Monthly Archives: August 2013

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and White Beans

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Hey!

We are finally at a three-day weekend. I have been looking forward to this weekend for five weeks now! That’s how long I have been back at work after a long vacation.

Who doesn’t love the slow cooker or crock pot? In Spanish  my mom and I call it the “olla huevona” or lazy pot. I guess we call it that because it makes cooking easier on us and just sits all day or night cooking delicious meals! Crock pot cooking is great! It took a while for my husband to come around to eating meals from the crock pot but then again he didn’t have a choice!

This Italian Sausage and White Beans was so tasty.

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and White Beans

  • 1 pkg. (5 links) Turkey Italian Sausage
  • 1 lb. dried white beans, soaked overnight or at least 8 hours
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into pieces
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic
  • 3 sage leaves plus 10 more for Crockpot
  • 1/2 tsp. ground fennel (optional, but good)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water (rinse out tomato can and deglaze frying pan)

Instructions:

In large soup pot, put soaked beans, celery, garlic, and three sage leaves. Add enough water to cover beans by a few inches and cook at low simmer until beans are starting to soften, about one hour and 15 minutes.  (Remember they will cook a little more in the slow cooker, so they shouldn’t be “falling apart” tender at this point.

While beans are cooking, brown the sausage well in a frying pan (or you can roast them in the oven if you prefer.)  Let cool enough to handle and cut each sausage into diagonal pieces.  (Browning the sausage adds a lot of flavor, so I usually brown the cut ends as well after they’re firm enough to cut.)

Drain beans, keeping garlic and discarding celery and sage. Chop garlic pieces. Add beans, chopped garlic, diagonally cut sausage pieces, 10 sage leaves,  canned tomatoes with juice and ground fennel (if using) to Crockpot. Rinse out tomato can with 1/2 cup water, then deglaze frying pan with that water, scraping off browned drippings, and pour into crockpot. Cook on high 2-3 hours, or until flavors are well blended. Serve hot.

I cannot tell you how tasty this was. And healthy. And inexpensive. This is a great addition to any slow cooker recipes you might already have.
I have my last summer read to share with you.
This was a good book. It was nice reading a book in which the main characters (the entire book really) had such an ethnic background. It is the story of a young girl who is engaged to be married but then starts a search for her biological father which brings her to the United States and to a world completely different from her own.
I need to push myself to continue reading throughout the year!
On another note I have tried out some new lip creams and lipsticks that I absolutely love!
I have used these for about two weeks now. The lipstick is moisturizing and not drying at all. The lip cream is even better than the lipstick. It stays on for a super long time and is not drying either. I need to stop buying makeup!
Have a great day!
Besos,
Flor
Recipe source kaylnskitchen

 

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Tomato Tart

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Hola!

Had a great weekend but now it’s time to get back to reality!

Saturday I went to the Scrapbook Expo. I was a bit disappointed. I thought it was going to be bigger. I still bought a couple of things at great prices so it was a success! Yesterday we went to the beach with family. We had a great time but I was so tired when we got home…and I didn’t do anything but sit around all day. It was an awesome day.

I have still been making all sorts of tomato meals and here is another delicious one! Tart. Tomato Tart.

This tart we so good!

Tomato Tart

Ingredients

  • /2 15 – ounce folded refrigerated unbaked piecrust (1 crust)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
  • 4 roma or small regular tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves (optional)
 Directions
  1. Unfold the piecrust according to package directions. Line a 9-inch tart pan with pastry (it’s easier to remove the baked tart if pan has a removable bottom) or use a pie pan. Press the pastry into the  sides of the  pan and trim the edges. Don’t prick. Partially bake in a 450 degree F oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until pastry is slightly dry.
  2. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degree F.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into wedges; drain the wedges on paper towels. Arrange the tomato wedges over the melted cheese in a baked crust.
  4. In a food processor bowl, combine basil and garlic; cover and process with on-off turns until coarsely chopped. Or snip the basil and mince the garlic.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the basil-garlic mixture, the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese, the mayonnaise, the grated Parmesan cheese, and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly over tomato wedges.
  6. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for about 25 minutes or until cheese is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve warm. If you like, garnish with additional basil leaves.

This tart looks beautiful when it comes out of the oven!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source midwestliving

nutrition facts

 

Hooray!

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Hooray!

It’s Friday and I am ready for the weekend! WooHoo for sleeping in and having some fun! It looks like it’s going to be a great weekend around here!

I am still in kind of canning and freezing frenzy. Yesterday I made a huge batch of tomato soup to freeze for the cooler weather. I could just see us warm and cozy in the kitchen eating this fresh tasting tomato soup with grilled cheese…mmm. Let me tell you that I am oh so ready for fall. I know, crazy right? It’s my most favorite time of year! I love it! At least I am not moving on to winter yet! The last time I went to Hobby Lobby about a month ago they already Fall decorations  and Christmas trees up. It’s a bit early for Christmas. But Autumn, how I love thee!!!!

One of our themes about two or three months ago for my group swap was “Congratulations”. I like that theme because it’s pretty flexible. I went with vintage yet modern ,pastely bright card.

I like that this card can be used for so many different occasions and for either a child, teenager or adult.

Well, Hooray for Friday!

Have a great day!

Besos,

Flor

Supplies Papertreyink, Stampin’ Up!, misc. paper

Pepper Relish

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Hola!

You already know that I have been doing some canning. We had lots of banana peppers that I needed to do something with so what better way to use them up than to can them. I also had a few green bell peppers, a lone red pepper and a handful of red jalapeños that weren’t spicy at all.  I incorporated them all into this recipe that I found. Other than the green relish I put on my hot dogs I have never tried any another kind of relish…until today. The Pepper Relish was different but in a good way. It is totally foreign to me because it is sweet. It is kind of like a sweet salsa.

Don’t you love that tag! Got to love the Dollar Spot at Target…especially when those items are 50% off!

I did not want to cook a big meal today so fried up some potatoes and grilled some Turkey Jalapeño Sausage.  I threw the sausage in a hotdog bun and added some chopped onion and some of the Pepper Relish…simple weeknight meal.

It was pretty tasty.

I didn’t have a gallon of peppers as stated in the recipe so I halved the recipe and it turned out just fine. The recipe also says that you don’t have to process the filled canning jars. I did go ahead and process them because I just wanted to make sure that they would seal properly.

Pepper Relish

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Onions
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Salt to taste (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 (13 oz. bottles) catsup
Wash and chop peppers.  (Be sure and wear gloves when doing this … you’ll be sorry if you don’t!)
Mix all ingredients together and ring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes.  Pour into hot sterilized jars. Add heated lid and ring. Set aside to seal.  (No processing is needed.)

Go pick your peppers and can them.  Come winter time you will be glad you did!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source A Working Pantry

Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Basil

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Hola!

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! I had a great birthday weekend. There was a lot of canning going on here! I will post those pics another day. My husband and I made it to the movies Saturday night. We were supposed to see The Butler but my husband really wanted to see Kick Ass II. My husband enjoyed it but I thought it was one of the worst movies ever! I felt like it was definitely the kind of movie made for 17-year-old boys…just my opinion!

Yesterday was my birthday so we went out for a birthday lunch and spent some time together as a family. That was the best part! With the kids growing up it seems that they are always busy doing their own thing so I really enjoyed that we all got to hang out together for a while. We decided to go to Flat Top Grill. It was very tasty.

Julissa is the only one who had been to this restaurant before so she was the teacher showing what we had to do. It was pretty neat!

You choose all your ingredients and put them in a bowl. Put all your meats or seafood in another bowl. Place them on the counter and they stir fry or make a soup with your ingredients and bring them to your table. I thoroughly enjoyed my two bowls!

After stopping at the mall briefly we came home and rested for a while before digging into this delicious gourmet cake that my best friend made me. This girl needs to open a bakery! Did you here me Dube?

This picture does not do this amazing cake justice. Thank you, Dube!

I do have a refreshing recipe for you. We have lots of tomatoes and basil right now. The first huge batch of tomatoes was used for canning and cooking this weekend. This salad is delicious and will be my lunch today!

Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Basil

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • About 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (or chopped tomatoes to your liking)
  • 25 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp honey (10g)
  • pinch of salt

Directions

Toss all ingredients together and chill for at least 20 minutes, allowing all the flavors to come together.

Simple and refreshing!

Have a great day!

Recipe source greenlitebites

 

 

Banner Birthday

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Hola!

Happy Friday! I am thrilled! It has been a most difficult week. I am drained and will be buying some vitamins to help me out! I come home from work and I just want to sleep. Ever since I’ve been working in a school it has taken me two weeks to get back to my routine. This year seems different. It is just taking longer and I am exhausted, but maybe it’s just because I am older!

And older, and older! I am celebrating a birthday this Sunday! I am not embarrassed about my age like a lot of women are. I wear my age proudly! Sure I am not as thin or as beautiful as I would like to be but I must say (and other have told me too!) that I do not look my age. I hope they weren’t saying it just to be nice. I am turning 45 on Sunday. I come from two families with long lives so I hope I live many, many more years. I can also say something else…I have not gotten one gray hair. Nobody believes me but I am really telling the truth! OK-so I’m tootin’ my own horn. pattin’ myself on the back, being vain…I don’t do it very often so there it is!

Besides myself I have two other friends celebrating birthdays this weekend. Happy Birthday, Kelly and Barb! It’s a birthday card kind of day!

This card was put together very simply and using some scraps too! A little sewing goes a long way!

Have a great day!

Besos,

Flor

Supplies: Stampin’ Up!, PTI, Amanda Blue, misc. paper, misc. buttons

Lemon Scones with Lemon Glaze

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Hey!

What can I say? The first day of school was yesterday and it was exhausting. It’s funny how you talk to parents and some of them really are thrilled that school is back in session. They are happy that they will have the entire or at least part of the day to themselves! It’s hilarious! Then there are other parents who are sad that their children will be back in school. All in all I think it’s productive for everyone!

I didn’t realize there were only two seasons of Downton Abbey. I finally finished watching season two on Monday. Will there be more? Call the Midwife I think has three seasons. I have watched two and am waiting for the third one to hit the library or Hulu.

If I had lived in the times of Downton Abby I would have been dressed in my fancy clothes with the servants serving me delicious scones at tea time. These lemon scones would have hit the spot back in that time and of course now!

These scones were lemony, fresh tasting, and sweet but not too sweet.

Lemon Scones

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons(1/2 stick)cold butter, cut into small pieces

Glaze Ingredients

For glaze:  In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, butter and milk; drizzle over warm scones. Set aside until scones are done.

Directions

 Preheat the oven to 375°F. Whisk together the cream, egg and zest in a small bowl.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl and stir with a whisk to blend. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, using your fingers, a pastry blender, or two knives, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the cream mixture, stirring with a fork, just until a dough forms; do not over mix.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and using lightly floured hands, knead for about 8 to 10 times, or just until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough.
Divide dough in half, and form each piece into a 6-inch disc, about 1/2-inch thick. Cut each disc into 6 wedges.
Place the scones about 1 inch apart on un greased baking sheets. (The scones can also be formed into rounds by cutting out the dough with a 2-inch round biscuit cutter.) Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool slightly.
Drizzle glaze over warm scones and enjoy!
These scones can be enjoyed for breakfast, snack or even dessert.
Besos,
Flor
Recipe source American Food and Taste of Home