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September 29, 2016

My Secret Herb Butter

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup cut celery leaves, packed
1 Tbsp fresh sage
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup green onions, including tops
1 Tbsp fresh marjoram
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Blend or process all ingredients until well blended. May be stored in refrigerator for 1 week.

Can be used to baste turkey or chicken when grilling or roasting. Also good on bread or potatoes.

September 22, 2016

Turtle Pudding

Makes 6-8 servings

1 (21 1/2 -oz) package brownie mix
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
13 caramel candies, unwrapped
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

1. Place a vegetable steamer or other low rack on the bottom of a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Pour in 4 cups hot tap water and turn on the high heat setting.

2. In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, water, oil, and egg. Beat to mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.

3. Butter and dust with sugar a 2 1/2-quart soufflé dish that fits in the 5-quart slow cooker. Turn the brownie mixture into the dish. Push the caramels partially in to the top, but do not cover completely with the brownie mixture. Wrap the dish in a double thickness of foil. Tie with kitchen string to resemble a package for ease in lowering into the pot and removing. Place on the rack in the slow cooker.

4. Cover and cook on high heat setting 4 1/2 hours. Remove the dish from the slow cover, uncover and let cool 30 minutes. Serve warm, with whipped cream or ice cream.

September 3, 2016

Bean and Cheese Burrito Casserole

Serves 8

1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (4-oz) can roasted green chiles, undrained
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
8 flour tortillas
4 cups cooked pinto beans (3 15-oz cans, drained)
4 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
sour cream, salsa, and avocado slices as garnish (optional)

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. In a mixing bowl, stir together the onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, chiles, and spices. Put a layer of tortillas (you may need to tear them to get a nice fit) in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add a scoop of the onion and tomato mixture, and layer on a healthy spoonful of beans and a handful of cheese. Top with more tortillas. Repeat the layers two more times, finishing with a bunch of cheese on top. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours. Cut into slices and serve with the desired toppings.

End of Summer Harvest Soup

4 zucchini, washed well and sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
2 yellow summer squash, washed well and sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
1/3 cup dry white cannelloni beans (not a lot, but they swell!)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup prepared pasta sauce
1 cup water
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup pasta (to add 20 minutes before serving)
salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses as garnish (optional)

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Place the sliced squash into the slow cooker, with the diced onion and tomatoes. Rinse your beans in hot water and add to the cooker. Add the broth, pasta sauce, and water. Stir in the Italian seasoning.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the beans have reached the desired tenderness. Stir in the raw pasta 20 minutes before serving. Ladle into bowls and serve with grated Parmesan and Romano cheese, if desired.