Beef Vegetable Soup

I call this cheater beef vegetable soup since I use mostly canned vegetables and frozen for this recipe.  Feel free to replace with fresh vegetables if you like.  I use canned because the potatoes hold up way better during the slow simmer.

If you opt to use fresh vegetables for this recipe, I recommend par cooking your potatoes and carrots prior to peeling and dicing.  They will hold their shape a bit better like the canned vegetables would.  I have done this with decent results, but it is time consuming.  As long-time readers of the blog already know, I am lazy sometimes and prefer to skip steps that I don’t find necessary for producing great tasting food.

Canned vegetables are readily available these days with reduced sodium and even some with no salt or sugar added.  These are great shortcuts for this beef vegetable soup for those on controlled sodium and sugar diets.

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New Orleans Style Bread Pudding

New Orleans Style Bread Pudding is my kind of bread pudding.  This bread pudding does not have large pieces of bread hanging out.  This is creamier than other bread puddings, but not too egg-y.

It can be made with any kind of leftover bread that you have laying around.  One day I would like to try this with stale cinnamon rolls. But, that would mean there were leftovers………..

I prefer making this with some dried out quick yeast rolls.  I’m able to crumble them pretty quickly and these rolls absorb the liquid pretty easily.  As you are mixing up this bread pudding, the consistency will look like really wet oatmeal.  No worries, this will bake up and set just fine.  If it needs a little extra baking time, that’s OK too.  It just means crispier edges, which in my opinion is the best part.

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Grape Jelly

Concord Grape Jelly is not anything I ever gave much thought too.  If you needed or wanted grape jelly you just went to the store and bought some right?  Well, after making this, my mind has been forever changed about that.  I don’t know that I can ever eat grape jelly from the store again.  I tried to eat some that I had in the refrigerator to see if I could actually tell a difference.  Let me tell you, they difference is undeniable.

One of my neighbors, and occasional reader of the blog – Hi Rick! – has been growing Concord grapes in his backyard for a few years.  This is the first year there were enough grapes for the birds and for jelly.

Having never seen or eaten a Concord grape, I was a little taken aback by the texture.  It tasted just like grape jelly, but the skins are tough and you need to pop the insides into your mouth.  The texture is kind of rubbery, but slippery.  I have never eaten a raw oyster, but this is what I suspect a small raw oyster might feel like in your mouth if you tried to chew it instead of swallow it.

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Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread is another fall favorite at my house.  I make this from the first leaf falling off the trees and all the way through the holidays. You might find it hanging out up until Easter.  This gets made a lot.  This another recipe of mine that is well used, and stained.

I make it in large loaves, small loaves, and mini loaves.  I give it away and I also freeze it for later.  Small loaves make great food gifts to appointments during the holidays.  Wrap completely cooled loaves in holiday colored plastic wrap, and add a bow.  When doing this I like to add a small container of whipped butter and perhaps a plastic knife since most places don’t stock serveware like we do at home.

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Large Pearl Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca pudding! What else is there to say?

Tapioca pudding might be the epitome of comfort foods.  It bring memories of worn out diners that have stood the test of time, grandmother’s kitchens with smells only grandmothers’ houses can produce and simpler times.

I used to buy the stuff in the container for Ron when he was little.  He loved this stuff, he called it “tappy O da pudding”.  He rarely eats it now, he doesn’t care much for processed foods.  Perhaps he might try eating it again now with this recipe.  Pass on a love for tapioca pudding to his child.

I believe the key to a good tapioca may be starting with large pearl tapioca.  No small tapioca and certainly no instant.  I have had poor luck with those.  The recipes always say to soak the tapioca overnight, but I only ever soak mine for about 7 hours.  It cooks up beautifully, even as a double batch.

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Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans

Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans have been in my life since I was old enough to eat.  The first indication a holiday feast brewing in the kitchen is the smell of bacon and onions cooking at the crack of dawn.

My grandmother and mother both made green beans often.  I don’t know if it was tradition, cheap, a comfort food, or just the first vegetable that came to mind at dinner time.  When I was growing up, everyone’s normal evening meal included a protein, a starch and a vegetable.

My grandmother used a spoonful of bacon grease when she cooked almost anything.  She had a can of bacon grease sitting on the stove.  She added to that can every time she made bacon for breakfast, which if memory serves me right was daily.  My grandfather loved his bacon.  Even after my grandma passed, he still made himself a breakfast of bacon, eggs, biscuits, and grape jelly.  He also drank his coffee out of a saucer instead of a cup.  I never did know why he did that.  It remains a mystery to me to this day.  He lived to be 89 and had it not been for dementia he probably would have lived longer than that. Continue reading “Old Fashioned Slow Simmered Green Beans”

Basic Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is my go-to for using up any leftover chicken I have.  Sometimes when I am making chicken soup or chicken and dumpling, I go ahead and thrown in some extra chicken breasts just for chicken salad.  Rotisserie chicken meat is also really good in this recipe.

When I make this style of chicken salad, I prefer it pretty plain.  Celery is the only addition you will find here.  Feel free to add any number of ingredients you like in your chicken salad.  I prefer to eat mine on toast with some onions slices, stuffed inside of a tomato, or with crackers so fruit and nut addition just aren’t my thing.  I know a lot of people who it is their thing, so if that’s you, just add what you like, even feel free to leave out the celery.  I won’t hurt my feelings.  What will hurt my feelings is if you are a beginner cook and you don’t get into the kitchen and at least try. Continue reading “Basic Chicken Salad”

Bratwurst in Beer

I am making bratwurst in beer today. It pairs really well with my too cheesy macaroni and cheese. Nothing like a heaping helping of cholesterol on one plate! Hey, I do try to eat a tomato on the side. Somehow in my mind it makes it healthier, please don’t message me to tell me that it isn’t any healthier…. I already know this, my day job is in healthcare.

Yes, it’s another recipe that can be served on a bun or some carb loaded wheat based product. We skip the mac and cheese if there is a bun……. In case no one has noticed, we eat a lot of “sandwich type” foods in this house. Blogging is time consuming. Sandwiches are quick.

My blogging partner (and son) makes his own bratwurst. Me? I buy a famous brand at the store and go from there. I am all about quick! Perhaps one day, I will try to make my own bratwurst from scratch too.  Hahahaha! Who am I kidding? I will leave the expansion of cooking skills to the next generation. Continue reading “Bratwurst in Beer”

Beef and Noodles

Beef and Noodles fit the bill perfectly for those days when all I want to do is eat carbs.  Simple comforting carbs.  Even when I have overcooked, undercooked, or even flat out screwed up this recipe, I eat it for dinner and then microwave leftovers until I have run out of noodles.  Corn, tomatoes, and some buttered white bread is all I need to make this meal complete.

I tend to make this with homemade noodles, but frozen noodles, and even dry noodles when I can find a decent dried kluski noodle somewhere will do.

As the food industry shifts its focus to please more and more “foodies”, basic, easy to make foods that even picky kids will eat, are getting hard to find and edged out of the market.  Like kluski noodles.  Which, by the way, were the only way I used to make beef and noodles until they became scarce.

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