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Sauerkraut Sausage Soup

by on Dec.23, 2014, under Yummies

Sauerkraut Sausage Soup

When it gets cold and damp during the winter months, I start craving soup like many others do. This is actually a relatively new thing for me, since I have never been a big soup eater, unless I am fighting some type of plague. And up until just a couple of years ago, all soup for me came out of a can. Well thankfully I have found that I can make soup myself, and it is stupid-easy and tastes awesome when done correctly.

This recipe came to me courtesy of a co-worker who brought this to my office as part of an international pot-luck lunch that we held. I actually went back for seconds on this and then had to ask for the recipe. The flavor of the sauerkraut is present but not overwhelming. The ham and sausage add good texture and additional savory/salty flavors. While I dont know if I will ever get to make this at home (The Man does not like beans), it sure would hit the spot on this cold rainy gloomy day before Christmas Eve.

Sauerkraut Sausage Soup
 
By:
Type: Soup, Main Dish
Serves: 8
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 48-ounce box of low sodium chicken stock. (there lots of sodium in everything else, so low sodium is the best)
  • 21 ounces of jarred sauerkraut with juices. (I prefer Claussen or Hengstenberg)
  • 2 cans cannellini beans (do not drain or rinse)
  • 1 can navy beans (do not drain or rinse)
  • 1 package of diced ham (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 package of kielbasa sausage - uncooked - cut into ¼" slices
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 whole Bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons fennel seeds
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a soup pot or crock pot. Stir together well.
  2. Cook for 3 hours. You want the beans to soften up and the onions to cook, everything else is already cooked.
  3. Remove bay leaves just prior to serving.

 

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Sautéed Green Beans with Bacon

by on Sep.23, 2014, under Yummies

SGBB

I have been slowly and methodically working to introduce more green vegetables into my family’s diet. My husband does not consider himself a fan of most dark green or leafy vegetables, with the exception of salad. He will eat a good salad, but one can only fix salad so many times in a row before I desperately craves something different.

After winning him over to the delights of  asparagus with a family recipe that was passed down to me and then to brussels sprouts by an awesome recipe for Brussels Sprout Hash from my friend Michael Nolan aka The Garden Rockstar, I thought it might be time to try green beans. Our daughter LOVES green beans from the can. It’s one of the few veggies I know I can give her that we won’t have to fight about. I’ve missed fresh green beans very much and have reveled in ordering them at restaurants when offered. I am not crazy about canned green beans, but fresh…or even better yet, straight from my mom’s garden, boy howdy!

My strategy for getting The Man to try green beans was pretty straight forward….deception. Taking a queue from the Brussels Sprout Hash recipe, my thought was that the key to his heart would be bacon. Smother the green beans in bacon grease and top with crumbled bacon. He would be helpless to resist them. And I am happy to report, it work! So well in fact, he nearly ate half the pan of beans himself and declared that I am free to make these again anytime I desire.

 

Sautéed Green Beans with Bacon
 
By:
Serves: 4
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Green Beans, washed and ends snipped
  • 2-3 Slices of Bacon
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • ½ Cup Chicken Broth
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in a Saute pan until crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Do NOT remove bacon drippings from the pan.
  2. Over medium heat, add garlic to the bacon drippings and cook for approx. 1 minute until fragrant. Be cautious not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add green beans to the pan and stir to coat in the drippings. Add the chicken broth and stir to deglaze pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until broth evaporates, stirring every couple of minutes.
  4. After the broth is gone, cook for 1 to 2 minutes more to get just a hint of crispiness on the outsides of the beans.
  5. Remove from heat and crumble cooked bacon overtop. Stir to mix.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

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Caramel Apple Slices

by on Nov.07, 2012, under Yummies

Love caramel apples, but hate how messy they are to eat? Well you can kiss the stick goodbye but still have your apple and eat it too. A Mouthful of Deliciousness over on Facebook posted a brilliant way to reverse the physical placement of the caramel to apple and thus creates an easy-to-eat and eye-appealing presentation.

Fall Dessert Recipe

Photo by A Mouthful of Deliciousness

You will want to select a firm apple variety, such as Granny Smith, Jonathan, Jonagold, Braeburn, or Fuji for this application.

Assembly:

  • Cut apples into halves.
  • Hallow out apple halves with a tool such as a melon baller or grapefruit spoon.
  • If needed, apples can be balances in muffin tins.
  • Fill halves with melted caramel and place in fridge to cool.
    Note: To keep exposed apple flesh frown browning, coat with lemon juice. The juice can be diluted up to 3:1 ratio to keep from changing any flavors.
  • Slice and enjoy!
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Skinny White Wine Sangria

by on Aug.29, 2012, under Yummies

Yes, yes, I am a slacker on blog posting, blah blah, whatever.

So I use the notes app on my iPhone mobile smartphone quite often to store little tidbits I dont really have anywhere else to put. Movies I want to see, songs to download, recipes I have all the ingredients for on hand, costume design ideas, etc. Last year, when I was attending the locally famous Murder Mystery Party hosted by my friend and author Linda Sands, I met a lovely women named Robyn, who was making sangria to share. That act alone told me I would like her and we should be friends. The theme/setting for that particular party was Latin America, so sensibly sangria had to be invited!

While enjoying our yummy adult beverages and making conversation about our roles in the game, Robyn shared her wonderful recipe for the Skinny White Wine Sangria she was making with me. I quickly whipped out my phone, opened my Notes app, and jotted down her recipe.  I think this recipe was from one of those Real Housewives bitches or something, but I don’t watch that crap on TV, so I’m not really sure. And if that is the case, I wouldn’t want to give them any credit anyway, so my friend Robyn is getting all the kudos here.

This recipe has been just sitting in my phone for nearly a year now (291 days to be exact, as my app is telling me). I didn’t really have anywhere else to put it. I suppose I could have emailed to myself, but why? My phone is always with me and often I use it in the kitchen for cooking anyway. What’s to gain from pulling it up via email verses from my Notes app? So today I had the idea today to actually SHARE this recipe on here, thus preserving it for prosperity and letting others enjoy it as well. I know, I can be a little dense about this blogging thing sometimes. Now I can clean it out of my Notes app, and my sense of organization will be satiated.

White Wine Lemons Oranges Vodka

Skinny White Wine Sangria
 
By:
Type: Drink
Prep Time:
Total Time:
 
Ingredients
  • Sweet White Wine (such as Bay Bridge)
  • Tropicana Trop50 Orange Juice
  • Welch's Orange Pineapple Apple Juice
  • Vodka
  • Splash of Sprite
  • A few Oranges and Lemons, sliced into rounds
Instructions
  1. There's not really any measurements with this, as it can be scaled to any size pitcher you want to mix it in.
  2. Start with a good portion of the wine as the base.
  3. Mix in ¼ to ½ as much by volume of the OJ and Fruit Juice to wine used. (If you started with 2 cups of wine, add ½ a cup each of each juice) 2:1 wine to juice ratio.
  4. Add enough Vodka to give it a little punch.
  5. Pour in a healthy splash of Sprite to give it some tingle.
  6. Garnish with Oranges and Lemons and even some pretty herbs, if handy (basil or mint for example).
Notes
I had been drinking this concoction when I wrote the recipe down, hence it's a little vague. Really though, this is a great combination of flavors and you really would have to go out of your way to mess it up.

 

 

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Pan-Seared Chicken with Balsamic Cream Sauce, Mushrooms and Onions

by on Jul.19, 2012, under Yummies

Chicken in Balsamic Cream Sauce with Mushrooms and Onions

Photo by Kyndra Holley

I made this for dinner last night. I didn’t care that it was just going to be myself and my 2.5 year our daughter having dinner, as The Man had to work night shift. I had been sifting through Pinterest recipes all afternoon, and I had a container of mushrooms that needed to be used ASAP since I kinda forgot about them in the bottom crisper drawer (that happens to you too, right?). This immediately caught my eye, not just for the mushrooms, but for the balsamic cream sauce. I am a HUGE fan of balsamic vinegar and use it in mass quantities.This recipe simply looked delicious to me and I had to try it right away. There just wasn’t any debate about it.

This recipe did not fail to deliver! It was AMAZING! The flavor is rich and subtle. The mushrooms turn out in that just-right consistency of cooked, but not over cooked. The caramelized onion added a rich undertone to the entire dish. This will be going into my regular dinner rotation, for certain. I served this with mashed red potatoes, but you could also easily dice the chicken and server this over pasta also. In fact, I will probably do that next go-round.

Pan-Seared Chicken with Balsamic Cream Sauce, Mushrooms and Onions
 
By:
Type: Main
Serves: 4
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ lb. Bonesless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • ½ of a Large Onion - Thinly sliced
  • 1 Package of Whole Mushrooms - sliced
  • ½ Cup of Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 Tbs. Butter - Divided
  • ½ Cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Saute onions over medium heat in 1 Tbs of butter until they are nice and caramelized - About 15 Minutes. When they are a nice golden brown, remove from the heat and set aside
  2. In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. of butter over medium-high heat. Place the chicken breasts in the pan. Brown on both sides, remove from the pan and set aside (Note - they will not be all the way cooked at this stage)
  3. De-glaze the pan with the chicken stock. Make sure you get all the chicken bits and butter off the pan. This helps to flavor your sauce
  4. Add the heavy cream and the balsamic vinegar and stir.
  5. Add mushrooms and a little salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes
  6. Add the chicken back to the pan, turn heat back up to medium and saute until the chicken is cooked all the way through. About 10-15 minutes
  7. Remove chicken breasts from the pan and plate. Add the Parmesan and caramelized onions to the sauce and keep stirring until the cheese is completely melted in.
  8. Cover the chicken breasts with the sauce and serve.
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