Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tasty Tuesday Cat Master Bean Soup!

1 PM Monday. I'm sitting here at my desk staring out the window at the snow-covered trees, wishing I had some hot soup simmering in the Crock pot. I shouldn't be thinking that this time of year. I should be out looking at flowers and planting my garden and thinking about going on vacation. But no. I'm sitting here with chilly hands and feet, and I want some hot soup! Too bad I didn't think to soak the beans last night. *:(( crying

But if I had remembered to soak the beans, this is what we'd be having for dinner. I've used a variety of bean combinations--usually a 9 bean mixture--but any beans will do. Adding 1/2 cup of split peas will make a thicker soup. I came up with this recipe more or less on my own, so, as always, the measurements are approximate.

Cat Master Bean Soup

2 cups mixed dried beans, soaked overnight
1/2 cup split peas (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 tsp minced garlic
6 whole cloves
1 carrot, chopped
1 pound beef stew meat
2 tsp instant beef broth (you can adjust this depending on how salty you like your soup)
1 onion, chopped and sauteed in butter or oil.
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

1. Saute the chopped onion until translucent.
2. Place all ingredients in a 3 1/2 quart slow-cooker and fill with water to within 1 inch of the top. If you're using a larger pot, add enough water to cover.
3. Cook on low for about 8 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are soft and meat is tender.
4. Share with the chilly hunk of your choice!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tasty Tuesday Pimento Cheese!

Once upon a time, there was a brand of pimento cheese that I absolutely loved. It was slightly oily rather than mayonnaise-based, the cheese was finely chopped, and it wasn't the least bit sweet. Alas, I haven't been able to find it in years and can't recall the name, but with a slice of Lebanon bologna, it was heaven on a sandwich. Since then, I've tried other brands and have always been disappointed. They're either too sweet or downright tasteless.

Lately, I've taken to making my own. Someday I'm going to try making an oil-based version, but this is probably healthier--if pimento cheese could ever be called that. Since I tend not to do much measuring, these amounts are approximate.

Cat Master Pimento Cheese


1/4 cup REAL mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
2 oz jar of chopped pimentos, drained
4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tsp of a salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder mixture (I mix my own with equal parts of each)

Mix all together and enjoy with the hungry hunk of your choice!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tasty Tuesday Bean and Honey Hot Dish!

Here's another great recipe from our own Diva Donna that I plan to make later this week. Talk about procrastination... It's only been in my files since January of 2012!
Bean and Honey Burrito HOTDISH serves 8

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked yellow rice
  • 1 serving cooking spray
  • 8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. Prepare yellow rice as directed on package; reserve 1 1/2 cups. Refrigerate any remaining rice for another use.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Line bottom of baking dish with 4 tortillas. To make the honey sauce, whisk together the mustard, sour cream, and 1/3 cup honey in a small bowl. Combine the red pepper, green pepper, garbanzo beans, black beans, and corn in a large bowl. Scoop out 1/2 cup of the bean mixture and reserve for topping.
  4. Stir the chicken, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese, cumin, yellow rice, and honey sauce into the bean mixture. Mix well. Pour mixture into the baking dish. Top with 4 tortillas; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese, and the reserved 1/2 cup bean mixture.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until hot and bubbly, 30 to 45 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil if top browns excessively. Remove from oven, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tasty Tuesday Cheddar Penne with Sausage and Peppers!

I ran across the original version of this on Facebook (and was redirected to a Campbell's site). Since several of the reviews said it was bland, I added the mushrooms, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese. The results weren't too bad, despite the fact that I opened a can of cream of chicken soup by mistake and added a large spoonful before I realized it was a little too pale to be cheddar...

Cheddar Penne with Sausage and Peppers


2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 large green pepper, cut into 2-inch-long strips (about 2 cups)
1 large onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cups penne pasta, cooked and drained
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

1. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add sausage and cook until well browned. Remove the sausage from the skillet, drain on paper towels and pour off any fat.
2. Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Saute onions until translucent. Add the green pepper, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. 
3. Stir in the soup and milk and heat to a boil. Add the black pepper and Italian seasoning. Return the sausage to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another two minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the pasta to the sausage mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.