Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kristen's Spaghetti and Meatballs

My friend Kristen made this on our trip to Chelan, and it was delicious!
Here's the recipe with her notes:

Aunt Doris Spaghetti and meatballs

1.5lbs hamburger (I don't use hamburger usually. I'll use combination of spicy chicken sausage and pork and add fennel and anise seeds to make it more "sausagy" if not using sausage. any combination ground meat works if you add spice)
1 C parmesan (I use the bagged shredded stuff from trader joes)
2TB oregano (I use heaping TBS of oregano & parsley and add Basil too)
2TB sugar (I use probably half)
2 tsp salt
2TB parsley
1/4 tsp red pepper (I use more)
1.5 C breadcrumbs (I use the Italian variety)
2 eggs
1/2 onion diced (or more)
2 cloves garlic (I use a lot more !!!)
salt and pepper

Bake balls 15-20 min at 350

1 lg can 28oz tomatoes (crushed)
1 lg can or two small cans tomato paste
3 cans tomato sauce
1/2 can water (or more-eyeball it)
2 tb sugar (I use less)
6TBS parsley
3TBSs oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper

I add onion and garlic to this too. Just sauté it in some olive oil before adding all the cans.
Simmer sauce for couple hours. add water if needed. I don't like it too thick but not runny either
Add the meatballs last half hour or more if you want.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cincinnati Chili


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon cider or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces cooked spaghetti
  • 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound grated cheddar cheese
  • Oyster crackers, for serving


Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add half the chopped onions and the garlic and cook until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the beef and cook the mixture, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt.
Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaf and 1 1/2 cups water; simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thicker. Add the chocolate, vinegar and Worcestershire and cook until the mixture is thickened but still soupy, about 15 more minutes.
Discard the bay leaf and season the chili with the freshly ground pepper. Divide the spaghetti among bowls and top with the chili, beans, remaining onion and cheddar. Serve with the oyster crackers.

PW's Alfredo Pasta



  • 1 pound Fettuccine Noodles
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a saucepan or skillet, warm butter and cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Grate Parmesan cheese and place half of it into a large serving bowl. Pour warm butter/cream mixture over the top.
Drain pasta and immediately pour it into the bowl.
Toss a couple of times, then sprinkle in the other half of the Parmesan.
Toss to combine, thinning with pasta water if necessary.
Serve immediately as a main course or accompaniment to meat or salad.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos


Place 6 boneless chicken thighs in the crockpot.  Cover with 1 can of diced tomatoes and 1-2 Tablespoons taco seasoning, to taste.
Cook on high for 6-7 hours.  Shred chicken with a fork and inside tortillas with condiments.

Fried Green Tomatoes

4 large green tomatoes
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1.Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Discard the ends.
2.Whisk eggs and milk together in a medium-size bowl. Scoop flour onto a plate. Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs and salt and pepper on another plate. Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into milk and egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat.
3.In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil (enough so that there is 1/2 inch of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the tomatoes, they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels.

Hamburger Noodle Bake



  • 5 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook noodles according to package
  • directions until al dente; drain. In a large skillet, cook the beef,
  • onion and green pepper over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes or
  • until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the noodles, soup,
  • cheese, water and chili sauce. Transfer to two greased 8-in.-square
  • baking dishes.
  • Toss bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over casseroles. Bake,
  • uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Yield:
  • 2 casseroles (4 servings each).

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice

1 cup rice
2.5 cups hot water
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup (can use cream of celery if like more celery taste)
1lb chicken breasts- each cut in 1/2
1 package dry onion soup mix

Mix all ingredients except chicken together in slow cooker. Place chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle with a little paprika (1/2 tsp or so) and cook high for 3-4 hrs or low for 6-8hrs until Chicken is done. The rice is suppose to be a little sticky with this meal. Sever it up with a side of veggies (or throw some broccoli in to cook with it!) and you've got a great meal.

Again this meal can go in the oven too. Place in baking dish and cover with foil. Bake 375* for 2 hrs.

Popover Chicken



    • 1 whole chicken, cut up
    • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon each of: dried tarragon, thyme, basil
    • 10 3/4 ounces cream of chicken soup
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
    • 2 tablespoons snipped parsley


  1. Brown chicken pieces in the 2 T. oil; season with a little salt and pepper.
  2. Place chicken pieces in a well greased 13x9 baking dish.
  3. In mixing bowl beat eggs; blend in the 1 1/2 cups milk and the 1 T. oil.
  4. Stir together flour, salt, and spices.
  5. Add to egg mixture; beat till smooth.
  6. Pour over chicken.
  7. Bake, uncovered, at 350 till done, 55 to 60 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, in saucepan stir together soup, the 1/3 cup milk, mushrooms and parsley.
  9. Heat through, stirring occasionally.
  10. Pass the sauce with chicken.

Classic Wedge Salad

You will need:
1 head iceburg lettuce
1 large tomato, sliced into wedges
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
other ideas: curled carrots, beets, radishes, etc
Blue cheese dressing
Slice lettuce into wedges (obviously).  Arrange on individual salad plates with veggies on the top/side.  Drizzle dressing over the top in somewhat artistic manor.  This salad is simple but looks impressive.  Great for a dinner party!

Pizza Balls

3 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits (10 per can), 56 pepperoni slices, block of Colby cheese, 1 beaten egg, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, Garlic powder, 1 jar pizza sauce…

Cut the block of cheese into 28 squares. Flatten a biscuit out and stack pepperoni and cheese on top. Gather up the edges of the biscuit. Line up the rolls in a greased 9×13 in. pan.

Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with parmesan, Italian seasoning& garlic powder. Bake at 425°F for 18-20 minutes. Use pizza sauce or marinara for dipping.

Sweet & Saucy Chicken (in the slow cooker)

This one was delicious!!


  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (4 pounds), cut up and skin removed
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot cooked rice or egg noodles, optional


  • Place chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker. In a small saucepan, combine
  • brown sugar and flour. Stir in the water, vinegar and soy sauce. Add
  • the ketchup, onion, mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring
  • to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until
  • chicken juices run clear. Serve with rice or noodles if desired.
  • Yield: 6 servings.

Inexpensive Eats

I've been trying to watch our grocery budget around here.  So I've been searching the net, cookbooks etc to compile a list of uber-economical meals.  Here's what I've come up with so far:
3.  Breakfast-for-dinner
4.  Quesadillas with veggies or chicken
5.  Pasta with homemade marinara or mushroom cream sauce
6.  Tacos with black beans or refried beans and Mexican rice
7.  Potato Soup
8.  Stir fry with tofu
9.  Bean chili
10. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup  :)
Anyone else want to share their favorite inexpensive meals???

Kristine's Mexican Rice



  • 2ripe tomatoes (about 12 ounces), cored and quartered
  • 1bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2cups basmati or white rice
  • 1/3cup canola oil
  • 4cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 2cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2teaspoons table salt
  • 1/2cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1lime , cut into wedges for serving (I'd skip this for Saturday, but include it in case you make this again : ))


  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Process tomatoes and onion in food processor until smooth and thoroughly pureed, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl if necessary. Transfer mixture to liquid measuring cup; you should have 2 cups (if necessary, spoon off excess so that volume equals 2 cups). 
  2. 2. Place rice in large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear, about 1 1/2 minutes. Shake rice vigorously in strainer to remove all excess water.
  3. 3. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed ovensafe 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Drop 3 or 4 grains rice in oil; if grains sizzle, oil is ready. Add rice and fry, stirring frequently, until rice is light golden and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in pureed tomatoes and onions ( and bell pepper), chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Cover pan and transfer to oven; bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring well after 15 minutes.
  4. 4. Stir in cilantro. Serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately.

Mexican Beans

This was a simple, cheap, and delicious meal. 
First I cooked up a 1 lb bag of dry beans using Suzi's "crockpot bean recipe." 
Once cooked, I drained the beans and put them in a large saucepan.  I added:
1 can diced tomatoes (with juices)
1/2 diced onion (previously sauted with butter and garlic)
optional: 1 small can of diced green chiles
Simmer beans on stovetop for 15-20 minutes.
Then, in individual bowls, place a handful of fritos, a large scoop of the beans, and sprinkle with shredded cheddar.  Put bowl in microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese.  Top with sour cream.