Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pressure Cooker 🍝 Meatballs and Pasta 🍝

Have you heard me mention a few times how much I love, love, love my pressure cooker? Seriously, I can't wait to test a few more dishes and post them for you. There is nothing like coming home, dumping a few ingredients in a pot, taking 10-15 minutes for the pot to get to the correct pressure and having this dish cooked in 8 minutes. Yes, with frozen meatballs and uncooked pasta. And delicious? Flavor infused is no exaggeration. Pressure cooker pulled chicken on hoecakes and shredded taco chicken wrapped up in a tortilla are super quick and very, very tasty using this device. Should I mention cooking two whole partially frozen chickens in around 38 minutes with the meat falling off the bone again? I'm not one to buy every gadget out there (I just don't have the space nor like to spend the money) but this one was worth every penny.

This dish makes more than enough to feed a family. It's way too much for just two. Eventually I'll scale it back but I have enjoyed the leftovers at work!
Dump one bag (26 oz--1.5 lbs). of frozen Italian meatballs in the pressure cooker.
Dump 1 lb. of uncooked rigatoni pasta over the meatballs.
Pour one 45 oz. jar of your favorite Italian spaghetti sauce on top.
Fill the jar with water and fill just up to the line in the pot.
Turn the lid into position to lock it.
Close the valve.
Push the cook button and set the timer to 8 minutes. The zeros on the left will turn as the pressure is building. Once it's at the correct pressure, it'll start counting down.
When it counts down to zero and beeps, bump the switch to release.
A lot of steam will be released so be super careful you do not get a steam burn!!
The cooker will automatically go  to KEEP WARM mode.
Once the steam is released, you will be able to move the lid to the unlock position. Carefully open the lid away from your face!! The contents will be hot and you don't want to burn yourself!
It smells heavenly!! Using a big spoon, stir the contents of the pot.
Top with some Mozzarella and shaved or shredded Pamesan cheeses. Put the lid back on and lock it.
Give it time to let the cheeses melt. Serve with garlic toast and dig in!! Remember this will be HOT!

1-1/2 lbs. frozen meatballs
1 lb. pasta
45 oz. jar Italian spaghetti sauce
Mozarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
Garlic bread

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hamburger Soup aka Vegetable Beef Soup

Mr. Grisham reeled me in with this soup YEARS ago. When he uses my homegrown, canned tomatoes to make it, there's nothing better. It falls into the "hurt yourself from eating so much" category. In my opinion, this doesn't need anything else but eating, but Andy likes to make peanut butter or homemade pimiento cheese sandwiches to eat with it. At times I will bake up some cornbread, but the flavor is so rich I don't want anything taking away from the flavor.

As you see in the picture below, it should be thick enough that your spoon stands up in the pot. So there is your goal! If you can fix it the night before you're going to eat it...even better! This is a one pot dish so clean-up is super easy.

1 lbs. ground beef
1 large sweet onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste.
Saute beef and onions in the pot. Season. When meat is browned and onions are tender add the following ingredients and let simmer.

2 cans whole kernal corn, drained
1 cans green beans, drained
1 cans carrots, drained
1 cans baby peas, drained
1 jar (or can) of homegrown canned tomatoes (or store-bought)
1 can black-eyed peas, drained
1 can small lima beans, drained
1 can sliced potatoes, drained and diced smaller
1/2 of a 46 oz bottle of tomato juice
1 can tomato paste to thicken (if needed)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Chicken, Mushroom and Artichoke Casserole

It's hard to believe five years has passed since I started the "Man, That Stuff is Good!" blog. When I scroll through the folders on my computer, I'm even more overwhelmed by how many recipes I haven't gotten around to posting. To say I've been in a transistional state for the past four years has been an understatement. It seems I woke up one day and my zing, energy, gusto, etc. flew out the door. In hindsight I realize how excessive stress can and will destroy your health. Add to that, as my husband tells me, "you do too much for everyone." He has accused me of putting other peoples needs (personal and work) in front of my own and worrying about the consequences of other's peoples actions and trying to fix it for them. Guilty as charged. I've been working on changing that to a positive. It's hard to say No when you are a people pleaser at heart. The last six months I quit doing so much for people who did so little for me. All I can say is I'm sorry I didn't do it sooner.

My last doctor appointment showed that my TSH jumped in one year from 3.78 to 4.958 with 5 being the magic number that a traditional doctor will begin treating you for hypothyroidism. To me, that was like saying, "OK. I realize you stay fatigued, have brain fog, your skin is dry, hair is falling out, nails are breaking, face is puffy, you can't lose weight, muscles and joints ache and you can't sleep. However, we're gonna wait and check your blood again in a few months. Then, if you push five and over, we'll see about prescribing a synthetic hormone." After thinking about it a week, I opted to check into a holistic option. If it works, the proof will be in the next blood test. I will say, two weeks in and my energy has improved and I seem to be sleeping better. And the cause of that stress? Let's just say the sooner you get rid of it, the sooner your health can begin to improve.

Time to get off the soap box. I believe in the motto "Life is Good" and try to embrace that everyday!

Here is a simple casserole filled with two of my favorites: artichokes and mushrooms. The pictures show my old counter tops so it's been a while since I fixed it. I have my scratch pad sheet with my hand-written notes of what I put in the casserole dish. I don't know if I was making this with stuff in the fridge or what. I'm really surprised I don't have spinach in this dish. The next time I do it, it will.

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (stewed and shredded)
16 oz. sliced, fresh Portabella mushrooms
2-3 cans quartered artichokes, drained (I used 3 cans, but I love artichokes)
Olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic salt to taste
1 tablespoon capers
5 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large casserole dish, layer artichokes and mushrooms.
Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Season to taste.
 Add chicken to casserole. Pour broth and lemon juice over meat and veggies.
Drizzle olive oil over the top.
Spread capers over all. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese.
 Bake until mushrooms are cooked and Parmesan cheese is melted.
Serve with steamed brocolli and carrots for a delicious, healthy meal.