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

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Homemade Vegetable Broth

Homemade Vegetable Broth

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)

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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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts

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

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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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pork and Butternut Squash Stew


Pork and Butternut Squash Stew
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

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.

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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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kielbasa Cabbage Soup


Kielbasa Cabbage Soup

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

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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