Sunday, March 29, 2009


For those who check my site for recipes you will have to indulge me in one of my other creative passions, Pysanky. Which is a Ukranian form of Egg decorating using a wax-resist method. It is something a dear friend convinced me to learn with her several years ago and one I find wonderfully relaxing. However, in an attempt to not let my several creative pursuits overwhelm me, I have limited pysanky to Easter season, as was the tradition in the Ukraine for hundreds of years. Along with the beauty of the art I also love the history of it. Women did pysanky at night after everyone was asleep (no one could see them created, it was bad luck) at Easter time and many of the symbols are religious in nature. When the Soviet Union took control of Ukraine women created pysanky in secret since it was outlawed. Don't you love the history, if you want to know more you check out this short history of pysanky.

My egg above is not traditional in its design, I really like to do more organic designs, it requires less pencil drawing. This year I made a rocket egg for my son since he loves Rockets. His favorite is the "Mean Machine." This is my process, including how I created an egg out of a goof.

Organic eggs - they have a thicker shell and you get more even coverage of dye)
Art pencil - The lightest possible. The "Get up and DIY" pysanky page recommends using a pencil hardness of 4H or higher. It even has a table to demonstrate differing pencil hardness. This site also give directions on how to do pysanky.
Kitsky* - the traditional wax writing tool, there are a variety of kinds: traditional, delrin and electric and a variety of sizes: small, medium & large. I have all three sizes of Delrin.
Pure Beeswax* - Any other kind may not adhere as well or remove as well
Analine Dye** - you can use others, but this will provide the deepest colors
Jars -
for dye, I use pint canning jars there are other kinds out there
White Vinegar -
for mixing dye and to use to etch eggs
- buy the cheapest the store has. They don't flake or have any extras, plus you use a lot!
Gloves - I use latex, you can use them to hold the egg as you draw on it to keep the oils from your hands from the egg and the dye from your hands, it is also useful to hold a blown egg down in the dye. I also use them when cleaning the finished egg with lighter fluid and then varnishing it.
Plastic Spoons - to get the egg in and out of the dye
Votive Candles and holder - the holder just makes it easier
Soft tooth brush - for cleaning up after an etched egg
Bulb Syringe - I have several from all my kids so it turned out to be a handy tool.
Thumb Tack - the kind with a large top, notice the photo later
Power Drill with a 3/32 bit - you can buy special drills for blowing eggs, I personally just use my husband's power drill.
Taper Candle & Candle stick - only if you use the traditional method of removing wax
Lighter Fluid - to remove remaining wax
Varnish - It needs to be oil based, water-based will make the dye run. Check the bottom of the egg before varnishing the whole egg to be sure.
Drying Stand - This is simply a board with nails pounded in close enough to hold an egg while the varnish dries. You can buy them but if you have extra wood and nails, just make it, it is cheaper. You can find lots of examples online.
Egg Stands to display egg - you can use votive candle holders or shot glasses or purchase stands

*Purchase at the Ukrainian Gift Shop
*Buy at either the Ukrainian Gift Shop or Pysanky Showcase look on the left of PS for the egg decorating link and then click on the egg dye link.

The best part of this art is that once you buy these items, which for the most part are really inexpensive, you don't have to buy much every year. I usually spend about $20 a year, but mostly on fun things that are necessary, but make it easier or just because. This year I got a kitsky holder and fancy egg stands.

Step 1: As light as possible, draw enough of the design on your egg so you know where you want to place your wax. Use the lightest pencil possible.

Step 2: Heat your Kitsky with beeswax and heat over a candle. Make sure to wipe the outside of the kitsky off each time you fill it or you will get a blob of wax guarnteed. If you do wipe it you still sometimes get the blob, just not as bad.

Step 3: Practice writing on a paper before the egg to get the hang of it. Write on the egg on the part of the design you want the first color. In this case I wrote on the egg where I wanted the egg white. (I goofed right after drawing on this section so I then created a new egg based on what was there. You can see a photo at the end) Then dye the egg the lightest color. In my case it was yellow. Then draw on the egg where you wanted yellow. For me that was the words of the rocket and part of the parachute. (See photo at end). Then dye the next darkest color. Since I etched my egg (explained later) my next darkest color for the top layer was black. Then cover the part of the egg you want that color. For me that was both rockets and the rest of the parachute.

Step 4: Before etching the egg, wash as much of the dye off as possible. This can be done just by rinsing in cold water or using a mild soap. I like to use Ivory. This just helps the dye not come off in the vinegar and thus getting as white as possible surface when you are done etching. While not necessary, I like to do it, especially if my egg is a really dark color before I etch.

Step 5: Etch the egg by placing it in white vinegar for about 20-30 minutes depending on how etched you want your egg and how acidic the vinegar. I was impatient this time and should have done it closer to 30. oops -- Still looks neat.

Step 6: When sufficiently etched I use a soft toothbrush (this is a baby toothbrush) to gently scrape the surface of the egg off.

Step 7: When it is off I rinse it the rest of the way clean with cool water before applying anymore dye or wax. Continue the previous process of waxing and dying explained in step 3 until you are ready to dye it the last color. Meaning youhave waxed the parts you want to keep the current color and rest of the egg is going to be the new color.

There are many ways to remove the wax. The traditional way is to complete the egg all the way and then place the egg next to the candle flame and melt the wax and wipe it with a tissue (use the cheapest you can find). I personally find this very tedious and avoid it as much as possible. I came across the following method last year and have fallen in love.

Step 8: So after you have waxed everything that needs to be waxed and you are ready to place the egg in its final color, empty the egg. This method of emptying works whether you use this method for getting rid of wax or the traditional, it just depends on where in the process you do it. There are also a variety of methods for emptying an egg and tools you can buy, this is my method which was created by my dear friend that taught this craft to me. The yoke will need to be broken, I shake the egg really hard until I feel it break, basically instead of feeling like a "ball" is bouncing it just feels like liquid rushing back and forth. You can also break the yoke by sticking a wire into the egg after a hole is punched and stirring it around. After breaking the yoke I pucture a hole in the top and bottom of the egg with a thumb tack.

Step 9: Then take a power drill and using a 3/32 bit drill the bottom hole larger. Go slow and with steady, but not real hard pressure until it breaks through. Since organic eggs have a thicker shell this can take several seconds, especially if you are drilling through the wax as well.

Step 10 - Place the bulb syringe on the smaller top hole and squeeze slowly allowing the insides of the egg to come out. DO NOT USE THE INSIDE OF THE EGG, THE DYE IS POISONOUS! Do this until all the inerds are out. If you want you can squirt a little water inside and shake it a little to rinse it.

Step 11: Cover the holes with wax so they are firmly sealed. If you want and can you can incorporate the hole in the design as I did in the previous photo.

Step 12: Using your gloves or perhaps a full shot glass weigh the egg down in the final dye until it is the color you desire.

Step 13: My egg ended up a little darker than I wanted even though I just barely left it in, so I rinsed it with some water and it turned out the perfect color. Poke holes into the wax on both ends and place the egg on a paper towel in the microwave. Microwave about 10 seconds and remove the egg and wipe the wax off with tissues. Repeat if necessary. Now you see why I like this method and why you must empty first. Use lighter fluid to rinse egg to remove any remaining wax. Then lightly varnish egg. I use my gloved finger, but you can use just your plain finger and then clean up with vegetable oil and then dish soap, whichever you prefer. Just make sure the oil is in a bowl before you use the varnish, your hands can be really messy and you don't want to get your oil bottle dirty. Allow the egg to dry on a egg rack and then, if you want, revarnish the next day. I like two coats, I think it shines more.

Step 14: Display your egg for everyone to see. As you see I have two sides to my egg, it going up and it coming down.

My goof. My kitsky got clogged so I was pounding it trying to get it cleared (I could buy some wire to clean it but it hasn't made my list of purchases yet, maybe next year) and the wax splattered my egg. Since spatter wasn't a part of my design I had to come up with a new design. while not my best work, I think it will look nice in my MIL's egg jar. Last year I made a bunch of eggs and gave them to her to put in a large jar she had with only 3 eggs.

Anyway, that is my process. This may not be the best resource, I would suggest googling "Pysanky" and you can learn even more about it and see all sorts of beautiful eggs from amazing pysanky artists. Mine aren't perfect, but I do enjoy doing it. If you want to see more I have done you can check out my Pysanky Picasa Web Album.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chilie Cream Sauce

Some friends and I have a blog we swap weekly menus on and kind of keep up with each other. The other day one of them posted her menu and then mentioned she had a 5-lb container of sour cream and was trying to figure out what to do with it. Which made me think of yummy things and went searching for ideas for her. Plus I needed something to cook for dinner and had sour cream on hand. I found this recipe and it reminded me of one I loved that had cream of mushroom soup and it just doesn't taste the same with homemade. So I decided to try this. After altering it a little for our tastes and what ingredients we had on hand it turned out fantastic and so pretty. Next time I might try 1/2 sour cream and 1/2 cream cheese. We ate them with the Sour Cream Cornbread Muffins.

Chicken Enchiladas
adapted from a Chicken Enchilada recipe on

12 corn tortillas
vegetable oil for pan-frying
1-lbs ground chicken*
salt & pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp onion powder
dash garlic powder
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained & minced
10 ounces shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack** cheese
3/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup butter
2 cups water, divided***
2 Chicken bouillion cubes***
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 2-1/2 T dried
3 T cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
2 ounces shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack** cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Heat about 1 Tbsp oil in a skillet. Brown chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas (one at a time) for 5 seconds on each side to soften and make them pliable. Add more oil to pan as needed. Drain between layers of paper towel and keep warm. You may need a little more or less tortillas depending on how full you fill the tortillas.
4. Stir chicken, 10 ounces of cheese, and onion together and roll it into the 12 tortillas placing seam side down in a greased baking pan.
5. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the 1-1/2 C water, bouillion cubes, and dried cilantro, if using. Bring to boil or almost boil. Mix cornstarch and remaing 1/2 C water and slowly pour into broth while stirring with a whisk. Stir until thickened. Stirl in the sour cream and chiles, heat thoroughly but do not boil, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture over the enchiladas.
5. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.

*Or use 3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded. If they aren't cooked yet, boil them in water with the seasonings used with the ground
**Or whatever cheese you had on hand. The original called for just Monterey Jack.
***Or 2 C broth, divided

Menu Mar 16-21

So this is what I am thinking this week:

M - Chicken Enchiladas based on a recipe from and sour cream cornbread (recipe below)
T - Meatloaf and green Mashed Potatoes with green beans or broccoli -- kind of St. Patrick'sy
W - Almond Meal coated Chicken Breasts with Rice Pilaf
Th - Cream of Vegetable soup with ham --Been craving this like crazy lately.
F - Breakfast for dinner

I got this from my Gluten-free recipe swap and doctored it a little bit, but it is fantastic and insanely easy to mix up. I actually made 2 batches tonight since I realized the first one wasn't going to be enough. I made muffins and they taste so yummy!

Nancy's Sour Cream Cornbread
1 cup of cornmeal
1 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup oil
1/4 t salt
1/8 t sugar, if desired
1/4 tsp each baking soda and baking powder
1 egg

Mix up and bake at 425 till brown and risen. Time depends on whether you do muffins or a "cake".

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rosemary Peasant Bread & Dipping Oil

When it comes to adapting recipes, I have to admit I have stayed away from breads. The closest I have come to messing with yeast bread recipes is my Sandwich Bread recipe, which I merely altered from an already GF bread recipe. Then my friend, Cynthia, posted a Rosemary Peasant Bread recipe that was so simple and easy I had to make it. Since Cynthia is somewhat of a bread guru and another of my favorite cooks of all time, I knew it would be heavenly and we weren't dissappointed. However, while we ate this wonderful bread, my daughter ate her regular bread, and was okay with it. But I was not. I decided this recipe was so good I needed to wade into the world of bread recipe adapting so that she could experience it. After talking to Cynthia and getting some ideas, and searching the internet for any GF peasant/artisan bread recipes I could base my alterations on (I found only one on the Gluten-free Girl's website, a recipe for Artisanal Sorghum Bread. I'm sure there are others I just haven't discovered their sites yet) I was ready to proceed. I based my flour needs on the Gluten-Free Girl's recipe and then proceeded with what I knew and this is the result. I have to admit, I really liked the bread, it's flavor was similar to the original, it turned out a bit heavier then the original, but that is indicative of GF bread. I might mess with this some more as I use it. But it will be a while, I only let her have 1/4 of the loaf and as soon as it cooled I froze the rest in pieces for later.

Rosemary Peasant Bread
1 C warm water
1-1/4 tsp (or 1/2 pkt) dry yeast*
1/2 T sugar
1 t salt
1/8 t garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 egg
1/4 tsp cider vinegar
1-1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/8 tsp soy lecithin (opt)
1-1/3 C sorghum flour
1/2 C potato starch
1/2 C rice flour
1-2 tsp fresh rosemary or 1/3 -2/3 dried
Olive oil
corn meal
Melted butter
Dipping oil (opt)

1. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water and sugar. Add remaining ingredients. With a hand mixer, mix on low until combined and then mix on med for 1-1/2 minutes, approx. 2. Oil an 8" cake pan and sprinkle with corn meal. Pour dough into pan and cover with a towel or greased plastic wrap. Allow to raise for about an hour.
3. Brush on melted butter (or olive oil if you prefer) and sprinkle with extra rosemary and course salt, I used Kosher, but sea salt would work just as well, or better.

Right before it goes in the oven. I couldn't find my pastry
brush so I used my finger, it works, but not as effectively.

4. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and bake for about 30 minutes until it is nicely browned (refer to photo at the beginning of post.
5. Allow to cool slightly and then rip or slice and dip in dipping oil (recipe below) or just eat.

*I buy the yeast in bulk and store it in a plastic container in the freezer or fridge.

Comparison of GF recipe and regular.

Don't you love dipping bread in olive oil at restaurants? I realize with GF restrictions this doesn't really happen anymore. Several years ago I started making my own, since we couldn't afford to go out all the time to the restaurants that did this. While the recipe is my own creation it is never the same twice. So consider this a guideline and make your own kind. My daughter doesn't go for the vinegar so I don't put it in her oil.
Dipping Oil
Rosemary (dried or fresh)
Basil (dried or fresh)
Garlic powder or fresh minced
Red Pepper flakes
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

1. On a small plate, sprinkle seasonings (if using fresh herbs, finely chop -fresh do taste best, but are not always available), start with a little (no more than 1/8 tsp dried of each) and add more if you want more flavor. Pour Olive oil over the seasoning until they are covered nicely. Sprinkle some Balsamic Vinegar over the top. To allow the flavors to blend, let sit for 30 minutes. I usually make this first before I start dinner so it has plenty of time to blend. Enjoy. It will keep for a day if covered with plastic wrap -- DON'T REFRIGERATE, the olive oil will solidify.

Fruit & Nut Salad with Sweet & Sour Dressing

This is one of my favorite salads and homemade dressings. So simple and jam-packed with flavor.

Fruit & Nut Salad
1/2 a red apple**, coarsely chopped
1/2 a green apple, coarsely chopped
Fruit Fresh & water (opt)
1/4 C chopped pecans
Romaine Lettuce
Any other lettuce you like*
1/2 med onion, sliced & slices halved
2 stalks celery, sliced (not shown, I'm out)
1/4 C dried cranberries
Sweet & Sour Dressing (below)

1. Heat a small skillet over med heat. Add chopped pecans and allow to toast for about 3-4 minutes or until hot and smelling toasted. Stir occasionally. Keep an eye on them since they burn easily. Remove from pan to a plate and allow to cool before adding to salad.
2. Chop apples and soak for a couple of minutes in Fruit Fresh water to prevent the apples from browning, drain. While not necessary it does make it more eye appealing. But if you are going to eat the salad all gone immediately don't worry about it.
3. In a med-large bowl, tear both lettuces into bite size pieces. Add apples, pecans, onion, celery, and cranberries. Serve with Sweet and Sour Dressing.

Sweet & Sour Dressing
Based on a recipe in Betty Crocker Cookbook
1/4 C vegetable oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp white vinegar*
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar*
1 t dried parsley, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Shake in a tight container or stir all ingredients together in a 1 C measuring cup. Refrigerate until & after serving.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fancy Taco Salad

Shown without sour cream and hot sauce

I have to give a nod to Rachel Ray, since this based on her "Monday Night Football Food Taco Bowls" in her Express Meals cookbook. I needed a quick meal since we were painting and I didn't want to take the time to cook so I opened up Rachel Ray and found this recipe. Mine is slightly different, but I must say -- delicious!

Fancy Taco Salad
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb hamburger
1 can green chilies, drained, rinsed & divided
1 Tbsp onion powder
3/4-1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
salt & pepper
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 cans petite diced tomatoes, drained & rinsed
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp dried cilantro or 1/4 C fresh, chopped
3 Tbsp lime juice
Tortilla Chips
Grated Cheese
Sliced Olives
1 can of corn, drained
Sour Cream
Taco Sauce

1. Heat oil in skillet over med-high heat. Add hamburger, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, 1/2 the chilies, salt & pepper and cook until browned. Add black beans and 3/4 C water and reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened.
2. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, remaining chilies, onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to sit.

3. To eat, crush a handful of chips and layer meat mixture, cheese, tomato mixture, lettuce, olives, corn, sour cream, and taco sauce. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Almond-Rice Pilaf

I love basmati brown rice. It smells and tastes so yummy. It is also my favorite complement to Rocky Mountain Bean Storm. When I was making dinner last night it sounded so yummy, but I wanted to spice it up you could say, so I did. The result was DELICIOUS! and went well with our Pineapple-BBQ Chicken.

Almond-Rice Pilaf
4 C water*
4 bouillon cubes*
2 C basmati brown rice
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/3 C slivered almonds

Bring water and bouillon cubes to boil. Add rice and parsley. Reduce heat and cook for about 50 minutes. (I reduced to simmer so it didnt' burn like it did last time since I was busy painting and didn't want to forget about it and it took about 1-1/2 hours - so don't reduce too low if you are on a time crunch) When cooked, remove from heat, toast almonds and stir into rice.

*or 1 quart broth

Pineapple BBQ Chicken

Last night I had planned to try a new chicken recipe from Artsy-Foodie, however, my husband decided we should paint most of the upstairs this week. Since I have been wanting to do this for 3 years, I was very excited and had to come up with something else that was quick and easy. It also needed to have chicken since I had chicken in the fridge that desperately needed to be eaten. On the Glutenfreerecipeswap YAHOO! group someone had posted a recipe for pineapple beans which sounded divine, and I was inspired to do a similar thing with chicken, except I used bottled BBQ sauce instead of making my own. We ate this with Almond-Rice Pilaf and the kids LOVED it. My son, who has decided he hates everything he used to love, said when I told him what we were having "I love rice! I love chicken!" and ate everything on his plate.

Pineapple BBQ Chicken
4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts cut in half so you have 8 smaller pieces*
1 Bottle BBQ sauce
1 can pineapple tidbits drained

In a large oven proof pan (about 11x7) lay chicken breast pieces out. Pour about 3/4 bottle of BBQ sauce over the top. Dump drained pineapple over them. Cook in a 350-degree oven for 1 to 1-1/2 hours (depending on when the chicken is ready to eat and you are ready to eat it).

Or just dump in a crockpot and cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 on low.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Turkey-Vegetable Tomato Soup

This recipe came as more a dump and eat soup. I wanted a tomato based soup and went down to my store room and grabbed things that sounded like they would be good in the soup. This soup is really good with Garlic Parmesan Corn Chips.

Turkey-Vegetable Tomato Soup
3 cans diced tomatoes
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
3 -4 C chicken broth, depending on how thick you want it
1 med onion, minced
4-5 med potatoes, diced
3 C chopped carrots
1 sm pkg frozen corn
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 5-oz can turkey
1 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Mozzarella cheese, grated (opt.)

In a Dutch Oven or other large pot over med-high heat add Tomatos, stewed tomatoes, & tomato paste and stir until combined. Then add ingredients in order listed as they are prepared as directed. (chop onion & add, then chop potatoes & add, etc.) Bring to a boil and reduce heat to med. Boil until potatoes are cooked. Top with grated cheese.

Garlic Parmesean Corn Chips

On Saturday I made a Turkey-Vegetable Tomato Soup that was really yummy. I wanted garlic bread to go with it, but we were out of GF bread -- still need to make it. So I made some for the rest of us, (I'll have to post the recipe one of these days, it is my favorite garlic bread) and then had to decide what to do for my GF daughter. After some debating I decided I would make chips, but season them with the same seasoning I seasoned the garlic bread. They turned out so good, I almost wish I had made a huge batch of these instead of the garlic bread. The recipe is a not an exact science, but I think it is pretty easy. I am thinking I might make other flavors as well -- smoked Paprika and onion powder with cheese????

Garlic-Parmesean Corn Chips
Vegetable Oil
Corn Tortillas
Garlic Salt
Grated Parmeasean Cheese
Dried Basil

Heat oil in a small fry pan on med to med-high heat (350-375 degrees F). While heating, quarter tortillas. Fry pieces until browned on both sides -- about 30 sec on each side. Remove from oil and immediatly sprinkle garlic salt, parmesean cheese, and basil. Enjoy!

*I used the inexpensive one in the plastic container since it is extra fine, but it would be good with fresh grated, of course.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Rocket Quilt

So 3 1/2 years ago we moved into our house, and my son moved into his own bed. Since then I have been planning on making him a quilt. First I was going to make a "Transportation" quilt with "paper pieced" boats, planes, cars, trucks, etc. Well, that went really slow and I just never got more than a few blocks done. Then when he started his rocket craze I realized this was not something he would grow out of, which is just fine, and I should do a rocket quilt because that is what he really wants. When I was designing the quilt I had to figure out which rocket to use and decided on the "Cosmic Cobra" which met a very sad ending last summer -- for the second time.

Could a rocket land any better -- or worse?

The rocket was really quite neat, What it was suppose to do was to pop the nosecone off and then it fell by a helicopter mechanism and the body tube (yellow part) came down with a parachute. The first time the top came down right but the body tube crashed. The second time we just had impact and it was decided that the our household no longer flew cosmic cobras. But now my son can enjoy it on his bed.

Close up -- the fire ended up a little wonky, but I will just have to do better if I make another one.

In case you are wondering, the long points on the stars and the wing angles (4"x6" half-square rectangles) were the hardest. Thank you the internet (star points) and paper piecing (wings).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sloppy Joes

I love Sloppy Joes, especially with Provolone Cheese. But I must admit with little ones, I don't always like the sloppy part that has to be cleaned up. That said, I am braving the mess and making them anyway for dinner. Since our night is going to be CRAZY I decided to mix them up now and crockpot them. I've always liked the recipe in my The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, but, as I am often prone to do, I modified it a bit. I like Green peppers in mine, and I didn't want to have all hamburger so I substituted a can of black beans for 3/4 lb of hamburger. This is a 3x recipe so that I can freeze some, or just have some for leftovers for the weekend. Since we don't have buns we are just going to eat it openfaced on bread, hopefully, reduce the mess. Here's the recipe, I hope you enjoy.

Sloppy Joes (printer friendly)

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 med onions, minced
1 green pepper, minced or chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder*
1 1/2-2 lbs hamburger
3 tsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp pepper
1 can diced tomatoes, pureed
1 can diced tomatoes with chipolte chilies, pureed*
1 1/2 C ketchup
1 can black beans, drained
water, if needed
Bread or hamburger buns

1. Heat oil in a in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add garlic & chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the beef, brown sugar, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces, until the meat is no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

2. In a lg crockpot add tomato puree, ketchup and black beans. Turn crockpot on high. Add meat mixture once the meat is cooked. Add tabasco, if desired. Turn down crockpot to low once the mixture is heated. Cook on low for 4 -5 hours. If mixture gets too thick add a little water, as needed. Spoon over bread or a hamburger bun.

*I didn't use tabasco since my kids aren't really into spicy, and I am using spicier tomatoes. If I was using regular tomatoes, I would add it. Also, if you don't have tomatoes with chipolte peppers, just use a second can of tomatoes and add an extra 1/2 tsp chili powder and tabasco.


I know what you are thinking -- what is pancit???? This is a Phillappino recipe one of my dear friends and favorite cook, Anne Marie, (who happens to be Phillappino) gave me. It is naturally GF which makes it even yummier. As I have been trying to dream up dinner I remembered this recipe which we hadn't had in a while and was so excited to make it again since it is insanely easy. It calls for shredded cabbage and I usually use green cabbage or buy the pre-shredded from the salad section if it is on sale. But the grocery store didn't have green cabbage the day I was there and I was feeling too cheap to buy the pre-shredded so we got red. It obviously dyed the noodles but I thought it turned out pretty anyway and it was just as delicious as when I used the green cabbage.

1 pkg rice stick (rice & water variety -- soaked in hot tap water 3-5 minutes)*
3 Cups chicken broth (broth or 3 C water + 3 bouillon cubes)
1 lg Chicken Breast,
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 C shredded cabbage
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 C carrots, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
Green onion, chopped
Sliced lime**

1. Boil chicken in broth until tender (30 minutes). De-bone chicken, if necessary, saving the broth. Shred the chicken.

2. Saute onion & garlic, then add chicken. Add carrots and soy and cook for 5 minutes. Add the celery and cabbage and cook for a few minutes. Add chicken broth and cook for 5 minutes. Add the noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve with sliced lime and chopped green onion.

*I usually find these in the Asian section of the grocery store. They look like dried, translucent noodles. I should have taken a photo.
**I didn't have limes so I just sprinkled lime juice over it and it tasted fabulous!


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