"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding". Prov.3:13 (NKJV)

December 29, 2016

Homemade Vegetable Broth


Homemade Vegetable Broth

Ingredients:
Vegetables or scraps (see directions)
a clove or two of garlic (optional)
Bay leaf
8-9 cups of water
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste (or 1 tsp. peppercorns)

Directions:
Whenever I cut up an onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper, zucchini, squash, cabbage, asparagus, ect. I do NOT throw away the ends. I put the scraps (ends) in a gallon size Ziploc bag and keep it in the freezer until it's full of vegetable scraps. Once it gets full I use it to make a big pot of homemade veggie broth. You can use fresh cut up vegetables for this but I learned (from Google and YouTube) that using the scraps is just as good. Put in a big pot and add garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns (if using) and water (use enough to cover all veggies). Let come to a boil on medium high heat then turn down to low and let cook covered for 1 hour. Keep checking every 20 min. or so to be sure your water is not cooking out. Add salt and pepper to taste. Strain the broth from veggies and add to mason jars or containers to cool down. I like to put mine in ice cube trays to freeze then keep cubes in Ziploc bag until ready to use. (I refrigerate the broth first to get completely cold before adding to trays to put in freezer.)

Note: 8 cubes = 1 cup broth. Also when I cut up an onion I throw away the outer skin layer but keep the inner skin layer in my bag of scraps. I believe that's what makes the broth that dark color. Sometimes I add a tomato when cooking the broth and I haven't noticed a difference in the look of it.

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December 20, 2016

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts


Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts

Ingredients:
2-3 cups mixed nuts (or use one kind)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2-1 Tbsp. cinnamon 
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg white (from large egg)
2 tsp. water
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a gallon sized Ziploc bag combine cinnamon and both sugars and salt. In a medium bowl add egg white, water, and vanilla. Whisk all together with a fork until frothy/bubbly. Add nuts and stir until they are completely coated with the mixture. Pour into Ziploc bag with sugar mixture. Seal bag and shake to coat nuts completely with sugar mixture.  Pour into a foil (sprayed with cooking spray) or parchment lined baking sheet. Spread out into an even layer. Bake for 1 hour (stir every 15-20 minutes). Allow to cool before eating. Store in mason jars or an airtight container up to 3 weeks.

*Note: This recipe is good with a nut mixture or use a single kind. Ex: pecans, walnuts, or almonds. I may try this recipe with pretzels next time. I'll just decrease the cinnamon to 2 tsp. instead.

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December 15, 2016

Pork and Butternut Squash Stew

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Pork and Butternut Squash Stew
 
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. oil
2-3 cups leftover pork roast, cubed (I used leftover shredded pork I had from when I made some for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches)
1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) Italian stewed tomatoes
4 cups butternut squash (1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes)
2 cups chicken broth
16 oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables (I used frozen stewed vegetables)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. dried thyme
2  tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. flour

Directions:
In a skillet sauté onions, garlic, and mushrooms.  In a 6 quart slow cooker put meat on bottom and sprinkle flour on top.  Add sautéed vegetables, tomatoes, cubed squash, broth, mixed vegetables or stewed vegetables, and seasonings. Cook on LOW 6-8 hrs.

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Note: I served this with cornbread that our son made. We also added Tabasco sauce in our bowls of stew for a kick. I'm going to try this again but subbing the butternut squash with sweet potatoes. I'll be sure to post that recipe whenever I make it.




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December 1, 2016

Kielbasa Cabbage Soup

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Kielbasa Cabbage Soup

Ingredients:
4 cups cabbage, chopped
1 1b. Polish Kielbasa sausage, halved and cut into 1/2" pieces (or a pack of lil' smokies)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar for more flavor)
1 tsp. caraway seeds (I omit this and use another spice)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions:
In a skillet sauté the onion, carrots, and garlic in oil for 5 minutes or until tender. In a 6 qt. crock pot combine broth and brown sugar. Add in cabbage, sautéed vegetables, potatoes, and sausage. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until vegetables are tender. Serves 8-10.

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November 17, 2016

Smothered Chicken


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Smothered Chicken (tomato based)

Ingredients:

8 pieces of chicken (I like using legs and thighs)
2-3 Tbsp. oil
1 yellow onion sliced
2 green and/or red bell peppers sliced
8 oz. of sliced mushrooms
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 c. flour (seasoned to your liking)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 Tbsp. white or red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

Wash chicken pieces and let drain. Coat pieces with the flour. Shake off excess. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Brown chicken pieces for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside to drain. Leave grease in skillet for sautéing the veggies. Spray 5-6 qt. crock pot with cooking spray. Lay chicken on bottom of crockpot. Saute onions, bell peppers, mushrooms in skillet for 5 minutes. Transfer to crock pot (pour over chicken). Add remaining ingredients to crockpot and cover. Cook on LOW heat 7-8 hours. Serve however you like. We had ours over cooked angel hair pasta but you can replace it with cooked rice.

*Note: I may share my recipe of smothered chicken without tomatoes at a later time.

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November 10, 2016

Italian Chicken

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Crockpot Italian Chicken

Ingredients:

4 lb. whole chicken (or a family pack of chicken pieces)
1 cup (1/2 bottle) of Italian salad dressing (I love Wishbone)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic black pepper
1 small onion
1-2 stalks celery
3 carrots
1 gallon size Ziploc bag

Directions:

Wash chicken and let drain in sink. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour Italian dressing and seasonings over it. Let marinade overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning I usually slice up the onion, chop the celery, and slice the carrots. I put these in the bottom of my crock pot. I pour the chicken and marinade on top of the vegetables. I cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

Note: I like to serve this with brown or wild rice and a salad. Another thing I do if not using rice is to wash, peel, and slice 4-6 medium potatoes to go with the other veggies I put at the bottom of the crock pot. It soaks up the yummy flavors. I serve it with green beans or a salad.

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November 3, 2016

Saucy Italian Chicken

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Crockpot Saucy Italian Chicken

Ingredients:
1 family pack of thighs (or chicken quarters)
1 small onion, diced
14.5oz. can diced or stewed Italian tomatoes
6oz. can tomato paste
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. of Italian salad dressing (optional)

Directions:
Wash chicken and let drain for 5 min. in sink (can use a rack in the sink).  In 5 or 6 qt. crock pot put chicken in with onions. Sprinkle seasonings on top.  Open cans and pour over chicken and onions. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

Note: To make a thicker sauce you can season some flour, coat chicken pieces with it and brown it in a skillet in 2 Tbsp. oil. You don't want to cook this all the way through just brown it. Put in crockpot with other ingredients to finish cooking. This will help the sauce not be so thin. I like to serve this with brown rice or pasta and a salad. Another thing I serve it with is green beans or peas, and pasta salad.

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Our civic duties...

Here's a "day after" wordless Wednesday :-)


October 28, 2016

Ham and Veggie Soup

Fall is here and it's the time of year I love to eat good comfort foods like soup, stews, chili, ect. These are budget friendly meals that gets us through the winter. In our house I’ve been known to make soup out of anything edible I can find in the cabinets, pantry, fridge, and freezer. Yep it’s all but the kitchen sink. Hubby and son make jokes about how much I love soup. I can literally eat soup everyday and won't get tired of it :-) Today I'm sharing with you an easy soup that can be modified to include anything you like.

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Ham and Veggie Soup

Ingredients:
1 Ham Steak cubed (bone discarded) or use 2 cups leftover ham cut into cubes
1 12-16 oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 Tbsp. of EVOO (or oil of your choice)
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Bay leaf (big size)
1 14.5oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8oz. can of tomato sauce
6 cups of chicken broth/stock (I make my own)

Directions:
Spray a 6 qt. crockpot with cooking spray. Add cubed ham and frozen mixed vegetables. In a skillet heat oil on medium heat. Sauté onion and celery for 5 minutes then add in garlic and sauté for another minute. Put in crockpot and add other ingredients. Stir and cover. Cook on LOW heat 6-8 hours or HIGH heat 3-4 hours. Serve with crackers, corn bread, or a good piece of crusty type bread with butter. YUM!

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October 27, 2016

White Bean Chicken Chili

IMAG0459
Good eats on a cold/chilly day
White Bean Chicken Chili

Ingredients:
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts (or tenders)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 14oz. cans cannellini (white kidney) beans
1 4oz. can green chilies
1-2 cups of chicken broth (I use my homemade broth)

Chili Seasoning:
1-2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground oregano
1 tsp. ground white pepper (or black)
1-2 Tbsp. ground chili powder


Directions:
In a skillet heat oil on medium heat. Wash and cut chicken breasts into 4-5 pieces (if not using tenders) and let drain for a moment. Sauté onion and garlic in oil for 5-10 minutes. Spray a 6 qt. crockpot with cooking spray. Add raw chicken pieces. Open 2 of the cans of beans and drain before pouring into crockpot. Add in cooked onion and garlic, and seasonings. Pour in chicken broth and cover. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. After 4 hours open the other can of beans and mash up in its juices. Stir into chili the last 2 hours of cooking to help thicken it. When it’s done fish out chicken pieces and let cool down a few minutes. Shred meat with forks or fingers. Add back to crockpot (Chili will thicken a little more when you add the meat back to it). Sprinkle some cheese in your bowl of chili and serve like we did in the south with cornbread or crackers. For a southwestern style add sour cream and salsa with the cheese and eat with tortilla chips.

Note: This chili was so GOOD! I'm thinking of making a double batch of this by cooking it with some chicken breasts and ground turkey mixed next time.

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Chili with cheese melted on top
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October 11, 2016

Crockpot Rice and Curry

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Crockpot Rice and Curry

Ingredients:
1lb. ground beef or turkey (can also use some cubed chicken, beef, or pork)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cubed potatoes
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 14oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup Ketchup
1 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
2 Tbsp. curry powder (use less if you don’t want it too spicy)
1 Tbsp. Thai Premium Fish Sauce (optional but makes it taste even better)
1 can coconut milk (can leave this out but makes the curry tastes yummy)
2 cups uncooked white or brown rice cooked in 4 cups water or broth

Directions:
In a skillet heat oil on med. heat. Sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add in ground meat if you’re using that and cook until no longer pink. I added half of my curry seasoning to the meat right before it finished cooking. If you are using cubed meat just add it in raw to cook with everything else in crockpot. In a sprayed 5-6 qt. crock pot add potatoes, frozen vegetables, tomatoes, ketchup, and broth. Stir in meat mixture and the rest of the curry seasoning. Cook on LOW 7-8 hours. You'll want to stir in the Fish Sauce and Coconut Milk (if you're using them) 30 minutes before it's done. Before it finishes cooking cook your rice or use any rice you cooked ahead of time. I like using broth instead of water to cook my rice when I’m serving a savory dish like this. Just like when doing mashed potatoes the broth helps to give the rice more flavor. You can also stir in 2 Tbsp. of butter right before your rice finish cooking.

Once your curry is done serve it over a bed of rice in a plate or bowl. Beware~ your house will smell yummy while this is cooking. Your family will keep coming to the kitchen wandering when dinner will be done Smile  I used ground turkey this time and it tasted great! I like that you can swap things up with this recipe. Here's another one we tried...

Rice and Curry w/chicken
To make curry with chicken follow the same recipe above replacing the ground beef with some boneless chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite size cubes. We really liked the flavors especially using lemon curry to season the rice I made with it. Now I have to try making this with cubed boneless pork and some coconut rice too. YUM!!! :-)

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October 4, 2016

Crockpot Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

*If you are looking for some comfort in a bowl on a cold winter day, this is the soup for you. If you love stuffed bell peppers be sure to stock up so you can try a bowl of this yumminess.

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Crockpot Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 bell peppers cut into cubes (I use a mixture of different colors)
1 14.5 oz. can stewed or diced tomatoes
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. ketchup or chili sauce
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. Worcestershire or Steak sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4-5 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups chicken and 2 cups beef broth if you'd like)
1 cup of uncooked rice (or 2 cups cooked rice *see note)
cheese to sprinkle on top (optional)

Directions:
In a skillet brown beef and onions. I like to throw my cut up bell peppers in right before all the meat has browned but you can just add them raw to cook with the other ingredients. In a 6 qt. crock pot add all the other ingredients except the rice and cheese. Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.
*I used some brown rice I had already cooked in some broth but you could add a cup of uncooked rice in the last 30-45 minutes of cook time if you prefer.

To serve place a little warmed cook rice into bowls (if prepared separate) and pour your desired amount of soup over the top. Sprinkle on cheese of your choice and enjoy!

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October 3, 2016

True Repentance

What is True Repentance? 

 

-True repentance begins with confession. It's not just saying "I'm sorry".

-True repentance means agreeing with God that what you did was wrong and needs to be cleansed.

-True repentance is coming to grips with your rebellion against God so that you see you have been sinful and need to be cleansed.

-True repentance makes NO EXCUSES. It says "This is my problem and my sin. I didn't have to yield but I did. I can't blame it on anyone else".

September 29, 2016

If the Lord...

"If the Lord is with you, in the final analysis it doesn't matter who's against you."
Taken from: "Get Serious" by Tony Evans

September 27, 2016

Crockpot Chili

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Crockpot Chili 

Ingredients:
2 pounds ground beef, chuck, turkey or venison (or 1/2 beef and 1/2 other ground meat)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil (if using only ground turkey)
3 cans (15 oz. each) pinto, dark red kidney, or black beans, drained (or a mixture of each)
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes, undrained (I like to replace 1 can with crushed tomatoes)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 jalapeno, chopped (or 1 tsp. red pepper flakes)
salt and pepper to taste

Chili Seasoning:
2 Tbsp. chili powder 
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. (each) garlic and onion powder
2 tsp. dry oregano
1 tsp. dry Thyme (optional)
2 tsp. paprika


Directions:
Brown ground beef with onions and garlic; drain off excess fat. Combine beef and onions with remaining ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker. Stir to blend. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours.

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Note: The jalapeno is spicy. Wear gloves when chopping it to keep your hands from burning. If you don’t like things too spicy just use a can of green chilies or 1/4 tsp. of the red pepper flakes. Serve with corn bread or tortilla chips. Top with some shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, and cilantro if desired.

This chili is good on its own or used other ways. It tastes great over hot dogs (chili cheese dogs), fries (chili cheese fries), used on top of hot baked potatoes, for making chili potato skins or chili cheese nachos, ect.

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September 22, 2016

Submission is NOT...

Earlier this year I posted some scriptures and thoughts to ponder on what the Bible says to the wives about submitting to their husband. If you are wondering what I'm talking about check out God's Plan for the Christian Wife pt. 4 and God's Plan for the Christian Wife pt. 6. I have done further study on this topic and wanted to come back and share more thoughts for clarity on what true Biblical submission entails. We must not make the mistake of carrying the text on submission beyond its true limits. In God's Word you will not see the Father asking a wife to do the following:

Submission does NOT mean a wife can NEVER open her mouth, period.
Submission does NOT mean a wife can NEVER give an opinion.
Submission does NOT mean a wife can NEVER disagree with a decision her husband is considering.
Submission does NOT mean a wife can NEVER warn her husband that he's about to make the wrong decision.

While she may not agree with him she still has to watch HOW she approaches him and with what attitude it is done in. Remember she MUST be respectful, kind, and gentle because God says this is the way a Christian wife is to be. Read 1 Peter 3:1-6 for an example.

Submission is NOT physical, verbal, or mental abuse. She's not to be a punching bag, doormat, or even steal, lie, cheat, commit any acts of adultery, or do anything else for her husband that God's Word commands the believer not to do.
Submission is NOT suffering passively for the Lord's sake. Read 1 Corinthians 2:18-23 and 1 Peter 3:17 carefully.
Submission is NOT being afraid of doing the right thing.

It's important to have a true Biblical understanding of submission because people (women) who oppose what God clearly states in His Word is His Will for wives are not understanding the truth. They have gotten wrong information from the world and believing a lie from the pit of hell. I may come back in the future and make a list of examples of what submission is so for some who don't have an understanding (like I once did) of practical ways to carry that out on a daily basis. Until then I pray this has blessed someone.

September 20, 2016

You may not be...

"You may not be able to forget your past. But it doesn't have to control or dominate you anymore."
Taken from: "Get Serious" by Tony Evans

September 16, 2016

Taco Soup

Today I want to share a warm comfort food that's so yummy it will have you going back for seconds. At our house you know Fall has come when I start making this :-)

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Taco Soup

Ingredients:
1-2 lbs. ground beef (or go 1/2 beef and 1/2 ground turkey/chicken)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 (14.5 oz.) cans chili or pinto beans (can mix and match your favorites), undrained
14.5 oz. can black beans
14.5 oz. can Mexican style stewed tomatoes, undrained
10-14.5 oz. can Rotel (or tomatoes with green chiles) or any diced tomatoes, undrained
14.5 oz. can of whole kernel corn, undrained (or use 1.5 cups frozen corn)
8 oz. can tomato sauce (optional)
4 oz. can diced green chiles (optional)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

Directions:
Brown ground beef with onion. Drain and pour into 6 qt. crockpot. Open cans and dump all into crockpot with beef. Pour in seasonings and stir. Cover and cook on LOW heat 6-8 hours.

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Serve with skillet cornbread or garnish with shredded Mexican cheese, sour cream, chopped green onion, black olives, jalapenos, salsa and serve with tortilla chips.



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September 15, 2016

There's no denying...

"There's no denying that your past has influenced you. But it need not control you."
Taken from: "Get Serious" by Tony Evans

September 9, 2016

God knows...

"God knows where He's taking you. And He knows the lessons you need to learn on the way so that when you get there, you can do the job."

Taken from: "Get Serious" by Tony Evans

September 1, 2016

All twisted up...


Hair all washed---check
Hair deep conditioned---check
Hair all twisted up---check
Bonnet on head---check

Now off to bed I go to join everyone else in the house who has been sleep long before me. Nighty night all and sweet dreams :-)

August 19, 2016

Tasty Seasoned Lime Chicken

This is an easy yet tasty way to enjoy whole or cup up chicken parts.

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Ingredients:
1 family pack of chicken quarters (you can use whatever parts you like)
1/2-3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 lime
1 Tbsp. honey

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash chicken, let drain, and placed in a bowl. Next mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika and sprinkled on top of chicken. Move around to coat with the seasoning. In a skillet get olive oil hot on medium heat. Carefully place the chicken pieces in to get a crispy brown on both sides (I had to do mine in 2 batches because I didn't have enough room for all the pieces at once). On a foil lined baking sheet place the chicken straight from the skillet and squeezed a lime and drizzle honey all over the chicken pieces. Bake it in the oven 30-45 min. or until done.

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July 12, 2016

Classic Egg Salad


Classic Egg Salad

Ingredients:
6 boiled eggs, chopped
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 Tbsp. red onion, chopped
1/4 c. Mayo or Miracle Whip
1/2 Tbsp. dill or sweet pickle relish
1 Tbsp. Dijon or Yellow Mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika (optional)
 
Directions:
Mix all together in a medium size bowl until well combined. Serve as a sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes or over a bed of lettuce as a salad. It's good served on crackers too.

Note: Recipe can be doubled to make a larger batch. Whenever my batch gets low I stretch it even further by stirring in a can of tuna for an easy/quick tuna salad :-)

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July 1, 2016

Curried Deviled Eggs

Here’s a recipe where I took my original way of making deviled eggs and added an extra ingredient for a different flavor my family loves. These aren’t my best looking eggs. I was in a hurry so I just piled it on instead of filling them neater. At least I know they’ll get ateSmile


IMG_20150524_200945_511Curried Deviled Eggs
Ingredients:
6 hard boiled eggs (see note below)
2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp. Mayo
1/4 cup sweet pickled relish
1/4 tsp. curry powder (use more if you like)
salt and pepper to taste
paprika for garnish (optional)


Directions:

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Peel and cut 6 hard boiled eggs in half. Use a plate to lay these on.

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Plop out yolks into a small bowl. Mash until fine.

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Add in other ingredients (You can switch sweet relish for dill pickle relish if you desire. I use a dash or two of salt and pepper in my egg filling). Mix well and fill each egg half with filling. Sprinkle paprika on each egg and transfer to an egg dish to chill and serve. If you are making these the day before be sure to cover with plastic wrap or store in a covered container.

IMG_20150524_194603_942Note: To make the perfect eggs that are easy to peel and have no green on the yolks try these tips. Put cold eggs in pot with cold water. Add 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. white vinegar to water. Turn on high heat and bring to a quick boil. As soon as it starts to boil don’t let it go past a minute. Immediately turn off heat, cover, and set on a cool part of stove. Let sit like that undisturbed for 13 minutes. Uncover and pour off water. Let cold water run over eggs for a minute to cool down. Add cold water and some ice cubes to pot. Let sit until no longer hot to handle. To peel: crack eggs on the ends first then all around. Carefully pull the shell in the direction that easily comes off egg without tearing it up.


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