Monday, November 23, 2009

Barrel of Beans

If I had to chose a food item...just one, that if I were stranded on an island, I would take with me, it would probably be beans. I know that sounds nuts, I love chocolate more than beans, but I'm pretty practical, and chocolate wouldn't sustain me for long. Beans are just so great. Bhe fact they are healthy, beans are so versatile and delicious. Beans can take on so many flavors and are found in so many dishes from all over the world. I love this particular dish because it is comforting. It's a great dish to make this week with Thanksgiving, because it easy-it lets you save up all that cooking energy for Thursday!

White Beans and Sausage

1 bag dry white beans
1 box or 4 cups chicken stock
2 large carrots, peeled and cut
2 large celery stalks, cut
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine or olive oil
15 oz stewed tomatoes
8-16 sausages,1-2 per person (I used chicken and gouda- my favorite are Aidell's brand)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme

Before you go to bed rinse the beans (to get out any dirt or rocks) and pour in a pot covering with cold water. Let sit overnight. Pour into a colander the next morning and rinse again.
In the same pot, sautee the carrots, celery, garlic and onions in the butter or olive oil. Cook until al dente. Return the beans to the pot and add the chicken stock, tomatoes and and spices. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for an hour. I like a thicker bean soup, so I cook it with the lid off, but if you want a more brothy soup, cook with the lid on.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet wit aluminum foil. Bake the sausages for twenty minutes until they are puffed up and caramelized. Spoon the beans into a bowl and slice the sausages over the top. *serves 8

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ask Sara

I have been away for a bit. Took a fabulous trip to Seattle and had tasty food adventures about which I will post in the next couple of days. But until then I leave you with this:

KVA said...
I want to make these yummy cookies but need a frosting recipe to go with. (I know totally pathetic) I have been looking for a soft sugar cookie recipe for a while now. Thanks so much for sharing. Your recipes continue to make me happy.
November 13, 2009 3:22 PM

Awwwe thanks KVA...thanks for continuing to be one of my three readers..ha ha and because you asked so you go:

Frosting for Cookies

1 cup butter
6 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla
5 Tablespoons sour cream
up to 1/3 cup milk

Cream butter until light and fluffy and add sour cream and vanilla. Beat in sugar and salt. Add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dog Abuse and Sugar Cookies

This is my dog. She is a Miniature Australian Shepherd. She may possibly be the best dog ever. Why am I showing you this? Because, I walked into the room with the recipe I am posting today... and she ran off...nearly running into the wall to get away from me...terrified...and hid under the bed...and has still not come out yet. She either though I was going to swat her hind end...which of course means she was up to no good ...or she hates sugar cookies.
The following excert comes from last weeks post: Happy Halloween!
Angie said... can we get the recipe for the sugar cookies? I have been on a quest for the perfect sugar cookie and I've been close...I'm sure yours will be the winner!
November 2, 2009 11:27 AM
Sara said...
Thanks Kelly!Angie,after much contemplation....I think I might be willing to share my coveted recipe. Check in the next couple of days, and I'll get it posted.
November 2, 2009 5:29 PM
Angie said...
May the culinary gods shower more blessings upon you! Thanks!
November 2, 2009 8:23 PM

I am looking forward to those blessings!!


1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract I know, most of you hate almond extract in's just a little bit though..make sure you measure it.
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Cram the butter and sugar together...really cream it...take some should be light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, almond extract, and sour cream. Combine all the dry ingredients together and sift. Yup I said's worth it. Combine in parts-just don't dump it in and mix until combined. Form into a ball and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate it for an hour. Later roll out cookies to desired thickness- no less than a 1/4 inch or they will be crispy. Bake on parchment paper for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ham and Cheese

Fancy Pants Ham and Cheese Sandwiches! you know you want one. I love it when a person has a common job, but gives it a big for instance: Sanitation Engineer-garbage man, Freight Relocation Specialist-Trucker, Clear Vision Specialist-window cleaner get the gist. So let me introduce you to tonight's special...Prosciutto and Gruyere en Croute or...
1 package puff pastry
8 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
8 oz prosciutto ham
2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 egg
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the puff pastry out and cut into 2 inch circles with a biscuit cutter. Lay out another sheet and cut an equal amount of 2 in circles-but this time re cut the 2 inch circles with a 1 inch circle to create a thin circle. Place that circle on the 2 inch circle. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Beat the egg and brush the pastry with it. Bake for 15 minutes. On another baking sheet, lined with paper, lay out the prosciutto and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees until crisp. Slightly cool and break up. Mix the prosciutto with the cheese and parsley. Fill the little cup with the cheese mixture. Return to oven until melted, serve immediately.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Caesar

Oh, how I love an Indian Summer. Mother Nature gave us a taste of what is to come last week. Rain, sleet, hail and snow...temperatures dropping below freezing. But this week she is giving us a chance to rake up the leaves and put away our summer clothes before she blasts us again. And will I answer the call? Probably is so beautiful outside!
This salad is happiness on a plate for me. Although not a traditional Caesar dressing, it still carries the same bold flavor. Paired with warm croutons and buttery textured roasted is fabulous. Served on its own or with a slice of pizza or bowl of soup, this salad is easy and answers the call of fall. Enjoy!


1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups day old bread, cut into 1 inch squares
2 cups red cabbage, thick sliced
2 cups butternut squash, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
3 heads romaine lettuce
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup Parmesan
Salt and pepper

Combine Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic and Worcestershire in a blender. Slowly emulsify the oils in. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange the bread cubes on a sheet pan. Arrange the butternut squash, carrots, and red cabbage on another sheet pan. Combine the garlic and oil in a bowl and toss ½ with the bread cubes and the other half with the vegetables. Sprinkle the bread cubes with the Parmesan, and the vegetables with salt and pepper. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes-for the vegetables and 15 for the bread cubes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Toss the cooled vegetables with the dressing and dress the romaine leaves with it. Top with croutons.