Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Granola is great eaten as cereal, sprinkled on applesauce, or parfaited (that's a word, right?) with yogurt and berries.  Mix and match your add ins to make it how YOU want it!


8 cups regular oats
1 pkg dried mixed berries (about 6 oz)
1 cup sweet shredded coconut
1/2 cup wheat germ
4 oz sliced almonds
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup honey
2 Tablespoons vanilla

That is the original recipe.  It can be switched up many ways.  My photos reflect a granola made without the berries, coconut, or almonds.  I instead used pecans and left out the others.  You can add milled flax, raisins, craisins, walnuts, whatever your heart/taste desires!

Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separate the mix together.  Make sure all the dry ingredients are coated well.  Dump onto 2 large jelly roll pans.  Bake for 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees stirring every 5-10 minutes.   If you don't stir, parts of it will want to burn. 
Your granola should be a nice golden brown.  It will still seem sticky but will dry out as it cools.  As it cools I continue to stir it now and then. We store in the cupboard in a half gallon jar.  
My husband eats his with our homemade vanilla goat yogurt and frozen blueberries.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ham and Corn Chowder

Ham and Corn Chowder

drizzle of olive oil
1 cup onion diced
1-1/2 - 2 lbs ham, chopped
2 cans creamed corn
2 cups whole corn, drained (or you can use 1 can drained)
3-4 cups Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and chopped (use more or less as you like)
4 cups milk (or half and half)
6 Tablespoons butter
8 Tablespoons flour
Fresh parsley
Salt/Pepper (to taste)

Drizzle olive oil into soup pot and cook onions until translucent.  I try not to brown mine but it's ok if it does. Add ham and stir to heat through.

Add broth, both corns, and potatoes.  Bring to boil and simmer until potatoes are done.  My Yukons take longer than russet potatoes and seem to differ each time.  You'll need to pull a piece out and test it.  

Add milk.  I use our goat's milk which is very creamy so you could use half and half or whole milk if you want a richer soup.  Otherwise 2% or less would be ok as well.  

While the milk in the soup is heating up make a roux in a small sauce pan.  This is done by melting the butter and whisking in the flour.  Let it cook for about a minute then whisk into the soup. This will thicken your soup.  If you use russets you could leave out some or all of the roux and just smash your potatoes with a potato masher. Yukon golds don't break down much so I needed the roux in mine. 

I added a sprinkle of fresh parsley on my soup the first time we make it and after that I added it to the whole soup. I didn't add salt to ours as the ham had enough.

Feel free to experiment with flavors as you like!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Three Bean Baked Beans

What BBQ wouldn't be complete without a side of baked beans?  This one takes a little bit more effort than the usual can of pork n beans that has been doctored but the flavor is worth it!

I always make extra and freeze it.  Thaw, heat and eat!

Three Bean Baked Beans                                                       Printable Recipe

2/3 cup EACH black, pinto, and great northern beans
8 cups water
5-6 bacon slices, chunked, cooked, and drained
1/3 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons dry mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons molasses
3/4 cup water

In large ovenproof stockpot add the beans and water.  Be sure to pick through your beans as sometimes there can be rocks.  Bring to boil and boil for 1-1/2 hours, maybe 15 minutes more. They should be soft but hold their shape.  They will not get much softer in the oven so be sure they are how you like them.  You will need to try all three types of beans. The water will look yucky since there are black beans in it but that is ok. 

Drain the beans to a colander. (That will help with their color.)
In same pot, saute onions in a small bit of olive oil until they are soft.
 Add mustard, ketchup, vinegar, honey, molasses, and water.  
 Add beans and bacon. Stir.
Bake at 350 degrees, covered for 45 minutes (I use foil.) Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes. If you find your beans are wet you can cook longer or start off with less water but you will need to check it.  3/4 cup works for us and as it sits the beans seem to soak up some.
 Enjoy as is or you can add hot dogs and the kids can enjoy beans and wienies!! No more baked beans in a can for us.
**Can be frozen and thawed out later, heat and eat!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hoppin' "Jenny"

Originally called "Hoppin' John" this is a southern dish usually made with ham.  This is Iowa, we want beef so I swapped it for the ham and changed the name.

Hoppin' "Jenny"

1 pound ground beef
1/2 c green (or mix of red and green) pepper, diced
1/2 c onion, diced
1 can blackeye peas, undrained
Cooked brown rice

In large skillet cook peppers, onions, and beef until the vegetables are tender and the beef is thoroughly cooked.
 Stir in blackeye peas (you may or may not want all of the liquid.)
Serve over cooked brown rice.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Honey Wheat Bread

Honey Wheat Bread (makes 2 regular loaves or 3 medium)

2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
3 teaspoons dry active yeast
6 Tablespoons honey
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 -1/2  Tablespoons olive oil
5 cups bread flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixing bowl. I use my KitchenAid mixer so I can use my dough hook for kneading. Add honey. Turn on mixer.  Add whole wheat flour, salt, olive oil.  Let mix some then add in bread flour a little at a time. It should come together. If not add flour if too sticky or a water (1/2 T at a time). The dough in the picture is a little dry so I added water.
 Use on STIR or setting 2 on your mixer for 3-4 minutes.  
 Roll dough into ball and place in oiled bowl. Place damp cloth or paper towel on top.  (Mine fell into bowl in this picture.  You'll do better I am sure.) Let rise in warm place for about 45 minutes.  The sun was shining this cool December so I put it in that room. 
Divide dough into 2 or 3 pieces depending on if you are doing regular size loaves (2) or medium size loves (3.) Roll out into a rectangle a little wider than the length of your pan and about 1/2" thick.  
 Roll up.

 Tuck ends under.

Place in greased baking pan.  I found a set of three connected to each other at a thrift store. So much easier to turn all at once!

Let rise for another 45 minutes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes for regular Or 20 to 25 for medium. 

Use a serrated knife to cut this oh so moist bread.  I dare you to wait until its cool to dig in!

This bread stays moist for days and  I have even experimented with 5 cups of a 1/2 fine 1/2 coarse wheat mix and 1 to 1-1/2 cups of white.  Still moist days later!

Want some added crunch and fiber?  Add 1/2 cup of  7 grain cereal that has been soaked in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Fantastic!

How about  French toast! --For the freezer!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
chili powder (or a blend of cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder) -this is to taste depending on how spicy you like it
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans made into refried beans or a can of refried beans
1 cup salsa (as hot as you want it)
1 can enchilada sauce
1-2 Tablespoons of cornstarch (omit if you not making your own refried beans)
9 corn tortillas
6 ounces Chihuahua cheese or Mexican Blend cheese, shredded
To garnish:
Sour Cream
Chopped Tomatoes

In large skillet cook beef, green peppers, onions, and seasonings until beef is no longer pink. Drain as needed.
Make your refried beans (see link above on how I make mine.) Add them, your drained black beans, salsa, and enchilada sauce to the meat. Stir to combine. 

My refried beans were not as thick as what comes out of the can so I put a 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in the middle of the mixture, stirred well and heated it up.  It was still not thick enough to my liking so I used another tablespoon of cornstarch. Then it was good enough for me.

Spread a little bit on the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish.
Add 3 tortillas here, tearing to cover.
Add about 1/3 of the meat mixture next.
Then 1/3 of the cheese.
3 more tortillas.
More meat.
The last tortillas.
Spread the last of the meat being sure to cover the tortilla completely.
End with cheese.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly.
Let rest for 5 minutes or so then cut into lasagna to serve.  Garnish with guacamole or chopped avocado, tomatoes, and sour cream.