Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Crockpot Baked Beans

8 cups of cooked beans (small white beans are good)
1/2 cup ketchup
1 16oz can tomato sauce
1 can of water (rinse out tomato sauce can with water and dump in to crockpot)
1/4 cup molasses plus 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1 large onion, chopped or equivalent onion powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 lb bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 cup brown sugar

Mix all together in the crockpot and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Best Blue Cheese Dressing/Dip

* 1 cup plain yogurt
* scant 1 cup mayonnaise
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 4 ounces blue cheese


Freeze the blue cheese hunk. Remove from freezer and use a large knife to cut fine sheets of blue cheese and then crumble to a fine blue cheese dust. Freezing is the key to getting the blue cheese dusty crumbles that better mix in to the dressing.

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce. Season with mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in blue cheese. Can be enjoyed immediately or store in a covered container in the fridge. Yum.

*Recipe modified from Bill's Blue Cheese Dressing on allrecipes.com.

Thin Crust Pizza

Yum! This recipe makes two large thin crust pizzas and enough sauce for these 2 crusts plus some to freeze for later.

Pizza Dough
Yield: 2 thin crust Pizzas
4.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
1.5 cups 110 degree water
3.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
pizza sauce - of your choice, or see below
shredded cheese - of your choice, as needed
toppings - of your choice, as needed

-Dissolve yeast and sugar in water; allow to rest for 8 minutes.
-In a bowl of mixer, combine flour and salt.
-Pour yeast mixture over flour mixture and mix with dough hook.
-Knead on low speed with dough hook until it begins to climb up the hook.
-On a floured board, working from the edges to the center, press dough into a 12" circle.
-Place dough on a lightly greased pizza pan and stretch dough to edges.
-Spread sauce over crust and top with cheese and desired toppings.
-Bake in a 500 degree oven for 8-12 minutes, or until edges are golden.

Quick and easy pizza sauce
Pizza Sauce
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon ground oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground paprika

Mix together until smooth.

This pizza was excellent simply topped with fresh basil, mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cooking from the cupboards

This week we are on a tight budget until payday so I took an inventory of our freezer, fridge and cabinets and came up with a menu that requires very little purchases.

Saturday: bake WWII molasses oatmeal cookies, soak white beans overnight
L – cheese pizza, salad with homemade blue cheese
D – chili & cornbread

Sunday: cook white beans, bake bread
L – barley bean vegetable soup
D – spaghetti & sauce (make extra sauce for Thursday)

D – white bean & chicken chili, salad

D - (crockpot) split pea soup

Wednesday: bake more bread if needed
chicken and vegetable stir fry over steamed rice

Chicken thighs cacciatore & multi grain penne


We have the makings for the following treats:
apple crisp or pie
rice krispy treats

All we need to buy this weekend is some cereal for breakfasts, Earth's balance, string cheese for Carl's work snacks, frozen spinach, soy yogurt for snacks, milk, broccoli, potatoes and bananas. We even have a $10 gift card to Target and cereal is on sale buy 5 and get a free gallon of milk.

WWII Molasses Oatmeal Cookies

This makes a huge double batch of almost healthy cookies. Shortening is not my first choice but we had it on hand.


* 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups whole wheat flour
* 4 cups oatmeal
* 2 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 teaspoon baking powder
* 2 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 3/4 cup brown sugar
* 1.5 cups shortening
* 5 eggs, beaten
* 1 cup molasses (I used about 5/6 cup molasses and 1/6 cup blackstrap molasses)
* 2 tablespooons vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup flax meal
* 1/2 cup wheat germ


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, wheat germ, flax meal, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. In another large bowl, beat the sugars with the shortening until smooth and creamy; mix in beaten eggs, molasses, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until slightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely (or eat them straight from the oven).

DH: thumbs down, didn't like them at all - a cookie he doesn't like is a rare thing
DS1: Loved them
DS2: Loved them
Me: They were pretty good. Not my favorite but I enjoyed them.

Modified from this recipe on Allrecipes.com.