Saturday, January 3, 2009

Spicy Beef and Onion Sandwiches

I am seriously sad that I don't have a photo of these sandwiches. I have the hardest time using a recipe out of a cookbook that doesn't show what the finished product looks like, and here I am doing the same.

But these are YUMMY. In fact, Brian asked me this morning if there were any leftovers. NOPE. There are none. And his reply? "That's too bad".

The kids weren't mega fans, so this is more of an adult dish... but they did manage to pick out the onions and mushrooms, eat just the beef and then the roll it was on. Brian and I on the other hand had two of these each.

Spicy Beef and Onion Sandwiches (plenty to feed my family of 6)

1 to 1.5 lbs sliced sirloin steak, about 1 inch thick
1 large onion
2 TBSP Mustard Seed
1/2 cup Water
1 cup Sliced Mushrooms (I use baby portabello's)
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
2 tsp Olive Oil
Kaiser Rolls (we ended up using sourdough rolls and they were excellent!)
Dijon Mustard

Spray nonstick pan with cooking spray and cook beef just until done. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add Onion, mustard seed water and mushrooms to the pan. Cook until the water evaporates.

Add sugar, cider vinegar and olive oil to the onion mixture. Cook stirring frequently until brown. Add the beef back in and stir until combined.

Slice rolls, spread Dijon mustard on one half of the roll and top with beef/onion mixture.

I will take a picture the next time we make this and update. Because I WILL be making this again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Laundry Soap

Now that I've made my own, there's no going back.

I love everything about this laundry soap. The smell, the way it cleans, and by far the best part? Dirt cheap to make.

My washer seems to work better with a liquid detergent. If you have better luck with "powder", just omit the water from this recipe and use 2 Tbsp per load.

You can use whatever bar soap you want, but Fels Naptha or Ivory is recommended. (I use Fels Naptha).

1 quart Water (boiling)
2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda

* Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.
* Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
* Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
* Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it (will gel)

Try it, love it, let me know if you make it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Apple Pie Filling and Crock Pot Applesauce

Looks DELISH, don't you think? Oddly enough, I never use apple pie filling when actually making an apple pie... but the filling is GREAT for things like... crock pot pork, or a topping on vanilla ice cream... or heck - just eat it straight out of the jar.

The applesauce was YUM and terribly easy. Recipes for canning would make 7 quarts of pie filling and 6 pints of applesauce.

Apple Pie Filling:

Peel, core and slice apples, enough to fill 7 quart jars.

4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
10 cups water
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix together and cook until thick on medium heat. Fill jars with prepared apples and pour mixture over. Process in steamer canner/hot water bath for 30 minutes. (high altitude)

Crock Pot Applesauce

16 LARGE apples. (I used more, my gala's were small)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water

Skin, core, slice the apples and throw them in the crock pot. Add other ingredients and gently stir together. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. When tender, mash with a potato masher or a large fork.

Process in steamer canner/water bath for 25 minutes. (high altitude)

Cranberry Scones

Made these for our neighborhood recipe exchange last night at Heathers. (Which was ultra fun, btw... either that or I needed to get out of my crazy busy house... nope, it was ultra fun I'd say...)

These are REALLY easy... you know, easy but people THINK that you've worked your tail off. No, in fact... these were so simple I needed something else to do, so I bottled 6 more pints of applesauce while I made them. But I digress.

I give you: Cranberry Scones!

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, chilled & cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream (milk may be substituted)

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450
degrees. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a
medium bowl. Scatter the butter and the orange zest over the top.
With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it
resembles coarse cornmeal (having a few slightly larger lumps are OK)
Add the cranberries and quickly mix in (be careful not to over-mix) Stir
in the heavy cream (or milk) with a rubber spatula until the dough
begins to form (about 30 seconds).
Turn the dough and any floury bits onto the floured counter and knead
until it forms a rough, slightly sticky ball (5 to 10 seconds).
Press the dough evenly into a 9” cake pan for the round shape. Flip
the now shaped dough back onto the counter and cut into 8 wedges.
Place the wedges evenly spaced on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake until the scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a
wire rack at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature
(resist eating them hot out of the oven, because the cooling time firms
them up and improves their texture)

Just a quick note: If you happen to HATE dried cranberries (sorry Nicole...) you can omit them and the orange zest. You could really add anything you wanted to these babies... or nothing at all. They're forgiving, so no worries. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ham Fried Rice

Nothing is better than using up leftovers for Ham Fried Rice! The nice thing? You don't even need to make it with HAM!

Generally speaking, I make extra rice in my rice cooker every time it's required for a meal. So, ham fried rice has become a "staple" to some of our diets. (Taylor especially loves it and is so excited that he gets some for his lunch tomorrow.)

Ham Fried Rice: (You can easily HALF this recipe... I like to make a lot and freeze it for lunches later in the month)

Melt 6 Tbsp butter and to it add:
4 Tbsp soy sauce
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 small diced onion

Cook over medium heat until the onions soften. Then add:

1 cup frozen or fresh veggies you have on hand! (I generally just use frozen petite peas, but have added corn, carrots.... anything!)
leftover meat (Ham is used most of the time, but leftover chicken pieces work great too!)
6 cups cooked rice

Stir well, then add:

3 eggs.

Cook on medium high until the eggs are "scrambled".


Hawaiian Heaven

So... I found a recipe I *really* wanted to try. Turns out, most of the ingredients were not in my pantry.

It's the end of the month and the funds are low... no running out for special ingredients this late in the game!

So I made up my own version, and it's quite tasty.

In the crock pot, place:

Frozen chicken pieces (I like thighs right now. Especially for the crock pot. Chicken breasts seem to dry out too much for my liking.) I have a nice size family, so I put 2 pieces per person at least. Usually more so I have leftovers for the kids lunches.

Dump in one full can of pineapple chunks.

3/4 cup brown sugar.

1 small, diced onion.

1/4 cup lime juice.

A sprinkle of salt (kosher, please!)

Turn on low for the rest of the day and serve over rice. (We use brown rice)

I really enjoyed this. It did have a lot of juice, so I might try omitting the juice from the pineapple next time...

I can also see myself adding to this recipe. Using the chicken as part of Hawaiian Haystacks or something... it would be really good with those crunchy noodles! ohhhh yeah baby! I'm doing that next time!!!