Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Drimmel's Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

My daughter has been asking for spaghetti on the weekly menu for a few weeks now.  I have been known to doctor up some jarred spaghetti sauce and crank out spaghetti quickly.  However, I remembered our dear friend Butch and how he made a wonderful spaghetti sauce that was his dear wife Jean's recipe.  I love being able to use my slow cooker, especially in the fall and winter months so I adapted their recipe to make it work in my slow cooker.  It is so nice to come home to a wonderful smell and dinner practically ready.  So in honor of Butch and Jean and at Morgan's request, we will be having Jean's special spaghetti sauce this week.  No jars of sauce for us!

Drimmel's Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 lb ground beef (we use ground venison)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 -1 lb cans tomatoes, diced
  • 1 -14 oz can tomatoes, diced
  • 1 -6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup snipped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp MSG (this is in the original recipe, however, I do not add this)
  • 1 1/2 tsp, dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups water

Brown meat and onions on stove top, drain off fat, if any, and add to slow cooker.  Add the other ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Remove bay leaf.

Serve over al dente spaghetti noodles with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  It also freezes really well!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Warm and Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

We often eat this at restaurants but it is so easy to make at home.   I adapted this from a crock pot recipe.  You can certainly make it in the crock pot but it doesn't take long to do it on the stove top/oven.  I made it in less than an hour after work. 

Warm and Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Dip
  • 2 10 ounce packages of frozen spinach (I use Bird's Eye), thaw and squeeze out excess water
  • 2 14 ounce cans of artichoke hearts,drained and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounce cream cheese, cubed
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Tortilla chips, pita chips, vegetables
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute onion in olive oil until translucent and starting to brown in a large oven safe skillet or sauce pan.  Add garlic and saute for another minute until fragrant.  Add spinach and artichokes and combine well.  Add sour cream, mayonnaise, cheeses, milk, balsamic and stir to combine.  Add salt and pepper and taste to adjust seasoning. 

Transfer pan to 350 oven and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly and all cheeses are melted.  Serve with your choice of dippers.  We love tortilla chips.

Adapted from damndelicious.

Beef and Broccoli

I am blessed to have a child who loves vegetables.  Broccoli (or trees as she called them when she was small) has always been one of her favorites.  Her first choice every time we eat Chinese is Beef and Broccoli.  This week we made it at home in just half an hour.  She was happy to help and happy to eat it.  This will be one of those recipes she will be making on her own in no time.  

Beef and Broccoli

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1/2 cup water, plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1.5 lb boneless round steak cut into thin 3-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 4 bunches of broccoli crowns cut into florets
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • hot cooked rice
Blanch broccoli in boiling water for about 4-5 minutes or until it is bright green.  (You could also steam it in a steamer or the microwave for a few minutes.) 

While broccoli is cooking, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water and garlic powder in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Add beef strips and stir to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir fry beef until it is done to your liking.  Remove and keep warm.  Heat remaining tablespoon of oil and stir fry broccoli until is is starting to brown around the edges and is done to your preference.  Should not be mushy.  Should be tender crisp.  Return beef to pan.

Whisk soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and remaining cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Serve over rice.  (Brown or white.)  Serves 4.

We like to make extra rice and then make fried rice the following night out of the leftovers.