Sunday, September 17, 2017

Barbara's Chili

I can't believe I haven't included this recipe. It's such great chili. And now I have instant pot directions too.

1 to 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 11.5 oz V8 or tomato juice or just use broth or water
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp cumin
oil for sauteeing

I like to add more vegetables. Last time I added a large package of cubed butternut squash. It was sooooo good. Carrots, squash, pumpkin, green beans are all good additions.

Saute ground been in oil until almost brown, add onion and saute a few minutes, then add spices and saute for another minute or two.

Add beans, tomatoes and juice or broth. Add water as desired.

Simmer for an hour or so until vegetables are tender. Or put in crock pot.

Or use instant pot:

Use saute function, then pressure cook 12 minutes with all ingredients. Allow it to vent naturally and it's great to leave it on 'keep warm' for a few hours - but I'm sure it's good immediately too.

I like it topped with grated pepper jack cheese and crumbled tortilla chips. It's also good with sour cream or cottage cheese.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

French multi-grain flour

A friend gave me two packages of Bio Village Preparation pour Pain Multi-Cereales.

I've used it to make pizza crust and muffins and LOVE the results.

Of course I can't find it here so I'm thinking about making the flour blend myself. I wanted to get the ingredients from the label down here:

whole wheat flour
cracked wheat
rye flour
malted barley flour

Sunday, September 10, 2017


My dad used to make gazpacho.

We had fresh tomato juice leftover from draining the tomatoes for chili sauce yesterday. I couldn't bring my self to throw it out - put some in soup and then decided to try it in gazpacho. So good and fresh!

I (loosely) used this recipe from Food Network

I chopped the garlic and added a bit of hot pepper from our garden, used the fresh tomato juice and added no oil.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Instant Pot Senate Bean Soup

Just made this. It reminds me of Campbell's bean with bacon soup - an elevated version.

From the Dads Cook Dinner blog


  • 1 pound dried navy beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks (or a hambone and some leftover ham) (I didn't have a ham hock so I used chopped ham. I think the smoked hock would taste better, but it worked)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Minced parsley for garnish
  • (I added chopped carrots and 2 tsp of chicken soup base)


  1. Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the navy beans, removing broken beans, stones, or dirt clods. Rinse the beans and set aside.
  2. Saute the aromatics: Heat the butter in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat until it stops foaming. Add the onion, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute until the onions are softened and browning around the edges, about 8 minutes.
  3. Pressure cook the beans: Stir the rinsed navy beans into the pressure cooker. Set the ham hocks on top of the beans, and then pour the 8 cups of water over everything. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes in an electric PC, or 26 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure release naturally, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid carefully, opening away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot.
  4. Shred the ham hock, season, and serve: Remove the ham hock from the pot with a slotted spoon or tongs, and set aside to cool. When the ham is cool enough to handle, shred it, then stir the ham back into the pot. Stir in the fresh ground black pepper. Now, taste the soup, and add salt until the soup tastes sweet and full of body, and you can just feel the taste of salt on the tip of your tongue. (I needed 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to get the taste I wanted.) Serve with a sprinkle of minced parsley on each bowl.


  • Want to speed up the recipe? Soak the beans overnight. Replace step 1 with: the night before cooking, sort the navy beans, removing broken beans, stones, or dirt clods. Rinse the beans and put them in a large container with the salt. Cover with 2 quarts water. Let the beans soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans, then continue with step 2.
  • Look for meaty ham hocks, if you can – the ones in the video I shot were from the end of the hock, and didn’t have much meat on them. Larger hocks are usually meatier, so if you have an option, get big hocks instead of small ones.
  • Please, do not forget to season to taste at the end! Soup tastes bland and flat without added salt. Don’t worry if it seems like a lot of salt – you’re still adding a lot less salt than you’d get in canned beans.

Spaghetti Marco Polo

I'm not exactly recommending this recipe. I think I found it watching Mr Roger's Neighborhood with the kids when they were tiny.  I made it for them sometimes and we liked it. It's a bit of an odd recipe, but one with family memories.

I actually found a link to the recipe online.

  • 1lb spaghetti
  • 2tablespoons butter
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • black pepper
  • 1(6 ounce) can tuna packed in oil, flaked, undrained
  • 2tablespoons pimiento, diced or 2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
  • 2tablespoons green onions with tops, sliced
  • 2tablespoons black olives, sliced
  • 2tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  •  1⁄3 cup swiss cheese, shredded
  • 2tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Drain pasta and return to pot, stirring in butter, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  3. Toss with remaining ingredients and serve, garnished with parsley or cilantro.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Grandma Schultz's Chili Sauce

My grandma Schultz didn't cook much - my grandfather did most if it. So I'm not quite sure why this is her chili sauce recipe. Maybe it came through her parents.

It's really good! We love it with pot roast and meat loaf, and on sandwiches.

1 peck ripe tomatoes
10 medium onions
2 cups celery or 2 Tbs celery seed
4 red peppers (seeds removed)
2 green peppers (seeds removed)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup mustard seeds
1/2 cup salt (to taste)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
(I like to add a couple of shopped pears or peaches - to add flavor)

2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground cloves

  1. Scald, peel and chop tomatoes and put to drain. Do not use the juice.
  2. Chop or coarsely grind the other vegetables.
  3. Add spices.
  4. When tomatoes are drained, put all ingredients in large cooker (pot) and cook 2 hours until fairly thick. Stir often to prevent sticking.
  5. Put in hot sterilized jars. (I process the jars full of chili sauce for 20 mins - just to be sure).

Monday, September 4, 2017

Banana Bran Muffins

I've made these twice this weekend - a big hit!

from one of my favorite cookbooks: Jane Brody's Good Food Gourmet (the other fave is Jane Brody's Good Food Book)

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 medium - I keep a bunch of frozen ones in the freezer for smoothies and used them)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I used milk with a few spoonfuls of lemon juice)
2 cups shredded bran cereal (100% bran or All-Bran)
1 egg white and 1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup raisins (I used chocolate chips)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white flour (Instead of the two flours, I used a mix of whole wheat, rye, cracked wheat)
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar (forgot it the second time, muffins taste great)
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves.

Preheat oven to 375

  1. In large bowl combine banana, buttermilk and bran cereal. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Add beaten egg and oil and raisins (if desired).
  3. In small bowl, combine flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add to banana mixture, stirring until moist (I had to add extra milk because the mixture was too dry. It should be halfway between cookie dough and pancake batter).
  4. Distribute the dough into 24 muffin cups (I use liners).
  5. Bake until they feel firm, about 25 minutes (mine took 20).