Monday, January 10, 2022

Creamy Bratwurst

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When I think of making Bratwurst for the family, it is usually the same ol thing.  Shove it in a bun, drizzle on mustard or ketchup, or sauerkraut, and call it good.

But truth be told, it's a little boring and I'm quite tired of that.  So, I had seen this Portuguese recipe for creamy sausages, using a different kind of sausage than Bratwurst, but since my family love brats and they were on sale at my local commissary, I went with those.

You can still serve it on buns for a fun quick lunch, or turn into into an easy dinner meal served over mashed potatoes or rice.  We had ours with Basmati rice and it was filling and delicious.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.  


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Creamy Bratwurst

Ingredients:
Bratwurst sausages (however many you want, I used two packages for this recipe)
Olive oil
2 small onions, thinly sliced
Half a red pepper and half a green pepper
Garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Nutmeg to taste
Paprika
Diced Tomato
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Little bit of water
2 teaspoons mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 can Media Crema (or heavy cream)


Method:
In a pot, add a drizzle of olive oil, the garlic, onions, garlic to taste and peppers.  Stir to combine and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent.  Add in the salt and pepper to taste, nutmeg, paprika, diced tomato and tomato paste.

Stir to combine and dissolve the tomato paste, then add in the bratwurst.  Pour in about half a cup of water, cover and let it cook for about 10 minutes or until bratwurst is cooked through.

Open lid, stir the bratwurst, then add in the mustard and mayonnaise, mix well, then pour in the small can of media crema.  Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes to thicken up.

Serve immediately.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Chicken Broccoli Divan

September 21, 2021

This is one of those easy weeknight meals, that you can get in the oven real quick.  It is filling, delicious, pretty sure your whole family will enjoy it, and when paired with a salad, it makes the perfect dinner.

Many people have made this dish, for many many years, and I think there are so many variations out there, but this specific recipe comes from Spend with Pennies.  There really is nothing to this dish, no extravagant ingredients, and everything is found in our pantry.

September 21, 2021
 
Chicken Broccoli Divan
 Source:  Spend with Pennies
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ pounds fresh broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 cups cooked chicken cubed
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • ½ cup milk
  • cup sour cream
  • 10 ½ ounces can condensed Cream of Mushroom or chicken soup
  • ½ teaspoon each garlic powder onion powder, dry mustard and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon seasoning salt

Topping

  • 3 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
 
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Place broccoli in a large pot boiling water and cook 2-3 minutes or just until tender crisp.  Drain well.
  • In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup cheddar cheese, milk, condensed soup, sour cream and seasonings.
  • Stir in broccoli and chicken and spread into a 3qt casserole dish (or a 9x13 pan).  Top with remaining cheese.
  • In a small bowl, mix the butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the chicken mixture.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned and the mixture is bubbly and hot.
  • Serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes, as desired.

September 21, 2021

 

Italian Beef and Sausage Pie

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Meat, cheese, in the form of a pie.  That is basically my definition of a perfect meal.  I'm an easy to please gal, meat and potatoes, cheesy, bacon, whatever, and if it is shaped like a pie even better.
 
I came upon this recipe one night, while browsing different food blogs.  I immediately thought, that has to go on the menu, and very soon.  
 
It did not disappoint.  I made it a few days after bookmarking the recipe, and oh my goodness, was it delicious.  It was really easy to throw together, it was filling, and we got to enjoy some leftovers too. 

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Italian Beef and Sausage Pie
Source:  A Family Feast 
 
 
Ingredients:
Vegetable shortening or butter to grease a 9-10 inch spring form pan (pan should be at least 2 ½ inches deep)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound ground beef
½ pound Italian sweet sausage removed from casing
1 large sweet onion, diced into large half inch pieces, about 2 ½ cups
1 large green Bell pepper, diced into large half inch pieces, about 2 cups
1 teaspoon dry basil
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
 
Batter
3 large eggs
1 cup Greek full fat yogurt
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
 
Other
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ pound provolone cheese sliced
1 large bunch scallions diced, about one cup
1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. with rack in center of oven.

Open a 9-10 inch springform pan and lay a piece of parchment over then snap the ring over so that the parchment covers the bottom and gets held in place by the ring. Use scissors to cut the outside parchment overhang. You should now have a round piece of parchment tightly held in place at the bottom of the springform pan.

Use vegetable shortening or butter and grease the bottom parchment and inside ring sides. Set the pan aside for now.

In a large saute pan, place two tablespoons of olive oil and over medium high heat and brown the beef and sausage meat. Pour into a strainer but save the liquid. Pour the liquid into a glass and remove and discard the fat that floats to the top with a spoon but save the liquid for later in the recipe.

In the same pan over medium heat, add the last tablespoon of olive oil and add the onions, peppers, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and pepper flakes and cook for about four minutes or until the vegetables are no longer crunchy but are still firm.

Add the garlic and cook one minute.

Make a space in the center and add the tomato paste and cook one minute.

Stir in two tablespoons of the reserved meat liquid and add all of the cooked meat and stir to combine. Set aside for now.

In a medium bowl with a whisk, beat the eggs then add the yogurt, salt, baking powder and flour and whisk to combine. The batter should resemble pancake batter.

Pour half of this batter into the bottom of the prepared springform pan and spread to the edges.

Add in half of the cooked beef mixture, again, spreading to the edges.

Sprinkle on all of the Parmesan then layer on all of the provolone cheese, overlapping the slices.

Add the remaining meat on top of the provolone and spread to the edges.

Add the scallions and mozzarella to the remaining batter and spread this mixture all over the top, spreading to the edges.

Cover a medium sheet tray with foil and place the pie in the center and bake 45 minutes. Spring form pans are notorious for leaking so the foil lined pan will save your oven from drips.

After 45 minutes, brown under broiler if the top needs it. I broiled ours for two minutes to brown the top further than it was.

Let sit 10 minutes in the pan.  If you press lightly on the center, it should feel firm like a quiche would feel when baked. If not, let sit five more minutes.

Run a small sharp knife around the inside edges to loosen.

Release the spring form outer ring then cut into eight pieces using a sharp serrated knife to cut through the top layer then down through the pie.

Serve hot.

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Nectarine Brown Sugar Jam

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We've reached the time of year that I absolutely love.  I go into turbo mode gathering all the garden has given us, and try to can or freeze as much as possible, to make use of everything, but also to have extra in our pantry and root cellar, for the winter months.
 
I had recently bought a bunch of nectarines, but for some reason, my family wasn't eating them and they were starting to go bad.  I wasn't about to lose all that gorgeous fruit, so I turned it into a delicious Nectarine and Brown Sugar Jam, that is so perfect for this time of year.
 
Can't even tell you how delicious it is spread on toast or a warm biscuit.   

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Nectarine Brown Sugar Jam


4 pounds nectarines as purchased (about 8 very large nectarines, to yield 3 1/2 pounds prepared fruit)
1 1/2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar 
1 cup granulated sugar 
4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon ground dry ginger 
 
 
Wash and stem nectarines, but don't peel. Remove the nectarine pit and rough chop the nectarine fruit. You should have 3 1/2 pounds of prepared nectarines after the fruit has been taken off the pit. 
 
Add the nectarines, brown sugar and granulated sugar to a large, wide, non-reactive pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often so the nectarines don't scorch. Cook the nectarines until they are soft and surrounded by a juicy sugar syrup, about 10 minutes. If you prefer a smoother textured jam, break up any large pieces of fruit with a potato masher, whisk, or fork at this point. Add the lemon juice, cinnamon and ginger to your jam. 
 
Continue to cook, stirring often, until the jam reaches the gel point. Turn heat under the jam to low, then quickly ladle the jam into clean, hot jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, adjust head-space and wipe jar rims carefully. Lid your jars according to manufacturer's directions, then transfer your jars to your canner. 
 
Process jam ten minutes at a full boil. While jars are processing, set a kitchen towel on the counter in a draft free place. After jars have processed, turn off the heat under your canner and allow the jars to sit in the canner for 5 minutes. 
 
Remove the jars and set on the kitchen towel. Jars should begin sealing almost immediately - you'll hear a sharp ping! as they seal. 
 
Leave jars alone for 8 to 12 hours to fully cool and set their seals, then check seals. Transfer any jar that hasn't sealed to the refrigerator and use it within 3 weeks. 
 
Store remaining jars at cool room temperature away from direct light. Jam is best used within a year. 
 
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Immune Booster Grapefruit and Lemon Drink

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For many years, I have made a Winter Tea mix for my fridge.  It's just honey, lemon slices and ginger slices, all layered in a mason jar, and kept in the fridge.  You add about a tablespoon or two to tea, and it helps a lot with colds and flus.
 
This is another variation, but not to be used in tea, although you probably could put a spoon into yours, but it's meant to be taken as is.  
 
It is another amazing immune boosting drink that will get you through the winter season, and all the sniffles and colds.
 
Super easy to make.  Just dump everything in a slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 4 hours. 

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Sliced grapefruit and lemon, as well as cinnamon sticks and ginger, plus the added benefit of tonic water with quinine.
 
What you get is a powerful immune booster that knocks all the crud out super quick.

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I keep a big mason jar in the fridge, it lasts about a month, and when one of us has the sniffles or starts feeling like we're getting a cold, we take a tablespoon.  Repeat it a couple times during the day, and within a day or two, the sickies are gone.
 
Now, this makes enough of a batch, that I keep one mason jar in the fridge and another in the freezer for when needed.  

What exactly is needed to make this super immune booster?


3 grapefruits
3 lemons
2 cinnamon sticks
1 ginger root
2 bottles of tonic water, with quinine


Slice the grapefruits and lemons into quarters, remove the inside and keep just the skins.  I usually take the inside of the fruit, chop it and freeze it to use in my water.

Chop all the skins into chunks and place in a slow cooker.

Add in two cinnamon sticks.  Wash and slice the ginger root, and add to the same pot.  Next, pour in two bottles of tonic water.

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Place the lid on, and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.  Do NOT remove the lid at any time to prevent the tonic water quinine from escaping through the steam.
 
Once it is done cooking, turn off the slow cooker, and allow to cool completely.  Again, DO NOT OPEN.
 
Once completely cool, discard the skins, cinnamon and ginger, and pour the liquid into a clean mason jar.  I like to add honey and mix it well, before pouring into the jar, just because it is quite bitter and the honey not only helps to sweeten it slightly but is also another great ingredient to fight off colds and flus.
 
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