Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole

40 oz. can sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup liquid reserved
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter,softened
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup cold butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350.

Mash together sweet potatoes with liquid, maple syrup, sugar, softened butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Place in a casserole.

Add flour, brown sugar and oatmeal to a bowl. Cut in cold butter until coarse crumbs are formed. Add in chopped nuts, mix well.

Sprinkle crumb topping over sweet potato mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lentil Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 bay leaf
1 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 lb. dry lentils
8 cups water
4 chicken boullion cubes
1 lb. spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vinegar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a deep pot. Add onion, and saute until translucent. Add carrots, celery and garlic, saute 2 minutes. Add oregano, bay leaf, basil, red pepper flakes, diced tomatoes, lentils, water and boullion cubes. Bring to a boil Lower heat to a simmer. Cover, simmer one hour, or until lentils are tender. Add spinach and vinegar. Cook until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Black eyed Peas with ham hocks

2 smoked ham hocks
1 tbsp. hot sauce
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 chopped onion
1 lbs. dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight

Place ham hocks in a pot. Cover with water. Add hot sauce, black pepper, bay leaves, minced garlic and onion. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add soaked black eyed peas. Simmer uncovered an additional 1 1/2 hrs, adding additional water as needed. Remove ham hock, allow to cool. Remove and mash 3/4 cup of black eyes peas, stir back into pot to thicken. Remove meat from ham hock, shred, add back to pot. Add salt if needed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Santa Claus Melon


Santa Claus Melon

(Scientific Binimial Name: Cucumis Melo)

Selection Information

Usage: Raw in fruit salads or in fruit platters. Serve at room temperature.

Selection: Santa Claus Melon is a netted cultivar of Muskmelon also known as the Christmas Melon. Good-quality Santa Claus melons will be fairly large and firm with a small amount of softness at the stem end. The coloring will be mottled yellow and green. The skin will have a slightly waxy feel when the melon is ripe.

Avoid: Avoid product that is too firm, too soft, has dark blemishes on the skin or is extremely green-colored.

Storage: Keep uncut Santa Claus melons at room temperature for two to four days or until fully ripe, then refrigerate for up to 5 days. Refrigerate cut up melon in a covered container up to 3 days. Keep in mind that once cut, melon odor will penetrate other foods.

Seasonal Information

Santa Claus melons are available from California and Arizona from June until October, with the peak in July.

Product from South America is available during the winter months. For this reason they're also known as Christmas melon. The flavor can be good, but they won't be as sweet as those available in the summer months.

Santa Claus Melon Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 1 cup

Amount Per Serving

Calories 61
Calories from Fat 2

Total Carbohydrate 16g

Potassium 14%

Source: PMA's Labeling FactsProduce Oasis - Santa Claus Melon

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ham and Hash Brown Casserole

* 3 tablespoons butter
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 cups milk
* 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
* 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
* 4 cups diced ham
* 1 package (32 ounces) frozen hash brown potatoes (cube style), thawed
* 1 (16-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
* 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Over medium heat, melt butter in a large saucepan; add flour. Stir until smooth; add milk. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly; remove from heat and stir in cheese and mustard. Place half of the ham in a lightly greased casserole. Top ham with half of the hash brown potatoes and half of the cheese sauce mixture. Spoon spinach over the top. Repeat with the remaining ham, potatoes and sauce. Top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350° for about 45 to 55 minutes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Peachy Chicken

About 9 or 10 years ago, I used to cook a recipe called "Peachy Chicken" ALL THE TIME!! I have been searching for the recipe for the past few months. I thought I had gotten it off the internet somewhere, and that I would NEVER find it again. Then, about a week ago, I was thumbing through Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook (one of the only cookbooks in my HUGE collection that I ACTUALLY use on a regular basis) and lo and behold, there was the recipe I was looking for!! I could not believe it had been right under my nose this ENTIRE time! It seems like a really odd combination or flavors, but it is truly delicious! I highly recommend removing the skin from the chicken before cooking, or else you will end up with soggy skin.

3 1/2 lb. chicken, cut into eighths
2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
16 oz can sliced cling peaches in syrup
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Sprinkle lemon pepper, salt and pepper over both sides of the chicken. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, preferably a few hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain the syrup from the peaches into a bowl. Add lemon juice and soy sauce, mix thoroughly.

Place chicken in a baking dish. Pour syrup mixture over the top.

Cook, uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, turning half way through.

Add peach slices to the baking dish. Cook an additional 15 minutes.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Beer Braised Stew Beef

I was trying to figure out what to do with the beef cubes I had in my freezer forever, and saw a suggestion online to braise them in beef. So, I took the idea and ran with it. Now, I DO NOT drink beer EVER... I think it tastes nasty, but let me tell you, cooking with beer is a whole nother animal! This dish simmers all day in the slow cooker, and has the most delicious gravy!

3 lbs. beef cubes or bottom round roast
4 8 oz cans mushroom slices
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
12 oz can beer
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
2 beef bouillon cubes
3 Tbsp. quick cooking tapioca

Put beef in the bottom of a slow cooker. Sprinkle mushrooms over the top. Mix together pepper, onion soup mix, garlic, beer, thyme, bay leaves, sugar, vinegar and bouillon cubes. Pour over been mixture. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove 1/2 cup of juice from the slow cooker. Add tapioca to the hot juice. Mix thoroughly into a paste. Pour into the slow cooker, being sure to mix thoroughly. Cook on low 1 additional hour.