Friday, December 20, 2013

Beef Barley Soup -- Crockpot

We altered a few recipes to get just what we loved in a hearty beef barley soup. This is what we came up with, and we love it!!

Beef Barley Soup – Crockpot

Cook a roast of any kind overnight in a crockpot with a little beef broth or water. Shred or cut up. Use about one pound per recipe, but the following may be doubled or tripled (and so on) to feed any size of group.

Return cooked beef to crock pot and add:

2 carrots, diced or sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 chopped onion
2 potatoes cubed
1, 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 quart beef broth
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1 T. minced garlic
½ t. dill (or It's A Dilly Salt Free Seasoning)
2 T. Italian seasoning
1 T. Basil
1 T. white sugar
½ t. black pepper, freshly ground
Kosher salt to taste

Cook on low or high until vegetables are tender. (4-6 hours – 6 low, 4 high)

One hour before serving add: ½ cup barley.

This also works well on the stovetop.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Jalapeno Jelly

We eat this on EVERYTHING.  It is a great sandwich spread, good with any meat or fish, and wonderful over cream cheese served with crackers.

White Silk Purse Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

3 cups finely diced peppers, seeded
(jalapeno, bell, red bell, pasilla, Anaheim, etc.)
6 cups sugar
1 ½ cups cider vinegar
1 T crushed red pepper flakes
red or green food coloring, if desired

Bring the above to a a good boil in a heavy bottomed pan.  
Add 2 pouches of CERTO and boil for 1 minute more.  
Add food coloring if desired for a more festive color.
Seal in sterilized half-pint jars. 
-- Water bath 10 minutes.--

Note:  Wear gloves when seeding peppers.  The "heat" in peppers is all in the seeds and ribs.  Remove them for a milder flavor.  I halve or quarter the peppers and use a teaspoon to remove seeds a ribs.  Often this process will induce coughing.  Its just the peppers doing their thing.  :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stuffed Pepper Soup

I have searched for this recipe to give credit.  I'm pretty sure I found it online, but I know not where.  It is FABULOUS tasting and easy to make. I put the rice on to cook first and then start the rest. By the time the rice is needed, it's ready. This is an easy recipe to cut in half if you need less soup, but it keeps well and we love the leftovers for lunches.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

2 pounds ground beef

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 small onion chopped

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic


2 quarts Beef Broth

4 cans (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, un-drained

3 cups cooked rice

2 cups chopped peppers (any mix is fine, green, red, black, yellow, orange, Anaheim, etc.)

1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar


In a Dutch oven, cook beef with salt, pepper, onion and garlic over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.

Stir in the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until peppers are tender.

Optional:  top with cheese to serve
Yield: 12 large servings 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tomatillo Salsa

I love to can in the summertime.  A big time family favorite is 
Tomatillo Salsa.  
If you are unfamiliar with tomatillos, 
they are a “fruit” that looks like a green tomato, but grows in a papery husk.  
The fruit also feels quite sticky when you first remove it from the husk.  
They kind of grow like weeds!

This recipe makes 14 pints.  
I use my big electric roasting pan, rather than a pot on the stove, when I make it.  
I often do two or three batches in the summer.  
It’s a little different than other salsas, and I think that’s why  we love it!!

Tomatillo Salsa
16 cups husked, cored and chopped tomatillos
3 cups chopped onion
3 cups chopped green chili peppers (Anaheim or Big Jim)
scant ¼ cup minced garlic (fresh or bottled, NOT dry)
6 T minced FRESH cilantro
6 t. cumin
1 ½ t. salt
3 cups apple cider vinegar
¾ cup lime juice
1 cup sugar

Combine all of the above in a huge pot or an electric roasting pan. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.

Ladle hot salsa into hot prepared jars.  Leave ¼ inch to ½ inch headspace. Adjust lids and rings. Process 20 minutes in a boiling water bath/canner.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lori's Apple Dip

This wonderful fruit dip is especially good on apples, but all types of fruit are yummy.  Lori is a wonderful new friend in my life, and a FABULOUS cook.

Apple Dip

1, 8 oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Toffee Bits

Cream the cream cheese and sugars.  Add vanilla, fold in toffee bits.  
Serve as a dip with assorted fruit, or just apples.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 chopped onion
olive oil
1 8oz. package cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded jack cheese
garlic to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
4-5 drops Tabasco, more or less to taste

Cook onion in olive oil until tender. Add cheeses, salt, pepper and garlic and stir until smooth. Stir in sour cream. Add spinach and artichokes. Add Tabasco to taste. Serve warm.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Homemade Pizza and Sauce

   Homemade Pizza is a favorite at our house.  Everyone makes his/her own pizza, just the size wanted with just the toppings wanted.  Even the grandchildren make their own.  This recipe makes enough for an evening with a crowd. Be sure to pre-heat your oven to as hot as it can get.  Ours is usually set to 550°.  Each pizza takes about  10 - 15 minutes.

   Oh, and our REAL secret are the tiles we keep in the oven.  They are terra-cotta quarry tiles.  {We bought them at HomeDepot many years ago. We recently sought out more, but had a hard time finding them.  We ended up at a tile store that was willing to order them for us.}  We use a pizza paddle and slide the uncooked pizza onto the pre-heated tiles and then use the same paddle to slide the cooked pizzas from the oven too.

Authentic Pizza Dough

2 T. yeast
1 t. sugar
4 cups warm water
4 cups flour

Beat until soupy. Let stand 20 minutes until foamy.

Add to above:

¼ cup olive oil
4 t. salt
8 – 10 cups flour

Mix to stiff dough. Let rest 10 – 15 min.  Makes 5-6 large pizzas, or 15 - 20 small ones.

Remember to use corn meal under the dough to roll the dough out. This keeps it moveable and adds great texture and flavor to your finished pizza.

Pizza Sauce

6, 8oz cans tomato sauce or tomato puree
½ t. pepper
1 t. sugar
2 t. salt
1 t. garlic powder
2 t. onion powder
1 t. sweet basil
1 ½ t. oregano

Simmer one or more hours.  A crock-pot works best.

Use your favorite toppings and cheese. 

Your oven needs to be as hot as it can be, 500 or more degrees.