canned pie filling.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the dash salt, vanilla and butter. Set it aside to cool.

Pour the cream filling into the pie crust. When the blueberry topping is cooled to room temperature spread it over the filling. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Because we have so much pumpkin, I thought I'd try making pumpkin bread. It was very easy and tasty. It's especially easy if you have a standing mixer.

1-1/2 C sugar
1 tsp soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1-2/3 C flour
1/2 C oil
1/2 C water
1 C pumpkin
2 eggs
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix all ingredients well.

Pour into greased loaf pan or pans.

  • Large loaf pan: 1-1/2 hours
  • Small loaf pans: 30-35 minutes

Check with toothpick. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove and finish cooling on rack.

Great with butter or frosted with cream cheese frosting.

One Crazy Girl's Note: Although the chocolate chips taste great in the bread, they all sank to the bottom during cooking. Next time, I will try chopping them up a bit before putting them in the batter. Or using mini chips instead of regular sized ones.

Homemade Chili

Homemade chili is a staple in my family for Halloween. Last year, I went to my mom's to make it with her. This year, she wasn't planning on making some, so we decided to make it ourselves. This is a good, hearty, basic chili with a couple of extra fun things thrown in, just for kicks.

3 C dry beans (about 1 lb.)
2 lb. ground beef
4 medium onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 large red tomatoes, chopped
2 large green tomatoes, chopped
1 Qt tomatoes or 1 46 oz can tomato juice
1 can corn, drained
1-1/2 C catsup
1-2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs salt
pepper to taste
shredded cheese
sour cream

Pick over and soak the beans overnight.

Cook beans for about 3 hours. Drain.

Saute beef, onions, and peppers until meat is browned and onions are translucent.

Drain grease. Add to drained beans with rest of ingredients.

Simmer 1 hour. The amount of chili powder you add is really to taste, but allow enough time for it to blend and cook into the chili to avoid a powdery taste. I usually taste it 1/2 hour into the simmer to see if it needs more chili powder.

Top with sour cream and shredded cheese just before serving, if desired.

Printed version

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Soup

It's that time of year when my fancy turns to making soups. Homemade soup is just nice comfort food. This soup is especially good if you use fresh pumpkin. We also used the rosemary bread recipe to make bread bowls.

6 C chicken stock
1-1/2 tsp salt
4 C pumpkin puree
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1 C chopped onion
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C heavy whipping cream
5 whole black peppercorns

Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.

Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender. Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered.

Stir in heavy cream.

Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

Processing fresh pumpkin

Processing fresh pumpkin is easy, but it also a bit time-consuming. You should plan on at least 1-1/2 hours to complete it all, depending on the size of your pumpkin. I did two pie pumpkins (the small, sweet ones). It was really fun to see them growing in the garden, harvest them, and turn them into something as wonderful as pumpkin soup.

Fresh pumpkin
Big knife
Microwave-safe dish with a tight lid
Blender or food processor

Wash the outside of your pumpkin with water, but no soap. Cut your pumpkin open.

Remove the seeds. Keep these for planting next year or roasting. Remove the stem.

Cut into quarter or smaller pieces. The smaller the pieces, the quicker it cooks and the easier it is to remove from the skins after cooking.

Arrange in dish so that the lid will fit all the way. Add 1-2 inches of water. Cover.

Cook for 15 minutes on high, check to see if it is soft, then repeat in smaller increments of time until it is soft enough to scoop the innards out. It make takes as little at 15 minutes or as long as 30.

Scoop out the pumpkin. It should already be separating from the skin, so this should be easy.

Put in blender or food processor and puree.

Freeze, refrigerate, or use right away.

That's it. Really. It's that easy.

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