Friday, October 30, 2009

Sweet and Sour Sausage Bites

This is an old recipe of my mom's. I really need to ask her where she got it. Likely clipped from a magazine. She has a whole notebook full of those that I still look at when we visit Dayton. When she first started making this in the 70's, the crazy breakout ingredient was soy sauce! So daring and unusual! This recipe tastes like childhood to me.

My kids love love love these. Sometimes I use turkey breakfast sausage cut into chunks and sometimes meatballs. Kielbasa would also be good. This time I used turkey breakfast sausage for our Halloween party tonight.

1 cup brown sugar
3 T flour
2 t dry mustard

Mix these well (to avoid lumps) in a sauce pan. add:

1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup white vinegar
2 t soy sauce

cook over medium head until bubbly and thick. Pour over "bites". Make a day or two before your party then heat and serve in a crock pot. Sometimes we have these as a main dish over rice. The leftovers, if any, are always gone by the next day. Seth loves these so much - he asked for them for breakfast this morning. Poor kid had to make do with plain turkey sausage. His life is so hard!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

White Chicken Chili

Maya had her first performace with the Central Illinois Childrens Chorus Friday. My folks came from Ohio to see it. Let me tell you how THRILLED she was to have them at her performance.

We planned on dinner after the performance. I wanted to do something in the crockpot - it was cold and yucky and this perfectly fit the bill.

White Chicken Chili

chicken - rotisserie or 4 cooked breasts - I FORGOT to buy a rotisserie one so we did the four breasts
3 cans chicken broth or equivalent homemade
2 cans white beans - one whizzed up in the blender
1 can chopped green chilis
1 sauted onion (sauteed in 1 T olive oil)
1 cup frozen or canned corn

dump everything in the crockpot and go to a lovely performance of wonderfully talented children. ( cook on high about 4 hours)

When you get home, take out about 1 cup liquid and mix in 1 T cornstarch still smooth. Stir in slurry and continue to cook on high while you set the table and get drink orders. Serve with avocado, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream on the side and let everyone pick their toppings. We also had corn muffins.

this was a HUGE hit. Maya was starving and ate two bowls full. My dad and mom loved it as did Seth and I. Scott liked it okay but soup is not his favorite thing. I will so be making this again and I think my mom will too. My folks, who are retired, get into ruts with their lunches, which they hate. I am thinking this might kick them out of a rut this winter!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

This time of year - I want to use pumpkin, sweet potatoes or squash in EVERYTHING! Therefore:

1/3 cup oil (canola is preferred)
14-15 oz canned pumpkin (there are rumors of a canned pumpkin shortage but I found tons at County Market on Kirby this past weekend)
1 egg
3/4 cup white sugar (or a mixture of white and brown sugar)
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
1 T vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 T pumpkin pie spice (or 2 t cinnamon and ginger, allspice, ground cloves or nutmeg to make up 1 T)

Mix egg, oil and sugar(s). Add in spices and flour. Mix until completely blended. Add in chocolate chips.

Scoop out in small scoops. I used an actual scooper for aabout a 1" diameter cookie.

Bake at 350 for approx. 15 minutes. Make sure these are nicely browned. Start the first batch at 10 minutes and check thereafter.

Devour. These are fairly healthy due to the pumpkin which allows you to use very little oil. These are a cakey cookie that are even better the second day (if there are any left.) My kids love these. I plan to make them again this weekend for my parents - sans chocolate as my mom is strictly no caffeine (and I wonder how she EVER makes it through life....)

Pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotenes which are antioxidants that are converted to vitamin A in the body. They are thought to boost the immune system and help to repair free radical damage to cells. Beta-carotenes are being studied to determine what role they play in the prevention of various disease states. These healthy, bright orange pigments are also found in carrots. This is one reason your mom always pushed you to eat your carrots. She would have wanted you to eat pumpkin too. Pumpkin is also a rich source of vitamin C and potassium which may help to prevent heart disease and normalize blood pressure.