Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

What part of this meal would any man not love?  A true meal in itself!  The corn bread adds the finishing touch and makes this super hearty after a long day out in the cold!  Best of all…it cooks at the same time in the oven and at most should take 30 – 45 minutes to prepare and bake…that includes the chopping and browning of the meat!

I am currently working on an anniversary present for my brother-in-law and his wife.  This recipe is sure to make the “book”.  Thanks to my sister, I have recently stumbled on a great company based out of Wisconsin called Bare Books.  I am using one of the company’s books to create a cookbook of sorts as a gift to them.  It will include many of my family’s favorite recipes that are kid friendly, adult loved and super easy to make!!!  Have you ever given the gift of recipes?

Hearty Beef and Bean Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion – chopped
½ large red pepper – chopped
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
¾ C water
½ tsp soy sauce
16 oz can bushes baked beans
15 oz can butter beans
6 oz can tomato paste

Preheat oven to 400°.  In a large skillet, brown the beef, onion and red pepper.  Drain off the fat.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.  Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish.  You will bake both items at the same time…see below!

Corn Bread

1 ¼ C flour
¾ C Corn Meal
¼ C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 C milk
¼ C apple sauce
1 egg beaten

Combine the dry ingredients.  Stir in the milk, apple sauce and egg.  Pour batter into a greased 8 or 9” pan (a pie plate works just fine).  Put the casserole and the corn bread both in pre-heated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until the bread is a light golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


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Pasta of your choice – I used a box of Fusilli pasta
3 boneless skinless chicken breast – sliced thin
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices prosciutto – diced
1Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups prepared pasta sauce
1 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup Parmesan cheese – shredded

Begin by boiling the water to cook the pasta in. Once that comes to a boil, cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in skillet to medium high. Add chicken breast. Cook the chicken breast in skillet till cooked through. Add prosciutto and garlic. Saute 3 – 5 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. Deglaze the pan with chicken broth and simmer 3 – 5 minutes to reduce. Add pasta sauce, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Simmer just about a minute to blend the flavors. Drain pasta. Stir into sauce. Transfer to greased baking dish. Top with Parmesan cheese. Bake in 375 oven until cheese is melted and bubbly! Enjoy!!!

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This is not your classic Minestrone.  Actually got this recipe from my sister and tweaked it to our families taste.  This one pot wonder will feed a family of 4 about 3+ meals.  What a great way to use all the fresh items just starting to come out of the garden.  I love to make a big pot, eat it one night and freeze the rest in small batches.  It is such a treat to pull out a small bowl for a quick lunch or a larger one for a family supper.  The one thing I really love…it freezes great!  And for those of you who turn up your nose at the cabbage, let me just say that I can’t stand cabbage…or at least that is what I thought before I had it in this soup!  (Still the only way I will eat it thought…I haven’t been converted yet!)

16 oz Polska Kielbasa – cut into 1/2″ rounds – then slice the rounds in half

1 T Olive Oil

1 medium or 2 small onions – diced

2 large carrots, sliced

1 tsp crumbled basil

2 cloves garlic – minced

2 small zucchini (or summer squash) sliced

16 oz can diced tomatoes – or grab a couple good size tomatoes out of your garden and dice

3 cups water

4 beef bouillon cubes

2 cups finely shredded cabbage

1 can great northern beans – un-drained

salt & pepper to taste

Directions:  Brown Kielbasa in large soup pot in 1 T olive oil for 3 – 5 minutes.  Add onion, carrots and basil.  Cook 3 – 5 minutes.  Add garlic to the pot and cook another 2 minutes.  Add zucchini, tomatoes, water, beef bouillon, and cabbage.  Simmer covered for 1/2 to 1 hour or until cabbage is tender.  Add beans with liquid.  Taste the broth and salt and pepper to your liking.  Simmer an additional 10 minutes to allow beans to come to temperature.  Serve in large bowls.  Careful, your guests will want to have seconds  🙂

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OK…So I have to admit, I took a little help with this one!  You have to try the seasoning packet from McCormick – McCormick Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning.  It has to be the easiest pulled pork ever!  Here goes:

3 Lbs Boneless Pork Roast

2 packets McCormick Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning

2/3 C Red Wine Vinegar – divided

2 C Ketchup – divided

2 C Brown Sugar – divided

A pack or 2 of your favorite buns or rolls (We used a wonderful roll with onions cooked in)

Mix 1/3 C Red Wine Vinegar, 1 C Ketchup, 1 C Brown Sugar and 1 packet of seasoning.  Place Roast in Slow Cooker and pour the sauce over top of the meat.  Cook until meat is tender and falling apart.  This is typically 4 hours or so on high.  Once meat is cooked, remove meat from slow cooker.  Discard the sauce that you cooked the meat in.  (Yes, I know, this seems like such a waste.  If you are not planning to serve the meat right away, you could ladle the sauce into a container and chill in the refrigerator.  Then, once chilled, remove the layer of fat from the top.  Then you would be fine to reuse…otherwise, I find it to be way too fatty!)  Prepare the 2nd seasoning packet the same way you did the 1st.  Place this in the crock pot.  Shred the pork roast with using 2 forks.  (I like to give this job to my hubby).  Place the shredded pork back into the crock pot with the new sauce.  Heat until bubbly!

Caution…do not serve to guest unless you want to have it requested every time they visit!!!

Now for the Potatoes!  A yummy blend of garlic and rosemary.  And a simple dish to make!

1 – 2 lbs potatoes – scrubbed clean – unpeeled – chopped into bite size pieces  (I find these to be best with red potatoes, but anything will do.  I used a regular russet this time)

2 – 3 T extra virgin olive oil

2 – 3 clove garlic – pressed or finely chopped

2 T Rosemary

Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place olive oil, garlic, rosemary and cracked black pepper into a small dish.  Microwave on medium 30 seconds or so…just to heat the oil slightly.  Spray a baking sheet (love a jelly roll pan for this) with cooking spray.  Spread potatoes on the baking sheet and pour the olive oil mixture over the potatoes.  Stir it all to coat – then spread back out into 1 layer.  Bke for 15 – 25 minutes until the potatoes start to brown and develop a slight crust.

Green Beans:

Simple – We picked our fresh from the garden, washed them, let the kiddos snap them…Then boiled till they were done.  Seasoned with salt & pepper and we were done.

Let me know if you try the pulled pork or the potatoes!


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Does this look good or what?  For those of us that have a garden..this is the perfect way to use those veggies that are ready now!  A twist on a great sandwich.  Has even made me rethink my next BLT!  May on garlic toast after having this!


6 strips thick cut bacon – chopped

1 small onion – chopped (plucked one from the garden)

1 pint grape tomatoes – quartered

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1 1/4 C chicken broth – divided

2 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

2 C. fresh spinach leaves or mixed baby greens

10 oz penne – cooked to package directions

Day old french bread – processed to crumbs

2 cloves garlic – pressed

1 T olive oil


Begin by toasting bread crumbs.  Place olive oil in small skillet and heat to medium.  Add processed bread crumbs and pressed garlic.  Toast.  Turn off pan and reserve bread crumbs for garnish.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil.  While you wait for the water to boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Cook bacon until crisp.  Drain bacon on paper towel, leaving approx 2 T of bacon grease in skillet.  Add chopped onion.  Cook 3 mins.  Add grape tomatoes and sugar.  Cook, stirring occasionally until tomatoes begin to caramelize.  De-glaze pan with 1/4 C chicken stock.  Simmer 3 minutes.  Add remaining chicken stock, red wine vinegar, and cracked black pepper.  Simmer 5-7 minutes. While sauce simmers, begin to cook the pasta.  Add the spinach to the simmering sauce and allow to wilt for 1 – 2 minutes.  Add cooked bacon (reserving 1 T for topping plated pasta).  When pasta is cooked, add drained pasta to sauce.  Toss to coat.  Plate pasta and garnish with remaining crumbled bacon and garlic bread crumbs.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did.  We have made this a couple of times already.  The 1st was with the baby greens which add a peppery bite!  But very good!

What are you doing with the summer produce?

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Crab Cakes


So I went to make crab cakes yesterday and realized that I didn’t have any lemon.  Most every recipe I have ever seen or used for these yummy treats calls for lemon.  As I usually fly by the seat of my pants when cooking, I had already put the eggs and mayo in the bowl and had my heart set on them before the lack of lemon was realized.  Being the person I am, crab cakes had to be made.  So a threw a little of this and a little of that together and figured if they didn’t turn out, there was always leftovers.  My husband took one bite and said “If I had ordered these in a restaurant, I would NOT have been disappointed”.  I took this as a compliment and figured I would share.

2 eggs slightly beaten

2 Tablespoons Mayo (use the real stuff here…no miracle whip)

2 good shakes of Cayenne pepper

2 Tablespoons of sweet hot mustard

a pinch or two of parsley for color

fresh ground pepper and a dash of salt to taste

1 lb chopped or shredded crab meat (I actually used imitation crab)

bread crumbs (a handful or two till you can form the mixture into patties)

extra bread crumbs to coat the patties

2 Tablespoons oil for frying.

Whisk together eggs, Mayo, Cayenne pepper, sweet hot mustard, parsley, pepper and salt.   Once combined, add chopped crab meat and bread crumbs.  Mix well.  Form into approximately 8 patties.  Coat patties in bread crumbs.  If time allows, the frying will go easier if you allow them to set up in the fridge for 4 hours or so.  If it doesn’t allow, no problem, you just will need to be a little more careful when frying.  Coat skillet with 2 Tablespoons oil (I use Olive Oil, but you have to watch carefully with the heat as Olive Oil will burn).  Place Crab Cakes in oil (in batches if needed) and cook for approximately 4 minutes or until browned.  Turn over and cook another 3 -4 minutes on the other side.

I served these over a scoop of garlic smashed potatoes.  (Easy to make as well) – Wash and cube a pound or so of red potatoes (I didn’t peel mine).  Boil in water until cooked.  Drain.  Place back in pot.  Add 4 Tablespoons Butter, Garlic and Milk or Heavy Cream.  Smash to desired consistency.  The Milk or Heavy Cream will be used to get the consistency you want as well.  I tend to like mine a little moist, so may use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.  Just depends.  I add a little, mash, and add more as needed.

Trust me…This is well worth the time to make!

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