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Friday, June 23, 2017

White Bean Chicken Chili


1 lb dried beans, rinsed
1-2 lb chicken
1 T oil
1 seasoning packet
6 C water
2 C milk (or water), optional

Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on all sides. Add the seasoning packet, beans, and water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time.)
Remove from the heat, remove bones and skin from chicken if needed. Mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of pot with back of a heavy spoon or stick blender. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Add milk or water if a thinner consistency is desired.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Brownies with Cherries

Gooey version in front, pretty one in back

One recipe - two techniques! 

One is presentable the other a bit ugly, but they both are oh, so good! The brownie is a pretty basic cocoa-based brownie recipe and it is dense and moist, but still fluffy enough and with a very slightly chewy crispy top. 

Basic (perfect) brownie

Most recipes use all regular sugar and add vanilla in the wet ingredients.  I am trying to make a recipe that is as easy as possible to make from a dry mix and having to add three ingredients seems like too many. To counter the loss of the vanilla, I used half brown sugar which adds a lovely molasses flavor and also makes it moister. If you use all brown sugar, the top layer won't get that slightly different texture that I really want from a brownie (if all you have is one or the other, you will still end up with a delicious treat!) I'm also toying with the idea of using shortening in the mix so that egg is the only wet ingredient, but wonder about how that will affect the shelf-stability, so for now am sticking with this. 

One batch (8x8 or 9x9 pan)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat, but any will do)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

1 cup cherry pie filling, optional

Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients. Bake in 350*oven for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick in the middle comes out with only a few crumbs.

Top with cherry topping. 

That was the pretty version - for an ooey, gooey, doesn't come out of the pan easily treat just switch up the recipe a little! Put the pie filling in the bottom of the pan, use one egg instead of two and add 2 tablespoons of water then pour the batter on top of the cherries. 

Make ahead mix:

This is also super to keep in the pantry for a quick dessert. Below is for 4 batches, but you can do as many as you would like! When you're ready to bake, just measure 2 cups of dry mix to make one batch or adjust to whatever size you feel like eating! Ex: 1 cup mix, 1 egg, 1/4 cup oil for a few muffins or 3 cups mix, 3 eggs, 3/4 cup oil for a 9x13 pan

2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cup granulated sugar
2 cup flour (I used whole wheat, but any will do)
2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Parsley, Cauliflower, and Quinoa Salad

I've been on a bit of a quinoa kick lately and this is today's offering.

Lucille and the neighbor kids picked a large amount of parsley from the yard and so, of course, I thought about tabbouleh but didn't feel like digging in the deep freeze to find the bulghur and all of my mint died :-( so my tabbouleh-inspired salad was born.

2 small tomatoes
1 avocado
1/2 cup green onions
juice of 1/2 lemon
hearty amount of salt and pepper

about 3 cups of chopped parsley
1-2T  capers

3 cups cooked quinoa (made from1 cup of dry)

about 1 cup chopped raw cauliflower

Finished Salad!

Parsley, Cauliflower, and Quinoa Salad

2 small tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced/crushed
1/2 cup green onions, diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
hearty amount of salt and pepper
about 3 cups of parsley, rough chop
1-2T  capers
3 cups cooked quinoa (made from1 cup of dry)
about 1 cup raw cauliflower, chopped

Mix and serve!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Not Texan, But Still Good CHILI (and a vegetarian version)

½ – 1 lb sausage
½ - 1 lb cubed or ground beef
½ cup onion
2T olive oil
2 cloves garlic
½ t crushed red pepper
1 t cumin
1 T chili powder
1 T season salt
14 oz can chili style beans
14 oz can kidney beans (drained)
10 oz can Rotel
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
14 oz can diced tomatoes
½ t brown sugar

Chili follows the same rules as spaghetti sauce, anything goes, really.

Fry the onions and meat until the meat is cooked through and the onions are a little translucent then add the garlic and seasonings, fry for just another minute (garlic burns quickly, be careful). Then add all the beans and tomatoes.

I use whole cumin that I grind in a mortar and pestle. It tastes fresher, but can easily be substituted for ground if that's what you have. Cumin is what makes chili taste like chili, I think.

You will have to play with the seasonings to get it just how you like it, I know we like it spicier than a lot of families. The amounts listed are just basic starting points. You can use just unseasoned canned or dried beans and skip the ones in the chili flavorings but it just gives you a little head start.

Easy Vegetarian Chili
1 medium onion, diced
2T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped
2 cans chili beans
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilis (Rotel)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1/2T ground cumin
1/2T chili powder
1/2T cayenne
1T seasoned salt or Jane’s Krazy Salt
Sauté onion in oil over medium-high heat until translucent, add garlic and spices, sauté another minute. Add all other ingredients, reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer as long as you like.

Monday, October 3, 2016


8 eggs
2T milk
2T olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/8C  bell peppers, diced
1/8C onions, diced
1/8C spinach, chopped
Krazy Jane’s
optional: parmesan or feta
Sauté vegetables in oil over medium heat. Mix eggs and milk, pour over sautéing vegetables, cover. Cook until almost done, about 5 minutes (will continue to cook a bit after removing from heat).

If you are using an oven safe skillet, then you can start it on the stove, then put it under the broiler to finish even more quickly and get a nice golden brown top.

Lentil Loaf

2C  lentils
4 C broth (vegetable or chicken or water with bouillon)
2T olive oil
1/2C onion, diced
1/4C bell pepper
1/4C carrot
1/4C celery
2 eggs
1C bread crumbs
1C oats
1T Worcestershire
1 ½t Italian herb mix
2 garlic cloves or 1/2t garlic granules
3/4t pepper
1/2t salt
Bring broth to a boil, add lentils, reduce to simmer, cook 30 minutes (most of the liquid should be absorbed). Smash about half of the lentils with a potato masher or heavy spoon.  In separate pan, sauté vegetables in oil until almost soft. Mix all ingredients together. Press into greased loaf pan (or any other pan). Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Let sit for about 15 minutes before slicing.

This is great as is, but I like to top it with a ketchup glaze (ketchup and brown sugar whisked together and microwaved until smooth) about 5 minutes before it is done cooking.

I have also formed these into “meatballs” and pan fried them. If you do this it helps to smash most of the lentils and refrigerate the balls for a bit before frying.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Stuffed Pepper Casserole - and Meal Pairing

In my book (shameless plug: Eating on the Cheap) I talk about meal pairing and this is a super example. Watch the meal transformation:

Saturday - chicken and broccoli pasta

  • cooked a pound of pasta, but only used half for tonight

Sunday - pasta marinara with ground beef

  • used rest of pasta from Saturday
  • cooked a small amount of ground beef to add to sauce, then used that pan to cook more ground beef and ground sausage
  • added leftover sauce to cooked meat
  • also cooked rice in the pressure cooker while browning the meats

Monday - stuffed pepper casserole

  • used meat, sauce, and rice from Sunday

With the magic of prepping ahead, the stuffed pepper casserole took less than 10 minutes from refrigerator to table. 

I sliced bell peppers, tossed them in olive oil and layered them in the bottom of a pan, then put them under the broiler while I warmed up the filling (that was already cooked.) 
Then I dumped all the filling on top of the pan full of peppers, topped it with a mix of breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and Jane's Krazy salt and broiled for another couple of minutes. Super easy and delicious!