Mexicali Supper

 This is sort of a mexican style lasagna dish

Low-carb and GF options listed below

Mexicali Supper

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups of cooked, drained, pasta (cook to al dente only)
1 pound, or thereabouts, about 2 cups, canned tomatoes
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup sliced olives
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 generous teaspoon fiesta chili powder, or more
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Saute ground beef and onion in a large skillet (larger than you think you will need) until the onion is cooked.  Stir in the remaining ingredients (except half of the cheese)

Turn into 2 quart casserole dish (a 9X13 inch pan), to with remaining shredded cheese. Bake at 350, or until heated through.  Serves six

Save the dishes version:
Cook your pasta earlier in a large saucepan, then drain, set aside, and use the same pan for cooking the ground beef.
OR use an oven-safe skillet for browning the meat, combine ingredients in it, and pop it right into the oven

Add jalapeno peppers
Use salsa instead of tomato sauce

Pasta substitutes:
a low carb and gluten free varation: Use Shirataki Fettuccini
Now, I find them a little too gelatinous for my taste.  I would remove them from the package, rinse well, snip them up while in the colander, then cook them with the meat and onions.

Use tortilla strips instead of noodles. For a low carb version, use one of the low carb tortillas versions- several should be on this page. I’d look for them at your local grocery store, though.

Low-Carb and Gluten free: Bake spaghetti squash, scoop out the threads and use them for noodles.

Use wild rice instead of noodles

NOT a low carb version, but you can crumble up corn or tortilla chips instead of using pasta if that is what you have on hand.  Reserve some to sprinkle on top of the casserole along with the cheese.

Posted in GF, low-carb, meat | Leave a comment

Low-Carb Artichoke dip

1 cup mayo, 1 cup cream cheese, 1 can diced chiles (drained), 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts (drained and chopped), and 1 cup shredded parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees until it starts to brown on top. 

a cup of home-made mayo
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup cream cheese
1 can of diced jalapeno chiles
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts (drain and dice the hearts first. (You can save the oil drained for salads)

Mix well. Spoon into pie pan. Bake at 400, until it gets golden in spots on top.
dip with vegetables or low-carb cheese crackers

also good with diced, chopped spinach

Posted in appetizers and snacks, low-carb | Leave a comment

Mini Meatloaves

These little meatloaves are just any regular meatloaf recipe baked in muffin tins instead of loaf tins. This way they are done in about 15 to 20 minutes instead of an hour and a half later.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup ground pork rinds
2 beaten eggs
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
dash dried thyme, crushed
dash dried marjoram, crushed.

combine all ingredients along with a teasppoon salt.  Mix well. Spoon into muffin tins, press down until just below the top edge.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes

From the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, our copy appears to have been published in the fifties.

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Roasted Cauliflower

I’ve seen variations of this touted as a popcorn substitute, which is puzzling. It’s a delicious way to have cauliflower, but it’s not much like popcorn, except possibly in appearance.

All you do is slice the cauliflower, toss with oil and seasonings (salt, garlic) and then spread in a single layer on a pan and roast it at 350 until golden brown- usually about 30 minutes, but it does depend on how thinly you slice your cauliflower.

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Holiday Party Mix

Holiday Party Mix, which we mentioned here.

9 cups oven-toasted corn cereal squares
4 cups popped popcorn
1 1/2 cups dry-roasted peanuts
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups (10-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Holiday Shapes & Morsels
1 pkg. (7.5 oz.) white fudge-covered pretzels

PREHEAT oven to 250° F. Grease large roasting pan.

MIX cereal, popped popcorn and peanuts in large bowl. Pour into prepared pan.

COMBINE brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium, heavy-duty saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, without stirring, for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract and baking soda.
Pour evenly over cereal mixture; stir to coat evenly.

BAKE for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Cool completely in pan, stirring frequently to break apart mixture.
Stir in Shapes & Morsels and pretzels.
Store in airtight container.

Posted in Celebrations and Traditions, dessert | Leave a comment

Granny Tea’s Burp Bread

3 3/4 c. warm water
3 pkgs. dry yeast
6 tbsp. sugar
5 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. butter
2 eggs
10 c. flour
1 Tupperware mixing bowl (large orange)

Mix water and yeast. Add everything except flour. Put 1/2 flour in, stir well. Put rest of flour in. Mix well. Put seal on bowl. Let stand until lid pops off.* Grease and flour hands; place dough in pans. Let rise 40 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until done.

*That’s the ‘burp’ in the burp bread

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Crockpot Italian Beef or Venison

This is a great meal to put in the crockpot in the morning when you realize you planned a crockpot supper but forgot to get the roast out of the freezer the night before.

Put a two pound roast, maybe a little bigger, in the crockpot.  Our venison was still frozen

2 teaspoons broth powder
1 cup of liquid (some combination of balsamic vinegar and water)
2 teaspoons more or less, of italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram)
Add 4 diced carrots, 4 diced stalks of celery, 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, Cook on high until the roast is defrosted, then shred, reduce heat, and cook on low until ready to serve.
Serve over pasta (I preferred mine without pasta, and think it would be good with toasted buns)

The flavor on this was fabulous.  The Equuschick says she thinks it would be good with extra liquid and potatoes as a stew. 

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Crockpot Venison Stroganoff

My 15 year old made this for dinner earlier this evening.  It was very tasty.  We got the original recipe here.

Here’s what we did:

1 1/2 pounds boneless venison steak, snipped into bite sized pieces (we like shears for this)
1 medium onion, diced.
Put the venison and onion in the crockpot, then top with:

1 1/2 cups beef broth (home-made, or powdered bouillon)
1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours.

Combine the following in a small bowl:
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons horseradish

Whisk into venison mixture.
Cover and cook 15 minutes longer, or until sauce is thickened.

Pour over hot cooked noodles and serve.

Next time: Add sliced mushrooms to the last half hour of cooking.

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Posted in game, meat | 1 Response

Yet Another Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole

4, 2, 1, 1/2

That’s not a cryptic combination to my high school locker or a secret code. It’s what I had to keep saying in my mind over and over to remember the recipe I put together, half from memory of another family favorite, and half ad libbing, improvisational cooking in the kitchen. Each of the liquid ingredients is 1/2 of the one preceeding it (if we are loose with our definitions of the egg measurement)

4 eggs
2 cups milk, in this case, coconut milk
1 cup melted fat, in this case, Kerrygold butter (which is not cheap enough for me to do this often, I think I’ll stick to coconut oil, regular butter, or sunflower oil)
1/2 cup molasses

Stir this well. Add a teaspoon of lemon extract (vanilla will do and it’s what most of us would have. Rum flavoring might be tasty).  Oh, and some ginger!   (I used ginger people’s ginger paste which is stored in the fridge, and I used extra cinnamon because I love it)

Add 1/2 cup of Chia seeds (optional, but they are supposed to be super healthy)

In another large measuring cup (I used a four cup), add:
1/2 cup of ground flour, or a little over that- I used pastry flour, buckwheat would have been my preference, but it was midnight, I was the only one up, and Jenny having recently cleaned my kitchen, I couldn’t find the buckwheat. The pastry flour was in the freezer.
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves, and ginger powder if you didn’t have minced ginger

Mix that well, then add:

Enough oats to bring the oats up to the 4 cup level.

Here is why I added the ground flour:

Taking the lead from another phytic acid study, I have recommended in the now-defunct e-course to add a bit of fresh ground wheat, spelt, rye, or buckwheat to the oatmeal and then soaking it. The phytase in these other grains will work to reduce the phytic acid in the oats. I have recommended using about 10% of the complementary fresh ground grain to 90% oatmeal, though often I add a heaping tablespoon to a cup or so of rolled oats.

Okay- so now you should have six cups of flour/oats/spices, mostly oats. Stir this into the egg, milk, butter, molasses recipe.

Grease a large baking pan- 9X13 or even the next size up.

Fill the bottom of that pan with one bag of frozen pineapple. At least, that’s what I did. You could use canned, I am sure (in which case, I’d use the liquid from the pineapple for some of the liquid in the casserole).

Spread the oat/molasses/etc mixture over the top of the pan. Put it in the oven. I made this at midnight and set my timer to start cooking the casserole at 6 a.m. for half an hour. I figured the little boys would be up, dressed, and ready to eat at 7, and this would give the casserole time to finish baking in the still hot oven, and then time to cool off in the cooling oven.  Otherwise, bake for 45 minutes, remove, let cool ten minutes, and then serve.

So how did it turn out?

Everybody loved it, except our youngest godson, the exceedingly picky, accustomed to cold cereal when at his own home, pine-apple loathing, Nod.  Blynken had thirds.  My husband raved.  My son is 13 and too cool to rave or even say something nice to his mother, but he had thirds.

Because I used butter and eggs from pasture fed animals, and added Chia seeds, this dish should be high in Omega-3s and other good stuff that we don’t get enough of in our corn based diets- diets where for the most part, even our meat is based on corn, as are the things we drink and all kinds of foods you’d never imagine had corn in them, unless you end up, as we did, with a child who is allergic to corn.

In case you’re interested, here’s the story of the original oatmeal casserole recipe, which I’ve been making for breakfast for nearly 25 years now.

If you found this recipe beneficial, would you consider doing us a favor?

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Posted in breakfast | 3 Responses

The Apricot Coffee Cake that Slaughtered My Grain-free, Sugar-Free, Low-Carb, Aspirations

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (used all wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (12 ounce) jar apricot preserves,divided

Cream butter, sugar, and sour cream. Whip eggs, add with remaining ingredients, except the apricot preserves.

Grease and lightly flour a ten inch tube pan (Jenny used an angelfood cake pan, the kind that the tube comes out).
Pour half the batter in. Spoon half the preserves gently around the center of the batter, not touching the sides of the pan. Cover with remaining batter.

Jenny says:
Baked for 45 min in the angel food cake pan and then removed the outer ring. Placed the cake (still on the ring- see picture on right) on a cookie sheet and drizzled apricot over the top (mixed the jam with melted butter to make it drizzle :) ) and sprinkled a crumb topping on (brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and soft butter). Bake for 10 minute more.

Serve warm, with coffee if you’re old enough.=)

Eat, and eat, and eat.

By the way- Jenny gave some of this to my husband’s boss, who was taking our son hunting the morning she made this.  He sent our son back in to tell her it was the best pastry he’s ever had.  Then he texted my husband the following: “Please have your daughter e-mail my wife the recipe for that ridiculously delicious coffee cake.”

The Common Room, our regular blog has been nominated in the Homeschool Blog Awards in the following categories:
Best Homeschool Variety
Best Current Events and Opinions
Best Family or Group Blog

Voting ends midnight, November 18th.

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Posted in breakfast, dessert | 8 Responses