Monday, March 17, 2014

Steamed Kielbasa,Sauerkraut and Pierogies

This is from Family Circle January page 97.  The reason this caught my eye is that it combines 3 of my favorite things, as noted in the title.  I did not follow the recipe exactly.  I used the sausage pictured instead of the one in the recipe.  I also did not use only 7 of the mini pierogies, I used the whole box.
Kielbasa, mustard, onions, brown sugar and vinegar mixed together.

 Sauerkraut at the bottom of crock.

Sausage mix on top.

Disclaimer, I do NOT like mustard.  In fact, I hate mustard.  I went ahead and got the kind of mustard the recipe called for.  It actually wasn't that bad.  It works in the recipe.  Don't get me wrong, I don't plan on smearing this stuff all over my sandwiches...

All the kids in the pool.

After about 4 hours on high, add the pierogies.

On eating this right away... YUMMY!!!!!  Obviously I couldn't eat it all at once so I threw the leftovers in the fridge.

Day 2, still good, but a little tangy.

Day 3, very tangy and barely able to finish.

I'm going to do this again.  I think I'm going to double the sugar and leave out the cider vinegar.  The saurekraut has enough vinegar on it's own. I liked the mustard flavor but might cut that back a bit.

I also think eating this with some sour cream would cut some of the sourness.  Also might add a can of diced tomatoes.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Whole Crockpot Chicken and Bone Broth

I've done this once before and it turned out really nice.  Instead of roasting a whole chicken in the oven, do it in the Crockpot.  Ya, it takes longer, but I think it's worth it.  If you eat the skin and like it crispy, that's not going to happen here.
Most of the recipes I see tell you to ball up aluminum foil to keep the chicken off of the bottom of the crock so it doesn't sit in the juice and fat for hours.  For some reason I don't like the idea of the foil sitting at the bottom for all that time.  I think if you're not going to continue on with the bone broth the foil would be fine.
However, I'm going to use the carcas for a bone broth so this is what I did.
Cut 2 onions in half and place at the bottom of the crock.  This will not only raise the chicken off the bottom of the crock, it will add to the flavor.

Say hello to my leetle friend... I think this was like a 4 or 5 pound bird for about 7 bucks.  He was an amputee missing his left wing tip.

Seasonings included a lot of salt and pepper, paprika, onion and garlic powder.  I shoved a cut up onion and whole garlic cloves in the cavity and stuck slices of garlic on the bird.  I think next time I'm going to crush the garlic and spread it out under the skin.

This is, I believe, after 6 hours on low. 

After cooling, get all your meat off the bones.  This is very tasty, moist meat right here.  Do with it what you will...

Put all the skin, fat and bones back in the crock and fill it up with water 3/4 of the way.  Also throw in the stuff from the cavity goodie bag in now.  I sliced up the organs into smaller pieces.  Add about 3 tbs of vinager.  I had apple cider.  This helps the nutrients come out of the bones.

This is after 24 hours.  Looks pretty gross at this point.  Strain this into a bowl.

The way you know you have gotten all you can get out of the bones is that when you go to snap them they kind of just crumble.

This is after a night in the fridge.  All the fat comes to the surface so you can skim it off.

Get as much as you can off.

Now we have some rich, tasty bone broth.  There are lots you can do at this point.  I've read of people drinking this throughout the day.  Others keep it to cook with. This is what I did.

Divide it up into bags for freezing for later use.

I'm looking foward to cooking with this.  I did drink some that was left over from filling these bags and let me tell you... this stuff is rich. 


I plan on getting to a point where I do this every weekend and use it throughout the week.  You can make bone broth from beef bones too if you can get them from your store/butcher.

Speaking of, I need to start using a butcher instead of grocery stores.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Salsa Chicken Casserole

I took some chicken out to make something for the week and realised I was tired of the same old thing.  Stir fry, cheesy chicken spaghetti, added to sausage and beans and rice. This was something I just kind of threw together after looking at multiple recipes on Pinterest.  It didn't turn out too bad.  Could definitely use some tweaking.

Dice up some onion and garlic.  No recipe can go wrong with onion and garlic. 

Cook some chicken.  I boiled 2 huge boneless breasts.

Make some rice.  I used brown.  Spread out in the bottom of a baking dish.

Saute onion and garlic.  I had a green bell.pepper and figured it couldn't hurt.  Don't think it really made a difference.  I used a medium onion and 1/4th of the pepper.  Next time I would double the onion and probably skip the pepper altogether.  Spread evenly over rice.

Cut up/shred chicken and add next.

This is where I kinda got stumped.  I had salsa, Velveeta, sour cream and whipped Philly cream cheese..

So I threw the salsa in a bowl.

Of course Calli was around to supervise.

Then I added a chunk of Velveeta about the size of a deck of cards.

I nuked that untill the cheese started melting into the salsa.  (Not shown)

I was beginning to doubt the ratio of salsa mixture to the chicken and added a can of diced tomatos without draining.  Turned out to be a good idea.

At this point, I had the cream cheese and sour cream.  I decided to go with the cream cheese.  This is the whipped, not the block.  If you're trying to melt cream cheese into something, the whipped is the way to go.

While that was all gelling in the microwave I decided to sprinkle some cayanne over the chicken.

I know this looks gross, but let me tell you, this was tasty.  This could be a nice dip with some Fritos or corn chips.

I poured it over the chicken and threw it in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.

This was area that needed the most improvement.

It did melt down into the chicken and rice a bit, but I think it could have been meltier.  Is that a word?

Overall, it was good. 
I think this could be really good rolled up in tortillas enchalada style with some shredded cheese.  I would probably leave out the rice if I was going to put in tortillas to cut the carbs.

So, a recipe in progress.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Unstuffed Cabbage

I honestly didn't know what to call this.  It's basically all the ingredients for stuffed cabbage, but not stuffed in cabbage... Just all thrown in a pot.  It tastes like stuffed cabbage without all the rolling and stuffing.

Brown some ground beef

Chop some onions and a few cloves of garlic

Cut up some green cabbage

Saute onions and garlic in a little oil

Add cabbage and saute until it starts to get a little soft

Add a can of diced tomatoes - do not drain

Add 2 cans of V8 low sodium - you could also add a can of tomato sauce here which is what I intended on doing but I didn't have any

Add 1 package of parboiled rice (about 2 cups cooked) - brown or white - your choice

Everyone in the pot and add water until everything is covered

Cook down until all liquid is absorbed

This is what it will look like... in the mean time I added a good amount of pepper, a couple tablespoons of ketchup and a few healthy shakes of Worcestershire sauce.

Yummy - By the way, if you have some bacon, fry it up and at the very end - extra yummy

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Had a cookie exchange at work.  While I was waiting for the dough for my actual cookie to cool in the fridge, I thought I would whip up some toffee.  I made this once before and it was so good.  This is where it came from. 

What you'll need.  Not pictured is the water or vanilla.

Put all but vanilla in saucepan.  OP uses a cast iron skillet.

Look to the OP for the explanation of what to look for to know when the candy is done.  This recipe doesn't use a thermometer.

I got distracted and let this batch go a few minutes too long. 

See the butter separating?  I think that's the result of cooking too long.  Don't worry though, if this happens just take some paper towels and soak up the oil

Spread the chips over the warm toffee.  If for whatever reason the candy cools too much to melt the chocolate, just stick in a 300 degree oven for a minute or so.

Spread out chocolate.

Sprinkle whatever nuts you want into melted chocolate or use no nuts at all.  Mix nuts into candy before cooling then do chocolate.  You can do whatever you want.  I think whatever nuts I use next time I'm going to toast first.

I stuck it all into the fridge for about 10 minutes then took it out and broke into pieces.  This recipe is SO easy to do and you probably already have most if not all of the ingredients on hand.  Note that the OP says to make sure you use AA grade butter or better.  I never knew there were grades of butter!