Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Three-Bean and Sausage Stew

photoCAH0KKVO

Christmas is almost upon us .. (did I really say that?!?) and if you’ve got way too many last minute errands to do then this dish is a life saver. Ok, maybe not a lifesaver, but it takes a load off of whats-for-dinner problems. Just throw this little jewel in the crockpot, go attack the day, and then 4-5 hours later boil some rice and open a bag-o-salad and you’re set. I usually end up with left-overs so I freeze the rest. Which, I might add, does freeze well.

3-Beans and Sausage Stew

1 1/2 lbs smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

16 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

15 1/2 oz can great northern beans, rinsed and drained

15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup water

8 oz. tomato sauce

2/3 cup chopped celery

1 tsp chicken bouillon granules

1 tsp minced garlic (you can use garlic powder in a pinch)

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp dried oregano, optional

1/4 tsp dried thyme, optional

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours, or until heated through. Discard bay leaf. Serve over rice. Makes about 8 servings.

Enjoy and relax!

photo

Monday, December 19, 2011

PRAYER REQUEST TUESDAY

This is the day set aside for prayer, for you.
If you have a prayer request, please list it in the comments below. You don't have to give any information you don't feel comfortable with. (A simple "unspoken" comment is sufficient).
If you would like to pray, then please pray for the comment above yours.
Also, if you would like to share a "praise" for a blessing you have received please feel free to leave a comment so we can all rejoice with you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PRAYER REQUEST TUESDAY

This is the day set aside for prayer, for you.

If you have a prayer request, please list it in the comments below. You don't have to give any information you don't feel comfortable with. (A simple "unspoken" comment is sufficient).
If you would like to pray, then please pray for the comment above yours.
Also, if you would like to share a "praise" for a blessing you have received please feel free to leave a comment so we can all rejoice with you!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pecan Pie Cake

Ok people, you've been warned! This cake will make a grown man drop to his knees, birds will sing, and your children will ask you to let them wash the dishes. I'm tellin' you, this cake is good enough to make you sass your grandma (and we all know you won't get away with that without some serious discipline from your mama, right?)  I found this in an older Southern Living, and so glad I did!
Pecan Pie Cake

It's best to make the filling the night before, because you want this to chill really well. So I'll start with that first...
Pecan Pie Filling
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/8 tsp salt
3 TBSP butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the real stuff)

Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, and boil for 1 minute, or until thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Place a sheet of wax paper directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from forming, and chill at least 4 hours.

Now for the cake....
Pecan Pie Cake
3 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted and divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup dark corn syrup

Sprinkle 2 cups pecans evenly into 3 generously buttered 9-inch round cake pans; shake to coat bottoms and sides of pans.
Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, and gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Combine flour and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in remaining 1 cup pecans.
Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form, and fold one third egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining egg whites. (Do NOT over mix). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. I always set timer to go off 5 minutes before to be safe. Silly oven!
Check for doneness with the old toothpick inserted into center test.
Cool in pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes, then invert onto the wire racks. Put some wax paper down under the wire racks... Trust me! You'll be glad you did!
Brush the tops and sides of layers with corn syrup, and cool completely. (See, aren't you glad you listened?)
Spread half of pecan pie filling on one layer, pecan side up. Place second layer, pecan side up, on filling, and spread with remaining filling. Top with remaining layer, pecan side up.

Now, every Southern cook knows you don't make a pecan pie when it's raining, right? Guess what it was doing the day I made the filling? Yep, that's right.
So it wasn't picture-perfect but that didn't bother anyone who had seconds on Thanksgiving!
I hope you'll try this. I know it's a two step (or day) process, but it is so worth it.
And hopefully, it won't be raining when you do. Enjoy!

Hint:  Please read the comments.  In them, there are some really good questions and tips and if I haven't answered them, then some wonderful readers have helped.  You might find an answer you have in them. 

Be Sweet!


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