Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bailey Family Goulash

Okay, so this is a family recipe that my Grandma Ethyl makes. It's something I grew up eating and something my kids love too. I don't really measure with measuring spoons, so these measurements are guesstimates... :)

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion diced
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
2 T. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder or 1 clove garlic minced or pressed
salt and pepper to taste
onion powder to taste (optional)

1. Fill a pot with water and add salt. This quickens the boiling time. Cover with a lid.
 2. Next, get your large skillet on the oven and turn the heat on medium to med-high.
3. Dice up the onion and add it and the ground beef to the pan. Begin browning the meat and add chili powder (I use two palms-full), salt & pepper, garlic,  and onion powder (if desired)

 4. Drain the oil from the meat into a heat-proof container. Then add the can of tomatoes. I use a potato masher and sort of stab each tomato gently then begin to mash. This prevents tomato juice from squirting me. Stir to mix and turn low to simmer for about 10 minutes.

 5. When water in the pot begins to boil, add the macaroni. I use about half of a regular sized box. Keep lid off because the starchy water will boil over otherwise. Drain and add pasta back to the skillet. Cook for a couple minutes after mixing together

Voila! Goulash! I usually serve a side of veggies and some buttered bread. It's such a quick meal and tastes even better as leftovers. Great for a weeknight when you don't have much time to cook.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Homemade Calzones

[Sorry for the blurriness...I couldn't get my camera to focus for this pic :( ]

Okay, so the next recipe I'm going to share is my recipe for homemade calzones. I've been making this for at least 7 years know. I am not sure exactly where I got the recipe but it's so delicious!

1 (.25oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1 cup warm water
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. white sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup mozzarella
1/2 cup diced pepperoni
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 T. dried basil
1 egg, beaten

1. To make the dough: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. 
2. Add the olive oil, sugar and salt. 
3. Mix in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour until dough is smooth and workable.
4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface
5. Knead for about 5 minutes or until it is elastic.
6. Pour a little olive oil in a large bowl. Place dough in and flip over so the oiled side is up.
7. Cover and place in a warm place to rise for about 40 minutes or until almost doubled. I like to use my oven if it's off.

To Make the Filling:
8. While the dough is rising, in another bowl combine the ricotta, mushrooms, mozzarella, and basil. Here, you can add any ingredients you like. I don't measure them exactly. Because you can never go wrong with too much cheese! I usually dice up the pepperoni too. But you can do whatever you like.
9. Mix well. Cover and refridgerate until ready to use. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
10. After 40 minutes the dough should have doubled in size like this.
11. Time to get out some frustration ;-) Punch it down. Then split it into two portions. (Or if you are making individual calzones, portion it however you like, they'll just be smaller.)
12. On a lightly floured surface roll out each ball into a circle. Make sure there is flour underneath so it doesn't stick as you are rolling it out.
 13. Transfer to a baking sheet or a stone. To do this, I use a trick my mom taught me. Roll it over the pin just a little then you can pick it up and move it more easily.
14. Put half the cheese mixture onto one half of the circle. 
15. Fold the dough over like this.
 16. Take the edges and fold them over and press down to help seal. Then using a lightly floured fork, press the edges to seal.
17. Beat the egg and a teaspoon of water in a small bowl and using a pastry brush, brush on the egg wash. This will give it a nice golden shine when it bakes.
18. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Farenheit for 30 minutes or  until done.
19. Serve with a side of pizza sauce and Enjoy!

Again, please let me know if you try this! I'd love to hear feedback!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Okay, So it's been pretty hot out lately and I haven't felt like dealing with a hot stove much. However, I just  recently ran out of my frozen stash of Butternut Squash Soup and today the temps outside dropped probably 15 degrees putting me in the mood to make it finally. This is one of my Go-To  meals in a pinch. I just grab one from my freezer. It's tasty, yet not too heavy when you want something that'll just hit the spot without making you feel like you ate too much. :) This is another one of my adaptations from multiple recipes I researched. I took the ingredients and methods I liked and made it my own concoction. This soup  just tastes like autumn. I love it! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


1 large butternut squash (the store I went to had smaller ones, so I got two this time)
3 T. bacon drippings (I keep a jar in the fridge)
2 T. butter
1 large onion diced
6 medium carrots peeled and chopped
6 ribs of celery sliced
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. marjoram
2 cloves garlic, minced (I just use a garlic press)
1 tsp. ground sage
1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup apple juice
1 box chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Here are my two squash...cut them in half lengthwise.

2. Remove seeds and ribs? Is that what they're called?

3. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. 

4. While the squash is roasting, dice up the veggies.

 Here's my jar of bacon drippings. Whenever I make bacon, I save the drippings (if I don't use them immediately) in a mason jar in the fridge. I use this for lots of things like my soups to add that extra layer of flavor and my dumplings in my Chicken and Dumplings are ohh soo delicious since I added this to the recipe. :) I substitute a little of the shortening...I read on a southern gal's blog once that she called Grease just doesn't do justice to how delicious the flavor is....Anyway...on to the recipe :) ....
5. Melt the butter and bacon drippings in a large pot. Did you notice I actually forgot the butter this time? Oops! Don't skimp on the butter! :)

6. Take the squash out to cool.

7. Meanwhile, saute the veggies until beginning to become tender.

8. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and spices. Mix and saute some more.

9. Add the apple juice and saute a little more. Turn heat to low while you do the next step.

10. Using a vegetable peeler. Peel the skin off the partially cooled squash. Then dice in chunks and add to pot. Mix.

11. Add the chicken stock. I used a whole box. Depending on how thick or thin you like the soup, you can adjust the liquid. I used larger veggies this time, so I ended up adding a little more liquid just until the veggies were covered. I had chicken broth on hand so that is what I added. Bring to a boil. Turn to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

12. Transfer to a large bowl.

13. Discard bay leaf please...that would be pretty nasty to forget :)

14. Using a food processor, puree in batches. If you have an immersion blender, then you can skip the food processor steps. Just blend right in the pot...I'll get one one day.... :)

 15. Add pureed soup back to the pot.

16. Add in the cream and stir.

17. Heat through, taste and adjust seasonings. This means if you think it needs something's the time :) It took me awhile to figure out how to do this. Make sure it's salted enough, :)

 I love to add a dollop of sour cream and a few homemade croutons. This is such a great soup! If you try it out please let me know.


*A Storage Tip*
Once the soup has cooled, I usually pour two ladles full into plastic cups. Enough for a single serving. This batch made 11 servings. I then placed them into the freezer. Once frozen, I cut the cup and pull it away (they can be recycled if you are worried about landfills :) ) and placed in a couple gallon freezer bags. Then whenever I want a soup for lunch. I just toss one in a smaller Ziploc baggie and take it to work. I usually just microwave for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes.

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