Running, charity and all that laces them together.

Running, charity and all that laces them together.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Two Tasty Fall Recipes

It was going to be a cold, damp evening, so I whipped up a little stew and let it cook all day . . .

Slow Cooker Southwest Hominy and Turkey Sausage Stew

28 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
31 oz. can hominy, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup(s) red onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup(s) celery, thinly sliced
2/3 cup canned chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped green chiles, canned (hot, medium or mile - you decide!)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 pound raw turkey sausage, casings removed

Mix the undrained diced tomatoes, hominy, onion, celery, broth, green chilies, oregano, pepper and cloves in a 4, 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Crumble the sausage into quarter sized bits over the stew. Gently stir in without breaking it up too much.

Cover and cook on low setting for 7 hours. This recipe yields 8 'one cup' servings. 

My take on it: I was a little hesitant to make this because I am not a fan of slow cookers or crock pots as they call them "where I come from." Still, this sounded tasty, and it was. It is a Weight Watchers recipe and for any of you who are Weight Watchers, the one cup serving has a 5 Points Plus value, and it's worth every point! I also used turkey breast sausage, which probably made it even less fattening. Not all turkey meat or turkey sausage is just turkey breast. A more health conscious person might choose to use organic products or even replace the canned produce with the fresh equivalent. If you try it sometime, let us know how it turns out.

It is sure warmed us up on cold, damp evening. Hope it does the same for you! Enjoy!!

And if you need a little something sweet for after dinner(or for breakfast or snack or shhhh!, the middle of the night) try out this banana bread:

Brooke's Banana Bread

Yield: Makes 2 loaves
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hoursIngredients, and Brooke's take on the Ingredients (Brooke is the 'I' this time):

  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour.  I use King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat Flour -- my picky eaters don't care that I use the whole wheat...  It still has all the good stuff in it (wheat germ and bran).  It is never bleached or bromated and made from 100% US grown wheat and the company is 100% employee owned.
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda - I use Arm & Hammer.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon - I use whatever brand I have around of varying quality.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt - for baking I use regular Morton Salt because I like the cute picture on the box.
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes.  I use my farmer's brown eggs whose hens have been roaming around and pecking in the dirt eating bugs and other things I probably don't know about.
  • 2 1/3 cups sugar -  Ok, that's A LOT of sugar.  I use about 1 1/3 cups sugar and it is plenty sweet.  I do use evaporated cane juice as a replacement for white, refined sugar.
  • 1 cup vegetable oil -  Again, that's A LOT of oil.  I use about 1/3 to 1/2 cup.
  • 3 cups coarsely mashed, very ripe bananas (6 large).  The older and grosser, the better, and sometimes I'll puree a zucchini or carrots or pears and toss 'em in there.  Believe me, no one will know.
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche - I never have that in the house so I always use my farmer's half-and-half or his creme cheese.  The same amount.  Whatever I have the most of and whatever I need to get rid of...
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla - I do splurge here and get it from La Cuisine in Old Town.  Find them at
  • 1 1/3 cups walnuts (4 ounces), toasted and chopped.  I use semi-sweet chocolate chips here instead of walnuts.   They'll eat anything with chocolate chips!

Brooke's Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter 2 (9 by 5 by 3 inch) metal loaf pans, then dust with flour.  I spray my pans and have used glass, metal, and ceramic with equal success.

Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl.  I put everything in a bowl first and then whisk it around.

Beat together eggs and sugar in bowl of electric mixer at medium-high speed until very thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 10 minutes -- I never time this step.  Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream -- careful here, you can make a mess! -- then mix in bananas, creme fraiche and vanilla.  Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and walnuts gently but thoroughly.  I use the mixer for this step to...

Divide batter between loaf pans, spreading evenly -- I give each pan a little shake/shimmy on the counter -- and bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, -- good tip -- about 1 to 1 1/4 hours.  I set the timer for 74 minutes and we're all good.

Cool loaves in pans on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack.  Turn loaves right side up and cool completely.

My take on Brooke's Ingredients and Directions:

I used organic whole wheat flour and organic bananas. I don't like REALLY RIPE bananas so I just used FAIRLY RIPE bananas. I had my own vanilla, so I didn't splurge. I used less sugar as Brooke suggested, but I will admit it was white, refined sugar. I sprayed my pans like she did. She is right about the chocolate chips. Use them, but just limit yourself. It worked for me, and it was good in the evening for dessert, in the morning for breakfast, and shhhh!, yes, in the middle of the night. Oh, I must add that I ate a piece every morning for about a week before my morning run. (Brooke would like that I added that!)

Check back next week for some pumpkin cookies. Heck, I even like them, and I'm not a fan of pumpkin!

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