Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ham and Beans

Just take a look at that plate full of delicious goodness that I just had for lunch. Albeit leftover, it was just as tasty as it was last night. Ham and beans rank right up behind fried chicken and mashed potatoes with milk gravy (sorry, but milk gravy is my weakness...). When the mood for beans strikes, this is my go-to. It took a bit of trial and error to find the absolute perfect version of this, but it at last has been perfected.

This meal is a meal that takes more than one day to prepare. First, you have to slow cook a ham. I like the shank portion for the fat that makes the drippings. Without it, this recipe will not be the same. I stick mine in the crock pot if it will fit, or in the oven in a covered roasting pan. Have the ham as a meal that night and cut the leftovers into good sized chunks as they will cook apart later on. If you're not going to fix ham and beans right away, freeze the meat. Take the drippings and pour them into a large bowl or some empty glass jars and either freeze or refrigerate.

The day before you make this, soak the beans overnight in cold water. I use Great Northern beans. The next morning, drain the beans and put them in an empty crock pot. Thaw the drippings and add them. If more water is needed, add some. Salt generously. Cook on low 8 hours. About halfway through, add the ham.

This is best enjoyed slathered in mustard (in my opinion) with fried potatoes, corn bread and cinnamon apples.

I know I"ve been a bit quiet lately. I'm in a cooking rut and find myself preparing the same things over and over again. But I do have some fun Christmas goodies to share that will make you very happy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


For the sake of Halloween, I'm bringing back this post from last October. I'll be making these guys tomorrow for Preston's class party on Thursday. We're doing bats and pumpkins this year!

Kids love cookies! It's hard sometimes going places and seeing all of the really neat iced sugar cookies and having to tell your allergic child that they're not safe to eat. But these tasty little treats are safe, and they're easy to make!

Sugar Cookies

1/2 c. shortening

1/2 t. salt

1 c. sugar

1 egg

2 T. rice milk

2 c. flour

1 t. baking pwder

1/2 t baking soda

1. Blend together shortening, salt, and sugar in mixer. Add in egg and milk, mixing well. Mix in flour baking powder and soda. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

2. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Bake for 6 minutes at 400 degrees.


1 c shortening

5 T water

1 t. vanilla

dash salt

1 pound powdered sugar.

1. Mix together water, salt, and vanilla. In mixer, cream shortening. Slowly add powdered sugar, alternating between sugar and water mixture until all is added and blended. Add desired coloring.

Book it

If you have school-age children, you're probably familiar with the BOOK IT program. It's a reading program through the schools where children earn prize for reading books each month. The prize... a coupon for a free Pizza Hut personal pan pizza. A great prize for kids who can eat pizza, but for kids with dairy allergies, it's anything but a prize.

Preston's class is doing Book it, and he's less than thrilled. He can't use the prize, and he feels left out- and I can't blame him! This is making him not want to participate in the program, something I'm torn about. Do I make him do it for the sake of reading and him be grouchy about the prize, or do we just not do it- it's not like we don't read tons of books anyway.

Today, I contacted Book It via email and told them exactly how I felt about their encentive. They need to have an alternative prize for children who can't have dairy- something that they can be excited about, too! I know they have a deal with Pizza Hut, but they should still find some other something for our kids. Here is Book It's contact page. Please take a few minutes to email them or call them to let them know that there needs to be an alternative. Our kids already have to go to school and feel different because they don't have the same treats or lunches as the rest of their friends, they don't need something else to make them feel different.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicken and Rice

I found this recipe in a cookbook, made it a few times, and just didn't love it. I was hungry for chicken and rice last week, so I decided to try again, and tweaked it to perfection (at least for my taste). It was delicious! Frying the chicken before adding it to the rice gives it so much more flavor, and the rice cooks up to such sticky softness. Ahhh. And I apologize for 2 recipes in a row with no pictures!

Chicken and Rice

boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 c. white rice
2 1/3 c. water
1 c. rice milk
2 chicken bouillon cubes

1. Take desired amount of chicken breasts and dredge them in flour. Heat oil in skillet and fry until both sides are brown.
2. In a 9x13 baking dish, combine rice, water, milk and bouillon cubes. Tip! I take a small amount of the water and boil it in the microwave to dissolve the bouillon faster.
3. Top rice mixture with chicken, cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 for 55 minutes.


Cinnamon Apples

Our scrappy little apple tree surprised us this year with apples for the very first time. They were small and the skins were spotty, but they were the tastiest apples I've ever had. They were green and very firm like a Granny Smith, but were sweet. I decided to make some cinnamon apples from them using my Crock Pot, which I absolutely love. If you like Cracker Barrel's fried apples, you'll enjoy these!

Cinnamon Apples:

6 Granny Smith apples
6 T. dairy-free margarine
2 T. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar

1. Peel and slice apples to desired thickness and place in crock pot. Cut margarine into small pieces over apples and add remaining ingredients. Cook on low 3 hours.

With the cinnamon, add as much or as little as you like.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Apple Crisp

Fall is just around the corner. The air is cooler, leaves are starting to fall, and I refuse to put on another pair of shorts. Ha! As much as I LOVE to grill, it's always nice when the season changes and I can start making more warm comfort foods. Today was my Granny's birthday, so I decided to surprise her with an apple crisp, using her recipe. I also made us one while I was at it. Please note that the above picture is NOT my crisp, although I sure wish it was! Mine wasn't pretty enough to be picture-worthy, but I can tell you that there is only one more helping of it in the pan, and it was made this morning.

Apple Crisp

6-8 apples, peeled and sliced thickly
1/4 c. water
2 T. cinnamon

1 stick melted dairy-free margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 c. flour

Slice apples and place in a deep baking dish. Mix water and cinnamon and pour over apples, stirring to coat. Mix topping ingredients and using your hands, crumble over the top of apples. Bake 1 hour at 350 or until golden brown.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Photo courtesy of FoodNetwork

Kids are notorious for not liking meatloaf (mine included), but growing up, I loved meatloaf, as long as it was my mom's. In fact, I have never even tried any other meatloaf, nor no I ever plan to. I stick with what I know is good! What makes this meatloaf so good? It's the delightful glaze on top. It is sweet, sticky, and not at all ketchup-y, and it is nothing short of magnificent! Like a good frosting on a cake- it's the best part!


2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs
1 cup oats
1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup ketchup
3 T. brown sugar.

In a large bowl, mix meat, eggs, oats and ketchup until well combined. Place in loaf pan. Mix glaze ingredients together and pour over meat, covering well. Bake 1 hour until done.

And I can't tell you how many times I typed oars instead of oats. THAT would be lovely...

This recipe makes a lot, more than what our family of four will eat. I usually divide it between two loaf pans and freeze one (without glaze) and cook the other.