Italian White Bean Soup

This is a soup that I like to make during the winter season for my family. It’s flavorful and full of wholesome goodness. Sprinkle it with grated Parmesan cheese, and it’s especially delicious!

Italian White Bean Soup

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 Stalk Celery
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2-16 oz. Cans Navy Beans (or other white beans), rinsed and drained
1-14 oz. Can Chicken Broth
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
2 Cups Water
1-10 oz. Package of Frozen Spinach, thawed (use ½ pkg. if you prefer less)
½ Cup Cooked Macaroni (soup macaroni works best)
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat oil in large saucepan. Cook onion and celery in oil for 5 minutes, or until tender.
Add garlic, and cook for about one minute, stirring constantly.
Stir in beans, chicken broth, pepper, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
Simmer for 15 minutes.

With slotted spoon, remove 2 cups of the bean and vegetable mixture from soup, and set aside.
In blender at low speed, blend remaining soup in small batches until smooth.
Once blended, pour back into saucepan and stir in reserved beans.

Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach and cook for a few minutes.
Remove from heat and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This is my favorite way to make pulled pork for my family. It comes out juicy, tender, and flavorful. My son, John, insists that it tastes better than most restaurant versions. Use the barbecue sauce that your family likes best!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

1 Five-Pound Pork Butt Roast
1 14-oz. Can of Beef Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Barbecue Sauce (I use KC Masterpiece “Hickory Brown Sugar” Barbecue Sauce)
Rolls, Buns, or other Bread

Cut roast in half. Rub each half with salt and pepper, and place in the slow cooker.
Pour the broth over the meat.

Turn the slow cooker to “LOW,” and cover. Cook for 6-8 hours, or until the roast is fork tender. (Note: You can cook the roast on the “HIGH” setting for 4-5 hours in the slow cooker.)

Transfer the cooked roast to a cutting board. Pull the meat off the bone with a fork. Shred to the desired consistency.

Mix thoroughly with barbecue sauce and serve warm on rolls, buns, or bread of choice.

Seasoned Grilled Lamb Chops

This is my favorite way to prepare lamb. I use Round Bone or Blade Bone Lamb Chops for this dish, and they are relatively inexpensive, compared to other cuts of lamb. Try my combination of seasonings and see what you think!

Seasoned Grilled Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder

Sprinkle both sides of chops with seasonings, and press lightly into meat.

Cook on grill until slightly crispy on the outside, and barely pink on the inside.
(Remember that the meat will continue to cook a bit more after you remove it from the grill.)

Serve warm. Enjoy!

Sensational Grilled Salmon

This is a recipe that my husband, Joe, and I have used for years. We use 6-ounce portions of salmon, but this recipe will work with almost any size portion. Don’t let the combination of flavors put you off—they are magnificent together. Enjoy!

Sensational Grilled Salmon

Salmon Portions
Black Pepper
Brown Sugar
Scallions (snipped)

Sprinkle salmon portions with black pepper, according to taste. Press 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar onto top of fish. Top with enough snipped scallions to cover.

Place fish on foil or cedar plank. Grill over medium-high heat until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve warm.

Chicken a La King

I have been making this delicious dish for 35 years, and it’s one of my family’s favorites. It makes a fabulous white sauce that isn’t too heavy, but still tastes rich. If you have leftover chicken or turkey on hand, this recipe can make good use of it. Enjoy!

Chicken a La King

1½ cups cut-up Chicken (or Turkey)
1-4 oz. can of Mushrooms (drain, but reserve liquid!)
¼ cup Margarine or Butter
¼ cup Flour
¼ teaspoon Salt
Dash of Black Pepper
1½ teaspoons Instant Chicken Bouillon
1½ cups Milk
1 cup hot Water
Rice or Noodles

Cook and stir mushrooms in margarine or butter over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Blend in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly. Remove from heat.

Stir in bouillon, milk, water, and reserved mushroom liquid. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Stir in chicken or turkey and heat through. Serve over rice or noodles.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Pressure Cooker Chili

If you’ve got a pressure cooker, then you can make fabulous chili in a fraction of the time. If you like your chili spicy, feel free to double the amount of chili powder in this recipe.

Pressure Cooker Chili

1 LB. Ground Beef
1 Large Onion (chopped)
1 Green Pepper (chopped)
2 cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
1 8-oz. can Tomato Sauce
1 cup Water
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
Sprinkle of Black Pepper

1 16-oz. can Kidney Beans (Added after cooking)

Brown meat, onion, green pepper, and garlic.
Add remaining ingredients, except kidney beans.
Cook 15 minutes in pressure cooker.  Release pressure quickly.
Stir in kidney beans and cook for 10 minutes on top of stove.

Joanne's French Toast

This is my own recipe, and I have been making French Toast this way since my boys were little. I usually use fresh white bread, but bread that is a bit stale works well, too. If I don’t have real butter or margarine, I use Smart Balance spread, and it comes out just as delicious. Sometimes I prepare a double batch, so that I can make scrambled eggs out of the leftover egg batter. If you like sweet scrambled eggs, this is the recipe for you!

Joanne’s French Toast

3 Eggs
¼ cup Milk
½ to 1 tablespoon Sugar
Butter or Margarine for pan
4-6 slices of Bread
Maple Syrup

Whisk together eggs, milk, and sugar in flat bowl.

Heat large pan on medium heat. Smear bottom of pan with butter or margarine.

Dip one slice of bread at a time into egg mixture until well coated on both sides.
Place in pan and brown each side until golden.

Serve with maple syrup and cinnamon, if desired.

Nancy's Shrimp Marinara Sauce

This recipe is from my husband’s mom, Nancy. She has made this fabulous dish for us many times, and I recommend it highly. Enjoy!

Shrimp Marinara Sauce

3 or 4 large cloves of Garlic, halved
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 28 oz. can Crushed Italian Tomatoes
¼ teaspoon Black Pepper (or to taste)
½ to 1 teaspoon dry Basil
2 fresh Basil leaves (optional)
½ to 1 teaspoon dry Parsley
½ medium green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 ½ to 2 teaspoons Salt (or to taste)
1 cup Water
1 to 2 pounds raw Shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 pound Spaghetti

In a 3-quart saucepan, sauté garlic in oil until golden; remove and discard.
Carefully add tomatoes to pan. Add pepper, basil, parsley, and green pepper.
Simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes.

Add salt to taste, along with one cup water. Bring to fast boil and add shrimp.
Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Shrimp will turn bright pink.
Do not overcook.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Serve covered with sauce.

Serves 4 to 6 people.

Joanne's Beef Stew

This is my own recipe, and it’s one that I have made for my husband and children countless times over the years. John and Amy ask me to make it regularly. I make this stew in a pressure cooker, so it’s a relatively quick meal to prepare. It’s filled with nutritious veggies, and is a good way to get your family to eat more vegetables.

Joanne’s Beef Stew

1 pound Egg Noodles
2 pounds Beef Cubes
2 tablespoons Oil
2½ cups hot Water
½ teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Brown Bouquet Sauce
2 teaspoons Beef Bouillon (broth)
1 Bay Leaf
1 medium Onion (chopped or grated)
2 medium Potatoes (cubed)
3 Carrots (cut into bite-sized pieces)
2 Celery Stalks (cut up)

Brown meat and onions in pressure cooker in oil with the lid off.

Combine hot water, salt, pepper, bouquet sauce, and bouillon in bowl; blend well.

Add cut-up vegetables to pot, along with the prepared liquid and bay leaf.

Cover pressure cooker, and when steam is built up, cook for about 15 minutes on medium. Let pressure drop naturally, or run pot under cold water to hasten.

Add 1 tablespoon of flour to about a half cup of cold water, and stir until smooth.
Add flour mixture to pot gradually, while stirring stew, and bring to a boil for one minute, until the stew thickens.

Serve with egg noodles. Enjoy!