I decided to save money this month by actually using a calendar and a shopping list. I pulled up some older recipes, put them on the menu, and made my shopping list accordingly. We will see at the end of the month if I actually followed through or if I went bananas.
I have been saving my recipes on my computer for a really, really long time. It started with Meal Master, an ancient DOS program. I had about 350 recipes that were all my own, and then I had to get something better. I picked BigOven because it did everything I wanted it to, and it imported Meal Master recipes. Then, BigOven did something I think is kind of stupid. They went web/android only and decided not to support BigOven software on Windows 10. That meant I would have to put new recipes in on my phone or tablet, which is a real pain in the a–s. No thank you! I have a Windows 7 computer which I will eventually (soon) upgrade to Windows 10, and then I will no longer have BigOven available. So, today, I went shopping for new recipe software, and I found Living Cookbook. I was able to import all 675 recipes. It seems to be just what I wanted, I think I’m a happy camper now.
This recipe for Shrimp and Crab Casserole Bake was given to me by my cousin and was one of the original recipes on had in Meal Master. She made it one day, and I loved it. I think you will like it, too.
Now that it is officially fall, and the weather has turned “cold” in California, it’s time to have stew. Last week I made Coq Au Vin, and I still had some wine left, so I thought I should continue with my French comfort food and make this lovely Beef Burgundy, Boeuf Bourguignon.
Similarly to Coq Au Vin, Boeuf Bourguingnon is also one of those dishes that does well with tough meat, wine and long cooking time. The wine and long cooking time break down the meat so it is nice and tender. It also allows all the flavors to meld together nicely. Be prepared for this to simmer about two hours.
It is important with both dishes to get a decent red wine, not a sweet one! A nice Burgundy, Shiraz or Cabernet would do perfectly. You don’t need much, so there should be a nice glass or two for the cook, too.
Coq Au Vin is really peasant food. Originally, it was made from an old chicken, and the wine was there not so much for flavor, but the soften the old bird up. It took a long time to cook, but the flavors were wonderful, so it became very popular. Of course, Julia Child made it famous. Her version was much simpler because people could buy a young chicken at the market, and did not have to wait until old Bessie was ready to kick the bucket.
I haven’t made this dish in years, not because it is difficult to make, but because I never seem to have all the ingredients together. It is actually pretty simple to make, just takes a little time because the flavors need to marry.
I had originally intended to make Boeuf Bourguignon, but we had Shepard’s Pie last night for dinner, so I was thinking I didn’t want to have beef again so soon. So, I actually went on Facebook and asked whether I should make Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq Au Vin. The consensus was chicken, so I started getting the ingredients together. The only thing I did not have was pearl onions, and not because I hadn’t tried to get them at the market, they just didn’t have any, so I used a regular onion and cut it into big pieces instead.
Don’t you hate the same old thing? I love Jambalaya and with that in mind, I have Polska Kielbasa on hand. I was all ready to make it tonight, but then I looked at the ingredients placed nicely on the counter, ready to go, and I decided I just didn’t want it tonight. Maybe because it is September and fall is coming quickly, and I wanted something to remind me of the cool days to come. Maybe it’s because I had some lovely red potatoes and a half a head of cabbage I wanted to use up. I also wanted something really simple that I could cook in one skillet.
Do you have issues when you try to saute potatoes to make home fries? Do they burn on the outside, and stay hard as rocks on the inside? There is hope, and it’s called a microwave oven. Simply cut up your potatoes, put them in a microwave safe bowl, cover with water, and cook using the Potato button, about 12 minutes. Then drain the potatoes and add them to your skillet. Since they are already cooked, you just have to season and brown them. Continue reading →
A few days ago, I made a roast chicken and we only ate a little of it. The thing sat in my refrigerator like a giant elephant mocking me because I couldn’t think what to do with it. We had tacos from it on Cinco de Mayo, but that didn’t use up all the chicken. I also had some left-over charred Anaheim chilis and some charred Italian tomatoes sitting in the refrigerator. It seemed I had the ingredients for enchiladas.
When we went to the store, I bought extra tortillas and extra sauce for my enchiladas. Yes, I buy canned sauce. It’s good and I don’t have to make it from scratch – but sometimes I do, like when I make Enchiladas with Three Pepper Sauce. But, I didn’t want to spend Mother’s Day in front of a hot stove, so I got the canned sauce. I also didn’t feel like burning my fingers rolling up hot tortillas. A layered casserole would be appealing and a lot easier.
I usually buy Polska Kielbasa to make Jambalaya, but I didn’t feel like making that. I wanted something simpler so I looked in my refrigerator and found cabbage and sweet bell peppers. I also had a can of white cannellini beans in my pantry. It sounded like a winning recipe, so I got started.
This makes a mild tasting one pot stir-fry dish. If you want to add some pizzaz to it, provide some hot sauce. It’s a very healthy dish, and of course, you could substitute other sausages, like German or Italian.