May 23, 2011

Cowboy Dinner

Cowboy Dinner

I was very skeptical about this recipe found at Mel’s Kitchen CafĂ© because ground beef casseroles generally all taste the same and offer very little flavor or variety.  Seriously simple though, the recipe called for me to pull it together and give it a shot and I’m so glad I did.  Surprisingly, there was a lot of different flavors throughout this dish and the corn bread topping pulled the entire thing together so well.  It made a lot of food and could easily serve 6 adults.

Since we were given a huge portion of a grass-fed cow I don’t feel so bad eating all this ground beef…and we have a lot of it to get through! 

Moo.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 12 oz. salsa
  • 1 15 oz. can black, pinto or white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cornbread Topping

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375

  1. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion, adding the salt and pepper, over medium-high heat until the beef is no longer pink. Drain the grease from the pan. Stir in the corn, salsa, and beans. Pour the beef mixture into the prepared 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  3. For the cornbread, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil, beaten eggs and milk. Whisk together until just moistened and no dry spots remain.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese over the beef mixture and pour the cornbread batter over the cheese and beef mixture. Gently spread the cornbread to the edges of the pan, evening it out over the top of the casserole.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges are bubbly and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  - Shanna

May 19, 2011

Berry Spinach Smoothie

Spinach Berry Smoothie

I’d heard before that putting spinach in a smoothie is a great way to incorporate more of it into the diet.  I was skeptical because although I like spinach for a lot of things, the idea of putting it in my fruit-sweet smoothie didn’t appeal to me.  After being sick all week, any little bit of extra help getting better is worth the try! 

Originally I left out the strawberries and I could taste enough of the spinach to know I wouldn’t finish the smoothie that way.  So I tossed a few in the blender and voila!  No more spinach flavor.  Yay, me!

I say a small handful of spinach because that’s just what I did.  Then I got worried that there may be some of you out there panicking right now at the idea of having to guess at the measurement.  It’s ok, I do it too.  So I went back to the bag of spinach, pulled out the same amount and counted the leaves.  Just for you.  Because I’m cool like that.  I counted 18 leaves.  So give or take, it’s a small handful.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium orange, peeled
  • 8-10 red seedless grapes
  • 5 strawberries, hulled
  • 4 heaping spoons full plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • small handful baby spinach
  • ice, as much or as little to get the texture you like

Directions (in case you’re uncertain how to make a smoothie)

1.  Pour everything into the blender and blend.

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  - Shanna

May 17, 2011

Tarragon Egg Salad

Tarragon Egg Salad

Adapted from Simply Recipes with what we had on hand; aka what I didn’t forget at the grocery store.  We had this for dinner because I love to have sandwiches for dinner.  They’re easy, fast clean-up and little or no cooking is required.  I bought some “fancy” kettle potato chips, had some grapes waiting in the freezer and called this a yummy almost-summer dinner! 

The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of fennel which I wanted to use, but misread when I wrote my grocery list for the week and came home with fennel seed instead so I left it out, unsure how that would turn out.  I’ll give it a whirl next time!

Ingredients
  • 12 hard boiled eggs*, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions, including the greens
  • 1 Tablespoon dried tarragon leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

* To hard boil eggs, put eggs in a large pot, cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil.  Turn heat all the way down to low.  Cover and cook for 12 minutes Drain, run under cold water to stop the cooking and to cool down the eggs.

Directions
Gently combine all of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  - Shanna

May 12, 2011

Brown Bag Popcorn

Paper Bag Popcorn

Popcorn popped this way is so light and fluffy.  Full of air instead of the chemicals the microwave varieties can have.  Now I have to be honest, once I made this a few dozen times I went out and bought one of these little babies and haven’t looked back since, but the concept is the same!

There are countless things you can do with popcorn to add tons of flavor without all the additives. 

We also tried cinnamon sugar and salt but don’t forget plain salt.  There’s just something oddly satisfying about sitting down to watch a movie at home with a big bowl of warm, salted popcorn. 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup popping corn, un-popped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • brown paper lunch bag

Directions

1.  IF you choose to use oil, toss the un-popped corn, olive oil and salt, in the paper bag. Otherwise, simply place un-popped corn in the bag, then fold the top of the bag over twice (tape it if you’re worried about spillage).  I taped mine because I’m a worrier.

 

2.  Place the bag in the microwave and microwave on high for 2 minutes to 3 minutes, or until there are about 5 seconds between pops.

3.  Carefully remove bag from microwave and give it a good shake to coat the popcorn with any loose salt.  If you didn’t use oil, pour the popcorn into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings like melted butter, seasonings (have you tried pepper on popcorn?  YUM!) or eat it all by it’s gloriously low-calorie popped self.

May 9, 2011

Homemade Maple Syrup

Homemade Maple Syrup Sinzibuckwud, or ‘sweet water’ having come from the maple tree, was used by the Aborigines of North America for it’s sugar content long before European settlers arrived and began pouring it over their crumpets and porridge.*  There wasn’t any high fructose corn syrup to speak of and the all natural sweetener was used in a variety of ways to sweeten foods.  Tell me this; what’s the big deal with hfcs?  Is it because it’s processed?  I don’t get it.  I’ve Googled it to death and don’t really understand why it’s worse for our bodies than pure sugar. This turned out very well, if just a little thinner than I’m used to – but no thinner than pure maple syrup purchased in a grocery store. 

I’d say this syrup is between imitation syrup and real maple syrup in it’s consistency; which is to say I didn’t mind that it was slightly more runny than the fake junk I regularly consume on our waffles.  Also, I don’t like how sweet real maple syrup is and this recipe didn’t turn out near as sweet as that.  Happy!

The recipe, found at All Recipes, makes two cups and I stored it in a washed jam jar.  I haven’t refrigerated it because it will likely all be consumed this week along with the double batch of waffles that were made this morning.  Honestly I found conflicting ideas on how syrup should be stored so do a little research and do what you will with it.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple extract
Directions
  1. Bring the water, white sugar, and brown sugar to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in the maple extract; simmer 10 minutes longer.

Source: Wikipedia

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  - Shanna

May 5, 2011

Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Banana BreadBananas are the one fruit that I wait, with enthusiasm, to go bad!  Ok, maybe not bad, but real brown and soft.  This bread, found at Savory Sweet Life hit the spot with just enough sweetness from the chocolate and the bananas kept it soft and moist.  The perfect combo for a dessert bread, in my not so humble opinion.  The recipe below makes two loaves; we broke into one and froze the other for another day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

  1. Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan, with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Stir in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla until well blended.
  3. Add baking soda, cocoa, and flour. Mix everything until well incorporated. Add chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into loaf pan(s) and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick, inserted into the center, comes out clean.
  5. Remove from heat and allow bread to rest in the loaf pan for 10 minutes. Invert the loaf pans onto a cooling rack.

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing here; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  - Shanna

May 2, 2011

Pizza Pizzazz Salad

Pizza Pizzazz Salad

I started receiving the Better Homes and Gardens magazine back in January, recycling the unworthy issues and dog-earing several pages in others.  I’ve managed to keep only two on my shelf at a time and the 2011 BH&G Cookbook Supplement is where I found then adapted this little beauty. I’m determined not to clutter my shelves with these magazines so as soon as I’m done going through and testing the choicest recipes, I’ll be doing my earthly duty and recycling.  Unless I decide to start gift-wrapping in magazine pages.  Which isn’t entirely out of the realm of my reality.

I served this with baby red potatoes, and after the five of us had had our fill, there was still enough left over for two day’s of lunch for myself.

Ingredients

  • 5 oz. Spring Mix salad
  • 3 oz.baby spinach
  • 10 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 15 oz. can white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained
  • handful of pepperoni slices (about 24-ish pieces)
  • 5 oz. crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 recipe herb dressing, below

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup evoo
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For dressing:  In a screw-top container or salad dressing jar with tight fitting lid, mix all ingredients and shake to combine.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Directions

  1. In a large salad bowl pour in tomatoes, beans, onion, red pepper salad and spinach. 
  2. Toss with dressing and top with blue cheese.

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing here; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  - Shanna