Bagels, Bagels, Bagels


I was talking to a friend about food yesterday. (Is that surprising? Yeah, I didn’t think so…) In this conversation, I commented that I love to make bagels in many different flavors and continued on about something else, while he was interrupting me with “Wait! What? You make bagels? Like you toast them and put cream cheese on them, not like actually make bagels, boiling and all that”…. I laughed, and replied that of course I mean I mix the dough, shape it, boil it, bake it… how silly to assume I meant anything else, right? 😉

So, making bagels has been on my mind for quite awhile now, but always gets set aside. It is time to stop putting that task aside. I have asked my friends what their favorite bagel flavors are and I received several responses. “Blueberry” “Cheese” “Onion” “Garlic” “Dried Cherries with Honey” (let me add my YUM! to that request!!! Sounds great!) “Pumpkin Spice” “Sun Dried Tomato with Italian Spices”

Well, that’s a lot of flavors! And I am not ambitious enough to try to do them all in one bagel making session, but I will make bagels this weekend! (Please, would someone remind me to pick up some more flour, cheese, onion, garlic and I guess some blueberries…) I will mix, shape, boil and bake… and then I will wrap and freeze for easy breakfasts and snacks. And yes, I will share! Of course I will share. It’s what I do. 🙂

(Oh, and of course… there will be a recipe and pictures to follow…)

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Comfort on a Plate


Comfort on a Plate

I think everyone has 1 specific meal that brings them comfort. No matter what is going on in their life at that very moment, they can enjoy that meal and feel immediately better, all their worries melting away.

For my kiddos, when they have a bad day, or when they’ve been away from home for awhile, or are about to leave for awhile, the request is almost always Salisbury Steak with Mashed Potatoes. Tonight they got their “Comfort on a Plate”. It’s been a pretty crazy week for us, and giving them this treat was the least I could do for them. Yesterday we picked the last of the potatoes from the garden, and we had some burger patties left from cheeseburgers on Sunday, so it was a logical choice, really. I also pulled a can of beans from the pantry and cooked up the rest of the carrots from the farmer’s market to round out the meal.

I admit, I do not always cook from scratch and I do buy canned veggies to have on-hand. Hey! I never said I was perfect!!! 😉

 

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Breakfast Burritos


  • Large Flour Tortillas (I bought 2 packs of 16 each, but did not use them all)
  • Breakfast Sausage
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 2 cans black beans (you can use dried beans if you prefer, you just need to cook them up, of course)
  • Salsa
  • Colby-Jack cheese
  • Plastic Wrap

Gather all ingredients in one place

Brown sausage in a large skillet (mine is 12″)

While the sausage is cooking, grate cheese (or set the kids to work on grating the cheese, which is what I always do…) and drain & rinse the black beans

Set browned sausage aside. Scramble eggs in a large bowl. Heat the same skillet used for the sausage and pour the eggs in. Cook and stir until cooked/scrambled.

Pour the beans and sausage on top of the eggs in the skillet and mix well. (Why bother dirtying another bowl for mixing, right?)

Warm tortillas so they fold easily (You’ll want to warm just a few at a time so they don’t cool before you’re ready for them). Lay 1 tortilla out on your counter, and scoop about 1/2 cup of the egg mixture onto one side (don’t use anymore than that, or they won’t roll very well, but you could do a little less and get more burritos out of the mix, if you wanted to)
 
 
Top with a little salsa and shredded cheese. Then fold, starting at the end with the “stuff” on it, then folding in the sides and roll until it looks like a burrito. Once it’s all rolled/folded up, wrap in plastic wrap.
 
 
Continue until all the mixture is gone, or until you run out of tortillas, whichever comes first. You can, of course, personalize these to suit your family’s tastes. Leave out the salsa, leave out the sausage, add veggies, add shredded potatoes… you are limited only by your imagination!
  
Once you’ve finished all the rolling, place the wrapped burritos into a large freezer-safe container or freezer bag. When ready to eat, just unwrap, and wrap in a microwave-safe paper towel. Microwave on high 1-3 minutes (You’ll have to test it, and it will depend on how much or how little stuffing you put in, and on your microwave, too….)
  
Enjoy for breakfast, after-school snacks, or late-night snacks!
 
This is a perfect recipe to have on your “Power Cooking” rotation, and is very budget friendly!!!
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Mom’s Stuffed Green Peppers


4 med. Green Peppers
1 # Ground Beef
1/3 c chopped onion
salt
pepper
1 # can tomatoes
1/2 c water
1/2 c uncooked long grain rice (not the minute rice)
1 tsp worcestershire (I tend to use a lot more than that!)
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese

Cut off tops of peppers; remove seeds and membrane. Precook green pepper cups in boiling salted water about 5 minutes; drain. (for crisper peppers, omit precooking)

Cook ground beef and onion till meat is lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add tomatoes, water, rice & worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer till rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cheese, shredded (about 1 c) Stuff peppers; stand upright in baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.

I love this dinner! I like to add baked potatoes and a salad to finish it off, and some fresh baked bread! If you know the next day is going to be busy and you may not have time to get dinner together, this is a great one to do. Make it up the night before and put it in the fridge. Add just a couple extra minutes onto the cooking time!

***Notes

  • Mom has renamed her recipe to “Hidden Pepper” and uses only 1 pepper these days. She puts the single pepper in the middle of the pan, fills it with the mix and surrounds it with the remaining mix. I mostly do it this way, also, except that I use 2 peppers, but I usually double the meat mix, and it’s a great lunch the next day. 🙂
  • I often make life easier for myself and cook up a large amount of rice on a weekend for use throughout the week. Then I’ll just use a few big scoops of the already cooked rice, omitting the extra water in the recipe. I’ve also been known to skip the canned tomatoes and chop up the tomatoes that are sitting on the counter, begging to be used.
  • Admittedly, I don’t follow this (or most) recipe exactly. I add things all the time, or change it here and there. But this is the basic recipe and a good starting point for budding cooks.
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I’m a Bad Blogger


I always have the best of intentions, but then life takes control and the blog takes a back seat. You know, things like jobs, kids (and all their activities), family, friends, and yes, even some sleep, always seem to take up all my time and then it’s 2 weeks and I have posted zilch, zippo, nada to my blog. But I have things coming for you!!! Quick posts will be coming along with a few recipes for you. And I will try to do better with my blogging for you. 🙂

Posted in Cooking With Love

I Like to Share


Dinner with Loved Ones

As you know, I love to cook for people! This weekend was a bit of a treat for me, getting to cook for my sis, who I rarely cook for and her foster daughter (the kid) who was getting to experience a dinner in my home for the first time. On Saturday morning, my sis took the kids fishing while I went shopping and to spend some “me” time. By the time I got home, everyone was waiting for dinner (which ended up being very late… but it’s a Holiday weekend, so that’s ok, right? 😉 ) I made Mom’s Stuffed Green Peppers (recipe to follow in a few days), baked potatoes with mushroom brandy sauce (this recipe will also follow sometime this week), and a big ol’ salad topped with tomatoes I picked up from the Farmer’s Market. When the kid saw the platter of salad she excitedly asked “Are you going to take a picture of that?” (This is something she thought was odd about our family at first, but by the end of pickle makin’ weekend she thought it was pretty neat.) But her real excitement came when I told her that the ranch dressing sitting atop her colorful salad was homemade! I wish I could have captured the look on her face. It was pure excitment and joy and it filled me up with excitement and joy, too. I hope the kid enjoyed her weekend here, and will always have good memories to look back on of her time with our family.

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Gettin’ Pickled


Two weeks ago was “pickle-makin’ weekend” at my sis’s house. I joined my parents, my sis and her foster daughter, and my own kids (who had arrived on Friday afternoon with my parents, as I was at a training and not arriving until nearly midnight) for the weekend on our quest to get pickled!

Mom & Dad picked up the cukes and other supplies needed for the pickling extravaganza, including snipping all the dill from the plants in my garden (I was hoping that big ol’ thing that was out-of-control was going to be useful!)

We had a great time all day, the kids were helpful… the girls were helpful by staying out of our way (at least I think that’s what they have made themselves believe. 😉 ) and the boy was helpful and learned how to make pickles, like my Great Grandma used to make!!! I’ll share the recipe with you, and you can see my sis’s video in her post about the weekend (linked in the first paragraph). As a reward for the all the boy’s hard work, the girls did all the dishes while he got to sit and relax. And he got to be the one to try the very first pickle out of the jars!!!

So, why did I wait 2 weeks to tell you about gettin’ pickled? Because it is 2 weeks from pickling day that the hard work pays off and you get to open the first jar and give them a try. Which means that TODAY, while my sis and her foster daughter were here, we opened the jar and watched as the boy child chose his pickle and took the first bite. And it was good. (And he is still alive, so we must have done it right, huh?)

 

 

Want to make your own pickles? Here’s the recipe:

Mom’s Dill Pickles
(Well, my Mom’s Mom’s… so that would be my Great Grandma)

Put 1 quart cider vinegar, 1 quart water, and ½ cup pickling salt together in a non-reactive**** saucepan and boil for a few minutes. Then pour the mixture over small cucumbers which are packed tightly into jars along with garlic, peppers, and fresh dill. (Ratios to your taste.) Process in water bath for 15 minutes.

I got to take home 28 of the 54 jars of pickles, because of my larger family. For those of you who think this sounds like a lot of pickles… well, today for lunch, we ate half a jar. My kiddos love to take pickles for their lunches and I like to put them out as a snack when we have people over, and then of course there is potato salad, sliced pickles on sandwiches, chopped pickles in tuna sandwiches… the list could go on and on… So… I think we might have enough to last us the year…

::Notes taken from my sis’s post:

** We are not bound by these guidelines, but if we want to enter things in the county fair, they must be made to USDA standards. Oh, and it’s meant to be safer.
*** Ratios of water/vinegar have been changed from the original to be in line with what we made. Dad also points out that some of the reasoning for this is that ‘in the olden days’ vinegar was more acidic that it is today.
**** Non-reactive saucepans are a stainless steel, chip-free enamelware pan, or glass pans.

Posted in Canning, Cooking With Love, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments