Sunday, April 28, 2013

Brazilian Beans And Rice (Feijoada)

My hubby served a mission for our church for two years in Brazil.  That was 16 years ago.  And for the first time in our 12 years of marriage, I made him some Brazilian food.  I thought it was going to be harder than it was, and so I never did it.  And maybe if I had made this totally authentic, it would have been harder.  But I made it with what I had, and in the slow cooker, and it was actually really easy and really tasty.  If you ever buy a big spiral ham around Christmas time and don't know what to do with the ham bone, here is your answer!  If you've ever had a bag of dried beans sitting in your food storage for about 10 years and didn't know what to do with it, here is your answer!  This is the recipe you need to use up random food items that you don't really know what to do with.  Yay!

Brazilian Beans and Rice (Feijoada)
adapted from:

1 lb. dry black beans
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 onions
1 ham bone (or any of your spiral ham that is leftover-I had a ham bone and also some ends of the ham that weren't sliced and I didn't know how to use them)
5 cloves garlic, minced (2 1/2 tsp. already minced)
1/2 lb. bacon
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. pepper
fresh ground salt to taste (you don't need much, the ham and bacon will make it salty)

Dump your black beans into your crock pot and then fill up the crock pot with water until it covers the beans.  In the morning, drain the water from the crock pot.  Then add six cups more water to the crock pot (just to get fresh water).  Thinly slice your onions.  In a frying pan, pour your olive oil and saute' your onions until they are translucent.  In the same frying pan, caramelize the edges of your ham bone, then add the onions and ham bone to the crock pot.  In the same frying pan, cook your minced garlic for one minute, then add to the crock pot.  Add your bacon to the frying pan and cook it until it is almost crispy, then throw it in the crock pot, too.  Add the beef bouillon cubes, pepper and salt to the crock pot and gently stir it all together.  Cook it on high for 1 hour, then turn it down to low for 5-6 hours.  At the last hour of cooking, remove the ham and bone,discard the bone and shred the ham, and then return the shredded ham to the crock pot.  You may want to cut the bacon into chunks (if you have little kids like I do).  The original recipe called for a couple of different kinds of sausage as well.  I think you can basically add any pork item that you have on hand and you won't go wrong.  I served mine with brown rice, orange slices and a salad, and it was delicious.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins & Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitution

I got this recipe from Monica a long time ago and have made it a dozen times.  Like the zucchini muffins, these are great to freeze for school lunches.  I just take one out in the morning, stick it in a baggie, throw it in the kid's lunch box and it is thawed and ready for them to eat by lunch.  They use 100% whole wheat flour and applesauce instead of oil and so you can feel good about this healthy snack choice!

Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins
adapted from:

3 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. brown sugar (I use a little less)
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (see below for the substitution)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 c. applesauce (the original recipe calls for oil-you could do half and half, too)
1 c. honey (I use a little less)
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl, beat the eggs.  Mix in the pumpkin puree, applesauce and honey.  Make a well in the flour mixture, pour in the liquid ingredients and stir to combine.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched.  

Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitution
from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

In place of 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice (so double this for this pumpkin muffin recipe), add the following:
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Roasted Vegetables With Bacon

For Christmas, Dustin gave me a cooking class (of my choice) and Lynnette and I decided to do it together. We chose "Cooking Without A Cookbook".  We had so much fun and since then, I have tried to "be bold and try anything" as our instructor taught us.  These were the roasted vegetables that my group prepared that night (we were split into small groups, shown a whole bunch of ingredients we could choose from, and instructed to make roasted veggies, a side dish, like quinoa, and a main dish).  We were so happy with how everything turned out and I have since recreated these veggies for my family.

Roasted Vegetables With Bacon
by: Carolyn

3 or 4 varieties of vegetables (the first time I did carrots, brussel sprouts, red onions and cauliflower)
4 slices of bacon (give or take a slice)
canola oil
fresh mint
fresh marjoram
red pepper flakes to taste
dash of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Chop your vegetables all about the same size.  Pour them in to a large bowl.  In a frying pan, cook your bacon.  Set the bacon aside and pour the bacon grease (I know, I know, but it is going to taste so good!) over the veggies.  Chop up the mint and marjoram and add them to the bowl.  Add your red pepper flakes (I did about 1/2 tsp.), nutmeg and salt and pepper and stir it all gently to coat.  If you need a little more oil to coat everything, add a little canola oil.  You can taste one of your veggies to see if the flavor is good, or if you need to add more of anything (I'd taste a carrot).  When you have it how you want it, pour the vegetables onto a 11 X 17 pan.  Chop your bacon into small pieces and sprinkle it over the veggies.  Roast them in the oven for 45 minutes, to an hour, or until they are tender, stirring often.