Kale Soup

This time of year the greens really start coming in.  After awhile one gets tired of salad so here is a comfort soup made from fresh kale.  You can also substitute or mix fresh spinach or collard greens with or instead of the kale.  Nothing warms the soul like a hot bowl of soup at the end of the day!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • a “bunch” of fresh kale (or greens) stripped from their stems and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 6 yellow or red potatoes diced
  • 4 large garlic scapes (message me to find out what this is or google it!)
  • 3 medium golden beets
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 tsp of fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp of fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 lb of ground sausage, already browned (I use spicy sausage for an extra kick)

Directions:

  • Pour your stock and water in your large crock-pot
  • Dice and chop all your veggies and put in your crock-pot
    • On the potatoes, cut out any eyes but keep the skins on the potatoes, dice small
    • Carrots, scrap off skin and root hairs and dice large
    • Golden beets: cut off the greens and “tail” and scrape off skins, dice large.  (You can add the fresh beet greens if you like as well, strip off the stem.  Waste not want not.)
    • Dice your garlic scapes small.
  • Add in your herbs.
  • Brown your (spicy) sausage in a separate pan until cooked.
  • Add the sausage and any juice from the pan into the crock-pot.
  • Stir the contents.
  • Set on High for 2 hours then move to low to finish cooking.
  • Add salt to taste and some fresh basil just before dishing up.

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Enjoy and let me know how you enjoy this recipe.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

No Bake Chocolate Haystacks

With the arrival of summer comes VBS (Vacation Bible School).  With VBS comes lots of energetic wee ones that love snacks.  The best kind are always homemade with lots of love.  on June 22, 2017 the Quest Meal Prep class made cookies for our VBS.  What better treat then the yumminess of old-fashioned no-bake haystacks.

Here is a very simple recipe to share with your family, friends and anyone else!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 lb of BUTTER not margarine.  That’s 1 stick of butter. softened.
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of Milk (or Almond Milk)
  • 1/2 cup of Peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 cup of quick cook oats

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large mixing bowl  place your softened butter.
  • Add in your sugar and whip until blended.  (a great arm work out!)
  • Add in your cocoa and blend in.  You want to make sure everything is blended well and there are no “butter chunks”.
  • Add in your Milk and blend in evenly.
  • Add in your Peanut butter and blend in evenly.
  • Add in your vanilla and your pinch of salt, blend in evenly.
  • Add in your oats 1 cup at a time, stirring in evenly until all three cups are added.
  • Make into round balls by hand or by using a cookie scoop and place on parchment paper and a tray and refrigerate covering with plastic wrap of course.
  • Serve & watch the explosion of smiles.

nobakehaystacks

Enjoy and always let me know how you liked the recipe and your variations.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

Old Fashioned Strawberry Jam

As you may or may not know, my husband and I make and sell jams and jellies.  You can check out what is available on the Store page here.   However,  I will share with you a very basic Jam recipe.  A favorite which is not complicated at all is Strawberry Jam.

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 cups of crushed strawberries (approx 4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 7 cups of sugar
  • 1 Three ounce packet of liquid natural pectin

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • 6 half pint jam jars with sealing lids and rings
  • candy thermometer
  • Large pot for making the jam
  • Waterbath canner with frame insert (to keep the jars from touching the bottom of the canner and to lift in and out).
  • Canning funnel
  • Canning jar lifter
  • Long handled metal spoon
  • Ladle
  • A small bowl and spoon
  • towel and place to place your canned jars (Must stay in one place for approx 24 hours to ensure a great seal)

Now for the directions:

  1. Make sure you sterilize your jam jars.  Whether by the dishwasher, or boiling water in your canner and placing your empty jars in the canner.  Jars ALWAYS need sterilized, even strait out of the box ones.
  2. Place your small bowl and spoon in your freezer to get cold.
  3. I will use a food processor to crush my strawberries, you can also smash with a potato smasher by hand.
  4. Add your sugar in your large pot.
  5. Add in your lemon juice.
  6. Add in your strawberry “mash”.
  7. Add in your liquid pectin.
  8. Stir until the sugar is “dissolved” into your mash.
  9. Place your candy thermometer in your pot, attaching to the side, but not touching the bottom.
  10. Turn your stove on HIGH.  Yup you read that correctly, I use the setting of 9 on my stove.
  11. NEVER STOP STIRRING!!!!
  12. Watch your thermometer closely.
  13. I also use a silicone mitten to avoid splash burns on my hands while stirring.
  14. When your candy thermometer reaches 225 degrees F, set your timer for 6 minutes.
  15. KEEP STIRRING!
  16. When your timer goes off, remove your pan off the stove (onto a hot pad).
  17. Take your bowl and spoon out of the freezer and using your stirring spoon put a little in the bowl and set to the side for about 5 minutes.  Check the consistency.  With this time it should be perfect.  If its too running, put back on the heat for another two minutes and recheck.  You can also add a little sugar but NEVER add more pectin.  It doesn’t take much for your jam to become a brick.
  18. Once your consistency is where you like it, its time to fill your jars.
  19. Use your funnel & ladle and fill each jar to 1/4 inch from the top (or the bottom ring of the top).
  20. Wipe down the lip of all your jars.
  21. place your “lid” on each jar and tightly screw on the rings.
  22. Now using your canning jar lifter, place your jars in the water bath canner on the wire insert.
  23. Make sure you have enough water in your canner to cover your jars 1 inch.
  24. Put your lid on your canner and turn the stove on high.
  25. When the water in the canner comes to a full rolling boil, set your timer to 15 minutes.
  26. When your timer goes off, turn off your heat and leave on the eye until the rolling boil tones down.
  27. Take off the lid, and lift the wire insert up and one by one using your jar lifter place your jars on the towel in a safe place where they can stay and cool for at least 24 hours.
  28. Each jar should POP.  That’s the sound of a good seal.
  29. The jam can stay on the shelf for years, once opened you should put in the refrigerator.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Please let me know what you think.

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

Old Fashioned Turtle Soup

I good friend of mine surprised me today by asking if anyone had a good Turtle Soup recipe.  This brought back a huge smile and a fantastic memory, so, here it is, my turtle soup recipe.

Old Fashioned Turtle Soup

  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 10 1/2-ounce cans beef broth
  • 8-ounce can tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 pound turtle meat,  diced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • Dash bottled hot pepper sauce
  • 1 lemon slice

In a soup pot combine the first 9 ingredients. Cook and stir for 30 minutes.  blend in flour.

Add beef broth and tomatoes. Cover, simmer 45 minutes. In a large pot combine turtle meat and water. Cook, covered, until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove meat to cool. Reserve 2 cups cooking liquid.

Add turtle meat, reserved liquid, sherry, hot pepper sauce and lemon to soup pot. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

 

Cream cheese and fruit strudel

I have been asked several times for my recipe for my cream cheese pastry strudel.  It’s becoming quite popular at our church cafe as well as our gatherings and Bible study groups.

It’s really quite embarrassingly simple.  In fact it began as a oh my goodness I forgot to bake for the cafe moment. 🤗

However here is the recipe. Enjoy. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube of croissant rolls 
  • 4 ounces (half a brick) cream cheese
  • Fruit or jam
  • Sugar approximately a tablespoon
  • Approximately a tablespoon of almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper the size of the inside of a cookie sheet.
  3. Open your tube of crescent rolls and unroll your dough.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until there are no seams.
  5. Using kitchen scissors cut diagonal strips on both sides long enough to drape across but still leaving a good solid strip in the center.
  6. Take your half a brick of cream cheese and make sure it’s really soft.
  7. Mix in a hand full of friut or jam. This time I’m using my own homemade wicked apple pie jam.
  8. Stir together but not completely.
  9. Add in about half a tbsp of sugar and fold in.
  10. Now spread the mix in the center of your dough.
  11. Add a sprinkle of fruit or dollops of jam on top the mixture.
  12. Crisscross your strips one side then the other and fold up the ends.
  13. Move pastry with parchment paper on to your cookie sheet, carefully.
  14. Using almond milk wash your pastry using a pastry brush.
  15. Sprinkle a bit of suger over the top.
  16. Put in preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. Or until golden brown.
  17. Cool and slice to serve.

I would love to hear your variations!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Homemade Biscuit & Dumpling Mix

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As by now you all know, I do not like to rely on boxed items for any reason to feed my family.  Nearly every thing that is mass produced can be made from scratch easier and less expensive at home.  One of the more common items in the kitchen is a box of “Bisquick” or biscuit mix.

As many of you know this is an awesome concoction which can be used for anything from biscuits or dumplings to pancakes or waffles…. yea, you get the idea.  For me we love dumplings.  My husband and I have this ongoing discussion on what a “dumpling” is.  For me there are 2 kinds flat dumplings and drop dumplings.  To him there are only one drop dumplings (the other are short noodles).  Drop dumplings are the fluffy dumplings primarily made from Bisquick type mixes.

Now, here is how you can leave that yellow (or white) box at the grocery store and always have this mix on hand!

INGREDIANTS:

  • 2 Cups flour (sifted)
  • 4 teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of butter (or shortening)
  • 3/4 cup milk

DUMPLING DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl sift your flour and your baking powder together.
  2. Add in your salt
  3. Add in your butter (or shortening) softened
  4. Add in your milk
  5. Knead together until nice and firm
  6. If too sticky add in a tad of flour
  7. IMG_20170501_152829672
  8. Now roll into balls and drop it into your boiling soup
  9. Turn the heat of your soup down
  10. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes on low
  11. Finally enjoy!

Sometimes I will keep this on hand for quick grabs.  To do this find an air-tight bag, container of your choosing.  Sift in all of your dry ingredients together and label your container ‘Baking mix’.  Then make sure you make note of the wet ingredients to add later.

 

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

Jalapeno Slaw

Jalapeno Slaw

Well if you didn’t know by now, here in the Rice household we love our meals with a kick of heat. Peppers 🌶 are a staple in our kitchen. 

I’m personally not a fan of overly sloppy mayonnaise type slaws or sweet slaw.  This recipe is perfect to pair up with tacos, BBQ pork sandwiches or pretty much anything. 

I hope you enjoy! 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, remove seeds and dice. 
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, diced including the stems
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 2 grinds of fresh black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix your oil, juice & vinager.
  2. Add in your Cilantro.
  3. Add in your cumin, salt & pepper.
  4. Stir until well mixed.
  5. Add in your diced jalapeno peppers.
  6. Stir until well mixed.
  7. Add in your cabbage a little at a time mixing so the other ingredients cover the cabbage.
  8. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  9. The longer it sits the better the flavor and heat. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  By the way our cabbage and apple cider vinegar came from Yellowbird Crop Share. Check them out their info is on our support page.Yellowbird Crop Share

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice 🌶

Meal-Prep 101: Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

Meal-Prep 101: Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

THIS CLASS WILL BE HELD ON APRIL 20, 2017 at Quest Community Church (Westerville, Ohio) in the back kitchen area at 6:30 PM Quest Meal-Prep Class

The following recipe is for our class on 04/20/2017 at Quest Church.  This versatile recipe is is great to have as a go to in the freezer.  It can be used as a main dish served over rice, as burrito filling, soft taco filling, added to a casserole or soup, pretty much anything you can imagine.  Even if you can’t join us in person, I hope you enjoy this recipe.

INGREDIENTS (for each meal bag):

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast (or thighs)
  • 4 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 fresh bunch of cilantro, chopped with the stems
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag of frozen corn
  • 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 can of jalapeno and tomatoes diced.
  • 1 can of green peppers or 2 jalapeno peppers diced (optional)
  • 1 tsp of cumin.

Other items you will need:

  • Cutting boards (two, 1 for produce, 1 for the chicken)
  • Latex gloves (2 pair, 1 pr for the chicken 1 pr for the jalapeno peppers if you are chopping)
  • Knives (1 for chicken, 1 for produce)
  • Can opener
  • teaspoons and tablespoons
  • garlic press or a use your produce knife
  • 1 large gallon freezer bag
  • 1 quart freezer bag
  • marker to label your bag.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Before we get started, Write on your Gallon freezer bag, Cilantro Lime chicken, thaw over night.  Crockpot cook for 6-8 hrs low.
  2. Prepare your chicken on your chicken cutting board, put on your latex gloves.
  3. Cut your chicken in half then in half again and then in quarters.
  4. Place the chicken in your quart freezer bag.

  5. Remove your “chicken gloves” & discard.
  6. Add in two tablespoons of lime juice in with your chicken.
  7. Remove the air from your “chicken bag” and seal, place to the side.  Now, clean off your chicken cutting board with hot soapy water and keep away from your produce.
  8. On your produce cutting board, chop your fresh cilantro.  make sure you use the stems, this is where most of your flavor comes from!
  9. Place in your gallon freezer bag.
  10. Dice your onion and place in your gallon freezer bag.
  11. Add in your frozen corn and rinsed black beans to your gallon freezer bag.
  12. Add in your small can of jalapeno/diced tomatoes.
  13. IF YOU WANT FRESH DICED JALAPENO PEPPERS, PUT ON YOUR LATEX GLOVES FOR PRODUCE.  You WILL thank me later.
  14. When you cut fresh peppers, keep in mind the heat is in the seeds, more heat, leave the seeds, less heat, makes sure you leave out the seeds.
  15. Add your Peppers to the gallon bag. (removing your gloves after working with your peppers.)
  16. Add in your cumin.
  17. Add in 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
  18. Gently roll and place your chicken bag on the top of your produce.
  19. Push out the extra air and seal the gallon bag.  (I like to double bag my items.)
  20. Flatten bag and freeze.

Day be before preparing instructions:

  • Set upright in the refrigerator (in a bowl in case it leaks) to thaw.

Cooking day instructions:

  • Open bag carefully and pull out your chicken bag.
  • Put the chicken in your crock-pot first.
  • Dump in the remaining ingredients from the gallon bag on top of the chicken.
  • Set crock-pot on low and cook for 6-8 hours.
  • Before serving, shred with a fork the chicken and stir into the cooked ingredients.
  • Serve over rice, with corn tortillas as soft tacos, in large flour tortillas as burritos, over corn chips as nachos anything your heart desires.
  • The shredded left overs are also great to freeze and have on hand for soups!

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

 

Jalapeño Meatballs

Here is a fun recipe that is great for appetizers, parties or any gathering that needs a little spicing up. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound regular pork sausage
  • 1 (8 ounce) brick of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 container of French’s Jalapeño crisps (half put in a food processor to turn into bread crumbs, half leave intact.)
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground ghost pepper

Directions

  • Add all the ingredients into a large bowl. 
  • Put on latex gloves
  • Mix bowl well with hands kneading all the ingredients together.
  • Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line your large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Scoop slightly rounded tablespoons of the meat mixture and roll into balls.
  • Place 1-2 inches apart on sheet.
  • Bake for 14-15 minutes.

I hope you enjoy this spicy little treat!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Meal-Prepping 101: Beef Stew

Beef (or any meat) Stew

On February 16, 2017 at Quest Community Church, Westerville, Ohio, we will once again be joining together to work on our meal-prepping skills.  The second recipe for this class is a traditional Beef Stew (The first recipe, is Cranberry Chicken posted on 2/11/17 on this site).  Stew is a traditional standby in the Rice Household.  It is perfect for meal-prep as a freezer meal before and after being cooked.  If you enjoy canning, it can also be prepped in individual and family servings by using a PRESSURE CANNER (please see the post on this site for Turkey/Chicken Stew, under the canning and preserving page).  But I digress.  The nice thing about stew is that it can be made with pretty much anything you have on hand as well as tweaks here and there for what you like and what you don’t like.  Example: Some people my love parsnips, others may not, some people think you are weird putting in peas in a stew, some say oh that’s a must have.  My Grandma and Mom would refer to their stews as “refrigerator stew”, that meant anything left over from previous meals got thrown in a pot and cooked as soup/stew.  In short the “waste not want not” method of country cooking.

For our class on 2/16/17, I will be outlining the meal prep freezer way to put up stew before cooking, although here and there I will also outline other methods.  Ready?  Here we go!

Ingredients for each meal:

  • 1 lb of meat (beef, venison, pork, turkey, chicken…)
  • 1 1/4 cups diced onion (I prefer red onion but its your preference)
  • 2 tsps. (or 4 cloves) garlic, minced
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of Thyme
  • 1 cup of carrots diced/sliced (I like lots of carrots, so about 5 carrots sliced)
  • 2 cups of diced/sliced celery
  • 1/2 cups of frozen peas (do not get canned, they get squishy)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of APPLE CIDER Vinegar

Ingredients to be added the day of cooking:

  • 1 tsp of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups of Broth (to match the meat you use)

Freezer Containers needed if freezing:

  • 1 quart freezer bag
  • 1 gallon freezer bag
  • Pen to write contents and cooking additions for day of cooking

BEFORE CLASS DIRECTIONS:

  • Label you large gallon freezer bag with the title of your recipe and date prepared:
    • example:  Beef Stew 2/16/17
  • Keep your quart freezer bag with your large gallon freezer bag.
  • Since we will be working with raw meat, please, make sure you keep your product fresh and sealed and COOL in transport to and from class and put in the freezer as soon as you return from class.  You also may want to prepare the meat and keep in your refrigerator at home and then add to your bag once you return from class.
  • Cube your meat into small pieces.  I will be using venison for my stew.
  • Make sure you trim off any grisly or large fat portions (and skin if poultry).
  • Put in your quart freezer bag and press out any air and keep cool.

Class Instructions:

  • If you brought the meat with you, keep cold in your cooler while we prep the rest of the items.
  • Chop all of your vegetables starting with your onion.  Add each to your gallon bag after you finish with them.
    • Side note here:  I also like to add things like parsnips, sweet potatoes, fresh beets, peppers, potatoes, spinach and frozen lima beans or black eyed peas.  I’ve even been known to throw in butternut squash cubes.
  • Add in your frozen peas (or other frozen veggies) to your bag.
  • Your bag is getting full now. Carefully add all of her herbs and shake so it flakes down over your veggies.
  • Add in your tomato paste and “squish” it through the bag.
  • Add in your Apple Cider Vinegar to your meat.
  • Now, we need to add our meat.  Since we have all these wonderful veggies in here, we do NOT want to taint them with raw meats!!!   Very carefully, put your meat in its bag sealed, in the large gallon bag on top of the veggies.  Meat is in the bag, but not touching your veggies.  If you cook your meats ahead of time, you can add them directly in the bag, however, your meat will be very shredded when you cook the stew (which is fine, its a texture thing).

NIGHT BEFORE COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Take out of the freezer and stand upright and thaw over night IN the refrigerator.

DAY OF COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Very carefully open your gallon bag and retrieve the meat bag.
  • Open the meat bag and dump the contents in the crock pot.
  • Dump the veggie/seasoning contents over the meat in the crockpot.
  • Add in your 2 cups of broth (to match the meat) to the crock pot.
  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • Add your salt and pepper before serving to retain flavor and not needing to re-add.

FREEZING AFTER COOKING:

Stews and soups are great for freezing left overs for other meal preps.  Put in a large gallon bag or in individual sized freezer safe containers and place level in your freezer.  You can reheat later in the microwave or stove top quickly because everything is already cooked.

CANNING AFTER COOKING:

I enjoy canning left over soups and stews in half pint jars individual servings that I can grab and go for work or for a quick lunch and dinner.  ALL SOUP and STEWS must be PRESSURE CANNED.  The rule of thumb is the amount of time for the longest pressure cooking standard ingredient.  Example:  Meat and beans must be canned (half pint or pint) for 75 minutes and quarts need to be canned for 90 minutes at a pressure of 11 lbs.  If you are unfamiliar with a pressure canner don’t make soup your trial run.

I look forward to seeing you all in class and for those who can not attend, I hope you enjoy this recipe, and let me know what you think.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice