And She Lived…











{October 31, 2008}   Happy Halloween From BQKimmy

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{October 31, 2008}   Super quick and easy chili

Since my brother and I have each had children we have formed our own Halloween tradition. On Halloween night me and my kids head over to my brother’s house where we eat big bowls of chili before heading out for trick or treating. Chili was always one of our family’s favorite meals and each of us five kids continues to make it for our individual families. We use our mom’s basic recipe that we all remember from childhood but I think we’ve each added our own little twist on mom’s original.

This recipe is quick and easy and makes a bit ol’ pot o’ chilli. I think that is why mom made it so much for us when we were little. Quick and easy is certainly the way to go when you’re feeding a family of seven. This may not be an award winning chili but it’s tasty and to me that’s all that counts.

ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can red beans
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes and 2 cans regular diced tomatoes
1 large bottle tomato juice
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
chili powder (to taste)

directions:

Brown the ground beef. Season with chili powder, salt and pepper as it browns. Into a large pot pour tomato juice, tomatoes, and beans. This will begin to warm as you finish browning the ground beef. Once beef is cooked add to the pot. Season the chili with more chili powder, salt and pepper (to taste). Continue heating until the chili is nice and hot. Scoop into large bowls and serve with cheese and crackers if desired.

 

See? Really, really easy and quick. It is a very simple recipe that takes almost no time at all to cook. It makes a really hardy meal that is not too spicy so it’s perfect for the kids. Because this is a family recipe that has been handed down I don’t have measurements for the amount of salt, pepper and chili powder. Each of us five kids likes our food at different spice levels, so there is no one right answer on this. Just do what you think your family will enjoy.

This recipe raps up Attack of the Killer Tomatoes week. Hope you enjoyed the recipes!



{October 30, 2008}   Pumpkin Tomato Soup Recipe

What better way to enjoy Halloween week than with great recipe that combines tomato with Halloween’s favorite food, the pumpkin.

Ingredients

2 to 4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups minced yellow onion
1 cup minced celery
3/4 teaspoon dried ginger
2 cups chicken broth (more if needed)
1 (14-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sour cream
Chopped flat leaf parsley

Instructions

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Sprinkle the dried ginger on top, and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, and bring to a low boil. Meanwhile, purée the canned tomatoes (with the juice) in a blender or food processor. Stir the tomatoes and the pumpkin into the broth mixture, and simmer for about 20 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more broth. Season with pepper, and garnish with sour cream and parsley. 
I have not actually tried this recipe yet. This is an experiment for us. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


{October 29, 2008}   Question For My Readers

I am not entirely sure I like wordpress. I am actually thinking about going back to posting over at my old Bitter Ball blog. I really am done with the whole bitter phase of my life, but I did like blogger a bit more and already have some page rank over there. If I went back to using that blog I would probably rename it and change the look, creating some sort of changeover/makeover post.

So… for those who followed me from there to here, what do you think? Also, anyone who is a new reader since I started posting here, I would love your opinion too. Would you follow me back over to the old blog?

I really do want to hear some opinions on this. Thank everyone.



{October 29, 2008}   Cilantro Lime Salsa Recipe

My 3rd tomato based recipe for Attack of the Killer Tomatoes week is Cilantro lime salsa. I love this salsa. I really think it’s the lime that makes this one so goo.

1 big ripe juicy tomato, or two medium, or three small.
About 2 tablespoons of finely chopped white onion.
1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro.
A little bit of chopped fresh chile. (Add a little and taste, if you want it spicier, add more.)
1/4 of a lime.
Salt

Chop the tomato and add it–juice skin and all–to a mixing bowl.
Add the chopped onion, chile and cilantro.
Squeeze your lime quarter into the mixture.
Add a pinch of salt and taste,

This salsa is all about balance, so taste it and think about whether the sour and the spicy and the savory are all in balance. You can add more lime juice, salt or chile to harmonize the flavors.
That’s it. A very simple yet tasty salsa.



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{October 28, 2008}   Homemade Tomato Soup

This is a great recipe that was actually my grandmother’s. She would make this soup in bulk and then jar it up so she could pull it out for a quick and easy meal when she had company. I am going to post the recipe just the way I got it from her, so this is in large quantity for making bulk and jarring. You can cut the recipe, which I usually do about a 3rd, and have a good amount for dinner.

TOMATO SOUP
14 quarts ripe tomatoes
14 tablespoons flour
7 medium-sized onions
14 tablespoons butter
1 stalk celery
3 tablespoons salt
14 sprigs parsley
8 tablespoons sugar
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons pepper
WASH; cut up tomatoes. Chop onions, celery, parsley, bay leaves. Add to tomatoes; cook until celery is tender. Put through sieve. Rub flour and butter into smooth paste thinned with tomato juice. Add to boiling soup; stir to prevent scorching. Add salt, sugar and pepper. For smoother consistency put through sieve again. Fill clean jars to within one inch of top of jar. Put on cap, screwing the band firmly tight. Process in water bath 15 minutes.

Trust me, this is WAY better than the stuff you get in a can!

Hope you are enjoying Attack of the Killer Tomato week.



{October 27, 2008}   Italian Sausage and Pepper Penne

My first recipe for Attack of The Killer Tomato week is Italian sausage and pepper penne. I love this recipe not just because it’s tasty but also because I created this recipe myself. Okay, so it’s not like it’s an original concept or anything, but I have never used a recipe for this. I just bought what I thought should go in it, chopped it up, cooked it and it turned out great.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 large Red bell pepper
1 large Yellow bell pepper
1 small Green bell pepper
2 cans Italian style diced tomatoes
6 Italian sausage links
1 package whole grain penne pasta
salt and pepper to taste

(I am not going to write the directions in the traditional recipe way. I’ll just run you through they hows and whys of how i make this dish.)

I start by putting water on to boil for the pasta. While waiting for that to boil I start my sauce. In a large skillet I heat the olive oil and add the garlic and chopped white onion. (i use white onion because i prefer the taste over yellow onions but you could use whichever you prefer) In a different skillet I start to cook the Italian sausage. (i use a seperate pan for the sausage because it gives off so much grease and i don’t want that in my sauce) I saute the garlic and onion until they are starting to turn a golden brown then I add the red and yellow peppers and saute for about 5 minutes before adding the green peppers. (i add the green peppers later simply for the fact that I don’t like green peppers as well and they have a stronger taste. by adding them last they lend less of their flavor to the sauce. again, this is just my personal taste and can be changed to fit your own tastes.) In the meantime the water has begun to boil and I’ve added the penne to boil.

Saute the veggie mix until the peppers are tender, then add the 2 cans of tomatoes. I have made this with fresh tomatoes as well and it is good both ways. For me it is just a convenience thing to use canned. It takes less time to cook and by using the Italian style I already have them seasoned. If you use fresh tomatoes you will want to add oregano, basil and some extra garlic. (like i said, canned is easier) Add salt and pepper to taste. I will usually add an extra tsp of garlic as well because I love garlic. Once the sausage is done I cut it into slices and add it to the sauce, being careful not to transfer the grease into the sauce.

Simply plate up some penne and top with the sauce. A delicious pasta meal with the healthier options of whole grain pasta and lots of veggies.

 

*another shortcut I will often take when making this meal is to microwave the sausage links for a few minutes. It helps them to cook quicker. I don’t know why but for some reason these things seem to take forever to get done in the middle. Microwaving helps them cook quicker inside. I then slice them up and finish them in a skillet.



{October 27, 2008}   Menu Planning, it’s new to me

This is my first week participating in Menu Plan Monday. Since I am trying to add some variety to my family’s meals that means I have to start planning. Otherwise we’re going to end up continuing to eat the same old stuff. I am going to start planning our meals on Sunday and then going to the store to shop for the week. That’s pretty different from my normal style of looking in the fridge and cupboard, deciding we don’t have anything that sounds good and calling my husband at work to pick up something from the store on the way home.

His idea of dinner is usally pasta like spaghetti, as in a bag of pasta and a jar of sauce with some sausage or ground beef. We all like pasta but we shouldn’t eat it everday and it gets kind of boring. If we’re not having pasta then I will nomrally just make some type of meat, a veggie and a side dish that, oh ya, usually involves pasta. Pasta salad, macaroni and cheese, something of that nature. Or maybe potatoes. It’s a balanced meal but it’s boring and honestly I don’t usually end up eating much of it myself because I am not a big fan of eating a big hunk of meat or plain veggies. Throw ’em together, yummy… on their own, blah.

So here is my first MPM menu. Of course when planning this week’s meals I kept in mind my Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes theme for this week. So the recipes for these foods will be posted on the blog this week. Check back for the recipes for Italian sausage and peppers penne, homemade tomato soup, cilantro lime salsa, pumpkin tomato soup, and quick and easy chili.

Monday:
Italian Sausage and Peppers Penne

Tuesday:
Homemade Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Wednesday:
Tacos
Cilantro Lime Salsa
Chips

Thursday:
Pumpkin Tomato Soup

Pastrami sandwiches

Friday:
Chili 



Keeping with my sudden fascination with cooking and recipes I am going to post a recipe each day this week. Of course I can’t just post recipes. No, I gotta throw my own twist on things. Since this is Halloween week I am going with that theme. Sort of.

Who doesn’t love the film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes? Okay, so most of you have probably never seen it but trust me it’s awesome. Awesome in a corny, B movie kind of way. It’s a great movie to view if you are having your own Mystery Science Theater 3000 style party.  Hmmmm… I’ve just given away my own secret geekiness, haven’t I?

Well, anyway… I figure Attack of the Killer Tomatoes sort of fits a Halloween theme. It was supposed to be a scary movie. You know, back in the day.

Check back here all this week for recipes starring TOMATOES as a key ingredient.

(funny thing is… i actually hate tomatoes. at least the raw ones. i love em cooked up in recipes though. is that weird?)



et cetera