Friday, March 14, 2014

Cracker Barrel Carrots

Whenever we go to Cracker Barrel, I may order different entrees, but I ALWAYS order their green beans and carrots for my side dishes. Their green beans are almost as good as mine, but I've never been able to cook carrots that tasty. Until now...I found this copycat recipe online and cooked some wonderful carrots for lunch.

Cracker Barrel Baby Carrots

2 pounds fresh baby carrots
2 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon brown sugar (I used Splenda Brown Sugar)
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1 pinch ground nutmeg (optional)

Rinse carrots and place in a 2-quart saucepan. Pour in enough water to just cover the top of the carrots. Cover the pan with a lid, place on medium heat, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the carrots are tender when pricked with a fork.

When carrots are tender, pour off half of the water. Add the margarine, sugar, and salt and place the lid back on the pan. Cook until completely tender but not mushy. More salt may be added if needed. For a little flair, add a pinch of ground nutmeg.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sour Cream Cucumbers

I found this recipe somewhere years and years ago and it has been a family favorite ever since. The original recipe calls for cucumbers and onions only; I've added the tomatoes and peppers.

Sour Cream Cucumbers

2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 medium onion, sliced into thin rings (I use purple or sweet)
1 medium tomato, diced large
1/2 sweet bell pepper, diced (I use yellow to add a different color)
3/4 cup light sour cream
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup Splenda Granular
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, and peppers in a bowl. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the cucumbers. Mix well and chill about an hour before serving.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Jean's Leftover Turkey Soup

My mother-in-law, Jean, wasn't a great cook. She could cook and everything was edible and good, but all her food was pretty plain. In her spice cabinet she had...salt, black pepper, and garlic salt. Really. She made really good egg noodles and tried her best to show me how to make that, but it didn't stick in my head. Lol! She did, however, show me how to make this soup from leftover turkey. And it is really good!

Jean's Leftover Turkey Soup

1 whole leftover turkey
1 box Uncle Ben's Brown and Wild Rice
4 stalks celery, sliced thin
15 ounce canned carrots, undrained
15 ounce canned corn, undrained
1 box chicken broth, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Place leftover turkey w/bones in stock pot. Cover with hot water. Bring to a boil, then cook on medium until meat falls off the bones. With tongs and a fork, separate the meat from the bones. Strain the broth. If you want a really rich soup, use this broth for the soup. If, like me, want a lighter soup, reserve 1 cup of the broth. You can still save the rest of the broth and freeze into ice cubes for other soups or to sauté vegetables in.

Very carefully go through the meat and shred, making sure there are no slivers of turkey bones. Place the meat in a Dutch oven and cover with water or use the box of chicken broth. Add the reserved turkey broth. (If you're using just the turkey broth, you may still need to add some water or chicken broth.) Bring to a boil. add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until done, about half an hour.

Note: If you don't want to use rice, use your own seasonings and just make turkey soup. Add more veggies! Barley would be good too! Be creative...have fun!