Good Old Fashioned Chili con Carne

chile-con-carneI love classic, back-to-basics dishes, and I love experimenting with other people’s recipes to create my own, unique version. Here is the result of my latest, “experiment.” It was inspired by a recipe at allrecipes.com. I then changed some of the ingredients and have made it my own.

Enjoy.

GM

GOOD OLD FASHIONED CHILI con CARNE

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Ranch Style Beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chili peppers
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of corn (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon buffalo wing sauce

Cook beef and onion in a large stockpot over medium heat. Once meat is brown and the onions are clear stir in tomato sauce, beef broth, beans, green chili peppers, corn (if desired), and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.

Baked Ziti Parmesan

So who doesn’t love pasta? It’s cheap, it’s filling, and you can make many wonderful dishes with pasta. Not eating gluten? No problem. There are some wonderful gluten free pastas out there. In fact, I use both wheat and gluten free pastas, and both are yummy.

This is a simple, yet tasty, pasta dish that is easy to prepare and uses ingredients that most of us already have on hand. Best of all, it’s delicious.

Enjoy,

GM

baked-zitiBAKED ZITI PARMESAN

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 jars spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese
  • dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Boil pasta in salted water according to the package directions. Drain. While pasta is cooking brown meat in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crumbled. Drain. Place meat back in skillet and add spaghetti sauce, stirring well.

Place half of cooked pasta in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with half of the pasta sauce. Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, ending with the remaining cheeses on top. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top cheese layer is browned and sauce is bubbling. Serve with hot garlic bread.

 

Rosie’s Recipe for Soft Molasses Cookies

Rosie Rob Cover FinalHere’s another blast from the past, courtesy of Rosie’s Riveting Recipes — a cookie recipe using molasses. While not as common today as it was in the past, molasses is a natural sweetener that Grandma used to use. During WW2 this recipe would have helped housewives stretch their sugar, a commodity that, at the time, was rationed and in very short supply.

Enjoy this sweet treat.

GM

SOFT MOLASSES COOKIES

  • 3 cups sifted cake flour*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, unbeaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 cup sour milk** or buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Sift flour once, measure, add soda, salt, and spices, and sift together three times. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, creaming until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well; then add molasses. Add flour, alternately with milk, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Chill 1 to 2 hours, or until firm enough to hold shape. Drop from teaspoon on lightly greased baking sheet, placing about 2 inches apart. Bake in hot oven (400º F.) 13 to 15 minutes, or until done. Makes 6 dozen cookies.

***

*No flour sifter?  Not a problem.  Simply measure the flour and pour into a large strainer and stir with a wooden spoon.

** To make sour milk add one tablespoon lemon juice of white vinegar to one cup 2% or whole milk, (fat-free milk will not work).  Let sit for 15 minutes until milk begins to curdle.  Add to recipe.

Chicken Schnitzel with White Wine Sauce

Chicken SchnitzelMy neighborhood Albertsons sells thinly cut chicken breasts, so what better reason to experiment with some new recipes? The possibilities are endless.

Enjoy,

GM

CHICKEN SCHNITZEL WITH WHITE WINE SAUCE

  • 3 or 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon pan drippings
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 8 ounce package sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of parsley

Wash chicken thoroughly and pound with a mallet until approximately 1/4 inch thick. Wash mushrooms and set aside to drain. Place flour and bread crumbs in pie plates or shallow dishes. Beat eggs in a third shallow dish, adding water to create an egg wash. Heat oil in a skillet or frying pan. Roll chicken in flour, dunk in egg wash, and roll in bread crumbs until completely covered. Place in hot oil and cook on both sides until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.

Place butter in a saute pan and melt over medium heat. Add  pan drippings from the chicken and Worcestershire sauce. Once butter has melted add mushrooms and saute. Add cooking wine, chicken broth and seasonings. Bring to boil, cover, and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Place chicken on plates and serve with mushroom sauce over the top. Goes well with cooked noodles.

 

Italian Style Pork Roast with Mushroom Gravy

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Sometimes when you try something new in the kitchen you hit a home run and create something wonderful. This reminds me of the dishes I sometimes order at fancy Italian restaurants–only better.

Enjoy.

GM

 

ITALIAN STYLE PORK ROAST WITH MUSHROOM GRAVY

  • 1 to 3 lb pork roast
  • 2 packages fresh, sliced mushrooms, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, (if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously season pork roast with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Bake at 20 minutes per pound. Begin preparing gravy during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

Place butter and cooking oil in a large skillet or saute pan. Once butter is completely melted add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Stir frequently until onions and mushrooms are thoroughly cooked. Add flour and stir until all the flour is moistened. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once gravy is boiling reduce heat to a simmer and add seasonings and salt, (if desired.) Spoon over sliced pork and serve with pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Rosie’s Recipe for Half and Half Wheat Bread

Rosie Rob Cover FinalWhile many of the recipes in Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, take 30 minutes or less to prepare, the bread recipes take a bit longer. While not difficult or complicated, these recipes are a process, as the yeast needs time to rise and the dough needs to be properly prepared before baking.

This recipe would be a fun, family-friendly weekend project. Children in particular love touching and feeling things, and with this recipe there would be plenty of opportunities for them to do just that. The final product is a good tasting bread that is dense, much like French bread, but without the hard crust. You can also slice the bread for sandwiches to pack in the children’s lunchboxes.

Enjoy.

GM

HALF AND HALF WHEAT BREAD

  • 3 1/2 cups sifted enriched flour
  • 3 cups un-sifted whole wheat of graham flour
  • 1 cup milk, scalded*
  • 1 cake compressed yeast, or 1 package granular yeast**
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/3 cup molasses or strained honey
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening

Sift flour once, measure; add whole wheat flour; mix well.

Cool milk to lukewarm. Soften yeast in small amount of water. Add with remaining water to milk. Add molasses or honey, salt and shortening. Add flour and work in thoroughly. Knead on floured board until smooth, about 10 minutes. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down, let rise again in warm place for about 1/2 hour.

Divide dough into two equal parts and mold into balls; allow to stand closely covered for 15 minutes. Shape into loaves. Place in greased bread pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 8 inches, cover and allow to stand until dough comes well about top of pans, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Bake at 400º for about 40 minutes. Do not store until cold. Makes 2 loaves.

*Scaling milk was used before the process of pasteurization. This step is no longer necessary.

** One package of dry yeast is one scant tablespoon.

Swedish Meatballs

swedish meatballsI’m fortunate because I went to school during a time when home economics was still being taught. And it should still be taught today, since food is kind of important, and knowing how to safely prepare it is an actual life skill. That said, I still have my recipe box from my 7th and 8th grade home economics class, and the recipes are actually quite good.

Here is another classic dish, courtesy of Mrs. Witt’s 8th grade home economics class.

SWEDISH MEATBALLS

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup rolled cracker crumbs or breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt and pepper

Combine meat, eggs, onion and crumbs in a large mixing bowl and mix until well blended. Heat oil in a skillet and roll the meat into balls, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Brown meatballs in skillet. Once the meatballs are thoroughly cooked remove them from the skillet and set aside. Stir flour into the pan drippings and add the milk, stirring rapidly. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and place meatballs back in gravy. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles.

GM

Beef Tips

Beef Tips 2Classic, timeless cuisine doesn’t get any better than this. This recipe is super easy, and it’s one I often prepare at the end of a busy day when I haven’t had much time for cooking.

Enjoy.

GM

BEEF TIPS 

  • 1 to 2 pounds sirloin, round steak or chuck steak, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 small (7 oz) cans of mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup red cooking wine
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 package brown gravy mix
  • water, milk or beef broth

Chop onion and slice beef into small cubes. Melt butter in a skillet and add onions and beef. Cook until onions are clear and the beef is brown. Add mushrooms, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and cooking wine. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If mixture gets too dry, add beef broth or water. Once beef is tender increase heat to medium, add gravy mix and stir, adding water, milk or beef broth until desired consistency is reached. Serve over toast, noodles or mashed potatoes.

Note: Low sodium gravy mix works best as the soy sauce and Worcester sauce already have plenty of sodium.

 

Twice Baked Red Potato Soup

Red Potato SoupThe other day someone gave me a big bag of red potatoes, so I did a little experimenting with my basic potato soup recipe, and came up with something amazing. This dish is economical, easy to prepare, and delicious.

Enjoy.

GM

TWICE BAKED RED POTATO SOUP

  • 4 to 6 medium to large red potatoes
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 to 3 slices cooked bacon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Peel potatoes and slice into small cubes. Set aside. Drop butter into a small stock pot and melt over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Add milk and potatoes. Break bacon into small pieces and drop into soup. Add seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. Add cheeses, stir and simmer until melted.