Food

Even Picky Eaters Like this Spinach Recipe

My son loves this spinach recipe and has since he was old enough to complain about what goes on his plate. Often I make this and flaky biscuits with butter and marmalade for a two-person meal. It’s a great side, but it can be a meal all by itself. If you like it as much as we do, you’ll make it a meal.

Ingredients needed for the best spinach recipe:

  • 4 slices bacon ( I use Pederson’s Uncured Apple Smoked Bacon. The fat is clear and doesn’t smoke. Additionally, the flavor is awesome.)
  • 1 large shallot (If you don’t have a shallot, a whole small red onion is good too.)
  • 1/4 c. red wine (I use whatever I have on hand.)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • A handful of dried cranberries (I don’t measure, I grab.)
  • 1 5-oz package of baby spinach (Pre-washed. Nothing is more tedious than washing spinach. I use Earthbound Farm Organic.)
saute bacon and spinach
Slice bacon into bits. Saute. Drain excess fat, but leave a tad in the pot to saute the remaining ingredients. When lightly browned, add sliced shallot and saute until opaque.
add wine to bacon and shallots
Add dried cranberries and stir. Saute for just a minute. Add brown sugar and wine. Stir to dissolve brown sugar. Add whole package of spinach. Cover. Stay close at hand because after about a minute, you’ll want to open the pot to check on the spinach. You should notice that the liquid and steam are reducing it. Give the spinach a stir, coating it with the dressing. Cover for another minute. Stir. You don’t want to over cook the spinach. You want it to retain its pretty green color.

 

spinach recipe

When the spinach is at this stage, it’s ready to eat!

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. If you do, let me know if you were satisfied or not.

Food

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese – Easy Recipe

Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

I needed comfort food today. I also needed to use up some cheese. Fondue is a great way to pool a variety of cheeses, but I wanted something more casserole-like. Additionally, I wanted to be able to pack it for lunch tomorrow.

Here is the original homemade macaroni and cheese recipe from Southern Living’s 2002 Annual Recipes book.

  • 1 (8-ounce) package of large elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 16 saltine crackers, finely crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1 (10-ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (10-ounce) block extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups of milk

Layer one-third each of macaroni, crackers, salt, pepper, and cheeses into a lightly greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Repeat layers twice. Whisk together eggs and milk; pour over pasta mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until golden and set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

My variations on the recipe include:

  • I used the cheese I had on hand – mild cheddar and smoked gouda.
  • Rather than layering noodles, cheese, and crackers as directed – I put all of the noodles in the baking dish, tossed them with cheese, salt, and pepper and half of the cracker crumbs. I then topped the casserole with the remaining crumbs before putting it into the oven.
  • I replaced one cup of milk with a cup of half and half.
  • I also used only 5 eggs. I didn’t want a custard.
  • I used 20 saltines. Some were crushed finely, others were not.
Crafts, Food

Handmade Christmas Goodies – Chili Beer Bread

I decided to make all of my gifts this Christmas to save money, and I like the homemade touch. I’m creating gift baskets with a variety of homemade things, including mixes for chili beer bread and jambalaya.

Chili Beer Bread

The Chili Beer bread mix is a kitchen-tested recipe. It’s very good.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seed powder
  • 1 12 oz. beer
  • 1/4 c. of melted butter

You’ll find the instructions for making Chili Beer Bread on the recipe tags I created. If you’re making the mix for gifts, put all of the dry ingredients into quart-sized ziploc bags. Squeeze out the air as your zipping the bags closed. Cut out the instructions, paste on to the back of recycled Christmas cards, punch holes in the cards, and tie to your homemade gift bags. I also included my own label. All gift bags were made from scrap fabric.

Chili Beer Bread Mix - Wrapped
I packaged the chili beer bread mix with a mix for jambalaya and a candle, or more accurately a recycled candle (learn how to make old candles new). Everyone in my family is getting a custom package.

Christmas Mix Set - Chili Beer Bread and Jambalaya Mix