CARROTS & APPLES

CARROTS & APPLES
2 pounds carrots, baby or 2 large carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
6 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon Whiskey
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Sprinkle of paprika

  • Spray crock pot insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Layer carrots on bottom of crock pot.
  • Add apple slices over carrots.
  • Sprinkle with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Whisk together the honey, whiskey and molasses.
  • Drizzle honey mixture over top.
  • Randomly place butter chunks.
  • Cover and cook on low 3-3 1/2 hours or until carrots are fork tender.

CREAMY GARLIC BACON PARMESAN BRUSSELS SPROUTS or CARROTS

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts & Bacon will become your NEW favorite way to eat Brussels Sprouts! Pan fried PLUS bacon and baked in a cheesy creamy garlic sauce topped with bubbling mozzarella and Parmesan cheese is a sure fire winner! This recipe is guaranteed to convert ANY sprouts hating fan!  BUT, and this is a GREAT but, this recipe is even better with carrots!

CREAMY GARLIC PARMESAN BRUSSELS SPROUTS
10 ounces bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed bottom and cut sprouts in half
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with
1 tablespoon water cornstarch slurry
1/3 cup fresh grated mozzarella
1/4 cup fresh shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Fry the bacon in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat until crispy.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate to soak up some of the oil. Set aside.
  • Drain most of the bacon fat from the pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons for added flavor.
  • In the same pan, melt the butter.
  • Add the Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper.
  • Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and cook while stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes.
  • The edges should start crisping and slightly charring.
  • Add in the garlic and stir it through the sprouts for a minute, until fragrant.
  • Pour in the cream, reduce heat down to low and allow them to come to a SLOW simmer until tender, another 3-4 minutes.
  • If the sauce is too thin, whisk together the cornstarch and water and add to sauce stirring it through until combined.
  • Add the bacon in and mix well to blend all of the flavors together.
  • Top the sprouts with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  • Bake until cheese is bubbly and Brussels sprouts are done to your liking, about 15 minutes. If you like your cheese browned, change oven settings to broil for 2-3 minutes, until golden.
  • Season to taste before serving.

BACON WRAPPED ASPARAGUS BUNDLES

BACON WRAPPED ASPARAGUS BUNDLES serves 6
6 slices bacon
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
¼ cup PACKED brown sugar
¼ cup butter
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
FRESH ground black pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Arrange bacon on baking sheet and cook 5-6 minutes JUST until fat starts to render, but NOT browned.
  • Cool bacon on paper toweling.
  • Wipe down baking sheet.
  • Arrange asparagus into 6 bundles.
  • Wrap a slice of bacon around each bundle securing with a toothpick.*see notes
  • Arrange on baking sheet.
  • In a small saucepan combine the butter, liquid aminos, brown sugar, garlic salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Pour over asparagus.
  • Roast 20-25 minutes until asparagus is tender and bacon is cooked through.
  • Heat broiler.
  • Place baking sheet under broiler for 2 minutes JUST until bacon crisps up.

NOTE: If your bacon pieces are long enough you can tuck them in and place the tucked portion on the bottom to avoid the need of toothpicks all together.

SWEET & SOUR CUCUMBERS & ONIONS – 2 versions – AMERICAN & JAPANESE

SWEET & SOUR CUCUMBERS
3 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
1 small red onion, quartered and sliced
FRESH sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3-4 tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 cup COLD water

  • Whisk together water, vinegar, sugar and oil until well blended.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and pepper.
  • Toss cucumbers and onions in a bowl.
  • Pour vinegar mixture over and gently toss.
  • Chill.

NOTE:  If I have them I often add thinly sliced radishes also.

The Japanese version is similar, but just enough different for a nice flavor change.
JAPANESE CUCUMBER SALAD
3 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
1 small onion, quartered and sliced
2 tablespoons sea salt
FRESH ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos

  • Sprinkle cucumber slices with sea salt and let stand 30 minutes.
  • Wash salt off cucumber slices, gently squeezing the water out of the cucumbers.
  • Place cucumbers and onion pieces in a bowl.
  • Whisk together the vinegar, sugar and liquid aminos.
  • Pour over cucumbers and toss gently.
  • Chill.

GRAN’S CORN PUDDING

GRAN’S CORN PUDDING
4 LARGE eggs
1 cup WHOLE milk
1-15 ½ ounce cream style corn
1 can white shoepeg corn, drained well
5 slices day old STALE or toasted sourdough bread without crusts
½ cup sugar
1-2 tablespoons butter, thinly sliced or cubed small

  • Grease a 9×9 baking dish. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together the eggs and milk.
  • Add the corn and sugar, blending well.
  • Cut the bread into ½ inch cubes.
  • Arrange bread cubes in the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Pour corn mixtures over bread cubes.
  • Dot with butter.
  • Bake uncovered 60 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

NOTE:  When I prepared this tonight I didn’t realize we were out of sourdough so I use a rye with caraway seeds that actually added some seriously GREAT flavor.

BALSAMIC CHARRED GARLIC CARROTS

To add a bit of an edgier flavor to carrots I use balsamic vinegar and then char them crisp.  Flavored balsamic vinegars work well also.  Tonight I used a pineapple coconut white balsamic vinegar.

BALSAMIC CHARRED GARLIC CARROTS
2 pounds carrots, sliced on the diagonal or smaller carrots halved lenghtwise
2 cloves garlic, minced or sliced paper thin
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon garlic oil (avocado or olive work well too)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • Heat butter and oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add carrots and garlic, stirring to coat well.
  • Cover and simmer 5 minutes until carrots begin to soften.
  • Uncover and continue to simmer until carrots begin to char.
  • Add balsamic vinegar and stir to coat well.
  • Cook 2-3 minutes more until carrots are charred, cooked through and most liquid is absorbed.

ROASTED SALT & VINEGAR POTATOES

ROASTED SALT & VINEGAR POTATOES serves 4-6

2 pounds baby potato mix
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/3 cup avocado oil
1 large bunch green onions, thinly sliced, greens and whites separated
FRESH ground LARGE flake sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Scrub potatoes and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake 30-45 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife tip.
  • Allow potatoes to cool COMPLETELY!
  • Cut them in half.
  • Whisk together the mustard and vinegar.
  • Gradually add avocado oil in a steady stream to mustard mixture while continuously whisking.
  • Toss potatoes, onion whites with vinegar sauce in a large bowl.
  • Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet.
  • Roast 10-15 minutes more until edges begin to crisp.
  • Adjust seasoning.
  • Pour onto a platter.
  • Garnish with green onion tops.

BRAISED GREEN BEANS & POTATOES

BRAISED GREEN BEANS & POTATOES serves 6

1 teaspoon avocado oil
2 strips bacon, chopped
2 shallots, halved and sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken stock
FRESHLY ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds small red and/or white potatoes, with a strip peeled around the centers
1 pound green beans trimmed and sectioned

  • Cook bacon over medium high heat until crispy.
  • Remove bacon from grease with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper toweling.
  • Add avocado oil to bacon grease.
  • Add shallots, stirring occasionally until tender, about 2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and red pepper, stirring frequently 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock, salt and potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes or JUST until potatoes are tender enough to be fork pierced, but still firm.
  • Add green beans, cover and simmer 6-7 minutes until tender.
  • Remove potatoes and green beans with a slotted spoon to a serving dish.
  • Bring liquid to a boil and reduce to 1 cup.
  • Spoon over vegetables and gently fold to mix.
  • Sprinkle with bacon and serve.

CUCUMBER SALAD

CUCUMBER SALAD

1 LARGE English cucumber, peeled and chopped to 2 cups
1/2 cup chopped seeded Roma tomatoes, about 2 large tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped FRESH Italian flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped FRESH cilantro
4 red mini peppers, about 1/3 cup chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sour cream
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • In a Salad bowl toss together the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and peppers.
  • Whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth.
  • Add parsley and cilantro.
  • Pour over cucumber mixture and gently toss.

TEXAS BBQ BEANS

TEXAS BBQ BEANS
8 slices bacon, chopped
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup JIF peanut butter
1 bottle 809 beer
1/4 cup jalapeno ketchup
2 cans (15 ounce) small white beans, drained and rinsed well

  • In a large dutch oven cook bacon until browned and crisp.
  • With a slotted spoon remove bacon pieces to drain on paper toweling.
  • Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
  • Add onions, stirring until softened.
  • Add garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add beer, brown sugar, peanut butter and ketchup, stirring to blend well.
  • Fold in beans and bacon.
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes until beans are heated through and sauce is thickened.
  • Let stand, covered 5 minutes.

SAVORY FRIED CABBAGE

SAVORY FRIED CABBAGE
4 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped Red onion or shallot
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head cabbage, quartered and then shredded
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered.
  • Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • Add the onion to the bacon fat, cooking 4-5 minutes until translucent.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minutes or so.
  • Add the cabbage, vinegar and pepper flakes. Cook and stir 15-20 minutes until cabbage is tender.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Add bacon back in and serve hot.

BOSTON BAKED BEANS ala SLOW COOKER

Not too long ago I researched Navy beans for my Navy Bean & Ham soup. During that research I also found that navy beans, named after the bean of choice of the U.S. Navy, are the main bean used in Boston Baked Beans. I have been making my BBQ Bean dinner for years using canned BUSH beans, but decided it was time to make true Boston Baked Beans my way. I found that most versions used salt pork, but I like the bacon too so I chose to use both. You could substitute if your prefer though. I also eliminated all mustard due to an allergy, but also because I prefer the sweeter version.

Here is my version:

BOSTON BAKED BEAN DINNER ala SLOW COOKER
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 pound salt pork, cubed & browned
2 large Vidalia or Maui onion, chopped small
4 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup jalapeno ketchup
1 cup molasses
3 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup vinegar
1 pound navy beans

  • Soak beans overnight.
  • Brown hamburger, drain and layer into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Cube and brown the salt pork. Add to slow cooker.
  • Fry bacon until crisp. Crumble bacon into pieces. Add to slow cooker.
  • Chop onion into small pieces and scatter over the meat.
  • Add the beans to the slow cooker.
  • Scatter the brown sugar over top evenly.
  • Stir together the molasses, ketchup, chicken stock, vinegar, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Pour evenly over everything in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  • Serve with Beer Bread or Cheddar Cheese Biscuits.
  • Great dish for a church pot luck.

NOTE: Add enough chicken stock so that the beans are COMPLETELY covered.

BOSTON BAKED BEAN DINNER
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 pound salt pork, cubed & browned
2 large Vidalia or Maui onion, chopped small
4 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 cup jalapeno ketchup
1 cup molasses
3 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup vinegar
1 pound navy beans

  • Soak beans overnight.
  • Brown hamburger, drain and layer into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Cube and brown the salt pork. Add to slow cooker.
  • Fry bacon until crisp. Crumble bacon into pieces. Add to slow cooker.
  • Chop onion into small pieces and scatter over the meat.
  • Add the beans to the slow cooker.
  • Scatter the brown sugar over top evenly.
  • Stir together the molasses, ketchup, vinegar, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Pour evenly over everything in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  • Serve with Beer Bread or Cheddar Cheese Biscuits.
  • Great dish for a church pot luck.

OLD FASHIONED BOSTON BAKED BEANS
1 pound Navy beans, washed and sorted
1/2 pound salt pork, diced small
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup PURE maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses

  • Dice salt pork and layer on bottom of slow cooker.
  • Chop onion and scatter over salt pork pieces.
  • Wash and sort beans.
  • Place beans in slow cooker on top of salt pork.
  • Cover with 5 cups water.
  • Cook on low overnight for 12 hours.
  • Drain beans, reserving liquid.
  • Return beans to slow cooker.
  • Add vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, maple syrup and molasses and blend well.
  • Add in 1/2 cup of bean water as desired for consistency.
  • Heat through for an hour or so.