Alphabet Soup Mix in a Jar

Meal-Prepping and filling your pantry doesn’t have to be a daunting task.  Utilizing dehydrated veggies and herbs works great to have a quick grab and prepared home cooked meal.  These also have a great shelf life to have on hand during emergency and disaster situations.

Today I am sharing a fun kid friendly recipe.  Alphabet Soup.  And it tastes so much better than store bought condensed.

First to prepare your jars.

  • 1 half pint canning jar with a tight lid.
  • 1 cup alphabet pasta
  • 2 tablespoons dried vegetable flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granuals or powder
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions for jars.

  1. Make sure your jar and lids are clean and dry!
  2. Layer 1/2 cup of pasta, then 1 tablespoon of dehydrated veggies, then the boullion and Pepper.
  3. Layer the second tablespoon of veggies then the second half cup of pasta.
  4. The layering just makes it “pretty”.
  5. Tightly screw on your lid and label.
  6. Alphabet Soup Mix
  7. Add 4 cups water + 1/2 cup of tomato pasta sauce.

When you are ready to use.

  1. Place water, pasta sauce and contents of jar in a large sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil on high heat.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, or until pasta and veggies are tender.

Easy peasy!

Place in a cool place to store that isn’t prone to high humidity, your pantry.
Until next time!

Kay L Rice

Rabbit Stew

Rabbit is a wonderful lean meat.  Whether domestic or wild rabbit makes a wonderful meal.  This is a very basic stew recipe which uses a whole rabbit and lots of mushrooms.  I use my Dutch oven for this stew.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole rabbit. (Cleaned and cut up into pieces)
  • 3 cups of mushrooms your choice (my favorites are baby Bella’s, oyster, morales) cut up in large pieces.
  • 2 small turnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 parsnip peeled and diced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cooking Sherry
  • 2 small onions diced
  • 8 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In your Dutch oven, melt your butter.
  2. While Butter is melting, dust your rabbit pieces (yes leave the bones in the meat) with flour.
  3. Brown your rabbit in the butter.  Just brown the outsides.
  4. In a separate skillet, sauteed your onions, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil.
  5. Add in your sauteed ingredients over your rabbit pieces.
  6. Add in your parsnip and turnips.
  7. Sprinkle in your herbs and pepper.
  8. Add in your chicken broth.
  9. Move your stove eye heat to medium.
  10. Add in slowly while stirring your cooking Sherry (white cooking wine works nice too, just don’t mix the two).
  11. Simmer for 1 hour.
  12. Turn down to low.
  13. Using some of the broth (take out about a half a cup) stir in a spoon or two of flour to make a rich gravy and stir back into your stew.
  14. Turn on low until ready to sit down to enjoy.
  15. Yes the bones stay in the entire time.
  16. Serve and enjoy with some sourdough biscuits.


Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

Russian Tea

There are certain times of year that I crave a special hot drink my Momma would make for me.  Those times are; Autumn, Winter and when I have a head cold.

With November being here, that memory and desire came back.  Now, I have no idea why this is called Russian Tea.  There is no Vodka in it, not any alcohol at all, but it sure can warm you up head to toe and completely inside!  It also feels great on a sore throat and stuffy head and nose.

This is my Momma Kathy’s recipe.

Russian Tea

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sugar (I use half sugar and half stevia)
  • 3/4 cup of Instant Nestea no sugar no lemon
  • 18 ounces Tang Powdered Orange Drink (You know, the breakfast drink that went to the moon…. I just aged myself, I know.)
  • 8 ounces powdered lemonade. (1 lg package of Wylers lemonade)
  • 1 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a large bowl thoroughly mix all the ingredients together.  (Be careful, it will make you sneeze)
  2. Put mix in Mason Jars or glass storage containers that can be sealed tightly. It will fill a quart jar and about a pint jar.
  3. Put caps on tightly.
  4. Store in a dry place.

To Serve:

  • Heat water until boiling.
  • Put 3 tablespoons of mix in your favorite 12 ounce coffee mug.
  • Add hot water and stir.
  • Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Sourdough Flatbread (& Sourdough Starter)

Rarely will you walk into my kitchen and not see a quart (or gallon) mason jar tucked away on the dark part of the kitchen counter filled with sourdough starter.  I use this starter for everything from breads, biscuits, pancakes pretty much anything bread based.  Wheat and raw flours work much better than bleached white flour but you can use that too.

If you don’t know how to make your own sourdough starter:  Here you go.

BASIC SOURDOUGH STARTER

In a mason jar (gallon or quart, nothing less), add in 1 tablespoon of plain real greek yogurt (this is your cultures), 1 cup of your flour (I like wheat), 1 cup of warm room temperature water.  Stir but do not whip. Cover with a cheesecloth over the top, and screw on a mason jar ring.  Tuck away in a nice warm dark spot on your counter.  NOW Here is the important stuff  EVERY DAY at the same time you MUST FEED your starter, kinda like a pet.  It will die if you don’t.  To feed it you add in 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm (not hot, not cold) water.  Stir do not Whip, put the cheesecloth and ring back on set aside.  Do this for 7 days.  You should see “bubbles” and it should expand a tad and have a nice ‘sour’ smell to it.  It’s ready to use in your sourdough recipe of choice. If you have to let it go to sleep (aka not feed it for a few days) put it in the refrigerator where it will go to sleep.  To wake it up, bring it out of the refrigerator and start feeding it again (you do not need to re add the yogurt).

Now onto the FLATBREAD.

But today, I thought I would share with you how to make flatbread.  I love flatbread, it can be used as a soft sandwich shell, you can dip it in hummus or other dips, or use as a “slice” of bread with soup, stew or eggs.  My favorite are whole wheat, and honestly from what I’ve seen in the stores around here, it’s expensive for all it is.

NOTE:  Make your dough the night before, it needs to “rise” at least 8 hours to be perfect.

INGREDIENTS (Makes 7-8 flatbreads):

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of lard (yes, I use lard, you can use crisco or coconut oil if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups of sourdough starter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Fold all of your ingredients together.
  2. Form into a large “ball” in a large greased bowl.
  3. Cover with a “bread towel” and set in a warm place in your kitchen (not on direct heat) and leave it alone overnight (or 8 hours).  Overnight is best.
  4. The next morning, Punch your dough down and form a new ball and let it sit for about 5 minutes or so.
  5. Take a mess of dough about the size of a small fist and form it into a ball.
  6. Place on your rolling mat with a sprinkle of flour (as to not stick to your board or rolling pin) and roll out with your bread rolling pin until round and about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Carefully lift your dough and place it on a HOT skillet (a cast iron skillet greased is best).  Cook for 30 seconds, flip over and cook for another 30 seconds, flip again, cook for another 30 seconds, and flip a final time and cook another 30 seconds.
  8. Do steps 6 and 7 until all of the balls of dough are done.
  9. They are great to eat immediately, or store them in a bread bag and eat throughout the week.

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

Pickled Brussel Sprouts or Cauliflower

With the growing season coming to an end there seems to be an abundance of brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, squash.  The Autumn veggies.

Cabbage always gets put into fermentation crocks to become saurkraut, but what to do with brussel sprouts and cauliflower? Pickling.  This recipe will give you great treats to enjoy all winter as a side, salad or snack.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of brussel sprouts or Cauliflower (I don’t mix these two together in the same jars).
  • 5 cups white vinegar
  • 5 cups of water
  • 6 tbsp canning salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic spit
  • 1 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 5 sterluzed pint jars with canning lids/rings

Directions

  • Split your sprouts in half and remove the end ‘nubs’. Soak in water. About 5 min.
  • Split your cauliflower into small florets. Soak in water. About 5 minutes.
  • In a large pot bring your vinager, water, salt, sugar and pepper flakes to a rolling boil.
  • In each (hot) sterilized jar place one whole garlic clove split (2 halved).
  • Pack each jar with your brussel sprouts or Cauliflower leaving 1/2 inch head space.
  • Fill with hot vinager solution leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  • Use spacer tool to work out air bubbles.
  • Clean rims of jars.
  • Apply lids and rings.
  • Water bath can for 15 minutes after reaching canning temperature.
  • Cool.  Wait for the “pop”.  Make sure they seal.
  • Let set for 24 hours before moving to storage.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs Kay L Rice

Napolito Soup

The one thing I absolutely love about Autumn and Winter is that it is SOUP SEASON!

I can have soup every dinner and lunch and not get tired of it.  Luckily my husband enjoys it as well.

This is a favorite of mine because of the intense flavors and warmth.

These ingredients are in measurements that may or not be common to you as I home can everything in while it’s in season (except the cactus, I buy it from the Mexican grocery).

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic diced
  • 1 quart of chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp lard
  • 2 jalapeno peppers diced
  • 1 pint of camned pork (you can also fry up 1/2 pound of fresh pork roast)
  • 1 half pint of tomatoes with jalapeno peppers
  • 1 quart of halved or whole tomatillos
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 quart of canned napolitos (cactus) drained
  • 1 pint of white kidney beans
  • Fresh cilantro diced
  • 1 pint of hominy
  • 1 pint of yellow corn
  • 4 tbsp of corn flour
  • 2 quarts of water

Directions

  1. In a very large soup pot, melt your lard.
  2. Add your onion, garlic and diced jalapeno peppers.
  3. Cook until just a little “limp”.
  4. Add in your hominy and corn.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring with the onion mix.
  6. Add in your (cooked) pork.
  7. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring into the mix.
  8. Now add everything else EXCEPT the corn flour and cilantro.
  9. Cook soup on a low simmer for 2 to three hours.
  10. Taking about a cup of the broth out in a bowl, mix in your corn flour to make a roe (paste).
  11. Stir the corn paste into the soup.
  12. Let cook for another hour, stirring often so your paste doesn’t turn into corn marbles, if they do, just call them dumplings.
  13. Just before serving stir in a handful of cilantro.
  14. Serve and sprinkle a bit of fresh cilantro on top in the bowl for extra flavor.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice 🌶️

One Skillet Meals: ‘Fried’ Chili

Every now and then, dinner time sneaks up on you out of nowhere and you have nothing prepared.  One Skillet Meals ate great for times like these.

This recipe is great for no time preparation.

One Skillet “Fried” Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of chorizo sausage
  • 1 cup of rice (dry)
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 quarter small onion diced
  • 1 8 ounce jar/can of diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers
  • 1 can of black beans rinsed
  • 1 can of whole corn rinsed
  • Shredded cheese

Directions

  1. In a large deep skillet brown and separate your sausage.  Do not drain off the drippings.
  2. Add your onion brown a tad.
  3. Add in your dry rice.
  4. Stir while adding your water.
  5. Put a lid on your skillet and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add in the tomatoes with jalapeno peppers, the black beans and the corn.
  7. Stir in.
  8. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes or until the liquid is not visible and your rice is soft.
  9. Dish up and serve with a sprinkling of grated cheese.

Enjoy! 🌶️

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Pickled Cauliflower and Carrots with Hot Peppers

Today I scored at the Farmers market with a gigantic head of cauliflower.  Plus our Peppers are coming on heavy right now!  So, into the kitchen I go!

Here is my receipt for our pickled vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp corriandor seeds
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled
  • Several thick slices peeled fresh ginger
  • One-half sweet onion, thinly diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Pickling salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • One head cauliflower, cut into 1-1/2- to 2-inch florets
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal
  • 5 green and red hot peppers I use caribbean bells and jalapenos
  • Directions
  • Put your seeds in a pan and heat until the are slightly roasted.
  • Add in your remaining spices, vinager, ginger, garlic, onion and water and bring to a boil.
  • Pack your veggies in hot pint jars.
  • Pour the brine over your veggies leaving half inch headspace.
  • Process water bath for 10 minutes.
  • Until next time,
  • Mrs. Kay Rice 🌶️
  • Oven Fried Rabbit

    Rabbit, whether wild or domestic, is a great lean meat.  The entire body is dark meat and one rabbit can easily feed 4 people.

    My favorite way to prepare rabbit is to “oven fry”.  It keeps the meat tender and has less breading than typical frying or deep frying.  I use a Dutch Oven but you could use a deep lidded casserole dish as well.

    Ingredients

    • 1 whole rabbit cleaned and cut up into 5 pieces (2 back legs, 2 front legs, 1 back)
    • Buttermilk
    • Fine ground cornmeal
    • Lard or butter
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    • Preheat your oven 350F
    • Melt your lard/butter in the bottom of your Dutch Oven, about a tablespoon.
    • Coat each individual piece of rabbit in the buttermilk then the cornmeal and place in the Dutch Oven.
    • Put the lid on your Dutch Oven and place in the oven.
    • Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350.

    Serve hot.

    Until next time,

    Mrs. Kay L Rice

    Homemade Butter

    There is something about the flavor and texture of real butter.  I have made butter for years.  I bet images of a woman hunched over a butter churn for hours is popping up in your mind.  But honestly, depending on how much you make it takes about 20 minutes.  Now, once in a while I will add herbs, garlic and even dried peppers to give extra flavors and color to my butter but for plain every day use you don’t need to get fancy.

    Here’s what you will need:

    • A food processor (hand crank or electric)
    • A coffee filter or cheesecloth
    • A pinch of salt
    • Whole fresh milk (with cream) or heavy whipping cream.  I normally use a half pint for each time.

    Directions

    1. Pour your cream into your food processor.
    2. Add a touch of salt.
    3. Process on high speed for 5 minutes.
    4. Open your processor, the contents will be a thick cream almost but not quite solid.
    5. This is important. Take the blades out of your processor and scrape them off on your mixture. Using your cheesecloth or filter, drain off the liquid into another jar.  This is your buttermilk.  I will press my mixture to get as much of the liquid out.  
    6. Set the liquid to the side. Put a lid on it, refrigerate it for other baking.
    7. Back to your butter. Put the blades back in the processor. 
    8. Continue to process for 10-15 minutes, stopping to pulse every few minutes.
    9. You will see your butter forming into a thick “ball”.
    10. Scrape your butter into a “butter bowl” and refrigerate.
    11. You can also roll it and keep it in parchment paper to refrigerate as well.

    I hope you enjoy.

    Until next time,

    Mrs. Kay L Rice