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Monday, September 15, 2014

What's Cookin' in the Country?

After this lovely fall weather we experienced this past weekend, I'm sure most of us cooks are dreaming about some of our favorite fall recipes.  There are certain foods that are associated with cooler temps, right?  

For me one of those is Stuffed Green Peppers.  Don't run!  If the thought of stuffed peppers conjures up memories of limp, overcooked peppers and dry meat sauce, you must try this recipe!  The peppers are slightly crisp, the meat sauce has chunks of tomatoes, rather than tomato sauce, and a yummy addition of basil and Worcestershire sauce.  A little Cheddar cheese is added to finish it all off.   In short, this is a real keeper.  The extra meat sauce is spooned into the dish and the little peppers are nestled in to keep everything moist and delicious!

Stuffed Green Peppers
2 Large green peppers
8 oz. lean ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and cut (or canned tomatoes, drained)
1/2 cup long grain rice, cooked
1/2 cup water
 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Halve peppers lengthwise and remove stem ends, seeds and membranes.  Immerse peppers into boiling water for 3 minutes.  Invert onto paper towels to drain well.

In a large skillet cook meat and onion till meat is brown and onion is tender.  Drain fat.  Stir in tomatoes, cooked rice, water, Worcestershire sauce, basil and pepper.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Stir in half the cheese.  Spoon meat mixture into peppers.  Place peppers in 8x8x2 in baking dish.  Spoon any remaining meat into baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, at 375 for about 15 minutes or till heated through.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  let stand for one to two minutes or till the cheese melts.  Makes 4 servings.

How about ending that great meal with a little pumpkin dessert; another favorite flavor in the fall. This recipe for Pumpkin Bars makes TWO 9x13 pans!  They whip up really quickly, too.  After cooling, they're topped with a cream cheese icing.  Moist and fantastic! This is a great dessert for a crowd!  I introduce to you the delightful Pumpkin Bar...

Pumpkin Bars
2 Cups flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup nuts, chopped
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or 1/4 tsp each, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmget

6 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 Tb. cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients for bars.  Pour into two greased and floured 9 x 13 pans and bake at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes.

To make frosting, mix cream cheese and butter.  Combine with other ingredients and mix well.  Frost cooled bars.

I hope you'll try these two recipes.  I have serious doubts you'll be disappointed!  If you are, call me and I'll come pick up the leftovers!  =)

Have you made any fall favorites yet?  

With love from my country kitchen,

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