Crock Pot Beef Taco Bean Soup

My coworker Carol (Hi, Carol!) got me a cookbook recently. It’s from Masterson’s Market, and is one of those ones where all sorts of local people give their favorite recipe, so it’s got some fun stuff!

Definitely found plenty of things of interest!

Definitely found plenty of things of interest!

IMG_6710Ingredients:

  • 2 pound rump roast (You can get nice, cheap, pre-cut stew meat at the store near me, so that’s actually what I did, rather than the rump roast. Who wants to do all that cutting themselves?!)
  • 2 packages taco seasoning
  • 1 15 ounce can Mexican style diced tomatoes
  •  1 4 ounce can green chilies
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 15 ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • shredded cheddar cheese
Aim for a non-Italian-y tomato sauce!

Aim for a non-Italian-y tomato sauce!

Cut the roast into bite-sized chunks, then roll in the taco seasoning. The recipe originally called for 1 package of taco seasoning, but I found that wasn’t enough to cover all the meat.

IMG_6705Put the meat in the crock pot, then add the tomatoes, chilies, tomato sauce, onion, and bouillon and stir together.

IMG_6706Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

IMG_6708Add the beans and continue to cook until the beans are heated through, about half an hour.

IMG_6709Serve topped with grated cheese.

IMG_6711

Crock Pot Beef Taco Bean Soup

  • 2 pound rump roast
  • 2 packages taco seasoning
  • 1 15 ounce can Mexican style diced tomatoes
  •  1 4 ounce can green chilies
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 15 ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Cut the roast into bite-sized chunks, then roll in the taco seasoning. Put the meat in the crock pot, then add the tomatoes, chilies, tomato sauce, onion, and bouillon and stir together. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, then add the beans and continue to cook until the beans are heated through, about half an hour. Serve topped with grated cheese.

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Chicken Pot Pie

An easy, but slightly time consuming pie, this one does have the advantage that you can prepare the filling one day, and dump everything in the crust and have it ready to eat in under an hour the second day, if you like. It’s rich and quite tasty!

IMG_6701Ingredients:

  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery (about 1 stalk)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 and 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • 2 pie crusts, prepared or  your favorite recipe
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Combine the chicken, carrots, and celery in a pot. Add enough water to cover them all, bring to a boil, and boil 12 minutes.

IMG_6689Drain the water and set aside.

IMG_6692Meanwhile, in a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic until the onions are soft and translucent.

IMG_6690Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, thyme, broth, and half-and-half until no lumps remain.

IMG_6691Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

IMG_6693At this point you can put the gravy and the chicken mixture in dishes in the fridge and wait until tomorrow, or continue on.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9″ pie dish with one of the crusts, then fill with the chicken mixture. Cover the chicken with the peas.

IMG_6694Top the filling with the gravy. It will be a bit more solid, if it’s been refrigerated, but will get into all the nooks and crannies as it bakes.

IMG_6695Place the second pie crust on top, sealing the edges, the cut several slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush the beaten egg over the top of the crust.

Not the most smoothly handled crust...

Not the most smoothly handled crust…

Bake 32-38 minutes, until the center of the crust is golden brown. If the edges start to get too browned, cover them with foil or a pie crust shield to prevent them from burning before the center has cooked.

IMG_6697Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be kept up to 5 days, and are still very good!

Chicken Pot Pie

From Sally’s Baking Addiction.

  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery (about 1 stalk)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 and 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • 2 pie crusts, prepared or  your favorite recipe
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Combine the chicken, carrots, and celery in a pot. Add enough water to cover them all, bring to a boil, and boil 12 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic until the onions are soft and translucent. Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, thyme, broth, and half-and-half until no lumps remain. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. At this point you can put the gravy and the chicken mixture in dishes in the fridge and wait until tomorrow, or continue on.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9″ pie dish with one of the crusts, then fill with the chicken mixture. Cover the chicken with the peas, then top with the gravy. Place the second pie crust on top, sealing the edges, the cut several slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush the beaten egg over the top of the crust.

Bake 32-38 minutes, until the center of the crust is golden brown. If the edges start to get too browned, cover them with foil or a pie crust shield to prevent them from burning before the center has cooked. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be kept up to 5 days.

 

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Gluten-Free Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

This is a tasty cake, and it’s also very dense. This makes it a good option when you need a cake that can travel because, say, your gluten-free friend’s family got a giant, non-gf cake for the friend’s graduation party. This cake to the rescue!

IMG_6675Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X5″ loaf pan, then set aside. Combine the flour mix, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by 2 teaspoons of the vanilla.

Yuck!

Yuck!

Reduce the speed further, to low, and gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.

IMG_6667Transfer half the batter into a small bowl and stir the cinnamon in until evenly mixed.

IMG_6668Spoon the batter, alternating cinnamon and vanilla, into the greased pan.

IMG_6669Swirl the two colors together lightly with a knife.

IMG_6670Bake 40-50 minutes, until the cake passes the toothpick test.

IMG_6671Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool, still on the rack, approximately another hour, until completely cool.

IMG_6672In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, then drizzle over the cooled cake.

IMG_6673 IMG_6674 20151219_210439

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

From Betty Crocker.

  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X5″ loaf pan, then set aside. Combine the flour mix, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by 2 teaspoons of the vanilla. Reduce the speed further, to low, and gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.

Transfer half the batter into a small bowl and stir the cinnamon in until evenly mixed. Spoon the batter, alternating cinnamon and vanilla, into the greased pan. Swirl together with a knife, then bake 40-50 minutes, until the cake passes the toothpick test.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool, still on the rack, approximately another hour, until completely cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, then drizzle over the cooled cake.

 

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Chicken, Bacon, and Orzo Soup

A bunch of food blogs I follow started 2016 with suggested meal plans giving you new meals for weeks or months. Personally, I started the year eating leftover meatballs from New Years until I finally threw out the remainder last night. Time to move on! And what better way to start than with delicious soup? This soup is made pretty quickly, and requires very few dishes, and it disappears quickly too! Don’t expect many days of leftovers with this one!

IMG_6688Ingredients:

  • 5 slices bacon
  • 2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley to taste

In a large dutch oven or a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, cook the bacon over low heat until enough bacon grease has melted out to cover the bottom of the pan. Raise the heat a bit and cook the bacon until crisp, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If you have more than 2-3 tablespoons of bacon grease remaining in the pan, discard the extra.

IMG_6682Add the chopped onion, garlic, celery, and carrots to the remaining bacon grease in the pan and top with a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have begun caramelizing. Keep an eye out for brown edges to have an idea when they’re ready.

IMG_6683Place the whole chicken breasts on top of the vegetables, then pour in the chicken stock.

IMG_6684 IMG_6686Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low, simmering for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it – low turned out to be too low for mine, as it wasn’t bubbling at all at the end of the 20 minutes, so my chicken hadn’t cooked quite enough yet. Remove the cooked chicken to a cutting board and shred with 2 forks. Set aside.

Return the soup to a boil and add the orzo. Cook 8 minutes, then add the chicken back and season with salt and pepper.

IMG_6687Dice the cooked bacon (which hopefully you haven’t eaten all of by now) and use bacon and parsley to garnish each bowl.

There will be a lot of good flavors going on in your bowl!

Chicken, Bacon, and Orzo Soup

From Savory Simple.

  • 5 slices bacon
  • 2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley to taste

In a large dutch oven or a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, cook the bacon over low heat until enough bacon grease has melted out to cover the bottom of the pan. Raise the heat a bit and cook the bacon until crisp, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If you have more than 2-3 tablespoons of bacon grease remaining in the pan, discard the extra.

Add the chopped onion, garlic, celery, and carrots to the remaining bacon grease in the pan and top with a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have begun caramelizing. Keep an eye out for brown edges to have an idea when they’re ready.

Place the whole chicken breasts on top of the vegetables, then pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low, simmering for 20 minutes. Remove the cooked chicken to a cutting board and shred with 2 forks. Set aside.

Return the soup to a boil and add the orzo. Cook 8 minutes, then add the chicken back and season with salt and pepper.

Dice the cooked bacon and use bacon and parsley to garnish each bowl.

 

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Tak Toritang (Spicy Korean Chicken and Potatoes)

I went to AllRecipes recently looking for inspiration, and 90% of what it was showing me was Korean. No complaints there!

IMG_6648This dish ended up being the winner, and it’s pretty delightful/delicious! It’s also simple – the gochujang is really the only slightly unusual ingredient, and that’s certainly been in quite a few of my recipes lately.

IMG_6651Many of the comments on the AllRecipe page emphasize that using a cut of chicken with bones is important to the flavor. They recommend drummettes, which my supermarket didn’t have, so I went with drumsticks. (Apparently, as the name hints, drummettes are smaller.) They worked fine, although for the portions I took to work for lunch, I shredded the chicken off the bone while packing it so I didn’t have to make a mess in front of people.

Lunch!

Lunch!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken drummettes/other bone-in cut of chicken
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 heaping tablespoons Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang)
  • white rice, for serving

In a large pot, combine the chicken, potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic over medium heat.

IMG_6643Pour the water and soy sauce over the chicken, then stir in the sugar and gochujang.

IMG_6644Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer 45 minutes. Because this was so little liquid, lots of the chicken and potato were above the line of the liquid, so I covered the pot for the first half hour, stirring every 5-10 minutes, to ensure all of the chicken was cooked fully. For the last 15 minutes let it simmer uncovered, to thicken the sauce. You’ll find that as the chicken and veggies cook, they release some of their own moisture so you wind up with much more than the 3/4 cup of liquid you start with.

IMG_6645Serve over rice. Easy!

IMG_6646

Tak Toritang

From AllRecipes.

  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken drummettes/other bone-in cut of chicken
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 heaping tablespoons Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang)
  • white rice, for serving

In a large pot, combine the chicken, potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic over medium heat. Pour the water and soy sauce over the chicken, then stir in the sugar and gochujang. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer 45 minutes. Cover for the first half hour, except when stirring every 5-10 minutes. For the last 15 minutes let it simmer uncovered, to thicken the sauce.

Serve over rice.

 

 

 

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Hamantashen

There was a craft fair in Rawlins a week or two ago, at which I got caramel apple jam and chocolate strawberry jam from some local-in-Wyoming-distances people. I wasn’t actually sure what to do with them, until I remembered these cookies, the best way to use up good jam flavors. (Technically you can do date or poppy seed filling, but WHY?)

The dark one is chocolate strawberry jam, as I finished the jar of caramel apple at the end.

The dark one is chocolate strawberry jam, as I finished the jar of caramel apple at the end.

The cookie part itself is just lightly sweet, and nicely crisp. You use an egg wash, both inside and out, which a) helps the cookie stay together, and b) gives it a nice shine on the outside. As you can see, none of mine fell apart/open while cooking, so I think the egg wash is worth the extra couple of seconds.

Bon Appétit cautions to make sure the dough has warmed back to room temperature before you fold it, to prevent cracking. I found that just by being rolled thin, the dough’s surface area gets so big that it very quickly warms up to room temp, and you shouldn’t need to be overly cautious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • approximately 1 1/2 cups of your favorite flavored jam

IMG_6658Stir together the baking powder, salt, and flour in a medium bowl, then set aside.

Beat together the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add two of the eggs, one at a time, beating after each.

IMG_6653Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined.

IMG_6654Split the dough in half, form into balls, then flatten into two 3/4″ thick disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 2 days.

IMG_6655Arrange oven racks in top and bottom thirds of the oven. Line two (or more if you have them) baking sheets with parchment. Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until slightly softened, about half an hour (I didn’t find it took that long). Depending on how fast your roll and assemble, you can preheat your oven to 350 now, or wait until you’re a bit closer to ready.

When you are ready to start rolling out the first disk of dough, you can take the second disk out of the fridge so it is ready when you get to it.

Roll out the first disk to 1/4″ thick on a very lightly floured surface. Using a 3 1/2″ cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer them to your prepared sheets using a spatula. Re-roll the scraps as needed to use up the rest.

No cookie cutter? No problem!

No cookie cutter? No problem!

IMG_6657In a small bowl, beat the egg. Brush the edges of several of the dough circles, then place about 1 1/2 teaspoons of jam in the center. Don’t go too heavy, or they may not hold together well when baking. Fold up the edges into 3 sides and pinch into a triangle, leaving an opening over the filling, and being sure to pinch the corners so no jam oozes out while they cook. Brush the outside edges with egg wash. Repeat with remaining dough rounds.

IMG_6660 IMG_6661When your two trays are ready, bake 18-22 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown on the bottoms. While they cook, you can prepare the remaining disk of dough, if you have enough pans to place them on.

Let the cookies cool on the sheets. Although the jam stops bubbling quickly, remember it was just boiling moments ago, and can still wreck the inside of your mouth if you eat it immediately!

IMG_6662And there you go! All prepared for Purim (which is… in the spring?) or any time you find a good looking new jam!

Hamantashen

From Bon Appétit.

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • approximately 1 1/2 cups of your favorite flavored jam

Stir together the baking powder, salt, and flour in a medium bowl, then set aside.

Beat together the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add two of the eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined.

Split the dough in half, form into balls, then flatten into two 3/4″ thick disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 2 days.

Arrange oven racks in top and bottom thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until slightly softened, about half an hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When you are ready to start rolling out the first disk of dough, you can take the second disk out of the fridge so it is ready when you get to it.

Roll out the first disk to 1/4″ thick on a very lightly floured surface. Using a 3 1/2″ cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer them to your prepared sheets using a spatula. Re-roll the scraps as needed to use up the rest.

In a small bowl, beat the egg. Brush the edges of several of the dough circles, then place about 1 1/2 teaspoons of jam in the center. Fold up the edges into 3 sides and pinch into a triangle, leaving an opening over the filling, and being sure to pinch the corners so no jam oozes out while they cook. Brush the outside edges with egg wash. Repeat with remaining dough rounds.

When your two trays are ready, bake 18-22 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown on the bottoms. Repeat with second disk of dough.

Let the cookies cool on the sheets.

 

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Berry Oatmeal Crisp (can be gluten-free)

This was the only new-to-me thing that I brought to Thanksgiving, and when I took it out of the oven, I was concerned that it was basically going to be sawdust-dry oats dumped on top of berries. I shouldn’t have worried – the top was actually perfect, with enough butter and a bit of moisture from the berries, to be fantastic!

Ingredients:

Berries:

  • 4 cups berries of choice, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour/gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Topping:

  • 2 cup (gluten-free) rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour/gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the berries, flour, and sugar and stir together. Transfer into an 8×8″ pan or 9″ pie pan or cast iron skillet.

IMG_6629In a medium bowl, combine the oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt, stirring together. Add the butter and work in with your fingers or knives until well spread throughout the oat mixture. Sprinkle on top of the berries. It made a pretty thick coating, which is why I expected it to be dry.

IMG_6630Bake, 25 minutes for fresh berries, 45 for frozen. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if you’ve got it!

IMG_6631Unfortunately because I brought this to someone else’s Thanksgiving I didn’t really get a chance to take pictures of it being eaten, but I promise, everyone loved it!

Berry Oatmeal Crisp

From King Arthur Flour.

Berries:

  • 4 cups berries of choice, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour/gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Topping:

  • 2 cup (gluten-free) rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour/gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the berries, flour, and sugar and stir together. Transfer into an 8×8″ pan or 9″ pie pan or cast iron skillet.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt, stirring together. Add the butter and work in with your fingers or knives until well spread throughout the oat mixture. Sprinkle on top of the berries.

Bake, 25 minutes for fresh berries, 45 for frozen. Serve warm.

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