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Stovetop Popcorn September 30, 2011

Filed under: snacks — meier1014 @ 10:17 am

My family loves popcorn! We can’t get enough! But microwave popcorn is expensive, and not that great for you. So I decided to take advantage of WinCo’s bulk section and buy some bulk popcorn kernals. Making popcorn on the stovetop is easy, quick, cheap and way healthier than the stuff from the microwave. It’s an easy 3 ingredient recipe.

Stove top Popcorn

1/4c popcorn kernals
1Tbs oil (I used olive oil)

-Put oil in a 2-3 qt pan along with 3 popcorn kernals and cover
-Heat oil on med-high
-When the kernals pop the oil is ready to pop the rest
-Add the rest of the popcorn kernals and cover
-Pop, shaking frequently, until the popping starts to slow
-Remove from heat and allow to finish popping
-Remove lid, salt to taste, and enjoy!



Homemade Bread

Filed under: baked goods — meier1014 @ 6:42 am

So today I did something I’ve been dying to do for quite sometime, I made bread from scratch! I was super nervous about the whole thing, but finally put my fears aside and gave it a try. It turned out awesome, and it was super simple. There is nothing quite like warm homemade bread. Especially knowing you made it without a bread machine! If you’re scared of making bread without a bread machine, or if you’ve never thought of making bread, give this recipe a try. This does require a stand mixer with a dough hook.

Homemade Bread
makes 2 loaves

2 ¼ c. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured (can use half all-purpose and half whole wheat!!)

Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water in your mixer bowl. Let this proof—or sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well. Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky – but be careful not to add too much flour. Knead for a few minutes.

Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn dough onto a floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a 9×13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal.

Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal(make sure to sprinkle it really well with corn meal, I did use enough and my loaves stuck to th baking sheet) allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20-30 minutes (until the top is a deep golden brown and sound hollow when you tap on it) at 375 degrees.

Just make sure not to cut the slits too deep, if you do it will disrrupt the integrity of the loaf.


Sausage and Lentil Soup September 29, 2011

Filed under: soups and stews — meier1014 @ 12:48 pm

This is another great soup recipe. It’s quick, easy, and my picky eater loves it. It also happens to be agood one for using WIC beans (well lentils, but you know what I mean).

Sausage and Lentil Soup

1 tbs olive oil
1/2 lb sausage (I use mild Italian sausages. I remove the casing and crumble it in)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbs oregano
1/2 tbs marjoram
1/2 tbs paprika
1/2 tbs basil
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp rosemary
cayenne to taste (optional, I used just a dash)
1-2 bay leaves
3/4c lentils, washed and picked over
4 1/2c chicken, beef or vegetable stock (to make your own, refer to my Homemade stock recipe)

-Place olive oil in a large deep pot or dutch oven and heat over medium high
-Add sausage and brown, breaking up large pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
-Stir in the onion and saute until soft, approx 1-2 minutes
-Add carrot and celery, saute until brightly colored, approx 2 minutes
-Add garlic, spices, and bay leaves, cook while stirring about 1 minute
-Measure in the lentils, stirring once or twice to coat. Pour in stock
-Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low and simmer 30 minutes
-Taste and adjust seasoning. Add more stock if the soup is too thick
-Dish up and enjoy



Dego stew September 27, 2011

Filed under: entrees — meier1014 @ 11:29 am

Dego Stew
I know the name of this dish sounds a little racist, but that’s what my Gma called it so that’s what I’m labeling it as. My great Gma originally found this recipe in a magezine, way back in the day, and she then gave it to my Gma. When I moved to California I went through her cookbook and copied down all the recipes I liked. This recipe was a hit with Chase the first time I made it, and I now at least once every 2 weeks. It may sound a little strange, but it’s actually quite delicious, and is better the second day making GREAT leftovers. It’s also a recipe that can be made with leftovers. It’s pretty cheap, I always have the ingredients on hand.

Dego Stew

Feeds 4+

1/2-1# gr beef
1 onion, chopped
3/4# chopped bacon
1 package prepared mac n cheese
2c spaghetti sauce (I usually use leftovers)
2c cold, cooked rice (I usually use leftovers)

Preheat oven to 325F
Cook bacon until crispy in a large skillet
Add beef and cook; drain
Add onion, saute until soft
Add rest of ingredients, and combine
Bake in a large baking dish for 30 minutes



Chicken Pot Pie September 21, 2011

Filed under: entrees — meier1014 @ 10:56 am

I have never had Homemade chicken pot pie until last night. I knew it would be better than the frozen, but I was nervous anout it turning out bland. Boy did I worry for nothing! This recipe looks intimidating, but it’s not hard at all. I know there a lot of steps, but the steps can be done up to 2 days ahead of time. So, if you need to, spread the cooking out over a couple days. It’ll totally be worth it, I promise. I got this recipe, mostly, from “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman.

Chicken Pot Pie

3 c cooked and chopped chicken
4 c chicken stock
1 recipe crust, chilled (or you can use store bought pie crust)
1 1/2 c all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbs (1 1/4 sticks) frozen or cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 egg yolk
3 tbs ice water
2 tbs butter or extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing baking dish
1 cup chopped onion
2 large or 4 small carrots, diced
2 tbs all purpose flour
1 tbs chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp dried sage
2 cloces garlic, minced
1/2 c cream (I just used milk and it turned out fine)
Garlic salt
1 c frozen peas
1 egg beaten


1. Combine flour and salt in a food processor and pulse twice. Add butter all at once and process about 10 seconds, until it’s uniform. Add egg yolk and process for another few seconds.
2. Put mixture in a bowl and add 3 tbs ice water. Mix with your handa until you can form the dough int a ball. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 10 minutes or refridgerate for at least 30 minutes.(you can keep in the fridge for a couple days or freeze for up to a couple months)

Pot Pie:
1. Put chicken sotck into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce by about half.
2. Put 2 tablespoons butter or oil in a deep skillet over medium. When butter is melted or oil is hot
Ads onions and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in flour. Continue cooking until it just turns tan. Add sage and garlic, cook and stir for another minute. (you can refridgerate this mixture for up to a day, just reheat before continuing)
3. Add reduced stock, cream (or milk), pepper and garlic salt to the veggie mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. DO NOT let it come to a rolling boil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Turn off the heat, stir in chicken and frozen peas, and place mixture in greased baking dish. (I used ramikins to make personal pot pies, for one large pie use a 2 quart baking dish) (At this point you may cover and refridgerate the filling for up to a day. Just bring to room temp before proceeding)
4. Roll out the crust to the thickness of your liking (just make sure not to roll it too thin or it will tear). Lay it on top of the dish and press the edges, making sure to leave some draped over the sides. Use a sharp knife to cut 3-4 vents in the top. Brush top with beaten egg. Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes, or until top is a deep golden brown and misture is bubbling.




Sorry about the poor picture quality, I had to use my phone as we seem to have lost our camera charger in the move…

Since I made individual pot pies, and only made two, I had a bunch of leftover filling. How I used this extra filling was I tossed it into my dutch oven and warmed it, added a couple cups of chicken stock (enough to get a soup like consistancy), then added about a cup of uncooked white rice. I brought it all to a boil, covered it, and turned it down to low. I let it simmer for about 25 minutes, checking/stirring it every so often to keep the rice from burning to the bottom. It turned out delicious.