Monday, August 12, 2013

Stuffed peppers

August 9, 10, 11, & 12, 2013

I can't believe I have neglected my blog for so many days. I've been a busy gal. On Friday, we took our daughter's friend out to dinner with us and then over to our house for a sleep over.

On Saturday, I made another batch of hot (habanero, garlic, & dill) pickles for my hubby. I had one jar leftover of the pickling juice so I threw in a handful of green beans and crossed my fingers that they would turn out like a pickle. They were a success. My kids already ate half of that jar! My son asked me to make more of the green bean pickles so that he can bring them to school when the school year starts.

On Sunday, I made another batch of pizza sauce. Our neighbor asked us to go blackberry picking with them in their patch. I ended up with a basket full of berries. Score! I made a blackberry pie and still had a small container leftover. My neighbor asked me if I would make him jam out of his chokecherries. Yep, I'm game. Into the canner it went. It was my first attempt at jam so I was nervous. Chokecherries have a dryness to them but this morning once we buttered our toast and put on some of my jam..... it worked! My son loved it. He even asked for it for lunch today. I was totally shocked when he asked for another toast and jam after dinner tonight (my daughter did too!). I guess I better get back to the canner and find more jam to make.

I'll give you a few highlights of some of our food we have been enjoying during the past few days. We had a ton of grilled veggies for lunch (along with some beans and cheese). We had corn on the cob served with butter and thyme (oh yum!), and a mix of potatoes, onion, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash.

One night we weren't too hungry so my hubby and I had a dip dinner night. We used up a few leftover items to come up with our dip. There was leftover containers of vegetarian chili, cream cheese/cheddar cheese (from filling jalapeno poppers), and a mix of onion, mushrooms, green pepper, and orange pepper. My hubby sauteed the veggies and layered cream cheese mix, veggies, chili, and topped it with cheddar cheese. I LOVE dip nights!

The meal I am most proud of these past few days is tonight's dinner. I browsed a few recipes to get ideas and then decided to just wing it and throw stuff together to make stuffed peppers. Here is what I came up with. I cooked a cup of red quinoa. I sauteed red onion, fresh garlic, mushrooms, orange pepper, red pepper, and spinach in olive oil. I added local white wine, salt, garlic & wine seasoning, oregano, thyme (from my garden), and italian seasoning. I stirred in some leftover small white beans and about 3/4 of the cooked quinoa. I cut green peppers in half lengthwise. I used my mom's recipe for sauce. Two large cans of tomato sauce (I used 3 cups), 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (mom's recipe calls for 2). I also added in a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce. I put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a cake pan. I set the peppers on it and baked at 400 for ten minutes. Then I filled the peppers with the quinoa and veggie mixture. I took a picture of the filling so you could see it better than the finished peppers. I spooned some sauce over the top and then added mozzarella cheese. I poured sauce all around the peppers and stuck them back into the oven for about 20-25 minutes. I steamed some broccolini and green beans. This was my first picking of green beans from my garden. I was too anxious to wait until there was enough for a meal so I just threw them in with the broccolini.

How did the stuffed peppers turn out? My daughter took a bite and said that it tasted like ground beef. I took a bite and thought I tasted bacon. What? Ha. We all loved them. My favorite part was when I asked everyone for what changes should be made next time. We all answered, "nothing". Yay! Dinner success.

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