Sunday, August 7, 2011

One of our favorite summer meals

Thinking yesterday about when I first moved out on my own with Deborah and Carol, we used to have a favorite once a week meal, especially in the summer. That meal included hamburgers, baked beans and potato salad. You will find the potato salad recipe in an earlier post. Today, we will talk about the hamburgers and baked beans. The hamburgers were simple, a pound of ground chuck or ground round, 1/2 pkg Frenches onion soup mix, salt and pepper, 1/4 cup bread crumbs holds the burgers together. Mix and form burgers and grill. One pound makes four burgers.

I use 2 of this size can for the baked beans, more if I am taking them somewhere

Now for the baked beans! These are special baked beans with a secret ingredient that had not been shared until I was in charge of making the baked beans at the fire department for our annual dinner one year. You will see that the secret ingredient is a touch of prepared mustard.

Baked Beans
2 cans pork and beans, pork removed
1 onion chopped
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (may use light brown)
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard (1 tsp powdered mustard may be substituted, I use regular yellow mustard)
Stir together in baking dish and top with bacon slices.

Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour, you want the "soupiness" gone. I don't time them when I cook them, I just take them out when they look like I want them to look.

The beans should look like this when they are done

Make the potato salad from the earlier post, and you have a great, easy, quick summer (or anytime) meal. Rick and I had this quite often in our early years together, and several times a year in our later years.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Back in 1978 after graduating from nursing school, I moved out of the only home I had ever known. My best friend's mother said "it will never last, she'll be back".......that bit of lack of confidence in my ability to make it on my own made me very determined to do just that. I have been back for a weekend (and a couple of weeks when we lived in MA) on occasion when we lived away from here, but I never moved back. That probably was not one of my wiser moves......hahaha. But then again, if I had been living at home, I most likely would never have met Rick and most likely I would not be posting a thanks Patsy for that comment!

The room-mate I had for 3 years and I used to make lots of different things, one of which was home-made spaghetti sauce, so I will post that recipe here:
Spaghetti Sauce
2 large cans crushed or diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 medium onion chopped finely
2 green bell peppers coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp minced garlic (I buy it in the jar and keep it in the fridge)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp oregano leaves (if you use fresh, use the lesser amount)
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 pound sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 pound ground meat (chuck or round)
Parmesan cheese as desired

Combine all ingredients in a crock-pot and simmer 3-4 hours
Brown and drain one pound ground chuck or ground round; drain, and add to the sauce OR make the meatballs from an earlier post. Serve over cooked spaghetti or your favorite pasta. Enjoy!