Saturday, December 12, 2015

Around Our House...

...Are the events of ordinary life. Laundry. Cleaning. Schoolwork. Never enough hours in a day to get it all done. 

But we are also smelling the fragrance of Christmas cookies.

And tasting them too.

We are folding soft itsy-bitsy baby clothing.

And anticipating using them in a few weeks.

We are singing our favorite Christmas carols. This week we sang at the rescue mission, a nursing home, and to some elderly neighbors.

We are remembering Jesus, and all He has done for us. Not just coming to earth as a baby, but going to the cross, and now interceding for us to the Father.

It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Romans 8:34

From our family to yours...wishing you a Christ-centered, joy-filled Christmas.

I'll be taking a blogging break the next few weeks. I'll be back in January.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Three-Cheese Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

I love simple one-pot meals. I usually check out the "one-pan dinner" page of my mother-in-law's Cook's Country magazine for some ideas. This recipe came from a recent issue and my family called it a winner. I further simplified the recipe by using my home-canned pizza sauce for the sauce.

You can let out the spinach if you wish, but even my children didn't complain about the green stuff in this recipe.

Three-Cheese Pasta with Sausage and Spinach
(adapted from Cook's Country)

1-2 lb sausage links, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 pint pizza sauce
2 cups water
16 oz rotini or ziti pasta
5 cups chopped spinach
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese

In a large dutch oven or other oven-proof pot, cook sausage until browned.

Add pizza sauce, water, and pasta. Bring to boil on high heat. Then reduce heat and simmer until pasta is just barely softened.

Remove pot from heat and stir in spinach, 3/4 cup mozzarella, and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Spoon ricotta on top of pasta and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Place in oven under broiler until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, approximately 4-6 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes and serve.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Six Homemade Spice Mixes

I buy spices in bulk and enjoy making my own spice mixes. There are many recipes online, but these six are my present favorite.

In the summer, I keep some of these mixes, especially ones like Ranch dressing powder, in the freezer to keep them from absorbing moisture in my humid kitchen.

I like to write the directions on a label on the jar to make it easy to whip up a dressing or dip.

Seasoning Salt

I keep this by my stove and sprinkle it on about anything I am adding salt to -as long as it isn't dessert.

1/2 cup salt
2 T paprika
1 T parsley
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin

Mix all together. If you wish, you can blend it in a coffee grinder to make a fine powder.

Taco Seasoning

I like to have plenty of this seasoning on hand in the summer to quickly season ground beef or chicken for taco salad or burritos. This is also perfect for taco soup.

4 T onion powder
2 T salt
2 T chili powder
1 T garlic powder
1 T cumin
1 1/2 T oregano
1 tsp red pepper (optional)

Mix well. Two tablespoons equal 1 purchased package.

Ranch Dressing Mix

2 T onion flakes
2 tsp onion powder
2 T parsley
2 tsp paprika
1 T salt
2 tsp pepper
1 T garlic powder
Options: dill weed, tarragon, oregano, or celery seed

Mix all together. Two tablespoons equal 1 purchased package.

For dressing: Mix 2 T dry powder, 1 cup mayo, and 1 cup of buttermilk or kefir.
For vegetable dip: Mix 2 T mix and 2 cups sour cream.

Italian Dressing Mix

This is my newest mix, but I think it will be a favorite.

1/2 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
2 T oregano
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1 T parsley
2 T salt

Stir together. Two tablespoons equal 1 purchased package.

To make into Italian dressing: Mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2/3 cup olive oil, 2 T water, 2 T dry mix. Blend well. Serve.

My mom mixes chicken breast chunks, cream soup, cream cheese, and Italian dressing mix in her crockpot. The result is a wonderful rich chicken dish that we love served over mashed potatoes.

Onion Soup Mix

2/3 cup dried, minced onion
3 tsp parsley
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix well. I shake well before each use. Four tablespoons equal 1 packet of purchased onion soup mix.

I like to combine brown rice, water, onion soup mix, and raw chicken in a baking pan or crockpot for a yummy but simple meal.

Everything Season (Mural of Seasoning copy-cat)

1 1/2 T onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp basil
1 tsp dried chives
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried lemon peel
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried dill weed

Mural of Seasoning is a spice from Penzey's that I love on just about everything - roasted potatoes, vegetables, meat, etc. My homemade version is not nearly like the real thing, I'm sure. But I like it just the same.


Related Posts with Thumbnails