“Can you tell me one of your famous stories, Daddy?”

I’ve just been dismissed.  We just finished reading Davey his bedtime stories.  We’re trying to get him used to the idea of falling asleep by himself again.  He did this from the time he came home from the hospital until he got his toddler bed.  Then we started staying with him until he fell asleep.  So he said I could go tonight.  And as I was leaving the room, he cuddled into David and said, “Can you tell me one of your famous stories, Daddy?”

The sun came out off and on today.  Davey and I ran some errands.  He’s starting to feel a little limited I think by his ankle.  It’s been a week.  Two to go.

Oh boy.  I just heard, “Mommy, I need you.”  I think David has told him it’s time to go to sleep .  So he’s hopeful that I will return to tell many more stories and to sing many more songs.

By the way,  the Rachael Ray Vodka Cream Sauce pasta recipe was really really good.  We had leftovers tonight.

Ok, back to Davey.

Faye’s Beans

I am fortunate to have some old cookbooks which were once owned and used by David’s grandmother, Memaw Lucy.  She was a great cook.   She would make us great breakfasts of homemade biscuits, eggs, and bacon, and by the time we were done eating, we could hardly move.  Part of the reason was she’d insist that we have more!  “An egg is just two bites.  Have another!”   And because it was all so delicious, we just couldn’t resist.

So now, I have these old cookbooks which are almost falling apart.  I love looking through these worn books, and I decided I want try out more of the recipes.  I found some recipes which had been written out several times.  It kinda reminded me of the way I will print out a favorite recipe, and I end up  having several copies of them all over the place.  I prefer her handwritten version however.  These recipes must have been popular, and I want to try some of them first.

Some of the recipes are fraying around the edges and have spots on them.  These may have been frequently referred to recipes, and I definitely want to try them first too!

There are all kinds of recipes.  There are quite a few jello salads.  Several recipes include buttermilk.  One that just sounds really unusual to me is a cake recipe which has orange slices in them.  Not fresh orange slices, but those candy citrus jell orange slices!  I have no idea what that might be like, but I am going to find out!

So one of the first recipes I made is called  Faye’s Beans.

This dish has shot up to the top of David’s favorite meal list.   Here’s the recipe, and I also have the pdf linked up above for printing or saving purposes.

Faye’s Beans

1 pound pinto beans (cooked tender)

1 1/2 pound ground beef

1 large onion

1 can green chiles  (4 oz)

1 can taco sauce (4 oz) (I couldn’t find this.  I used a jar of Ortega Taco Sauce and thought it worked awesomely.)

1 large can tomatoes (I used a large can of diced tomatoes)

1/2 tsp oregano (I was out of oregano and so used none.  I didn’t miss it, but I will use next time to see how it is with oregano.)

1/2 tsp cumin.  (Since I had no oregano, I used about 3/4 tsp cumin.  Thought it was perfect.)

The recipe doesn’t mention salt.  I started with 1/2 tsp and then added to taste.  I think I ended up using about 1 tsp.)

Brown the hamburger with onion.Add spices, chiles, taco sauce and tomatoes.

Add beans and simmer about 30 minutes.

We have had it two nights in a row.  We eat it in a bowl with corn tortillas.  We also wrapped it up in corn tortillas like a soft taco.  I think it would be great as a burrito filling too.

Garlic Knots

When we moved to Colorado last fall, we quickly learned about the garlic knot.

Garlic knots are popular at many pizza places here.  We go to many pizza places because that is one thing that Davey will consistently eat.  So much so that I am weary of pizza.  Funny though – I’ve not grown weary of garlic knots.

The best knots I’ve had were at Virgilio’s in Lakewood.  However, the knots at Johnny’s Pizza are really almost as good.  If not equally as good.  Davey likes to go to Johnny’s Pizza because he has an Uncle Johnny.  Plus he gets to color pictures and then they hang them on the wall.  That’s good stuff.

We’ve not discovered a pizza place in Broomfield yet which makes garlic knots.  We are working on that.

So in the meantime, I decided I’d try making these myself.   So I went googling looking for a good recipe.  I happened on one the other day, and I tried them out last night.

I am proud to say that they were almost as good as any I’ve had here.  I might even venture to say as good (and with a little practice on my part – I think they will be).

These are just strips of yeast dough tied into a little knot.  Prior to slicing and tying, you liberally slather (and I rarely use the word slather – but really slather) a mixture of garlic, olive oil and salt on the dough.   The single recipe made only 12 knots (and they are small – just a couple of bites).  Those knots required 4 cloves of garlic.

After you bake the knots, you brush on more of that mixture.  Actually they suggested dipping the knots in it, but I just brushed them.

Don’t plan on meeting new friends or even leaving your house after eating them.  Make sure everyone in your household tries one, otherwise your garlic breath may knock them out. (We’ve always found that if we all eat garlic here then we don’t smell it on anyone else.  I guess that that is a universal truth?)

Here’s the recipe:  Garlic Knots

Try’em! Davey even almost tried them!

I don’t have a single picture for this post.  I should have taken a picture of the knots I made, but we ate them too fast.  Oh – that’s important too – they are best right out of the oven.

Potato and Spinach Soup

I have to share another recipe.  Actually I kind of made this up yesterday, although I am sure it is not original and that it likely already exists in many forms.  It was a spur of the moment thing for me though, and we really liked how it turned out.

Davey even tasted the soup.  If you consider a couple of licks a taste, and at this point we do!  “MMMMMM, it’s delicious,” he said as he gently set the spoon down and backed away slowly.

So, I already had a recipe for potato soup that I really like.  I got it from my sister.

I boiled about 10Yukon gold potatoes in just enough water to cover them.  I did use organic potatoes as I have been going organic as much as I can lately.  I don’t know if this was a factor in taste.  Maybe not.

I added a can of chicken broth as well.  Then I added an 8 ounce package of cream cheese.  I’ve used the Neufatchel before, but I went full fat last night.

Then I remembered that I had some fresh spinach in the refrigerator.  It was quickly losing its freshness and needed to be used.  So I chopped up an onion and chopped up the spinach, and sauteed them in Extra Virgin Olive Oil until soft and wilty.   Then I added it all to the potato soup.  I added salt and a little pepper to taste.  That’s it.  It was so good!  We finished it off tonight.

Halfway through dinner tonight, I decided I wanted to blog about it.  Well, the light was no good.  No natural light to be found.  The soup was half-eaten, so the bowl was looking a little messy.  But I thought, I have to have some kind of shot.  So here we go:

Here’s a pdf for the recipe:  Potato Spinach Soup This will be handy for me as well!

Banana Nut Bread: A recipe

I’ve got another old recipe that I want to add to the blog:  Banana Nut Bread

Mom made this recipe when I was a little kid.  I remember I made it once for a 4-H thing.  So I made the banana bread.  I was somewhere around 10 years old I guess.  I never could resist picking off some of those crunchy pieces from the top of the bread.  Like here in the picture – see all those slight cracks?  I don’t do it anymore, although I kinda want to right now.  But I couldn’t resist then.

So I took the bread out of the oven.  I was all ready to enter it in the 4-h show.   But I just had to pick a little piece or two off the top.  Nobody would notice because of the way the bread cracked at the top.  But then I went too far, and I went for too much.  Now there was an unsightly hole.   I didn’t know what I was going to do.  I couldn’t enter it like that, and I guess there must not have been time (or bananas) to make another loaf.

At the last minute, I was saved by an ice storm, and we couldn’t go anywhere.  At least this is the way I remember it.

So that’s my banana bread memory.

Nowadays, I often don’t put nuts in it.  It’s very good with nuts, but Davey wouldn’t eat it then, and he does like banana bread.

This is a really simple recipe.  I had to improvise though for the first time today.  I went to get the flour, and we were out.  We had self-rising flour though.  So I went to my google and figured out how to convert.  I did some cipherin’ and it turned out fine.  Turns out, I still needed to add some baking soda, a little salt and just barely any additional baking powder.

I had my happy assistant too this morning.

He added the milk.

He also loves adding the bananas.  I didn’t get a picture of that, but I got one more good grin from him.

Ok and one more.

I think this is a pretty basic banana bread recipe, but it’s my favorite out of all of the ones I have tried.

Pepper Steak: A Recipe

I don’t typically blog about recipes.  I don’t take good pictures of food.  But every once in awhile, I think of a recipe that I’d like to share on my blog.

This recipe in particular has memories for David.  It’s from his grandparents.  I also have memories of his grandmother making it.  She’d fuss over it and stay with it and stir and fuss, and it was always wonderful.  I need to be a better “fuss over it” cook.  I am more of a set the timer and hope for the best type of cook.  I can occasionally stir and fuss but it’s not often.  I think it’s when I make pudding.  Gotta stir pudding.  I can’t think of anything else.

So anyway, I wanted to record this recipe for all time.  Plus, I got a not bad picture of it.

I think what makes this pepper steak really tasty and special are the tomatoes.  I don’t if I had ever heard of pepper steak with tomatoes in it.  But this pepper steak has it.  The recipe calls for 2 large fresh tomatoes.  I used about 6 campari tomatoes.  They tasted like home-grown tomatoes.  I highly recommend them.

So here’s the recipe.

3 cups hot cooked rice

1 pound beef round steak (tenderized).  (just read the recipe thoroughly for the first time in awhile. I didn’t use tenderized beef.  It was still delicious.)

1 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp butter

2 cloves of garlic (no fresh garlic so I did without.  Still delicious.)

1 1/2 cups beef broth (I used 2 beef boullion cubes dissolved in  water.)

1 cup sliced green onions – including tops

2 green peppers cut in strips

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup soy sauce. (I used the low sodium kind.  Still delicious.)

2 large fresh tomatoes cut into eighths. (I used campari and cut them in fourths)

Cut meat into pepper steak sized strips.  (My recipe says 1/4 inch wide.  That’s crazy.  I must have been referring to the thickness when I wrote this down probably 15 years ago.)  Sprinkle the meat with the paprika.  Using a large skillet, brown the meat in butter.  Add garlic and broth.  Cover and simmer 30 minutes.  Stir in onions and green peppers.  Cover and cook 5 minutes more. (I don’t like the peppers so crunchy, so I usually cook for about 10 minutes.)

Blend the cornstarch with water and soy sauce.  Stir into meat mixture.  Cook, stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and stir gently.  Serve over rice.

This is really good.  If you try it out, let me know! I hope you like it.