Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ham and Black Bean Soup

Hello again! I'm so sorry that it has been so long. I'll spare you my excuses, just know i'm back.

We always buy a turkey and a ham this time of year and have one main meal and then LOTS of leftover meals with the meat. So, the ham was cooked and thoroughly enjoyed last weekend and now we are onto the leftover meals.

Enter: Ham and Black Bean Soup

Usually I am not a huge fan of Ham and Black Bean Soup. I think it's a texture thing. This recipe, however, blew me away. I thought it was absolutely delicious, my husband thought it was delicious and my in-laws gave a ringing endorsement as well.



3 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
28 oz. beef broth. - I use Beef Better than Bouillon
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
2+ Cups cubed, fully cooked ham (or to taste)
1/2 cup green enchilada sauce, mild
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp pepper
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn temperature to low and simmer for 3+ hours.
Delicious served with Biscuits Supreme.
Recipe based off Taste of Home.

Just a tip: Leftover soup was just as delicious!

Biscuits Supreme, Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens red and white checked cookbook is my absolute go-to when I need a new recipe, or anything else cooking related. Especially their biscuits. They are soft, fluffy, buttery and divine. Make them and do a quick taste test. Let me know!

2 cups flour (white, wheat or half and half. They all work)
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar 
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, margarine or shortening
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center. Add 2/3 cup milk all at once; stir until moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Quickly knead dough by gently folding and pressing dough 10-12 strokes or till nearly smooth. Pat or lightly roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut dough with a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter.

Place biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot. Makes 10 biscuits

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beer Bread

This recipe is straight from I wish I could claim this concoction as my own because it is DELICIOUS but I can't. I can't even claim that it's based off another -- don't change anything! It is perfect just as it is! and the best part, minus cooking, it takes a total of 3 minutes and 1 bowl! Easy Peasy.

I don't drink alcohol so I never have beer in my fridge. For this, however, I bought a 6-pack and thoroughly enjoyed every last drop in this bread. (For those like me who don't drink, the alcohol cooks out but the flavor and the yeast are important. Yes, you can use a non-alcoholic liquid but make sure you use yeast or you'll get something resembling a large pancake as thick as your pan.)

I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Ireland several years ago. So, this past month, (while feeling slightly homesick for my Ireland with St. Patrick's Day and all) I made lots of food that reminded me of those few years almost a decade ago. SO...choose any beer you want, I chose Guinness. Because how much more Irish can you get?!

AND...just a quick side note that is VERY IMPORTANT...THIS MAKES THE ABSOLUTE BEST FRENCH TOAST EVER!!! Make at least two loaves, one to eat for dinner and one for a french toast breakfast! (I would recommend more than two, just sayin'. It's that good.)

  • 3 cups flour (sifted)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) cans beer
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup but that felt excessive to me, 1/4 was plenty)  
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients and beer.
  3. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
  4. Pour melted butter over mixture.
  5. Bake 1 hour, remove from pan and cool for at least 15 minutes.
  6. ***UPDATED NOTES: This recipe makes a very hearty bread with a crunchy, buttery crust. If you prefer a softer crust (like a traditional bread) mix the butter into the batter instead of pouring it over the top. (leave it crunchy! trust me)
  7. Sifting flour for bread recipes is a must-do. Most people just scoop the 1 cup measure in the flour canister and level it off. That compacts the flour and will turn your bread into a "hard biscuit" as some have described. That's because they aren't sifting their flour! If you do not have a sifter, use a spoon to spoon the flour into the 1 cup measure. Try it once the "correct" way and you will see an amazing difference in the end product.
  8. I have had many email from you kind folks about using non-alcoholic beverages instead of beer. That is fine to do but I highly recommend adding a packet of Dry Active Yeast or 2 teaspoons of Bread (Machine) Yeast so that you get a proper rise.
  9. The final result should be a thick, hearty and very tasteful bread, NOT A BRICK! ;).
 (These directions/notes are taken directly from HERE.)

I'd love to know what you think! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!