Thursday, June 23, 2016

Indoor Cowgirl Supper

What's your favorite thing to chow down when you're hungry, and I mean really hungry? Mine is comfort food, and this little concoction is just that- it's loaded with meat, spiced veggies and beans. This is certainly not a Florida dish, but lately the heat and humidity in these parts has got me exercising daily in a therapy current pool, which is not only great exercise and a daily dose of vitamin D, but a great excuse to make a manly meal that works great for dinner, lunch or snack (and it reheats like a dream). This cowgirl supper is simple and no fuss, and you don't have to be on the open range to make it. But it does take some time in the oven, so let's put this together so we can relax while it cooks.

Cowgirl Franks and Beans
serves 4-6

1/2 pound ground sirloin
1-1/2 T taco seasoning (I use the Publix brand these days, it's just as good as the national brands and a lot less expensive)
2 jumbo beef franks (6 oz) sliced 1/8-1/4 inch
1 can (28 oz) Bush's Original Baked Beans
1/2 large onion chopped/diced 1/4 inch
1/2 green pepper chopped/diced 1/4 inch
1/4 cup ketchup
1 T Dijon mustard
2 T brown sugar
2 T hot sauce (I like Frank's Original for this recipe)
4-5 slices bacon

Spray an 8" x 8" pan with non stick spray and set aside. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.

On medium heat on stovetop, brown ground meat. When meat is beginning to turn color, add the taco seasoning and continue to cook until meat is brown. Set aside and continue with the rest of the steps.

In large mixing bowl combine your chopped onions and peppers, ketchup, mustard, sugar, and hot sauce.

Now add the beans and frankfurters and stir to combine. Pour this beany goodness into prepared baking pan. So far so good, and doesn't that look yummy? We're almost done with the prep.

Top casserole with crumbled, seasoned beef. Then top with bacon.

I'm liking the looks of this for sure. Cover with foil and leave one corner of the dish open/vented to allow steam to escape. Bake 1 hour. Remove foil, cook another 45 minutes uncovered and get ready to serve a filling, heartwarming meal fit for any indoor wannabe cowgirl.

Serve this with some Texas toast and a green salad. You'll feel like you're at home on the range. Happy Trails!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Summer Salad

Long time no new recipes, sorrrrry.

My lame excuse- I made the big move to Florida from Massachusetts a few months ago and with that hectic move came a few medical issues that needed to be taken care of. All is well now and  I'm back.... living in a darling apartment in south east Florida with a much smaller kitchen (unfortunately with improper lighting for good photos which is a bummer for me), but I promise that every recipe posted may not look as lovely as I'd like, but will be worth making.

I've made some friends in my new surroundings and Marlene is one of them. Picky eater? YES. Native Bostonian? YES. So of course we became fast friends (I think it was day 2 that we bonded) and it's always nice to share a winner dish that a picky eater loves. Reminds me of the old commercial for Life cereal. "She likes it!" Marlene actually said she loved it, so this recipe post is for you Marlene and all the other picky eaters out there.

Ready to hardly cook? This is so easy... and if Marlene likes it, you know you've got something to make your family and friends happy or bring to a barbecue or pot luck.

Roasted Grape Tomato, Orzo, Black Bean and Corn Salad
serves 6

1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 cup orzo (uncooked)
1 15 oz can corn (use fresh or frozen if you have it)
1 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained (I use Bush's low sodium)
1 7 oz can diced green chilies (I use the mild)
3 scallions diced 1/4 inch
2 avocados chopped
4 oz goat cheese
2 limes
3/4 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
canola oil
cilantro- as much as you like, chopped or whole leaves

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees and slice grape tomatoes in half. Toss the maters in a teaspoon or two of canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Let cool and add to a large mixing bowl.

While the tomatoes are roasting cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and add to tomatoes.

To mixing bowl add corn, black beans, chilies, and scallions. Add cumin, 1/2 tsp salt and however much pepper you like. Taste and see if it fits your flavor palette. Add more seasoning if necessary.

Juice 2 limes and add to chopped avocado. Add both the lime juice and avocados to mixing bowl. Finish with crumbled goat cheese and cilantro, stir and you've got a super salad even Marlene would love.

I like to serve this salad chilled, but it's also good at room temp.

You can custom make this salad to your liking. Double up on the corn if that's your fancy, or omit it completely. Use cannellini beans, Monterey Jack cheese or add some chili powder for a bit more oomph, anything goes here.

Here's to great summer all. I'm looking forward to posting more fresh ideas from Florida soon.