What’s for Dinner

I have a large family – not huge, but large – 6 kiddos. So, while I don’t LOVE cooking, I do enjoy it to a degree – especially eating something yummy. Plus, I am always on the lookout for scrumptious recipes that feed a mob – because, lets face it, they eat A LOT and they’re only going to eat MORE as they grow. So, here’s a listing of some favorites. (when I remember to take photos and write them up here, anyway)

Pizza

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Yummy, yummy Pizza! I wrote a whole blog post dedicated to my favorite dough recipe, sauce recipe, & how to do pizza stones for less than $5. It was rather long and in depth to copy and paste here, so I am just putting the link on. But it should be everything you need to bake delicious pizzas at home – if you need more info, just ask!

The link is here:

Deliciousness (ie: home made pizza)

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Jamaican Beef Stew

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for about 10 servings:

2 Tbs oil
2 Tbs sugar
3 lbs (I think I used a little less and it turned out fine) stew meet cut in cubes
10 roma tomatoes finely chopped
6 large carrots – sliced
6 celery ribs – sliced
8 green onions – chopped
1 1/2 c beef broth
1/2 c barbecue sauce
1/2 c spy sauce
4 Tbs steak sauce
2 tbs garlic
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 – 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (depends on the ammount of heat you want)
2 tbs cornstarch
4 tbs cold water
hot cooked rice or mashed potatoes – optional

In pot (or dutch oven) heat oil over medium-high heat. add sugar; cook and stir for 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add beef and brown on all sides.

Stir in the vegetables, broth, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, steak sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.

Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into stew. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add more starch/water combo if want thicker. Serve with rice or potatoes if desired. We had ours in bread bowls (recipe below) and it was divine – I look forward to trying it on rice sometime though.

Bread Bowls

3 cups warm water
7 1/2 cups all-purpous flour
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
4 tsp yeast
4 tsp salt
4 Tbs oil

Dissolve yeast in warm water until creamy – around 5 minutes or so. Add 3-4 c flour and the rest of the ingredients and mix. Mix/knead in flour until you have a smooth but firm dough – it shouldn’t be too firm, but you don’t want it too sticky either – it should be firmer than your regular bread dough. It should have just a slight tacky feel when you touch it.

Allow the dough to rise, covered for 45 minutes – it should become puffy. Divide the dough into pieces – 5-6 for Large bowls, 8-10 for small bowls. Roll each piece into a ball. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Cover the bread bowls with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to 24 hours); this step will give the bread bowls extra flavor, and a delightfully crsp-chewy texture. Two or more hours before serving, remove the bread bowls from the refrigerator. Slash tops of bowls to allow room to expand and let raise for an hour or more while the oven preheats to 425. Bake for 22-28 minutes, until the bowls are deep brown, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

French Dip Sandwiches

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Betsy requested this one – my all time favorite sandwhich (except for maybe grilled cheese). It’s pretty simple, but OH so good.

Here’s what you need:

a Baguette or french roll (I like the ones that you have to bake before eating, because then their fresh, hot and crispy. However, if you get a prebaked one, slice it open and throw it in the oven on broil – do both sides for a little extra yumminess and be sure to butter the inside.

Au jus sauce (you can find it in packets and mix with water, or there’s a little white plastic bottle – looks like a mini jug – with a french flag on it – that’s my favorite but it can be a little hard to find)

Roast Beef (you can use left over from a pot roast or roast beef from the deli – my favorite is Cajun Roast beef)

Mushrooms (because they are just so yummy)

Swiss cheese

Sour Cream

Horseradish sauce

OK, so while you’re baking your bread (or heating it) mix your Au jus sauce (read the directions on the packet or bottle) and start heating it on the stove.  While it heats toss your roast beef and mushrooms in the sauce.  This is very important – the juice makes the roast beef so, so yummy, and the roast beef make the juice oh so taste which results in double deliciousness. I think sometimes I do onions, but I can’t remember for sure (Betsy, Did I do onions?)

When it’s all heated through and the bread is done (if you’ve got it under the broiler, be sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t get too brown) butter your bread and slather a liberal helping of horseradish sauce on it (if you’re not a horseradish fan, just leave it with butter – mayo or anything else will kill it, trust me). Then snag your roast beef out of the sauce with a fork and pile it on the bread. Then grab a slotted spoon and fish out the mushrooms. Once you have what you want piled on place the swiss cheese on top and then the top of your sandwhich. If you do it fast and the bread and everything is still warm then your cheese will melt and… YUM

Pour some of the Au jus sauce in a small dish for dipping. In another dish put a spoonful of sour cream, and some more horseradish sauce if you’re a fan of it like me. Then dip away and enjoy! oh, you can always serve the traditional wedge of dill pickle on the side 🙂

(Betsy, let me know if I left anything out. I tried one today and it tasted GREAT!)

Roast Pork with Raspberry Sauce

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Season your pork roast with salt, sage, and pepper then fling it in your crock pot or oven.

When it’s done adorn it with this sauce for amazing deliciousness:

1 package (10 oz – though honestly I never paid attention to the size of the package, ha ha) frozen raspberries, thawed (just nuke them in the microwave for about 3 minutes and you’re good to go)

1-1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 Tbs butter

1 Tbs lemon juice

Drain the raspberries – save the juice!

Add water to the raspberry juice to meaure 3/4 cup.

In saucepan combine the sugar, vinegar, starch, spices, butter, and lemon juice. Mix well so the starch isn’t lumpy. Turn on heat and add the water/raspberry juice. Bring to a boil add raspberries and cook until thick.

Serve on roast pork. It looks fancy, tastes fancy, and is so GOOD! (not to mention simple)
(if I didn’t detail the recipe enough for you, just give me a holler and I’ll try to do better 🙂 )

White Chicken Chile

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1 lb chopped chicken (I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
1 med. onion, chopped
1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp veg oil
2 cans (15 1/2 oz (or there abouts) each) great northern beans – rinsed and drained – if you do your own beans you want about 4 cups or so – just stick in however many beans you like 🙂
1 can (or 2 cups) chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz each) chopped green chilies
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp white pepper (you can use black, but I prefer the white for this recipe)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper – I also put in ground chipotle pepper if you can find it
1 C sour cream
1/2 C heavy whipping cream

I always adjust things as I make it – I usually add more cumin and oregano and lots of chipotle for the kick. Also I often add a little extra on the creams – but not too much or it will be thin. If it’s too thin, you can thicken it with corn starch.

for crockpot – toss everything in except the creams and let it cook – about 30 mins to an hour before your ready to eat add the cream

on the stove – saute chicken, onion, and garlic in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add everything else except the creams and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or so – add in the creams, heat through and serve.

makes 7 servings – so we ALWAYS double or triple it – it doubles & triples very nicely.

Beef Stew

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I make this most often in my crock pot but you can also make it on the stove top or in a dutch oven. Sometimes when I forget to get in the crock pot early enough in the morning, I throw it together an hour or so before dinner and cook it in a pot on the stove. It tastes great either way, and there is nothing like a good hot stew on a crisp cool day. This recipe is for a 5 qt. slow cooker and makes 8-10 servings, I often add extra everything to make it bigger.

3 Medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 pounds beef stew meat
4 medium carrots sliced
2 medium onions chopped
3 celery ribs sliced
2 cups tomato juice (if you don’t have tomato juice on hand you can use watered down tomato sauce)
1 cup water (I like my stew tomato-y so I usually just add extra juice)
1/3 cup quick-cooking tapioca (for thickening)
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. salt
1 tsp dried basil (personally, I like to add quite a bit more than a tsp. Rosemary tastes great in it too)
1/2 tsp. pepper

Throw the first 5 ingredients in a greased 5 qt. slow cooker. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or until vegetables and beef are tender. (I find that the stew is often ready in 6 hours, so don’t worry if you get it in a little later in the day.)

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Preheat oven to 350
Coat a baking sheet generously with nonstick cooking spray (or line with parchment paper)

In a large bowl whisk together 3 large egg whites, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 cup sugar until frothy. With a fork mix in one 14 oz. bag of sweetened flaked coconut (5 1/2 cups) until moistened. (we like the Mounds brand of coconut best).

Drop mixture by packed level Tablespoons on prepared cooksheet. Bake, rotating sheet half way through, for about 20 – 25 minutes until lightly golden. Cool completely.

They are good plain – but we like them especially with some chocolate drizzled on top. I just melt some semi-sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler (microwave works too) and drizzle (or glop, depending on how chocolately I feel, and how well it cooperates) the melted chocolate across the top of the macaroons.

Chicken Haystacks

Haystacks

Cooked Rice
Chicken Gravy
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Olives
Chopped Green Pepper
Chopped Red Pepper
Chopped Celery
Diced Tomato
Grated Carrot
Pineapple Chunks
Mandarin Oranges
Shredded Coconut
Slivered Almonds
Chinese Noodles

Gravy:
Cook and chop 1-2 chicken breasts – or more depending on how much you are making. You can also use left over turkey.
In a saucepan empty 3 cans of cream of chicken soup – more or less depending on how many your are cooking for. For three cans of cream of chicken soup add 1 to 1 1/2 cans of milk. This will make a nice thick gravy. Add chopped meat and heat, being careful not to scorch the bottom.

Haystacks:
Spoon rice on plate then top with any or all of the ingredients listed. The wonderful thing about this favorite dish is that is can easily be altered to suit peoples taste, or what you happen to have on hand.

Rolled Sushi (Norimaki)

Sushi rolls!

3 cups Sushi Rice (kome)
Fish – tuna, baby shrimp (I often use the teeny canned shrimp), crab – or whatever suits you, raw or cooked
Cucumber
Egg
Red pepper
Green pepper
Carrot
10 sheets dried seaweed (yaki nori)
Japanese horseradish (wasabi)

For Sushi Rice:
Cook three cups sticky rice (short grain rice) in 3 1/4 cups water. Spread rice in a pan or bowl to cool then add the following: 4 1/2 Tbs Rice Vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp Salt, and 2 Tbs Sugar and mix well with a wet wooden spatula. I often will add more Rice Vinegar, Salt, and Sugar because I like my sushi rice well seasoned.

Now for the rolled sushi:

Cut your vegetables – you don’t need to use all of the ones listed, just whatever suits your mood – julienned style – long and thin.

Place a sheet of seaweed on a bamboo mat. With wet hands or wet wood spatula spread sushi rice over two thirds of the seaweed leaving a little space at each end. Arrange fish and vegatable on rice toward the bottom. Lift bamboo mat with seaweed over ingredients and press, then roll. Let roll stand for 5 minutes or so before cutting – I usually roll all of my sushi and by the time I am done it is ready to cut. When cutting Norimaki wipe knife with wet cloth to stop rice from sticking to it.

Have fun and enjoy – should you want to try it and have questions, let me know. If you live in the Portland,OR or Seattle, WA area – Uwajimaya is the best store to get anything you need for sushi or any other kind of Japanese food.

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4 responses to “What’s for Dinner

  1. Deanna

    We LOVE sushi! Chris and I went to Japan a few years ago and pretty much fell in love with the country, the people, the food, etc. Will your kids eat sushi? Our girls will eat rice balls galore, but they shy away from the sushi. -I think the seaweed paper is too much for them. We did convince them to try wasabi once though…(Chris may or may not have bribed our daughters twenty cents per bite to try it.) We had a blast that night at the table tasting and laughing about it together. They had never tried anything like it before and were quite taken back by the taste and sensation it left in their mouths. Ahhhhh, wasabi.

    • We need to have you over for a Japanese dinner sometime then! I have a recipe for really yummy skewers – Yakitori (gluten free of course) – that we could have with the sushi – and some other stuff too. 😀 The kids actually LOVE the sushi. And we love wasabi too… mmmmm 🙂 Actually I like the pickled ginger even more 😀

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