Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies.......She looks well to the ways of her household. Proverbs 31:10-27
We're sisters who like to cook and bake, talk cooking and baking, and share recipes and kitchen wisdom.

Smoked Sausage Stir Fry

This recipe like all stir fry types is good to use up leftover vegetables. We are not as fond of the Asian type of stir-fry so this is a welcome change of pace. I had some V8 juice that really needed to be used and some peppers left from another meal so this was the night to try this out.
 Everyone liked it, including Bettie who does not like rice dishes or for that matter tomato sauce type things. The V8 is spicy and if you want something fast and easy to fix this is it. I did add about a Tablespoon of sherry to the sauce when it was thickening, it is optional. You could add some mushrooms if you have some needing to be used. 
The original recipe is from The Taste of Home Casserole Cookbook magazine.
Sausage Stir Fry
1 14 ounce package of smoked sausage sliced (I used smoked brats)
⅔ cup chopped green or red pepper or combination of both
½ cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 teaspoon dried Basil
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 small clove garlic minced
1 ½ cups V8 juice
1 tablespoon sherry optional
2 cups cooked rice
 In a large skillet, while rice is cooking, saute the pepper, onion, sausage, oregano and basil in oil until crisp tender. Add minced garlic and saute 1 minute longer. 
 Stir in the V8 juice; bring to a boil and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes until thickened and heated through. Add the sherry and cook one minute longer if using. Serve over rice.

4 Servings 

Green Beans with Olives

I like the old Best of Gourmet Cookbooks from the 80’s and 90’s because “gourmet” isn’t necessarily elaborate, just good ingredients well-prepared, and the recipes are often for 2 servings.  This easy recipe was perfect for lunch today.
                         Green Beans with Olives
     1/2      Pound  Green Beans -- trimmed
     1/2      Teaspoon  Dried Oregano
  4             Kalamata Olives -- pitted and chopped
  1             Tablespoon  Butter
                        Lemon Juice -- to taste
Boil the beans with the oregano in a pan of salted boiling water for 5 minutes, or until crisp tender.
Drain the beans and toss them with the olives, butter and lemon juice.
2 Servings
  "Best of Gourmet 1991"

Per Serving: 103 Calories; 8g Fat (64.5% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 184mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat.

Sunday in Iowa...

It's been cold and rainy this week, but the tulips are still beautiful at the public gardens in Pella, Iowa in preparation for their Tulip Time Festival next week.
These are in the gardens at the Scholte House museum there.

Family Favorites...Microwave Acorn Squash

  We are all fans of acorn squash and so any recipe for it usually gets tried. This recipe sounded a little different with the honey, and of course done in the microwave makes it a fast way to have a vegetable.
  I have fixed squash in the microwave before and it works quite well. One thing they do not tell you that I usually do, is to microwave it for about 2 minutes, piercing it in two or three places before you cut it open to remove the seeds. Sure makes cutting it open a lot easier. 
  This recipe from the Taste of Home Busy Family Favorites will become one of your favorites also. If you have any leftover, scoop it out of the shell and store in the refrigerator. It warms up very well. I usually add a pat of butter when I warm it up.
Microwave Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squash
¼ cup packed brown sugar (I used a tablespoon per squash half)
4 tablespoons butter (one per squash half)
4 teaspoons honey (1 teaspoon each half)
Pinch of salt and pepper per squash half
  Cut squash in half; discard seeds. Place squash cut side down in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 - 12 minutes or until tender.
  Turn squash over; cut side up, and fill the centers with butter, brown sugar, honey and salt and pepper sprinkled over all. Cover again and heat for 2 -3 minutes or until the butter melts and the sugar and honey are warm.
Shared by Myrna

Salmon Croquettes

This Salmon Croquettes recipe from the Southern Living Magazine caught my eye as it has no filler in it. I I did wonder how it would hold together but I am happy to report that it worked very well and tasted good. Bettie decided that she liked it better than salmon patties with cracker crumbs for filler. I thought they stayed moist and you could taste the salmon. They are a little harder to handle and you need to be careful turning them over while they are browning. I did mince the celery and onion fine so they would cook through and the time was just right.
 Serve with GF tartar sauce, dill sauce or lemon slices.
Salmon Croquettes
1 can (14.75 oz.) Salmon
½ cup minced celery
½ cup minced onion
2 large eggs beaten
½ to 1 teaspoon table salt
½ to 1 teaspoon black pepper
Small amount of cooking oil
 Drain Salmon: remove and discard skin and bones. Flake salmon and place in a medium bowl. Stir celery and next 4 ingredients into salmon; shape mixture into 3 patties (I used a ⅔ cup measure). 

 Cook patties in large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until golden. Serve with dill sauce or lemon slices.

From the Garden...Home Canned Three Bean Salad

I love Three Bean Salad, but the purchased stuff is pretty expensive.  When I saw this recipe in the “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving” I had to try it.  I like the wax beans in the mixture – they are pretty, but hard to buy, even at Farmer’s Markets, so I asked my brother-in-law, Don, if he would plant some for me in his garden if I bought the seed and picked them.  Well, he did me one better, he brought a big bag of picked green and wax beans and left them on my patio table! 
We quickly snapped and cleaned them, and I made one batch of this salad and canned the rest plain in the pressure canner.  Next year, if I can get the beans, I’ll make at least 2 batches – I really, really like this recipe.  I think it’s better than any I’ve purchased, and really pretty too.
Pickled Three Bean Salad
  1 ½     Pounds  Fresh Green Beans -- 4 1/2 cups
  1 ½     Pounds  Fresh Wax Beans -- 4 1/2 cups
  1         Pound  Canned Kidney Beans -- or Shelled Lima Beans, rinsed and drained
  2         Cups  Celery -- sliced
  1         Large  Onion -- peeled and sliced
  1         Cup  Sweet Pepper -- diced
  2 ½     Cups  Sugar
  3         Cups  White Vinegar
  1         Tablespoon  Mustard Seed
  1         Teaspoon  Celery Seed
  4         Teaspoons  Pickling Salt
  1 ¼     Cups  Water
Rinse beans, trim ends and cut into 1 1/2" pieces.  Mix in large pot with celery, onion and pepper.  Cover with boiling water and simmer 10-12 minutes (the recipe calls for 8 minutes, but that wasn’t enough).  Drain.
Bring sugar, vinegar, spices, and water to a boil.  Simmer, covered, 15 minutes.    (The amounts are just right, only a little brine left over.  Don't boil the brine away!)   Add drained vegetables and kidney beans.  Return to a boil.
Pack hot vegetables into hot jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.  Ladle hot spiced vinegar over vegetables, leaving 1/2" headspace.
Remove air bubbles.  Wipe rim of jar clean; place hot, previously simmered lid on jar and screw down ring firmly tight.
Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.
Yield:  "7 Pint Jars"
Do not change the ratio of vinegar, water and vegetables.  This is a tested recipe for water bath canning.

These cost me almost nothing to make...I had the green and wax beans from Don's garden and the sweet pepper from our garden.  The remaining ingredients cost $2.93, or 42¢ per jar.

Salmon with Sour Cream Mustard Sauce and Almonds

We love salmon…it is a luxury here in the Midwest, but one we enjoy.  I’m always experimenting with new ways to prepare it…this is delicious, and you have the sauce and garnish right in the oven.
We use our good toaster oven for dishes like this for just 2 servings; feel free to multiply the recipe and bake it in your regular oven.  You can use chopped pecans or pistachios or even pine nuts instead of almonds.
We enjoyed it with “a little of what’s left” mixed vegetables and baked potatoes.   My husband really thought the sauce was excellent when we had this on Sunday.                 

Salmon with Sour Cream Mustard Sauce and Almonds
  1         Tablespoon  Butter
  8-12   Ounces  Salmon Fillets -- in 2 portions
     1/4  Cup  Sour Cream -- full fat
  2         Teaspoons  Grainy Mustard -- mixed with sour cream
     1/3  Cup  Sliced Almonds
Heat oven to 450°.  Line a small shallow rimmed pan with non-stick aluminum foil.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in pan in oven until it foams and subsides.  Do not burn.
Lay fillets on pan, coat with the mixture of the sour cream and mustard.  Sprinkle with almonds.
Bake for 10-12 minutes (or about 10 minutes per inch of thickness).
2 servings

Per Serving: 390 Calories; 29g Fat (64.9% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 87mg Cholesterol; 220mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 4 1/2 Fat.

Maple Dijon Salmon

I think Dijon mustard makes almost anything better, and combined with real maple syrup and used as a glaze on salmon it is wonderful!    If your salmon is fresh or thawed, this is a quick and easy meal fit for guests or your family on a busy day.                   

                            Maple Dijon Salmon
     1/2         pound  Salmon Fillets -- Cut into 4 ounce pieces.
  1               Tablespoon  Maple Syrup
  1               Tablespoon  Dijon Mustard
Heat oven to 400°.
Lay salmon fillet pieces on a pan covered in heavy foil and lightly brushed with olive oil.
Mix maple syrup and mustard together in a cup.
Spread about half over the salmon before baking. (Baste halfway through with the remaining mixture)
Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes, or 10 minutes for each inch of thickness, basting after 5 minutes.
Serve on heated plates.  2 Servings

Per Serving: 163 Calories; 4g Fat (24.2% calories from fat); 23g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 59mg Cholesterol; 171mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 3 Lean Meat; 0 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.