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Country Kitchen

Country Kitchen

Monday, January 15, 2018

Roast with the Most - Classic Beef Roast

Classic Roast
Your favorite beef roast cut (or which ever is on sale ;0)
Salt and pepper
Several carrots
Several potatoes
1 onion
2 cups water
2 beef bullion cubes
1 tsp kitchen bouquet
2 Tbsp cornstarch

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees
  2. Peel and cut carrots potatoes and onions
  3. Put some oil into Dutch oven or skillet and turn heat to medium high
  4. Put salt and pepper on the roast and rub into the meat
  5. Sear both sides of the roast for a couple of min.
  6. Add your vegetables and bullion cubes
  7. Pour in 2 cups water
  8. Cover and place in oven for 3 hours
  9. Half way through check to make sure you have enough liquid, add more water if needed. 
10. Transfer your drippings to a skillet
11. Remove a small amount of the hot liquid and mix together with a couple of Tbsp of cornstarch.  Add that mixture back into the skillet and stir
12. Add 1 tsp kitchen bouquet, gravy will boil and thicken
13. Serve with bread and butter and enjoy!
**This could easily be cooked in a crockpot.  Just make sure to sear your meat and then cook low and slow all day. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

You say tomato, I say tomato: Canned Tomato Recipes

Courtney's Chili

1. Brown 1/2 lb ground beef (remove and discard grease) and add 1 Tbsp steak seasoning
2. In a dutch oven saute 3 sweet peppers and 1/2 small onion until tender
3. Add 1 can pork-n-beans, 1 can of red kidney beans, 1 jar of tomatoes and the ground beef. 
4. Stir in the following spices: 
2 Tbsp Chili Powder, 1/2 Tbsp season salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp oregano
5. Cover and let simmer for at least 10 min. 
6. Then serve with your favorite fixin's 

Chicken and Tomatoes

1. Using your choice of bone-in/skin-on chicken place in a glass baking dish, dot with butter and sprinkle with season salt. Bake at 275 degrees for an hour or until the internal temp reaches 165 degree. 
2. Remove the skin and remove bones. Dice chicken
3. In a dutch oven add 1 package of dry onion soup mix and 2 cups of water
4. Add 1 can of home canned tomatoes and 1 can of store bought canned tomatoes
1 tsp basil and the diced chicken
5. Cover and simmer for about 45 min or until the liquid reduces to form a stew consistency
6. Serve over rice. 

Slow Cooker Swiss Steak

1. Cut 1 lb or more of round steak into portion size piece, salt and pepper each side. 
2. Dredge in flour and brown for a couple of min on each side in hot oil. 
3. Thinly slice 1 medium onion and 2 bell peppers. 
4. In a crock pot layer steak, peppers, onions and tomatoes until all in in the pot. Salt and pepper
5. Allow to cook for 6-8 hours
6. Serve over mashed potatoes 

For a how to video on Mashed Potatoes see my Easter Feaster video

 Hats (Aka Macaroni and Tomatoes) 

1. Cook 1/2 lb of pasta to al dente, drain and put back in the pot
2. Add 1/4 cup butter and stir until melted
3. Add 1 jar of canned tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste
4. Can be served with or without shredded mozzarella cheese 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Healthy (er) Options

In this post I'm sharing several recipes that I would consider healthy options.  I like my food to taste good though, so hopefully you will see a healthy balance (pun intended) of both with these recipes.

Mango Flounder

1. Salt and pepper each side of your flounder fillets and lightly dredge (cover) with flour, fry in a small amount of hot oil on each side until lightly crisp and flaky.
2. For the Mango Salsa: dice sweet pepper (or jalapeno if you like a kick), onion, mango and cilantro. Combine in a bowl with lime juice and salt to taste.

Cilantro Lime Couscous
1. Make couscous according to package instructions
2. Add lime zest, lime juice and chopped cilantro
3. Stir to combine

Raspberry Pork 
1. Salt and pepper both sides of each pork chop and saute in a skillet until lightly browned.
2. Allow pork chops to rest 10 min before serving
3. For raspberry sauce: in a saucepan place 1 package of fresh or frozen raspberries, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 1 tsp sage.  Turn on medium and allow to simmer until reduced to a thick syrup
4. Strain seeds and pour over pork chops
**Substitute fresh raspberries for seedless raspberry jam to avoid straining seeds

Lemon Rosemary Quinoa
1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions
2. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and rosemary
3. Stir to combine

Bakes Zucchini and Tomatoes
1. Thinly slice zucchini, tomatoes and onions
2. Place in an oiled baking dish with lemon zest, lemon juice and salt
3. Bake at 350 for 30 min. (if you prefer roasted bake at 425 for 20 min)

What the Kale Salad
1. Rinse and remove kale leaves from center stem, shop into bite size pieces and add to bowl
2. Rinse and chop romaine lettuce and add to bowl
3. Add: chopped broccoli, broccoli slaw, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries
4 For dressing combine the following ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 sec.
       1/4 cup water
       1/4 cup white vinegar
       3/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
       1 tsp garlic powder
       1 tsp salt
       1/4 tsp pepper
       1 tsp celery seed
       1/2 tsp celery salt
       (pinch of onion powder for added flavor)
       2/3 cup sugar
       2 tsp horseradish

Pearled Couscous salad
1. Make basil and herb pearled couscous according to package instructions
2. Saute diced zucchini and onions until tender
3. Add to couscous and refrigerate until chilled
4. Add diced cherry tomatoes and Italian salad dressing
5. Stir and serve chilled

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sweet Sweets: Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake

I love to bake all the time, but especially at Christmas.  I have a whole roster of things I make each year, but I can't eat it all myself so I enjoy sharing it with family, friends and neighbors.  This recipe is perfect for sharing.  It's like my version of fruit cake that actually tastes good.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake

1. Mix together 1 cup oil, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 egg
2. Mix in 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp almond extract, 1 tsp salt, 
1/2 tsp baking soda and 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder 
3. Mix in 2 cups flour (can use glutten free flour)
4. Throughly mix in 3/4 cup milk)
5. Chop a 10 oz jar of maraschino cherries and mix in
6. Add 1 (or more) cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir a final time. 
7. Grease 4 mini loaf pans and divide the batter between them (about 1 cup in each)
8. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-45 min (until a toothpick comes our clean)

The Glaze
1. In a bowl combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract and 2 tbsp water
2. Stir until smooth
3. Drizzle over cooled cakes 
4. Enjoy, share or freeze. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Sweet Sweets - Russian Tea Cookies

It wouldn't be Christmas time without some of these! My mom used to make them every year and now I make them with my kids. I love passing down traditions like this. This is the very first video I ever did (7 years ago), so please be kind.  It was before I had a nice camera and learned how to use iMovie so it's pretty rough but still informative Enjoy!

3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Hershey's Kisses
Powdered sugar (For rolling)

1. Cream together shortening, white sugar and brown sugar.
2. Beat in egg, vanilla extract and almond extract.
3. Sift in flour, salt and baking powder and mix
4. Mix in pecans
5. Take a small amount of dough and roll it around a hershey kiss and place on a cookie sheet.  Repeat with all the dough.
6. Bake for 12 min at 350 (they will not turn brown so don't over bake)
7. Let cool completely and roll in powdered sugar
**Best when warm, can warm in the microwave for about 10 sec.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Holly Jolly Hot Chocolate

Instant Hot Chocolate Mix

In a large bowl mix 
    1 lb powdered sugar
    1 large box of dry Nestle Quick
    8 qt. box of powdered milk
    1 lb container powdered coffee creamer
    1/2 cup or more cocoa powder 
Store in an air tight container

Stovetop Hot Chocolate
(Makes 4 servings)

1. In a saucepan melt 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips over medium heat. 
2. Add 4 cups milk and 1/4 cup sugar
3. Heat milk to scalding but not boiling. 
4. Stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla 
5. Serve hot and enjoy!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Sweet Sweets: Christmas Candy Classics

I have many great memories of being in the kitchen with my mom and eating her yummy food and goodies.  Around Christmas each year she would make fudge and divinity just like her mother and grandmother before her.  The tradition will some day be passed on to me.  I loved having her as a guest host in this episode to show us how to make these delectable holiday candies.  Candy making can be tricky but knowing a few secrets can help.  We hope you try making these recipes with your loved ones and make unforgettable memories in the process. 

Chocolate Fantasy Fudge

3/4 cup butter
3 cup sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 oz jar marshmallow cream
1 cup chopped pecans

1. In a saucepan melt butter, sugar and evaporated milk over medium hight heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning.  Once the mixture starts to boil reduce heat to medium.
2. Still stirring, bring to a full rolling boil for 4 min. or until candy thermometer reads 234 degrees.
3. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips stir until melted and combined
4. Add vanilla and marshmallow cream. Stir, stir and stir some more until it becomes smooth and glossy.
5. Add pecans and stir again. Stir until the mixture has cooled a little
6. Line a pan with foil and press the fudge evenly into the pan with a spatula
7 Allow to cool and cut into cubes. Store in a foil lined tin.

Microwave Peanut Brittle

           1 1/2 c Spanish peanuts
           1 c sugar
           pinch of salt
           1/2 c corn syrup
           1 tsp butter
           1 tsp vanilla extract
           1 tsp baking soda

1. In a glass bowl add 1 1/2 cup Spanish peanuts, 1 cup sugar, a pinch of salt (or use salted nuts) and 1/2 cup corn syrup. Stir to combine.
2. Microwave for 4 min at 80% power, remove and stir, then microwave again for 4 min at 80% power.
3. Remove and stir in 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp vanilla and microwave a final time for 2 min at 80% power.
4. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
5. Add 1 tsp baking soda and stir until light and foamy and immediately turn out onto the grease pan, spreading as thinly as possible.
6. Allow to cool and break into pieces.

           1/2 c water
           2 c sugar
           1/2 c corn syrup
           pinch of salt
           2 egg whites
           1 c chopped pecans
           1 tsp vanilla extract
           2 Tbsp powered sugar

1. In a saucepan over medium high heat combine 1/2 cup water, 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup, and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil the reduce the heat to medium (the syrup should continue to boil)
2. Meanwhile, beat 2 egg whites to stiff peaks
3. Bring to syrup to soft ball stage, using a candy thermometer. (10 min or so)
4. Slowly beat 1/2 of the syrup mixture into the egg whites.
5. Put the remaining half of the syrup back on the stove and bring to soft crack stag
6. Slowly beat the rest of the syrup into the egg whites
7. Add 1 cup chopped pecans and 1 tsp vanilla and continue to beat.
8. Add 2 Tbsp powered sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is no longer glossy.
9. Spoon onto wax paper and allow to cool. Store in a tin.