Tuesday, October 11, 2011

mmm, mmm, good


I always say I work out so I can eat! :)

I like food. It's that simple.

I am not a glutton, well sometimes, but cooking and baking have always come naturally to me. I can whip together a meal with random things and it tastes good. It's in no way like the show "Chopped" on the Food Network, but the meal is not too bad.

So here are a few of the recipes I have tried and they are wonderful! There is NO recipe that will make it the way I found it, I will always do it my way.

Crock Pot Ribs w/sweet potato fries & fresh steamed broccoli. 
I don't usually buy "special" meat, or meat that is beyond ground beef and chicken. Only because it is expensive, but sometimes, we like to have a not-so-common meal. And this is a great recipe for that. 
1/2 cup paprika 
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup onion
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
2 1/2 lbs ribs 
1 can of beef stock (my change, the recipe called for beer. Well, I don't buy beer, so I tried this)
1 quart bbq sauce (any you like! and I used about 3/4 quart)
1/2 cup honey

-Combine Paprika, sugar, onion powder, salt and pepper in bowl. Generously season the ribs with this mixture. 
-cook ribs on stove-top, 3 minutes each side.
-place in crock pot and add beef stock. Cover, cook on high for 2 hours. 
-blend bbq and honey, add to the crock pot. Cover, cook on high for 1 1/2 hours. 

Winter Squash Soup
This soup is amazing! I'm not a soup person, but I would eat this soup even in the 110 degree weather. It's the kind of soup you need that extra piece of bread to sop up every ounce of goodness!

6 lbs. of squash, seeded (any winter, I used Butternut) 
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped ( I did not have these, so I added one more carrot. Turned out fine)
1/2 onion, finely chopped 
                (onion tip: keep in fridge, in the humidity control drawer, wrapped in foil and 
it will last almost a month!)
1 bay leaf (i used bay leaf seasoning, about 1 tbs.)
1 branch of sage leaves (i used marjoram instead, 1tbs.)
24 oz. chicken stock
8 oz heavy whipping cream 
1 tbs. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper

-preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve squash, de-seed and liberally add salt and pepper to the "meat" of squash. Sprinkle with oil and place "meat" side down on baking sheet. peel and cut carrots and parsnips, add to baking sheet, also sprinkling oil on. Bake for 45 minutes, or until squash in fork tender

-In a large heavy stock pot heat 2 tbs oil until simmering, add onion with salt and pepper. cook 3-5 minutes, stirring so as to keep onion from turing brown. add bay leaf, sage, stock and spices. Bring to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

-If using actual bay leaf and sage branch, remove. Remove flesh from squash (should peel off easily after baking) and add to the pot. Use immersion blender to blend all, or work in batches with a blender. Return soup to pot, add heavy cream and simmer for 10 minutes. If soup is too thick, add milk to achieve consistency you like. 

(soup tip: I like to put mine in the fridge for a couple hours before serving, then reheat, to let the yummy goodnesses blend)

Dessert: Mini Pumpkin Pie Bites
These are so fun and yummy! A great finger food to bring to a potluck or Christmas party! Warning: they do take a good amount of time. And this is a semi-homade recipe. 

 Take a pre-made pie crust and flatten in a little more. I do not have a rolling pin, so that bottle is my sub. 

 Cut out in circles about an inch larger than largest diameter of mini tart holes. Grease pan before adding.

 Score bottom of crust so it doesn't bubble. Take your favorite pumpkin pie filling and add to the crust bowls, about 3/4 full.

Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then at 350 for 13 minutes or so. Or until the middle of pie filling cracks. to get out of pan, take a small knife, a paring knife worked best for me and loosen the edges then GENTLY twist the pie out. 

 Make your own whip cream (not semi-home made, but cool whip works nice too). Take heavy whipping cream and start out with hand mixer, then as the cream is getting thicker, start to use fork or whisk. You can tell when its a whipped cream consistency. It will take you 15 minutes or so. Fold in some sugar and refrigerate for a while. Then dollop onto the cute mini pies!!

I had lots of extra mix, so I made my own graham cracker crust and made some more. 

I hope you enjoy these DELICIOUS recipes! Keep checkin' up for new posts every week! 

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