Easy Beef Pot Pie

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2 Tenderflake Pie Crusts, or any brand you prefer (this saves time). Leave them out to thaw about 15-20 minutes before using. 1-1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 Cup each of frozen peas and frozen corn 1 carrot, peeled and diced 2 tbsp potato starch, or corn starch 2-3 tbsp liquid beef bouillon Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large frying pan, brown the ground beef until all pink disappears. Add salt and pepper. Stir in frozen peas and corn and the fresh carrot.  a one-cup glass measure, add the potato starch and 1/4 Cup of cold water. Stir to mix starch thoroughly with the water. Add to the beef in the pan. Stir to blend. Add more water if the mixture thickens too quickly and goes stodgy. Mound the beef mixture into one of the pie crusts. Smooth the top of the mixture with a spatula. Using your fingers, wet the edge of the pie crust all the way around. Place the other pie crust over it, upside down, giving the tinfoil pie plate it is in a good whack to let the crust fall over your pie. Use a fork to press the edges down, all the way around, to seal the pie. Use the fork to also flute the top of the pie in three or four spots to allow steam to escape. Bake the pie for 45 minutes or until crust is a nice and golden brown. Serve with a garden salad.   Pot pie is probably one of the most well known “comfort foods.” It sure is nice to eat on a cool day. This reminds me of 2 Corinthians 1:3 which says: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,” (NKJV). No matter what you are going through today, He knows all about it and He is waiting to comfort you. Reach out to Him in prayer and feel His everlasting arms surround you with His love and grace. Oh, your troubles won’t instantly disappear, but you will know for certain you are not alone. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV.

It is a little “Chili” out there

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And so it is February 2nd! I believe we are half way through winter. This one has been doozy. Record cold snaps, a terrible ice storm and so much snow. We may have to open up the garage and shovel some in there! Here is a recipe for Chili to warm you up on those cold, cold days.

2-454g packages of ground sirloin or extra lean ground beef

2 cans maple brown beans

1 can red kidney beans (optional)

1 large can crushed tomatoes

4 fresh tomatoes, chopped

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

5 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2″ lardons

ground cumin, chili powder, smoky paprika, salt and pepper

In a large 5-7 qt pot, saute chopped onion in Extra Virgin Olive Oil until translucent. Add bacon lardons and cook, stirring frequently, until bacon is just beginning to brown/crisp. Add 1-2 tsp of each spice, according to taste, add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground black or white pepper. Stir well.

Meanwhile, in a large fry pan, brown the ground meat breaking up any large chunks. Cook until no pink remains.

Add cooked meat to pot with onions, bacon and spices. Add 2 cans of brown beans, kidney beans if using, and the can of crushed tomatoes. Stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste, especially the chili powder. Add more if you like your chili spicy! Add  the chopped, fresh tomatoes. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring every so often. Serve with crusty bread or warm garlic bread*. Optional: Top each serving of chili with some freshly grated cheddar cheese and/or some chopped, fresh cilantro.

*Easy Garlic Bread

1 baguette cut horizontally, then into serving pieces

1/4 cup of softened butter

1/2 tsp dried parsley

2-3 fresh, minced cloves of garlic

Combine butter, parsley and garlic to form a paste. Spread onto slices of baguette. Broil for 2 minutes or so, keeping an eye on it. Top with grated mozzarella for a cheesy bread.

Psalm 148:7-8 Praise the LORD from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths; Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; (NKJV)

These verses remind me that the Lord is in charge of the weather. As there is not a thing I can do about it, I am glad He is in control. This same control is over every aspect of my life. He is sovereign over all and I trust Him.

Romaine Salad with Lemon & Herb Dressing

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This crispy, crunchy, flavorful salad with its tangy lemon and herb dressing will get your taste buds moving!

One head of Romaine Lettuce, washed and chopped into bite size pieces

8-10 Sun dried tomatoes, sliced into small strips

A large handful of snow peas, washed and with tips cut off

1/2 of a fennel bulb, washed and sliced thin

2 carrots, peeled and cut into pieces

3-4 sliced cremini mushrooms

For the dressing: 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 4 sliced thin, green onions, a pinch of pepper and some sea salt to taste, and one small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped. Mix well and set aside.

Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl. Just before serving, add dressing and toss lightly so all ingredients are hit with the dressing.

 

Psalm 71:8                                                                                                              Let my mouth be filled with Your praise                                                                 And with Your glory all the day.  NKJV

 

Soup for a Cold

The dreaded fall cold arrived the other day and it is not even fall! I made this quick soup to help us get over the symptoms.

1 900 ml reduced sodium chicken broth

1/2 package thin rice noodles

hot red chilies, chopped and deseeded according to how much heat you want*

handful of green beans, washed and trimmed and cut into pieces

1/2 sweet onion

salt, pepper, dried tarragon leaves, dried cilantro leaves

Put rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water until noodles are soft, about 8 minutes. In large pot, place 1 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp veg oil and chopped sweet onion. Cook the onion until translucent. Sprinkle with a heaping tablespoon of dried tarragon leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste and either a good 1-2″ squirt of Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper paste or 1-2 red chilies chopped. (*The more seeds you leave in, the hotter the flavor from the chili. Deseed to reduce the heat. Be careful not to touch your lips or eyes while deseeding and chopping the chilies and wash your hands when you are done. ) Add the green beans with ends trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces. Stir together well. Pour in the carton of chicken broth and simmer 10 minutes or so. When there is about 2 minutes left, drain the rice noodles and add them to the pot. Stir in the dried cilantro leaves and serve with crackers of your choice.

As an added bonus, we had some of this soup left over so I put it in the fridge. The rice noodles soaked up the broth so I put it in a frying pan, added lime juice, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and a bit more chili paste. I let this heat through and served it with grilled chicken and fresh cilantro for supper!

Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD, His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the latter rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth. Hosea 6:3 NKJV. I love this verse! I love the idea of pursuing the knowledge of the LORD. It is an action on our part and involves diligently searching the Scriptures to get to know Him better. 2 Timothy 2:15! If you are feeling rather parched by life lately, pursue Him. Jesus Christ offers us living water, John 4:10, 13-14.

 

Artichoke Heart Salad

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Here is a quick, easy salad for those warm summer nights!

1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drain but reserve 1/4 cup of marinade

lemongrass paste

1-2 tomatoes

fresh basil leaves

salt

extra virgin olive oil

lemon juice

oyster sauce

sweet chili sauce

fresh cilantro

Cut the artichoke hearts into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the 1/4 cup of marinade from the jar. Put chopped tomato, hand-torn basil leaves, (3 or 4), 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt, the extra virgin olive oil, 1/2-1 tbsp lemon juice, a dash or two of the oyster sauce, a dash or three of the sweet chili sauce, and 1/2-1 tbsp lemongrass paste into bowl with artichoke hearts. Stir. Let sit for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Add fresh cilantro, stir and serve.

 

A couple of great thoughts to energize your day:

Psalm 18:19 “He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.” And Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (NKJV) He delights in you and He loves you! Walk with Him!

 

 

What to do with Leftover Steak

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Leftover Steak

Do you ever wonder what to do with leftover steak? The other night we had some leftover flank steak that had been grilled on the BBQ. I wanted to do something different so here is what I came up with!

Steak and Noodle Dish

3-4 green onions, chopped

extra virgin olive oil

butter

leftover grilled flank steak cut into thin slices

2-3 fresh tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup of passata (cooked tomatoes)

zest of 1 lemon

1 package of rice noodles

1-2 tbsp chili powder

lime juice

salt and pepper

chopped fresh cilantro

sliced avocado (optional)

Soak rice noodles in boiling water according to package directions, (10 minutes or so). In a large pan, heat EVOO and butter. Add green onions and saute for a few minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and the 1/2 cup of passata. Simmer for 4 minutes, then add 1-2 tbsp of chili powder and the zest of 1 lemon. Add drained, softened rice noodles to the pan along with the leftover steak. Add 1-2 tbsp of lime juice. Stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve topped with fresh cilantro and avocado. Enjoy!

These verses have been on my mind lately:

“But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, For I do not know their limits. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only. ”   Psalm 71:14-16

Stick to Your Ribs

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Don’t you just love a good rack of ribs? All that tender, juicy meat just falling off of the bones and those lovely, gooey fingers while you eat? However, it seems that a portion of ribs is often the most expensive menu item. Here is an easy way to make them at home with a minimum of fuss and mess. I suggest you buy pork back ribs as these are often meatier than side ribs.

Tender Pork Back Ribs

1-2 racks of pork back ribs, depending on number of people eating

Homemade Rib Rub

Baking Sheet

Tin foil

Homemade BBQ sauce

I used to boil the ribs for over an hour then put them into the oven for a while with the sauce on them. But that meant I had a huge pot to wash as well as the sheet they baked on. Too many dishes to wash! So with this method, they cook slowly in the oven and come out really tender. Tin foil on the sheet makes clean up a breeze. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Layer at least 3 sheets of tin foil on baking sheet making sure you overlap the edges. Sometimes the cooking liquid from the ribs will drift under the tin foil which makes a sticky sheet to clean but at least it doesn’t take too long.

For the homemade rib rub, use any combination of spices you have on hand. Some of my favorite mixtures include: ground cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, Old Bay Seasoning, ground ginger, paprika, ground onion powder, ground garlic powder, ground coriander, dry mustard and chipotle powder if you like the heat. I am not including amounts because I throw in whatever amounts I want and make a big batch to put in a spice jar for another time. However, if you are making this just for the ribs, anywhere from 1-2 tbsp each will work just fine. Adjust amounts to your own personal taste.

Remove ribs from package and dry off with a paper towel. Spray the foil lined sheet with cooking spray. This also makes clean up easier and helps ensure the ribs come off the tray more easily. Place the ribs on the tin foil lined baking sheet. Rub the ribs all over with the rib rub. Place in the 300 degree F oven and let cook slowly for two, to two and a half hours.

Homemade BBQ Sauce: Add any combination of the spices from rib rub, or the leftover rub itself to 2 cups of ketchup, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice. Stir to combine well.

After two, to two and a half hours of cooking in the slow oven, coat ribs with homemade sauce. Reserve extra sauce for serving. Let cook in oven for 15-20 minutes more.

Serve with rice and a salad.

Any discussion of ribs reminds me of Genesis 2:21-21. “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man,”(NKJV). God did this because, “…for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him,” (V 20). I am so glad I am “fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well, (Psalm 139:14b)!

Springing a Leak

It is early February but I have spring on my mind. It is my favorite season. I love the way everything wakes up after the long winter nap. However, thoughts of spring aside, it is still cold outside so here is another soup to warm your chilled bones.

Cream of Leek and Potato Soup

2 leeks, ends trimmed, washed and chopped into 1/4 ” pieces

6 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

3 strips of bacon cut into small pieces

butter, extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil

1 small onion, diced

1 900ml carton of no-sodium chicken broth

1 cup of (35%) Whipping Cream

(optional) few sprigs of fresh rosemary

salt and pepper

In a large pot, place the knob of butter and a good sprinkle of oil. Over medium-low heat, saute the onion, bacon and leeks until the onion is golden and tender, the leeks are getting soft and the bacon is beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper to taste and toss all together. If using the fresh rosemary leaves, add them now. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 35-45 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Add 1 cup of whipping cream, stir well and simmer until heated through. If desired, use an immersion blender to puree the soup and serve hot. Delicious with a few croutons added and some grated cheddar cheese. Enjoy!

This particular recipe brings a couple of verses to mind. The first one is found in Matthew 5:13. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” May we take every opportunity to keep the salt of our life in Jesus Christ fresh for Him, so we may tell others about Him, for His glory. The second verse is Colossians 4:6.”Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Both are NKJV). Lord, let me speak gracious, nurturing words as a testimony to Your love and grace in my life.

 

There’s Something Fishy About This One

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This recipe is one for any white fish. I made it the first time with Mahi Mahi, but also made it last week with haddock fillets. Delicious!

Club House Lemon & Herb Seasoning

4 fillets of your choice, any white fish

2 tbsp Butter

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Fresh Cilantro

Sweet Chilli Sauce

Lemon Juice

In a pan, melt butter with EVOO. Place fish fillets in pan and sprinkle with Club House Lemon & Herb Seasoning. Turn fish after 3 minutes and put more seasoning on the second side of each piece of fish. Add a handful of fresh Cilantro to the pan and 2 Tbsp of Sweet Chilli Sauce. Add 4-6 tsp of lemon juice. Turn fish again and baste with liquid in pan. Turn once more and baste other side of each piece of fish. Prep time is 10 minutes and cooking time is 14-16 minutes. Serve the fish with the sauce from the pan over mashed potatoes or rice.

And He [Jesus] said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19. Just as Jesus called those fishermen to leave their boats and nets and come follow Him, so He still calls us to follow Him every day. He will never disappoint us and we will never regret a single moment in His presence. He alone, is the only One to give us complete satisfaction in this life. Then we have the incredible privilege of telling others about Him, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

And the meat goes on…

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Lest you think the only thing I know how to make is soup, here is a recipe for pork tenderloin that developed in my kitchen one night last week. It was a hit with the family!

Citrus Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins, extra fat and silver skin removed

Marinade: 3 tbsp orange marmalade

2 tbsp lemon marmalade

1/4 Cup aged balsamic vinegar

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

chopped, fresh rosemary

1 heaped tsp grainy mustard

salt and pepper

Cut pork tenderloin into 1/4″ medallions. Place in large freezer bag, add marinade. Seal bag and let marinate for 1-1 1/2 hours in fridge. Fry pork medallions in a large fry pan, 5 minutes per side, turning often, until cooked through. You can pour the marinade into the frying pan too as it will cook long enough to be safe.

Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

 

In Exodus 16: 2-3 we read how the people complained in the wilderness. They thought it would have been better to die as slaves with pots full of meat then to die of hunger in the wilderness. Thankfully, the LORD provided meat for them in the form of quail, but it wasn’t too long before they were complaining again.

Oh, Lord, keep us from complaining. We have so much to be thankful for!

“Do all things without murmuring and disputing.”

Phil. 2: 14 NKJV

 

Next time…a recipe for your favorite type of white fish!

And I am working on that Creamy Potato and Leek soup.