This blog... a compilation of my favorite recipes. They have been collected over several years found in various places: the internet, magazines, and cookbooks to name a few. These recipes are meals that I consider to "feed more than your body". These are meals that I hope nurish the heart and soul of those who eat them. I hope that when you have cleaned your plate, you feel like you have taken part in more than just a meal-that you have taken part in something bigger than yourself and food. Whether it is culture, your local place of living, or the life of the plant or those who share this planet, I hope these meals help your family-and mine-to appreciate that we are more than just beings consuming food; we are all connected. And more than that, I hope that these meals help you remember how fortunate you are and that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.".

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Cake Squares

1 (18.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 eggs, divided
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened

Oven at 350. Measure out one cup of the cake mix and set aside for later use. Lightly beat one egg, remaining cake mix, and the melted butter together. Press mixture into the bottom of a greased (and floured) 9x13" baking pan.
Lightly beat other 3 eggs, mix in pumpkin, both sugars, milk and cinnamon. Pour mixture over cake mix in the pan (this pumpkin mixture might be very liquidy. It will firm up upon cooking.)
Take reserved 1 cup cake mix and the softened butter and beat together until it forms soft crumbles. Sprinkle crumbles evenly over the pumpkin mixture in the pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Once cooled, cut into squares.

Sweet and Sour Veggies

1 medium onion, sliced
4 medium carrot, peeled, sliced
2 medium celery stalk, sliced
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup French dressing
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. grated ginger root
1/2-1 cup water**
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained, liquid reserved
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 medium green pepper, sliced
1 medium red pepper, sliced
4-1/2 cups hot cooked rice

Place onions, carrots and celery in slow cooker. Add combined brown sugar, dressing, soy sauce, ginger and water. Cover with lid. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours (or on high for 3-1/2 to 4 hours). During last 30 min. of cooking time, increase to high. Stir cornstarch into reserved pineapple liquid; add to slow cooker along with the pineapple and peppers. Cook 30 min. or until peppers are crisp-tender and sauce is thickened. Serve over the rice.

**Note-add the additional water to the consistency you like. I like a more saucy dish so I use the full cup of water. If you like thicker sauce, use less water. You can always add more water or more cornstarch to adjust the thickness of the sauce.

Vegetarian Biscuit Casserole

1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed soup (your choice of flavors)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups (one 15 oz can) white beans
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup shredded cheese (your choice)
1 cup all-purpose baking mix

Oven at 375. Mix soup and sour cream in a large bowl. Stir in beans, vegetables and cheese. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish. Mix baking mix according to packaged directions. Spoon into 6 mounds over bean and veggie mixture. Bake 35 min. or until biscuits are golden brown and bean and veggies are hot and bubbly.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mexican Casserole with Cornbread Topping

1 cup onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons dry taco seasoning mix**
1 (15-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
4 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1 package of cornbread mix, prepared as directed on box.

Saute pepper and onion in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Open can of tomatoes and discard 2 tablespoons of the liquid. Add taco seasoning mix (and salt if using), tomatoes with remaining liquid, and beans. Mix lightly. Let simmer about 5 minutes. If too watery, mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch with one tablespoon of water. Add to mixture and let bubble 1-2 minutes to thicken. Spoon mixture into 9x12-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Pour prepared cornbread mix over the top. Spread to cover. Bake at 375ºF for 18-25 minutes or until cornbread is done.
Serves 4 to 6.

**Note-if using homemade taco seasoning, add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt along with the seasoning.
**Note-this can be made ahead and frozen, except for the cornbread mixture. Thaw completely in the fridge overnight and then cook as directed.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Overnight Carmel French Toast

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
12 slices bread
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 eggs
1 ½ c milk
1 t vanilla

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, heat butter and sugar stirring constantly. Once sugar is dissolved/melted, remove from heat. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Top with the bread. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and remaining cinnamon. Pour over bread. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.
Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

**Note-with the carmel topping, I find this french toast sweet enough. The bread itself (if bites are eaten apart from the topping) is not very sweet. If you desire more of a sweet bread, you may add about 1/4 cup of extra sugar to the egg mixture.
**Note-While eating this, I thought it would taste delicious with apples in the carmel topping. If desired, stir in about 1 cup of finely chopped apples after the carmel has melted in the sauce pan.