Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies.......She looks well to the ways of her household. Proverbs 31:10-27
We're sisters who like to cook and bake, talk cooking and baking, and share recipes and kitchen wisdom.

Family Favorites...Smoked Sausage Cabbage and Potato Soup

We are a family of soup eaters.  This is light and flavorful without being too heavy. Even good on a cool summer day. When cabbage is on sale it is really an inexpensive meal. 
  As you can see by the directions it is very quick to get together. Browning the sausage before adding it to the soup gets rid of the greasy taste that sausage can have. Some of the fat will render out and not add fat to the soup. I have used kielbasa and polish sausage. Which ever one I happen to have on hand. If you are looking for a quick, light meal this is it. Serve with your favorite sides and crisp crackers.   
Smoked-Sausage, Cabbage, and Potato Soup

Active Time:  15 Minutes
Total Time:  30 Minutes
Serves 4
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
1 3/4 pounds green cabbage (about 1/2 head), shredded (about 13/4 quarts)
1 pound baking potatoes (about 2), peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 quart water
2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 pound smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the cabbage, potatoes, water, broth, bay leaf, thyme, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, put a large nonstick frying pan over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan and drain on paper towels. Just before serving, remove the bay leaf from the soup and stir in the sausage.
Source: Quick from Scratch - Soups and Salads

Mexican Meatloaf

 Bettie is a fan of Tex Mex type meals. Lyle and I will eat it but they are not one of our favorites.  This recipe for Mexican meatloaf fits all of us. I had it for awhile and decided to try it.
I do have to be careful of meatloaf because of the Celiac. This uses corn chips or Tortilla chips and Salsa along with an egg. I used GF tortilla chips and GF Salsa so I could eat it also. I used a mild Salsa and made the taco seasoning myself so it was not as spicy. If you are into hot and spicy just use a hotter Salsa and Taco Seasoning mix. While I used shredded cheddar cheese, I think a Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese would work well. If you make it in smaller loaves don’t bake it as long as one single loaf.
Mexican Meatloaf
1 pound ground beef
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg beaten
1 cup crushed corn or tortilla chips
⅓ cup salsa
½ package taco seasoning
¼ cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon dry mustard

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well but gently. Shape into a loaf or four small loaves and place in pan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes for small loaves to 1 hour for one larger loaf. Top meatloaf with the glaze halfway through the baking time.

From The Garden...Chili Gluten Free

  Chili recipes are one of the things Celiac people have to be careful of. There are hidden grains in the ingredients you would normally use. The recipe in the Gluten Free Cookbook calls for all gluten free ingredients (be sure to check labels or go to the web sites for ingredients you are not sure of) so we tried it for supper. I cannot recommend this cookbook enough. It is great to fix meals that everyone will eat and think they are
eating a regular meal.
  This was quite good, though I would cut back on the amount of the Picante salsa for us. Bettie and I both felt it was spicy even though I had used the mild sauce. Lyle however thought it was good just the way it was. I added an extra can of beans as we like our chili thick.
   Do use at least 85% lean ground beef and I would buy it from a butcher if you can so you are sure there is no filler in it. This was quick to fix, and tasty. Good on a cold evening when you are in a hurry for supper. 
Easy Chili
1 pound lean ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 24 ounce jar gluten free salsa such as Pace Picante Salsa
1 15 ounce can gluten free chili beans*, black beans or kidney beans undrained (I used two cans, one drained)
Shredded cheese (optional)
In a medium skillet brown ground beef on medium high heat. Drain and set aside.
  In a large saucepan combine tomatoes with juice, salsa, and beans with liquid. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in ground beef. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top each bowl with cheese if desired. 
*If it says food starch or emulsifiers it might have gluten it it.

 Nutrition per serving: 224 calories, 4g fat, 2g saturated fat, 46mg cholesterol, 898mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 22g protein

Beef Nachos Grande

 I had bought a Large bag of tortilla chips at Costco and while I shared them out, I needed to make something with them. This recipe for Shredded Beef Nachos Grande from Campbell’s looked like a quick and easy dish to eat while watching your favorite game at home. 
 I did vary it in that I used some already cooked and seasoned with taco seasoning ground beef that I had in the freezer. Just used the same amount that the shredded beef would have been. We did feel that it did not have enough cheese, or that I had put to many chips in the pan. I will use less chips next time as there was more than the five of us could eat. Very simple to make and much tastier than the canned cheese sauce available at our local store. You can easily vary this to suit your families tastes and what you have on hand.
Beef Nachos Grande
2 cups of warmed cooked shredded Beef or cooked seasoned ground beef
8 ounces of tortilla chips (about 6 cups)
1 cup drained canned pinto beans
1 cup shredded Cheddar/ Mexican blend cheese (about 4 ounces) (Try adding more cheese)
 Set the oven to 375°F. Drain any excess liquid from the beef.
Arrange the tortilla chips in an 11x8x2 inch baking dish. Top with the beef, beans, and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.

 To serve top with your favorite nacho toppings, like diced tomatoes, pitted ripe olives, sour cream, guacamole, jalapeƱo peppers or chopped green chilies.

Tamale and Chili Bake

Here’s a recipe to use up leftover chili and turn it into a different dish.  My husband was practically licking his plate; this is based on an old canned tamale label recipe that brings back memories of the 1950’s.  It’s not even a Tex-Mex recipe, but one that your mom may have served to the family on a week night back when. You can also substitute a 15 ounce can of chili for the homemade.
Canned tamales have been available since the early 1900’s; and became more popular when the Tex-Mex craze hit the country.   When I wanted to make this nowadays, I had to go to 3 different grocery stores before I found the canned tamales!                
                          Tamale and Chili Bake
  2-3       Cups  Chili, heated
  1          15 Oz Can  Tamales
  3          Tablespoons  Onion -- chopped
     1/4   Cup  Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Pour hot chili into a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Unwrap tamales and place on top of chili.  Pour some of the tamale sauce over them. 
Top with onion and cheese and bake at 350° until bubbling hot, about 30 minutes.
2-3 servings
Some choices for the homemade chili include these recipes:

Family Favorites...Hawaiian Sweet Bread

I have seen recipes for  Hawaiian Sweet Bread before, and for sale in the grocery, but hadn’t tried it.  This recipe is from the "The Taste of Home Baking Book ", and makes three loaves, enough for gifts.  I made one loaf with an egg wash and a little coarse sugar on top – my son and grandson took it home with them - and the others plain.  Slightly sweet, it’s good plain or toasted, and freezes well.

Hawaiian Sweet Bread
  7 1/2   Cups  Flour, All-purpose
     3/4   Cup  Potato Flakes
     2/3   Cup  Sugar
  4          Teaspoons  Instant Yeast -- 2 packages
  1           Teaspoon  Salt
     1/2    Teaspoon  Ground Ginger
  1          Cup  Milk
     1/2   Cup  Water
     1/2   Cup  Butter -- softened
  1          Cup  Pineapple Juice
  3          Large  Eggs
  2          Teaspoons  Vanilla Extract
In a large mixer bowl, combine 3 cups flour, potato flakes, sugar, yeast, salt and ginger.  In a saucepan, heat the milk, water, butter and pineapple juice to 120°-130°.  Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened.  Beat in eggs until smooth.  Beat in vanilla.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.  Change to dough hook and knead 6 minutes or knead by hand 5-8 minutes.
Cover, let rest in warm place about 10 minutes.
Punch dough down.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface, divide into thirds, about 1 1/2 pounds each.  Shape each into a ball.  Place in three well-greased 9" round baking pans.  Press down into a 6-7" circle.  Cover, let rise until doubled, 20-25 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
  "Three 9" Round Pans"

Nacho Biscuit Pizza

 I picked up a Better Homes and Gardens booklet at our local book sale, and it had a recipe that reminded me of the Pizza I used to make back in the late 50:s and early 60”s. The recipe was from 1975 so it was a little more up to date than what I was remembering. My family are fans of Nacho Pizza so this recipe was going to be just right for them. I also had some biscuit mix that I wanted to use up.
 Everyone thought it was very good, the crust was crisp and thin and we topped it with the toppings they like. You could use the crust and make the filling of your choice which is what I am going to try next time. 
Nacho Pizza
1 pound lean ground beef
½ cup water
1 4-oz. can diced green chile peppers, drained
2 Tbsp. envelope taco seasoning mix or homemade seasoning
½ to 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 Tbsp. cornmeal
2 cups packaged biscuit mix
½ cup cold water
1 15 oz. can refried beans
1 cup shredded American cheese or cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
Toppings of your choice (shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, green or black olives, crushed corn chips)
Taco Sauce if desired
 Preheat oven to 450°. In large skillet cook ground beef until brown. Drain well. Stir in the ½ cup water, the chile peppers, taco seasoning mix and chili powder. Simmer uncovered, about 15 minutes or until thick. 
 While this is simmering, generously grease a 14 to 16 inch pizza pan. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons cornmeal.
 In a medium bowl stir together the biscuit mix and the ½ cup cold water with a fork until it comes together. With floured fingers, pat dough into the bottom and up edge of prepared pan. Spread refried beans over dough. Spoon meat mixture over beans. Bake uncovered for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese and bake a few minutes longer just to melt cheese.

 Slice and let everyone top with their favorite toppings and taco sauce.