Simple Turkey Dressing

For me, homemade stuffing/dressing is required at Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.  The stuff from the box just doesn’t get it for me.  Although, that is what I was raised on, my mother used it. Yuck.  I had an aunt once declare that this dressing tastes just like her mom’s, but I don’t recall anything besides the boxed stuff at her house either.  In her defense, holiday meals normally meant cooking for 25 to 35 people.  We never had real mashed potatoes either.

I have been known to use a bag pre-seasoned hard cubes, and those can be prepared in a way that it is almost as good as homemade.  And 2 bags of those cubes can be used as a substitute for the loaf of rustic crusty bread used in this recipe.  It will require much more liquid than the crusty bread allowed to dry out will.

People put all kinds of stuff in their stuffing, maybe that’s why it’s called stuffing, it’s stuffed with stuff.  I have never stuffed a bird with dressing, I think it might end up being too greasy and not hot enough to kill whatever bacteria might be hiding inside that turkey.

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Beef Tips and Mushrooms

Growing up, my mom made a version of beef tips that I always thought was kind of flavorless and tough.  But this meant she would making rice.  She hated rice and rarely made it.   If rice so much as touched her plate, she was done eating.  Imagine going out to a Japanese steak house with that……….

When I first made this myself, I immediately added beef base to the recipe.  It definitely gave it some added flavor, but it was still quite tough.

Since this was one of the first recipes I ever attempted on my own as a young cook in my own kitchen, I have had many years of perfecting this recipe for my tastes.

Mushrooms and onions have joined the party over the years, and green peppers made an appearance for some years.  If you like green peppers, feel free to add some during the last few minutes of cooking.

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Flat Burger Sliders

Flat Burger Sliders were created because, as you can only guess, there is no restaurant around here that serves decent thin patty burgers on slider buns.  In addition, there is no White Castle or Krystal Burger within easy driving distance of Tulsa.

I have seen the several hundred, maybe even thousands, of White Castle copycat recipes on the interwebs.  Yes, I have tried a few.  No they did not make me happy.

This recipe is not supposed to be a copycat of either of those restaurants.  I don’t believe you can accurately copy those recipes without their preformed patties, who knows what unhealthy additives, nor their large griddles.  I think there might even be some magic in the little boxes they stuff the baby burgers into.

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Simple Pico de Gallo

You may notice when you look at my recipes that I use minimal or no cilantro in dishes where it is customary.  This simple Pico de Gallo is no different.  If you like cilantro, feel free to add it anywhere and everywhere, just please do not put it into foods you want me to eat.  I can do small amounts of it when I go to Chipotle’s or certain Mexican restaurants, but if there is too much of it in anything I just have to leave it on my plate.

I am one of the few people in this word apparently that thinks cilantro smells like dirty gym socks.

Since I do like Mexican food though, I just make my recipes without an overload of cilantro.  I also use minimal amounts of jalapeno peppers, but just like cilantro, feel free to add more if you prefer more heat.    I serve this Pico de Gallo alongside my Midwest quesadillas because I love all things tomatoes and I think they go well together.  I also think it goes great with chips, it’s more than an acceptable substitute for store bought salsa only I get to decide how much cilantro goes in mine – none.

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Red Beans and Rice

I will not be able to concentrate on writing this post or recipe if I do not clear this out of my head – but a famous Sir Mix-A-Lot song keeps running through my head when I read red beans and rice in my head, the part about red beans and rice didn’t miss her………..  So there, I said it and I bet a few of you have that song running through your head now too don’t you?  Sorry about that.

I am not from the New Orleans area and have only visited there.  If it weren’t so stinking hot and humid there in the summer I might want to live there.  I love New Orleans in the fall months.  I am telling you all of this so that you will understand that I am not claiming that this is an authentic southern style red beans and rice recipe made in my grandmomma’s house in the deep south or even taught to me be anyone who lives even near the Mississippi Delta.

This a recipe that recreates for me what my mind remembers as one of the best rice and beans dishes I had ever eaten.  I ate it in New Orleans but don’t ask me to tell you when or where.  I used to travel with my job in my younger years, and New Orleans was frequently on my agenda. Continue reading “Red Beans and Rice”

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”

Beer Boiled Shrimp

Beer boiled shrimp is something I make for others. Shrimp is kind of the bane of my existence, most seafood really. I can eat salmon only if it’s hidden in a salmon patty. Crab can be covered up in a stuffed mushroom. Crab cakes and fried fish must be covered in lemon juice and tartar sauce.

This recipe is quick, simple and perfect for serving at gatherings. It can be served hot or cold so you can make it while company waits or make it earlier in the day and avoid kitchen detail when guests arrive.

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Beer Boiled Shrimp Ingredient Lineup. PearTreeKitchen.com

This recipe uses just a few simple ingredients, all easily found at your local grocery store.  Celery, lemons, onions, beer, and Old Bay are ingredients I tend to have on hand. Shrimp, not so much.  Continue reading “Beer Boiled Shrimp”

Midwest Quesadillas

This recipe was also inspired by a restaurant from back in my hometown.  It was the first place I experienced the goodness of quesadillas.  I have to call these Midwest Quesadillas because just plain ole quesadillas might cause folks to expect a recipe containing toasted tortillas with tomatoes, peppers and perhaps some chicken, beef, carnitas, or even barbacoa in them.  Although, all of those options are tasty and I even think Ron may have one he will share on the blog someday, this one has none of the common ingredients in it expect maybe cheese and onions.

Even the cheese is not a common sight in quesadillas, this one uses jack cheese.  I remember when I first started making these I had to shred my jack cheese by hand.  These are so much easier to make now that shredded jack is readily available at most markets. Continue reading “Midwest Quesadillas”

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”

Patty Melt

Patty melts may be an ultimate comfort food.  Some nights I love just getting back to the basics in the kitchen. Simple cooking that doesn’t require too much thinking and beginner kitchen skills to make.

This patty melt, with plenty of grilled onions and melted Swiss cheese, fits that bill at my house. It’s quick enough to make that I can whip it up on a weeknight, break out some potato chips and call it a meal without feeling guilty like I do when I just serve up ham sandwiches, order pizza, or carry in soggy fried chicken.

Don’t misunderstand, I also get so busy some days that dinner isn’t even on my radar until someone says they are hungry. By then, it takes every bit of energy I have left to even break out the bread, ham, and Miracle Whip.

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