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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Individual 7 Layer Bean Dip

One of my Most Popular Dips!

I love it when I’m invited to a party and asked to bring “a dip.”  I have a few favorites but one that seems to be most popular is my individual 7 Layer Bean Dip. You won’t have to worry about anyone double dipping in your own personal dip! These are especially festive around the holidays but welcomed at any time of year!

Individual 7 Layer Bean Dip

Your Ingredient List:

·        Small clear plastic cups (the shorter ones, 8 oz I believe)
·    1 16 oz can refried beans 
·        Packet of Taco Seasoning mix (1 packet per can of beans, depending on your love of the seasoning)
·      1 cup Salsa, store bought or homemade
·   Tomatoes, finely chopped
·   Green onions, finely sliced and separated
·   Guacamole (homemade or store bought)
·   1 small can sliced black olives
·   1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Variation Alert: You can also try some black beans, shredded lettuce, finely chopped red and/or green bell peppers or cilantro.

(OK, I know the ingredients will amount to more than 7 layers, but be creative.)

Beginning at the top of the ingredient list, start layering. Mix the refried beans with some taco seasoning mix to jazz it up a bit. Put a little in the bottom of each plastic glass. Then add some salsa, tomatoes, some thinly sliced green onions, guacamole, sliced olives, and finally some shredded cheddar cheese. You can also throw in some jalapeño peppers.  Or put a bowl of jalapeño peppers off to the side and let people add them. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Put one tortilla chip in each and a big bowl of chips by these and watch them disappear!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Sticks & Stones

When my kids were little, one of their favorite meals was something I called Sticks & Stones. It includes smoked sausage with gravy and beautiful little new potatoes and fresh green beans. 

Sticks and Stones

I package smoked sausage, your favorite brand (I like Eckrich)
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Very small new potatoes, white or red, as small as you can pick out at the grocery store
Fresh green beans
1 tablespoon butter

**Potential ingredient: bacon grease**

Steam the beans and potatoes. If the beans are fully cooked before the potatoes, just take them out and set them aside. Use very small potatoes.

Slice the sausage diagonally. I like to cut it on an angle so there is as much cut surface as possible making contact with the cooking surface. The grease that comes out of the sausage will be used as a base for your gravy. Brown the sausages, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove them from the pan, saving the grease.  (Variation Alert: If your sausage is very lean and there is little grease in the pan, add some bacon grease. bacon grease? Don't you save the grease in a jar in the fridge when you fry bacon? I do and it sure comes in handy at in this dish.)

Add 1 tablespoon butter to the sausage drippings (or bacon grease).  Combine the flour and milk in a jar with a lid. Shake well. Shake even more. You don't want lumps. Slowly whisk in the milk/flour mix to the hot grease. Increase the heat to medium high.  Add salt & pepper to taste. Continue whisking until the sauce begins to thicken and the raw taste of flour has cooked out, about 5 minutes. You may want to add more milk if it is too thick or another smaller dose of flour/milk mix if it's too thin.

Add the sausage back to the skillet with the gravy and cook a couple of more minutes to make sure all is hot.  Toss the potatoes and green beans with melted butter.  Serve with a green salad.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

This is a great quick and easy meal. Roasting meat is an easy go-to for a great meal. And I do love pork. This is one of my favorite easy pork tenderloin recipes.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 lb.
4 slices of smoked bacon (thick sliced works best)
Salt & pepper to taste
4 sprigs of fresh thyme (I've used rosemary from my garden and it was delish!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 dried apricots, cut in half

Heat the oven to 400⁰.  Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Season it with salt and pepper.

Lay the sprigs of thyme (or rosemary) across the top of the pork and wrap the bacon around it. It is easier if the bacon has been out of the fridge for a few minutes.

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the pork, cooking it 2 minutes per side. Add the apricots. 

Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast it for 15-20 minutes. A pork tenderloin is thin and doesn't require a long cook time, especially since you already partially cooked it when you browned it. (Variation Alert: If you like a tasty sweet & sour touch, you could baste the meat once or twice during the cooking with apricot marmalade. Yumm!)

Let it rest for 5 minutes. This step will allow the juices to be absorbed by the meat instead of running out when you cut into it. 

Cut into medallions and serve.

This dish is great served with other roasted vegetables. In a bowl, toss potatoes cut in random shapes, baby carrots and onion chunks with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.  Roast them prior to cooking the pork at 350⁰ for about 30 minutes.  Another side would be loaded baked potatoes.


Friday, October 28, 2016

Chicken & Rice Casserole My Way

There are probably a million versions of chicken & rice casserole. And you know, they are all probably really good.  This is mine and it's really good. And there are variations. My recipe goes like this.

Chicken & Rice Casserole, My Way

1 cup uncooked rice
1 (10.75 oz) can of cream of chicken soup
2 cups of chicken broth
Some chopped onion, quantity depends on how much you like onions
Variation Alert: You can use bone-in thighs, a whole cut up chicken or boneless breasts cut into pieces.  Basically, it's 4 halves boneless chicken breast cut in pieces or 1 whole chicken cut up.  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).  

Spread the rice on the bottom of a 9"x13" inch casserole or something similar. 

Mix the soup and chicken broth and pour most of it over the rice. Mix it well. Put the chicken on top of the rice and soup mix and pour the remaining soup mixture over the chicken.  Season with salt and pepper or any other seasonings you might like.  Cover and seal tightly with foil. You don't want the moisture to escape.  Bake for 1-1 1/2 hours. Check it often, starting after about 30 minutes. You don't want the rice to absorb all the liquid before the chicken is fully cooked, leaving you with dry rice. If you see the rice above the liquid level and it appears dry, stir it around and add more chicken broth.  Taste the rice to see if it is done and test the chicken to make sure it is fully cooked.  

Another Variation Alert:  If you want some veggies in your casserole, think about how fast they cook. If you want, cut carrots in small cubes and add them in the beginning of the cooking process.  Broccoli and green beans need less time to cook so add them during the last half hour of cooking. 

And yet another Variation Alert:  If you like your chicken and rice casserole cheesy, top it with your favorite shredded cheese during the last 20 minutes or so of cooking.

My Notorious Shrimp Dip

When someone asks me to a party or get together, I always want to bring something that, at the end of the party, all that's left is an empty plate or bowl. This dip succeeds in doing just that. It's easy and so delicious that it could be a meal in itself!  It is great with thick potato chips and is equally delicious with a plate of raw veggies to use to dip into it.  The recipe calls for canned shrimp. Don't think it will be better with some fresh shrimp. When you mix this together, the canned shrimp breaks apart and spreads throughout the dip. And it is easily doubled.


My Notorious Shrimp Dip

1 8-oz block of cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
Onion to taste, finely chopped (I don't like biting into raw onion so I grate my onion.)
1 small can of small shrimp, rinsed and drained
3 teaspoons of lemon juice

In a medium bowl, mix the ingredients in the order given. Mix the cream cheese and mayo.  Then add the celery and mix. Then the onion and mix. Then add the shrimp and mix. Finally add the lemon juice. Gently mix it all together. 

Now take a small spoon and do a taste test. This could be a mistake if you're making this to take to a party. It might not make it if your self control isn't very strong. 

When you serve it, I recommend that you buy some thick wavy potato chips. It's a thick dip and the thinner chips will break. You could also put a cute little knife in it and you could apply the dip to the chip.  I also put a bowl of celery, carrots, strips of red pepper or any other vegetable you like. Use your imagination. I don't add salt because there's salt in the chips. And during the holidays, I use red onion and chop it adds color.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Welcome to Good Enough To Eat!

I have some of the best recipes. Some of the easiest. And every time I take a dish to a party, I have to take copies of my recipes! I love simple dishes with just a few ingredients. I love taking a box cake mix and making it special. 

I thought I would share them here and then, when asked, I can just point people to my blog!

I think you'll find that my dishes are...good enough to eat!