Monday, December 21, 2015

Comfort Food: Green Beans and Sausage for the Crockpot

Ingredients
3 14.5oz Cans Green Beans (Whole Cut, not french.)
2 Medium Onions
2 14oz. Packages Kielbasa Sausage
6-8 Yellow Potatoes Washed and Sliced
2 Tbl. Worcestershire Sauce (Or more to taste)
1 Cup White Vinegar (approx.)
2 Tbl. Olive Oil
1 Tbl. Garlic Powder
Cracked Pepper to Taste, I didn't use any salt. You can add that if you need. We are a salt free/low salt family. With the Worcestershire sauce and vinegar, salt is not really needed.
Prep Time: approx. 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 Hours on High in the Crockpot


Potatoes on the Bottom
To start this recipe, there's a lot of chopping, but the end result is worth it! First, put the olive oil and vinegar in the bottom of the crockpot. After that, cut the washed potatoes into small pieces. They'll cook faster that way. *I did have one bakers potato left from another recipe. I peeled it, cut it, and threw it on top. That's why there are white potatoes on top of the yellow.
Onion Layer
Then, put the onions, coarsely chopped, in a layer on top of the potatoes. 
Green Bean Layer
Now, drain off the water of 2 of the cans of green beans. Keep one with the water in it. Pour them on top of the onion layer. 
Kielbasa/Smoked Sausage
 Cut the Kielbasa into small pieces. 

Kielbasa Layer
Put the kielbasa layer on top, and then, put the garlic, cracked pepper, and Worcestershire on top.
 
I almost had this too full for my crockpot. I put a soup pan upside down on the lid to make sure it stayed shut. You can always to less or more to fit in your crock pot. 
I let this cook for almost 4 hours, but the potatoes were still a little hard, so, I gave it more time. I also stirred this around the 2 hour mark. Cook until your potatoes are fork tender. 
Green Beans and Sausage
This is what the finished Green Beans and Sausage dish looks like finished. This is one of those meals I can throw in the crockpot and leave to do its thing. It doesn't really need stirred. I did because I couldn't leave it alone, because it smelled so good! 


 



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Creamy Potato Soup

Ingredients:
5-6 Large Baker Potatoes Peeled and Cut into Bight Size Pieces
2 Large Onions Chopped
2 Stalks of Celery Chopped
2 Large Cloves of Garlic Chopped
2 Tbls. Olive Oil
1 Stick Butter
4-6 Cups of Milk or Lactaid (We use Lactaid at our house.)
2-3 Tbs. Flour (Depends on how thick you want it.)
Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper to Taste
Shredded Cheese to Garnish
Bacon Bits to Garnish
*Makes 6-8 servings.
Prep Time: 15-20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 Minutes

First peel and cut potatoes into bight size pieces and put in a large pan with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, and then, bring down to a simmer. Let cook until fork tender, but not completely falling apart.

Put the chopped onion, garlic, and celery into a soup size pan (4-6 quart) with olive oil over medium heat. Cook until tender.
Then put in the stick of butter to melt. After the butter is melted, add the flour. You can start with less, then, add more if you are worried about it getting too thick. Stir all of this together until the flour and butter are combined. Turn the heat down just above low so the flour and butter don't burn. Then, add the milk/Lactaid. These can also be added slowly to get the desired thickness you want. Let these things simmer for a few minutes. Add a little garlic powder, ground black pepper, and salt to taste.

Drain the potatoes in a strainer in the sink to get the water off. Then, add them to the rest of the ingredients.
I usually let this simmer while continuously stirring around ten minutes. Doing this also insures that the flour is fully cooked.

Potato Soup Garnished with Shredded Cheese

Serve the soup and garnish with cheese and bacon. This is a heartier soup that is vegetarian without the bacon.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Classic Cakes of Carmel, IN

Our Wedding Cake 
Made by Classic Cakes
Classic Cakes of Carmel, IN is a place that makes cakes for all occasions with professionalism and artistry. 
I met Sarah that works at Classic Cakes through church. She would make all of the cakes for the couples at church, and her decorating skills are amazing! I would ask at every reception, "Who made your cake?" The answer was always, "Sarah. She works at Classic Cakes. She's the one to talk to!!!" 
So, I knew, without a doubt, even before I met my now husband, where my wedding cake was going to come from! 
To start our wedding cake journey, I contacted Sarah and made an appointment for cake tasting and design ideas with her. We met with her and tasted every kind of cake they had.  (Find the list of flavors and pricing here.) We decided on our bottom and top layer of the cake would be almond pound cake with chocolate truffle filling, our second tier was white cake with butter cream filling, and our third tier was keylime with butter cream filling. (I don't see the keylime listed on their site anymore.) After we did the tasting, Sarah got out some colored pencils. We told her we were having a peacock themed reception focusing on the feathers and the blues and greens, and she got to work. She sketched out shapes and ideas. I brought with me a swatch of the bridesmaids dresses so she could match the color. She did perfectly! It's the green behind the feather.
 Sarah posted this picture for me when it was finished!
After letting my husband help make some decisions and seeing the sketch that Sarah came up with, we were happy! I am a huge fan of butter cream! This cake had plenty of it! 
Cutting the Cake
The cake was a beautiful center piece for our reception. Classic cakes delivered it to our venue for a fee. I'm sure glad they did, because that's one less thing I had to deal with! 
Top of the Cake on Our 1 Year Anniversary
They included instructions on how to wrap the top of your wedding cake, so it would taste good on the one year anniversary.  We followed the instructions, and the cake still tasted amazing! 
If you're in the market for a wedding cake or even a cake for any special event, check out Classic Cakes! They will work with you to create anything you can imagine! 
*Wedding pictures taken by Memorable Milestones Photography 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

La Hacienda in Indianapolis

Ian and I had dinner last night at La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant on Lawton Rd. We got there around 8:15pm. They weren't crazy busy, but they had a very large table with three families, another table with a larger family, and a few other tables occupied by smaller families or couples having a date night.
I could tell that the young man that was serving us was having a stressful night. A manager was called to the table behind us that was the large family. They said some not very nice things. Later, we heard them cussing at their children. Lovely.
I don't know if the kid spoke very much English, but he was kind to us. He took our order for our Chori Queso and drinks. When he brought that out, he took our dinner order. Not even five minutes afterward, our dinner appeared at our table!
I was so hungry last night, I didn't take any pictures of my food! The food was the general authentic Mexican food. The salsa was really good! I had tacos and beans, and both things were tasty!
I just want to publicly thank them for getting our food to us so quickly! (Almost too quickly!) We normally eat at the La Hacienda on Graham Rd, but we thought we would give this one a try.
They have indoor and outdoor seating available. We will definitely be going back to this location!
I would recommend La Hacienda to anyone who likes authentic Mexican food!