Rainbow Stew is Versatile and Delicious

I had a delicious dinner at a friend’s house recently, so of course I scammed the recipe from her. We had what she called Rainbow Stew. It’s actually her grandmother’s vegetable soup recipe and it’s very versatile. It also can be cooked on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.

Here’s the basic recipe:

Rainbow Stew

5 potatoes, chunked up

3 onions, chopped

1 can corn

1 can peas

1 can tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1 spoon Crisco

1/2 can water for each can of vegetables

Combine all in slow cooker and cook all day on low or 4 to 6 hours on high.

Before serving, boil a small package of elbow macaroni separately according to package directions then drain and mix into stew. Allow stew to simmer with macaroni in it for a few minutes before serving.

So easy and simple, right? My friend said she often adds sliced fresh okra or celery when she has it on hand and it’s delicious with these additions.

She also often substitutes a can of diced tomatoes and green chilis for the plain tomatoes. This version is much spicier. The batch we ate, she substituted oregano and basil seasoned diced tomatoes instead of plain tomatoes. It was excellent.

She also noted that her grandmother sometimes adds tomato juice instead of water. This made me wonder whether it would be awesome to add chicken broth in place of the water. I think it would. I also think I would slice up some carrots and add them to the stew for even more color.

See what I mean about versatile? You can add (or delete) vegetables according to your family’s tastes, and even adjust the spices easily. And it’s a delicious meal that cooks itself in the slow cooker while you’re out living your life. Wonderful.

For more hearty, delicious dinner ideas, try Carver’s TomatoesCarver’s Tomatoes includes all of George Washington Carver’s 115 Tomato Recipes updated for today’s cooks. These were originally published in 1918 when Carver ran the Agriculture Department at the Tuskegee Institute under Booker T. Washington. His original pamphlet was a large part of his efforts to increase the popularity of tomatoes.

His recipes remain relevant through their use of common pantry and garden ingredients. Known for his personal frugality, most of these recipes are quite inexpensive to prepare and most are quite flexible, allowing the cook to create dishes to serve any number of people. The recipes are wide-ranging, from basic ketchups to soups and salads to dinner entrees.

Carver’s Tomatoes is available online for only $2.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony or Smashwords.

H&B Cheesy Taters Rock the Grill!

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My sister and brother-in-law have been making this simple but delicious side dish for years now and they’ve got it perfected. They were sweet enough to share the recipe and even send photos so I could share it with you.

Amounts of all ingredients can be easily increased/decreased to make the right amount for your gathering, so I won’t put measurements on here.

Cheesy Potatoes

Dice potatoes and onions and mix together on a large sheet of foil. Sprinkle with seasoning salt, garlic salt and black pepper to taste. Fold foil into a sealed packet.

On the grill grill, place foil pack where it won’t receive direct heat/flame or your potatoes will burn on the bottom.

My sister turns off a couple of burners on her gas grill and sets the foil pack on that side while she cooks the meat.

She reports that the packet takes about 30 minutes to cook through, but correct cooking time will depend on the size of your potato pieces. For faster cooking, cut your pieces smaller.

Once your food is cooked, let the meat rest a minute while you add the cheese. It’s best to allow grilled meat to rest for about five minutes before serving so you don’t lose the juices and wind up with dry meat anyway.

Open the top of your foil pack and add shredded cheese then close the foil back and let the heat from those taters melt the cheese. (Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese is recommended.)

Give the heat a couple of minutes to work its magic on the cheese, then open that packet and enjoy!

These also cook perfectly in the oven at 350 degrees. Check them after about 30 minutes to see if they are done. Again, cooking time will vary according to the quantity you are cooking and the size of the potato pieces.

If you want to cook these on the grill but cannot keep them from being directly over flame or if you just worry the potatoes will stick, then spray your foil first with cooking oil.

 

25 Great Uses for Coffee Filters

A friend sent me an e-mail with all these genius uses for coffee filters and I just had to share. Unfortunately, I can’t tell from the e-mail I received who originally collected these great ideas so I can’t give them credit.

Coffee filters for standard drip coffee machines are quite inexpensive and tend to come in packs of 1,000, so I’m planning to put a  few in the garage and in the tool box to have them handy!

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome. Coffee filters are lint-free so they’ll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think you need expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. They soak out the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great razor nick fixers.

15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliquéing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18 Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car..

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and to clean up small counter spills.

20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a zip-lock plastic bag until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in a phone book.

25. Use as a disposable snack bowl for popcorn, chips, etc.

And one more bonus use (besides in coffee makers):

26. Great in the tool room when separating nails and screws then use in to bottom of containers to remove moisture and prevent rust.

Hunka Hunka Elvis Recipes!

Ran across some postcards I purchased in Memphis a few years ago, including a couple that have recipes that are supposed to be from Elvis’ kitchen. They sound delicious. I hung the postcards in the kitchen at my old house, but the pictures went into storage in the garage when I moved. Here are the two favorites that I chose (the gift shop had several others).

Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches

2 large bananas

6 slices of white bread

1 stick of butter

1 cup peanut butter

Peel and mash bananas. Mix peanut butter with bananas thoroughly. Toast bread lightly and spread mix on bread. Melt butter in skillet and brown sandwiches on each side slowly until golden brown.

Sweet Potato Pie

2 large sweet potatoes

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon nutmeg

1 stick butter

1/2 cup milk

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Bake the sweet potatoes until tender. Cool, peel and mash. Combine the potatoes and other ingredients. Pour into pie shell. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes or until done.