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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Beefy Barley Soup

 1 lbs lean ground beef
8 oz diced mushrooms
4 diced celery stalks
3 diced carrots
3/4 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced green peppers
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup barley
1 cup lentils
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp  tomato paste
6-8 cups beef broth

Combine first 7 ingredients  in stock pot with 1/2 cup beef broth and saute until ground beef cooked.  Add remaining ingredients,  bring to boil, cover, and then simmer for 1 hour.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Senate Bean Soup


2 cups dried navy beans(1 pound)
12 cups water
1 ham bone, 2 punds ham shanks, or 2 pounds smoked pork hocks
2 1/2 cups cooked mashed potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoons pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 finely chopped garlic clove


Refry beans without the refry using a crockpot


1 medium onion, peeled and halved
2 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed( 1 pound)

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
6 cups water


Add everything to crockpot.  Cook on high for 8 hours.  Add water during cooking if needed. 

Drain beans, but set aside liquid.  Remove onions and bay leaves and discard.

Start mashing beans with a potato masher.  Add liquid as needed while mashing beans, until desired consistently. 

Refried Beans without the Refry using electric pressure cooker


1 medium onion, peeled and halved
2 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed( 1 pound)
4 teaspoons canola oil
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
8 cups water

salt to taste-do not add with about ingredients


Add everything above, except salt to electric pressure cooker.  Lock top in place and cook  for 30 minutes under high pressure. Once finished, let natural pressure release(let it release pressure itself, when it is done it will allow you to easily open).

Drain beans, but set aside liquid.  Remove onions and bay leaves and discard.

Start mashing beans with a potato masher.  Add liquid as needed while mashing beans, until desired consistently.  Add salt to taste, once mashed.

Spanish Rice




1 cup uncooked regular long grain rice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teasponn garlic powder
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce


Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Cook rice and onion in oil about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until rice is golden brown and onions are tender.

Stir in remaining ingredients.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionalyy, until rice is tender.. 

Optional:  make this a one pot meal, by adding 1 pound ground beef with remaining incredients.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sour Cream Coffee Cake With Cinnamon and Sugar

This recipe makes 2 loaves and I get rave reviews when I bring it to others.  Freezes great, if you want to eat one now and freeze the other for later.  Since we only have 3 people in the house now, I have started cutting the loaves in half and freezing 1/2 loaves, so they stay fresh as we eat it and none goes to waste.


1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
For topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream butter, sugar, and eggs in large bowl. Combine sour cream and vanilla. Add to butter-sugar-egg mixture.
In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually, add flour mixture to sour cream mixture, stirring until just combined.
For topping, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.
Put 1/2 of the dough into 2 buttered, floured loaf pans. Sprinkle 1/2 of topping over dough. Put remaining dough over toppings. Finish with remaining topping.

 Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 45 minutes.  Makes 2 loaves.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reorganizing pantries for a more streamline look

I have been wanting to reorganize my 2 kitchen pantries for some time, and finally had an opportunity to go to IKEA and purchase some additional storage containers.   I bought several new Ikea containers, used canning jars I already had, and bought some empty spice jars from Penzy's Spices. I loved the look of the chalkboard labels, but hated the prices I was seeing.  I needed over 100 labels, since I was relabeling everything, including spices and wanted to be able to use the same labels going forward, without worry of labels being out print when I needed more.  I did some research and found that if I used black contact paper and made my own labels, I could make a ton at a very low cost.  I purchased the black contact paper at amazon for around $5, a liquid chalk pen at amazon for around $4, and a 2 1/4 inch scalloped label maker at Hobby Lobby for about $10(used a 40% coupon available online all of the time):

The first thing I did was to clear everything out of both pantries and painted the inside of my pantries a bright green.  Using a color inside the pantries make seeing what you have so much easier to see, since they "pop" against the brighter color:
My goal when putting things back in was to get rid of as many bags and boxes that made sense to get rid of and be able to really see everything I was putting back in, so we could use more of what we have.  As you will see I have a ton of stuff, because I do cook from scratch quite a bit, but have had some prepackaged items for other family members, so they could cook. Two of our kids have moved out in the last couple of years and we only have a 17 year old left, so I will be purposely whittling down all of the different types of items that our family of 5 used, such as different pastas, to just 2 or 3 types. 

I measured the inside pantry shelves and decided to have tiers on a shelf, so that we could see everything on the shelf.  On the couple of shelves I wanted to tier, I went to lowes and got the to cut 2X4s into the lengths I needed so i could stack 3 boards in the very back and 2 boards in front of that.  I went to the dollar store and got some beige contact paper and wrapped the boards in the paper.   You could also leave the boards unpainted or paint if you want. Here is peek of the tiers on one of my shelves:
I took all of my spices and went through them all.  I threw out and replaced any that were old and put all spices in either canning jars or jars from penzy's spices, so they looked more streamlined and easier to read. 

 This project took quite a few days and anytime I got tired and wanted to start stuffing things back in, I stopped, because I wanted to do it right the first time and make a system for us that we could use for a long time(like until I  We have been using this for about 2 weeks now and wanted to see how it was working for us before I shared this and I am now happy with the results.  I love how this is working out so much, that I plan to do the same thing to our Rivah place.