Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fifteen Bean Soup

Celebrate the onset of Fall with some 15 Bean Soup. Yay for Fall!

1 lb bag dry 15 bean soup
1-2 lb smoked ham hock
2 palmfuls real bacon bits
1-2 cups onion (chopped)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken stock
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 slosh wine
1 stick carrot (slices or chunk)
1 stalk celery (slices or chunk)
garlic clove (minced)
1 slosh of my homemade datil pepper sauce 
I start by THROWING AWAY that nasty fake pork flavoring packet.  I am all about the quick cooking method, so today I brought the beans to boil 3 quarts of water.  They don't tell you to, but I switch out the discolored water (it looks brown to me, plus this is the passy-gassy part) for chicken stock and water. I eyeball it to add the water level back up to where it was before I dumped it out.  Next, I toss in everything elso on the list.  Cook for a couple of hours, stirring every so often so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot, and voila!

How about some corn bread to go with that??

Pumpkin Ice Cream

In a large pot, cook on medium until sugar is melted, but not boiling:
1/2 large can Pumpkin Pie Filling (already mixed up, not packed pumpkin)
3 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
Whisk 1 egg in a large glass bowl, then 
Add 1 cup of the hot pumpkin mix in a slow stream, whisking the entire time.
This tempers the egg.  Scrambled egg in ice cream would be totally grody.
Strain this back into the pot, catching any lumps, stirring the pot well.
Rinse the strainer and pour/strain the entire pot of pumpkin/egg mix back into the bowl.
Allow to cool on the counter until it is cool enough to be refrigerated overnight.
Mix in ice cream maker, following freezing directions of your machine.

It's been a while since I made homemade ice cream and I assembled my Kitchen Aid machine with the frozen mixer bowl, the beaters, etc, poured in the cooled ice cream mixture and THEN turned the machine on.  WRONG!!  The beaters wouldn't budge!!!  Start over.  I poured the liquid into the original bowl, scraped the frozen ice cream (yummy!) that had adhered to the freezing walls of the ice cream maker bowl and tossed into the batter bowl, assembled empty frozen bowl, turned batters ON and then streamed in the ice cream.  Perfecto!

After the ice cream finished, I moved the still soft mixture it into a tupperware bowl and swirled in a ribbon of pumpkin pie filling for added interest before popping it into the deep freeze to harden.  Now, won't that be good?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chili - Wishing for Winter

It's 31F on Beech Mountain this morning.  Apopka was 74F.  Nonetheless, Fall shall be forced onto the State of Florida with a good old fashioned pot of chili!  I don't use a recipe and just shake this or that into the pot.  This is tonight's recipe, which ended up a hair too speecy-spicy for my tasted, but it was delicious.  This is about what went in the pot:

1 pound of lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 large can crushed Italian tomatoes
1 small can small cuts tomatoes
1 can Chili Beans with medium chili sauce, undrained
1 can Great Northern Beans, undrained
1 can Niblets Corn
1 packet McCormick's Original Chili Mix
2 tiny packets of red pepper flakes/seeds from Pizza Hut
1 tsp Penzey's Spices Minced Garlic
1 tsp Penzey's Spices Forward! spicy blend
2 T Marty's homemade Datil Pepper Sauce

Needed saltines to calm down some of the fire, but meow meow, it was yummy.
Come on, winter!  We are ready!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Printed from COOKS.COM

2 to 3 lb. short rib of beef, cut into serving pieces
1 lg. onion
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 c. catsup
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. vinegar
Brown ribs in heavy skillet. Place in baking dish. Place onions over ribs. Mix catsup, vinegar, chili powder, paprika and salt together. Pour over ribs. Bake covered at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 2 hours or until tender.
While we wait for the ribs to cook, I will tell you the story of how I got my wonderful cast iron dutch oven.  It was 1991 and I was driving home from the grocery store on a Saturday morning, where I wrote a check for ten postage stamps, potatoes and a roast for dinner on Sunday.  I wished I had a dutch oven to cook the roast.  A short cut took me past a good garage sale.  (I don't even like garage sales!)  You know the kind, something catches your eye and you slow down?  I hit the brakes when I saw a rusty old cast iron pot with the lid leaning on it.  In it was yard dirt and a scraggly pink and yellow blooming lantana.  Sinful!!  (This was before Home Depot started selling stinky old lantanta like it's some exotic flower, when we all know it's just a weed that grows wild in cow pastures.)  The price tag - $5.  I didn't have a nickel, but I had postage stamps!  In exchange for a $2.90 book of stamps, I got this terrific dutch oven.  I took it home and dumped the weed in the trash.  After a good scrubbing with a a few SOS pads, I re-seasoned it (takes a few times) and this has been a great addition to my kitchen, getting regular Sunday workouts!
Ninety minutes later...

Mark's dinner, served on a lunch tray in front of the TV.  It's football season.

Friday, September 21, 2012

LIMONCELLO- Simple Syrup Day

There was no sugar in the house on the week my Italian Limoncello was due to be sweetened, so we waited.  It doesn't matter, because the wait isn't an exact science.  Today is September 21st, and in forty more days we will have liquer!  I need to find some pretty gift bottles like these...
To make Simple Syrup, I brought 4 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar to a boil, stirring the whole time. Boiling isn't really necessary, but I to be sure the sugar was melted completely, hitting the boiling point gives me comfort.  Once I was satisfied the syrup is blended, I cover the pot and put it aside to cool all day.

Fearing discoloration, I picked out the vanilla bean before adding simple syrup to the alcohol and lemon peels that have been soaking for 50 days now.  A taste test was pleasing.  I have a cold and it cleared my sinuses!  Let's see how it tasted in 40 days. I guestimate the perfection date to be sometime around the first of November.   I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cabbage Boil

I started with a smoked turkey sausage link, a half a bag of baby carrots, a couple of small onions and a half teaspoon of caraway seeds - all tossed into a pot with 2 tablespoons of sizzling oil in the bottom.  Stirred that around until the onions were clear and covered all with water, adding about 12 mini potatoes, salt and pepper.  Cooked that until the carrots and potatoes were almost soft, then topped it all with a cut up head of cabbage, more salt and pepper and dotted with butter.  Popped on the lid and let it cook and steam another ten minutes until the cabbage was done.

Yumm. Throw some leaves in the air...I'm ready for FALL!

Lean computer monitor on right side.

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