Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One Pot Bean Dinner

It isn't quite cool enough to be thinking about this dish yet, but this is a great meal to have when it is beginning to cool in the fall. This recipe was printed in a church cook book where I used to attend church, and it is better than most similar recipes as it uses liquid smoke, giving this dish a depth of flavor lacking in other recipes. This is also a great dish to take to pot lucks. I like this best as a side dish. This is also great served over rice for a main meal.

One Pot Bean Dinner

1 pound ground chuck
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound bacon, cut into small pieces
1 can (16 ounce)  kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (16 ounce) baby butter beans, drained
4 cans (16 ounces) pork and beans
1 cup Heinz Simply Ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
 sea salt and pepper, to taste

In skillet, brown hamburger and onions till brown; drain grease. Meanwhile, cut up bacon and fry in another skillet until done; drain grease.
Combine all ingredients into a 5-6 quart crock pot, stirring well to blend. Cook on low for 4-9 hours. Or you can combine in a Dutch oven and cook over low heat, stirring frequently so as not to burn, for 1-3 hours.

Lori's Baby Food Carrot Cake


Do not allow the name of this cake to turn you off. This is a delicious and easy cake that uses pureed baby food carrots for its base. Makes it much easier to use than having to grate your own carrots. Most recipes featuring baby food only call for cinnamon, but then the cake is just so-so, but with the addition of cloves it raises this cake above the rest. I make this cake often as many love it.

Lori's Baby Food Carrot Cake

1 cup olive oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 (4 ounces each) baby food carrots
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups unbleached flour*
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2/3 cup raisins (optional)
2/3 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Cream Cheese frosting, follows

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
In large bowl, combine oil, sugar, and eggs; beat well. Add baby food and vanilla; mix. In smaller bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt; add to the batter and beat well. If using raisins and/or nuts, then fold in. Grease a Bundt pan or a 15" x 10" pan and pour in batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, till tests done with a toothpick. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack or onto serving tray. When cooled completely, frost.
*You can use half whole wheat for the flour.
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg can also be added.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted

In mixing bowl, combine the cheese, butter, and vanilla; beat till well mixed. Add the sugar and beat till creamy and smooth. refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This recipe can be found in most any cook book, but it is so easy and delicious. My family loves it. It is easily put together and cooks up beautifully. This is a picture of the bread after about half of it was eaten; not a great picture, but an accurate one that shows that this cake does not last long.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
In small bowl, combine the cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.
In large mixing bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and sour cream.
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add to the creamed batter and beat for 3 minutes. Grease a Bundt pan. Pour half of the batter into pan, smoothing out with a spoon. Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon-sugar mixture over batter. Add remaining batter, smooth out with a spoon and then sprinkle on remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes until cake tests done with a toothpick.Leave in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto serving dish to cool. Slice into 12-16 pieces. This freezes well.

*Nuts can be added to this, especially popular is pecans. Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup chopped nuts, if desired.

Zucchini Cake

I got this recipe from a friend back in 1982. It is a delicious spice-style cake. It can be frosted with the sour cream frosting, it can be left plain, or sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Zucchini Cake

2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoons vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups peeled and grated zucchini, packed*
3 cups sifted unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup nuts (optional)

Sour Cream Frosting:

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
For frosting:
Combine all ingredients and beat for 2 minutes until creamy and spreadable.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
In large bowl, combine sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to batter and mix well. Stir in raisins and nuts, if used. Pour into a greased Bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, till tests done with a toothpick. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto cooling rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost with the Sour Cream Frosting. Keep leftovers covered in refrigerator. Freezes well.
*This can be made in two 8" x 4" pans, or into muffins, or into small loaf pans. You can frost these items or leave them as is.*Zucchini can be chunked and then placed in a blender or food processor and pureed before adding to recipe if you do not want to be able to see the veggie in your cake.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I was looking for a way to use up the zucchini we had from our garden and came across this recipe. I have modified it some to make it the way I like it. It is a good way to add some veggies to your family's menu, and it is a pretty good bread. This recipe is not the original as I have changed some of the ingredients to make it the way I like it.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups sugar (or you can use Rapadura)
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 cups zucchini, peeled and grated (about 1 medium)
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour (or you can use half wheat with this)
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon real sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon, if used.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, olive oil, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla together. Stir in zucchini. Add the dry ingredients and blend well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into two 8" x 4"  greased pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, wrap in plastic wrap or foil and allow to set overnight or for 8 hours. This freezes well.
*This can also be made into muffins, a Bundt pan, a 13" x 9" pan, or smaller loaf pans. Adjust cooking times.

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits from 'Bisquik-Style Mix

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits from Bisquick-Style Mix

1 cup mix (see previous post)
1/3 cup Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup milk
2 Tablespoons real butter, melted
1/8-1/4 teaspoon garlic salt*

Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
In a small bowl, measure out 1 cup mix along with the cheese and mix together, Stir in milk. Drop by tablespoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Melt the butter and mix in the garlic salt; brush on hot biscuits as soon as you take them from oven. This recipe can be easily doubled.
*You can use 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder instead of the garlic salt.

Homemade"Bisquick"-Style Biscuit Mix

I believe I got this recipe from a 'Hints From Heloise' article in the newspaper back in the mid to late 1970's. I also know I was making and using this around 1976 as I thought it was almost as good as the real boxed version. I am going to post the recipe 'as is' and then post it a more healthy way. I will also post a few tips.
I used to make biscuits, coffeecake, and pancakes from this mix, along with other recipes I would come across on the back of the Bisquick box, except I would use this mix. One year, when I was particularly broke, I gave some of this mix doled out in Mason jars to family members, with a recipe card attached for making biscuits . They may not have appreciated it much, but it was all I had to give at the time. I thought it made a nice gift since it was so practical.
In these hard economic times reminiscent of the 1970's recession, knowing how to make much of your own 'convenience' foods is a big help. I hope this recipe is a help to you.

Homemade"Bisquick"-Style Biscuit Mix
*Original version:
8 cups flour
1/3 cup baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
8 teaspoons sugar
1 cup shortening

Mix all dry ingredients together, then blend in shortening and mix until of a fine consistency. Put in container and seal. This will keep for months in the refrigerator. For biscuits just add 1/3 cup milk to every cup of mix. drop or roll out. Bake at 425 degrees until done, about 15-20 minutes.

Homemade"Bisquick"-Style Biscuit Mix
*Updated healthier version:

8 cups unbleached flour (or half unbleached, half wheat for those of you who like wheat)
1/3 cup aluminum-free baking powder
2 teaspoons real sea salt (pink)
8 teaspoons sugar or Rapadura (see Tropical Traditions website for more info)
1 cup organic palm shortening (see Tropical Traditions website for more info)

Mix all dry ingredients together, then blend in shortening and mix until of a fine consistency. Put in container and seal. This will keep for months in the refrigerator. For biscuits just add 1/3 cup milk to every cup of mix. drop or roll out. Bake at 425 degrees until done, about 15-20 minutes.

*Tips: To make it more like the boxed version, add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of buttermilk powder to the dry ingredients. Saco brand makes a good powdered buttermilk. You can find this in the baking aisle of most groceries. (See photo above for product.)
Storing it in a glass container in the refrigerator will make it last for many months as it will not go rancid, but when you want to use it, set out your measured amount and allow to thaw some for easier handling. You can use a plastic container, but I try to use glass as much as possible.