Archive for the 'Beans and Legumes' Category

Recipe: BBQ Chicken, Beans and Salad

|September 7, 2013|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Oh so simple!

I love bbq chicken!  And when you make it in the oven it is just fall-off-the bone goodness!

The little guy had his year-end picnic a couple weeks ago and they had a local BBQ place (BW's BBQ) do the chickens.  Well – to me – you go to a chicken barbecue and you see them making the chickens, basting/mopping them, etc.  Well it smelled good – but that was about it.

What ever happened to the days you went to a chicken barbecue, got a half chicken on a plate and they passed salads of all sorts around for you to help yourself to?  And the salads were GOOD!

After the chicken was cooked it was placed in a styrofoam container with a scoop of coleslaw and a scoop of potato salad.  (just gotta love portion control!) Plopped a plastic bag with a plastic fork and knife, one thin paper napkin, and a wet one to clean your hands when you were done.

Where would you like me to start?

I'll start with the chicken – dry – no flavor – apparently they use a rub which burns on the grill and that was the only taste there was to the chicken.  You got to eat charcoal flavored skin and the meat on the chicken had absolutely NO FLAVOR WHATSOEVER. Talk about dryness!  You had to choke it down!

Moving over to the potato salad – made with those frozen diced potatoes – card board tasting – disappointing.  Sure as hell doesn't compare to homemade!

Coleslaw – certainly nothing worth writing about.

Well none of us could finish it – not because it of the size (I think elementary school lunches have more to them!) but because of the taste.

I don't know about you – but I love a good barbecued chicken that has that fall-off-the- bone goodness and is finger-licking good!

Certainly not worth the $12 per person we all paid!

Hell – if it was good – I would have paid more than that!

And being such a bbq chicken nut – I just decided to make a simple dinner to satisfy that fall-off-the-bone, finger lickin' good bbq chicken.

Just oven baked, served with pork and beans and a nice refreshing salad with a simple and tasty homemade oil/vinegar vinaigrette.  Oh so good – and flavorful! 



We had a hard time getting the chicken in the dish before it fell off the bones!


Served with egg dinner rolls…………..


Recipe: A nice slice of top round and a crockpot! And bean salad!

|October 9, 2011|read comments (4)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

A couple weeks ago there was a beef sale at the market – buy one, get one (of equal or lesser amount) free. Usually I don’t bother much with those “sales” because the price per pound has been increased immensely and they pump them with so much water.

But I stopped to take “peek” at their thick-sliced top round steaks. They had 2 beautiful ones there – each averaging $9.00 so I bought them, brought them home and froze them. Paying $9.00 for both – okay.

Yesterday I took one out of the freezer to thaw it for today. By 4:30 this morning (remember – I have to be at the babies house so mom can catch her ride to the terminal – she’s a school bus aide) I had the steak rinsed, patted dry, in the crockpot with Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic, parsley, and a bit of onion powder. I sliced up a beautiful onion – one of those that would be perfect for a large bloomin’ onion – turned the crockpot on HIGH and ran out the door.

When I got home after 9:00 I turned the steak over – it was about half cooked. Fine by me.

So I made a basic 3-Bean Salad:

1 can (15 oz.) yellow wax beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) green beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained


1/3 cup sugar, in
1/3 cup vinegar (I used white today – cider is okay to use as well)

Stirring in:
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon dried parsley

¼ cup olive oil – mix well.

Pour over beans; mix well, cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

By 11:30 I was peeling my potatoes to make mashed potatoes and starting my gravy. I tried to turn the steak and it just fell apart! Excellent!

One bowl of really good gravy!! Mmmmmm…..!

Really a no-fuss meal – filling – and the steak was fork-tender and just melted in our mouths.

Add a slice of French bread – I’m a happy camper!

We had our big meal at noon-time – and the left over meat and gravy will make nice “pulled beef’ and gravy open-faced sammies with steak fries for dinner! (with a much easier clean-up!)

Yes – I am still complaining about this heat and humidity – it’s been non-stop for months!

Today I cheated a bit in the kitchen – for lunch I made hoagies on some nice bomber rolls!

Cotto salami
Tomato (sliced thin)
Fresh ground black pepper

Tummy filling and no heat involved.
But then dinner time rolls around – so I had to cook “fast” –

Skillet fried Polish sausage topped with onions on hotdog rolls,, with baked beans and corn on the cob.

And tons of iced tea!

I'm also the type that tops my hotdogs and sausages by placing my onions on the roll first, then the rest of the condiments, then the sausage or hot dog. I don't lose my onions that way! LOL

Recipe: Just a “normal” Sunday in an Italian home??

|February 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Being Italian, it was normal to have macaroni on Sundays and Thursdays each week. And of course, since Friday was a no-meat day, if you didn’t have fish – you ate macaroni. I never tire of macaroni. It can be fixed so many different ways that you could never get tired of it.

There are so many sauces that you can use, and so many ingredients that you can add to make wonderful dishes.
But today I was going to make something completely different than macaroni. Until last night/early this morning…………..

You see – where I live – we don’t get tornadoes and we don’t have systems in place with sirens to warn us to get to shelters. But with the storms we had going through here last night, and a tornado heading this way in the middle of the night – WHAT DO I DO? My knowledge of tornado-safety (?) comes from watching movies like, “Tornado,” “Atomic Twister,”, “Twister,” and, of course, “The Wizard of Oz”!! Okay – stop rolling on the floor laughing.

I prefer to stay in the kitchen – it’s safer than the outside world! LOL! (and it keeps me out of trouble – sometimes!)

But seriously, when it’s storming outside, and it’s the black of night – you can’t see anything coming! We had so much rain that I felt like my home was under Niagara Falls! And this tornado warning/watch/whatever was on until 9 this morning. So dummass me stayed up ALL NIGHT LONG so that I can get us down into the basement.

They say it sounds like a train when it is coming. I know that sound – we have trains right down the street from us. Like THAT is going to help. I can just see me rounding up everything because a train is on the tracks!

Needless to say – the tornado warning/watch/whatever moved south of us – far enough that we didn’t have to worry. But you never can tell. So I went to bed at 9 this morning and slept for an hour and a half, I’m dragging my butt, I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone, and my plans for a nice meal today were blown away with the storm. And it was a perfect day for oven cooking – it’s cold, damp – just right for warming up the house and the tummy.

So I resorted to macaroni. I’ve been wishing for macaroni with beans anyway so I heated my big skillet and placed a frozen solid lump of ground beef in it; “working it down” so I can season it with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, ground fennel, garlic, parsley, onion powder.

No way was I going to make a “normal” spaghetti sauce – I just wanted to cook and get it over with. So I added a small can of tomato paste, 2 paste cans of water, a can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, seasoned with more salt, pepper, parsley, basil, marjoram, onion powder, paprika, a pinch of chili powder and red pepper flakes, garlic and a sprinkle of fresh grated Pecorino Romano.

Then I rinsed a can of kidney beans and added those to the skillet. I let that simmer away until my macaroni was cooked.

Meanwhile, I boiled my water, and cooked small rigatoni. Drained and added to skillet.

Made a quick salad – lettuce, tomatoes, onion with olive oil and vinegar; seasoned. Add a slice of hearty Italian bread – and it was all done in less than 45 minutes!

Now – the sun is shining – it’s still cold – and the storms may come back tonight. But I think this “tornado scare” is over for us.

And I need some zzzzzzzz’s!

(stop laughing at me……

Recipe: Thursday – Lasagna and salad –

|February 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

It’s Thursday alright! A favorite day for me.

I went to the “barns” yesterday in the city – no they are not real barns like you would find on a farm – but they’ve been called barns my whole life. They are wholesale supply houses – all in a row – or should I say in rows. And as the years go by – some look worse than ever! A couple have remodeled – the rest I think they are just waiting for them to fall down. You can buy anything there – and there is also an outdoor market that they run all year ‘round. There are sausage vendors, beer distributors, those that sell only fruits and veggies indoors, dairy, meats – anything at all.

But that is where you can buy in bulk, buy all the fresh meats, veggies, fruits, dairy products, etc. for restaurants, stores, hotels, and other businesses. My whole family has shopped there since the barns were built. After all – many have had restaurants. I love being able to shop before dawn and get back home. Then I don’t need to put up with all the city traffic in the morning. At that time everything is stocked and fresh – they close between 1 and 4 in the afternoon, depending on the vendor, so it’s definitely a early-bird shopping experience.

It’s got that “comfy” feel to it – although it is so old. Many memories of filling grocery flats with food for an army and bringing it home to cook for the army.

Although it’s no longer an army, most of the elders have passed – and my generation is soon going to be the elders of the family. To think that soon I’ll be the family “Don” —–

You can also buy restaurant dishes, silverware, pots and pans, and all the goodies for trimming restaurants.

Ninety-five percent of my dishes are restaurant dishes. They last forever – that’s how it is in my family. Several of my great aunts took on jobs working at the local china business – they made many of those dishes that I have.

Not only do I buy food items, “wares”, pots, pans, etc. but I usually buy all my waxed paper, foils, etc. in bulk, It’s much cheaper to have large rolls of foil in two different widths around for several years than to have to buy it weekly or monthly. Better quality too. And if I need any other paper products – I can get them there.

Yesterday was a day to pick up some odds-n-ends – a bag of yeast for making bread (for $3 I can make a ton of bread, pizza, calzones, cinnamon rolls, etc.), a gallon jar of pepperoncini is a must in my house and I only paid $4.85 for it; a jar of pepperoncini in the store is close to $4 and there is nothing in it. I purchased a whole provolone cheese – for salads, sammies, grating on pizzas, etc., some is in the freezer. I bought the institutional size of the herbs and spices that I needed – they cost from $6 to $9 each – once again – brand name – and those little jars by the same company on the supermarket shelf will choke you.

I grabbed a whole liverwurst for quickie sammies to pick on – we are liverwurst people here and as long as it is in the refrigerator I hear it calling my name and I run to it. (I’m bad!)

When I make meatloaf and stuffed cabbage rolls, I sometimes like to put tomato soup in the meat/filling and also use as a sauce on top. Our supermarket is selling condensed cream of tomato soup (the 10 ounce cans) for up to $1.59 or more a can. Sometimes I need two for the meatloaf or cabbage rolls. For $3.40 each, I purchased the institutional sized cans of the same soup – I’ll have soup leftover to enjoy with grilled cheese, or just to drink after raking leaves (or shoveling) as a tummy warmer. I even bought cream of chicken and cream of potato – great for making casseroles – or should I say – my “fishes and loaves” – and these institutional cans cost no more than or even less than 2 regular size cans.

Another thing I purchase there is tuna fish. A can of tuna that is over 4 pounds costs only $7.65. I don’t have the time, patience, and I don’t want to put my money into the cans on the supermarket shelves that are filled with water or oil and there is no tuna in it – just a few flakes. If making several sandwiches and using some in macaroni salad I would need to open 10 cans or more at more than a dollar a can – buy institutional – it’s cheaper and at least it has chunks of tuna in it – not just a few flakes.

I’m also able to buy eggs on steroids there. Trust me – the eggs they sell don’t even fit in the cartons they are so big! A dozen is cheaper than a dozen in the supermarkets by at least 60 cents.

And I bought pepperoni. They way we go through that here, I need to buy it in bulk.

Got a LARGE jar of maraschino cherries for baking as well.

Grabbed a few more goodies, and the nice gentlemen there packed my trunk and car (too bad they couldn’t come home with me and help put it all away – that is the down-side of grocery shopping) and I was on my way.

After making dozens of trips to unload the car (dang boxes were too heavy to lift – had to empty by hand!) I was ready to start to get ready for today.

Using a gallon of whole milk and some lemon juice (this time), I made my homemade ricotta cheese.

Today, it’s Thursday, I’m Italian – it’s pasta for dinner. I made my homemade meat sauce, made my lasagna noodles, assembled my lasagna – and we had a great dinner.

I made a salad of green beans, diced provolone, and pepperoncini, tossed with a basic vinaigrette made from olive oil, red wine vinegar, Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, basil.

We still break bread on occasion in my house – it’s just a tradition – crusty Italian to complete the meal.