Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Beer Bread - St. Louis Style

3 Cups Self Rising Flour
3 Heaping Tablespoons Sugar
1 12 Oz Beer at Room Temperature (Budweiser, of course)

Well grease pan and flour.  Rise in warm place 1 hour.  Bake at 325 1 hour or longer.

Mark and Jeanette Discussing the Merits of Budweiser, July 2015
The original St. Louis Recipe

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bucatini with garlic and bread crumbs

adapted from Lidia Bastianich
  • 1 lb bucatini
  • 3/4 loaf day old bread, shredded into coarse crumbs (use a box grater or your food processor; you might have to cut off some of the hard crust)
  • lots of thinly sliced garlic (about 6 large cloves, but to your taste)
  • olive oil
  • 4-5 sage leaves, chopped finely
  • 1 T parsely, chopped finely
  • salt
  1. Bring water to a boil. Salt and cook pasta.
  2. While pasta is cooking, pour about 1/4 cup of oil in heavy pan. The oil should coat the bottom of the pan
  3. Cook garlic for a minute or two, until it begins to soften.
  4. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread crumbs are nicely toasted. You want them nicely browned, so they have some crunch.
  5. Add sage & parsley (or dried oregano), stir.
  6. Turn off heat.
  7. When pasta is finished, drain and add to the pan, tossing to coat.
  8. Serve on a large platter, with grated cheese.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Baked Beans in the pressure cooker!

We love baked beans and making them in the pressure was a much quicker option than doing the traditional recipe of 10-12 hours in the crockpot or oven. 
I combined two recipes when I made these... a pressure cooker recipe and a crockpot recipe.  The end result were beans that tasted like they'd been in the oven for hours.

1 pound dried navy beans

8 cups water
1 tbsp salt

Soak beans overnight in the water with salt dissolved.  Drain and rinse well.  

8 oz of salt pork, rind removed and cut into small diced pieces 

1 large onion, diced
1 clove of minced garlic
dash of ground cloves
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Rinse beans in a colander and sort through the beans to remove any debris. Soak beans overnight in the pressure cooking pot with 8 cups water mixed with 1 tablespoon salt. * Drain and rinse the beans; discard the soaking liquid.
  2. Select Browning and add salt pork to pressure cooking pot. Cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Cook the onion in drippings until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and ground cloves and stir until the garlic is aromatic.  Scrap up brown bits on the bottom of the pot as the onions cook.
  3. Add 2 1/2 cups water, molasses, ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to the onions in the pot and stir to combine. Stir in the soaked beans.
  4. Select high pressure and 35 minutes cook time. When timer beeps, turn pressure cooker off and wait for 10 minutes, after 10 minutes use a quick pressure release to release any remaining pressure. Discard any beans that are floating, Check several beans to see if they're tender. If not, pressure cooker for a few minutes longer.
  5. Pour the beans into crockpot set to low.  Add salt pork.  Continue cooking on low until the sauce is desired consistency.
I made these the morning of a family BBQ at our house.  I didn't want to mess around with cooking them right before serving.  Using the crockpot for the last step was GREAT!  They cooked in the crockpot for about 3-4 hours on low.  I cracked the lid and added a couple tablespoons of water as needed.  The flavor really had some nice depth and tasted like they had been in the oven all night.  

Monday, May 9, 2016

White Chicken Chili

We went to Lucky's 13 out in Mendota several weeks ago.  Emily, Dan and I sat at the bar and had dinner before her skating lesson.  Our server was Taylor Swift's doppleganger!  Not kidding.
Anyhow, she recommended that we have the white chicken chili and it was delicious!
I knew that I could make equally delicious chili for a fraction of the cost in the pressure cooker.

I started with a Costco rotisserie chicken.... pulled all the meat off the bones and set it aside.  All the bones and skin went into the pressure cooker with 12 cups of water, a halved onion (papery skin and all), 2 cloves of garlic, celery stalks and a couple of the pieces with leaves on them, a few carrots, cut into 2 inch chunks, 2 bay leaves and a few whole pepper corns.

Set the pressure cooker for an hour and you've got stock and chicken to cook your chili!

White Bean Chicken Chili:  

INGREDIENTS & MEASUREMENTS:1 whole rotisserie chicken, make stock with chicken... 
1 wholeonion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, Minced
2 whole cans fire roasted green chilies Chopped
1 pound dried great northern beans
8 cups chicken stock, you just made some.... 
2 whole jlapeno, chopped
1-½ Tablespoon cmin
½ teaspoons smoked paprika
½ teaspoons cyenne pepper
Salt To Taste
white pepper, to taste
1 cup half and half
2 Tablespoons masa (corn Flour) OR Cornmeal 
olive oil
1 bunch of fresh cilantro

Add olive oil to the pressure cooker, set to saute.  Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and green chilies.   Sautee for about 5 minutes.  Add the beans and 8 cups of stock.  Give it a stir and then secure lid to the pressure cooker.  Set the cooking time to 60 minutes.   When the cooking time is done, let the pressure release from the unit naturally.Once the pressure has been released and you can safely remove the lid, add salt to taste, white pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper and stir.  Add the shredded chicken.  Mix the half and half with masa or cornmeal.  Stir into the bubbling chili and stir until thickened.

Just before serving, check seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in a handful of fresh chopped cilantro and garnish with the remaining on each bowl as it is served.  Also, garnish with a dollop of sour cream.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Crockpot Tomato Vegetable Soup with Tortellini

We love soup... its perfect for a quick dinner on a chilly night.
Tonight we have Cub Scouts and then basketball practice, so I wanted something hearty and filling... and also with a decent amount of protein.

This is my version of a recipe I found online

1 28oz can of whole plum tomatoes in tomato sauce
1 14oz can of tomato sauce
1 32 oz box of chicken or vegetable stock
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping tbsp Italian seasoning
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of pepper
1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables (frozen carrots, green beans and corn mix)
2 big handfuls of baby spinach
1 bag of Trader Joe's Party Sized Meatballs
Parmesan cheese rind
1 package of fresh cheese toretllini

Combine all ingredients except tortellini in Crockpot.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  30 minutes before serving, add toretllini, stir and cook.  Serve.